Hey guys, I have been looking to solidify my best three season modular sleep system for ultralight hammock backpacking. I feel that I have found it, and did a successful test with a small portion of the system.

The best part about this sleep system is its price. If you want to stay warm and go ultralight, it is going to be expensive. Thus began my journey to discover what works for me. I wanted a modular system since I do a bunch of warm weather camping. I was going to purchase a sleeping bag that cost several hundred dollars, but was bulletproof and warm. The downfall to this was that I would have to carry the extra weight even when it's on the warm side. I would be poison holing myself into a single bag solution, and that's not the best alternative for ultralight. We need items that can perform multiple functions, or left when not needed.

I have been searching for a solution for months now, and I finally found a solution for a cheap, light, small and mildly warm sleeping bag. The aegismax down bag signs 1 pound, packs up to about a coke can size, and is rated around 20 degrees. Being realistic, I consider this a 30 degree bag. The best thing is that is only 50 bucks. I started searching for ways to extend this. I found the solution in the thermolite reactor compact plus. It's not the extreme version, but if you compare the size and weight is a better bag. They claim that it can bring down your rating an additional 20 degrees. I figure 10 or 15 for my planning. This modular system is finished off with two other things. First, I have a synthetic silk sleeping bag liner that I bought from Academy. It was sitting around, and I will eventually move up to a silk liner. Lastly, I have a single large piece of very thin nylon. This is not sil impregnated, and it's almost see through.

I haven't received my shipment of my aegismax bag yet, but I still wanted to test out the sleep system. If you have seen the thermolite bags, you would be skeptical and test it out too. It is so thin, that you can easily see through it. Its worse than see through clothing that people wear to a club. The 20 degree claim seems odd when holding it. I headed out to my land with my hammock, the thermolite limer, the syn silk liner, and the light piece of nylon. I did use a thermorest neoair trekker pad in addition to these three pieces, but you always need something for bottom insulation in a hammock. The inner layer was the thermolite, then the syn silk bag, and the nylon drooped over the outside. I don't know if that provides any warmth, but I wanted a barrier against condensation in the morning.

The test went well. I was very warm all night. I woke up one to go to the restroom, because I drank a bunch of water before I went to sleep. I kept my pants, socks, and light shirt on when I slept simply because I was skeptical. I also didn't wear a hat to sleep. I figure this would give the best test. The temperature got down to 55 degrees, so it was a bit chilly. The next test will be done with less clothing. I will strip down to boxers, wear a hat, and see if these three items will keep me warm. I hope to do the next test this next Friday coming up. I should have my bag delivered in a week or two.

I can not give you my review of the bag yet. That will need to wait until I test it thoroughly. I do have high expectations for it as part of a system. I wouldn't trust it as a stand alone piece of gear. I have a klymit ultralight pad that was made especially for Massdrop being delivered sometime in the near future. They developed this model specifically for the site, and shaved off a good amount of weight in the process. I want able to get the insulated one, as they were sold out. I do have a lightweight insulated pad coming from Nemo also. It's their cosmo insulated line, and I am excited to add that to my cold weather system. I am even considering layering the Cosmo and thermarest,and seeing how they perform in very low temperatures.

There is one last piece of gear that I have purchase for my budget modular system, and it too hasn't been delivered yet. This is a large piece of reflectix, that they sell as a waterproof ground cloth for picnics and such. This is larger than the automobile shades, as it's 6.5 feet on all sides. I figure that the larger would be easier to deal with than two small ones. This is enough length to wrap around my hammock as a pod, or use as an under quilt and tuck the edges under my body. I also have plans to use these large reflectix pieces in a shelter that I create. At 6 dollars for the large piece, I find it quite affordable. I even want to test multiple of them layered as a ground cloth, with leaves and ferns tucked in between for extra padding and insulation. I should get theze items delivered within a few weeks also.

This gives me much more to test, but I feel that I am in the right path for budget ultralight modular system. Just remember that the lightest piece of gear is one that you can leave at home when the weather dictates that is not needed. I do have plans to try and make this into a legit four season system. There is more testing to be done.