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  1. #1
    Bug-Bait's Avatar
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    Underquilt vs Padding

    Aside from the cost factor, cc pads being less expensive, why wouldn't one choose to use an underquilt instead of a pad? Wouldn't it allow you to be more comfortable since you would be laying directly on the hammock fabric and allow it to conform to your body rather than have a foam layer in between?
    I have a Big Agnes sleeping bag but am wondering if I should not use the insulated air mattress that I purchased with it and put the bag right into the top loading home made speer hammock that I am currently working on.
    I'm a three season packer. Are there other insulation issues that should be thought about in regard to padding vs use of an underquilt...other than having a "sit pad"?
    Thanks,
    Michael
    qpens

  2. #2
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Going to ground when temps exceed the underquilt's ability, sleeping in shelters and hostels, simplicity (not having to worry about adjusting for air gaps), etc. There are some advantages to pads.

    But IMO these are outweighed by wrestling with the pads, condensation, bulk, etc. I think cost is tough for a lot of folks to set aside, though.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    True - some of the pad's disadvantages can be addressed. I don't really consider the HH system a pad...he calls it an underpad but it's open-cell so you can't go to ground with it. When I think of pads, I'm thinking of non-compressible insulation like inflatables or CCF.

    I haven't tried the GG pads though - do they hug the hammock well enough from underneath that you don't get buckling and air pockets?
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  4. #4
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpens View Post
    Aside from the cost factor, cc pads being less expensive, why wouldn't one choose to use an underquilt instead of a pad? Wouldn't it allow you to be more comfortable since you would be laying directly on the hammock fabric and allow it to conform to your body rather than have a foam layer in between?

    Thanks,
    Michael
    qpens
    It was for that very reason that I made the leap and bought an under quilt. I wanted to get rid of the pads inside the hammock when possible. I am know pad free except for the coldest conditions.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  5. #5
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headchange4u View Post
    It was for that very reason that I made the leap and bought an under quilt. I wanted to get rid of the pads inside the hammock when possible. I am now pad free except for the coldest conditions.
    Me too. I prefer my underquilt, can carry a pad for "nippy" weather like we had at Mt Rogers. For me, it's easier to get in the hammock with a underquilt and an overquilt. Using a pad (or even worse 2) AND a sleeping bag nearly requires you to be a contortionist just to get to bed.


    Doctari.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Guys --

    As I posted in another thread, I'm always on the lookout for the perfect pad...I'm still a heathen that hasn't been converted to underquilts.

    But I'm always willing to discuss religion so, for your cool and 'nippy' weather experiences, what temps are we talking about? And how much insulation weight does it cost to buy those low-temp capabilities?

    The Oware pad I use (40 X 60") slips very little if any in my Hennessy. While the foam material itself is not as slippery as ground pads I've used I think the main reason I don't experience much slippage is its size...there's no place for it to go. Its size also allows it to cup around my shoulders providing some extra insulation and some wind block.

    While it's not perfect (e.g., it's bulky to pack, its cold limit is in the mid-20s, etc.) it only weighs 7oz. But to mitigate condensation I clip a light fleece throw to the pad. While that appears to work, it also adds another 15oz to the system and I think that's a pretty big weight penalty (total is 22oz). I've been dwelling on the idea of cutting the throw in half (an idea from the Pads forum) and using it just under my torso thereby dropping 7oz. All the parts of this system cost less than $40.

    For all you underquilt fans, how do your systems compare? The factors I'm interested in the most are total weight, low-temp capability, time/convenience of setup, and cost. I know I'm a sinner but the sin feels sooo good. Stll, I could be saved...

    FB

  7. #7
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddleback View Post
    For all you underquilt fans, how do your systems compare? The factors I'm interested in the most are total weight, low-temp capability, time/convenience of setup, and cost. I know I'm a sinner but the sin feels sooo good. Stll, I could be saved...

    FB
    Patrick's Potomac weighs around 28 oz., gets most people comfortably to 30F, takes no setup time when used with my "BB sack", and costs $180 retail. If you can sew, you could make your own for about $90 and tailor it, reducing weight and bulk. Even the full-size commercial version is way less bulky than a pad, though.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  8. #8
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    What I really don't understand is why you think that the pad MUST be used INSIDE the hammock.

    What prevents you from using the pad underneath like the underquilt?

    Funny how people get tracked on one way of doing things and don't consider other methods and then keep repeating this fallacy over and over to others.

    Take a look at the Hennessy underpad - works as good as an underquilt for hugging you. You don't have to use it alone - lay a really good ccf pad that is flexible like the GG thinlights on top of the Hennessy underpad - works great. No hassle pad use - it doesn't move when you do.

    I'll concede that an underquilt gives more coverage, but the GG thinlights are less weight: GG 3/8" thinlight - less than 6 oz. JRB underquilt - 20 oz min. Now before you get excited, I think the underquilt is a great idea and use one also and I think the JRB products are superior.

    But please get over this notion that pads MUST be used INSIDE the hammock. That is simply NOT true.
    My issue with pads outside isn't keeping them from moving around, it's buckling and air pockets. And with your weights, I don't think you're accounting for the suspension you need to keep a pad tight to the hammock. A UQ can use a lot less suspension and get a lot better fit. Pads simply have more structure to them, no matter how thin they are. Especially CCF.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  9. #9
    Bug-Bait's Avatar
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    Whose underquilt do you like?

    What is everyone's take on the different underquilts out there...pros and cons...for a homemade Speer type hammock, i.e. JRBs, Peapod....
    Thanks,
    Michael
    qpens

  10. #10
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    What I really don't understand is why you think that the pad MUST be used INSIDE the hammock.

    What prevents you from using the pad underneath like the underquilt?

    Funny how people get tracked on one way of doing things and don't consider other methods and then keep repeating this fallacy over and over to others.

    Take a look at the Hennessy underpad - works as good as an underquilt for hugging you. You don't have to use it alone - lay a really good ccf pad that is flexible like the GG thinlights on top of the Hennessy underpad - works great. No hassle pad use - it doesn't move when you do.

    I'll concede that an underquilt gives more coverage, but the GG thinlights are less weight: GG 3/8" thinlight - less than 6 oz. JRB underquilt - 20 oz min. Now before you get excited, I think the underquilt is a great idea and use one also and I think the JRB products are superior.

    But please get over this notion that pads MUST be used INSIDE the hammock. That is simply NOT true.
    I tried my CCF pad outside my hammock, it added about 2 to 4 degrees, inside my hammock it adds 5 to 10. I think that outside the hammock my fairly stiff CCF pad dosn't conform to my body, allowing air pockets. This is just a theory, I'm still figuring it out being new & all. So no, they don't HAVE to be inside, IMHO, mine works better that way, YMMV.

    With my unqerquilt (& clothes I carry on the trail) I can get down to 29, so add the CCF Pad & I can get to (I think) about 20 to 19. With just the pad, I think I can get about 32ish (Tested to 35). 2 pads got me to less than 10 at Mt Rogers, but that was with WAY more clothing than I would carry "in real life" on the trail and with 2 large heat packs added about 2 hrs & 5 hrs after going to bed.

    I dont think I can get to that cold with my tent, with 2 pads & same clothing & sleeping bag I now use as a a top quilt I "froze" at 40 my LAST night in my tent.

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