Hammocks are your best friend when you’re out on a camping trip. But there are just so many options to choose from, here’s how to pick one just for you. Be it a parachute hammock or a backpacking hammock, you won’t regret your decision bringing along a hammock. Why choose a heavy tent when you have the option of a comfortable yet lightweight shelter?
The gentle swaying of your hammock rocked by the cool breeze,. You’re engaged with the novel in your hands – all in the comfort of the outdoors. How can this get any better?
But what if the weather is too cold; would you still want to enjoy being in your hammock and reading that interesting book of yours? No worries, you can still have the comforts of a hammock even with a bit of a chill. With some readily available options, the winter chill can no longer hinder your desire for relaxation or even adventure. For a new hanger, they’ll soon learn that insulation below is just as, if not more important than, your insulation on top. Don’t wait till fall or winter to learn this lesson! Let’s go through some options that will literally save your butt.
Closed-cell foam pads called as CCF Pads are an affordable and durable way to keep you comfortable on a chilly day. It acts as barrier between you and the cold wind. The light weight pad is directly placed in the hammock and you can lay directly over it. The pads may wrinkle to bend tot he shape of the hammock, so some people find this a bit uncomfortable. It’s a very lightweight option, but CCF pads don’t compact. So they stay bulky even when rolled or folded up. But rain or shine, these affordable pads will definitely get the job done. Even if there’s no trees to hang your hammock, you’ll have a pad to insulate you from the ground. The Therm-a-Rest Ridgerest SOlite Sleeping pad is our preferred foam pad.
Undercover or underquilt is a wind proof quilt that hangs under your hammock protecting you from chilly gusts as well as trapping your body heat in. There is a wide range of options available for underquilts or undercovers in the market. Typically, these are made with down or a synthetic material. The down one’s will keep you warmer, are lighter, compact smaller but are also more costly. Synthetic down on the other hand, are much more affordable, but may be a bit bulkier and heavier. With an underquilt, you can sleep directly on the hammock, which allows for a more comfortable sleep. A popular synthetic underquilt is the Jarbidge River Synthetic underquilt. If you’re in the market for a higher end, down underquilt, we recommend the Hammock Gear Incubators.
Inflatable pads are a compact and portable option. They are easy to inflate mats which offer you protection from cold and wind while enjoying your night in a hammock. They are made with high quality material yet can compact down to the size of a water bottle. They can be placed directly on the hammock or some sleeping bags even have pad pockets that will keep your pad in place. If you are carrying one of these as your guard against cold, make sure you don’t forget the repair kit. There’s nothing worse than a leaky inflatable pad, trust us!
Sleeping bags can also be used in place of bottom insulation when it’s not too chilly out. But the bottom portion of your sleeping bag will be compressed and will lose some insulation when you sleep on it. It is also a widely used option and could work out great on summer nights. Topquilts are a favorite for hammockers. Because the bottom of a sleeping bag gets compressed, it provides almost little insulation. Top quilts are just like a sleeping bag without the unnecessary underside – cutting the weight down to a few ounces! Our favorite insulation combo would be the top quilt and underquilt bundle.
So, you have your perfect hammock, you’ve picked your rain protection, and now you can take on any chill. Get out and explore!