If you love the great outdoors and sleeping underneath the stars, a hammock is the only piece of camping equipment that could allow you to experience that to the fullest extent.
However, when the colder months roll around, and the sun goes down, without additional gear that will keep you warm, your experience will end up being less than enjoyable. The thing about hammocks is that they lack any insulation, leaving your underside exposed to the cold weather.
That’s where the best hammock underquilt comes in – a massive upgrade from the standard sleeping bag and pad combos, and the most effective option for hammock insulation!
Table of Contents
- Why Buy a Hammock Underquilt?
- Top 3 Hammock Underquilts
- Top 5 Hammock Underquilts in 2019
- How To Pick The Best Hammock Underquilt: Buying Guide
- Final Thoughts and Recommendations
Why Buy a Hammock Underquilt?
The best hammock underquilt will be an absolute must-have if you want to avoid CBS – the dreaded “Cold Butt Syndrome.”
It’s silly, and you can laugh all you want. However, if you’ve ever spent a chilly night outside, you’ll know that what we’re talking about here is no laughing matter.
Besides, there are a few more notable advantages to opting for an underquilt as your go-to insulation method:
Top 3 Hammock Underquilts
Top 5 Hammock Underquilts in 2019
We figured we should start our round-up with the best hammock underquilt – the ENO Ember. We couldn’t wait to show you this fantastic, little piece of camping equipment.
Plus, we thought it would be nice if you had something to compare the other models with as you make your final choice.
The Ember is a synthetic-based product with polyester insulation. It comes with a 40D rip-stop nylon shell and the 30D nylon taffeta lining, both with water-repellent finishes, ensuring both warmth and durability. The DWR coating may repel water, but you’ll still need the best hammock tarp for rainy nights, though.
What takes the ENO’s performance to the next level is the hammock-specific cut. It’s designed to fit snugly around your hammock, so that it protects not only the bottom but the sides, too, from any sudden onsets of wind or cold.
Oh, and another noteworthy feature is its lightweight design. It weighs only 25 ounces, which is a welcome surprise considering its eight by four-feet dimensions.
If there’s one thing to complain about, it’s the not-so-low temperature rating. It’s rated at 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and while it does hold its ground in cold weather, it’s far from suitable for winter months. Keep that in mind if you’re a fan of winter-time camping.
Our round-up of the best hammock underquilts continues with a high-quality, multi-functional model designed by Outdoor Vitals – and easily one of the most versatile options on the market, too.
Besides being a camping hammock underquilt, thanks to its versatile design, it boasts three other potential uses. Depending on how it’s set up, it functions as a single or double sleeping bag, a technical blanket, or a hammock pod system.
The Outdoor Vitals has a low-temperature rating of 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it an excellent addition to your winter hammock camping gear.
And even though it provides exceptional insulation, it’s still relatively lightweight, weighing a little over two pounds. The secret is in the combination of light, yet durable materials:
The underquilt features a 20D rip-stop nylon shell, complete with the VitalDry DWR coating, to ensure that you’ll stay warm and dry, despite what the weather conditions are. Inside, you’ll find the 800+ power natural down fill, also covered with a hydrophobic coating, which makes it resistant to water and condensation.
Besides the minor issue of it not including any hanging instructions, we don’t have much to complain about here. We love the concept, and we highly recommend it – as an underquilt, that is.
OneTigris is a well-known brand in the world of camping equipment – and the Night Protector is yet another addition to their already impressive lineup of high-quality products.
Plus, it won’t cost you a small fortune – it’s one of the more budget-friendly options on our list.
It’s made from synthetic materials inside and out. The SEE polyester fill is encased in the 20D rip-stop nylon shell with a high-quality DWR coating, which gives the underquilt its water-repelling properties.
It measures 7.9 by 4 feet when fully extended, but compresses neatly into the included stuff sack. And considering that it weighs a mere 28 ounces, it qualifies as lightweight and compact, too.
The official temperature rating of this underquilt is between 68 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s meant to handle temperature drops rather well. If you want a three-season hammock camping companion to keep you warm, this one should be right up your alley.
One downside of the Night Protector is that it isn’t contoured as some other models you’ll see today. That could result in it feeling a bit stiff against your body. However, it’s affordable, easy to use, and offers optimal insulation, so it's a trade-off we’re willing to take.
Another option worth considering – and a reasonably priced one, too – is The Adventure Under Quilt by Go Outfitters.
Let’s start with the basics – the materials used in its construction. The outer shell features 210T rip-stop polyester that boasts water and wind-resistant properties. You’ll find the breathable 210T polyester liner on the inside, as well.
And even though synthetic fills sometimes fail to live up to their temperature ratings compared to natural down, the Max Loft synthetic insulation held its ground rather well. We’re confident in its performance enough to recommend pushing its 20-degree temperature rating to the limit.
However, what makes it unique is its fitted design with a permanent foot box, rather than the standard, go-to rectangular shape. Instead of having to make all the adjustments yourself, you can rely on its design to ensure a snug fit throughout the night.
At the same time, it’s surprisingly spacious, allowing for a genuinely diagonal body position – the key to staying comfortable while sleeping in a hammock. We highly recommend it to taller individuals.
Others, however, might find it hard to deal with all that “extra” material, so be sure to keep the 81-inch by 52-inch dimensions in mind.
Last, but not least, we’d like to give you an insulating option for your double hammock. You and your sleeping partner can’t rely solely on each other for warmth, now, can you?
And before you get a chance to ask, yes, the Shield Cradle has a lot to offer besides the spacious, 8.2 feet by 5.6 feet design.
The outer shell is constructed out of 20D rip-stop nylon, has a DWR coating, and on the inner side of the underquilt, you’ll find the pongee lining of a 300T polyester. The secret is in the insulation, though – and that’s where the SEE polyester fill comes in and steals the show.
Overall, not only does it help retain heat and keep you warm but acts as a wind and water repellent, as well!
The “winter-friendly” version of this model has a rating for temperatures between 41 and 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Based on our experience, it does live up to that rating.
And while we appreciate that it comes with a four-point stuff sack, we couldn’t help but notice how bulky it is, even when fully compressed.
However, we don’t consider that to be a deal-breaker – this is a double hammock underquilt, after all. It’s not fair to compare it to those designed for single-sized hammocks.
How To Pick The Best Hammock Underquilt: Buying Guide
You’ve seen what’s out there, so, now it’s time to answer that question that probably kept bugging you while you were reading our reviews:
How do you pick the best hammock underquilt for your needs?
Here are the four vital factors to keep in mind as you narrow down your choices:
1. Material and Insulation
First of all, you’ll have to consider the materials used in the construction of your hammock underquilt.
High-quality rip-stop nylon shell, especially one that features water-repellant coating, such as DWR, is a highly recommended option.
Next, you should check the insulating material. Your choice here boils down to two options that are commonly found in sleeping bags, as well – synthetic and down.
Most underquilts you’ll come across will weigh somewhere between one and four pounds, depending on their size, materials, and insulation type. And as with any other piece of camping gear, weight matters – a lot.
Always go with a lighter option – given that you’re not compromising insulation in the process, that is – as it will be easier to pack and carry. If you’re expecting extremely harsh weather and freezing temperatures, though, go with whatever feels warmer – weight should probably be the last thing on your mind.
Although they generally feature the same basic, rectangular shape, complete with shock cord suspension that allows you to adjust the underquilt to the contours of your body, not all of them end up being a perfect fit for all camping hammocks.
Since the key to retaining warmth is eliminating gaps between your hammock and your underquilt, finding one that is an appropriate fit is more important than you think:
It plays an essential – yet often overlooked – role in determining the efficiency of the underquilt itself, as well as your comfort level.
4. Temperature Rating
Just like a sleeping bag, each hammock underquilt will come with a temperature rating. It’s a range of temperatures that it will perform the best in, including both the lower and the upper sleeping temperature limit.
Your choice comes down to two options – three or four-season ratings.
If you plan on going camping in the harsh winter weather, we highly recommend that you get an underquilt rated for around 15 degrees below the lowest temperature you’re expecting to encounter. That way, you’ll have a “buffer zone” to compensate for any unexpected temperature drops or inaccurate ratings.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
How to find the best hammock underquilt? Take the time to access your needs and camping habits. Once you get that part down, sorting out the rest of the factors – including materials, weight, and fit – will be a piece of cake.
The ENO (Eagles Nest Outfitters) Ember Hammock UnderQuilt does check out all the boxes – and if you ask us, it’s worth giving a shot!
- KEEP WARM IN WINTER: With polyester insulation and a hammock specific cut, our UnderQuilt surrounds your hammock sides and bottom, protecting you from sudden cold snaps
- FAST, EASY SETUP: Adjustable shock cords allow you to set up quickly for more time nestled in toasty goodness; Works perfectly with our DoubleNest or SingleNest hammock
- WARM, DRY PROTECTION: 40D Ripstop Nylon shell and 30D Nylon Taffeta lining with water repellent finishes; Add the Spark TopQuilt for a 40-50 degree temperature rating
- WINTER-READY: Protection at a lightweight 25 ounces that conveniently folds down into a 6.5" by 12" bag and extends to an impressive 8' by 4' (perfect for campers up to 6'6")
- COMPLETE YOUR CAMPING EXPERIENCE: With our tree-friendly Atlas Suspension System, a SingleNest or DoubleNest hammock, and a TopQuilt for comfortable camping all year long
Do you have any experiences with year-round hammock camping, and have a go-to hammock underquilt already picked out? Let us hear about them in the comment section below!