View Full Version : Underquilt out of a cheap hammock?

2011-02-14, 21:31

I have an older Hennessy Hammock--just a scout model. It was not an asym (think Neanderthal Hammock).

I bought a couple of $5 close-out hammocks from Walmart last fall. I figured they were worth it for the parts and the fabric, but then I got to thinking. I don't use the HH very much, but wonder if I could use one of the cheap hammocks as the bottom of an underquilt. I held the cheap quilt up to the base of the HH, and the cheap one is very near in size, maybe a touch bigger than the HH.

I envision just using some inexpensive fiber batting from the fabric store, the kind that is fluffy but comes in sheets maybe an inch or inch and a half thick. I'm thinking I'd just cut that to the size of the inside of the cheap hammock, then do what Jardine advocates in making a quilt, and put an occasional loop of yarn or cord through the outside of the cheap hammock and tying a loose knot. This would keep the insulation from shifting around, but not really compress it. I didn't even figure I'd put a cover on it.

I think I could attach the quilt to the underside of the hammock using some kind of velcro loop or simple cord and knot attachment at either end of the hammock, snugging the insulated portion right up to the HH. On the sides, where the pull outs are, I figured I could use more of the velcro to loop the outer edge of the cheap hammock around the tie out of the HH, but still under the tarp. Then, I figured I could cut a slit through the cheap hammock, that matches the HH's entry slit. Actually, this would happen early in the process, but I thought it would be harder to explain. This slit might be seared to finish it, or I could sew some kind of binding on it, but I figured I'd add some heavy duty adhesive velcro to each of the cheap hammock slits, on the upper side, and some corresponding adhesive velcro on the bottom of the HH, so the opening slits would line up, but there wouldn't be gaps in coverage.

Does that sound like a rediculous way to make an underquilt? Having never had an underquilt, or even seen one, I may be way off the mark. Please let me know what you think. Thanks.


2011-02-15, 21:43
I'm realatively new to hammocking and not a winter hammocker because of the difficulties that you are trying to address.

My thoughts are that the quilting you are talking about will be very heavy. Look at down or primaloft to keep the weight down and warmth up.

LOt's more experienced hangers here than me so maybe they will chime in.

Hog On Ice
2011-02-15, 21:58
mostly enviro its a question of use - for backpacking down is probably the best choice due to weight/warmth ratio and pack size but for car camping there is no problem with the approach suggested. Kayak/canoe and bike fall somewhere in the middle as to optimal choices with motorcycle camping being somewhat closer to car camping - pack size is still an issue with these three so there is some push toward down for these applications but for kayak/canoe and motorcycle the weight is mostly a don't care.

john pickett
2011-02-15, 23:45
Pringles, another use might be to sew or tack the cheap hammock to the bottom of the hennessey and use it to secure a closed cell foam or self inflating sleeping pad. haven't tried this myself as I usually camp in temerate climes.
John Pickett

2011-02-16, 19:55
Hmm-You don't use the Hennessy much you say. If you intend to use the hammock only in cooler weather, maybe loop-tack the insulation to the cheap hammock as you are saying and sew the whole thing to the Hennessy along the edges. Do be sure to give the hammock space to stretch under your weight.

This is an untested suggestion.

I usually sling a space blanket under my Hennessy via elastic cord and add my Thinlight that is my backpack's back pad and/or a fleece poncho.


2011-02-16, 21:44
Thanks for the comments. I'm not terribly concerned about the weight. I have a second HH which is fitted with snake skins and a larger tarp. I thought this would be an opportunity to experiment. I don't get to use the hammock too much because the local park where I backpack doesn't really have campsites that work with hammocks. Yes there are trees, but you have to camp close to the site marker and the sites don't have trees within the allotted space, and they do patrol. I figured this would be a decent way to experiment. Thanks, Pringles

2011-02-17, 00:17
Too bad about the lack of trees in your nearby park campsites. I've been known to hang from lamp- or signposts, shelter supports, you-name-it. I imagine that if there was a site with one good tree, you might be able to rig a second rope over your car. (Protect the roof and paint.) Heck, if you are car-camping, build a take-down stand to use at campsites...


2011-02-22, 18:39
I have a HH . I not sure I understand your approach. With the HH one enters and exits through the velcro slot on the bottom, kind of. With the cheaper hammock, which you enter/exit from the top, won't that cover up the HH opening? Unless you rig the underquilt to allow for the some slot . SS

2011-02-22, 18:55
You are exactly right, one enters and exits via a bottom slit. Using elastic cord to sling the underside inuslation (space blanket+fleece or foam or combination), I'm able to push the blankets out of the way. The blanket slides back into place, sometimes with a little help, but the elastic does it for me. I've been doing this for maybe 8 years, so it isn't a fluke that I got it to work.