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Hammock insulation?

Old 04-30-17, 03:03 PM
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mtnbud
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Hammock insulation?

What do you hammock users have underneath you? I've heard some people use a windshield sunshade? Anyone use an underquilt? Seems like an underquilt would be best for cold weather camping, but would add bulk and wieght.

I got my hammock last year and used my Big Agnes Air Core on three trips and it worked fine. Bringing a sleeping pad has the advantage of being usable if I ever need to sleep on the ground. A windshield sunshade would save a little weight and space. I am interested of hearing from your own experiences.

Thanks.
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Old 04-30-17, 03:14 PM
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I use a lightweight inflatable mattress with a sleeping bag. It does mean you can't change position much, but I'm usually beat by the end of the day. Being off the ground the mattress it's less likely to suffer a puncture, but if I do have to sleep on the ground I'll have a reasonable amount of comfort.
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Old 04-30-17, 03:26 PM
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You'll get more information at https://hammockforums.net/ where it's all hammocks, all the time.

I started out using a foam pad in my hammock, but it never worked well for me. Staying on the pad was a pain and it took away some of the comfort of being in a hammock in the first place. most of the nights I tried using pad, I threw it out of the hammock halfway through the night. If you're successfully and comfortably using a pad already, you may not need to make any changes. It's true that a pad can be useful, too, if you have to go to ground, but I gave up on it. Also many people have found that a normal pad is too narrow for hammock camping, and on the forums you will find methods people have employed to get a little more insulation at the shoulders.

Originally I had a Hennessy hammock, so I bought the insulation kit that Hennessy makes to fit them: basically a compressible, foam sheet that hugs the underside of the hammock, and a nylon (?) sheet that went outside of that to provide a little wind protection and the ability to put more items in between the pad and the under-sheet, like a space blanket. I found that set up to be very versatile. The outer cover alone provided a little insulation for cool, but not cold, nights, and adding a space blanket to the set up got me comfortable at near freezing temps. It packed down small enough for bike travel, too. Smaller than my blue, foam pad, and maybe comparable to my old, inflatable pad.

When I replaced the Hennessy, I got a double-layered hammock. I knew I eventually wanted an underquilt, but didn't want to spend the money right away, so I got a thin, closed-cell, foam pad: Thinlight Hammock Pad - 1/4" It was lighter and thinner than my old pad, packed a little better, and slid between the layers on my hammock. It was thinner, wider, and molded to my body better the old pad, too. The shape and the fact that it was held in place between the layers of my hammock meant that it stayed in place better. Still, that was a place-holder item, and I now have an underquilt. It's easier to pack than any pad I've carried, but, because it's a synthetic insulation, rather than down, it doesn't pack super small. I crammed it into a 5 liter bag the other day, although I expect with a compression sack, I could get it a bit smaller. The underquilt is definitely the ultimate in convenience and comfort for me. I understand the versatility of having a pad that can also be used on the ground, and, if that is working for you, you may not want to change anything, but I've been very happy since ditching my sleeping bag and various other insulation attempts and moving to just an underquilt for the outside and a camping quilt for the inside.
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Old 04-30-17, 05:27 PM
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I have a 15 degree under quilt for Winter. In the Summer I just use an emergency blanket or insulated pad in early Spring.
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Old 05-01-17, 07:32 AM
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I'm doing my first tour this summer and I'll be hammocking for a chunk of it. I bought a REI 55* sleeping bag and a thermarest sleeping pad with the ENO wings (big help and highly recommend). I also got a Sea to Summit bag liner (25* extra insulation) for cold weather. I've been able to do 50* with just the hammock/pad/sleeping bag combo. I did a weekend trip last weekend and it was 38*. Using the liner, I was able to make it through the night, but I was a bit chilly. The liner made a huge difference.

I have a Warbonnet hammock with built in bug net. The bug net does help keep some heat in...which is nice. I am a side sleeper and will usually switch sides at night a few times. After a few nights in the hammock, I have found it to be no problem to sleep. The pad doesn't go out from under me and I've slept quite well.
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Old 05-01-17, 08:50 AM
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For bicycle touring, an underquilt is much less bulky than a foam pad. Seems to be no brainer - it's the best way to stay warm, especially around your shoulders as you lean on the hammock sides at night. Do it right. Get an underquilt, top quilt, get a quality cut tarp that can be set up in porch mode, or can be completely closed off during high winds or driving rain.

Here is my setup from last Saturday:
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Old 05-01-17, 11:00 AM
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I use an underquilt. May hammock is a Warbonnet Blackbird, the underquilt is from Hammockgear.
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Old 05-01-17, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
For bicycle touring, an underquilt is much less bulky than a foam pad. Seems to be no brainer - it's the best way to stay warm, especially around your shoulders as you lean on the hammock sides at night. Do it right. Get an underquilt, top quilt, get a quality cut tarp that can be set up in porch mode, or can be completely closed off during high winds or driving rain.

Here is my setup from last Saturday:
Never tried a hammock, but that sure does look like a lot of work to set up compared to a freestanding tent. My inflatable pad keeps me off the ground and provides decent insulation. What's the benefit in using a hammock?
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Old 05-01-17, 11:39 AM
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Yeah. Well to put up the hammock alone takes about 2 minutes. It's the tarp and underquilt that will take the extra time to set up. If it takes you 10 minutes to pitch a tent it takes me 15 - 20 depending on whether I am in a hurry or just enjoying the activity.

For the record, I use both, a hammock or a tent, depending on the trip I have planned. I can easily make a list of tenting advantages over hammocks ... but you asked what I think the advantages are to hammock over tenting so here it goes:

1. When You wake up in the morning you feel like a million bucks. No sore back.
2. When You get out of the hammock You sit up like in a chair and then stand up - as opposed to crawling out of the tent.
3. In a torrential deluge you stay dry in a hammock without the fear of flash flood or failed floor seams on your tent.
4. You feel more 'outside' when you rest or sleep. You watch the treetops swinging, birds singing, skies flowing.
5. Setting up in a rain you set up your tarp first. Then You are protected from all rain while you can take your sweet time setting up your hammock underneath the tarp.
6. Some parts of the country (like New England) have an abundance of trees, providing camping opportunities in spots where the ground is not ideal. (for example on a mountain slope without flat ground)
7. A hammock setup consists of a 4 small sacks (hammock,tarp,underquilt,topquilt) no need to lug a tent on the top of the bikerack. (maybe put a ukulele on the rack instead ;-) )
8. Setting up the hammock alone is lightning quick and great for a quick break with a view
9. You can cook on the ground while laying in your hammock
10. I wanted to do top 10 but I'm running out of ideas. My brain is getting old ;-)



Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Never tried a hammock, but that sure does look like a lot of work to set up compared to a freestanding tent. My inflatable pad keeps me off the ground and provides decent insulation. What's the benefit in using a hammock?

Last edited by PedalingWalrus; 05-01-17 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 05-01-17, 11:58 AM
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Can't speak for PedalingWalrus, but I don't find mine hard to set up at all. I can fiddle with it forever if that's what I want to do, but I can also set it up in couple of minutes. Hardest part is selecting the location. Of course I used to spend some time selecting a location with ground tent as well, but I was looking for different things. To me, the thing with that set that makes it look complicated is the tarp. But really the tarp is as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Things like the poles help open it up when the weather is nice and you want to look around. Or you can bring everything in tight to ward off a storm, or find a middle ground so that your bike can come under the tarp as well. I used to use a tarp just big enough to cover my hammock, and it was very simple: a line to each tree and a line to each side, but a bigger tarp gives you a lot of options and can give you a nice, open area to relax even when the hammock isn't in use.

But set-up/take-down speed is not the selling point for me. It's comfort. I've never slept as comfortable camping as I have in a hammock. I've also never worried less about wet weather and uneven ground. I'm not sure I'd still be interested in bike touring if I hadn't found hammock camping.
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Old 05-01-17, 12:34 PM
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Thanks

Thanks for all the great information guys. Getting an underquilt is sounding like something I should do some more investigation on.
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Old 05-01-17, 12:50 PM
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I believe that when it comes to hammock camping the cottage industry does a much better job than the big names. Here are some links for You to check out:

Hammock Gear - Hammock Camping Outfitters
https://dutchwaregear.com
https://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com
Dream Hammock
Jacks R Better, High quality down quilts and backpacking and camping gear
UGQ HOME


Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Thanks for all the great information guys. Getting an underquilt is sounding like something I should do some more investigation on.
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Old 05-01-17, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
I believe that when it comes to hammock camping the cottage industry does a much better job than the big names. Here are some links for You to check out:

Hammock Gear - Hammock Camping Outfitters
https://dutchwaregear.com
https://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com
Dream Hammock
Jacks R Better, High quality down quilts and backpacking and camping gear
UGQ HOME
I'll add the two vendors I used for my quilts, although they are both synthetic quilts.

Ultralight Down Quilts Sleeping Bags Backpacking Camping Bikepacking Paddling Hammock Under Quilts
Arrowhead Equipment - Welcome to AHE
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Old 05-01-17, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Never tried a hammock, but that sure does look like a lot of work to set up compared to a freestanding tent. My inflatable pad keeps me off the ground and provides decent insulation. What's the benefit in using a hammock?
As one who has spent several hundred nights in a tent and now about 60 in a hammock, the benefits are numerous, but two really stand out: I stay drier in my hammock and I sleep better.
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Old 05-01-17, 02:05 PM
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I hope I never have to sleep in a tent again.
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Old 05-01-17, 06:00 PM
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I use a Nemo Cosmo, and per Shug a great thing to do with an inflatable is to not inflate it all the way but leave some air out and it will not slide around.
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Old 05-01-17, 08:51 PM
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It is not a windshield shade you want. It is reflectix water tank insulation you want. They look very similar. The reflectix is cheap and light. Good to 40 but not to a freeze. You can use this while you save up for an expensive underquilt. I ended up using mine from the waist down. In combination with the under insulation from Hennessy. A five foot piece from the waist down and curled over the top of the feet kept me warm at 30. I think my hyper light was good for short trips, and bad for long trips. Bad for my posture on long trips. I had to have the lightest one. Maybe a bigger one would be better. Hammocks are handy in western Washington. No traveling into the night in search of a flat spot. On longer trips a tent seems better for my backs health.

click here
https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/forum.php
https://www.reflectixinc.com/product...ve-insulation/
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Old 05-02-17, 07:38 AM
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Thanks! Good info! I'll bet I can find that at Home Depot or Lowes. I did read people were having condensation issues with the windshield shades. I'd bet it'd be a help for colder temps in combination with some other things.

Thanks for all the respons
es from everyone!

Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
It is not a windshield shade you want. It is reflectix water tank insulation you want. They look very similar. The reflectix is cheap and light. Good to 40 but not to a freeze. You can use this while you save up for an expensive underquilt. I ended up using mine from the waist down. In combination with the under insulation from Hennessy. A five foot piece from the waist down and curled over the top of the feet kept me warm at 30. I think my hyper light was good for short trips, and bad for long trips. Bad for my posture on long trips. I had to have the lightest one. Maybe a bigger one would be better. Hammocks are handy in western Washington. No traveling into the night in search of a flat spot. On longer trips a tent seems better for my backs health.

click here
https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/forum.php
https://www.reflectixinc.com/product...ve-insulation/
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Old 05-02-17, 12:17 PM
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If you decide to get an underquilt, Hammock Gear now has economy quilts. They use 800 fill DWR down. I received a 30F full-length underquilt (short version 73") for $135.95 shipped. Good quality. Total weight with stuff sack is 20.8 oz. These are good, low-cost options.

Econ Quilts
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Old 05-02-17, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Never tried a hammock, but that sure does look like a lot of work to set up compared to a freestanding tent. My inflatable pad keeps me off the ground and provides decent insulation. What's the benefit in using a hammock?
My hammock takes a matter of mere minutes to set up. I have a Warbonnet Blackbird. Very quick, much quicker than any free standing tent I have. It is also much more comfortable. As an added benefit, I am able to keep my bike and gear under it and keep everything dry in bad weather. My hammock takes up very little space as well.

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Old 05-02-17, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
that sure does look like a lot of work to set up compared to a freestanding tent. My inflatable pad keeps me off the ground and provides decent insulation.
+1 But that photo is very appealing.
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Old 05-02-17, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
+1 But that photo is very appealing.
It sure looks nice, but I count 4 poles, a tarp, a dozen lines and stakes, hammock, underquilt, and probably a pad in the hammock. For a week, it would be great, but setting that up every day would get old fast. My freestanding tent takes 5 minutes to set up, unless I'm in a hurry. I throw all my bags inside and that's it. Sure, you have to find a flat spot, but you need to find suitable trees for the hammock, so it's a wash. Suppose if there is no flat ground, a hammock would be much better, but I usually camp at a campground, and there aren't necessarily places to string up a hammock. And there is plenty of flat ground. Also, that tarp must flap around a bit in the wind.
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Old 05-02-17, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Thanks! Good info! I'll bet I can find that at Home Depot or Lowes. I did read people were having condensation issues with the windshield shades. I'd bet it'd be a help for colder temps in combination with some other things.

Thanks for all the respons
es from everyone!
Maybe that is why I used the reflectix on the lower half, condensation. Sure cured the cold feet to have it curled up over my feet on a frosty night. The bottom insulation worked good on the top half of me. Not as well on the feet.

As it gets colder the hammock needs more pounds of insulation. On a trip to the jungle a hammock could be lighter and better than a tent. In a freezing place the tent could be better, lighter for the same below freezing temp.

Last edited by chrisx; 05-02-17 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 05-02-17, 08:53 PM
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Looks like You got all the answers 🙂

You are right: it sucks 😜


Originally Posted by alan s View Post
It sure looks nice, but I count 4 poles, a tarp, a dozen lines and stakes, hammock, underquilt, and probably a pad in the hammock. For a week, it would be great, but setting that up every day would get old fast. My freestanding tent takes 5 minutes to set up, unless I'm in a hurry. I throw all my bags inside and that's it. Sure, you have to find a flat spot, but you need to find suitable trees for the hammock, so it's a wash. Suppose if there is no flat ground, a hammock would be much better, but I usually camp at a campground, and there aren't necessarily places to string up a hammock. And there is plenty of flat ground. Also, that tarp must flap around a bit in the wind.
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Old 05-02-17, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Looks like You got all the answers 🙂

You are right: it sucks 😜
No need to get all worked up. Just interested in the topic, that's all. I don't have any of the answers, because as I clearly stated, I've never tried a hammock, but I can see many swear by them. From the pictures and descriptions, I can't say they exactly appeal to me. Buying a quality one and all the accoutrements can cost some serious bucks, so it's not like you can just pick one up on a whim. Never seen one in use, but if I do, I'll ask to try it out. Anyway, glad you like it.
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