Although hammocks send you into a world of relaxation on any adventure, cold butt syndrome (the scientific name for when your rear end gets, well, cold) can quickly, and painfully, pull you back. There are ways to battle the chill however, and we’ve compiled a quick fact sheet to help you out!
Reasons why sleeping bags don’t work
1) Compression – Sleeping bags work by using their thickness to prevent your body heat from escaping. The thicker the bag, the more heat will be kept inside. An awesome trick for tent camping or general warming up, but not so great when you’re in a hammock. When laying in a hammock, your body, specifically pressure points (think hips/shoulders/calves,) compresses the insulation and reduces the loft. As a result, what was once a 5” thick bag capable of a temp rating of 25 ° F, becomes a ½” thick bag that wouldn’t keep you warm on a cooler summer evening.
2) Claustrophobia – You may not think it at first, but being enclosed in a sleeping bag combined with the wall of the hammock hugging your sides can get even the bravest soles itching to break free. Especially if you’ve got a funky zipper. Plus, spontaneous, midnight pee breaks can get tricky wriggling around in a sleeping bag!
3) You can’t share – Sharing isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a DoubleNest owner, or just like to get close to your better half, it’s more difficult in a sleeping bag, in a hammock. Imagine the claustrophobic reason times two. It will also make entering and exiting the hammock more difficult, which potentially could be dangerous.
Why quilts do work:
1) Traps in heat – Quilts work similarly to sleeping bags, but wrap underneath and around you, axing the risk of loft compression. Instead, the Underquilt effectively traps in heat pockets, allowing you to re-use your body heat to stay warm.
2) No compression – As quilts wrap under or over your hammock, they are suspended around you instead of directly underneath/on top of you (think a warm, quilted hug.) Fitting perfectly to the shape of you in your hammock, heat is kept in, while the loft remains full.
3) Adjustable insulation – Being seperate from your body, Quilts give you more movement and adjustability without causing a rocking disaster – i.e. you never get your quilt trapped underneath your heel or between your knees. Using a quilt allows you to get comfortable, then get your insulation where you want it most.
4) Large coverage area – Quilts provide a larger surface area of insulation than bags, giving you the option to spread out a bit more, hang diagonally, or invite a friend in!
5) Fit evenly around your body – The adjustable nature of a Quilt allows an even coverage.
6) CAN share – For all the reasons above, a quilt provides enough space, movement and adjustability to share your hammock with your favorite puppy or human 🙂
Why you should pick Down:
1) Warmth for Weight – Down provides the most warmth for the weight of the product. And why wouldn’t you want something that’s warmer, lighter?!
2) Improved Regulation – Down regulates body temp better than any synthetic insulation. This comes in handy during a trip packed full of fluctuating temperatures.
3) Compressibility – Down beats synthetic insulation in the compression and weight catagories.
4) Wicks Moisture – Down is better at wicking body moisture and allowing it to evaporate – going a long way in keeping you comfortable.
5) Retains shape – Down is incredible at retaining its loft and shape, even when packed down for a few days. It also holds up better than synthetics, so with proper care, can last a lifetime.