Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, I survived my 52nd trip around the sun and have started another. When ConnieLou asked me what I wanted for my birthday I had to think about it for a little bit. There’s almost always some little gadget or piece of gear lurking in the back of my mind but for once I was drawing a blank. As I was watching a hammock camping video on YouTube a few weeks back it hit me that what I really wanted was a down underquilt that would carry me through a southern winter and keep me comfortable at temperatures 10 to 20 degrees colder than my DIY Climashield underquilt could handle.

I already knew that there are plenty of options available from small ‘cottage’ manufacturers so I began to do my research to figure out which suited my needs and wants which included goose down fill, full length (72 inches) and a 20-degree (F) rating. All in all, finding an underquilt that I liked that met my criteria wasn’t hard at all. There were several that fit that bill but when I got down into the details I found that Hammock Gear’s Incubator 20 grabbed my interest.

tag

For the most part, Hammock Gear’s products are made to order and one can choose between fabric weights and fabric colors for the inner and outer shells and can also request additional down fill if desired. But…they also have a few already completed pieces on their website that can be had at a bit of a discount if you’re not picky about colors. Luckily, they had an Incubator 20 with a black outer shell and Mediterranean blue inner shell which was pretty close to what I wanted.

I placed my order and in a few days found a large box on my front porch. Fortunately it arrived on a Friday so I wouldn’t have to wait to hook it up and try it out. ConnieLou was kind enough to come out in the woods in the dark to help me adjust the suspension and tighten the cinches at the ends. I knew that a 45 degree night wouldn’t be much of a test for a 20 degree quilt so I compensated a little bit by wearing just a pair of soft shorts, a t-shirt and a light pair of socks…and stayed toasty warm.

Fast forward a week…the weather prognosticators were predicting that a cold front would move through our area yesterday that would bring a little rain and much cooler weather. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to give the incubator a better test.

I hung up my hammock, quilts and tarp in my usual spot…

incubator-2

…and pitched my tarp in ‘porch mode’…

porch-mode

Of course I had to spend a little while confirming that my hammock, quilts and tarp were hung properly and admired the view from my ‘porch’…

test-drive

view

Once bedtime finally rolled around I pulled on a thin fleece shirt, a pair of flannel lounge pants and a loose fitting pair of wool socks and grabbed a fleece balaclava to keep my noggin warm then headed out back…

balaclava

My little thermometer that lives in my ridgeline bag told me that the temperature was 40 degrees when I crawled into my hammock and pulled up my topquilt…

40

By daybreak it was 31 outside my quilts but I was nice and toasty warm inside and in no big hurry to get up…

31

morning

Unfortunately it seems like we may be just about finished with winter here except for another cold snap or two. Guess that means I’ll get to spend the next few months figuring out how warm I can go with combinations of the Incubator and various top quilts before having to switch to a lighter underquilt.

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This entry was posted in Backpacking, Camping, Hammock, Hammock Camping, Hammock Gear, Hammock Gear Incubator, Hammock Gear Underquilt, Incubator 20. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Happy Birthday to Me!

  1. johnspenn says:

    Great Birthday present! I’ve heard nothing but good things about HG products. I’ll have gone ’round 50 times myself in March, so I’m right on your heels. Happy birthday!

  2. mrbream says:

    Thanks John! Like you, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Hammock Gear products and the owners. I couldn’t be more pleased with my Incubator. Good luck with 50!

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