Anyone who has ever spent the night in a hammock in somewhat cooler temperatures knows that at some point your back starts to feel the cold. This is because when lying in a hammock, the body presses all the insulating air layers flat. Whether with a sleeping bag or with a jacket, there is hardly any warming air left between the body and the thin hammock bottom. This allows cold to penetrate from the outside.
Underquilt – here’s how the thermal insulation works:
An underquilt (a kind of sleeping bag) is not placed in the hammock, but hung underneath it. This creates an air cushion that serves as thermal insulation. When attaching an underquilt, you should therefore make sure that it does not fit too tightly against the hammock.
Advantages of an underquilt compared with a sleeping bag:
• Protection against cold from below
An underquilt hangs freely and forms a warming air cushion. On the other hand, the underside of the sleeping bag loses its warming function because it is flattened.
• Saving space in the rucksack
An underquilt has only about half the volume of a sleeping bag. Since the underside of the sleeping bag is non-functional, you can save this extra volume.
• Reduced weight
In contrast to the sleeping bag, you not only save the weight of the lower fabric part, but also that of the zip and possibly a sleeping bag hood.
• Easy to get into your hammock
An underquilt hangs below the hammock and does not interfere with getting into the hammock. On the other hand, it is very inconvenient getting into the hammock in a sleeping bag legs first.
How to warm yourself in a hammock from above:
So with an underquilt you are protected from below. For protection against the cold from above, there is a special solution that both saves weight and is more comfortable when getting into your hammock. A TOPQUILT is a kind of sleeping bag without a back part, with an integrated foot sack.
Instead of an underquilt, you can also use an insulating mat in the compartment of your hammock to protect you from the cold. Find out here about the advantages this offers.