Troy--do you have any plans in-hand for hammock and/or underquilt? I stopped by Walmart after seeing your post, and picked up 8 yards of uncoated olive green ripstop nylon (haven't weighed it, but feels like ca. 1 oz. stuff) and 8 yards of light gray with some sort of coating (the last of that roll). Total cost of about $24. I haven't tested the coated stuff like Javan did, but if I hold it to my mouth, I can't breathe through it at all, so should be waterproof, and it also seems very light. I will try to weigh them tonight.
My first thought was a 3-season quilt (ca. 25-35° in my neck of the woods) with the olive green, uncoated stuff, and some sort of light, solo shelter with the coated, gray. But, I'm wondering now if a hammock/quilt setup would make more sense.
I have been considering making something like the Sublite with the gray stuff. It's tempting to make a tarp, since it would give me some very light emergency shelter for a dayhiking pack, backcountry fishing daytrip, elk hunting "possibles" bag, etc., but only about 2 months of the year would be conducive to comfortable tarping in the kind of territory I haunt. The rest of the year I would want better protection from wind, rain, snow, and bugs. If I have to carry a bivy and maybe a net-tent, in addition to a tarp, to keep my bag dry and bugs at bay, I figure I might as well carry a light tent like the Sublite that gives full protection for about the same weight as all of that stuff combined.
I also considered making something like the SpinnShelter, but it seems to me that a side entry design like the Sublite, with the highest point toward the middle of the shelter (where our heads are when we sit up in a sleeping bag) is more sensible. Any input on that?
As for the quilt, any recommendations for plans for a synthetic-fill quilt? I have seen many plans, but wonder what others' experiences have been with any of these plans. What's easy? Which have best guidelines for sizing? Is it even worth considering down, given the extra cost and hassle?
It looks like (based on Tim M.'s post in another thread) I am looking at the 3.7 Combat or 5 oz./yd XP, to get to the temperature rating I'm after. I carry the honking big, 4 lb., 2" Thermarest (*gasp*) because I can't sleep comfortably with anything thinner, which really seems to boost the rating for any bag I use, even though I sleep fairly cold.
Any input is appreciated.