While camping, you need proper insulation to keep yourself warm by sleeping in a hammock. To compensate for warmth when sleeping in a hammock, you can either carry an inflatable or closed-cell foam sleeping bag, top quilt, or an under quilt.
However, a top quilt can function as a sleeping bag because it is a minimalist sleeping with an open back without a hood and zippers.
Both top quilt and underquilt were designed for hammock camping to provide insulation, but one is superior, depending on their versatility and convenience. For this reason, let’s take a close between a top quilt and underquilt and debate the benefits of each one.
This is used under your hammock and offers bottom insulation. It does not surround your whole body and thus can replace a sleeping bag. Moreover, similar materials make the under quilt and the sleeping bag. The under quilt provides insulation by an air gap which prevents the person’s weight from crushing it.
Various designs exist for the under quilts, such as full-length, leg pad, and torso-length. Preference depends on simplicity and full insulation. Some may contain zippers, thus facilitating maximum insulation. It can be used alongside a top quilt when it is extremely cold.
It is an advanced sleeping bag that lacks zippers and a hood. It is used on top of the hammock for warmth. Top quilts are light and thus cheap. Their weight also facilitates easy packing. They are comfortable, and it is easy to create a flow of air when it is hot. When the climate changes to cold, one can quilt down the open vent, thus generating warmth.
A top quilt is like a blanket that does not cover your whole body. A sleeping bag can therefore be used alongside the top quilt. If they are used together, a warmer sleeping bag should be used.
Benefits Of Underquilt Over A Top Quilt
An underquilt is vital for hammock camping while sleeping because it provides benefits that you should consider over a top quilt. They include;
Versatile for any Geographical Location and Season
Underquilts are more expensive than a top quilt. They are purposely designed to insulate the heat and prevent it from escaping underneath your body while sleeping in a hammock. Besides, you can also adjust it to suit different temperature ranges depending on geographical location and season. Because if the temperature is too warm, it can be your whole sleeping system while using it, along with a light blanket or sheet. If the temperature is too cold, like in spring or autumn, you can use it along with a sleeping bag for a cozy temperature to combat the cold.
They are Incredibly Comfortable
More than the comfort of being suspended in the air, underquilts are incredibly comfortable because it aligns with the hammock system. Due to this, it eliminates the need for scooting or twisting around in your hammock in the middle of the night to find proper alignment to prevent heat loss. Besides, it is not necessary to carry a heavy blanket or sleeping bag to make your experience much bulkier. But with underquilt, you can quickly get away with a light blanket or sheet without twisting around in the hammock.
Effective in Keeping your Back and Bottom Warm
Sleeping in a hammock while the wind is blowing possibility of developing Cold-Butt Syndrome is high in the middle of the night. Sleeping on an air gap underneath your hammock prevents wind from stealing heat generated from your body, especially your butt and back.
Why you Settle for a Top Quilt
A top quilt also has advantages over the underquilt that make you settle for it. They include;
Nowadays, top quilts are getting more common because they are more budget-friendly than the cost of acquiring an underquilt. Nonetheless, materials used to make a top quilt are fewer and can be found at a cheaper cost than an underquilt or sleeping bag.
They are Versatile and Portable
Since it doesn’t have a zipper, you can easily create a vent for airflow, sleep with your legs out and use it as a blanket by dropping the quilt over you. Besides, it is also lightweight and compressible and thus saving you space because you can compress to enhance portability. Nonetheless, you can also use it with underquilt to protect you against too cold a temperature.
It is Straightforward
Using a top quilt is a straightforward process than using an underquilt. It takes practice to learn how to use and sleep in a hammock system, but a top quilt is not complicated, making it fair when it comes to sleeping in it.
Which One Wins
Conclusively, if you intend to hammock in warm and cold temperature environments, it would be best to invest in underquilt. That’s because it is versatile to both extreme temperatures as you can use it along with either a lighter or heavy blanket. With an underquilt, it is not necessary to use a top quilt in a warmer environment or season because it does not offer bottom protection.
Due to these reasons, an underquilt has a more significant impact on comfort and provides effective insulation, provided you settle for a premium underquilt. Besides, it eliminates the need to carry extra gears like you need when using a top quilt. Furthermore, they are ideal for side sleepers because they eliminate the need for twisting in the hammock to find the proper alignment like you would when using a top quilt.