Posted on

How to stay warm in a hammock: Part 2 (Sleeping bags & Sleeping pads)

How to Stay Warm in a Hammock: Part 2

So last week we discussed how to stay warm in a hammock using underquilts and topquilts (if you missed last weeks post find it here). Today we are going to determine the pros and cons of staying warm with sleeping bags and sleeping pads. Read on to learn more!

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are an excellent choice for staying warm in your hammock. When choosing which sleeping bag is right for you there are a few things to consider.

First, temperature rating. Every sleeping bag has a recommended temperature rating. For summer camping a 32 degree bag or above should be enough while winter camping requires a bag rated 10 degrees or below. Depending on where you camp and what season, you should choose a sleeping bag with the appropriate temperature rating. 

Next, thing to consider is the type of insulation. There is down, synthetic, or a mix of the both. Down insulation is great for a cold, dry environment. Synthetic is best for wet environments. 

Finally, weight is the last consideration. If you plan on backpacking, you will want to keep the weight of your sleeping bag low. If not, you may want a  heavier bag for additional comfort. 

Hint: You may want to also want to try a sleeping bag liner for additional warmth.

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: There are tons of different options at any price range so you are sure to find exactly what you need.
  • Pro: It requires no set up, it can be very light and portable, and comes together in one bag.
  • Con: Because your weight compresses the insulation on your underside, it does not retain heat well. If you decide on a sleeping bag you may need to add a sleeping pad to your purchase to keep your backside warm.
  • Con: It may not keep you as warm as a topquilt, underquilt set-up.

Sleeping Pads

There are two kinds of sleeping pads. Foam pads and inflatable pads. It largely depends on personal preferences.

Foam pads are very light weight, however they are large and bulky to transport. You can find them almost anywhere for a very low cost. They require no set up and are very durable. One of the best benefits is that unlike the inflatable pads they cannot pop. 

Inflatable pads can be very comfortable. They provide a warm air barrier between you and your hammock. They have some self-inflating options, or you can inflate them yourself. They can either be filled with air or some have insulation as well. 

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: This is the lowest cost way to stay warm-er in your hammock. 
  • Pro: There are many options at many price ranges, so you could spend as much or as little to get what you want.
  • Pro: It works! With a sleeping pad you will be much warmer in your hammock, no question.
  • Con: If you choose the inflatable sleeping pad it may require some set-up. It also may pop and be useless.  
  • Con: If your sleeping pad shifts at night you will be exposed to the cold. You are not as free to move around so you may be less comfortable at night. 
  • Con: It is another thing to bring along, it can add additional weight when backpacking.

Conclusion

  1. Combining any of these 4 sleeping solutions will allow for maximum warmth.
  2. When it comes to sleeping warm in your hammock, everyone is different. You may prefer a different set up, and that’s great! We want to hear what works best for you. 
  3. In general, the underquilt and topquilt set-up should keep you the warmest in your hammock.
  4. Know when not to go out. Even if you are prepared for the conditions, ease into winter hammocking. Be prepared to pack up camp if it gets too cold.

No matter what you choose to stay warm in your hammock, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, underquilt, or topquilt, we hope you enjoy your winter hammocking. Happy hanging!