Camping in a hammock is the quickest and most comfortable way to enjoy a night under the stars. It’s difficult to find a place with a better view than from the gentle swing of a hammock on a brisk summer morning.
They are versatile, compact, and a great replacement for a tent or lean-to shelter. The one issue that arises when sleeping in a hammock is the fact that your rear end gets cold from the breeze underneath.
When the temperature begins to drop the breeze underneath the hammock will work its way through one or two layers with ease.
This is where the hammock underquilt comes into play. It’s another layer of insulation underneath the hammock preventing the cold from getting through. It rests on the outside of the hammock and adds insulation and another level of comfort on brisk evenings.
A hammock underquilt is an important piece of gear to use if hammock camping is your jam. If not, give it a try and see if it is something that sparks your interest.
What is a hammock underquilt
As the name suggests, it is a quilt that fits snugly inside of the majority of camping and backpacking hammocks. It’s basically a sleeping bag designed for use specifically with a hammock.
While a sleeping bag will work, often they are awkward to place inside a hammock and generally don’t fit that well. A hammock underquilt wraps the outside of the hammock creating an insulating layer that otherwise is open to the elements.
A good hammock underquilt is lightweight, compact, and extremely easy to pack. It should pack down into a size not much larger than a football and weigh under 3 lbs.
Do you need a hammock underquilt
Yes and no.
It ultimately depends on the time of year that you are using the hammock. If the temperature remains constant throughout the evening and doesn’t drop to a low temperature then a blanket will work just fine.
Sure, a sleeping bag or sleeping pad will work, however, they are not designed to rest inside the 30° curve of a hammock. By the middle of the night or the next morning, they are both going to be bunched up, twisted up, and pretty uncomfortable.
A hammock underquilt is designed to lay perfectly around the curvature of a hammock. This prevents uncomfortable bunching from occurring in the middle of the night and makes for a good night’s sleep.
If you are camping in the fall, winter, or early spring then a hammock underquilt is an absolute must-have.
Benefits of a hammock underquilt
The most important advantage is not freezing your ass off, literally. Hammock underquilts are built to keep your underside (ass side) well insulated throughout the evening.
Generally speaking, it is going to be a lighter option compared to a sleeping bag and sleeping pad. For the ultralight backpacker or anyone concerned with weight, a hammock with an underquilt is the lightest option.
In terms of setting up and breaking down, other than hanging your hammock it’s a fast and easy solution. You will have it up and ready in under 5 minutes once you find your desired location.
The first couple times that you sleep in the hammock may take some getting used to if you have never slept in a hammock before. After you get used to sleeping in a hammock it’s just as comfortable as the bed at home, if not more comfortable.
Advantages of a hammock underquilt
- Warmth in cold conditions
- Comfortable to sleep in
- Sets up in minutes
Hammock underquilt buying guide
Finding the best hammock underquilt is more than finding any old piece of fabric that you sling underneath your hammock. Things like temperature rating, insulation type, and size vary between the different underquilts.
We have put together a laundry list of questions and answers to make sure you find the perfect fit.
What type of insulation do I need?
Similar to sleeping bags there are two types of insulation that are commonly found in hammock underquilts, synthetic fill and down fill. They both do a fantastic job of keeping you warm and it comes down to a matter of preference and budget.
Down fill insulation is going to be warmer 9 times out of 10, however, the major drawback is it will not pack down as small as synthetics.
Synthetic fill may not be quite as warm as down, but where they shine is portability and weight. Synthetic insulation will pack into a smaller area making it a realistic addition for a lightweight backpacker.
What size do I need?
There are two main sizes…
- Torso length
- Full length
Torso length covers from the shoulder to the knees. They are made under the assumption that backpackers carry a small pad for sitting and chilling that can be used from the knees down while laying in a hammock.
Full length is exactly what it sounds like. It will cover the entire length of the hammock and eliminate the need for a pad hastily placed inside the hammock.
How heavy should the underquilt be?
As with every piece of backpacking gear, weight matters. Underquilts range from anywhere between 1 pound to 4 pounds. We always say the lighter the better, however, if extreme cold is in your future warmth should be the determining factor.
Not all underquilts are going to work for every hammock. Certain models are wider, while others are longer to accommodate the variety of sizes that are found in hammocks.
3-season or 4-season rating?
Just like a tent and sleeping bag, hammock underquilts have temperature ratings. If you are camping in the winter a 4-season rating is an absolute must.
If you plan on encountering extremely cold weather conditions, make sure the underquilt is rated for 15° below the lowest anticipated temperature. These ratings are not always 100% accurate and having a buffer zone will compensate for unexpected temperature drops.
How durable is the underquilt?
As with anything you purchase, durability is always a huge concern. The last thing you need is an underquilt that rips after the first couple uses.
The ideal fabric anything ripstop that has reinforced seams and good reviews. Rips and tears are the most common damage done to 99% of all camping nd backpacking fabrics.
The Best Hammock Underquilts
Here are our picks for the best hammock underquilts.
OneTigris Hammock Underquilt
- Premium Materials: SEE Polyester Filling, 20D Ripstop Nylon Shell with a DWR coating and 300T Polyester Pongee Lining that's quick warm, comfy, wind-proof and water resistant
- 4 Seasons Quilt: Comfortable temperature range 40°F ~ 68°F (5°C ~ 20°C), great option to extend the hammock camping season to whole year; combine the underquilt and insulation of a sleeping bag and you get a winter hammock sleeping system
- Keeping You Warm: Full length and wide (9.2ft *4ft), designed to fit snugly to all standard sized hammocks, keeping you warm and toasty in chilly temperatures, no (Cold Butt Syndrome) CBS anymore
- Quick Setup: Assembled bungee cord loops on both ends and strong carabiners for an easy and cozy fix to your hammock, very fast and easy to set up and take down
The OneTigris Hammock Underquilt is made of 20D ripstop nylon that has a DWR coating for limited weather protection. With a 40° – 68° Fahrenheit rating this underquilt will work in spring, summer, and early fall.
It has a split design on both ends giving the underquilt a better chance of remaining in place while reducing heat loss. The elastic straps on both ends make setting up and taking down this underquilt quick and easy.
Weighing in at 26 ounces and breaking down into 13 x 8 inches it can be added to any gear set. For the ultralight hiker, a carabiner on the outside is probably your best bet.
- Accurate temp rating
- Limited diagonal lay
- Thin filling
- Cold spots at seams
ENO Eagles Nest Ember 2 Underquilt
- KEEP WARM IN WINTER: With polyester insulation and a hammock specific cut, our UnderQuilt surrounds your hammock sides and bottom, protecting you from sudden cold snaps
- FAST, EASY SETUP: Adjustable shock cords allow you to set up quickly for more time nestled in toasty goodness; Works perfectly with our DoubleNest or SingleNest hammock
- WARM, DRY PROTECTION: 40D Ripstop Nylon shell and 30D Nylon Taffeta lining with water repellent finishes; Add the Spark TopQuilt for a 40-50 degree temperature rating
- WINTER-READY: Protection at a lightweight 25 ounces that conveniently folds down into a 6.5" by 12" bag and extends to an impressive 8' by 4' (perfect for campers up to 6'6")
ENO Eagles Nest is well known in the hammock game and consistently make quality products. That being said, the ENO Eagles Nest Ember 2 is no exception.
It’s billed as a 4-season tent, however, with the temperature rating at 50° Fahrenheit, it’s not made for winter months. The quilt is polyester filled which surrounds both the sides and bottom of the hammock.
This hammock is designed to be used with nearly any hammock, be it a single or double wide. The shell has a DWR nylon coating which is water resistant, keep in mind in heavy rain a rainfly is always necessary.
- Easy to set up
- Good cut and fit
- Bulky when packed
- Rare strap issues
- No stuff sack straps
Outdoor Vitals 30° Underquilt
Outdoor Vitals hammock underquilt is the most portable hammock underquilt on the list. It breaks down to 9 x 7 inches and only weighs 28 ounces making it a realistic addition for the ultralight backpacker.
The VitalDry DWR outer shell is designed to repel water and the 20D ripstop Nylon keeps it lightweight and tough as nails. The fill of the hammock is a hollow synthetic fill designed to keep you warm while remaining lightweight.
One of the factors that set this apart from the rest is the fact it can be used as a blanket, zipped together to make a large blanket, or with a pod system. It also comes with a care guide to ensure that it lasts for years to come.
- Easy to hang and adjust
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Down insulation
- Zipper issues
- Lacking shock cord
- Thin wind guard
Chill Guerilla 40° Hammock Underquilt
- SUPERIOR QUALITY & PREMIUM MATERIALS. Soft polyester lining. 20D ripstop nylon shell. Polyester filling. EASY TO SET UP and take down. Compressible stuff sack for easy storage.
- 3 SEASONS UNDERQUILT. Wind and water resistant giving you a comfortable temperature range of 40°F to 68°F (5°C to 20°C). Perfect for hammock camping!
- FITS ALL CAMPING HAMMOCKS. Quickly and easily connects to your hammock straps/ropes.
- UNIQUE DESIGN KEEPS YOU WARMER. Wider at your shoulder and smaller at your feet because you want your underquilt to be snugged up against your hammocks without air pockets for maxim warmth.
The outer shell is made of 20D water-resistant ripstop designed to handle all weather conditions. Its size and shape make it suitable for use with most hammocks on the market.
The setup is simple with 2 stretchy shock cords that attach easily to any anchor support system. It also includes two drawstring cords on both ends to ensure it stays attached and tight as desired.
It has a polyester synthetic fill that is rated for 40° Fahrenheit making it the perfect 3-season underquilt. You’ll be camping in spring, fall, and winter comfortably for years to come.
- Full size underquilt
- Includes suspension kit
- 7 x 10 in compressed
- Doesn’t include hooks
- Difficult instructions
- On the heavier end
ENO Eagles Nest Vulcan Hammock Underquilt
- WARM UP IN THE WINTER: Made from the mega cozy Primaloft Synergy insulation and makes your hammock (not included) ready for all four seasons. Also has a temperature rating of 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit when paired with a comparable top quilt.
- MASTER THE ART OF LOUNGING: The Vulcan UnderQuilt has a differentially cut construction adapts to the natural contours of your body, keeping you cozy and snug.
- RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: This full-length quilt features a worry-free adjustable shock cord suspension, with a water repellent finish, keeping you dry all nap long.
- ADVENTURE READY: Weighing only 30 ounces, the Vulcan UnderQuilt includes a handy stuff sack, so you can take it on your backpacking adventure.
The second Eagles Nest product on the list says a lot about the quality of products that Eagles Nest pumps out. This underquilt is rated for a lower temperature making it perfect for 4-season use.
The fill is both fine and ultra fine denier fibers that create air pockets between fibers that trap the heat inside. The quilt employs a cut construction which easily forms to the contour of your body when you hop in the hammock.
It has adjustable suspension while remaining thermally efficient. That coupled with the DWR coating make this full length quilt a decent addition to toss on your hammock.
- Cut construction
- Easy setup
- Inaccurate dimensions
- Weak materials
- No secondary suspension