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  1. #1
    Boulderman's Avatar
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    Random NX-250 and insulation thoughts

    Don't really have a purpose for this thread other than to ramble on a bit about some observations I had over the weekend.

    I took my new NX-250 on a short overnighter. I intended to try 3 different methods of insulation: pockets only, 1/8" Lawson foam pad in hammock, torso length Ridgerest in hammock.

    When I went to bed, the temperature was bouncing around 50-51 degrees. Using a JRB Hudson River as a topquilt and a Gossamer Gear sitlight pad (from my pack), I was able to lightly snooze just with the pocket insulation (there were a few items thrown in there, but nothing that would provide much insulation). A couple of hours later, I realized that my back was cold, and I checked the temp. 50 degrees still. I think my body had cooled off.

    I then put the Lawson pad in, and while it was noticeably warmer, it was so thin and finicky that it bunched up in places and was a literal pain the butt.

    I then switched to the Ridgerest. It had sufficient structure to stay under me without much bunching and of course was warm. The only problem with it was the width - at only 20 inches, my shoulders and elbows were chilly on the sides of the hammock. It was also a pain to switch from back to side sleeping because I had to hold the pad in place and rotate.

    Overall, I was happy with the sleep that I got, and the weathershield was awesome at keeping out the cool breezes coming off the lake. The hammock was most comfortable without a pad inside. So, I would like to figure out some insulation options.

    I think that I will make some insulating panels similar to the z-liner out of 2.5 oz climashield from thru-hiker. I was worried about the fact that, at first glance, the panels wouldn't be continuous under my body (allowing for cold spots), and could possibly fall away from the body near the middle of the hammock. Because there are two openings connecting each horizontal set of pockets, I should be able to devise a way to connect 2 panels, which would keep them snugged up to the body. Items inside the pockets will also raise the panels to keep close to the body. Also, something I hadn't learned from reading prior posts, is that the pockets are not sewn-through from the hammock body to the outside of the pocket - there is a 1.5" or 2" baffle between the hammock body and the outside of the pocket. This, I think, will help mitigate cold spots if I can get the insulating panels close enough together.

    I am wary of using a traditional underquilt because I like having access to the pockets - it seems storing items in the pockets would create gaps in an underquilt.

    The hammock is bulky! The XL tarp was bigger than I thought it would be, and seems to be a quality piece. Now the question is - should I seal the seams?

    Just some ramblings! Any comments or ideas are welcome.
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    Potential is nothing without hard work.

  2. #2

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    I have never tried a pad inside the hammock but I suspect I would have the same problems you experienced. I have used windsheild reflectors cut to fit the pockets. I went to some length to attach velcro to the insulating pieces so they could be connected thru the openings you describe. I also put velcro along the top edges to attach to the hammock velcro. I found that neither of those 'improvements' were needed. The pieces were stiff enough that they stayed in place without any extra attachment. I never seemed to have enough extra clothing to stuff into all the pockets but I didn't notice that the insulating panels fell away from the bed enough to cause cold spots. However, I don't use that system anymore because my feet still got cold below the pocket area. I now use a DIY PLUQ that covers the full length of the hammock.
    The Clark Z-liner doesn't get the best reviews but considering how well designed the rest of the Clark system is I have to think that the Z-liner might also be a good insulation solution. Someday...
    "...With saddle and pack, by paddle and track, let's go to the land of beyond."

  3. #3
    Senior Member hawkerev's Avatar
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    I went with the Tx-250, for exactly a lot of the reasons mentioned here. I did not see value in the z-liner pads, they don't have a lot of good reviews, I would not have a lot of clothing to fill 6 pockets of a nx-250. The four pockets of. The tx-250 are pleanty storage. I have used a wallyworld pad and a 0* sleeping bag down to 37* and was toasty warm. The comfort of a pad is not the best and it moved me to start 3 DIY UQ projects I haven't finished yet, based on passinthru's design he was nice enough to share.

    In the mean time I purchase used/new Hammock Gear 40 degree Phoenix torso length down underquilt... Wow does it fit the tx 250 great, kept me toasty @ 50* with a fleece top quilt, but this was as far as I might want to take this set up before you would get chilly. I feel I might be able to go mid 30* temps with. My 40* top quilt with the 40 degree Phoenix UQ. I have really come to like my down UQ & TQ, very comfy. Having spent the $$ on a Clark , I really can't see skimping on cheap pads or sleeping bags. My next purchases will be a. 20* TQ & uq and be able to mix & match with the 40* quilts . They pack nice, are EZ to set up and still let me access the 4 pockets of the tx-250.

    I have noticed with an PLUQ that folded in half a poncho liner is almost a perfect fit for the tX 250, I'm going to make one with no climashield in between, 1 with 2.5 climashield and the 3rd with 5 climashield between layers, that is just As soon as I get time to finish up the projects. I am going to use the Velcro on the sides and then a. Draw cord for the ends with some type of 1/8" bungee cord up to the carabiner to keep it up.

    I really like tinkering with all the hammock stuff, keeps me out of trouble or into it depending on your view. !
    God bless! Brent

    Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.
    -- William Shakespeare

    What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.
    -- Pierre Elliott Trudeau

  4. #4
    Boulderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passinthru View Post
    I went to some length to attach velcro to the insulating pieces so they could be connected thru the openings you describe.
    Could you describe how they attached? Just Velcro at the corners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Passinthru View Post
    I found that neither of those 'improvements' were needed. The pieces were stiff enough that they stayed in place without any extra attachment
    Yeah, I can see how the stiff windshield material could stay in place, but I think climashield panels would fall away more easily...

    I was thinking about maybe putting a small loop of shock cord on one panel corner and a button on the corresponding corner of the other panel.
    Potential is nothing without hard work.

  5. #5
    Boulderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkerev View Post
    I went with the Tx-250, for exactly a lot of the reasons mentioned here.
    Yeah the TX was really tempting too - I liked the idea of the net hood.

    I love underquilts and will probably get one for winter use on the NX, but I was hoping to offset the weight of the NX by using foam/insultex/or lightweight synthetic/down panels.

    My torso length ridgerest weighs under 8 oz, so that's a little lighter than some light 3 season down underquilts (JRB Greylock -14 oz, etc.)

    I still need to calculate what 6 panels of 2.5 oz climashield plus M50 lining (at least on the outside) would weigh.

    I've also thought about making the panels out of insultex, using 3 sheets - one on top, one on bottom, and the middle one like a sine wave between the two to create air pockets. I don't know what kind of temps such an arrangement could get me to. I don't know what this would weigh either, but having used insultex in the past, I know it doesn't compress well.
    Potential is nothing without hard work.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    First, if your tarp isn't already sealed, it should be. I've tried the z-liner and it's just way to bulky to carry. Probably works, but could never find a way to carry it, so don't really know how low in temperature it could go. Right now I use a full size under quilt from JRB and it works pretty good. It's a little heavy for backpacking when compared to a foam pad, but the foam pad is a bit bulky to carry, but not as bad as the z-liner. The biggest problem with the pad is the Clarks do not have a double layer so you have to sleep on top of the pad, which can be uncomfortable. In truth, I don't use the Clark anymore, instead have gone to a Dream Hammock instead, but the Clark was pretty good when I used it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulderman View Post
    I was thinking about maybe putting a small loop of shock cord on one panel corner and a button on the corresponding corner of the other panel.
    That would work - I used sticky-backed velcro and attached a short piece of 'loop' to the lower corners on three of the pads. Then attached pieces of 'hook' on three pads with about 2 inches extra that extended into the opposite pocket and mated with the 'loop'. I also attached some velcro to the top edge to mate with the existing velcro on the Clark pockets. The stiff windsheild material didn't slip down even without the velcro but I suspect it could fall away from the bed unless there was something else stuffed in the pockets to help hold them in place. I think 'loop and button' would work better, though.
    Pads for the pockets should make good additional insulation for an underquilt if needed and the UQ should help to keep them in place.
    "...With saddle and pack, by paddle and track, let's go to the land of beyond."

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Hi guys! I have a JRB Mt. Washington 4 uq, and it fits my nx-150 like a glove! super comfy and warm too. I can still use the pockets to keep my shoes in no problem. I haven't filled the pockets up and then used the uq so I can't speak to that, but switching from pads to an underquilt was awesome!!

  9. #9
    Boulderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passinthru View Post
    Pads for the pockets should make good additional insulation for an underquilt if needed and the UQ should help to keep them in place.
    Yeah I was thinking about using the 2.5 oz Climashield panels for summer use, maybe a JRB Greylock for shoulder seasons (I had one a year ago and sold it...DANG!), and maybe both would be enough for winter.
    Potential is nothing without hard work.

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