View Full Version : Suggestions for a down quilt cover

2006-01-12, 13:43
Hey guys,

Well I just got my Hennessy Hammock last week, and am looking forward to getting out there in the spring to try it out.

Anyways, I was thinking of making a quilt out of an old down sleeping bag I have lying around. It an old model and not much good anymore since the bag itself is starting to deteriorate and the down comes out to the extent that it's not even usuable anymore.

So, I was thinking of altering it to make an underquilt, which can also be used as a quilt if it is big enough. I was thinking of simply sewing a new cover on to it (over the existing one) which would serve two purposes. One, it would contain the down so that the feathers are not constantly coming out, and two, to provide some sort of water barrier should it get wet a little.

My question is whether or not anyone has any suggestions as to what material would be good for this application. I want something that will be comfortable to sleep in, but also provide good weather resistance.

Thanks guys!

Just Jeff
2006-01-12, 15:27
Down-proof DWR from thru-hiker.com. If you're lucky, you can find some in the Walmart dollar bin, though.

2006-01-13, 01:55
I haven't ever used an underquilt but this is what I think:

Your going to want something breathable on the side that will be against the bottom of the hammock, or you won't like it (try sleeping with a plastic bag under your bed sheet and you'll get the idea). Plus it will be protected by the hammock, so I wouldn't worry about waterproofing this side.
The outer surface will be separated far enough from your body so that breathablity (if that's a real word) won't be a problem.
I would get some cheap nylon material from Walmart, paint it with a waterproofing mix of silicone and mineral spirits.
Then get a good bed sheet and sandwich the bag between them.

Site telling about waterproofing:

Just Jeff
2006-01-13, 12:15
Ray Garlington uses a silnylon undercover to hold his bag o' feathers. He says he gets some condensation between the bag and the non-breathable silnylon, but not enough to worry him.

I guess it depends on what kinds of trips you take. Plenty of time to dry it out and you won't have a problem. If it's too cold or too humid for the moisture to leave your insulation, the moisture will build up over time.

Personally, I wouldn't make an underquilt with a non-breathable material. There's a reason sleeping bag makers don't use non-breathable material as the outer shell. Ray's isn't quite an underquilt but would probably act the same way for this application, and he's satisfied with his setup.

Just a matter of choice.

2006-01-13, 12:44
Thanks for the suggestions. The more I think about it you guys are right. I don't really need a water proof material.

I was thinking of putting this inside the hammock, one half under me to act as a sort of sleeping pad and the other half would cover me... like a quilt. I am thinking that for this application, something like a flannel would be fine. My main consideration is keeping the feather inside the cover.

Just Jeff
2006-01-13, 13:20
The insulation will compress under you and not provide much warmth if you lay on top of it. Better use of weight if you attach the quilt to the outside, or use a pad inside.

Hrm...keeping the feathers in? Just make a big sack and put the bag inside. With enough use, the feathers will all leak out of the bag and into the sack, then you can just make a new quilt with your new down!

Seriously - if that's all you need to do, a sack-type of cover will contain the down. Otherwise, cut the bag open, remove the down, and make a new quilt.