During the summer it might not be something that crosses your mind but as soon as the cold fall weather approaches you’re going to start worrying about how to stay warm in a hammock, especially if you’re planning on spending time outdoors during the colder months.
A sleeping pad and a nice sleeping bag are only going to go so far and when the weather starts to dip into even lower temperatures it’s a hammock underquilt that’s going to keep you warm and cozy.
When it comes to the best hammock underquilt there are surprisingly quite a few DIY options out there – though for those of us that aren’t so handy there are still some available that are ready to go.
The way that these underquilts work is by fitting around you on the outside of the hammock so that none of it gets compressed and it can continue to keep you warm effectively throughout the night.
The problem that you’ll run into when you’re not using one is that even if you have a good sleeping bag there are parts of that are going to get compressed against the sides of the hammock
You’re really going to start feeling the cold air from outside as the sleeping bag loses its effectiveness once it’s compressed.
With the underquilt you’re able to avoid this problem completely and you can stay warm and cozy inside the hammock even when it’s quite cold outside.
Of course, this is just one more thing you’re going to have to set up when you’re getting ready for the night but it’s definitely worth it when you’re warm and toasty inside and you don’t have to shiver the whole night through.
Underquilts these days also come with better insulation and are designed to provide warmth in much colder temperatures than you would typically experience during the summer camping months.
You’re also going to want to consider using a tarp at the same time to help block the wind and just in case it happens to snow overnight.
Let’s take a look at some of my recommendations for the best underquilt you can use when you’re hammock camping.
The Best Hammock Underquilt | Staying Warm During the Winter
ENO Ember 2 Under Quilt
The ENO Ember 2 Under Quilt is my top recommendation if you’re looking for an underquilt to use so that you can camp throughout all four seasons and be able to stay warm.
As you might know, I’m a huge fan of the ENO products and I definitely find the Ember 2 to be well designed and great for cold weather use.
When it comes to weather protection this underquilt is rated at a temperature rating of 50° although if you’re also using it with a sleeping bag as well as warm clothes you can definitely still feel comfortable in a much colder range.
It offers a universal fit so you can use it with any hammock that you currently have for camping and it’s polyester filled, which is less maintenance than having to deal with down or any other synthetics.
I use this one with both my ENO double-nest as well as my Hennessy Hammock and I haven’t run into any issues with fit or comfort throughout the night.
At each end there is an adjustable shock cord that can be used for quickly setting it up when you’re in a rush to get inside your hammock and I definitely recommend doing a few practice runs before heading out into the woods just to make sure you can get everything going when you’re out there.
The show itself is made from a nylon material and comes with a DWR finish so it’s fairly water resistant although you’re still going to want to use a tarp if you’re expecting rain or snow.
As for packability, it is definitely one more thing you don’t to have to bring along with you and thankfully it comes with a nylon stuff sack so that you can just stuff it away and shove it in your backpack when you’re not using it during the day.
Depending on your preferences there are a few different colors to choose from and I would definitely recommend taking a look at the ENO Ember 2 Under Quilt if you want to to keep hammocking throughout the fall, winter, and early spring.
ENO Vulcan Underquilt
The ENO Vulcan Underquilt is another great option available from Eagles Nest Outfitters and it’s a very well suited for anybody interested in camping in extreme cold weather during the peak of the winter.
On its own this underquilt is capable of providing warmth down to temperatures of 30 to 40F and I would argue that you can take it even lower if you’re well equipped with the right gear and you’re also using a very warm sleeping bag.
The insulation is made using a combination of fine and ultrafine filament fibers and these actually form tiny air pockets in the insulation itself that are able to keep body heat wrapped and prevent cold from entering.
When you’re using an underquilt the warmth from your body is going to warm up the area around you when you’re inside the hammock so that as long as you’re not getting in and out too much you should be able to stay warm throughout the night even when the temperature gets quite low.
The construction of this underquilt is quite unique where the inner shell fabric is actually made from a narrower cut than that of the outer shell and this helps to keep it conformed to the natural contours of your body so that you’re not as susceptible to drafts and pockets of cold air.
The suspension features an adjustable shock cord that allows you to quickly adjust the position of the underquilts depending on where you’re trying to set it up and you can even get it fairly closed around your body so that your face and feet aren’t as exposed to the elements.
The exterior comes equipped with a durable water repellent finish so that if it does happen to be raining or snowing and the underquilt catches a few drops they’re going to bed up and just roll off onto the ground underneath you.
A stuff sack comes included so that you can stuff it into the sack when you’re not using it and compress it into a smaller size so that it better fits inside your backpack.
I would definitely recommend taking a look at the ENO Vulcan Underquilt if you’re planning on doing some hammock camping in cold weather temperatures that are going to approach or even exceed the freezing point.
Snugpak Hammock Cocoon
The Snugpak Hammock Cocoon is an interesting take on the underquilt and it’s designed more of a cocoon to help keep you warm throughout the night when you’re laying there inside your hammock.
The way it works is by completely encasing the hammock and this helps to keep you shielded from the wind and outer cold air around you.
It can be used to fit onto most hammocks as long as you don’t have one that’s extra long or awkwardly shaped.
On the inside it features a travelsoft filling that’s helps to provide insulation throughout the night while trapping heat and reflecting it back on to you so that you’re able to stay warm just from the warmth of your own body heat.
To make it easier to backpack with it comes with a compression stuff sack so when you’re not using it you can just stuff it into the sack, compress it, and pack it into your backpack when you’re ready to go.
After wrapping it around your hammock there is a full length zipper on the top that you can use for getting in and out and that you can even open during the night if you need some fresh air or if you’re getting too warm.
Despite not being as popular as some of the other options that I’ve mentioned here I would still recommend taking a look at the Snugpak Hammock Cocoon if you’re looking for an underquilt to use during the cold winter months to stay warm while you’re hammock camping.
These are just three of my recommendations for the best hammock underquilt and although there are plenty of options to choose from I believe that these three are suitable for most people.
Staying warm in a hammock during the winter is very important, especially if you’re planning on heading deep into the backcountry.
You want to make sure that you’re taking the precautions so that you’re falling asleep warm enough to make it through the night without shivering awake every few minutes.
For any extreme weather conditions you can use an underquilt along with a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rainfly, and any of your cold weather hiking or camping gear that you have.
In an emergency I would always recommend making your way back to your car or home if possible and if not then starting a fire so that you can warm up is a great alternative to making it through the night.