The UGQ Zeppelin Under Quilt is an exceptionally well crafted, custom-made hammock under quilt. Made in Michigan by UGQ Outdoor (formerly named Underground Quilts), the Zeppelin comes with a set of standard features that make it easy for people new to under quilts to use from day one, while also catering to hammock “specialists” who want a full suspension system and the ability to finely tune the fit of the under quilt to their hammocks. While the Zeppelin is available in a wide range of temperature ratings and sizes, I think it’s an especially good choice for cold weather hammocking or if you sleep cold, due to its thoughtful baffle design and material options.
Specs at a Glance
- Price as Reviewed: $284.95
- Base Price (minus options): $254.95
- Fill Power: 950 Goose Down
- Temperature Rating: 20F/-6C
- Weight: 22.1 oz
- Length: 77″
- Width: 44″
- Overstuff: None
- Inner Shell: M10/ Black
- Outer Shell: M10/Royal Purple ($20)
- Primary Suspension: 3/32″
- 30″ x 40″ Storage Sack ($10)
The Zeppelin is available for many temperature ratings, in different lengths, with different grades of down insulation, and fabrics. That can be a strength and a weakness of buying from a smaller cottage manufacturer, since the number of options can be overwhelming. My advice is to read through UGQ’s product pages carefully when ordering because they provide a lot of easy-to-digest advice about the different fabric, fill, and suspension choices they offer. I followed their recommendations when configuring the Zeppelin reviewed here and it turned out perfect.
Suspension System and Hardware
The Zeppelin comes with a full primary and secondary suspension system. This includes a full-length side channel to hold the under quilt up close to your hammock’s sides and separate elastic cords so you can position it where you want it along your hammock. The cords are colored coded (black and white) which makes them easy to tell them apart. Both the primary and secondary suspension cords come pre-attached to plastic half-biners that hook over your ridgeline. These are much more durable than smaller metal s-biners and easier to use when wearing gloves. They also make it easy for beginners to get going right away when they receive their quilt. I consider them a huge value-add and a key differentiator over other quilt makers. They’re also included in the purchase price.
The Zeppelin is also equipped with left and right Pack Hook Shoulder Locks. These allow you to clip the quilt to your hammock guy out on your outboard shoulder, either left or right from centerline of the hammock, and prevent quilt creep when the quilt shifts off the hammock. I don’t use these because I don’t guy out the side of my Warbonnet Blackbird, nor have I experienced any quilt creep using the Zeppelin. But if you do guy out your hammock, they can be quite useful.
I consider draft collars to be a must-have feature on rectangular-shaped under quilts because they block wind from entering the end of your quilt and reducing the effectiveness of the insulation. The oversized draft collars on the Zeppelin are filled with the same down fill power used in the rest of the under quilt. There’s also an elastic cord and cord lock at each end of the under quilt that lets you cinch the end so it conforms to the hammock, while the draft tubes ensure that no cold air leaks past the ends. If you’re too warm, which does happen, you can release the tension on the elastic cord and let air leak between you and the under quilt to cool off.
You can choose different down fill powers for the Zeppelin. The 950 and 850 fill powers are goose down while the 800 fill power is duck down. All of it’s ethically source and none of it’s treated with waterproof coating because UGQ has observed that treated down clumps and loses its thermal efficiency over time. The DWR coated shell fabrics that UGQ uses for their under quilts also minimizes any risk of moisture accumulation making this a non-issue in real world conditions.
High fill power goose down prices have dropped significantly over the past few years, so I’d encourage you to price out the 950 fill power goose down as an option if you’re considering a Zeppelin. The 77″ long, 20 degree under quilt reviewed here has 12.34 oz of 950 fill power goose down compared to the 14.42 oz of 800 fill power duck down needed to provide the same thermal benefit, so a significant weight saving. See UGQ’s spec tables (scroll down) for more weight comparisons.
The Zeppelin under quilt has ten shaped differential cut chambers that provide maximum loft with smaller chambers than you would find on the average quilt, resulting in better distribution and less down shifting then other larger chambered designs. Each down chamber is constructed using mesh baffles, so warmth can pass between them, allowing for better heat exchange between your core and extremities.
There are an increasing number of hammock under quilt manufacturers today making products from a wide range of materials, for different types of hammocks, and across a wide spectrum of price points. How do you sort through it all and get the best under quilt for your needs?
In my experience, it’s best to buy a hammock under quilt from a cottage manufacturer that specializes in making hammock gear. I’ve used some so-so under quilts from quilt companies that cater more to people who sleep on the ground than in the air. This is especially true for cold weather hammock insulation (30 degrees or less) where having draft collars on the ends of an under quilt and using the latest down-proof shell fabrics has a big impact on comfort. Companies like UGQ Outdoor, which are hammock gear specialists, live these issues everyday and are willing to invest in making the design patterns for these more nuanced needs. Under quilts are a big part of their business and you’ll get better attention to detail by buying from them.
The UGQ Zeppelin under quilt reviewed here is really superlative. I don’t think I’ve ever slept in a better under quilt and I’ve owned a few in my day. The 20 degree manufacturer temperature rating is conservative, but I’d still advise using a winter sock when camping in any kind of breeze. The stitching and fabrication are flawless as is the included hardware. If you’re new to hammock under quilts or a seasoned pro, you’ll find UGQ’s Zeppelin easy to love. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: UGQ Outdoor provided the author with a sample under quilt for this review.
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