By Ben Griffin
Sleeping under the stars can be a magical experience, but it can also be miserable.
I remember one of my first backpacking trips when we decided to camp without any camping gear.
Suffice it to say, I hardly slept and immediately looked into a better plan for overnight treks.
Underquilts have been part of that research and in this article, I show you my 5 favorite underquilts.
The Shortlist My Top 5 Hiking Underquilts
|Hammock Underquilt||Best Feature||My Grade|
|Eagles Nest Outfitters Ember 2 Under Quilt||Rated for all seasons, comfy, and durable. My topic pick||A 🏅|
|Chill Gorilla Underquilt||Great for cold weather||A-|
|OneTigris Underquilt||Summer, fall, and spring rated||B|
|ENO Vulcan Underquilt||Rain Resistant||B|
|Uboway Outdoor Hammock Underquilt||Great Value||B|
^^Below, I’ve written more detailed reviews, but you can click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
The Importance Of A Hammock Underquilt
You see, when you sleep in a hammock with only a sleeping bag, your sleeping bag gets compressed by your body weight.
Sometimes so much so that it becomes paper thin.
When the bag is compressed it offers little to no insulation leaving you with what is called “cold butt syndrome” or CBS for short.
The only way to effectively combat this issue is by getting an underquilt.
Underquilts are just as they sound.
They are large blankets constructed from goose or duck down.
Sometimes they are made from synthetic materials like polyester.
The purpose is to have the blanket on the outside of the hammock to keep the bottom of the hammock warm.
Without this extra insulation, you will get cold no matter what kind of sleeping bag you put in your hammock.
Think of it this way, when you sleep on the ground in a tent you get a sleeping pad.
That pad offers you protection not only from the rocks and other sharp objects under you but insulation from the cold as well.
Without the pad, you get chilly at night.
The same thing happens in a hammock.
You need that extra insulation between you and the elements if you want to stay comfortable during the night.
So How Do You Pick The Best Hammock Underquilt?
When you are looking for an underquilt there are three main tips that make finding one simple.
If you keep these tips in mind, you will find a great underquilt that will suit all your camping needs.
Know The Dimensions Of Your Hammock
You need to know what size of an underquilt to get.
Many are universal and will fit most size hammocks.
But for the longer and wider hammocks, some underquilts just won’t fit no matter what you do.
So make sure you know the size of your hammock before purchasing.
Know Where You Are Going
It is important to know exactly where you will be setting up your hammock.
If you are going to a place that is known to be extremely cold at night you will want an underquilt that will protect you from the chill.
You wouldn’t buy one that is thin.
You also wouldn’t want an underquilt that is constructed with material that will soak up moisture.
While many are coated with moisture repellant, you will want one that is water resistant if you are planning a trip during a wet season.
Materials And Construction
The last thing you want is to have to get up in the middle of the night and adjust the underquilt because of the cold.
When you are picking out your underquilt for your hammock, get one that you can adjust while sitting inside the hammock.
You should also look for one that is made with duck or goose down for low temperatures as they offer the best insulation.
Of course when it comes to the construction of the underquilt make sure you get one that is beveled.
That way the insulation doesn’t bunch in one spot which will prevent you from having CBS.
Another thing you need to look for is the suspension cords.
You can find that there are some that wrap around your hammock to lock in your body heat.
You will also find ones that latch onto the hammock itself.
Depending on how chilly you think it will get is a factor in which suspension you should get.
Ask yourself what will make you feel more cozy, being bundled down into the hammock? Or, having space and wiggle room without the claustrophobia effect of being strapped to the hammock?
So even though you are bearing the elements of Mother Nature, you don’t have to freeze while doing so.
Sleeping in a hammock is a rewarding experience that sleeping in a tent just doesn’t give you.
There is something primal about being vulnerable to nature in a hammock that a tent protects you from.
But just because you are open to nature doesn’t mean you have to endure all the harshness that comes with it.
An underquilt is a great investment for those that want to travel light and camp in a whole new way.
It offers you the insulation you need as well as the comfort your body needs to rejuvenate from the hike.
The last thing you want is to toss and turn or turn into a Popsicle.
To really enjoy camping in a hammock you should also consider looking into getting a mosquito net.
Mosquito nets are perfect for protecting you from the mosquitos and other flying insects that are destined to annoy you while you sleep.
When you have the right set up for your hammock you will wonder why you ever camped out of a tent in the first place.
Hammocks are fun, comfortable and primal.
They offer you a true camping experience like you have never had before.