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10548Re: [Hammock Camping] D.A.M. vs Underquilt - Why Choose?

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  • Bill Fornshell
    Sep 28, 2005
      Dylan and others, On my Home-Made DAM (My pictures
      in the Albums) the Poly Tubing comes in a long
      seamless tube on a roll. You cut it what ever length
      you want your DAM to be and with a "Heat Seal" thing
      you double seal one end. You make a sleeve wide
      enough for however many tube you want and as long as
      you want your DAM to be.

      The open end of the Poly Tube is used to slide your
      baffles with the Down into it.

      As a side note you can remove the Down baffles to dry
      out if necessary or to leave out for summer use. You
      can also make another set of Down baffles for
      different temperatures. My DAM is made for "0" F

      Once the Down baffles are in the Poly Tubes you can
      blow them up with air and roll the end closed. I use
      a small light balloon pump then clamp the ends closed.
      You sleep on your DAM and in the morning or when ever
      you remove the clamp, let the air out and pack it all

      One of my Poly Tubes 5" wide (Flat) 78"+ long and with
      a baffle containing 1oz of Down weights 1.5oz. My
      latest DAM has 7 Poly Tubes (10.5oz) plus the weight
      of the sleeve. Add the weight of your sleeve (3 to
      4oz) and you get a DAM that gives you 3.5" loft about
      30" wide and 78" long well under 16oz. My new one may
      be about 14oz total. Cost - 7oz of 800+ Down (about
      $56), 7 (5" Flat) Poly Tubes 85" long (less than $10),
      Sleeve material (5 yards at ??) and a weight of (for
      me) .5 to 1 oz a sq yard. My sleeve weight can be as
      low as 2.4oz. for my new one.

      This is a total weight of about 14oz and a cost of
      about $110(+/-) a little if you go with some really
      high cost material or a lot cheaper if you use some
      cheap stuff from Wal Mart. My first one was made from
      some $1 a yard (2oz a sq yard) stuff from Wal Mart.

      In contrast my Warmlite DAM cost $165 and weighs about
      27oz counting the blow up bag.

      The hidden advantage to my DAM is that I can use the
      Down baffles from the Poly Tubes in something else
      during the day.

      Bill in Texas

      --- Dylan <hum469@...> wrote:

      > Ok, I will be the first to admit that I am not an
      > expert on DAM's as
      > I had not considered one, and have been working on
      > my own design for
      > an underquilt while reading all the posts. It is
      > very likely then
      > that I missed something along the way, however, I do
      > remember someone
      > made a 14 oz DAM at home, and all the pictures I can
      > find on here or
      > elsewhere on the web look like all a DAM is a
      > baffled sheet that is
      > air tight right?
      > Here's my thought then, why can't an underquilt have
      > some or all of
      > it's baffles made air tight. When you are hanging,
      > it can be slung
      > underneath and the valves left open so that it
      > conforms just like any
      > other underquilt. When conditions force you to go
      > to ground, then
      > simply inflate the baffles, close the valves, and
      > voila, instant
      > ground pad. If not all of the quilt inflated, the
      > soft edge baffles
      > could be made with velcro to attach to an overquilt
      > and it would
      > function as a sleeping bag, with the edges
      > overlapping and preventing
      > drafts. I was all set to order my material from
      > Thru-hiker when this
      > idea occured. I realize that this would be heavier
      > than a non-
      > inflatable underquilt, but as my design seemed like
      > it was going to
      > be 16-17 oz, I would not be opposed to going up to
      > or slightly over
      > the weight of a Jacks nest if I got even greater
      > flexability out of
      > it.
      > What does anyone think? Would this work? Am I nuts
      > for trying? If
      > you think so, what does one make the air tight
      > chambers out of? The
      > professionally made DAMs seem to use some sort of
      > laminated Poly,
      > where do you get that or is there a better
      > alternative out there?
      > Also, they say their seams are welded, but if you
      > are talking about
      > poly/plastic/nylon, aren't those sorts of air tight
      > seams really just
      > melted together? If so, then I should be able to
      > assemble it with my
      > soldering iron or something a little cooler. Am I
      > right about that,
      > or is there another way it must be done to work?
      > Those of you that
      > did make DAM's, I am sorry but I don't remember how
      > anyone made their
      > seams air tight. Thank you all for raeding, and
      > thank you in advance
      > for the help.
      > -Dylan

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