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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Oct 2021
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    Newbie underquilt questions

    1. For 3 season hammock camping(lets just say, April thru October in the southern Appalachians, TN NC GA VA) what temperature rating should your underquilt be? Whats the best single rating to get? My Warbonnet Blackbird XTC is a heavyweight double and I can use a pad as well/if needed.

    2. Whats the best "bang for the buck" underquilt? Really dont want to drop $300 on one just yet, but I dont want a junk quilt that I have to upgrade. I get the buy once cry once mantra, just looking for other vouched for options. Im 6'3 so I'd need a full length.

    3. Are underquilt protectors necessary? I can see the point, and know how useless wet down can be, but if you have a good hang with ample tarp coverage, do you really need one?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Minnesota
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    I have many so....
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    I think a 20 UQ will get you pretty far. April and October can be chilly.
    Easy enough to vent a UQ.
    UQs are not cheap. A partial will cost less as it is shorter and has less down fill. Also a 30 and 40 is cheaper than a 20 as there is less down.
    Underquilt protector is not necessary but nice to have if needed. My video below explains some things.
    Shug



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  3. #3
    FLTurtle's Avatar
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    Dec 2018
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    Orlando FL
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    DW Chameleon, WB Eldorado
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    2. Hammock Gear Econ Incubator is probably your best bang for the buck. You'll need the long model.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Raladd's Avatar
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    Jan 2019
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    Laurinburg, NC
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    SLD Voyageur
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    If you dont mind the weight of a synthetic, Simply Light Designs has a version of their Trail Winder (insulation sewn onto an underquilt protector) to which you can add an extra layer of insulation that snaps on. You can then have two target temps to work with. The downside is that Apex is heavier than down. Ive been meaning to get my Trail Winder retrofitted to take the additional layer.


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  5. #5
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Bend, OR
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    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
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    Because down seems pretty tolerant if the temperature is warmer than rated, I’d guess a 20 UQ is a place to start. Note that everyone has their own “level”. I can use a 20 UQ near 20 - I’ll be doing it tonight - but I prefer a 10 cushion; like using the 20 gear not much lower than 25 - 30. That comfort sone is something you’ll have to find for yourself.

    A UQP, does more than add a little warmth and keep rain splash off. It also can make up for a less-than-best setup if you are often changing hammocks and quilts. It also helps should the wind change direction when your tarp doesn’t have doors.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  6. #6
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Nov 2017
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    Ossining, NY
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    If you can only have one, of course the lower temp rating is the way to go. But on those several months with warm weather you might begin to question the wisdom of having a quilt that is much heavier and bulkier than you need. With nighttime lows above 70F you'll need very little insulation, so a 27oz quilt (HG econ) will seem like mega overkill on those nights.

    A lot depends on your mode of travel. If you plan to backpack you'll appreciate something that is lighter in weight and more compressible, and if you're backpacking longer distances with more vertical element you'll appreciate it much, much more keenly. Especially important when hammocking because we carry 2 quilts, not 1 like ground dwellers.

    Which is why most people eventually end up with 2 or 3 underquilts AND top quilts for different conditions.

    When buying quilts, pay special attention to the shell material. Those made with 10D material compress down much smaller and are considerably lighter than those made with 20D.

    I have tried UQP but find I rarely need it. Pitching the tarp low or using a tarp with more coverage works for me 99.62% of the time.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ)
    If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. ~ Gen. George S Patton

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I camp in that area and a 20* works well. I like to be warmer than many people, however (some due to old age). I also would not by choice go camping in cold weather. Sure I can stay warm in the hammock, but when I get out.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    WNC
    Hammock
    1.2 MTN streamliner + myog net
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    HG DCF Std, Lawson
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    Wooki, old EE TQ
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    1.4 UHMWPE, Becket
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    Newbie underquilt questions

    1. Im local to you, similar height and had this same question. Hate the idea of buying more than I need or conversely having to go out and buy more right away. 20/20 TQ/UQ gets my vote for most use. I tent camp w my fam in summer, so 3 season hammocking for me is fall/winter/spring. I started w buying a 0d UQ and using an old 30d TQ. Next for me was a nice 20d UQ. Next for me will probably be a nice 20d TQ, and layer that with the existing 30 TQ for proper winter conditions

    If I was doing more in summer and doing it from scratch Id do 20/20 to begin, then 40d TQ, then 40d UQ if I stuck with hammocking and as budget allowed. Lighter fabrics and higher fill power are nice to have, but if you dont see yourself doing any longer backpacking trips soon and want to cut cost, I would personally do it by avoiding the UL stuff. Of course if you have a tiny UL pack already, you dont want to get normal quilts and then have them take up all the space in your pack

    2. If you use a sit pad, consider a partial underquilt since you brought up price. Many people have good experience with them + sit pad. Be aware that lengths vary between manufacturers. I am 62 and looked into it - the difference between a similar spec Wooki and Yeti is just a few ounces. I do not use a sit pad, okay with spending more, and really prefer the ease of use of the full length Wooki. If you use a sit pad and are on a budget a partial quilt may work better for your big picture

    3. Definitely dont spend your money here to begin with. Good thing to have if you are expecting extreme weird + rain imo. I have one and it is not worth it for me for the vast majority of trips. You didnt mention tarps but if for some reason youre choosing a tiny tarp to start a UQP may be more of a priority

    Hope its helpful. Trying to pay it forward from others who helped me


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  9. #9
    New Member
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    Oct 2021
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    Cincinnati Ohio
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    For now, I'm using a 40deg down sleeping bag as top insulation. Full zip, semi rectangular. And have a folding Zlite type pad. Looking at the Hammock Gear economy full length UQ. Thx for the tips, keep em coming!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2019
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    WNC
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    1.2 MTN streamliner + myog net
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    You probably have a general idea how cold you can take your sleeping bag. 20UQ, your current bag + puffy jacket w a hood and warm socks should get you down pretty far


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