Sleeping in a hammock is a great way to enhance your next camping experience. A hammock keeps you off the ground to prevent the earth from bringing down your body temperature.
However, if your adventures are taking place on a chilly night, you might start shivering unless you have protection in the form of a hammock top quilt. You can use a hammock quilt when both camping and backpacking, making it a versatile option for your four-season hammock sleeping system.
Don’t limit yourself to just adventuring through the outdoors in the summer. Feel confident enough to go hammock camping any time of year with a hammock blanket to keep you warm. Here is everything you need to know about choosing the best hammock top quilt for your setup.
Best Hammock Top Quilts Compared
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Important Top Quilt Considerations
A hammock blanket fits snugly on top of your body so you’re nestled in warmth while sleeping. Because these blankets are fitted exactly to the specifications of your hammock, you’ll have coverage in all the right areas, keeping you toasty even on frigid evenings.
Benefits of a Top Quilt vs. Sleeping Bag
You might be thinking – why wouldn’t I just use my sleeping bag to keep me warm? That’s a valid question. Here are some of the reasons why top quilts trump standard sleeping bags.
- Designed Specifically for use in Hammocks – They are lined with insulation in all the right places to ensure you’re warm during the night. For example, they will have more protection on the top, because that is where you’ll be open to the air, and less on the bottom, as your hammock underquilt, will cover that region.
- Easier to Get in and Out – Because a top quilt was designed for a hammock, it has an opening that is far easier to get out of than your sleeping bag. There are usually also no zippers, so you won’t have to desperately try to unzip yourself in the dark when you wake up in the middle of the night to pee.
- Compress Smaller – If you’re going on a backpacking trip, this is a huge benefit. You need to conserve all possible space, so cutting back wherever you can is crucial.
- Less Costly – If you’ve ever shopped for a sleeping bag, you know that quality ones can almost reach a thousand dollars. Top quilts are nowhere near that expensive. In fact, you can snag a quality top quilt for anywhere between $45 and $400.
You generally have the choice of two different shell materials in your hammock top quilt: ripstop nylon and polyester. Both are lightweight and resistant to shrinking and wrinkling. However, they do have some key differences.
Ripstop nylon is reinforced with thicker threads to prevent ripping or tearing, which is great if you need extreme durability for your blanket. It’s also extremely lightweight, which is great for backpackers.
The key benefit of polyester is that it stretches less. This means it won’t sag or bunch up if you get it wet. If it does happen to rain on your trip, polyester dries fast and doesn’t weigh a lot, so it’s better for all-weather camping. However, polyester does have less durability than ripstop nylon, so it might not be the best choice for serious backpackers.[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”Insulation: Synthetic vs. Natural Down”]
After narrowing down your shell, it’s time to decide on synthetic down or natural down.
Synthetic down is more common today because it’s cheap and hypoallergenic. It is also very water-resistant, which is good if you’re camping in inclement weather. However, it is a bit on the bulky side and doesn’t provide as much warmth for the added weight as natural down. Finally, it has less durability than natural down, as some of the insulating power is reduced each time you roll the blanket up and stuff it away.
Many people love natural down because it provides an amazing warmth-to-weight ratio. Backpackers especially will love the lightweight nature of the blanket. It’s also easier to smash down into a compact size without harming the insulation power. Because of this, a natural down blanket can last for many years. One of the downsides of natural down is that it completely loses its insulating power once wet. It’s also hard to clean and can irritate people with certain allergies. Finally, natural down is far more expensive than synthetic, so it might not fit into your budget.[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”Temperature Ratings”]
You need a hammock top quilt with a temperature rating that’s appropriate for the time of year you’ll be traveling. Generally, hammock blanket temperature ratings can range anywhere from 50 degrees Fahrenheit all the way down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Choose your blanket based on the lowest possible temperature you could experience while camping to ensure you never get too cold. For a three-season quilt, a blanket in the 20- to 30-degree range should be good. If you’re hammock camping in winter, you’ll need a bag that goes lower than that, and in the summer, a bag with a rating higher than that will suffice.
Keep in mind that temperature ratings are not always 100 percent accurate. Rather, they act as an acceptable temperature range of the product. For example, ENO is commonly more conservative with their ratings, so if you choose a blanket that has a 40-degree rating, you might still be comfortable in 30-degree weather.[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”Sizing & Packed Weight”]
Generally, the size of your blanket depends on the size of your hammock. If you’ve got a longer hammock, choose a blanket that will stretch the length of the hammock. If you can’t find a blanket that meets your hammock’s exact dimensions, also go for a size up. This gives you more material to drape over the side, forming a seal to keep you warm.
Backpackers also need to consider the packed weight of the hammock blankets. With lightweight materials, hammock top quilts can weigh around 20 ounces. However, heavier blankets will nearly go up to 50 ounces. The weight you choose all depends on how far you need to carry your gear.[/mks_accordion_item] [mks_accordion_item title=”Care & Cleaning”]
How to care for and clean your hammock top quilt primarily depends upon whether you select one with synthetic or natural down. For either, you’ll want to avoid washing them in a top-loading washer. If you have a lightweight shell, this process can rip the fabric.
Natural down quilts are a bit harder to clean, as they take forever to dry. Additionally, they cannot be dry cleaned, as this removes the natural oils that work as insulation. If washing them in your machine, you’ll also need to use special down detergent that is gentle on the natural materials. Otherwise, hand washing is a better choice. Finally, natural down quilts can develop lumps over time, which you’ll need to break up to ensure you still have even insulation.
Synthetic down quilts are far easier to clean, as you can wash them on a gentle cycle in your washer. You’ll still want to use a special soap instead of regular laundry detergent. You can even tumble dry the quilt so you can put it away faster. Just keep in mind, you can’t store your synthetic down quilt rolled up, as this will deteriorate the insulation.[/mks_accordion_item] [/mks_accordion]
Hammock Top Quilt Reviews
Now that you know a little more about what to look for in a top quilt, here are our top seven best hammock top quilts. Each choice is a good option for various types of campers and backpackers.
1. ENO Spark Topquilt
With a temperature rating of only 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the ENO Spark is not the three-season solution you’ve been looking for. However, if you primarily go camping in the summer, it’s the perfect choice for those cool nights up in the mountains.
- Size: 80″ x 50″
- Weight: 27 ounces
- Fill: Polyester
- Temp Rating: 50°F
Even though it has a massive size of 80″ x 50″, it’s one of the lightest choices on this list, coming in at just 27 ounces. The combination of ripstop nylon shell and synthetic polyester down is soft against your skin while repelling water, making it a great option for trips during inclement weather.
The hook-and-loop foot box with drawstring keeps you sealed while providing an easy escape. Unfortunately, sometimes the Velcro holding the foot box together comes undone, letting cool air seep in.
- 50-degree temperature rating is great from early to late summer.
- Polyester down and ripstop nylon shell repels water.
- Foot box keeps you warm when it’s functioning correctly.
2. Paria Thermodown 15° Top Quilt
Because it protects you from temperatures down to 15 degrees, the Paria Thermodown 15° Top Quilt is a great choice for three-season camping.
However, this lower temperature rating comes at a price, as the quilt weighs 35 ounces. But considering the weight of similarly rated bags, the Thermodown is actually a good choice for backpackers (especially because it rolls down to just 10″ x 7″).
- Size: 78″ x 56″
- Weight: 35 ounces
- Fill: Down
- Temp Rating: 15°F
The ripstop nylon is durable while providing a silky smooth surface for your skin. Plus, the numerous snap closures around the edge let you wrap yourself up for uncompromising warmth. Another selling point is that this quilt comes in two sizes, regular and long, so you can choose the dimensions that best fit your hammock.
3. ENO Ignitor Topquilt
If you’re searching for a premium natural down option, the ENO Ignitor might be it. It’s filled with DownTek water-repellent duck down for a temperature rating of 30 to 40 degrees. However, many campers say it can even protect you in colder weather.
- Size: 74″ x 48″
- Weight: 23 ounces
- Fill: Duck Down
- Temp Rating: 30-40°F
The real selling point of the Ignitor is its weight. At just 23 ounces, it’s one of the lightest top quilts on the market. Finished off with a ripstop nylon shell, the Ignitor also resists stains and moisture while still providing a smooth and soft surface. In fact, the silky lining is easy to tuck around you, which is something you’ll have to do, as the quilt comes with a zipper-free design.
- Extremely lightweight at just 23 ounces.
- Zipper-free design to make it easier to get in and out of.
- Sustainably sourced duck down.
4. Outdoor Vitals 15° Topquilt
For the true camping enthusiasts out there, the Outdoor Vitals 15° Top Quilt is a must-have because of its extreme temperature rating.
You’ll feel toasty and warm in temperatures as low as 15 degrees thanks to the drawstring construction that encloses the quilt around you. In fact, some users even report getting too warm! As a bonus, the synthetic LoftTek insulation keeps you cozy even if it starts to rain.
- Size: 74″ x 54″
- Weight: 43 ounces
- Fill: LofTek
- Temp Rating: 15°F
One big downside of this quilt is the weight. It’s a massive 43 ounces, pretty much ruling it out for any serious backpacker. Also, keep in mind that it doesn’t come with a stuff sack, so you’ll need to buy your own. However, you can choose from long/wide or regular sizes, making it a good way to personalize your hammock.
- LoftTek insulation still provides warmth even when wet.
- Drawstring construction lets you wrap the quilt around you.
- No stuff sack included.
5. ENO Vesta Topquilt
If your hammock is on the smaller side and you don’t need a giant top quilt, this 72″ x 48″ option could be right for you. Its smaller size also means it’s lighter, coming in at just 28 ounces. However, because it is light, you will have to compromise on temperature rating, which is only 35 to 45 degrees. However, some campers find that even this range is too generous.
- Size: 72″ x 48″
- Weight: 28 ounces
- Fill: PrimaLoft
- Temp Rating: 35°F
While it might best be suited for early spring or late summer camping, the ENO Vesta Top Quilt can handle any type of precipitation thanks to the water-repellent coating on the ripstop nylon shell. The insulated draft collar keeps breezes from making their way in your cozy cocoon, while the foot box lets you cool off your feet if you get too hot.
- Lightweight at just 28 ounces.
- Water-repellent ripstop nylon shell.
- Not ideal for colder temperatures.
6. Go Outfitters Adventure Top Quilt
The first thing you’ll notice about this oversized Go Outfitters Adventure Top Quilt is its weight. It comes in at 47 ounces, basically limiting its use for backcountry backpacking.
- Size: 84″ x 53″
- Weight: 47 ounces
- Temp Rating: °F
However, it’s filled with synthetic down that provides a temperature rating of 20 degrees, so you can use it in many conditions. If you’re a naturally hot person, you might even be able to use it in lower temperatures thanks to the side release buckles that create a makeshift hood.
To stay even cozier, use the built-in foot pocket, which is easily adjustable with a shock cord and cord locks. Finally, the polyester ripstop shell is both water and wind resistant.
- Oversized with a size of 84″ x 53″.
- Side release buckles create a hood.
- Water and wind resistant.
7. Western Mountaineering Astralite
Want more of a mummy-style protection against the cold? Choose the Western Mountaineering Astralite quilt. It features 850-fill power down to protect in temperatures down to 26 degrees. It works by snugly closing you in from shoulder to foot, while a top collar drapes across your collarbone.
- Size: 68″x59″ (Reg), 76″x60″ (Long)
- Weight: 10.5 oz (Reg), 11.3 oz (Long)
- Fill: 850 Down
- Temp Rating: 26°F
While the Astralite does come in two sizes, they can be limiting. The regular only accommodates users 5’8″ and under, while the long is for people 6’4″ and under. If you’re taller than this, you’ll have to find a different option.
- Two size options, but doesn’t fit people taller than 6’4″.
- Mummy-style protection.
- Collar for your upper body.
Best Hammock Down Blankets
Hammocks are similar to top quilts, but the main difference is that they don’t wrap around at all. Because of this, they’re far more versatile, and you can use them in more than just a hammock. Here are our top choices for hammock blankets.
8. Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket
With the Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket, you can enjoy versatile warmth at its finest. It’s filled with synthetic down so it’s both machine washable and dryer safe. This is great if you get it muddy while trekking through the wilderness.
However, the ripstop nylon shell does a great job of repelling odors, dirt, water, and pet dander, so you might find you don’t need to wash it very often at all.
Choose from three different sizes, including the 2-Person (88″ x 84″), the 1-Person (80″ x 54″), and the Throw (70″ x 50″). Whichever size you choose, you’ll get an accompanying stuff sack for easy carrying.
9. Therm-a-Rest Vela HD Blanket
Keep you and your partner warm with the double version of the Therm-a-Rest Vela HD Blanket, which comes in a size of 84″ x 64″. Or if it’s just you, choose the large version, which is still commodious at 84″ x 64″. Either way, you’ll love the draft protection thanks to full-perimeter side baffles and the elasticized foot box. Plus, the perimeter snap loops let you connect the blanket to another mattress, sleeping bag, quilt, or more.
While it’s rated for 35 degrees, some people report feeling cold at temperatures higher than that. And while it does dry fast, the blanket can give off an odd odor when wet.
- Full-perimeter side baffles for complete protection.
- Perimeter snap loops to help you build a system of warmth.
- An odd smell when wet.
10. Nemo Puffin Down Blanket
Unlike the other blankets, the Nemo Puffin Down Blanket comes in just a single size – 86″ x 60″. It’s made of nylon ripstop with a synthetic down insulation, meaning it’s durable and lightweight. Your feet will never get cold thanks to the aptly named Foot Nook, which encapsulates your feet when you’re laying down. Also, the outwardly curved sides conform to your body for better coverage.
While the Nemo Puffin does come with a stuff sack, just keep in mind that you’ll need to store it unrolled to preserve the insulation.
- Foot Nook keeps your toes toasty.
- Curved edges wrap around your body.
- Comes with stuff sack.
Choosing a hammock top quilt or blanket can be tricky. Luckily, there are plenty of suitable options to keep you warm in all kinds of weather.
If you’re more focused on the lightest, smallest options for backpacking, try the ENO Ignitor Top Quilt, the ENO Spark Top Quilt, or the ENO Vesta Top Quilt.
If cold-weather camping is your game, stick with the Paria Thermodown 15° Top Quilt, the Outdoor Vitals 15° Top Quilt, or the Go Outfitters Adventure Top Quilt.
Either way, with a little consideration for the size, insulation, shell, and weight, you can find the best hammock top quilts for your specific camping needs.