HAMMOCK GEAR BURROW 50° TOP QUILT
BY STEVEN M KIDD
May 22, 2013
Steven M Kidd
5' 9" (1.75 m)
173 lb (78.50 kg)
Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 25 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lbs (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover between 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.
|Image Courtesy of Hammock Gear|
Manufacturer: Hammock Gear
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://hammockgear.com/
MSRP: US $227.00*
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 10.0 oz (283 g)*
Listed Measurements: 74 x 50 in (188 x 127 cm)
My Measurements: 74 x 50 in (188 x 127 cm)
Listed Quilt Loft: 1 in (2.5 cm)
Measured Quilt Loft: 1 in (2.5 cm)
Temperature Rating: 50/45 F (10/7 C)*
*The Burrow I am reviewing has custom modifications that differ from the standard model. These variations and the standard specifications will be noted in the report below.
The Burrow, by Hammock Gear is a top quilt; it is often referred to as a TQ. Compared to a sleeping bag it has no bottom, zippers, hood or closure like a traditional sleeping bag would and it has an open back. The bottom insulation on a bag is compressed under the weight of the occupant and realistically not usable. Theoretically this makes that insulation wasted weight for a backpacker. A top quilt is particularly useful for me as a hammock camper, as it is much easier to slide into than a traditional sleeping bag while suspended in mid-air.
The Burrow 50° has a draw string closure and either five snaps or 'snag-free Velcro' at the foot end of the quilt and a single snap closure at the head end with an additional drawstring closure.
|Snap Closure Cose Up|
The standard Burrow 50° has the following specifications: 74 x 50 in (188 x 127 cm), the aforementioned snap or hook & loop foot box, 1.1 oz per sq yd (37 g per sq m) ripstop nylon fabric, 5 oz (142 g) of 900+ fill down and weighs 13.52 oz (383 g). The spec Burrow 50° TQ retails for $169.
Hammock Gear offers basic add-on options like additional down over loft, Short or Long versions and sewn foot boxes, but they also customize many of their products. My Burrow 50° has both a custom fabric and additional down added. Adam, an owner of Hammock Gear, suggested I use a fabric called 10D. It weighs 0.85 oz per sq yd (29 g per sq m). I also added 1 oz (28 g) of down which Adam suggested may give me roughly an additional 5 F (3 C) of thermal protection. Thus, my quilt retails for an additional $58 over the stock price, but it also saved me 3.52 oz (100 g) over the base TQ. Adam and Jenny also made my quilt with a contrasting white stitching against the black 10D material.
|Burrow in Blanket Mode|
These quilts are designed with the hammocker in mind, but Hammock Gear often sells to weight-conscious ground-dwellers that are looking to cut ounces or grams. They specifically mention the ground use with this quilt on their website.
The Burrow is also offered in these additional models/temperature ratings; 0 F (-18 C), 20 F (-7 C) and 40 F (4 C). The 50 F (10 C) model is the only Burrow that comes in a Sewn-Through design. That is, the down is completely segregated via a stitching pattern and no internal mesh separator is used.
IMPRESSIONS & FIELD USE
In the spring of 2012 I penned a review on my Hammock Gear Burrow 20°. During conversations with Adam Hurst, a co-owner along with his wife Jenny, about the specifics of that quilt he and I discussed many of the custom options his company offered. Soon after I completed that review, and as I knew summer was coming on I decided to purchase a Burrow 50° from Hammock Gear. It was a new option at the time and typically suggested for warm summer evenings.
|Burrow Snapped at Both Ends|
I had been using a silk sleeping bag liner for summer nights that weighed nearly 8 oz (227 g), so when Adam discussed a quilt that I could use in both really warm temperatures and potentially take down to the mid 40's F (~7 C) for only a 2 oz (57 g) weight penalty I was immediately intrigued! I liked that the quilt could be left open and flat much like a blanket on warm summer evenings and snapped and cinched snug at both the bottom and top ends like a sleeping bag as the temperature began to cool in the fall.
My quilt arrived in late spring, but summer temperatures had already arrived. Most nights during the ensuing spring and summer I'd keep the quilt completely unsnapped in blanket mode and only lightly covering myself in the 70+F (21+ C) temperatures in which I would begin my slumber. As the temps dropped throughout the night and at the coolest points...usually in the 4 - 6 AM hours...I would actually cover myself with the quilt inside the confines of my hammock.
|Footbox Cinched -- Notice the Snap Closure|
I enjoyed the quilt so much through the summer months that I felt it would be worth trying it in the fall. I took my entire family on a 3 day-2 night backpacking trip in the early fall of 2012. In late October the kids were on fall break and I was fortunate enough to entice (con) their mom into the woods with us for a few nights! They all slumbered in a 3-man tent and I slept in my hammock. We hiked just under a mile to our campsite, and as I was rucking well over 50 lb (23 kg) I figured the minimal weight of the Burrow 50° wouldn't compromise my load too much.
That first night I slept with a Hammock Gear 20° Incubator under quilt, and the 50° Burrow. Temperatures dropped to a low of 37 F (3 C). To remind the reader, I had an additional ounce of down added to this quilt, but the low temperatures were still nearly 8 degrees F (4 C) lower than the quilt was rated. I will also mention, I was on an extreme lifestyle change/health kick and had lost nearly 60 lb (27 kg) in three months, which I have learned has definitely changed my comfort levels. I historically always considered myself a "hot" sleeper, but these days I'd consider myself a "moderate-to-cool" sleeper. Amazing what the lack of body fat does! That all stated, I was chilled, but not cold on that evening the temperatures dropped to 37 F (3 C). I was by no means comfortable, but nor was I frigid!
|My Wife Stealing a Nap in My Burrow|
What does that tell me about this quilt? It was designed to keep a camper comfortable at temperatures well above the limits to which I tested it...and I had extenuating circumstances that changed my own sleeping habits, however, the TQ kept me warm enough to make it through the night! On the second evening of the outing, I did decide to use my Burrow 20°, and slept like a baby!
Although I didn't sleep in the quilt the second night of that fall outing, my daughter did fold it around her shoulders that evening around the campfire and stayed quite comfortable as she enjoyed her S'mores. I can't honestly say it'll be a key piece of winter gear, but at its weight and minimal packability it is certainly as warm and easily less weighty than any fleece jacket!
The key benefit I can expound on my custom Burrow is that for a 10 oz (283 g) quilt I can sleep completely comfortably throughout the summer in extremely warm temperatures, and I've even been able to take this 'summer' quilt a few degrees away from freezing temperatures without being miserable!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
I consider that an exceptional product!
Read more reviews of Hammock Gear gear
Read more gear reviews by Steven M Kidd