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  1. #1
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Top cover or sock?

    Is there a difference between using a top cover and using a sock, other than the weight? Does a sock have advantages over a top cover that justifies the additional weight?

  2. #2
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    There are a few differences depending on the hammock and how they are set up. A sock will be more closed in, trapping more warmth and blocking more breezes. However they do not have the option to vent as easily as a top cover might and like you mentioned a sock would weigh more. Same goal of trapping additional warmth in and around your hammock.
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  3. #3
    Mullach' Abu XTrekker's Avatar
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    Socks are great in high winds and really cold weather. I have been using my DIY sock from early spring until now and it has made a big difference. Currently my DIY sock is made out of 70D 1.9oz urethane coated Ripstop and its total weight is 18oz. I plan to make a new one out of 1.1 Nylon Ripstop soon to reduce weight. And I may go as far as to make it out of SilNylon and do away with the tarp. But I will have to address some possible leak areas, like around the zipper.

    Socks are great but they add weight to your pack. Best to use them on those windy, cold nights.

    As far as sock vs Top cover. The air gap between the sock and the hammock provides more warmth to the entire hammock rather than just trapping the heat from escaping from the top.

  4. #4
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Which option would you pick if you sleep very cold, but only do 3-season camping? Is a sock overkill in this case?

    I had a couple of nights in fall, when the temperature dropped to around 0C and I had to use a hot water bottle in addition to my 3-season Incubator and sleeping bag (both rated conservatively to -4C) in order to be able to sleep.

  5. #5

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    My first thought is that you may have had some UQ adjustment issues.

    But to answer your question, the obvious difference is that with a top cover you don't have the protection under the hammock that a sock offers.

    So to hijack of your thread a bit, you might think about your question in a different way by comparing the benefits of a top cover with an under quilt protector (UQP). My sense is that there's more comfort value from the UQP for the extra weight but I'll defer to those who have more experience.

    David

  6. #6
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bannerstone View Post
    My first thought is that you may have had some UQ adjustment issues.
    I certainly had issues, but I don't know how I could get the underquilt any tighter. I already shortened the shock cords to the point where it gets uncomfortable when they get anywhere near my body. I also attached additional shock cords to the ends, to make sure the quilt would not sag. I managed to rip one of the loops off in the progress... I don't really think that I can get the quilt fitted any better. I'm also planning to make a SPE and use a pad when I expect low temperatures.

    However, generally, I *am* a very, very cold sleeper. When travelling in South East Asia, I would still use my 20F semi-rec sleeping bag zipped open over me at night, while others didn't even want a bed sheet covering them. I actually think that getting my 20F equipment down to 32F with a hot water bottle is pretty good

    Quote Originally Posted by Bannerstone View Post
    So to hijack of your thread a bit, you might think about your question in a different way by comparing the benefits of a top cover with an under quilt protector (UQP). My sense is that there's more comfort value from the UQP for the extra weight but I'll defer to those who have more experience.
    That hadn't crossed my mind until now. I might give the underquilt protector a shot. But since I noticed that I felt a tiny bit warmer when my mosquito netting was closed (I use a Blackbird), I assumed that the way to go was either a top cover or a sock.

    Probably have to try it out in the end, to see what works best for me

  7. #7
    Jayson's Avatar
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    If you had the UQ suspension so tight it ripped a loop off the quilt that is way to tight!

  8. #8
    fishbait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XTrekker View Post
    Socks are great in high winds and really cold weather. I have been using my DIY sock from early spring until now and it has made a big difference. Currently my DIY sock is made out of 70D 1.9oz urethane coated Ripstop and its total weight is 18oz. I plan to make a new one out of 1.1 Nylon Ripstop soon to reduce weight. And I may go as far as to make it out of SilNylon and do away with the tarp. But I will have to address some possible leak areas, like around the zipper.

    Socks are great but they add weight to your pack. Best to use them on those windy, cold nights.

    As far as sock vs Top cover. The air gap between the sock and the hammock provides more warmth to the entire hammock rather than just trapping the heat from escaping from the top.
    Xtrekker to get around the zipper issue, you could consider something like the seep design that MacEntyre uses for his sock.

    Quote Originally Posted by hutzelbein View Post
    Which option would you pick if you sleep very cold, but only do 3-season camping? Is a sock overkill in this case?

    I had a couple of nights in fall, when the temperature dropped to around 0C and I had to use a hot water bottle in addition to my 3-season Incubator and sleeping bag (both rated conservatively to -4C) in order to be able to sleep.
    I have a Sock that I used a few times during the winter. It's great for blocking the wind and will definitely help in the temp department. The first night I used it the temp was 30* F or -1* C , the sock kept the temp inside close to 38* F or 3* C. The biggest issue I had was condensation. On my last cold weather hang the sock looked like a snow cave. We had snow over night and there was a lot of moisture in the air.

  9. #9
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    Other than the obvious cost, would cuben fiber be a good choice for a sock or overkill? I don't have any experience with cuben so am curious. Could probably do away with the tarp if there is a good way to vent the sock or no? Thanks

  10. #10
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    Re: Top cover or sock?

    I don't think its been mentioned yet... But a sock will boost your underquilts rating while an over cover will just boost your top quilt... With using a sock I was able to get a Shamu underquilt down to 18* comfortably... With just an over cover I would have been a Brute-circle...
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