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Slim
2011-07-29, 16:31
Hello. New member to this site and recently converted from tent to hammock this summer. I am needing some help on what to get for winterizing my hammock. I know this is a common question and I have put a lot of effort into research through forums and videos, but still cannot find a straight answer. I know things work for some that do not for others, but I don't really want to spend a grand for experimentation. I need a solid starting point that is affordable, effecient, and packs down well. Would be great if it is light-weight but a pound or two wont make or break me. I hike mostly southeast U.S., (Cumberland/Appalachian trails) but would like the option to go further north up the east coast if I want. I have a Hennessy ultralight backpacker, velcro bottom entrance. I got a great deal on a Marmot 15 degree mummy bag, and I bought a 20 degree liner. I would like to use these with whatever insulating system I get. The guy at rock creek talked me into getting a big agnes primaloft pad saying it would work great in the hammock. I am skeptical, so keep or take back? Things I have researched so far are the Hennessy Supershelter and a Jacks R Better winter nest. Most forums say the super shelter lacks what an underquilt could do. Is there a way to make the Hennessy system perform as good as a quilt if I went that route? I have found testimonials of many pros and cons for each. What is the best in relation to temperature, rain/humidity, and pack down size for my situation. I would greatly appreciate any and all help you can give. Thanks

Bearpaw
2011-07-29, 17:21
Hello. New member to this site and recently converted from tent to hammock this summer. I am needing some help on what to get for winterizing my hammock. I know this is a common question and I have put a lot of effort into research through forums and videos, but still cannot find a straight answer. I know things work for some that do not for others, but I don't really want to spend a grand for experimentation. I need a solid starting point that is affordable, effecient, and packs down well. Would be great if it is light-weight but a pound or two wont make or break me. I hike mostly southeast U.S., (Cumberland/Appalachian trails) but would like the option to go further north up the east coast if I want. I have a Hennessy ultralight backpacker, velcro bottom entrance. I got a great deal on a Marmot 15 degree mummy bag, and I bought a 20 degree liner. I would like to use these with whatever insulating system I get. The guy at rock creek talked me into getting a big agnes primaloft pad saying it would work great in the hammock. I am skeptical, so keep or take back? Things I have researched so far are the Hennessy Supershelter and a Jacks R Better winter nest. Most forums say the super shelter lacks what an underquilt could do. Is there a way to make the Hennessy system perform as good as a quilt if I went that route? I have found testimonials of many pros and cons for each. What is the best in relation to temperature, rain/humidity, and pack down size for my situation. I would greatly appreciate any and all help you can give. Thanks

Do yourself a favor and spring for an underquilt. The big agnes pad is not a good system for a hammock. At all. You're going to slide off it throughout the night. Many times. You might get away with a closed cell foam pad or a thermarest, which both have a sorta-kinda non-slip coating, but you WILL slide off the slick BA pad.

I have used underquilts ranging from Warbonnet's Yeti (excellent, but only effective with their Blackbird Hammock), DIY models made from with Primaloft Sport fill, Speer's Snugfit, and most recently a HammockGear Incubator. They are all superior to any pad I have tried.

For your needs, I would say consider HammockGear (http://www.hammockgear.com/cart/). Their work is by far the best I have used, extremely well made. If you are looking for a true, dedicated winter only underquilt, consider their full-length 0 degree Winter Incubator (http://www.hammockgear.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_7_16&products_id=6). I have used in down to single digits and it worked well. If you want an underquilt warm enough to take you to somewhere below freezing, but could still be useful in warmer weather AND doesn't get in the way of your entry/exit on the velcro Hennessy, consider the 3/4 length 3-season Phoenix (http://www.hammockgear.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3_6). 20 degrees for 3-season or 0 degrees for the winter version. For your best flexibility, the 3-season might work best. You will need a pad for the foot area. I use a simple closed cell foam pad, 20" x 24", that stays on top of my pack and doubles as a sit pad in camp or during breaks.

In really cold weather, you can substantially increase your insulation by using a full-length foam pad. This could expand a 20 degree underquilt to single digits with ease.

I know the price tag isn't the greatest, but it is well worth the money when you hang in colder weather.

sheepdog
2011-07-29, 23:19
Thanks Bearpaw that's some good info

Slim
2011-07-30, 20:54
Thanks for the help Bearpaw. I see you are located in Ooltewah. I am 15 minutes north of Chattanooga. I will probably go with that 3 season underquilt. I was actually surprised that they are only $189.00 which is really a steal compared to other quilts I priced. I think a winter underquilt would get too hot for late fall and early spring here, and like you said, I could take an underpad and use it as needed with the 3 season. I will definately be taking the Big Agnes pad back to rock creek. Is there any particular underpad you recommend? As far as my 20 degree sleeping bag liner goes, if I get an underquilt and use my 15 degree bag, does it offer any real advantage or is that more money I could use toward something else? I appreciate all your advice. It is saving me a lot of money and heartache down the road.

generoll
2011-07-30, 21:38
FWIW, I've got a Big Agnes insulated pad and a Big Agnes bag with the pad pocket. No problems sliding off the pad and I've stayed warm into the upper 20s in it. My quibble with the underquilts is that you are carrying effectively two sleeping bags, volume wise.

My issue with sleeping bags in general is that most of them have side zippers which can become a problem as the hammock wraps around the sides.

There are a couple of hammocks out now that have double bottoms and when I have some cash for experimenting I might try one of those. In milder weather I've found the Z-rest to be a good alternative to the BA pad.

I'm reluctant to give up on an insulated pad in case the weather turns cold enough that I want to go to ground. Not sure an underquilt would be much use then.


Confused yet?

Weary
2011-07-30, 22:25
The simple fact is that hammocks are not the ideal solution when winter camping. The reason is simple. Sleeping on the ground gives you the whole earth as insulation. Sleeping in the air leaves you exposed to the vagaries of wind and fluctulating cold.

Bearpaw
2011-07-30, 23:29
Quite honestly, for a full length pad, I would lean toward a closed cell foam pad. Tough, lighter than inflatables, no issues with puncturing. Bulk is the only real issue with a hammock, because the hammock makes up for the overall lack of comfort such pads usually provide.

I am a fan of Gossamer Gear's Nightlight pad (http://gossamergear.com/sleeping.html). You could buy the 3/4 pad, which is actually almost a full 5 feet long, and cut a 20"x 24" sit/foot pad like I carry and still have the 20" x 36" pad for winter use when you want to supplement a 3-season underquilt.

Gene mentioned hammocks with double layers, and you can effectively use a BA pad in them. My wife has actually managed to use her sleeved BA sleeping bag with a BA pad, but it was pretty tiring getting in place and zipped up inside the hammock.

Of course, with the Hennessy you currently have, sliding of would still be a pretty substantial issue.

If the bulk of a CCF pad is a concern for you, I would go with a rectangular thermarest pad.

Slim
2011-07-31, 13:24
Cutting that nightlight pad would be a good idea. I could always rig up a velcro system or something like that to put the pad back together if I needed. After reading Genes post I thought about the going to ground option. It would be a good thing to have in that scenario, but for general hammock use its tough going. Tried it out yesterday just for fun. I put the pad inside my sleeping bag to try and compensate for the sliding around bearpaw warned about. Worked okay, but not great. Getting into and out of the hammock was a battle. You might get by with a side zip hammock but don't waste your time with any bottom entry. Thanks for the help and advice from everyone.

dixicritter
2011-07-31, 13:44
We use sleeping quilts instead of bags. No way on earth I could get into a sleeping bag in a hammock.

I have a thread on here from a few years ago about staying warm in my hammock. Here's the link... http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2417 . Of course now I've discovered HH's side zip hammock with the double layer bottom... LOVE this hammock!