Hammock Gear Premium Incubator 20°
Reviewers Paid: $268.00
Bigger in size with a finer down than its ECO version, Hammock Gear’s Premium Incubator 20 is one of the best full-price gear purchases I have ever made. Once again the cottage industry proves its superiority to shelved items at REI.
- Warmth-to-weight ratio
- Wait time on order
I suffer from a hiking condition known as CBS (Cheap B@st@rd Syndrome). If you look over my gear reviews you will see loads of sentences like, “I bought this on clearance,” or “It was on sale.” And I often steer clear of name-brand stuff, unless I pick it up used or deeply discounted. HG’s Premium Incubator 20 is NOT one of those CBS purchases. I did my research and coughed up the dough to pay full price for this quality underquilt, and I have not regretted the purchase after four years and many nights out on the trail.
I specifically purchased the Premium version of the Incubator 20, due to my 6’2" frame. Given that my DreamHammock is 11' long, I felt a bigger quilt would work better. I also paid for the extra ounce of 850 down to essentially make the underquilt a 15-degree one. The bigger size and extra down does edge up the weight to 24.4 ounces, but since I sleep cold, I have no complaints on the weight.
Each UQ is built to order. While that means a longer wait time (2-3 weeks, longer around Christmas), it also means you are getting a handmade piece of quality craftsmanship made in the USA. The stitching is straight and tight. After four years of use, I have yet to pull on a loose thread.
The cut of the UQ provides a shape that hugs the natural curve of a hammock (see first photo). There is a definitive wider top end to wrap around your shoulders and a narrow foot end to go around the feet. This cut reduces weight, while fitting a hammock exceptionally well.
Some of the extra features include:
- Elastic cord locks to help “dial in” and hold the UQ in place for maximum insulation.
- S-hooks to quickly attach and detach the QU to the hammock. Newer Incubators come with color-coded S-hooks to help differentiate between head and foot (I just look for the HG tag at the head end.).
- Helpful plastic “rings” that can be used to clip the UQ to a compatible hammock setup.
- Since my DangerBird does not have the compatible setup, I use the rings to keep my sleeping bag in place at night.
The Incubator has been with me on everything from car camping to multi-night trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Ozark Mountains. I have taken it down to the upper-20s, but tend to weenie out when it gets much colder.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $268