On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

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sarge
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On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#1

Post by sarge » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:48 pm

There's been some discussion on the Make Your Own Gear - Hammock Camping Facebook Page regarding Costco Down Throw Blanket underquilts. As some of you may know, I have some limited experience in that area so I offer my advice, encouragement, and opinions on the subject in an effort to help.

Whenever folks ask how to perform the "remove stitching from vertical/horizontal rows of stitching to increase loft" method, I'll express my deeply held opinion that the work involved is not worth the result due to cold air intrusion coming through the sewn seams where any insulation is compressed or non-existent. I also know that those of us who have been at this thing we call hammock camping for a while realize that this is the concensus of opinion, if not accepted wisdom, among those experienced with UQ construction. We also know that due to the limitations of quilts that use sewn through construction, and the danger to health they represent if used in winter weather, there are no professional underquilt providers who make a down underquilt that is of sewn through construction.

My fear is that people who use this method will, in seeing 3-4" of loft in thier underquilt, think that they spent $20 and a couple hours producing an underquilt that will perform as well as a properly made baffle construction quilt as done by reputable cottage vendors and experienced MYOG UQ makers. Unfortunately, there are individuals who foster that opinion among aspiring MYOG makers, which I think presents a danger to people who believe them. While there are instances of individuals using sewn through quilts with 2-3" of loft at relatively low temperatures, I'll point out that there are also people who can hold their breath for five or six minutes underwater, too. I don't recommend either practice to most people, and for the same reason: the people who can do it are outliers, not the norm.

One gentleman, seeking to either discredit me or bait me into a contentious exchange, demanded that I provide "scientific proof" that sewn through quilts like the CDT would allow cold air to intrude. He even has made pencil sketch to prove that it is actually impossible. Upon thinking a while about that, I remembered a thread I posted here last year about a fantastic video I had found where two guys had used a thermal camera to show the performance of different methods of under insulation. While the entire video is worth the time it takes to view, I've cued it up here to the relevant part of that video that should prove to all but the most stubborn or ignorant among us that cold air will intrude through seams and, in a sewn through quilt, would be sufficient to defeat or mitigate the performance of the loft provided by removing stitching at temperatures encountered in winter weather.

The quilt being used in the first part is a Hammock Gear Incubator 40. Hammock gear describes it this way:
The ULTIMATE underquilt for guaranteed comfort... The Standard length Incubator 40° is long enough to generously cover most hammock campers up to about 6'-2”. With premium quality, 850 fill power Hungarian goose down, this underquilt will protect you in temperatures down to 40°! If you are looking for an underquilt that is light weight, hassle free and will allow you to enjoy your hammock on the chilly late spring/early fall nights, you have found it.

The Incubator comes with 9 anatomically contoured, differential cut baffles that run the length of the quilt. One of the things this construction technique does is to greatly reduce the shifting of goose down that is sometimes more noticeable in quilts made with premium goose down. This is one of the reasons Hammock Gear quilts are always 15-20% overstuffed. The differential cut, contoured baffles also provide the highest level of fit which is critical to keeping warm. The Incubator comes complete with our state of the art shock-cord suspension system, Nite-ize #2 plastic "S" biners, and a stuff sack.
The HG 40 degree quilt weighs 1.25 pounds which is comparable to the CDT, the principal differences between the two is that the HG40 uses 850FP Goose Down where the CDT claims 700 (the Bed Bath and Beyond admits 650), and the HG uses baffles at the seams. They will guarantee that the quilt will provide adequate insulation dow to 40 degrees.

The things to look at in the video below are the black lines when the thermal image is displayed. These are areas that are colder than the rest of the quilt. IOW, cold air is present. These lines are the seams where the baffles are sewn.

https://youtu.be/y0pvZaAjayM?t=221

Similar lines are still present, albeit to a much lesser degree when he moves to the HG 0 Degree quilt. This is because the loft is greater, and so is the distance between the inner and outer shells because the baffles are deeper.

The quilt with deeper baffles at the seams allowed more cold air than the quilt with shallow baffles.

The CDT, using the "remove stitching to create more loft" method has no baffles, but the loft is comaparable. That would mean more cold air than quilts that use baffles. That would also mean that it would likely not perform as well a quilt that is not guaranteed to work well under 40 degrees.

If you want to test or develop your MYOG skills by giving yourself a more complex challenge, or creat a slightly lighter quilt by reducing the amount of stitching and shell material, you might enjoy using the "remove stitching to create more loft" method.

If you're doing it because you think getting 3" of loft out of a $20 quilt will make it perform as well as a $200 professionally made underquilt, you will be dissapointed. If there are people who are encouraging you to do so by convincing you that people like me are trying to mislead you (or are just wrong), they are not doing you any favors.

My experience is that no matter what you do to a CDT UQ, you won't get more than 30 degrees out of it (although theorhetically, stacking 4 quilts on on the other might get you below 20 degrees---but then you've got 4 pounds of quilt to deal with)m and that you will experience cold spots somewhere on the quilt where the seams are exposed to cold air. I will say, however, that there are those who use a "faux baffle" system, and I would recommend seeking them out and giving that a shot before relying on the advice of people who are unfamiliar enough with thermodynamics to tell you that you'll get winter performance out of a sewn through quilt.

My personal opinion is that both the stitch removal and faux baffle are more work than necessary for the result, and cleaning up down floating across the living room as your wife taps her foot on the floor can be a major bummer; so take another $20, buy another quilt, fold it lengthwise, then sew or snap it to the first one in such a manner that none of the seams overlap. It takes about 30 minutes to make the entire system. You get about 3" of loft that way (about the same as you'd get from the stitch removal method), can comfortably use such a quilt down to below 30 and, if you use a snap system, you can use the single layer quilt as a 60 degree summer quilt and leave the "booster" behind. The drawback is that you are 1 pound heavier. I have videos on how to do it on my You Tube Channel, but I'm not the only one, so search around if you like.


You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#2

Post by Flatliner » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:14 am

I have a HG custom 30 degree that I love. For my daughter, I spent an afternoon making her a 'hybrid' CDQ by sandwiching a layer of Apex between two CDQ layers. No useless baffle creating and it works really well BUT it's not remotely the quilt my HG is. Totally agree with what you state here.


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Re: On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#3

Post by sarge » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:32 am

Thinking the CDT as a layer of insulation in a multi-layer system rather than a stand alone quilt is the way I look at it.

What kind of performance are you getting and how thick is the Apex?
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#4

Post by Flatliner » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:01 am

I used the middle one, can't remember what that is, my son used it to 20 without issue but he is a warm sleeper.


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Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Just a middle age guy who likes doing outdoor things with his great kids...

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Re: On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#5

Post by kev137 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:28 am

Valid point Sarge. I pulled seams on my bb&b top quilt. Not becuase I thought it would get me down to a lower temp , but because I ended up cutting the width down to 52" and I didn't want to lose any down. I was able to shake most of it over and get a little more loft out of it. I had no illusions as to my expectations. It is a good 50° top quilt, any lower than that I'm pulling out my 6oz climashield quilt. For me in here in Florida I'm set for year round comfort between those two.
I saw the debate ( or your attempt at one ) on Facebook and was stunned by the reaction from the person in question. Maybe it's just my southern upbringing, but I thought it should have gone differently. I was taught to listen to those who know, and even if I disagree to be civil about it. That's the thing about the internet, people think they can be rude and it is ok. Henry Rollins said that he always speaks as if he expects to meet the person he is talking about to be around the corner. Even if it is on the internet. I find that to be a very smart attitude.
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Re: On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#6

Post by hoppy901 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 pm

"That person" on FB is famous for trying to cause problems. Sarge handled it well!

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Re: On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#7

Post by sarge » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:01 pm

hoppy901 wrote:"That person" on FB is famous for trying to cause problems. Sarge handled it well!
Somebody just asked him what the temp rating of the seam ripped quilt he sells is.

This was his reply:

"Stitch ripped and resized (width reduced creating overstuff) I give it a 35-45. I spent a couple hours in the underquilt on a 29 degree day and it kept me warm for a bit."

That there is a real confidence builder that is.
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: On Sewn Thru Construction of Underquilts.

#8

Post by sarge » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:05 pm

FWIW, the pics he shows of his quilts shows 4" of loft. Here's what 4" of loft should get you:

Image
You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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