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Do you need a hammock sleeping pad?
Before we get into the nitty gritty of this nifty piece of gear, you may be wondering if you need a sleeping pad for your hammock. Obviously hammocks are already so comfortable, but it’s the warmth factor they could use a little help with. There are a few options for keeping your backside warm and cozy, and one is a hammock sleeping pad.
Hammock camping in cold weather
Hammock camping is having a moment. It’s naturally become very popular with backpackers—especially of the ultralight variety—to save those precious extra pounds compared to carrying a tent. These days, a lot of everyday car campers are even ditching the tent to sleep in a hammock.
In the past few years, hammocks have become super popular, and there’s no secret why.
- They’re incredibly comfortable, compact, and easily portable.
- They are quick to setup and take down.
- You can also get a high quality hammock at an affordable price, especially when compared to investing in a tent.
- And if we’re comparing them to tents, hammocks will definitely get more use.
The only real problem to consider when hammock camping is warmth. Hammocks don’t have the same protection as a tent, leaving you more exposed to the elements—whether that’s cooler temps, wind, rain, etc.
A lot of sleeping bags are backless—without any padding or insulation along the bottom—because they’re meant to be used with sleeping pads. If you bring this type of sleeping bag into a hammock and expect the same warmth at night, you will be disappointed.
The good news is there are some great products out there to help. Stringing a tarp over a hammock will help shelter you from wind, providing important relief. Beyond that, there are two main options for staying warm in a hammock in colder temps: a sleeping pad and/or an underquilt. This post on how to winter hammock camp talks about the pros and cons of these different hammock insulation systems.
Klymit Hammock V Sleeping Pad
Let’s dive into the first option. One of the leading (only?) specifically hammock-designed sleeping pads is made by Klymit, a company that also makes stylish, high quality hammocks and a few other travel and outdoor products like pillows and tents.
The Klymit Hammock V is a thick sleeping pad designed to fit in the nook of a ‘mock and provide a little cushion and a lot of warmth throughout the night.
While I haven’t slept in it for a full night yet, I did take it out on a 40° day, and it works. There is a noticeable difference with and without the sleeping pad. It keeps the cool air and breezes at bay and retains your body warmth. Read below on how it works exactly.
First off, it’s big and covers the entire interior of the hammock with side cut outs that bend with the shape of you and the hammock. I used it with the Klymit Traverse Double Hammock, and it fit perfectly with a little spare fabric on both sides. It also fits a single hammock according to the website.
How does it work?
The patented synthetic insulation system uses a V-chamber design (hence the name) that “slows the transfer of air between the top and bottom halves of the pad for increased thermal performance.” In layman terms, this design limits air movement to help keep you warm. With this thick layer of warm air, the sleeping pad offers 180-degree protection from cold air and wind drafts. There are non-stick grips on both sides of the pad to keep you and it in place for the night.
It’s very easy to blow up. I have a big, hefty manual blow-up sleeping pad for my sleeping bag setup, so I’m used to doing this. This hammock sleeping pad is much faster to inflate than my thick Big Agnes pad. They advertise it takes 15-20 breaths. I can confirm I did it in about 15 strong exhales (thanks, yoga) and got a good little burn in the abs.
There is a large hole to inflate, with a flap that traps the air after each breath. There is an equally large hole for quick and complete deflation.
When not in use, the sleeping pad fits back into a small stuff sack (if you’re talented like that).
- Dimensions: 78″ L x 47″ W x 2.5″ H
- Size: fits both single and double hammocks
- Weight: 35 oz / 992 g (light enough for backpacking)
- Inflation: 15-20 breaths
- Warranty: Klymit Lifetime Warranty
- Includes: Patch kit for emergency repairs
Other insulated sleeping pads from Klymit
Klymit also makes the Insulated Hammock V, which will cost a bit more but goes one step further using the trademarked Klymalite Synthetic Insulation, “a lightweight, compressible and durable insulation inside the chambers that slows the transfer of air between the top and bottom halves of the pad for improved thermal performance.”