Warm Hammock IV
- Last night, my poor Diane came down with a cold and I abandoned her and
went to my hammock to sleep about 2 AM.
The house was down at about 62 degrees. I was in WarmHammockIII and
using my FrogSac as a quilt. I noticed that I got a little chilly on my
underside. Whoa! I am about to take a week long hike in PA in a
couple weeks and need to loan one of my other WarmHammocks to a friend
who will be hiking with me.
I started to think about that, as I sometimes do in the middle of the
night. I reached around and the pad of insulation in the Warm Hammock
was up against me, but the 3/4 inch thick polarguard was compressed to
about 1/4 inch thick. It was being pulled by the quilting stitches
holding it from side to side.
By 530 it was clear that I was losing too much heat through the bottom
of the hammock to be able to be comfortable in April on the AT.
That is when WarmHammockIV was born.
I opened a side seam in the pouch hanging under the hammock about 4
inches so I could get my hand inside the pouch. I removed the quilt
tackings that hold the pad of polarguard in place and then slipped the
insulation out of the small hole.
Next I began vacuuming the down out of my initial 800 fill down
WarmHammock as I slowly pulled the tubes of down open. I had filled
that unworkable version with 4 ounces of good down. I got almost all of
it out of the prototype and into the sack hanging under my WarmHammock.
How I do this: I take one of the 14 inch tubes from my shop vac and
tape a piece of no-see-um cloth over the end of the tube. I then hold
the suction of the vacuum against the bug netting, sucking down through
the open end of the 14 inch piece. The down is stopped by the no-see-um
and slowly plugs up the tube. When suction has diminished a lot, I put
the open end of the 14 inch tube into the small slit in the side of the
bag under my hammock and blow like a blow gun against the no-see-um.
The down is expelled at great force from the tube into the bag under the
hammock. This is SO MUCH easier than trying to move down with my hand.
Believe me, I've tried other ways.
Well, after a good hour of labor, I had rescued the 4 ounces of down and
sewn up the slit through which I had introduced the down.
I sewed three small quilting loops in the bottom of the hammock, pulling
the bottom of the bag up against the hammock. Then I took a little nap.
It was nice and warm. When I was laying there in the stretched hammock,
I discovered that the bottom of the bag is only an inch or two away from
the bottom of the hammock. Down can fill up spaces like that very
easily, so I cut the quilting loops and tried the hammock again. Even
The secret to making this work, like with all my WarmHammocks is to sew
darts into the patch that is sewn to the bottom of the hammock. These
darts allow the bag to pouch out and not be stretched against the
hammock when my weight is in the hammock. It is also important to sew
the bottom patch on with a zigzag stitch so that the stitching does not
act as a tearing zipper in the fragile nylon fabric.
I don't remember who wrote the piece a year ago about a "bag o feathers"
approach to the WarmHammock, but this result is just about the same as
the one he/she advocated.
I weighed my WarmHammockIV, with polypro tube ropes, and with its stuff
sack, it weighs 17 oz. This makes my back feel good. Like all down
products, it is best stored open (not compressed) and it is important to
keep this dry for warmth.
As some testing proceeds, I will keep the list up to date on how it does.
- jwj32542 wrote:
> How well does it insulate up the sides, like on your shoulders?That is the $64 question. It seems like I can just fluff the down up
into the shoulder areas (I had it set up in the sun and could see the
down moving around by its shadows.)
It's going down to 29 F tonight here. I will know more by this time
Oh, and Coy, I need to know the answer to Jeff's question before I put
it up on the site.