Underquilt vs. Sleeping Pad: The Pros and Cons of Each

November 3, 2021

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Underquilt vs. Sleeping Pad: The Pros and Cons of Each

Portable and convenient, hammocks can offer an improved twist on camping or backpacking. However, when night falls, it’s crucial to keep yourself warm. Underquilts and sleeping pads are two insulation methods you can use. Which one should you pick? Here is a quick overview of both so you can make the right decision.


An underquilt is a single layer of lofty down that keeps your lower half snug throughout the night. When you hang it underneath your hammock, it locks in warm air while preventing cold air from getting in. The fibers that create this insulation are outside the hammock and safe from extra weight, meaning you’ll get all the warmth your underquilt has to offer. Because underquilts use your natural body heat, your hammock will stay at your own optimal temperatures.

Sleeping Pads

Sleeping pads are inflatable or foam pads that stay in your hammock with you. Like underquilts, they provide warmth for the bottom half of your hammock so you can have a comfortable sleep. Most sleeping pads taper at the ends for a snug fit in any hammock, but they can also come in a square shape. These square versions might be a great option if you have a double-layered hammock with a designated holding sleeve.

Pros and Cons of Underquilts and Sleeping Pads

These hammock insulation methods each come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. If you’re trying to decide which is best for you, here are some things to consider.

Underquilt Pros

  • More warmth: An underquilt’s downy and enveloping design is better for extreme weather.
  • Easy to use: After you hang it up, you’re all set!

Underquilt Cons

  • More expensive: Because they use higher-quality materials, underquilts tend to be more costly than sleeping pads.
  • Less convenient to pack: Although lightweight options exist, a typical underquilt may be more difficult to fit in your bag.

Sleeping Pad Pros

  • Versatile: Sleeping pads can inflate and deflate as needed. You can also use one if you need to spend a night on the ground.
  • Less expensive: Sleeping pads are cost-effective if you’re new to hammock camping or need a temporary insulation solution.

Sleeping Pad Cons

  • May need adjustment: Sleeping pads are prone to shifting during the night. Depending on your physique, the pad may also leave certain areas exposed.
  • Less warmth: While they’re perfect for warmer nights, you might need more coverage or insulation for lower temperatures.

Both underquilts and sleeping pads are viable choices for nighttime warmth. Pick what fits your lifestyle, personal tastes, and needs!

Learn More About DutchWare Today

Whether you’re hammock camping for the first time or an experienced hammocker, having quality gear is a must. We offer fast shipping on our ultra-light, easy-to-use products so you can get out there and enjoy a night under the stars. Contact us to learn more!

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