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Hang Tight HeatSeeker Design Hammock Top Quilt

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Hang Tight HeatSeeker Design Hammock Top Quilt top quilt

In an obscure corner of the internet, HangTight Shop has opened a cottage industry company, and they are making EXTREMELY affordable top quilts that perform just as well as the companies charging hundreds of dollars.

Pros

  • Price!
  • Quality
  • Warmth
  • Weight

Cons

  • Too narrow for ground sleeping (see details)
  • "Molting"

Background to the Review: Last winter I was on a FaceBook group page for a regional hiking area when I saw a post from a new hammock hanger talking about $96 top quilts on...(get ready for it)...Etsy!

Being the "seasoned veteran" I am, I internally scoffed at the ideas that 1) you can get a decent top quilt for under $100, and 2) you can get decent gear off of a website centered around selling handcrafted crap...er...knickknacks. 

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So I wandered over to the site, and looked into it. The prices at the HangTight Shop were shockingly cheap. But what really surprised me were the hundreds of 4 and 5-star reviews on the site. I didn't see one negative review. That in turn, led to an email conversation with Steve Hazel, the owner of HangTight. In his creativity, Steve has been purchasing inexpensive 700-fill down Costco Blue Ridge Throws and resewing/layering them to create double-baffled hammock gear. Based on the price, user ratings, and Steve's quick response, I rolled the dice on the HeatSeeker Design Hammock Top Quilt.

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After 5 months and numerous trips from 1-7 nights in all weather conditions (15 nights total), I am ready to add my own 5-star review.

THE REVIEW

Weight &  Packability: The quilt arrived in mid-February in its own stuff sack, along with a HT decal and general care instructions for down items. I threw it on my scale, and it came to 1lb 10oz (advertised as 1lb 8 oz). 

IMG_20200712_101615343.jpgNalgene bottle for size comparison.

Laying it out, I really liked the color, Teal, with a silver lining inside the quilt. Reading the product description, the silver layer is for added warmth:

"Rated conservatively to 15-20 degrees. Features the new double layer Hot Foot PLUS supper warm Silver or Bronze layer added to the main body and entire foot box." ~From the website (my picture)
IMG_20200712_101830204.jpg

Warmth: HangTight is claiming 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit, which left me a bit skeptical. In one of my email exchanges prior to purchase, Steve said he advertised the bag at 20°F comfort, but that many of his "hot sleepers" had posted taking the quilt down to the low teens. Steve stated if I was a cold sleeper (which I am), I could probably count on 20°F. Unfortunately (??) even though the quilt arrived in February, the coldest night I slept in it was 28°F. I slept nice and warm that night! I had planned to take it as cold as possible, but a mild February-March prevented me from going any colder. I will update my temp experience next winter.

IMG_20200523_172504301.jpgSurrounded by spring May Apples near Cedar Lake in the Shawnee National Forest. The hammock is the ENO Sub7, my preferred hammock for trips over 50 miles. 

Fit and Comfort:

  • Width—As a hammock quilt, the HeetSeeker fits perfectly, BUT this is a hammock quilt, not a ground quilt. As mentioned in the cons above, the 48" width is too narrow for ground sleeping. However, in a hammock setup, the underquilt comes up and wraps the sides and shoulders of the sleeper (Note the first picture of the review, showing an underquilt wrapping a hammock.) When using an underquilt or a pad extender, there really is no need for a wider quilt. The HeetSeeker eliminates the wasted weight and insulation. 

    If you are a ground sleeper or need a wider quilt, HangTight sells a Custom Add On for $30. While I haven't missed the extra width. I wish I had gone with it. There are times when even a dedicated hammock hanger has to go to ground. 
  • Length—The product description in somewhat confusing on the website. Dimension states "Length: 80 inches." Description says "approximately 76" long." My tape measure gave me 72". Regardless, my 6'2" body was comfortably covered from head to chin. (Quilts have no hood. Add your own down beanie and/or balaclava to insulate your face and head.)
  • Foot Box—The roomy foot box measures 8" high x 18" wide x  22" deep. For me, that means the foot box reaches to the bottom of my knees. 

IMG_20200712_102244564.jpgThe foot box is roomy and deep. 
IMG_20200712_102021512.jpg

 Converting a Costco Quilt:

Hammock forums have been discussing the Costco Quilts for years. Converting a quilt is way outside my skillset, but HangTight has managed to capitalize on the idea. When you look closely at the quilt you can see where the old seams and sew lines have been removed and the new ones made. This does not reduce the performance of the quilt. 

IMG_20200523_172722913.jpgYou can see the faint marks of the old seam centered in the photo.

There are a few dangling threads (bottom left photo above) that needed trimming. Because this is, at its base, a Costco quilt, the molting is more than other down items I own, but I expect years of life from this quilt. Plus, at this price, I would need to replace it four times before I paid for Therm-a-Rest's 20°F Vesper quilt. 

The quilt is a great deal, and it's a tremendous way to support an entrepreneur in the outdoor industry.  

Background

I have been a hammock hanger for 10+ years and regularly test new hammocks and gear. I own two under quilts, three pad extenders, three top quilts, and way more sleeping bags than a man should own. For this review, I slept 15 nights over 5 months in temps rating from 28°F to mid-60's in the Shawnee, Hoosier, and Mark Twain National Forests.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $96

About the Author

Jeffery Gosnell is a caver, backpacker, hammock hanger, and marathon runner. His first backpacking trip was on Isle Royale National Park in 2007, where he was given the trailname Goose. Since then he has logged hundreds of miles in Shawnee National Forest and Mark Twain National Forest. He has climbed Mt. Rainier and paddled in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area. He regularly visits some of the most epic caves in the eastern U.S. Through all his adventures, Goose deals with the pain of osteoarthritis. He follows the advice of his former physical therapist—"You can sit on the couch and let the pain control you, or you can stay active and manage the pain on your own terms."

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Specs

Price MSRP: $98.00
Reviewers Paid: $96.00
Weight 1 lb 8 oz in stuff sack
Temp Rating 15-20 degrees F
Insulation 700 fill down
Length 80 in
Origin Handmade in Michigan, USA
Product Details from Hang Tight »

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