I have the 70 inch girth Stephenson's DAM (the one Youngblood has),
and I did some testing with it before I spent a few nights in the
Adirondacks last winter.
I agree that using it inside the hammock makes you ride noticeably
higher in the hammock (mine is a ZHammock, a double-bottom
Speer-type), but I am careful and had no problems with tipping.
I made my own version of a pad extender with wings (see the pics under
Jonas4321 in the Photos section). It has 3 wings along each side, and
I used a thin 1/4 inch CCF pad underneath the DAM. The wings were 3/8
This whole setup is pretty heavy (I used some nylon supplex fabric I
had lying around to make the pad extender - if I did it all over
again, I would use some 1.1oz/yd ripstop nylon), so I am rethinking my
This configuration, with me inside a fleece bag inside of a 25 degree
synthetic bag, was warm and comfy at -1 degrees F inside a detached
garage, and plenty warm at 10 degrees F in a fairly breezy night last
winter in the Adirondacks. I was too warm on the previous night
outdoors at 30 degrees - I had to open up the sleeping bags.
My current plans are to ditch the pad extender and go with two
interlocked CCF pads between the bottom layers of my ZHammock, with
the DAM inside the hammock with me. I am also making what I term a
spindrift tube (others refer to it as a hammock sock), which will be
of 1.1oz uncoated ripstop with drawstrings at each end. While I don't
know how much extra insulation this tube will provide, it's really to
keep the blowing snow off my sleeping bag, which happened last year.
Unless Santa is very good to me, the sleeping bags will be the same
ones as last year.
I found some VERY lightweight 3/8 inch CCF pads made by Swiss Army at
K-Mart. I am going to put some slits along one of the long sides of
each of them and then interlock the two to create a wider pad (I saw
that on a post somewhere and it looked like a great idea). These pads
are sort of tacky feeling, so maybe they will just be inside the
hammock with me and the DAM, I don't know yet if they will stay put or
not. These will replace the pad extender, 1/4 inch CCF pad and wings.
I like the idea of the DAM and the CCF pads, because while it is bulky
and the DAM is a chore to inflate, it is lightweight and I can use
both to go to ground if needed. It is also a lot of lofted and
closed-cell insulation underneath me.
Good luck, and test your gear out!