ENO Vulcan Underquilt – Warmth From Below

ENO Vulcan underquilt

Eagle‘s Nest Outfitters is a well-known maker of hammocks and hammock accessories.  Their products include the Vulcan underquilt and the Ignitor topquilt. ENO kindly supplied me with a Vulcan underquilt and Ignitor topquilt, both of which I had to return after testing.

ENO knows as well as anyone that with hammock camping it‘s the same but different. When sleeping on the ground, a mat is needed to insulate you from the cold. Even in a sleeping bag, you will get cold from the ground because your body weight compresses the lower insulation of the bag. The compressed fill offers very little insulation. When hammock camping, the problem is magnified. Air is constantly allowed to flow underneath the hammock and suck the heat right out of you. After testing one, my preferred method to insulate underneath the hammock is to use an underquilt.

An underquilt is sort of a half sleeping bag. The idea is to suspend a sheet of insulation underneath the hammock material where it cannot be compressed. You must seal the bottom of the hammock from outside air and cold. Both down and synthetic underquilts are available in various sizes.

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The Vulcan is a full length underquilt measuring 78 by 48 inches insulated with Primaloft Synergy Continuous Filament insulation. The Vulcan is a differentially cut underquiltm which means that the top fabric is cut a different size and/or shape from the bottom layer. This planned difference allows the Vulcan to naturally conform to the bottom of the hammock. The quilt fits the Double Nest hammock great, and works well on other hammocks. Some people use a ¾ length underquilt to save weight. The lower extremities are protected with a small pad that can be used to sit on, etc. No need for that with the Vulcan since the quilt is over six feet long.

Attaching the ENO Vulcan to the underside of a hammock is really simple. Shock cords are clipped into carabiners at each end of the hammock. Line locks are used to tighten the quilt up on the shock cords. On both ends of the Vulcan, ENO has installed more shock cords used to cinch up the ends and seal out air.

ENO Vulcan underquilt

I tested the Vulcan one night when the temperatures dropped into the upper 30‘s. Being the geek that I am, I bought a digital thermometer with two temperature sensors and a 24 hour low recording. At 41 degrees outside, I was plenty toasty inside the ENO‘s Ignitor topquilt at 85 degrees. Once the temperatures dropped into the upper 30‘s I started to experience CBS (cold butt syndrome). That‘s not a medical term that I know of, but the hammock camping guys throw that one around. I wasn‘t shivering by any means. Just got this cold feeling right in the backside. As the temperature went down a couple more degrees, the cool feeling started between the shoulder blades. I was wearing some thin fleece and socks, and think that if I was dressed a little warmer, the Vulcan could provide warmth into the mid 30‘s for sure. ENO states the quilt is rated at 30 to 40 degrees and I found that to be accurate.

The Vulcan comes with a storage bag and stuff sack, and packs down to about sleeping bag size. Retail price is $170. Check out the Vulcan and other great hammock camping products at www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com.

– Mark

*This article is part of my hammock camping series. Related articles include my intro, and reviews of the Exped Synmat 7, Warbonnet Blackbird XLC, and DutchWare Tarp Flyz and Stingerz.

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