In the recent years hammock camping has grown in popularity, since many folks wanted to try something different than the classic tent style of camping, and choosing the best hammock underquilt is an essential step here. Why? There are many reasons for it. For starters, this type of gear is lighter, much lighter than hauling a tent with all odds and ends would be.
Also while you need to search for a perfect spot for your tent to set up, hammocks are way more flexible on that department, since you will mostly going to need a couple of trees next to each other (about ten to fifteen feet apart) and that’s basically it. Setting up a hammock is way easier since the only major things you need to worry about is that you properly secured straps and knots on both sides.
|ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters - Ember 2 UnderQuilt, Ultralight Sleeping Quilt, Navy/Royal||151 Reviews||$99.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Outdoor Vitals Aerie 30°F Down Underquilt / Sleeping Bag, Use As Ultralight Underquilt, Sleeping...||88 Reviews||$199.98 $149.97||Buy on Amazon|
|Winterial Camping Hammock Underquilt, Duck Down Underquilt||8 Reviews||$159.99 $89.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Outdoor Vitals Aerie 20°F Down Underquilt / Sleeping Bag, Use As Ultralight Underquilt, Sleeping...||74 Reviews||$179.97||Buy on Amazon|
|Kindle Under Quilt||13 Reviews||$83.99||Buy on Amazon|
Last update on 2018-03-22 at 20:12 PST - Details
Now, whenever you are on your way to the store wanting to buy hammock camping equipment for the first time adventure, or you have already experienced the potential wonders of hammock camping but you were not prepared as you would like to be. When the night slowly starts to approach the gentle breeze starts to feel much less gentle as the time passes.
Or the weather suddenly started to change to your disadvantage, clouds emerged and wind was getting little stronger for your liking… you felt like something was missing, something that might have the ability to shield you and prevent the heat loss.
Either way, people that are new to the world of hammock camping usually decide to not have an “under quilt” on their shopping list at first… But if you truly want to experience the proper joy of hammock camping, getting an under quilt is not a luxury it’s a necessity.
Can your old sleeping bag do the trick, so that you don’t have to spend more money on an under quilt?
Not going to lie, your old sleeping bag will most of the time fit perfectly in your hammock. But then you must ask yourself this: are you ok with losing all that genuine comfort that hammock provides and get back into that sleeping bag where your movements are far more limited? Another thing that can’t be ignored is the constant feeling, when you are in your hammock with a sleeping bag, that you can somehow be rolled out of hammock while your bag is still tightly sealed, not pleasant way to wake up for sure.
Under quilt is attached underneath the hammock, and it’s built in a way that all the warmth isolation goes around your hammock, providing a perfect balance between warmth and comfort. Also, quilts are specifically designed to keep you warm at the bottom creating an isolating barrier of air between your hammock and under quilt.
Wrapping your hammock with an under quilt will provide you not only with extra comfort, but it will also grant you much more freedom of movement in your hammock, making it an ideal choice for hammock camping.
The most difficult part of owning under quilts is choosing one. Depending on your personal preferences, there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing something to keep your underside warm and comfy.
First of all, find a quilt that fits your hammock. As hammocks come in many sizes and shapes (some are longer, while others come in wider sizes) it is only natural that it’s the same case with under quilts. So, the goal should be based entirely on your personal needs. Note that’s usually best not to pick the one that would be a perfect fit, but go with something slightly bigger, so that you have more room to wiggle.
When it comes to choosing a desired underquilt, this is considered to be an easy part. Simply because there are only two options to go for. Both of them will be a good choice depending on what purpose they need to fulfill. The purpose they both share however is to trap the warm air from escaping, making the quality of your comfy warm sleep intact for the long night.
In the past, down filling was a go-to choice, but after many repetitive usages the fabric could not last long and after the water started to come inside… There was nothing you could do about it anymore. However, in the new era, fabric technology has advanced to the level of making strong water resistant materials that are suited to even more difficult weather conditions, making them very durable.
Down filled under quilts traditionally provide much more comfort then its synthetic rival. Also, another good feature that this type of filling has it’s in his light weight, and since every camper wants to make his bag as light as possible, this should be taken into consideration.
Surprisingly, a high quality polyester type of under quilt will provide even more warmth that will not drop even if your under quilt gets wet. Most of them are labeled as 4-season ready. And many of them are traditionally the choice for winter hammock camping. Many manufacturers label them as machine washable, and in general they are much more on the easy side when it comes to cleaning and maintenance then their down filled counterpart.
When it comes to camping hammocks and related gear, Eagles Nest Outfitters, aka ENO is pretty much a household name among campers and backpackers, and with good reason. Their Ember 2 Underquilt does a lot to justify the reputation. This is one of the most convenient and comfortable solutions to cold weather hammock camping.
What you get here is a synthetic polyester quilt, which makes it perfect for camping in damp conditions, as synthetic materials tend to dry out quickly. The Ember 2 packs down to be pretty small, but not as small as you’d like it, and certainly not small enough for anyone just getting interested in this type of camping and trying to learn the ropes, as it were. On the flipside, the underquilt does come with a stuff-sack, so that you can store it / pack it a bit more efficiently.
Another great feature about the Ember 2 is the nylon taffeta rip-stop shell with a DWR finish on the outside. This pretty much guarantees you’ll be protected from any moisture, in addition to making the underquilt much more durable.
As far as hanging the quilt goes, you have the standard carabiner clips (not included with the purchase, unfortunately), as well as adjustable corded bungees on each end, so that you can, well, for lack of a better word, adjust it according to the weather.
It’s also interesting to note that the Ember 2 comes in three distinct flavors, so you can choose one to go with your hammock – Charcoal & Red, Lime & Charcoal and Navy & Royal (outer shell and inner shell colors, respectively). Of course, the colors may not run true to pictures, as ENO uses pretty much every piece of fabric they have available to reduce wasting material. On the one hand, this “green” approach is certainly commendable, but it doesn’t help when you order a Charcoal and Red hammock and get Navy and Pink.
As the astute readers may have already inferred from reading the name, the Outdoor Vitals Aerie Aerie 30°F Down Underquilt is rated down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 Centigrade), which is pretty chilly, to say the least. Granted, you want to be nice and balmy inside at that temperature, but you won’t freeze to death, either. Users report that 40° is still fine, but for 30 you’ll probably want to keep your jacket on and stuff all the excess space inside with clothes to prevent cold air from entering.
However, this is just one of its major selling points – another feature that’s worth pointing out is the Aerie’s light weight, as it weighs in at a mere 1.7 pounds. While we’re crunching numbers, it’s worth mentioning that the quilt measures 76 x 31 inches when in use, and packs down to about 9 x 7 inches (not ideal, but still quite space-efficient footprint).
Another great feature about the Aerie is that it can be used as a 5-in-1, or, in more practical terms, a 3-in-1 piece of camping gear. On paper, you can use it as a pod system, a sleeping bag, double sleeping bag (provided you get a pair of Aeries), a technical blanket or, indeed, an underquilt. In more realistic terms (when it comes to hammock camping), you’ll probably use it either as an underquilt or a sleeping bag (or, again, double sleeping bag, if you get two of them). They added a heavy-duty YKK zipper for this purpose.
The Aerie is filled using 800+ down (which is a major factor in making it as lightweight as it is), which gives one of the highest weight-to-warmth ratios in the industry. As far as the shell go, you’ve got an equally light rip-stop fabric, treated with a DWR finish to make it water-resistant. The internal liner is made using polyester pongee, which makes fairly soft and comfortable without making it too heavy. To help with the down staying evenly distributed, they sewed in a grid design.
The WInterial Camping Hammock Underquilt is a nice choice for any camper or backpacker looking to get the most out of their money. The deal includes not only the hammock itself, but also a nice carry bag (that’s in addition to the stuff sack), as well as a pair of tree straps. Here’s the kicker, though – it might take a couple of reads before the brain registers, but you’re actually getting a hammock with the underquilt, rather than just the underquilt.
However, the single major selling point of the underquilt is that it’s 90% filled with all natural goose down. This makes it extremely comfortable in a literal sense, but somewhat less comfortable when you think of all those geese that have been plucked to make it. On a more serious note, though, the quilt is rather comfortable and does an excellent job of keeping you warm in chilly weather (down to 35–45 degrees Fahrenheit).
As far as the shell goes, it’s made using 20D nylon, and treated with a water-resistant coating, so that you don’t have to worry about moisture seeping into the filling. On that note, it’s important to mention that the quilt is completely machine washable, just make sure to remember to put a few tennis balls when washing and drying it to restore the fluff (let’s not get into the physics of this, just know it works). Also, it would be better if you air-dried it, but if you do put it into a dryer, make sure to switch on the lowest setting.
Now, this isn’t the lightest quilt on the market (on account of the goose down), but it’s still within reason – 1.8 pounds. As for dimensions, it measures in at a generous 82 x 54 inches when in use, packing down to a negligible size.
If you’re looking for the perfect 4-season camping hammock underquilt, then the Outdoor Vitals Aerie 20°F Down Underquilt might just be the perfect thing for you. As the name might suggest, the quilt is rated down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which is, admittedly, the extreme scenario. Sleeping at this temperature wouldn’t be a breeze (if you’ll pardon this pathetic attempt at a pun), but it’ll keep you well alive.
Another nice thing about this quilt is that you can use it in several ways – as a pod system (so, pretty much like a cocoon), a sleeping bag (or a double sleeping bag by connecting two quilts, which is great if you’re out camping with your family or your spouse), a technical blanket or just as an underquilt.
As far as measurements go, the underquilt is 76 x 29 inches and compresses down to about 11 x 7 inches for packaging and/or storage (you also get a stuff bag for this purpose). On that note, the quilt weighs in at 2.1 pounds (add about 3 ounces for the stuffing bag, as well, to get the total you’ll need to carry in the backpack).
It’s a bit heavier than its counterpart, the Outdoor Vitals Aerie 30°F Down Underquilt, which is mostly due to a bit more down filling (800+, which is the industry’s best when it comes to the weight-to-warmth ratio). On the flipside, it more than makes up for it with its greater capacity for insulation (hint – check out the names).
The system has a hexagonal stitching in it so that the down is evenly distributed and kept from clumping together. The shell is pretty much the standard rip-stop nylon with DWR coating to make it water-resistant and is coupled with heavy duty YKK zippers.
If you’re looking for a hammock underquilt, but aren’t quite willing to commit too much funds for getting one, you might want to check out the Yukon Kindle.
It’s not down, but rather polyester fill, which might disappoint some, but keep in mind that it’s rated 35–45 degrees Fahrenheit, which is in range with some down underquilts. The good side of going polyester instead of down is that the price tag is much more approachable, so you get a bigger footprint for the same money (even less).
The underquilt measures an impressive 98 x 48 inches, which should be about enough for a double hammock (though it might be a bit of a stretch). On that note, the quilt compresses down to about 11 x 7 inches, which is pretty standard. It’s not ideal for packing, but you can always attach it to the outside of your backpack. Speaking of numbers, the quilt weighs in at about 1 pound 12 ounces, and that’s including the stuff sack, which is great news for any backpacker thinking about getting one.
The inner shell is bright orange, which is great for visibility and orientation, and the outer one is charcoal. Both, however, are made of a durable nylon fabric and coated in DWR finish to make it water-resistant. The interior lining is rather soft and smooth to the touch, so you can just as easily use the hammock as a pad or even a blanket. That said, seeing it’ll be going underneath your hammock anyway, they needn’t have bothered making it that soft.
So, in conclusion, which is the best camping hammock underquilt? It’s a tough question, and answering it is rather a thankless task, especially when you like every product. However, some recommendations are in order, so here they are.
If you don’t care too much about the fill in your hammock, the ENO and Yukon polyester quilts are good choices. Both are similarly rated and perform in the same range, but if you’re working on a tight budget, the Yukon is a clear winner.
Conversely, if budget is no problem, and you insist on getting the best down underquilt out there, you should consider the rest of our list – Outdoor Vitals and Winterial. When it comes to the winner, the two Aeries are pretty much neck to neck, if we’re being honest, since there’s a slight trade-off in weight for warmth. However, if you twisted our collective arm, we’d have to go with the Outdoor Vitals Aerie 20°F Down Underquilt, simply for the temperature rating, even with the added weight.
So, did you like our list of the five best hammock underquilts? Do you think we missed anything? If so, please, feel free to leave a comment and share the article, and, hopefully, we’ll spark off a lively debate. Until then, happy camping!
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