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  1. #1
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    Default 20F Underquilt: Full Length vs Partial + Pad

    Considering an AT thru hike starting February 2020. I currently have a UGQ Zeppelin 20 full length underquilt but I'm wondering if this is worth switching out for a partial length underquilt with a few sections of Z Lite which would give me a go to ground option through the Smokies.

    Note that I will be switching to a Hammock Gear Phoenix 40 partial length once the weather warms up so am already familiar/comfortable using a partial length.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Sounds like a good option to me. I use a pad (T-rest Prolite) instead of an UQ so I always have a good ground option.

    I carry half a z-rest, too, but I don't find that alone to be comfortable enough for shelters. Works fine on soft ground, but not a wooden floor.

  3. #3
    Registered User jigsaw's Avatar
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    i used a 3/4 warbonnet yeti 20 degree and a short blow up pad for my feet and for the shelters in the smokies.that was in early april.
    but for a feb start i might just carry the full lenth for a while see how it goes.switch it out in fontana for the smokies

  4. #4
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    2018 Thru Hike was a colder March/April than in February. Used a 20 WB 3/4 quilt the entire Thru Hike. Work great the entire way. I did purchase a NeoAir from the Gatlinburg NOC and carried it the rest of the way for Shelters. Would have started with now that I know better.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbolt View Post
    2018 Thru Hike was a colder March/April than in February. Used a 20 WB 3/4 quilt the entire Thru Hike. Work great the entire way. I did purchase a NeoAir from the Gatlinburg NOC and carried it the rest of the way for Shelters. Would have started with now that I know better.
    How many times did you have to go to ground to make that worthwhile?

  6. #6

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    I have experienced both hammock failure and lack of suitable hanging trees. While I have found the Zeppelin 20 degree UQ warm at a bit below freezing, You might want more insulation if it gets into the teens or lower. I always bring at least a smallish CCF pad as a backup/supplement. Getting a decent night's sleep matters.
    Last edited by Feral Bill; 09-23-2019 at 17:32.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  7. #7
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessiea View Post
    How many times did you have to go to ground to make that worthwhile?
    At my age, once! Actually, spent around 21 nights in a shelter where it made life a little softer. Used in Lake of the Clouds work for stay that saved me on a very hard floor versus a very cold damp night. Like any item and weight in general, one has to decide if it is worthwhile or not. It was for me.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  8. #8
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    My experience is that I much prefer the full length UQ + a sit pad (use the sit pad where needed - for me it's always my buttocks, some folks have cold feet.) Also, I don't know if a 20 degree quilt is sufficient for you or not because folks sleep differently. I have had nights where I was very cold with a 20 degree UQ and the exterior temp was 35 - 40. Are a "few sections" of zlite going to be enough in the GSMNP (where you are required to use the shelter) if it gets well below freezing (which is quite possible in FEB-MAR.)

    Since you already own a 40 degree quilt perhaps you would be better off layering a pad + UQ in the winter and just sending the sleeping pad home when it warms up? Not sure what your budget looks like or how comfortable you are with a sleep pad in a hammock, but that would also help with the GSMNP portion.

  9. #9

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    Not a bad idea, Jayne. Even better if you use a cheap pad and then just drop it in a hiker box instead of hassling with shipping it back.

  10. #10

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    In our experience, tons of thru hikers use a partial length underquilt + pad for their hikes. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!
    Happy Trails,

    Team Member
    HammockGear.com

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