There are many hikers or outdoor lovers who love to sleep outside in a tent or Hammock. Besides how great is the feeling of sleeping outside, you also need sufficient gear or sleeping equipment for you to keep yourself comfy and warm inside. For sleeping outdoors we don’t have too many options to choose from, we only have four – sleeping bag, quilt, underquilt, and sleeping pad. But today we only talk about the less talked gear, underquilt, and the popular sleeping bag.
I have seen that lot of people get confused between the both or they don’t get what to use when. There are a lot of articles available that shares some great knowledge of which one to use when but I have found very little information about the topic underquilt and sleeping bag both at the same time.
Recently, I have been watching videos of gear and I have seen comments of people who were asking about underquilts. The most common question is Do you need a sleeping bag with an underquilt? Well, if you have the same question which I think you have that’s why you are here. Don’t worry today I will clear this doubt once and all.
Do you need a sleeping bag with an underquilt?
Yes, you need a sleeping bag with an underquilt because underquilt can only cover the lower part of the body, for upper body part coverage you still need a sleeping bag or quilt. Moreover, there are other factors also that make your decision easy in if you need a sleeping bag or not.
Before that first you should know what is underquilt and how is it different from other gears like a sleeping pad or sleeping bag.
underquilt is similar to quilt and is designed in a way so that you can put it underneath you in a hammock or when you sleep in a tent on the ground. The underquilt works when it is compressed by weight.
The process is similar to the sleeping bag which also gets compressed and eliminates the cold air while preventing the heat to go out.
The sleeping pad is also the alternative option to underquilts and is designed to prevent heat loss when you sleep on the ground in a tent.
Now, the main reason why underquilt is the best choice for you in a hammock is that it doesn’t interfere with the shape of the hammock, while the same is not true with sleeping pads. However, sleeping pads work great on the grounds.
Warmth- warmth is the deciding factor that distinguishes one pad or sleeping bag from underquilt. But as simple as it is said, it’s more difficult than that because underquilts don’t have any temperature rating like sleeping bags or r ratings like sleeping pads to decide the warmth of the underquilt.
However, that’s doesn’t mean that the underquilt is not warm, usually, underquilts with the same loft as sleeping bags provide you same similar warmth when you use them.
While there is also a price difference between both sleeping pads and underquilt. The sleeping pad is usually less expensive than underquilts.
But that doesn’t make the sleeping pad the right option because it is not practically easy to set the sleeping pad for a hammock.
When you need a sleeping bag with an underquilt?
Temperature is less
There is the only factor that decides if you need a sleeping bag with an underquilt or not. Well, there is information on the web that says that you should bring a sleeping bag with an underquilt if the temperature is under 60 degrees but I think that’s not a practical example. I think you can easily get enough warmth from underquilt if the temperature is not cold but mild. If you are doing hammocking then using a sleeping bag to cover your upper body is not the comfortable option. Instead, you should go with a quilt. Yes, a quilt is the best option for your hammocking and you need extra insulation for your upper body.
I suggest you, bring a sleeping bag with an underquilt when the temperature is cold or it’s winter. A sleeping bag is also a better option if you are sleeping in your tent on the ground because on the ground the sleeping bag can provide you insulation from up and down.
Is underquilt enough for summers?
Well, yes underquilts are enough for summers if the temperatures at night where you are staying are not cool or windy at night. If you are planning for a trip where the weather is unpredictable then you should always carry a sleeping bag as a backup option because in summer also if it gets rain and winds start flowing, will make you feel cold.
Do you need a sleeping bag or quilt to pair with underquilt?
Well, that depends on personal preference or on the weather. First, let’s talk about personal preference. If you are broad or big and love to sleep on sides at night like me, then you should pair quilt with underquilt. Quilts are more user-friendly and give more legroom or space in contrast to sleeping bags.
However, if you are an average person and have no difficulty with zippers or space then you should choose a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags also provide you more warmth than quilts. Because you have an underquilt to provide you extra warmth then pairing it up with a quilt is a less expensive and better option. For more on this you can read this article—-Are quilts more comfortable than sleeping bags?
Conclusion- At last, I would suggest you to must bring underquilt if you are hammocking. The reason is, that it is difficult to sleep in a sleeping bag when you are in a hammock. If you are hammocking it’s better to bring a quilt for the upper body and an underquilt for the lower to get a comfortable experience even at low temperatures. On the other hand, if you are sleeping on the ground, then you can use a sleeping bag for your upper body and underquilt or a sleeping pad for the lower in winters to get sufficient warmth and insulation.