I have a Helinox cot lite that I take backpacking. I have noticed that its pretty much like a small hammock when it gets cold out with air traveling under my cot I freeze. I was wondering if anyone knows somebody that makes custom under quilts that would make on for a cot. I already contacted EE but they said they don't have the man power to make a custom under quilt for me.
What about the Klymit Inertia pads? The full-length X-Frame weighs 8 ounces and has a 3x6 inch packed size; the short (42-inch length) X-Lite weighs 5.5 ounces and has a 2.5x5.5 inch packed size (you could use your empty pack to insulate your lower legs.) Their theory is that their pads, which are mostly holes, provide a frame that supports your body; the bottom fill of your sleeping bag can then loft downward to fill the holes, giving much the same effect as an underquilt.
Clearly, these pads would not be a good solution if you use a quilt (or a sleeping bag that isn’t insulated on the bottom and relies on a high-R pad for bottom insulation.)
I’ve never used a Klymit pad, nor do I know anyone who has; I have read some good (and bad) reviews. However, based on the information on the Klymit website, they might come close to your requirements.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
As mentioned above, the underquilt insulation will compress under your body weight and will not be very insulating.
An inflatable insulated pad sounds like your best bet. The "R" rating should be 5 or above for cold weather. Don't pump it up full; for the best comfort it needs to be a bit squishy. It will be a bit less insulating when squishy, but really comfortable.
With my Exped UL Downmat, in squishy mode, I have never felt the need for a cot, even though I'm in my 80s and getting rather decrepit, with corresponding aches and pains.
For any sleep system, or new components, I do strongly recommend several nights of trial at home before taking it on a trip, while you can return it!
Edited by OregonMouse (01/22/1904:51 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
I did contact Goosefeet gear and he said he would give it a shot but couldn't get to it till May. I'll be getting him the measurements and pictures of my cot so he can quote me a price. Thank you so much for the suggestion.
The under quilt I want will hang under my cot so my body weight will not be compressing it but will provide a barrier between me and the air space between the underside of my cot and the ground. Think of it as a small hammock. Same rules apply really which is why I don't know why there aren't more under quilts for cots. I guess there just aren't that many cot users out there.
You’re right - there aren’t many cot users (at least not in the Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky area where I hike.) I’ve seen one, and I’ve been backpacking from a long time before cots were available.
Since most of us aren’t familiar with cot camping, except in a theoretical sense, what do you like about it? What is the weight of your cot? Do you just put it inside a normal tent (I’ve seen Thermarest cots which have specific “tents” that attach to them)? Any other information you’d like to share would also be useful.
Well the Helinox cot lite comes in at around 2lbs 9oz. So that runs off most backpackers because of the weight. I like my cot because I its comfortable and I don't have to worry about puncturing it like a inflatable sleeping pad. The cot I use easily slides into a tent, I would be lying if I said I haven't thought about a inflatable sleeping pad but I get a really good nights sleep on my cot well that is if its not to cold out LOL hence the under quilt I'm looking to have made. I can say I stayed nice and warm on my last backpacking trip to colorado. It got down around 40 degrees one night and I was in a 40 degree sleeping bag and stayed plenty warm. I have switched over to a EE 30 degree down quilt which is why I kind of need the under quilt now dropping my Kelty 40 synthetic sleeping bag. I can't say a cot is more comfortable than a sleeping pad because I have not slept on a really nice sleeping pad. If you get a chance to try a backpacking cot I would say go for it to see if you like it more. If I ever get a chance to try out like a therm-a-rest neoair or something like it I will try it out. I'm just not willing to spend the money on it just to see if I like it more than my cot.
I'm a bit late to the game, but had some thoughts I wanted to share.
First, I think a Goosefeet underquilt would be a great solution if you are willing to pay for it. I've heard he has good prices (and great quality) for custom down equipment, but it is still going to be a custom piece of equipment. It won't be the same price as a mass produced item from China.
You could try hanging an emergency Mylar blanket between the bottom of the cot and the ground. As long as you maintain a gap you will get good radiation insulation. You would still have quite a bit of area to move air, so you won't be able to cut out all convection.
Another option, that would be quite messy in a tent, but would work out better in a floorless shelter is to use some locally sourced leaves. You could pretty easily make a skirt to go around the perimeter of the cot and then stuff leaves underneath it. A moderator on this forum that I haven't seen in a while (Phat) I remember once posted how he had a piece of cloth he hung below his hammock and then stuffed it with leaves for a free insulation you don't have to carry in.
You have a cot with I expect a cloth top ? So take some very lightweight insulation, and some lightweight material and sew it to the underside? Then post it in the myog section. You shouldnt need more than a dab of insulation as is shown in compressed sleeping bags on mats. Most heat loss will come from ontop of you.
Curious, I looked up the cot to see how it's made.
Could you cris-cross 1/8 inch bungee underneath, using the cot legs as anchors, and hold your clothing beneath you for insulation? A parka, a shirt or two and pants might give enough coverage. The bungee would perhaps also hold a purpose-built underquilt but what's the fun of carrying yet another piece of stuff?
Back when Eddie Bauer was but one outfitting shop in Seattle they carried a goose down cot that had tubes of down sewn into the underside. As a kid I thought is was the dumbest thing I'd ever seen but now, it sounds like a little slice of camping heaven.