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Thread: PeaPod @ 0 deg

  1. #21
    Senior Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    WOW! A Speer Pea Pod thread and report from some one besides me (or Shug with his DIY pods)! I see the Speer label on it, same as the one I used to have, but which model did you have? The 20F down version, with 2.5" loft top and bottom? I've got to go do something right now, back with more comments and questions later!
    I still own two, a 30 degree and a 20.

  2. #22
    Senior Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psyculman View Post
    Thanks, good to know. I'm sure the mfg. date was 2007. A little disappointing to only be rated to 30 deg. I'm going to get it back out on a different hammock, see what happens with more planning.
    FWIW, I have a 30 degree and a 20 degree. The baffles appear to be about the same. The weight difference between the 30 and 20 when I bought them was 4 ounces 32 vs 36. With that being said, your could add more down to each of the baffles to achieve more lofting. Darby used to offer over stuffing on them once Speer gear moved to Tree To Tree.
    I've considered overstuffing one of mine to get a little more range out of it.

  3. #23
    Crawldaddy's Avatar
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    Wisenber...youre still around!!

  4. #24
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    I still own two, a 30 degree and a 20.
    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    FWIW, I have a 30 degree and a 20 degree. The baffles appear to be about the same. The weight difference between the 30 and 20 when I bought them was 4 ounces 32 vs 36. With that being said, your could add more down to each of the baffles to achieve more lofting. Darby used to offer over stuffing on them once Speer gear moved to Tree To Tree.
    I've considered overstuffing one of mine to get a little more range out of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crawldaddy View Post
    Wisenber...youre still around!!
    Yes! Wisenber, where Ya been? I remember when you went with the pods, and also VBs(not neccesarily together), and seems like you had success with both? There were only a very few of us that tried the Speer Pea Pods or Tree To Tree's version when he took over for Speer.

    Yes, you could add some more down and puff them up a bit more. Or, you could just boost them up from the inside. It would be lighter to add the down to the pods(no new shells involved), but, still a potential problem with the gap on top(though much less of a problem with my Claytor No Net).

    I had the Speer 20F model. While I loved it Bigly on it's own merits, I came to realize that it's main benefit was in providing a draft free environment sort of like a zipped up mummy bag does. So, maybe I don't need so much loft in the actual pod, using it alone when it is not very cold. But when it is cold, adding either the lightest possible TQ (or I have got by even with layering clothing on me, but a TQ would be better). Or even add a 20F TQ, which inside any pod is going to be WAY warmer than 20F!

    Down below, I have boosted it with a space blanket between hammock and Pod, which kept me warm enough in my 20F to 10F. Or, again, adding either clothing or a TQ below for some truly amazing loft, with or without a space blanket or other VBs. A technique which could just as easily be done with a 30F or even 40F pod. ( or, of course, VB clothing for those who will roll that way. Like me! )

    I have a buddy who, for many years, has used a 50F Speer Pea Pod. And he is always s warm even well below 20F. He adds a self inflating TR pad between hammock and pod down below, and a maybe 25F or 30F semi-rectangular down bag as TQ on top. And he is always so comfy and warm.

  5. #25
    Senior Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Better late than never I suppose.
    The "draft free" aspect is arguably one of the biggest warmth boosters about a peapod.
    To be fair, most of the time when it's going to be above 20, I just use a fractional UQ and a TQ. Occasionally I'll break out the 30 degree pod as a single item when it's going to be above 40.

    My peadpods tend to shine most when I'm out in temps below 0 F. A 35 degree fractional UQ and my JRB No Sniveler inside either of the peadpods will provide a toasty draft free night to minus 10 F pretty easily without needing any special clothing.
    I've tossed my No Sniveler in the bottom (no suspension needed) and used an Old Rag Mtn on top while using my 20 degree Speer and actually needed to vent at minus 15 F.

    Speer hammocks really do well when using a thicker quilt like the Old Rag Mountain in that the gap from the high sides gives the thick down plenty of room to fully loft.

    Vapor barriers barriers are a different beast altogether. I use the Warmlite pants, shirt and socks as the "fuzzy stuff" inner face removes the clamminess of silnylon or similar.
    Those are really good to wear for the actual hiking part when it's below 20. I can sweat with reckless abandon without any concern for my insulating layers getting wet from sweat.
    The rough part is that once a day when you take them off an let them flash freeze so you can knock the frost off of them providing a newly dry layer to put back on.

  6. #26
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    The voice of experience from Wisenber!

    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    Better late than never I suppose.
    The "draft free" aspect is arguably one of the biggest warmth boosters about a peapod.
    To be fair, most of the time when it's going to be above 20, I just use a fractional UQ and a TQ. Occasionally I'll break out the 30 degree pod as a single item when it's going to be above 40.

    My peadpods tend to shine most when I'm out in temps below 0 F. A 35 degree fractional UQ and my JRB No Sniveler inside either of the peadpods will provide a toasty draft free night to minus 10 F pretty easily without needing any special clothing.
    I've tossed my No Sniveler in the bottom (no suspension needed) and used an Old Rag Mtn on top while using my 20 degree Speer and actually needed to vent at minus 15 F.

    Speer hammocks really do well when using a thicker quilt like the Old Rag Mountain in that the gap from the high sides gives the thick down plenty of room to fully loft.

    Vapor barriers barriers are a different beast altogether. I use the Warmlite pants, shirt and socks as the "fuzzy stuff" inner face removes the clamminess of silnylon or similar.
    Those are really good to wear for the actual hiking part when it's below 20. I can sweat with reckless abandon without any concern for my insulating layers getting wet from sweat.
    The rough part is that once a day when you take them off an let them flash freeze so you can knock the frost off of them providing a newly dry layer to put back on.
    Wisenber, all I can say is ! Thanks, Bro, for confirming and summarizing everything I have ever claimed about both Pea Pods and Vapor Barriers! It is great to have some company. I know a lot of folks must read a lot of my stuff- which is contrary to a lot of conventional wisdom- and think "This guy is either crazy or just an idiot!". LOL! But your similar experiences with both of these items(Pea Pods and/or VBs) back me up, unless we are both crazy of course. Possible, but probably not. Of course, when it comes to Pea Pods only(not VBs), Shug has also long ago confirmed my experiences with his own DIY approach to pods at -40F. Both of you sleeping warm at far colder temps than I have ever had available to me. I have still not broken zero(only almost). Unless you count windchill.

    Where the heck have you been camping/hiking in such cold temps? I thought you were a TN boy? You must have been traveling. Or maybe just going as high up the mountains as you can in TN/NC I suppose. Minus 15F has been pretty rare in the south lately.

    Though I agree with everything you say, I agree most strongly with "The "draft free" aspect is arguably one of the biggest warmth boosters about a peapod.
    .......A 35 degree fractional UQ and my JRB No Sniveler inside either of the peadpods will provide a toasty draft free night to minus 10 F pretty easily without needing any special clothing.". That is the key to what I call the "bombproof" quality of a Pea Pod: simply and EASILY layering inside the pod, with the NUMBER ONE function of the pod being defeating drafts and gaps. The actual pod does not even have to be all that warm in order to provide a huge benefit to a hanger using normal TQs/UQs even well BELOW their ratings. As evidenced by my friend who has repeatedly, over the years, used an old down Speer Pea Pod only rated at 50F. But by using various pads between his hammock and the pod(pad under the hammock down inside the pod) and perhaps a 25F (maybe 30F?) inside the pod, he has never failed to be toasty warm at temps well below 20F. Always comfy. The TQ and the pads provide most of the actual insulation. The 50F Pod seals everything up inside blocking all drafts. And if it is warmer, the his venting options in a pod are huge.

    Sadly for me, except for the DIY crowd(like Shug for ex), none of this matters. No one manufactures a pod anything like the quality of the Speer Pea Pod anymore. At least none of our quality cottage industry folks. Speer is gone, TTTG is gone, and no one else has taken up the banner. But, the market has spoken and they are long gone.

    Also: though I usually used my Pea Pod with narrow/shallow hammocks like a Claytor No Net(less or zero top gap that needs filling), you make a great point about using a thick top quilt in a deep hammock like the Speer. With all of that uncompressed loft beneath the TQ part of the Pea Pod, what is the loft now? 5"? 6"? And draft free!. One quilt will not slip of of another when the top most- or bottom most- quilt is the pod encircling everything, and closed up draft free like a mummy bag. Never quite matched in my experience. Often no where near matched.

    I have always felt that I could approach the pod's draft free quality- particularly with the UQ- with my JRB bridges + JRB MW UQs. (Probably also with my WB bridges, but I have not put it to the test as much). And I feel my TQ's efficiency(in a JRB bridge) perhaps approaches a pod, maybe. Certainly, I have never been cold at or above the UQs, or even TQ's, no matter how much position change. The same might apply to my Superior Gear insulated hammock. (In all cases using a separate JRB down hood). Honestly, most of the time, if I need more than the pod with it's built in top gap could supply, I just layered my puffy clothing I had with me and got by just fine. But if I wanted true luxury below the rating, I would just add a TQ. Speer used to make narrow TQs and UQs that were perfect for this.

    Though the Speer Pea Pod maybe has been matched by my bridge with UQ/TQ and insulated hammocks, it has certainly never been beaten(so far), IMO. With or without additional insulation, it is just really hard to beat a combined TQ and UQ which totally wraps around my gathered end(no bridges though) hammock, then drapes down over the top edges of the hammock to maybe contact me to varying degrees(depending on hammock width and depth). With extra support on top provided by a full length Velcro closure that adjusts from wide open(IOW, just an UQ) to fully closed, or perhaps with just a quarter sized opening over my mouth for venting. And, it can be rotated when I go to my side so that the face vent is still right in front of my face. All while- even with no hat or hood- providing several inches of insulation all around, over and under, my head and face(depending on vent hole size). Very hard to match, in my experience and opinion. But apparently few agreed with me, as they are gone the way of the Dodo bird. You can't buy a new one for any price.

  7. #27
    Senior Member wisenber's Avatar
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    The higher areas of TN and NC will see minus 15 about every 5-7 years. Whenever I see the opportunity, I start packing for it.
    Minus 5 can be found most years above 5000 ft. Citico, Slickrock, and Roan Mtn generally have a few opportunities a year.

    I think the lack of interest in genuine peapods revolves around the consolidation of hangers that you simple *must* have a long/wide hammock with a diagonal lay, a structural ridgeline (and a host of detachable accessories) to be considered for hammock membership.

    That being said, I still recall the patent on structural ridgelines, the workarounds...and hundreds of comfortable nights in hammocks that didn't meet the current criteria(like a Speer or Claytor). I do wish that I had bought a couple of the Speer blankets you mentioned.

    With the conventional view that a pronounced diagonal lay is a requirement, the Peadpod with its limited girth just won't do. Meanwhile, I'll just keep reading posts about people asking about using a 78 inch long sleeping bag as a Peapod knowing that there is just no comparison.

    Great to see you!

  8. #28
    sideshowraheem's Avatar
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    I've always been intrigued by PeaPods and disappointed I missed out on them.

    Does the new Superior Gear Insulated Hammock with the quilt that goes over at all similar? As close as you can get commercially these days?

  9. #29
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Shug, does the SG Cocoon work like a pod?

    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowraheem View Post
    I've always been intrigued by PeaPods and disappointed I missed out on them.

    Does the new Superior Gear Insulated Hammock with the quilt that goes over at all similar? As close as you can get commercially these days?
    Funny you should ask that. Because I have been wondering the exact same thing, and I am in the process of getting around to looking into that very thing. Since I got their older model insulated hammock about 1 1/2 years ago, I have become convinced that it accomplishes most of the benefits of the Speer Pea Pod UQ section, at least it is just as draft proof.

    I don't think there are going to be, regardless of any "adjustment" or me switching positions during the night, any gaps or drafts. The down is always puffed up contacting the outer side of the hammock's surface that is laid on, so that no matter where a body part lands, insulation will be there. And I don't think cold air can sink into some channel or gap, because there are none as far as I can tell. And this will not vary by way of changing the hammock suspension from 30 to something tighter or looser or changing a ridgeline or shockcord strength getting weaker for whatever reason. Nothing will change under me regarding anything that can be adjusted.

    Although, as far as the UQ portion is concerned, there is zero to adjust either wrong or perfectly. I THINK this accomplishes the same thing the Pea Pod did by having the TQ section drape over the side edges of the hammock and drape down on me, whether with a good sized gap that needed filling(or not in warm weather), or with some narrow/shallow hammocks(i.e. Claytor No Net and also TTTG Switchback) draping down enough to contact my body. But either way, there would be no cold air sneaking down between the top edge of the hammock and the UQ OR TQ sections, due to the pod insulation draping over the edges AND cinching closed around the ends of the hammock. I highly suspect the SG accomplishes the same thing by other means.

    What it will not do is make it super simple(not unlike a HH Supershelter) to augment insulation on the bottom. By hanging the pod either tighter or looser, it either snugged nicely up against my back, or it provided ( on purpose! ) a nice 1" to 6" gap. Sounds horrible, right? But this was done by the user for the purpose of either cooling off in warm weather, or for dropping a down parka or summer bag under the hammock, into the pod, to boost warmth by any amount needed. The pod still supplied the "draft proof" benefit, but the added insulation might end up supplying most of the back warmth. However, there are other ways to augment the SG insulted hammock's warmth if needed, even if not as easy Peasy as a Pea Pod. But, still mighty darn easy if you have one of the universal quilts that can serve as either TQ or be clipped under the hammock, under the "UQ". That works wonderful if you need another 40+ degrees of warmth. But probably not as easy as dropping your down or synthetic parka( and/or a space blanket, or dry leaves! ) down in the pod if you just need an extra 20. But still pretty sweet!

    However, it looks to me like the zippered Coccon for top purposes will accomplish much of the pod experience and draft proofing. I think they are only rated for 50F and 40F, but lots of room in there(under the Cocoon) for a 50 or 40 or zero degree TQ. Which should then work way below their rated temps, not just because of stacking, but because of pod like draft proofing. I'm not sure, but looks like it will work that way, and I am checking in to it.

    I bet Shug, and experienced pod used himself, knows. I don't think that Cocoon works on non zip SG hammocks. So I might have to sell my model. But that is OK. I just love a pod.

  10. #30
    Senior Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideshowraheem View Post
    I've always been intrigued by PeaPods and disappointed I missed out on them.

    Does the new Superior Gear Insulated Hammock with the quilt that goes over at all similar? As close as you can get commercially these days?
    *Similar*, but not quite the same. You can use a Peapod on any of your gathered end hammocks as opposed to the insulation and hammock being married. A separate hammock and insulation means you can wash your hammock (which is what needs it more frequently) without having to deal with the down.

    A Peapod can be loosened to allow more ventilation if it's actually too warm.

    As BillyBob mentioned, the ability to add more insulation between the Peapod and the hammock body allows a 20 degree system to become a minus 10 or 20 degree system with relative ease and the same draft seal.

    I've also used my Peapods on the ground for a huge tandem topquilt. 9'x6' of 900 fill down would be hard to beat for a couple. At the same time, I've used one solo on the ground folded and fluffed on some nights below zero and could have stayed warm much lower.

    The SG Cocoon looks intriguing, and it has similar characteristics with some of them possibly better while others miss the mark. While a Peapod is somewhat simple to figure out, the Cocoon looks to be foolproof once your hammock is hung.

    I've pondered about what makes the Peapod most useful. It has a combination of benefits from being able to be used alone in the 30s or with a thin topquilt to the teens or layered to get well below minus 20. The ability to use it as a blanket is also a thing.

    Since no one is making them, and to replicate one would probably be over $500 today, I've actually wondered about a "poorman's Peapod" made with a single layer of Climashield using the same 9x6 dimension, same drawstring ends and same Velcro sides. Someone might commission that to a cottage shop for somewhere in the @50 range as Climashield is cheaper than down and requires no baffles or quilting. The difference in material and labor could make that price realistic. While the Climashield will be heavier, bulkier and not as warm, it could offer many similar benefits and some new ones. You can have the same air seal, the same ability to stack it with other insulation, PLUS it would move the frost layer from your down into the Climashield for cold and be used in super damp conditions like paddling trips or waterside camping. It could be used as a alone to around 40 degrees. Your 20 degree underquilt and topquilt could probably be extended to minus 5, and your 0 degree gear down to minus 25.

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