User Review: 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.