Updated September, 2015
If you need a quick and easy option to keep the bottom of your hammock warm on cool nights, this may be just the DIY / MYOG project for you. This is a perfect project for Scouts or DIY newbies. I made 3 of these sleeping bag underquilts for my kids DIY gathered end hammocks in 30 minutes, while watching a hockey game on TV. Underquilts don’t get any easier than this.
Other hammock projects you might like:
- How to make an Insultex Hammock UnderQuilt (UQ)
- How to make a Hammock UnderQuilt (UQ) from a poncho liner
- How to make a No-Sew Hammock UnderQuilt (UQ) from a poncho liner
- How to make a camping hammock tarp
- How to make a DIY camping hammock
Why do you need an UnderQuilt?
As comfortable as hammocks are for camping, one persistent problem is that if the temperature is under 70 degrees, the bottom of the hammock gets cold. Many people use insulation wrapped around the outside of the hammock to prevent heat loss. This insulation can be in the form of a hammock UnderQuilt (UQ).
Some high performance down underquilts can cost hundreds of dollars. They can also be very complicated and difficult to make and cause allergy problems for some people. You can make this underquilt in 10 minutes from a $10 sleeping bag from Wally-World.
(1) rectangular sleeping bag that zips all the way open
(4) 6” long ¾” wide grosgrain ribbons
(2) small carabiners
(2) 1’ foot light rope or para cord loops
Needle or sewing machine
Steps (trust me, it sounds WAY more complicated than it is):
- Unzip the sleeping bag
- Find the midpoint of each short edge (4) on bag
- At each midpoint fold a grosgrain ribbon and sew a loop on outside edge of the bag
- Fold each side of the sleeping bag to the middle
Update: I’ve had a few questions on why I fold the sides in towards the center instead of just folding the sleeping bag in half.
You can do it either way and it should work. However, if you do it as illustrated here, then you can pull the sides out to make the UQ wider. Doing so means pulling the sides away from the center, which means that the center of the UQ will be only 1 layer of bag thick instead of two. My son pulls the sides of his out so he can sleep diagonal in his hammock and he puts a small fleece blanket in the gap between the sides of the bag, where it is only 1 layer.
- Adjust UQ by sliding prusiks on ridgeline
Here are the full directions in one easy to print image:
This is not the lightest underquilt option available, but it is a great way to insulate your hammock inexpensively. If you plan to hike or backpack with your hammock, then you might want to check out the DIY Insultex (IX) Underquilt instructions.