A thermarest does work well
Posted by: yknpdlr on Mar-31-13 7:19 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Apr-01-13 11:26 AM EST --
Of course you can use a Thermarest pad in a hammock. Not needed for cushioning, rather it is for insulation from cool air beneath you. The trick is to keep it underneath you and your sleeping bag. It will not stay there if you simply try to lay on top of it - it has a tendency to "squirt" out and end up on top of you. There are fortunately several good ways of holding it in place. One of the easiest is to use a light overbag, simply put your sleeping bag and pad inside and all is well. For years I used an old worn sheet sewn together to make an overbag. Costs nothing and weights practically nothing. A little more advanced option is to use a sleeping bag with a built in sleeve, such as a Big Agnes, which is what I do now. Others have glued small strips of velcro in place.
If your feet fall through the bottom entry, you have either not closed it properly by pressing the velcro together, or the velcro is dirty and clogged with debris. If you are using the hammock properly, your feet would not be directly over the opening. You should be laying in a semi-diagonal to the support line. Try not tying it so tight to the trees so there is a slight sag. Because of the way the hammock is designed, that will allow you to lay flatter than if it is ultra tight. I've been using the same bottom entry Hennessy for well over 10 years for a good many nights a year, and I don't see any need or compelling advantage to change.
A friend of mine has tried a couple of different under quilts, and that works for him, but he often doesn't bother with it, going back to the BA/sleeve/pad method instead. I haven't tried the side entry model, but remain very happy with what I have.
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