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  1. #11
    Senior Member Tyroler Holzhacker's Avatar
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    Looks like that polar pod is ready for the next Ice Age! We don‘t ever get that kind of cold down in the mid Atlantic. 50 ounces of down. I‘d need to use a snowmobile with sled! Great workout and looks like you both are having a great time out there..

  2. #12
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I have always been amazed that these never caught on around here . . . .
    The market spoke, and Polar Pod faded away.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #13
    psyculman's Avatar
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    The original Speer Pea Pod caught on with me. I use it every winter. I got extra sew on snaps, and added them so it closes more completely. I use it with a plain old WM hammock, and it is so much better than the UQ/OQ system. Just get in, snap it up, and grab a hand full on each side and pull it up around. I can immediately feel the warmth. So far I have used it to the !ower teens several times. It is not a good option for putting in a back pack for winter, as it is a little bulky, but for car outings, or sled packing, it's a lot of security, and worth the cost.

    But I know what you mean, I have regretted getting rid of hiking gear many times, especially when it is donated to friends who never use it. On the other hand, My best and most loved pieces of equipment are bought from HF members, and are things I could not have afforded at regular price. I am patiently waiting for a hot tent stove to show up.
    Since I retired, some times I stay awake all day, some times all night.

  4. #14
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyroler Holzhacker View Post
    The prob I have with such a configuration is lack of fresh air, and claustrophobia. Just my $.02
    I can see why it might seem that way. But in reality I never found it any different in those areas than an UQ and a TQ or a sleeping bag used quilt mode. And maybe even superior as far as fresh air, since it was infinitely adjustable along the top Velcro closure, from wide open( UQ only mode) to open along several selected spots(maybe above the feet, and from the head up, or the face and chest, just whatever. And if mostly closed, I could still rotate it when on my side so that my face vent was also on the side. But, after all, it is nothing more than two quilts sewn together on the sides, and then tapered into the shape of a gathered hammock on the ends. So when you get into the hammock and close the pods top Velcro, you have an TQ over you and a UQ under you. You can then choose to keep your head out as it would be with a normal TQ/UQ scenario, or close the pod over your head leaving a vent hole as wide as desired ( 12" diameter) or size of a quarter. As well as choosing to have it tensioned for a huge gap under your back, or snugged up against my back, or somewhere in between. Very, very versatile.

    Quote Originally Posted by wbJohn View Post
    I've never tried one but it looks like these pods seem to make it more difficult to get into a diagonal. My legs would be screaming in 10 minutes.
    Not in the least in my experience, and I am 6'1". Although, that is my experience and I don't use extra wide hammocks or try for very wide diagonals, just whatever amount of diagonal would be normal in say a HH, Switchback, or WBBB. Though if I did try for some some extreme diagonal in fetal, it would then compress the sides or maybe pop open the Velcro. But since it was wider(72") and about as long( 9.5 feet) as any hammock I tried it with( Claytor No Net- fav combo - or Switchback or original Speer and even Warbonnet), and since it simply completely surrounded the hammock with usually a good bit to spare, then whatever diagonal the hammock normally allowed me to get into was completely unhindered by the Speer Pea Pod.
    Also, don't confuse the Speer Pea Pod with the other pods on the market right now, they are simply not in the same category. In this picture, my head is on the left edge of the Claytor No Net Hammock, with my feet at the far right edge of that hammock, in all the diagonal that hammock will allow, which is enough for full comfort on my side. This was actually one of my fav ways to sleep when the temps were at or exceeding the rating of the pod:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyroler Holzhacker View Post
    I suppose the PeaPod would shine in extremely cold scenarios....just that i prefer not to hang when it is that cold...prefer 20F to 72F
    My Speer Pea Pod had a nominal 20F rating- i.e. it was rated for 2.5" of loft on the bottom plus 2.5" loft on the top. The self professed very cold sleeper(and designer) Ed Speer rated it 50F on top with his deep Speer hammock. Because that deep hammock would lift the edges up a pretty good bit, he needed something to fill that gap much below 50F. For me it was more like 30-40F(on top! easily 20F on bottom) and closer to 30F when used with my narrow Claytor or Switchback. While I found that it more easily reached it's rated temp on the bottom than any other UQ(less to go wrong) due to having virtually no draft or gap issues, TOP rating was weirder because of the tendency of the hammocks edges to lift the TQ layer, even though you still had the draft free benefit. OTOH, once the top gap was filled(for example with unworn clothing and or a summer weight TQ), it then became quite a bit warmer than it's rating on top. So that was strange. But was quite workable, and as always, almost infinite ventilation options just by opening more or less top Velcro.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    The market spoke, and Polar Pod faded away.
    Yep, you can't argue with the market. It never caught on and very few people ever even tried one. I always thought that one reason was it was the equivalent of buying a full length set of quilts- TQ + UQ - at the same time. And so many of us started out with using our sleeping bags as TQ, and the first hing added was an UQ. Also, it looked so huge and bulky and heavy, but of course was not much different than the weight and bulk of 2 full length quilts such as folks often buy. The current listing at TTTG is 36 oz, you can't beat that with a set of full length quilts. But for whatever reason the market spoke against this approach to the degree that few indeed ever gave them a good test. But Shug's DIY pod experiments show that the pod approach can not be beat- maybe not even matched- for sheer efficiency and guaranteed, bomb proof warmth in any conditions. At least that is the impression I get from watching his videos. And I feel that had these been tried by more people, there would be that many fewer folks asking for help because they are struggling to be warm in their quilts at temps above their rated temps. There are a ton of threads like that which have been posted here at HF over these many years.

    Quote Originally Posted by psyculman View Post
    The original Speer Pea Pod caught on with me. I use it every winter. I got extra sew on snaps, and added them so it closes more completely. I use it with a plain old WM hammock, and it is so much better than the UQ/OQ system. Just get in, snap it up, and grab a hand full on each side and pull it up around. I can immediately feel the warmth. So far I have used it to the !ower teens several times. It is not a good option for putting in a back pack for winter, as it is a little bulky, but for car outings, or sled packing, it's a lot of security, and worth the cost.

    But I know what you mean, I have regretted getting rid of hiking gear many times, especially when it is donated to friends who never use it. On the other hand, My best and most loved pieces of equipment are bought from HF members, and are things I could not have afforded at regular price. I am patiently waiting for a hot tent stove to show up.
    HEY! A Pea Pod brother! A brother from another mother! I did not even realize there were any others like me regarding Speer Pea Pods here at HF! And sounds like your experience with it has been similar to mine! Do you have one of the 20F models? Did you get yours from Speer, or from Dale at TTTG who took it over after Ed Speer left the business?

    You mention the excess bulk. But do you feel there is any more bulk ( or weight ) than there would be wit 2 full length 20F quilts, a TQ and an UQ?
    http://www.tttrailgear.com/speer-peapod/
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-20-2018 at 08:45.

  5. #15
    Senior Member P-Dub's Avatar
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    First time I ever slept outside in a hammock was New Years Night 2017 and my insulation was two sleeping bags zipped together enclosing the hammock, my own homegrown PeaPod... loved it.

    Keep thinking about recreating it in DIY fashion so that it actually fits right (without having to tie up the excess sleeping bag with cord to keep it from sagging). If I come up with something that works I'll post it in the DIY forum... one day...

  6. #16
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-Dub View Post
    First time I ever slept outside in a hammock was New Years Night 2017 and my insulation was two sleeping bags zipped together enclosing the hammock, my own homegrown PeaPod... loved it.

    Keep thinking about recreating it in DIY fashion so that it actually fits right (without having to tie up the excess sleeping bag with cord to keep it from sagging). If I come up with something that works I'll post it in the DIY forum... one day...
    Iíll say itís not too hard but I didnít do the sewing - I was more the idea guy in a similar situation as you. I was inspired by Shugs pod system when I saw the Ďwedgeí it used.

    I have a 0* NorthFace bag that I realized had the same zippers as a 20-30 degrees NF synthetic bag I never used anymore. I had my wife cut a long wedge out of the 20* bag that tapered from like 2Ē at one end to 8Ē on the other - picture a long skinny piece of pizza. One side of the wedge already had a zipper. She then cut out the other zipper on the 20* bag and put it on the other side of the wedge. And that was it. The wedge extends the 0* bag enough so it wraps around the hammock and me. The 20* bag is still usable as a TQ - no zippers.
    Now with all that said - Iíve used it 2x - I didnít really have the rest of my gear up to winter camping. But Iím getting there.

  7. #17
    richtorfla's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting this thread. Never really thought about it but your right about the pod replacing top and bottom quilts. Ed was quite the innovator and I bought his book log time ago thinking about making my own gear but learned more about how hammocks work. And if you think about it, its about the same price as getting 2 quilts. You just lose ability to mix and match to dial in warmth for temp factor. But you could vent the pod. Hmmmmmm........

  8. #18
    psyculman's Avatar
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    Reply to BillyBob58
    I bought this PeaPod from an HF member, Zilla, two years ago. It is 20 deg. It weighs at about 2.8 lb. approximately. I do most hammocking in winter months, and in subfreezing snow conditions.

    As far as bulk, meaning a full size TQ/UQ setup, yes, the Pea Pod is less bulky than the two items option. But not backpackable IMO.

    I have a DIY TQ and minimal mummy UQ which IS packable, and is adapted to my HHSS. (2lb. /1lb.) Pictures of these are posted in my HF album. However, I also use a combination of down pants and jackets, depending on anticipated temperatures. Wearing down clothing, of any quality reduces all the difficulty of adjustments to warmth in a hammock. Inexpensive down items can be easily layered, buying one size larger, and doubling them up, such as those currently available at a national retailer as of this date. I have seen down jackets for $25 at several locations. Any down pants for sleeping are well worth the cost.
    Last edited by psyculman; 10-21-2018 at 07:32.
    Since I retired, some times I stay awake all day, some times all night.

  9. #19
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richtorfla View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread. Never really thought about it but your right about the pod replacing top and bottom quilts. Ed was quite the innovator and I bought his book log time ago thinking about making my own gear but learned more about how hammocks work. And if you think about it, its about the same price as getting 2 quilts. You just lose ability to mix and match to dial in warmth for temp factor. But you could vent the pod. Hmmmmmm........
    You are welcome, thanks(to you and every one) for replying! In his book, Ed tells about how the Speer Pea Pod came to be developed. And Hmmmmm is right, IMO! Pros and cons I guess, but yes, it s very easy to ventilate, or very easy to augment for more warmth, and I have yet to see the thread "I was cold in my Pea Pod". Although, I can see folks not being warm to the rated temp on top, depending on the width/depth of the hammock and the top gap that might result. (less problem with the Polar Pod, due to even greater width, which will allow it to still drape down to the user despite the extra lift caused even by wider hammocks). But once that gap is filled, the warmth rating takes a large increase.

    Quote Originally Posted by psyculman View Post
    Reply to BillyBob58
    I bought this PeaPod from an HF member, Zilla, two years ago. It is 20 deg. It weighs at about 2.8 lb. approximately. I do most hammocking in winter months, and in subfreezing snow conditions.

    As far as bulk, meaning a full size TQ/UQ setup, yes, the Pea Pod is less bulky than the two items option. But not backpackable IMO.

    I have a DIY TQ and minimal mummy UQ which IS packable, and is adapted to my HHSS. (2lb. /1lb.) Pictures of these are posted in my HF album. However, I also use a combination of down pants and jackets, depending on anticipated temperatures. Wearing down clothing, of any quality reduces all the difficulty of adjustments to warmth in a hammock. Inexpensive down items can be easily layered, buying one size larger, and doubling them up, such as those currently available at a national retailer as of this date. I have seen down jackets for $25 at several locations. Any down pants for sleeping are well worth the cost.
    Yep, I have done similar with various types of puffy clothing. In fact, I have used puffy clothing- which I had with me anyway- to fill any top gap, it worked pretty well. I have backpacked a few times with the Pea Pod, one week in the Wind Rivers of WY, and one week in the Sawtooths of ID, and a few other times. It certainly takes up some room, but 2 equally warm quilts would take up even more I figure. Unless my UQ was only partial length of course(which I also sometimes go that route). Then again, I am not at all sure either a full length or partial length UQ with a TQ would be guaranteed to seal in warmth and avoid drafts as well as a pod approach does. In fact, I'm pretty sure in most cases it would not.

    Does your pod have treated down? If so, if you ever want to sell it, please let me know!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-22-2018 at 23:54.

  10. #20
    psyculman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    You are welcome, thanks(to you and every one) for replying! In his book, Ed tells about how the Speer Pea Pod came to be developed. And Hmmmmm is right, IMO! Pros and cons I guess, but yes, it s very easy to ventilate, or very easy to augment for more warmth, and I have yet to see the thread "I was cold in my Pea Pod". Although, I can see folks not being warm to the rated temp on top, depending on the width/depth of the hammock and the top gap that might result. (less problem with the Polar Pod, due to even greater width, which will allow it to still drape down to the user despite the extra lift caused even by wider hammocks). But once that gap is filled, the warmth rating takes a large increase.



    Yep, I have done similar with various types of puffy clothing. In fact, I have used puffy clothing- which I had with me anyway- to fill any top gap, it worked pretty well. I have backpacked a few times with the Pea Pod, one week in the Wind Rivers of WY, and one week in the Sawtooths of ID, and a few other times. It certainly takes up some room, but 2 equally warm quilts would take up even more I figure. Unless my UQ was only partial length of course(which I also sometimes go that route). Then again, I am not at all sure either a full length or partial length UQ with a TQ would be guaranteed to seal in warmth and avoid drafts as well as a pod approach does. In fact, I'm pretty sure in most cases it would not.

    Does your pod have treated down? If so, if you ever want to sell it, please let me know!
    There was no indication that it had treated down. I'm not sold on treated anyway. My winter pack is lined with a large heavy duty contractor bag, and down items in dry bags. I did submerge briefly once in summer weather in a brook pool accidently, nothing got wet. Don't think my down items ever would get wet. It's in my will to be buried in it, but yes, my wife will probably sell it.
    Since I retired, some times I stay awake all day, some times all night.

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