Hot Weather Top Quilt – Another DIY

The dog days are upon us here in Georgia. It’s the time of year when the summer heat and humidity make life outside uncomfortable at best. Daytime temperatures are at least in the high 80s and more often than not in the 90s. Relative humidity is off the charts. Don’t breathe too deeply when you do go outside, you might drown. It’s almost too hot to spend the night outside in a hammock and it’s definitely too hot to sleep under anything heavier than the lightest of top quilts. My warm weather top quilt made from an Army surplus poncho liner it border line too warm most nights.

Recently, a new Academy Sports store opened here in Newnan. As I expected, it’s filled with all sorts of great outdoor gear but is severely lacking in the hammock department. There were a couple of Byers hammocks but that was the extent of it. No ENOs, no Hennesseys, heck there weren’t even any stretchy ENO Slap Straps. But something did catch my eye. Tucked away in the same little corner with the two hammocks they had were a small selection of Magellan-brand poly-silk sleeping bag liners for $14.95 each.


I’ve heard of folks using a sleeping bag liner as a hot weather top quilt and I thought about picking one up but decided to hold off for a little while. Instead I filed that thought away in the gray matter for another day. We stopped in again this past weekend and I decided to go ahead and pick one up. When we got home I pulled it out of its stuff sack and quickly discovered it wasn’t quite what I expected. I had anticipated that it would be a sheet of fabric folded in half and sewn together at the bottom and maybe about half way up the long side. Nope. Turns out it was a sheet of fabric folded in half and sewn along the bottom like I expected but the long side was sewn to within about a foot of the top. I’m still trying to figure out how even a tenter would manage to wiggle into one of these things and then get in a sleeping bag. Major design flaw if you ask me…but no one asked me. I considered returning it but after thinking on it a bit, I decided to break out the scissors and sewing machine and reconfigure it into something useful.


As inspected it a bit closer I discovered that it had a drawstring closure across the top as well as a couple of pieces of Velcro. I decided to cut out the side and bottom seams and remove the Velcro bits but leave the drawstring in place. With the seams and factory hems cut away, I rolled a hem around the three unfinished sides.


I like to cinch my top quilts up at the foot with a drawstring so the end that was the top became the bottom and former bottom end became the top. I folded it over wrong-side out, matched up the sides at the corners and joined the two sides together from the new foot end up a couple of feet. The only things left to do were cinch up the drawstring, tie and trim off the excess drawstring, turn it right-side out and have Jenna give it a quick test drive


I should have plenty of opportunities to test drive it myself in my hammock over the next few until fall begins to creep in and things cool off again…

This entry was posted in Backpacking, Camping, Day Hike, Hammock, Hammock Camping, Hiking. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hot Weather Top Quilt – Another DIY

  1. Forrest says:

    Those bag liners can be a little bit awkward to get into in a small tent, but you only do it once (or more, if you have to get up to pee) per night. And all things considered, it’s often worth the hassle. Anyway, you didn’t buy a bad one, they’re mostly all designed that way.

    Something like this made from cashmere would be pretty luxurious.

    Here in Seattle, we’ve been having nothing but sunshine, and very very low humidity. We get rainy winters, but glorious summers. Humidity is something I don’t miss about the east coast, I used to feel like I just stepped out of the shower, but all day long, my hair would never dry.


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