Backpacking and camping enthusiasts often want to enjoy exploring the outdoors year-round. This does mean that extra gear is needed to accommodate the body’s need for heat and comfort in lower temperatures. Some may think that they can get away with backpacking with only their hammock and a warm sleeping bag. However, this is an example of false thinking and we do not want anyone to be out there shivering at night because they lack a proper hammock underquilt.
The problem with sleeping bags is that many are composed of compressible insulation, such as with hollow fiber synthetic or down. The part of the sleeping bag being laid upon will be compressed to a fraction of its original thickness and not be as functional as it needs to be in the thin areas when it comes to insulating an individual from the cold. However, it is entirely possible to avoid suffering from a cold backside when temps drop down in the night.
A hammock underquilt is one of the best options out there for those looking to give cold weather hammock camping a try. We break down the top ten hammock underquilts in the market so that campers and backpackers can find the best hammock underquilt to suit their specific needs and budget.
Quick Picks – Best Hammock Underquilts
If you’re short on time and need to make a quick comparison, here is a helpful table comparing the most important specifcation amonsgt the Top 5 underquilts.
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- ENO Ember 2 Underquilt – A good value underquilt for 3 season camping.
- Outdoor Vitals Aerie 20F – A versatile underquilt for the cold and all 4 seasons.
- ENO Vulcan Underquilt – A durable, water-repellant, soft and comfortable quilt and underquilt.
- Outdoor Vitals Roost – A versatile hammock underquilt, great for beginning campers that can be used as a sleeping bag and more.
- OneTigris Underquilts – A versatile hammock underquilt, great for beginning campers that can be used as a sleeping bag and more.
Hammock Underquilt Reviews
We include a range of hammock underquilts to suit one’s needs and budget. There are more affordable and versatile options great for those new to camping wanting to get started without spending too much money but still get a durable and well-designed hammock underquilt. Other top-of-the-line choices are available as well.
The underquilts featured can run from around $70 to $300 and can be dedicated to a single purpose or also perform well as sleeping bags, top quilts and more. Look for an underquilt with good loft, solid stitching, a low conservative temperature rating, and water repellant features to get good use throughout the year over the long term. We start out with our top hammock underquilt choices for campers and backpackers.
1. ENO Ember 2 Underquilt
Pros: The Ember 2 is one of the most affordable underquilts on the market. It has a sturdy construction and compresses well, all for a relatively inexpensive underquilt.
Cons: This underquilt may not suit those using an asymmetrical hammock in some use cases. In addition, the materials help make it water resistant, but not waterproof.
- Size: 7’11” x 3’9″
- Weight: 25 ounces
- Fill: Polyester
- Temp Rating: 50°F
Best Hammock Underquilt for the Money: The ENO Ember 2 offers 3 season comfort with its temperature rating of 50°F. Using adjustable shock cords, setup is a breeze, making it a win for those colder months when fingers are less than cooperative. It works well with Hennessy Hammocks and Double and SingleNest. There may be some variation in stuff sack material and stitching, but this will not affect performance.
Reviewers have said that temperature ratings were accurate for the product and it truly helps keep the cold off. Sleeping on the horizontal makes it harder to completely benefit from this underquilt and those on the taller side may not full coverage for feet. This is a good entry level underquilt from a reputable company that will not break the bank.
2. Outdoor Vitals Aerie 20F
Pros: The product’s versatility at an affordable price point makes it a great buy. Use it as an underquilt, sleeping bag and more.
Cons: When zipped all the way up, the mummy style configuration does not easily allow for the diagonal lay that makes sleeping in a hammock so great. Combine the Aerie with a good top quilt instead.
- Size: 76” x 32”
- Weight: 34 oz
- Fill: Down
- Temp Rating: 20°F
Versatile Cold Weather Underquilt: This is a premium underquilt product at an affordable price. The major advantage here is that this underquilt can also be used as a sleeping bag, a technical blanket, a hammock pod system and be used with another to create a double sleeping bag. This lightweight product keeps additional weight at a minimum while compressing well.
It is important to stay dry in the elements and a VitalDry DWR coating makes all external fabric water repellant. The grid baffled design reduces the potential for down to compress while sleeping, keeping loft at maximum size. All components are made for durability and the product comes with a lifetime warranty.
3. ENO Vulcan Underquilt
Pros: A nice and durable two-fer option as it functions as both quilt and underquilt and keeps campers warm when temps drop.
Cons: Ultralight backpackers may want to go with a lighter underquilt. Can be bulky as products with a down fill generally pack down more than those with a synthetic fill.
- Size: 80” x 48”
- Weight: 30 oz
- Fill: PrimaLoft
- Temp Rating: 30-40°F
Soft and Comfortable PrimaLoft Quilt: This product gives campers both the underquilt and quilt needed to ward off cold temperatures and in some areas may make it a good four-season option. It naturally adapts to the body’s contours with a differentially cut construction and keeps the rain away with its water-repellent finish on the full-length quilt.
The product is designed for extreme conditions and uses a specific type of continuous filament insulation to achieve its temp rating. The quilt and underquilt stuff down to about the size of a football. The quilt and underquilt have worked with the Warbonnet Blackbird, as well as the Hennessey Hammock.
4. Outdoor Vitals Roost
Pros: An inexpensive and versatile bag option allowing for use as an underquilt, sleeping bag or double sleeping bag, sleeping pod system or technical blanket. Tall backpackers will appreciate this product as it should comfortably fit those under 6’6”.
Cons: The underquilt may require additional padding to stay comfortable below the intended temperature.
- Size: 75” x 35”
- Weight: 39 ounces
- Fill: Hollow Filament Synthetic
- Temp Rating: 40°F
Versatile Beginner Underquilt: This attractively colored blue and gray underquilt are one of the cheaper multifunctional options available. It compresses down to 8 x 8 x 8, leaving plenty of additional room. Purchase directly from Outdoor Vitals for a lifetime warranty.
The OV-Roost 40°F underquilt has a high weight to warmth ratio, with a drawstring to tighten it around the face. It is lightweight and made water-repellant through the application of the VitalDry DWR Coating. The product can be doubled with the Aries 20. No shock cord is currently included with this product.
5. OneTigris Underquilt
Pros: An affordable 3-season option that is light and water-resistant. A solid choice for new backpackers.
Cons: The product could compress more and could be a little bulky for some.
- Size: 93” x 48”
- Weight: 30 oz
- Fill: Polyester
- Temp Rating: 40°F
Best Cheap Underquilt: An inexpensive and multifunctional underquilt that works well for 3 season camping and backpacking. The underquilt is designed for standard sized hammocks with easy setup and a nylon stuff sack for storage. Use it as a full length under blanket, camping quilt or hammock underquilt. Comes with a lifetime warranty.
This product can be used with other brands, such as the ENO double nest. The underquilt is designed to cover the entire hammock and would be suitable for individuals on the taller side. It can be a bit bulky when included as part of a system.
6. REI Co-op Hammock Underquilt
Pros: Well-made and affordable underquilt that pairs up with the Underdome Hammock. It can also be used with the Co-op Flash Air Hammock.
Cons: A down version would pack smaller than the synthetic version, but this offers good insulation for the price. More insulation may be needed on a colder night.
- Size: 85” x 51”
- Weight: 26 oz
- Fill: Synthetic insulation
- Temp Rating: 30°F
Solid mid-range option: REI states that their Co-op Hammock Underquilt is intended for year-round use. Offset-quilting and two layers of insulation should help backpackers avoid cold spots. Insulation is thicker on the bottom than the sides. This product should work well with the REI Co-op Quarterdome Air Hammock. Backpackers can make use of the stuff sack and mesh storage bag.
The underquilt can be hung either way, with either the orange side or dark blue side facing outward. A toggle may be partially blocked when using a mesh pouch and attaching to the Co-op Quarterdome Air Hammock. Individuals may choose to try it out with the ENO Doublenest hammock or the Hennessey Expedition Zip hammock but in both cases, this underquilt will not extend the entire length of those hammocks. The product is from a reputable company with a good return policy.
7. Outdoor Vitals StormLight 30F Mummy
Pros: Product is completely machine washable, waterproof (not only water repellant) and can be used as a sleeping bag or with a hammock.
Cons: The comfortably designed Mummypod is one of the heaviest underquilts/pod systems on this list. The LongWide option comes in at over 3 pounds.
- Size: 75” x 66” (regular); 81” x 70” (LongWide)
- Weight: 46 oz (regular); 52 oz (LongWide)
- Fill: Hollow filament synthetic
- Temp Rating: 30°F
Best 2 for 1 replacement system: This Mommypod started from the successful outcome of a Kickstarter campaign. Exclusive features include a redesigned shoulder baffle and foot box, making it equally effective on the ground as it is in the air. A suspension system and compressible stuff sack are included with this product that replaces the need for an underquilt and top quilt. The zipper is created not to snag, a special request from customers tired of damaging sleeping bags when zipping them up or who have experienced issues when trying to get out of a hammock sleep system in the middle of the night.
Special microfiber StormLight insulation makes the product waterproof and warmer than those with standard insulation. The product can work with other brand hammocks, such as the ENO double hammock. Color may differ from image depicted, a brighter blue than the grey-blue color shown in the manufacturer’s pictures. Two size options are helpful for those campers needing more length and coverage.
8. Therm-a-Rest Slacker Snuggler
Pros: Coming in at a weight of only 15 ounces makes the Slacker Snuggler one of our lightest options.
Cons: A backup option may be needed for colder and windier nights. There are also more budget-friendly underquilts that are more versatile.
- Size: 80” x 50”
- Weight: 15 oz
- Fill: eraLoft Synthetic
- Temp Rating: 32°F
Best Ultralight Underquilt: Product is designed to fit all hammocks, both single and double, and can be used as a blanket. The underquilt is designed not to squish heat-trapping loft and has a Nikwax Hydroponic treatment to keep campers warm in damp climates. The underquilt works for both an asymmetrical or symmetrical lie. The color is an eye-catching tomato.
The Nikiwax hydroponic treatment may help make the product water-repellant. It may be useful to test out the product in the rain so that thru-hikers facing inclement weather have a better idea of how well it may perform and when it may be necessary to purchase the best hammock rain fly or rain tarp to keep them dry.
9. Chill Gorilla 40F Down Underquilt
Pros: 5 in 1 system that comes with a suspension kit and an affordable price tag.
Cons: Reviewers report water to bead but specs do not indicate any application to make it water repellant or water resistant.
- Size: 76” x 64”
- Weight: 24 oz
- Fill: 800 down
- Temp Rating: 30°F
Best Cheap and Versatile Underquilt: The mission of the company is to create top gear for extreme conditions at an unbelievable price tag. The versatile 5 in 1 product can be used as a sleeping POD system, hammock underquilt, sleeping bag, double sleeping bag (with two purchased), technical blanket and top quilt.
Products go through rigorous testing and have features such as the Heavy Duty Smooth Pull YKK Zippers for easy in and out and a grid design to compartmentalize fill for well-distributed insulation. The Chill Gorilla 40° Underquilt can accommodate individuals up to 6’ 6” in most cases. Some may find the best hammock rain tarp for their needs from Chill Gorilla. Extra attachment loops may not be needed depending on the hammock used.
10. ENO Blaze Underquilt
Pros: A relatively lightweight underquilt with sustainably sourced down.
Cons: With a lightweight down fill, this underquilt is one of the most expensive options on our list, with less versatility than choices at a lower price point.
- Size: 6’6” x 4’
- Weight: 24 ounces
- Fill: DownTek Down
- Temp Rating: 30-40°F
Sustainably-Sourced Underquilt: A one-size water repellant underquilt finished with DWR, this underquilt helps campers stay warm and dry in varying weather conditions. A snug fit is ensured with a differentially cut design. The product may also be used as a camping quilt.
A nylon stuff sack comes with the product for storage. There may be variation in stitching and the color of the stuff sack. The company does intend this product for four-season camping. Green-minded campers may appreciate that the down is sustainably sourced.
Even though hammock camping can be easier and more convenient than setting up a tent, the downside is that it can be hard to keep backsides warm. A regular sleeping bag used with a hammock will not cut it.
A hammock underquilt may be used with a hammock quilt to create an effective barrier between an individual’s body and ground temperatures. This can make all the difference for backpackers needing a restful night’s sleep before another full day of hiking.
Main Benefits of an Underquilt
Enjoy a good night’s rest with insulated fabric that keeps one warm but does not twist or bunch when bodies turn. Why do most hammock campers and backpackers prefer underquilts to other options?
- Fit around the body without significant compression. This makes for better loft and warmth while sleeping.
- Can be designed for 4-season camping, letting outdoor enthusiasts sleep comfortably in temps down to 20°F.
- Are built to fit snugly around a hammock while still providing easy access. No hassles with enclosures.
- Are often specially coated to make it water repellant or waterproof.
- Can be paired with a hammock rain tarp for additional protection from rain, wind or snow.
An underquilt will often be used along with a hammock top quilt to provide additional warmth. Many see a marked difference when they go from using a hammock alone to adding in a hammock underquilt, reducing cold spots on the backside or shoulders and making for a more restful sleep.
The hammock underquilts offered generally have two options when it comes to outer materials. Ripstop nylon is the most well-known choice but has a tendency of absorbing water unless coated. Ripstop polyester has a softer feel and may stretch less than nylon.
Fill Material & Loft
Hammock underquilts can be filled with a variety of insulations materials. Down is going to increase the costs of a sleeping bag and budget-minded or beginning campers may want to explore synthetic options. Common hammock underquilt fill materials are:
- Polyester– A synthetic material that will perform well when wet and keep individuals warm.
- Down– A natural material that offers great warmth for the weight. Both goose and duck down can be used as insulating materials. Duck down is a cheaper alternative to goose down.
- DownTek– Specially-treated down to make it more water resistant without adding weight. Treated down dries faster and absorbs significantly less moisture.
- PrimaLoft– This is a down alternative, a synthetic material that adds warmth without bulk and performs well when wet. This material was first developed for the U.S. Army. It is soft, highly compressible, lightweight and hypoallergenic.
- eraLoft– This material is a water-resistant polyester. It will dry fast when wet, offers excellent loft and is highly compressible.
You may be experienced with loft. This term is used to describe the fluffiness of the down. Fill-power is a measurement of the loft, with warmer bags having higher fill-power. Air pockets are formed in an insulating material and serve to trap air close to the body, keeping an outdoor enthusiast warm. When comparing down and synthetic insulation, underquilts made with synthetic materials will be heavier than those using down in order to achieve equal temperature ratings.
A hammock underquilt using synthetic fill will not pack as small as one using down. Those who need a light and compact load often go with down. However, this does not mean that campers should always aim for down. It has its issues when wet. Water resistance is far better in those underquilts insulated with synthetic materials. These underquilts dry faster and maintain insulating qualities when wet.
Water repellency helps keep materials and individuals dry during inclement weather. Materials may be naturally water repellant or be treated to make it so. Water will then bead on the surface rather than penetrate the material. Outer materials treated with DWR, Nikwax and other coatings can help them resist dampness.
Moisture cannot only be introduced into a hammock system from obvious rain or frost but may occur due to condensation, body heat or humidity. A down system that has not been treated may have issues drying out quickly and keeping a body warm when moisture has permeated through the outer material.
Underquilt vs. Sleeping Pad or Sleeping Bag
Underquilts are not the only option available. Some backpackers and campers may be looking into getting a sleeping pad. A sleeping pad can help keep individuals warmer when used in a hammock. However, they are prone to moving around, keeping a camper up at night making adjustments.
That being said, those who may be backpacking and plan to also sleep on the ground or in a shelter may like the versatility of a sleeping pad. Sleeping pads are also an inexpensive choice for those new to camping.
A sleeping bag is another alternative to using an underquilt. The issue here is that a sleeping bag is going to lay directly on the hammock, compressing the loft of the fill at the bottom, reducing its ability to insulate. Underquilts lay under and around the hammock without creating pressure on insulating materials.
These Underquilts Have You Covered
From the most affordable hammock underquilt to the most versatile or sustainably-sourced, we give you the best reviews of popular hammock underquilts. Choose one made of durable materials with accurate temperature ratings for 3-season or 4-season camping. Ensure it is built to completely cover the hammock to prevent a potential draft. Then give it a test drive before planning a future camping adventure.
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