Intro: DIY Hammock Underquilt/Sleeping Bag
First off, I want to give credit for the original idea of this Instructable to Drew AKA RevHiker. His youtube video was my inspiration to this build. I loved his idea and added some more permanent additions.
link to his channel:
link to the original video:
Please do not steal Instructables and try to pass them on as your own. I asked Drew for his permission to publish this and I expect the same courtesy from others.
Now, down to business.
I live in Northeast Pennsylvania, and love to go camping. I recently bought an ENO hammock and have been looking into underquilts for fall and winter camping.
Me being the DIYer I am, I thought that I could build one for cheaper. I went about looking at all my options until I found the RevHiker's video. I was fortunate enough to have a few 0 degree rated coleman sleeping bags.
I didn't want to destroy the sleeping bags for non-hammock camping, so i opted to add a zipper for the base.
Step 1: Supplies
My wife and I are big into DIY, so everything I used was already available.
1. Sleeping bag (mummy style)
2. Fabric for binding, any scrap fabric will do.
3. Zippers... bought in bulk at a yard sale, so plenty to choose from. I decided on a heavy duty zipper with plastic teeth with 1/2" binding.
4. 3/8" (10mm) Grommet kit
extras not pictured:
Step 2: The Sleeping Bag
I chose a 0 degree mummy bag I've had for over 10 years. I've spent hundreds of nights camping with this sleeping bag. It's time she evolves with the times.
Step 3: The Base
My sleeping bag was nice enough to have a horizontal seam across the base. I measured about 8" in the middle of the seam and used safety pins to pin the material together prior to cutting the seam.
Starting with the outside, I cut the fabric and the underlying batting. I flipped it inside out and cut the inner seam and batting.
For the binding, i cut a 2" wide strip of fabric. I rolled the edges in and folded that over to make a 1/2" binding.
Starting in the middle of the opening, I double stitched the binding around the entire opening. This adds strength to the opening and gives the zipper something to attach to other than the sleeping bag nylon.
I chose the zipper (my wife helped pick one that looked appropriate.. probably a good thing.) and cut it to length.
I shall stop here and say... pay attention when cutting... there might have been minor cursing involved due to the zipper being on the wrong half when trimming took place.
More double stitching to attach the zipper to the binding.
Step 4: Hood Pass-Thru
I measured about halfway from the hood seam to the drawstring edge. Then I pinned and cut the opening about 6" across.
Using the same process as the base I added binding. I decided against another zipper, as this opening was smaller and wouldn't affect much.
Yes, I chose to use Nightmare Before Christmas fabric for the binding because I'm a nerd.
Step 5: Underquilt Hang Grommets
My mummy bag is a bit shorter than I'd like, so the pass thru loop pulls the hammock together pretty tight at the top. Not bad for cold weather camping, but for just a mildly chilly night it is overkill. I wanted a way to use my mummy bag as only an underquilt as well in a pinch.
I do leather working as well, so I had a box of 10mm grommets laying around.
I opted to add one under each velcro patch near my head.
I measured where I wanted and traced the center with a marker on both sides, then followed the directions on the package of grommets.
I added 2 grommets to the base after testing, it liked to slide down.
Step 6: Hanging the Hammock
First it is hung for cold weather, with the hammock passing through the hood and base openings. It cinches down pretty nicely for ultimate warmth.
For use as an underquilt only, i ran the hammock through the base opening only. I hooked the free end of my MalloMe 12ft strap through the hood opening just to keep it up off the dirt. I used 550 paracord to hang the edges of the hammock up to the same 550 line I use for my bug net.
Step 7: Lessons Learned
So nice, I made it twice!
My wife and I camp together and this was a relatively easy build that we modded her bag as well.
I'm not going to say this was a *FREE* build like other people do, I've invested quite a bit over the years in everything I used.
If I could do it over again, would I male adjustments? Most likely I would add something that I would think of on the fly.