ENO Ember 2 Hammock Underquilt
When I first started hammock camping I really dug in my heels and refused to get an underquilt. I was determined to hammock camp on a budget and thought I could get away without an underquilt and make due with less expensive alternatives. And I did…until I didn’t. My breaking point came after I spent a freezing cold night that felt like endless torture while my backpacking buddy had his underquilt and was as snug as a bug. Needless to say, I gave in and invested in an underquilt. If you’re on the fence about an underquilt and plan to camp in cold temperatures, do yourself a huge favor and make the investment up front.
So let’s get into the ENO Ember 2 Hammock Underquilt. Here are the specifications on the quilt itself.
Unfolded Dimensions: 95 x 45 inches
Folded Dimensions : 16 x 8 x 8 inches
Material: Ripstop nylon
Fill Material: Synthetic Polyester Fill
Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
Why I Chose the ENO Ember 2 Hammock Underquilt?
It’s fairly obvious that I have my favorite brands when it comes to camping. This underquilt isn’t the only ENO product you will see me recommend on this blog. However, I know there are a lot of other great products and brands out there as well. I am always on board to try out new gear if it is a quality product. When it really comes down to it I look for quality and durability in all the products regularly and so far ENO has exceeded my expectations.
As I always do before investing in new gear, I researched the best underquilt. When I begin my research on any gear I always start with an unbiased point of view. I tend to look at ratings, reviews, and testimonials to find out what others are saying first and then go from there. It’s important not to find one of those typical lists out there touting TOP BESTEST GEAR FOR THIS THING. Those lists can sometimes be good resources, but I take the recommendations with a grain of salt and look up other resources as well. Often times, people that write the TOP 10 type lists have never tried all the products they are recommending.
I will say this right now. I bought the ENO Ember 2 Hammock Underquilt with my own hard-earned money after hours of research. I have also spent time testing it out before I decided to write this recommendation. For the reasons below, I love this underquilt and definitely wish I wouldn’t have been so stubborn about getting it in the first place.
Features & Benefits
Pro: I’m going to just get this out of the way -this underquilt is warm. I have yet to experience a cold night since having it and I’ve camped in some low temperatures. A lot of the time I don’t use my tarp and am exposed to the open air and I am still able to stay super warm. A word of caution: The only time I got really cold at night with this underquilt was the first truly cold night I used it. I was sure my new underquilt was failing me. However, my getting cold had nothing to do with my underquilt, but the fact that I had left all my vents open in my sleeping bag. Once I closed my vents up, the underquilt got me nice and warm and kept me that way the rest of the night. Moral of the story, close your vents…
Pro: Quality is always at the top of my list when looking for any product to buy. The ENO Ember 2 Underquilt is well made and durable. The quality stitching and the rip stop nylon is great just in case I do ever get a snag on my underquilt. I really hope that never happens, but it’s nice to know that there is some protection against tears and snags.
Ease of Use
Pro: This underquilt is really easy to set up. It literally takes a minute to do. I can typically have my entire hammock set up in about 3 minutes. If you have carabiners, the set up will be dead simple. You just connect the end loops of the underquilt to the carabiners and you’re done. If you have a knot connection point, you may have to use a carabiner or another simple knot with some paracord to connect it. I use straps and connect my hammock with a carabiner so I just share that connector with my underquilt.
Pro: The material on the outside of the underquilt is made of Ripstop Nylon which is also the same material as most hammocks. The material is water resistant, but not completely waterproof. Any splashing of water, mud, snow that is kicked up on the quilt will brush right off. I’ve gotten my underquilt a little dirty a couple of times, but it easily cleaned right up. I just let the mud dry and when I got home I just brushed it off without issue.
Maybe a Con: The inside of the underquilt is filled with synthetic polyester fill. When selecting a good underquilt, people tend to be in one of two camps. Some think that down filling is the one and only way to go and you won’t convince them otherwise. Then you have the people who don’t care what the filling of their underquilt is as long as it keeps them warm. I fall into the latter camp. While there is no doubt that down is warm, I believe that synthetic fills can also get the job done just as well. That’s just my opinion so take it as you will.
The ENO Ember 2 Underquilt is filled with synthetic polyester fill. I have no issues keeping warm with this underquilt and I stay warm and cozy all night. The only time this underquilt will be a con in this category is if you are dead set on a down-filled underquilt. Then you will need to look for another.
Pro: This is a backpackers underquilt because it is fairly lightweight at just over a pound and a half. Considering the benefits of this underquilt, the extra weight is welcome in my pack. I used to carry around a huge army wool blanket that was almost 3 pounds and it didn’t keep me nearly as warm as the ENO Ember 2 underquilt and it’s half the weight.
Con: I promise that I will never just blow sunshine where the sun don’t shine and share my true thoughts and feelings about any gear that I recommend. This is no exception. A con of the ENO Ember 2 underquilt is that… it’s big. It doesn’t pack down very compactly and it seems like you are carrying a regular sized sleeping bag in your pack. Even though it is lightweight, it’s not small in size. It’s over a foot tall and over a half a foot in diameter. You really have to strap it down on your pack so it doesn’t move around. You don’t want this thing swinging off your pack and throw you off balance. I haven’t had any big issues with it so far. It’s just big and you need to plan your pack well and know exactly where and how you need to strap it down.
So do you need an underquilt? No, not necessarily. But you will want one if you plan to do any camping in the cold. Looking back I wish I wasn’t so pig-headed about getting an underquilt and just bit the bullet and picked one up at the very start. You know how they say hindsight is always 20/20. Lesson learned. I highly recommend the ENO Ember 2 Hammock Underquilt. Do your research and don’t just take my word for it. It may not be the right choice for you or what you are looking for in an underquilt. That’s cool too. The important thing is that you do your research. I personally believe if you do give this particular underquilt a go, you will not be disappointed.
Whichever underquilt you choose, I hope you have a warm sleep in the Wanderful Wild.