Instructables
Picture of Sleeping Bag System
It seems being locked in the house because of snow and cold weather was good for something. I finally completed and uploaded this!

This Instructable shows how to make and use my sleeping bag system.

This system is essentially a layered sleeping bag that can also be attached to certain hammocks and has wearable components.

The idea behind this system was to create multi-use and flexible gear. Below is a list of some of my ideas.

1) It must be usable for 1 or two people.
   - One set can be used in warmer weather for 2 people. ie. fleece and sheet on bottom, sleeping bag on top. or vice versa
   - Two sets can be attached together to form a 2 person sleeping bag.
2) It must function in a range of temperature conditions. (layered system)
3) The components must be multi-functional and adaptable.
4) There must be a way to attach this to a hammock.
5) A reflective blanket that has eyelets added can be attached for excessive cold or emergencies (Not a good long term solution due to moisture retention.).

The components of this system are.
-sheet
-fleece blanket/poncho
-quilt or regular sleeping bag.

Additional items not in this Instructable
-pillowcase - a container to stuff the sleeping bag system in
      http://www.instructables.com/id/Back-pack-from-a-pillow-case/

-poncho towel - can be attached as an extra layer
      http://www.instructables.com/id/Create-a-modified-Mexican-poncho-from-a-towel/

-Cot Hammock - slides into sleeping gear and has attachment points.
      http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-cot-style-hammock/

When constructing this system choose one item as a template to size the rest of your system. I chose to match everything to the size of my sleeping bag (when opened the bag was the same size as my wool blanket). The size of my fleece and sheet were based off of this as were all the locations of the eyelets. I also confirmed that my sleeping pad was the correct size to fit between rows of eyelets.

Although I show most pictures of the sleeping gear system with hammocks, this gear can function alone as a layered sleeping bag.
The sheet/fleece could be used as a quilt liner with other gear you may already have.
 
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ejsilver265 months ago

Really nice 'ible. I have been thinking about trying to figure out a 4-season sleep system, and I like the multi-use aspect of your design. Thanks for posting.

Todd Gehris (author)  ejsilver265 months ago

Thank you. Glad you like it. Share what you end up creating.

Great.

Todd Gehris (author)  Ricardo Furioso9 months ago

Thanks.

ryanbenipual9 months ago
good job ;-)
Todd Gehris (author)  ryanbenipual9 months ago

Thank you.

grapenut9 months ago

Loved it

Todd Gehris (author)  grapenut9 months ago

Thanks.

jmcclure79 months ago
super thorough
Todd Gehris (author)  jmcclure79 months ago

Thanks.

gmcpcs9 months ago

Very nice build; hammocks are the only way to go for us old guys who want to sleep comfortably in the woods. I have made something very similar, and plans can be found on hammockforums.net, using an army poncho liner and a wool blanket. The surplus blankets and poncho liners match up to the same size without cutting. I also suggest you post this to hammock forums, as the folks there would like your idea of multi function.

Todd Gehris (author)  gmcpcs9 months ago

Yea, sleeping on the ground sucks! It is rocky where I live. Trying to find or make a comfortable spot is a task. I have looked at those forums a lot but never signed up. Just set up an account. I'll look for your gear there.

CorryWan9 months ago

Have you ever tried running the pins at a right angle to the direction of the stitch? As long as the head of the pin isn't in the path of the presser foot, you don't have to remove the pins until after your stitch is complete.

Todd Gehris (author)  CorryWan9 months ago

I have done it parallel and perpendicular to the stitch. Out of habit I remove the pins as I go along. I have bad aim (or good depending on how you look at it). Broke a few needles by hitting the metal of the pins. :)

Very nice. One comment about the reflective blanket. It IS a bad idea to put it on the outside, but it will add significantly if you put it on the INSIDE. Vapor-barrier liners work well to add significant temperature rating to any sleeping bag system, and they are not uncomfortable as long as you don't get over-heated. The other advantage of an interior VBL is that you can then add an impermeable layer on the OUTSIDE, since your perspiration is blocked by the inner liner.

Obviously, you need ventilation for your breathing, so that won't condense on either impermeable surface, but that's always an issue. And of course you are right about insulation underneath. In a hammock, as long as the insulation under you is not compressed, it is every bit as effective as the insulation above you. It presents a challenge for insulation from the ground, and most standard sleeping bags are essentially 50% useless, because the insulation under the sleeper gets compressed to the point of being nearly useless.

Todd Gehris (author)  Prof. A. Z. O_Trope9 months ago

I hadn't considered using the liner inside. I looked at it for emergency use. Could be really useful for a cold weather set up though.

dropkick9 months ago

Neat. I like your design.

I've been getting by in cold weather by zipping my bag around the hammock and then sleeping in a blanket and sheet inside the bag. This works but I get a lot of drafts from the top and bottom openings of the bag.

Occasionally in the summer when nights aren't that cold (but still chilly) I just hang a blanket and/or a plastic painters tarp under me with clothespins. But on top of the bother of set up and the extra packing weight it just isn't a good solution.

I built a double layered hammock at one time. I made it so I could slip a pad or blanket in between the layers if needed, however I didn't like the way it felt with the pad and the blankets kept slipping and bunching up, so I gave it up.

I was currently thinking of sewing a down under quilt that hooked on with buttons (if I could find down). Now I need to consider your idea.

Todd Gehris (author)  dropkick9 months ago

Thanks. You're pretty resourceful! Just don't go chasing any geese! :) There is water repellent down out now. It's used in a lot of outdoor equipment. One company I know that makes it is called Downtek. If I were to do this again I would make two quilts. One for the top and one for the bottom. I'd have some kind of head hole in the top quilt like the jacks R better sniveller so It could be worn.

kewpiedoll999 months ago

Really interesting instructable! Well done, with tons of helpful images all the way through. I have a recommendation for a better method to reinforce the slit in the sheet, however, which is a classic sewing technique. It's used to make bound buttonholes, the bound slit openings in back pants pockets in dress pants, etc. A search for these techniques will turn up many, many tutorials, but one I found that has very good instructions and photos is here: http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/how-to-sew-a-single-welt-pocket/ (I don't have any connection to the site, but found it to be a very well written and illustrated tutorial on this technique.)

Todd Gehris (author)  kewpiedoll999 months ago

Thanks! Always glad to learn new(or old that I don't know) things. That is a great sewing technique. I probably would have done that had I known it. :)

I would be careful about using this in the winter, especially with windy conditions. When you sleep on the ground, the soil is warmer than the air around you and keeps you warm. The effect is even better with snow and leaves beneath you. With a hammock, you are surrounded by a pocket of air and it sucks all the heat out of your body. That's why they are good for summer; because they take heat away from your body. (It's also the reason why winter camping in Appalachian Trail shelters is a cold prospect...)

Todd Gehris (author)  basementhacker9 months ago

Actually, that is part of the reason for this design. Since I don't have pictures of it, I think people aren't realizing this is also a layered sleeping bag that can be used on the ground. If need be, the pad could be placed on a ground tarp and the sleeping gear could be put on top of it.

That aside, it should not be necessary to do that. The wrong way to sleep in a hammock in cold weather is to put a bag on top of the hammock. It compresses the fibers in the bag below you and that allows the heat to escape. The purpose of wrapping the hammocks in the way I did is two fold. First, it creates a channel for a reflective pad beneath you, Secondly, it functions as an underquilt, which is essentially an insulated chamber below you. Combined with properly tying of the tarp to serve as a wind block this is quite warm.

Oh okay! That makes more sense now. So the layering is sleeping bag, hammock, sleeping pad, liner?

Thanks!

- basementhacker

Nomilli9 months ago
How much weight will this support?
Todd Gehris (author)  Nomilli9 months ago

The rating of the ultra light hammock I modified is 250lbs. I do not know how much weight the cot hammock I made can hold. I think its limit is more determined by the end tubes and the rope than the nylon.

jessyratfink9 months ago

This is amazing! Such a smart build and the tutorial is super thorough too. :D

Todd Gehris (author)  jessyratfink9 months ago

Thank you. I try to have enough detail so it can be replicated.