Eagles Nest Outfitters Ember Underquilt
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179.99
The Ember Underquilt does what it's supposed to do. It reduces the effects of cold temperatures on the underside of a hammock, due to the heat loss. It's designed to insulate the bottom and the sides of the hammock, helping to keep the hammock user warmer.
- Very effective in helping to ensure a warmer sleeping experience.
- Packs down fairly small.
- Relatively light.
- Does not eliminate the need for a good quality sleeping bag or overquilt.
I used the ENO Ember Underquilt on a recent trip, combined with an ENO DoubleNest hammock, Guardian Bug Net, and Dry Fly rainfly. My sleeping bag was a Mountain Hardwear Lamina +35. I slept in the hammock fully dressed, with a fleece jacket for extra warmth. I've learned the hard way that I have to plan on a hammock feeling up to 10 degrees F colder than when sleeping on the ground.
That being said, the Ember Underquilt did its job, and kept me warm thoughout the night. The little thermometer I hung inside the hammock read about 35 degrees F when I woke up in the middle of the night.
The one comfort issue I did experience was most my likely my own fault. I forgot to take off the socks I'd worn that day, before putting on my wool socks for sleeping, which meant my feet were a little damp, and got a bit cold at times. If, while laying on my back, I kept my feet side-by-side, they were fine. But if I crossed my legs, the foot on top got cold. I was able to remedy that by putting my wool cap over my feet.
I honestly don't attribute that issue to the underquilt, and if I'd removed my hiking socks before putting on the wool socks, or if perhaps I'd have used a warmer sleeping bag, or a good quality overquilt, I wouldn't have had a problem. I've spent some pretty cold nights in hammocks in the past, and the Ember Underquilt now gives me the confidence to say that those times are behind me.
The quality of the Ember appears to be quite good. The weight is not too bad, at just under two pounds. The stuff sack is actually a compression sack, which allows the underquilt to pack down fairly small, about 7 x 12 inches. I've read other reviews that complained about cold spots on the bottome corners of the Ember's squarish design, but I experienced none of that. We're all wired differently, of course. Someone else might find the Ember Underquilt quite adequate with minimal top insulation, but for me, I still need a decent sleeping bag to round out the package.
Hammock camping hasn't proved to be any less complicated, bulky, or heavy than tent camping, for me anyway. But the dramatic increase in comfort levels, and the assurances of a better night's sleep justify getting the right gear for it. The ENO Ember Underquilt proved to be a worthwhile investment, and I'm very satisfied with its quality and performance.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $174
Returned it the same day I got it.
- Full-length underquilt
- Cheaply made
- Shape interferes with purpose
First, if you looked at the review with the video, let me say the unit I got no longer has the shock cords running along the length of the sides. The only connection points are the two ends.
I bought this because I won Trailspace's contest in January and got a $500 gift card to Backcountry.com (Thank you, Trailspace!!!!!). I needed an underquilt for my hammock, and Backcountry only sells the Ember.
I was warned by MANY folks on Hammockforums.net not to buy it, but I had the gift card.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was that the Ember had the feel of one of my kid's $15 Walmart sleeping bags. It just felt cheap—but at $174 it cost a lot.
I set my hammock with the Ember up after work, and I was further disappointed. An UQ is suppose to hug up against the bottom of the hammock to trap warmth. Unfortunately, there were so many gaps—gaps I couldn't tighten up—that the Ember was full of cold spots. I was uncomfortable laying in my 60°F garage. There's no way I'd take this out on a cold night.
I packed it right back up and contacted Backcountry about exchanging it for something else. Very disappointed, but I had been warned.
Here's my review of Eagles Nest Outfitters "Ember" underquilt.
Price Paid: $179
The Ember from ENO is awesome and I've gotten to use it quite a bit over the past 2 months. I've owned other underquilts that were cheaper but just didn't perform like I needed on a cold night in the mountains. So for this winter I decided to not let cost be the deciding factor for my next underquilt purchase.
There were definitely more expensive underquilts, but I like Eagles Nest Outfitters as a company and know their products to be good quality. I think with the Ember you get what you pay for: an underquilt that is simple to set up but most importantly keeps you warm and dry.
Most recently after getting almost a foot of snow a few days before, I went camping in Pisgah National Forest, one night the lowest temp was 26 degrees. While I was dressed warmly in fleece, no jacket though, the Ember kept me toasty and dry the entire night and the following two nights as well. Absolutely recommend this product.