Best Top Insulation For a Noob

A place for new hammock users to get resources to help
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sarge
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Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#1

Post by sarge » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:19 pm

The title says it all.

Tell us why.


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: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#2

Post by Scott » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:06 pm

From a noob. Basic sleeping bag is what I have been using. I have a few in different size and weight to choose from. Already own em, mummy bag unzips all the way, but leaves a footbox. Unless something dramatically changes I don't feel a pressing reason for me to upgrade that. Other places my $ will go first.

I will let other chime in for suggestions for those in the market for something more specific.
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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#3

Post by Baby Huey » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:28 pm

I would recommend a good sleeping bag for new guys that way they can still use it to go to ground if they decide that hanging is not for them.
"Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but y'all come to the same place."
-Capt. Malcolm Reynolds-

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#4

Post by Spaceman » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:03 am

Another vote for using a sleeping bag you already have. Just be careful about zipper pulls damaging the hammock fabric.

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#5

Post by Throkda » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:58 am

Yep, existing sleeping bag as a quilt....also leaves plenty of material to tuck around your shoulders if you're starting out with a pad that's not quite wide enough for middle of the night chills. I've been hammock camping for almost 10 years (granted, car camping), and I still haven't gotten around to getting a top quilt, even though I'd like one eventually.

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#6

Post by gmcpcs » Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:10 am

I currently use a scout bag from the military sleep system. I've recently cut off that bomb proof zipper, and it works even better, even though it's flat wore out. I just can't always deal with the hood part, as it gets in my face sometimes. I've also used s poncho liner or even a wool blanket.

A regular mummy style bag with a zipper mod, or even taking it off and stitching up a foot box with a carpet needle can be a nice start, even your final solution.

I tend to sleep hot, but when the Temps drop I have one of those surplus canvas feather filled jobs weighing in at three tons or so. Nothing can faze that thing, and you can combine with an underquilt and sleep like a fat tick on a dog.

My opinion is your underquilt option choice is where you can make a night in the woods a blessed experience. The top quilt is your icing on the cake.

Choose wisely, ☺

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#7

Post by Thom » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:34 am

I would personally prefer a coat of fur that would rival a Siberian Husky, that isn't really feasible though.
I guess a sleeping bag would have to do for the normal man.

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#8

Post by V_Allen » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:53 am

Another vote for a sleeping bag. I still use one for a top quilt even after 10 yrs.
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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#9

Post by Treesleeper » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:47 pm

I may need help being pushed over the edge. Got a nice but old down bag. I can't bring myself to put scissor to zipper and cut it off.
My wallet says "Cut that **** off! Now!" But my 25 year old self says "think about all those good time we had on the ground. Sure you had sore back and hips, but I kept your warm..."
"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#10

Post by sarge » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:38 pm

No real need to cut anything off a down bag, even a mummy bag. A little deft maneuvering and you have a pillow right there, or you can pull that sucka right over on top of your head and hunker down.
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: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#11

Post by Idaho Hanger » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:45 pm

I agree. Unless said noob is new to camping in general, flip and unzip the mummy bag you already have to make a pretty decent topquilt.
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” - Edward Abbey.

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#12

Post by TXyakr » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:27 am

I use many different types of top insulation depending on the climate, forecast weather conditions, mode of transportation for a particular trip. In my personal opinion someone new to hammock camping, sleeping in one at home or who has been using one for many years and is thinking of trying something different should first ask “what are the advantages of a true “Top Quilt”?. Then when the budget allows and other more important items have been purchased they may know what to look for or to order for a DIY project. (Sorry but I have spent many years organizing major R&D projects and am very methodical and follow process and procedure logically, boring... But time and cost effective.)

When sleeping in a hammock where overnight temps may not fall below 85F I typically use either a sheet of thin cotton or denim folded lengthwise and sewn on the bottom and up the side about 18" to from a small foot box. That and a fan to avoid mosquito bites. If the temperature may fall below 70 or 60F I use a similar one made out of synthetic fleece or just a fleece sleeping bag liner ($10-20) with or without zipper removed. Between 40-70F a sleeping bag or top quilt rated at that, preferably a top quilt for backpacking because it is much lighter and more compact. Be careful when removing threads holding zipper from sleeping bag, sometime these also hold the end of the bag and you must re-sew it, more work than you expected especially if you don't have a sewing machine or are not good at it.

For canoe camping from 0-30F I prefer a synthetic mummy sleeping bag over a down top quilt for several reasons. Yes it is a pain to get in and out of but it is very warm when it gets below about 20F and I like to zip it up. Also if it gets wet due to condensation, melting snow, rain, sleet, or a failed dry bag in the canoe/kayak then it will dry out much faster than goose down even that newer hydrophobic down which only resists initial wetting but does not actually dry much if any faster. BTW absolutely nothing in this world is waterproof, anything that claims that is just an exaggeration, it should claim highly water resistant down to some depth or water pressure. Even the US Navy’s Nuclear Submarines with their Titanium Hulls will fail if they go well below their rated depth. A glass marble will be crushed at a certain depth. I have had top quality dry bags/sacks fail so always double bag critical items (insulation) and plan for failure, especially if temps may go below 0F and my watercraft may tip due to circumstances beyond my control like attempting to rescue a newbie who said he/she was experienced but exaggerated. (Oh the stories I could tell, but they might read them and get embarrassed.) Things happen, after you have camping in many different climates, used many different modes of transportation all over the world you eventually learn to be flexible and prepare for the unexpected.

Below is photo of me in WB BB XLC with TNF syn Sleeping bag rated at 0F but will go lower with some modifications like wool long underwear and fleece, balaclava etc. A full beard works well but my wife and daughters always talk me into shaving it off eventually, they are like a dripping faucet King Solomon warned about. Darn nagging women folk... Jesus had a beard: Isaiah 50:6, my wife and Roman soldiers have something in common... perhaps. Ha ha ha (Sorry just my weird sense of humor, to much time in the wilderness?)

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Re: Best Top Insulation For a Noob

#13

Post by Treesleeper » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:53 am

Look at that babyface! That's not the mountain man I camped with.
"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

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