First Look: Hammock Gear Custom 50 F Burrow (Top Quilt)

My last post was my first look at the Hammock Gear 20 F Cuben Fiber Phoenix UQ, however, the UQ wasn’t the only item that showed up on my doorstep that day. I also received a (slightly custom) top quilt from Hammock Gear in the same shipment! So, without much use so far, I simply want to do a first look type of video/write-up on this sweet piece of “downy goodness” as well…

A little history first though…

Way back when…ok, way back in January of 2011 (that’s this year)… I originally ordered a “summer” top quilt from another “vendor” and was told up front that the wait time for the quilt would be 12 weeks. At the time, I was ok with this, being as it was January and it would be about 12 weeks before I could think about using a “summer” top quilt anyway, so I placed my order. To make a long story short, 27 weeks later I threw in the towel and asked for the money back. The money was returned to me painlessly, and now with my money back in hand, I ordered a Hammock Gear 50 F Burrow Top Quilt, but with a few tweaks. (Details below.)

During the latter part of my 27 week quilt wait time, I came across a video by Raul Perez in which he showed some love for a custom Hammock Gear Summer Burrow Top Quilt that he had just got in the mail. This really drew my interest as I was desperately hoping for my very own (long-awaited) custom quilt to knock on my door anytime now… Little did I know, Raul’s video would stick in my mind like a sore thumb over the next few weeks, and eventually lead me to the Hammock Gear website to “browse around.” And I gotta admit, once I did, I liked what I saw…

At this time, the 50 F Burrow (formally the 45 – 50 F Burrow) was not listed on the Hammock Gear site, there was only the Summer Burrow. However, the Summer Burrow very nearly matched the quilt I was waiting on, but at a much lesser price point. So, between Raul’s video and the new-found quilt, at 27 weeks I decided it was time to go another route.

By the time I had the money back in hand and was ready to order, I noticed that Adam had a new quilt posted on his site, the 45 – 50 F Burrow. This was exactly what I was looking for! Our summer temperatures are very hot, and to be quite honest, a down quilt may be overkill, but IMO, it is not useless. So, with this in mind, I wanted a pretty minimal quilt. The difference between Adam’s Summer Burrow and the 45 – 50 F Burrow is that the Summer Burrow is actually baffled, whereas the 45 – 50 F Burrow is sewn through. Considering I wanted to use this quilt in warmer temperatures (but still be able to somewhat handle an out-of-nowhere low temp of around 40 F), baffling was actually overkill, again, IMO. Sewn-through construction would provide warmth down to temperatures I wanted, but more importantly, it would save weight… Not to mention that the listed price for a (stock) 45 – 50 Burrow was almost half the price for which I paid for my initial quilt!

So, with a still lingering memory of my recent experience in ordering a quilt in which I never got, I decided to call Adam on the phone and speak with him about the quilt before ordering. First off, I wanted to get an estimated time frame from order to arrival. As well, with the extra money I had, I wanted to ask about using some different materials to hopefully lighten the quilt up a hair more, if possible. So, I called, the phone rang about 3 or 4 times and then I spoke with Adam for about 25 minutes about the quilt and different options.

When I hung up the phone, I had decided that I was going to order the 45 – 50 F Burrow. But, there were a few things I wanted to do different from stock.

First, I wanted to use M90 for the shell rather than the stock 1.1 Nylon Ripstop. However, in order to do this, I had to order the material and have it shipped to Adam’s shop since he did not carry this material. So, I placed my order through Thru-Hiker.com on a Thursday afternoon, and by Monday morning, the material was in Adam’s shop!

Velcro Foot Box Closure

Next, rather than going with the option of the snap closures for the foot box, I chose to use some new Velcro for the foot box closure that Adam had just gotten in but had not yet put up on the site as an option. I did not like the idea of snaps because I could imagine getting my feet tangled up between the snaps. However, I did like the idea that the Velcro would completely seal the foot box up and this way my wandering feet would not get caught in the snaps. (Also, I was under the impression that this new Velcro just might be slightly lighter.) Although, I did not rule out snaps all together. I also imagined myself accidentally pulling the Velcro apart with my legs at night if I moved around much, so I asked Adam for a single snap to be placed at the top of the Velcro to help reinforce the Velcro closure.

Being that I am still a ground sleeper (hammocks have not yet drawn me away from the ground completely) Adam offered to sew 4 small loops on the edge of the quilt (2 on each side: 1 middle ways and the other near the head-end). These can be seen in the picture to the left. This way I can use a light-weight strap/cord to draw in the edges around me if I ever need to trap in a little extra warmth. (But keep in mind, this is a warm-weather quilt, so this should be a rare thing.)

Last, I did opt for 1 extra oz of the stock 900 df for overfill. This may seem a bit odd since it is a summer quilt, and I wanted it to be as light as possible…but let me quickly explain my rationale. I have gotten cool before when I did not expect too. When making my decision, I felt like the sewn through construction of this quilt with an extra oz of down (and lighter shell materials) would still weigh less than a baffled quilt with minimal fill weight, yet still perform as well. If I expect temperatures to be lower than 40 F, I will bring a different bag. But I want to be able to make it through a 40 F night with this quilt and my clothing layers. Not sure how it will work, but in my mind it makes sense, and I will have to try it out…

(I would also like to add that Adam was generous in the extra down when I placed my order. On his site, each oz of extra down is $10, however, the price was not listed, nor did it add to the final price when either 1 oz, or 2 oz was selected for this quilt. As mentioned above, I wanted 1 extra oz and he let me have it at no extra cost since it did not ring up that way (although it is now fixed). Thanks Adam!)

So, the morning after I ordered the M90 from Thru-Hiker, I placed the order for my new custom quilt from Adam! Then, 39 days later I received my quilt.

Now, the reason I threw in all this history…

After waiting a full half a year (and a few days) for a top quilt I never received, well, I will simply say I was just ready to finally get my top quilt. So, I wanted to add all this reading in (if you are still reading) to say that I may have been a bit impatient.

When I ordered the quilt from Hammock Gear, I was counting the days…

19 days after I placed the order for the top quilt, I placed my order for my Cuben Fiber Phoenix UQ. When I placed the order I also sent an email (late at night mind you) inquiring about using different materials on the UQ as well as asked about the progress/status of my TQ. Jenny returned my email that same night (somewhere around 10:30/11:00 pm) and informed me that the quilt was sewn and waiting for the down which would be in by that Friday. She also told me that the quilt would ship that weekend, or early the next week. However, it ended up being 15 days later before the top quilt would ship, and then 5 more days before it was on my doorstep (it was a holiday weekend).

It was these last 20 days that I placed a few phone calls to Adam and exchanged a few emails about the shipping. From what I was told, when I ordered my UQ, there was a mix-up and some one that helps out with the orders thought that I wanted my top quilt to ship with my under quilt. Also, at the end when Adam told me that he put it in the mail, I never got an email notification with a tracking number. To be honest, this worried me, so I placed another call to Adam and he told me to give it a day and then to let him know if I still did not receive anything. He also told me that they were using a new mailing system and that not quite all the bugs were worked out. And while I understood, this did not settle the OCD in me and I got antsy…

But rest assured, a box of “downy goodness” did indeed show up at my door, and I was all the better! However, looking back, there was a few times that the shipping did not happen like I was told to expect. Although, I do understand that there is only so much that 2 people can do, and I feel safe saying that they were/are up late hours doing their best to get these quality items out to us, I still wish that the entire shipping process could have gone a bit smoother. I imagine that the few times I was told to expect the item to ship “soon” was their way of reassuring me that it wouldn’t be much longer, but then I never received the item or a notification that it had been shipped. To be completely honest, this made me a bit nervous. On the other hand, I am not in their shoes, so I cannot comment on how this might be better achieved. And again, I was probably a bit impatient…

So, at this point, I am going to take a minute to rest my bleeding fingers from all this typing and insert a first look/impressions video on my custom Hammock Gear 50 F Burrow top quilt that I pulled out of the box…

So, a few basic specs from my 50 F Burrow:

  • Quilt weight: 12.9 oz
  • Stuff Sack weight: 0.5 oz
  • Width at head end: 49 inches
  • Width at foot end: 39 inches
  • Length: 72 inches
  • Measured Loft: 1 – 1.5 inches

And again, here are the “custom” features of my 50 F Burrow:

  • M90 material rather than the stock 1.1 nylon ripstop
  • 1 extra oz of 900 df (total of 6 oz of 900 df)
  • Velcro foot box closure rather than snaps
  • 4 tie-outs to cinch the quilt around me

Also, here are some pictures of me laying under the quilt while laying on my regular size NeoAir:

Lying flat on my back with the quilt draped opened up over me

Lying on my side with the quilt opened and up draped over me

Lying flat on my back with the quilt closed up around me

Lying on my side with the quilt closed up around me

So, what are my thoughts on the quilt???

Weight: To be honest, I was hoping that the M90 would cut more weight than what it looks like it may have. The stock 50 F Burrow on the Hammock Gear site is listed at 12.2 oz, and based on this weight, the M90 (may have) only cut 0.3 oz off the total weight. My particular quilt (without the stuff sack) is 12.9 oz, with one extra oz of down. If I subtract the 1 oz of down, then I end up with a 11.9 oz M90 (near) version of the stock 50 F Burrow, which is only a 0.3 oz difference. If this is actually correct, I now wish I would not have spent $60 more on the M90 and just went with the stock 1.1 ripstop. To make matters worse (not really, just a saying) the new 7d material is an option on the Hammock Gear website for the 50 F Burrow which happens to be even lighter than the M90 and at $50 is less money than what I paid for the M90. Not to mention, Adam has the 7d in stock, so I wouldn’t have had to go to another source for the material, which basically means, less hassle (not that it was though).

Something else worth considering, from my understanding, the listed stock quilt weight does not use the Velcro option for the foot box, but rather the snaps. Initially when I spoke with Adam, I was under the impression that the Velcro would be equal to or slightly less than the weight of snaps. At this point though, I have no way of knowing unless Adam were to measure out the appropriate amount of snaps and the appropriate length of Velcro and then compared the weights.

One other fact to take into consideration are the 4 extra loops that he installed along the sides for me to cinch the quilt up. Again, I am not sure on how much weight these 4 loops add, but I really don’t see it as more than about 0.1 oz total, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

I bring up these things because these other options more-than-likely make a difference in the weight of my quilt one-way-or-another before the extra oz of down was added. (Food for thought.)

Also, when speaking with Adam on the phone, he made mention that it may be a possibility that a little more than 1 extra oz of down may have been put into the quilt. However, there is no way for either of us to know this for sure at this point. Either way, in the end, I am very happy that I have a 12 oz quilt (generally speaking). And, as seen in the video, this quilt did cut more than half the weight from the GoLite RS 1+ Season quilt that I was using, which is a major success IMO. From my point of view, the only (reasonable) way for me to go lighter now is to just go with a silk sheet…

So, in terms of weight, 2 thumbs up! Let me just tell ya, this thing is wispy light! When it is laying on top of me, I cannot feel the weight of it at all and I have to look down to check and make sure it is still there…

Temperature Rating: Even though this quilt is a “50 F” Burrow, I am hoping that (with the extra oz of down) I can push it closer to 40 F, just in case. Many that own Adam’s quilts have stated that his quilts are actually a little warmer than rated, although I do understand that everyone sleeps different. Of course though, if temperatures are expected to be closer to the 40 F mark, I will be sure to bring adequate clothing (such as my Montbell UL Down Inner Parka) to supplement the quilt (just-in-case) So, I must admit that I am looking forward to pushing the temperature rating on this quilt! But until then, I cannot adequately comment on this.

Size/Dimensions/Fit: My quilt ended up being 1 inch narrower than listed on the site and about 6 inches shorter. When I first spoke with Adam before ordering the quilt, I questioned him about the listed 78 inch length on regular sized quilts. I thought that it would be too long, however, he told me that due to the way the end (foot box) bunches up when cinched closed the extra inches are not actually extra inches anymore. However, once I got my quilt and laid the tape measure beside it, I found mine to measure 72 inches long. So, I closed up the foot box, crawled in and then secured the head end around my neck. I fit, so in my opinion, this was good. However, when I told Adam of this I think he was a little surprised that it fit me all closed up and with a measured length of 72 inches. (FYI: I am 5’10” tall.)

Also, when I first measured the head end, I came up with 48 inches all stretched out, but I later realized that the cord lock was a tiny bit cinched. When I let it completely loose, I then got 49 inches, which is still 1 inch narrower than listed on the site. This however, will be one area I have to watch while using the quilt on the ground, which I plan to do. Being a side sleeper I need all the width that I can get, so this will be a real test for the quilt. So, to help me battle drafts sneaking in the close-cut sides, Adam added 4 loops to the sides which I can run a cord through to cinch and hold the quilt shut around me (much like a mummy-style sleeping bag). As far as using in a hammock, the width is more than adequate.

Also, I really love that this quilt will completely open up flat rather than have a permanently sewn foot box. This will come in very handy for me on those nights that are a little too warm and I need all the ventilation that I can get. I can leave the quilt completely opened up and drape it over me, rather than having to put one leg inside the foot box and one out, which is a little more comfortable. On the other hand, I like the Velcro because it will completely seal up the foot box when I need to stay as warm as I can.

Foot Box Details

Foot Box Closed Up

And speaking of the Velcro, I want to add some thoughts about it. I do like the simplicity of the Velcro, and I love the end result (as mentioned in the above paragraph). However, I have found that the edges of the Velcro are pointy, and they will scratch against my legs. Also, if I don’t make sure that the Velcro is evenly stuck together I can also feel the uncovered areas of the Velcro rubbing against my legs. This alone would make me reconsider the Velcro option on any other quilts. (I have no knowledgeable use of the Omni Tape, but I wonder if it would act different.) Maybe if there was a way that the edges of the Velcro could be rounded, or even buried inside the quilt somehow, I believe that this option would then be better.

So, I think that that about sums up my thoughts on my custom Hammock Gear 50 F Burrow top quilt. Overall, I am happy with the quilt. This thing has really grown on me and I have found myself using it as a regular blanket even inside! It is soft on the skin and the down is so fluffy and comfortable, and warm. As well, the stitching is super! No flaws anywhere! Simply amazing. I look forward to using this thing for a long time!

If I have missed something, or you have any questions or comments, just leave them below and I will get back to you. Until then, thanks for sticking with me on this particularly longer post! Hope you enjoyed…

~Stick~

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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6 Responses to First Look: Hammock Gear Custom 50 F Burrow (Top Quilt)

  1. Nathan says:

    I was kinda thinking about this very same quilt for summer use and found your review. Have you had a chance to use it and if so, what are your thoughts?

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Nathan,

      I really like the quilt, but if I could do it over I would do a few things different. I would go with the 7D on the inner and the M55 on the outer rather than the M90 on inner & outer. The 7D is very nice against skin, and the M55 weighs less than my M90. I would probably also ask Adam to add about 5″ to the width of the quilt just to have that little extra width on those sudden cool nights. Also, I would not use the velcro on the footbox because it is scratches my leg and it gets caught on the footbox draw cord. I would just go with the snaps.

      This may sound like a bit much, but don’t get me wrong, it really is a nice quilt. However, as with most of my gear, I usually find out things that I would like to have different once I actually have it in my hands. But, for the time being I am very happy to use this quilt. I have no plans of getting rid of it either…

      Hope that this helps…

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Nathan says:

      Yeah. That helps a lot. I am glad that I can learn from your experiences 🙂

      Any reason you wouldn’t go with the 7D for both inner and outer?

      I had my questions about the width as well. When I put the measuring tape around my chest (over my arms and near the shoulders) I am at 50″. I was wondering a little when I saw that yours measured to 49″.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Nathan,

      If I remember correctly, the M55 is a hair “heavier” than the 7D. The 7D is quite wispy and I would have a little concern with it as the outer shell, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Also, assuming that the above is correct, the 7D would shave off a tiny bit more weight if it were used instead of the M55… For me though, I would use the M55 outside and the 7D inside. That is just what I would want.

      Concerning the width, the 50″ (or more correctly, the 49″) is ok for me. You can see in the pictures how it fits around me, which in my opinion, it does fit, but with little wiggle room. If he would be willing to add about 5″ to the width that would make it about right for me. However, this is technically a summer quilt, so I plan to bring this quilt with me in the hottest of temperatures, but at the same time, I plan to use it as low as I can take it too. As it is I can use it to just about 40 F as long as I am wearing my heavy weight long bottoms, socks, a long sleeve shirt and a boggin. With my down jacket I could probably go to about 35 F but it may have drafty moments and be a little colder than I would like. I think a little more width would allow me to push it to right at freezing more comfortably, and since it will open up completely, I can still ventilate it very easily in the summer. As well, since I would use the lighter weight material, those extra 5″ in the width would probably not add any weight at all…

      Hope this helps.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  2. Terry says:

    Just out of curiosity, what do you do with your old gear when you replace it with new gear?
    Thanks,
    Terry

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Terry,

      Typically, I hold onto it. I have only sold a very few things. But, I have only been in the sport for almost 3 years now so I really don’t have too much. Of course there are things that I have multiples of though… However, I don’t want to have one set-up that is for all the time. I would like a “winter” set-up that is good to temps to around 10 F because that is all I need in my neck of the woods. (But when I say good to 10 F, then I mean comfy to 10 F, so on this I should be able to manage a frequent 0 F night…just not as comfy.) Then I would like a “2-season” set-up, such as mid spring or fall when temps are still cool, but not quite hot, then of course a blistering hot, middle of summer set-up, which is where I will toy with getting as light a pack as possible…

      Also, it is nice to have extras for when others want to go with me. Makes it easier to ask a friend if I can say I already have the stuff…

      In the case of the top quilt, I will probably keep it. My wife only has a 15 F top quilt, so it is major overkill in warmer temps.

      ~Stick~

      Like

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