Gear Review: DIY Hammock Underquilt
This is the latest hammock insulation experiement that I have undertaken. It takes the pancho liner I was using and trims it down to replicate DD Hammock's Underblanket design. After testing it I really feel that it is the best design out there regarding effectiveness, weight, and bulk. I will have to order some higher end insulation and nylon to make a really warm one for snow camping.
Weight: 1lb 10oz (26oz)
Comfort: 40°F to 32°F
Materials: military pancho liner
After making a couple hammock underquilts in the past, I immediately knew this was going to work better. When I first saw DD Hammock's strange tapered design I thought it was inferior to the typical rectangle design. By this point I had seen first hand the issues that underquilts can have. The rectangle style underquilts can work well, but I believe are less efficient when it comes to weight and less effective when it comes to adjustability.
The combination of attachment points and the places they attach are very well thoughtout. They all work in conjunction to create the perfect control over adjustment. Here you can see DD's image of the design. I modified it slightly by making straight diagonal lines on the tapers instead of the rounded ones DD uses. This was largely just to make the project easier to sew. Other than that there are a couple other minor differences, but it is the same basic design.
I tested it on a two night trip out to Buffalo Creek with my DD Jura 2 hammock sleeping bag. It rained that night and then got to 32° F and froze the water drops on the tarps and trees. Even with the moisture and the freeze I was able to sleep well through the night without being kept awake by cold. I wasn't toasty warm, but I wasn't cold. I'd say that it was the lowest comfort limit for this particular material.
Because of the superior adjustment ability I was able to keep it against my body and exactly where I needed it. All in all this project was a huge success. I will be using this in the spring/summer and for fall/winter I will bring along my ultralight sleeping pad to slide in the hammock first. That combination should keep me warm well below 32°F
You can get a pancho liner for around $40 at a military surplus store and the grosgrain/shockcord was another $10. A total of $50 for a very respectable underquilt - not bad. The only reason this didn't get 5 stars was because the materials aren't the lightest and most compressable available. This is definitely a project that is functional - not just cheap. If any of you out there try making one of these, please let us know and share your results!
I'll be making a DIY Guide soon, but for now check out the video review below.
October 26th, 2015← BackNext →
DIY: Homemade Heat Shield for Tent Stove
Roosevelt Lakes, Colorado Trip
Backpacking: Red Canyon/Box Spring Loop, New Mexico