Nobody likes a cold ass when hammock camping.
Yeah, yeah. I’m sure there are folks out there who are much tougher than me. And they’ll probably say a bit of discomfort is far preferable to the weight an underquilt adds to your gear. But I actually enjoy being comfortable!
That said, I also like my gear to be lightweight, compact and easy on the wallet (if you know what I mean). Putting all those things together, I reckon most folks looking for a dedicated hammock underquilt would be hard pressed to beat OneTigris, who have a range of options including the highly-respected “Night Protector“.
Product Spotlight – An Interesting Alternative
Do you have your heart set on a dedicated hammock underquilt? If not, then you might want to check out the “Bobcat 45 Down Trail Quilt” from Kammock.
It’s a bit more expensive than some of the options in this article, but it is also extremely versatile. As well as functioning as an excellent underquilt, it can also be used as a top quilt, a poncho, a sleeping bag and a camping blanket.
It’s extremely lightweight, seriously compact and roasty, toasty warm. And its multiple uses mean that you don’t have to spring for extra gear, saving you space and probably a few dollars too.
All that said, there’s a wonderful range of options out there to suit budgets, tech specs and comfort. Join me as I take you through the best hammock underquilts for a host of different needs.
My best hammock underquilts are:
- Chill Gorilla (lightweight, comfy & great value)
- Geertop (great quality, compact and very lightweight)
- King Showden (thick, warm and great for winter hammock camping)
- ENO Ember (made for an array of ENO hammocks)
- OneTigris Shield Cradle Double Hammock Underquilt
This three-season hammock underquilt from Chill Gorilla has a temperature rating of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes with a 20D ripstop nylon shell and polyester lining, and the filling is a synthetic insulation material.
It measures 84 by 58 inches and has an oval shape. The underquilt weighs 2.9 pounds.
The Chill Gorilla underquilt is very chill but great for cold-weather camping. The high-quality ripstop nylon shell is both wind and water-resistant, so provides a comfortable temperature inside.
Unlike others, this has an oval shape, where it’s narrower at the feet and wider at the shoulders. This form allows for a tighter fit around your body to prevent that awful wind tunnel effect.
One thing that’s great about the synthetic polyester filling is that it allows you to wash the underquilt. It’s easy and quick to dry, as opposed to goose down.
Another wonderful point about this option is that it fits almost all hammocks. The included ropes and straps are effortless to attach, too.
With its oval shape and weatherproof materials, this option isn’t bad at all. The way that it shapes around your body, creating a snug fit, is a fantastic quality for cold weather camping.
Although Chill Gorilla is more budget-friendly than other brands, it still gives you a great underquilt.
As a final comment, if blue isn’t for you, it’s also available in army green.
This Geertop three-season hammock quilt consists of a 300T soft polyester pongee lining and a 20D 380T nylon plaid shell. It’s completely waterproof and has a temperature rating for between 41 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
It weighs roughly 1.87 pounds and measures 89.7 by 25.5 inches. Included is a carry sack.
The lightweight hammock underquilt by Geertop is fantastic for travelers venturing out during fall and early winter. Its lightness makes it ideal for backpackers, and it’s effortless to roll up and won’t take up much space.
Although it’s not suitable for arctic temperatures, the waterproof materials make it excellent for fall. On the inside, you can expect a heavenly sanctuary. It consists of imitation silk floss that’s soft and comfortable on the skin—you could even sleep commando if that floats your boat!
Even for hammock newbies, this underquilt is relatively straightforward to set up. On each end, there are elastic straps and bungee cord loops that you attach to your hammock. It’s also quite durable—steel carabiners will keep it secure during the night.
The size is excellent, too. For the cold nights, you can easily pair it with a hammock sleeping bag for extra insulation.
If you want a hammock underquilt that you can use from summer to early winter, this is an amazing option. It’s not too thick, making it comfortable even in warm weather, while still providing comfort.
I’m amazed by the materials. The imitation silk floss is supposedly super soft against skin. I’d also like to applaud how easy the setup is, which is ideal if you’re a newbie.
If you’re in the market for an ultralight underquilt and you’ve got the budget, you should probably also have a look at the Outdoor Vitals Aerie. It’s a beautiful bit of kit with down insulation and DWR coating. No cheap! But a truly awesome, versatile underquilt.
This lightweight King Showden Hammock Underquilt weighs 1.875 pounds and has a temperature rating for between 23 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
It consists of a 20D ripstop polyester taffeta shell with a waterproof treatment. The lining is a 240T soft pongee and a hollow cotton filling.
The underquilt measures 92.4 by 48 inches. Included is a carrying bag.
Hammocks aren’t always optimal for restless sleepers who move a lot during the night—luckily, this option might be a solution. Its loose design adapts to the user’s position—you can turn, sit up and curl together. Also, the durable elastic buckles are easy to adjust, and give according to your body weight.
You can quickly install it since it suits standard-sized hammocks snugly, which helps immerse you in the materials. Both ends include a split design, making it easy to attach the carabines, keeping it secure.
It’s also one of the warmer examples on this list. The high-quality materials are waterproof and coated with a water-repellent coating. The cotton filling works effectively at preserving the temperature to provide a warm feeling all over.
For a lightweight yet ultra-warm hammock underquilt, you can’t go wrong with the King Showden. It’s excellent for fall and early winter, and the snug fit on the hammock will hug your body in the right places, keeping you warm.
I’m happy to have found an amazing option for folks who move about in their sleep. It’ll move with your body and adjust to your position.
I’ll say that, for extreme winter camping, make sure you bring more layers. This product won’t be sufficient on its own.
Once again, if you don’t mind splashing a bit of cash, I highly recommend looking at the Outdoor Vitals Aerie 5 in 1 Down Sleeping Bag. It a really cool design (and yes, it can be used as either a sleeping bag or a hammock underquilt) and if you haven’t experienced the sheer joy of sleeping in down, then you’ve been missing out all these years!
The ENO Ember Hammock Underquilt comes with a 30D nylon taffeta lining and 40D ripstop nylon shell. It has a high loft polyester filling and measures 96 by 48 inches with a weight of 1.56 pounds. It’s recommended for temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit with a compatible top quilt.
Year-round hammock camping has become the outdoorsy trend of the century, to which the Ember Hammock Underquilt is a good fit. It comes with weatherproof materials that work to keep you dry and warm should the sky turn gray.
The snug fit will hug your body, providing outstanding comfort while in the middle of nature. The underquilt cradles the user from top to bottom, protecting you from sudden cold snaps. Also, the wonderful polyester filling will trap heat, keeping you warm from the backside and in.
Considering the materials used, it’s incredibly light and ideal for backpackers and hikers. Included is a carry bag, and when wrapped up, it measures only 6.5 by 12 inches. Once set up, it’s suitable for campers with a height of up to 6.6 feet.
Getting it ready is a breeze with the adjustable shock cords that attach to the hammock. Although it’s compatible with most, ENO recommends pairing it with its DoubleNest or SingleNest options.
The ENO Ember Underquilt is amazing for year-round camping. It’s not too warm for late summer and will preserve your heat through the cold autumn. It will also suit your needs during winter, but bring a top quilt for extra protection.
The easy assembly is great, and the shock cords are effortless to adjust according to your settings. The only issue I have is that ENO offers a lot of useful features, such as Atlast Straps, which are sold separately — I wish they were included!
The OneTigris hammock underquilt is a three-season option. It’s composed of a SEE polyester insulation and a 20D ripstop nylon shell with a durable water-repellent coating. It has a length of 93 inches with a width of 48 inches and weighs 2.125 pounds.
It’s fit for temperatures ranging from 40 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and comes with a stuff sack.
Whether you’re a big guy or share your hammock with a partner, this option is worth a look. The extra-large size is suitable for double, asymmetrical and large hammocks. Being so large means you can also lay on it diagonally.
You’ll sleep snug as a bug with this model. It consists of a waterproof and windproof exterior, stuffed with thick insulation, allowing you to use it from summer through fall. It’ll fit snugly in standard-sized double hammocks, which further boosts its warm properties. As OneTigris puts it, no more CBS (cold butt syndrome) — I love that!
And if you’re still concerned about the cold (and have the space) you can always pack a double sleeping bag as well.
It’s not the lightest, which may suggest it’s not for avid backpackers who want to travel as light as possible. Still, there’s a stuff sack included, which is ideal for easy transport.
If you have a large hammock or a double, then I highly recommend this option from OneTigris. It’s roomy, yet snug, and will keep you warm when it’s getting cold out.
However, it’s not fit for hardcore winter camping. Luckily, there’s the winter version — OneTigris Winter Shield Cradle — that can withstand temperatures down to 23 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a better option if you’re going out during the height of winter (with or without the double sleeping bag).
The four-season ayamaya Hammock Underquilt comes with a 20D ripstop nylon shell, covered with a DWR coating. Inside are a 300T polyester lining and imitation silk floss for filling. It’s rated for temperatures between 20 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
The underquilt measures 89.7 by 43.3 inches and weighs 1.98 pounds.
Aya-my—this underquilt is outstanding. The premium materials used aren’t only resistant to wear and tear; they’ll preserve the quality for longer.
Similarly to the Geertop underquilt, it comes with a soft imitation silk filling that gives it a cloud-like effect. It’s fantastic if you prefer sleeping in something more comfortable. The insulation is also warm, protecting you from cold snaps.
This option may not protect you from the next polar vortex event, but it will keep you warm down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It hugs your body, preserving all the heat and sending it back to you.
For a single underquilt, it’s quite broad, which works to wrap the sides of your hammock. This, in turn, adds to the comfort, creating a cocoon-like effect. There’s also ample room for a thick sleeping bag.
With elastic straps and bungee cord loops, the setup is secure, too. If you prefer extra assurance, ayamaya also included two large carabines. The process is straightforward and can be done in a couple of minutes.
What’s more, this option is perfect for transporting. It comes with a compression stuff sack, conforming the underquilt to a compact size.
The ayamaya underquilt is fantastic for winter camping. It won’t keep up with frigid temperatures alone, but if you pair it with other winter equipment, it’ll do fine.
One thing I’m appreciative of is the included carabines for when extra security is needed.
The Outdoor Skye Lightweight Hammock Underquilt is for temperatures ranging between 41 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a length of 94.8 by 48 inches and weighs 2 pounds.
It consists of a 190T polyester shell and a hollow 190T cotton filling. The underquilt comes with a carrying bag.
Autumn is one of the best seasons for camping—the weather is crisp, and the colors are stunning. Outdoor Skye has brought us a fantastic underquilt for this season—it’s both warm and water-repellent.
The polyester shell prevents rain from seeping in and soaking your backside. Then, the 300g hollow cotton filling keeps you warm during the night. You can even use it as a blanket on its own if you’re feeling chilly.
I really like how easy this one is to set up—it includes durable cords and fits most standard-sized hammocks. Although the 2-pound weight is just edging on too much, it packs down into a compact carry bag. But, if you’re hauling more gear, I don’t recommend it for backpacking.
The Outdoor Skye Lightweight Hammock Underquilt is great in many ways, though not as light as hoped. Still, if you’re going to travel during fall, this would make a fantastic companion. The thick filling and water-repellent shell provide stellar protection from the elements.
The Twilight Trekker by OneTigris consists of a 20D ripstop nylon shell, coated with DWR layer. Underneath this, there’s a SEE polyester filling and 300T polyester pongee lining. It weighs 3.1 pounds and measures 98.4 by 55.2 inches.
The Twilight Trekker is a winter underquilt with some outstanding features.
It’s significantly broader than some of the other OneTigris underquilts—this allows you to sleep in different positions without feeling too constricted. Also, its self-adjusting design consisting of elastic ropes enables it to move with your body and adapt accordingly.
The materials will hug you to eliminate any cold spot, keeping you toasty from head to toe. It’s also wider at the top to accommodate your shoulders.
The polyester filling is impressive. It collects heat and preserves it to make a warm bed, and will repel moisture in case you should sweat. This option is also versatile—you can use it as a blanket if you’re camping in a tent or lodge.
It’s not the lightest, but it’s easy to set up and take down again. It comes with sturdy bungee cords that attach to your hammock, and the included stuff sack is ideal for when you’re ready to move.
I’m really impressed with the Twilight Trekker. From the weatherproof materials to the way it adjusts to the body make it an outstanding option. It will undoubtedly ensure that you’re warm during a cold night.
It has other uses, too—for example, as a blanket or something to sit on during lunch. The only drawback is the weight—it’s the heaviest on this list.
What Is a Hammock Underquilt?
Underquilts offer bottom insulation similarly to sleeping pads, but for hammocks, instead. You suspend them underneath your bed, where it will protect you from the cold, and although you can use them year-round, they’re best during fall and early winter where it’s cold.
Underquilts usually consist of sleeping bag insulation, which can be either:
- Synthetic insulation, such as polyester.
The good thing about these awesome products is that they don’t get compressed under your weight as a sleeping bag does.
Why You Need a Hammock Underquilt
What many cold-weather campers realize too late is that hammocks and sleeping bags aren’t always an ideal match. You may think that the thickness of the sleeping bag will suffice. However, if yours has compressible insulation, such as down or hollow polyester, you’ll lose an inch or two once you lay down.
Once you lose this layer, the air pockets disappear, which prevents the material from trapping any heat. Thus, parts of the sleeping bag will remain cold, potentially resulting in a miserable night’s sleep.
Insulation underneath you is imperative when camping. Even in higher temperatures, your backside is likely to feel uncomfortably cold within a couple of hours.
If you don’t want an underquilt, you can use a double-layer hammock or a sleeping pad. However, sleeping pads don’t always fit, and you may slip during your sleep.
How to Find the Best Hammock Underquilt
The best underquilts aren’t exactly a cheap investment, so it’s important to make sure you get the best from these features:
- Shell material.
- Temperature rating
- Suspension system.
The shell material is often the first thing I look at since it gives an idea of the overall quality. For hammock underquilts, you mostly have a choice between polyester and nylon. Let’s break it down:
Many tend to prefer polyester over nylon for camping gear. The greatest benefit of this material is that it doesn’t absorb water or moisture, so you can keep your underquilt up during rain.
Another thing many like to do is coat it with silicone to create something called Silpoly. This combo makes it water and windproof, which is perfect for hammock camping.
Downsides to polyester are that it isn’t very stretchy or durable. It’s very susceptible to wear and tear, which is why you should focus on the density rating, for example, 60D polyester. Anything above 50D will suffice.
Nylon and ripstop nylon are very common materials. Ripstop is the best to choose as it’s the most durable type of nylon and won’t tear as easily. Another great benefit is that it doesn’t absorb odors and is quite elastic.
The biggest con, however, is that it absorbs water, which isn’t fun to return to after a long day. To combat this, you can treat it with a silicone coat to make it water-resistant and sturdier.
Insulation is what’s going to keep you warm, so it’s important to understand. Here, you generally have synthetics and down to choose from.
Synthetic is conventional insulation for most hammock underquilts. Although it can be heavy, it excels when it’s cold and raining. Because of the way it’s manufactured, it’s fantastic at preserving heat, even when wet.
Down is a fantastic material—if only clear skies are on the perimeter, though. It doesn’t do well in wet conditions as it loses its warming abilities.
However, if you’re camping in a dry area where rain isn’t likely to occur, down is great. It’s lightweight and packs down easily without creating a bulky mess.
The size is essential to consider—you want to make sure it fits you as well as your hammock.
Look at the width and length. Some hammock underquilts will only cover half of your body, and some only cover a quarter. I’ve only included full-length underquilts.
An excellent detail to look for is one that’s wider at the shoulders and narrow by the feet. This will hug your body, preventing wind from seeping in.
If you’re going to camp out during the winter, the temperature rating is a vital point to look at. This temperature rating indicates what temperatures the underquilt is suitable for, which you may recognize from looking at suitable sleeping bags.
To make it just a bit more complicated, manufacturers use two types of ratings—comfort and limit. Most of my list states a comfort rating, which indicates the lowest temperature at which it can keep you warm.
The limit rating shows the lowest temperature where the underquilt can protect you while you’re curled up in a ball. This isn’t ideal to use as your primary target point—try to match the comfort rating with the lowest temperature you may face.
Another thing to consider is if you sleep warm or cold. I’m like a radiator when I sleep, so someone like me could easily do with an appropriate comfort limit. If you’re a cold sleeper, subtract 10 degrees Fahrenheit from the lowest temperature you’ll face to ensure you’ll stay warm.
Hammock underquilts with a 20 to 30-degree Fahrenheit comfort rating are generally enough for most people for three-season use. If you’re a hardcore winter enthusiast, go with something lower, such as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Proper Suspension System
Underquilts sit under your hammock to protect you, so it’s important that the suspension system is easy to sort out. Look for systems such as:
- Shock cord
- Cord locks
These allow you to attach it to the hammock as well as the sides.
I always stress the weight point—when you’re traveling, ideally, you’d want to be as light as possible. If you’re a serious backpacker, avoid underquilts that weigh more than 2 pounds. Of course, this can be difficult seeing that many of the options for winter weigh more due to the added insulation. So, consider where you can make sacrifices.
How to Set up a Hammock Underquilt
Setting up a hammock underquilt is surprisingly easy. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll take you less than 10 minutes. Of course, always consult the included instructions for your specific underquilt. Here are some general guidelines:
- Unpack: Start by unpacking the underquilt and let it puff up after being stored.
- Ends: While it’s recovering, locate the ends. Some have specific ends for the shoulders and feet, so place it accordingly.
- Attach: Connect each end to the respective ends of your hammock. Use the included shock cord, carabines and cord locks that the manufacturer recommends.
- Line up: Adjust the underquilt forward and backward to get the loftiest part directly underneath where you’ll sleep.
- Adjust: Get into your hammock and tweak the underquilt where needed. You want to ensure that your underneath is covered from head to toe.
- Avoid drafts: Tweak the elastic bands around the feet and shoulder area to eliminate any room for drafts.
Can You Use a Sleeping Bag as an Underquilt?
A good underquilt is a pricey investment, so you’re not alone when considering to save your money and buy a second sleeping bag. However, this isn’t ideal.
In theory, yes, it could work just fine if you find a way to attach it underneath your hammock. But, sleeping bags are heavy, which means you’ll be dragging a lot more weight. Another thing is that underquilts are specifically designed for such tasks and will undoubtedly keep you warm.
If you’re going hammock camping, a vital piece of equipment is an underquilt to keep you comfortable. The best hammock underquilt is the Chill Gorilla Hammock Underquilt—it’s durable, easy to install and it has room to spare.
Keeping warm while camping is imperative—even during the summer, the nights can get cold. Look for the best materials—if rain is on the forecast, choose a polyester shell and synthetic filling. Ensure that the size is right for you and that the temperature rating is sufficient. My top choice fits all of these aspects really well!
Are hammock underquilts worth it?
Yes, on the whole hammock underquilts are worth it. Cheap hammock underquilts might not be worth it, but a good one certain can be. If you are new to hammock camping, it might be worth using a sleeping bag at first or borrowing a friends underquilt before making an investment.
Do I need a hammock underquilt in summer?
You might need a hammock underquilt in summer. It depends where your summer is! You probably do want want if you are summer camping in the northern states. In the southern states, it’s perhaps less necessary.
Do you need an underquilt for hammock camping?
No, you don’t need an underquilt for hammock camping, although it is the preference of many campers to use one. Alternatives include a sleeping pad or a sleeping bag. Everything has it’s pros and cons…