There are several options when it comes to Hammock insulation. Popular choices include under quilts or a standard pad in the hammock or in between the inner and outer layer on a double layer hammock.
Another option aimed at those who dabble in both ground and hammock camping, or who might be on the fence about which option to choose, is the Insulated Hammock V sleeping Pad by Klymit.
It’s like a traditional sleeping pad tweaked specifically for use in hammocks. If you’re considering or have already made the tree change (pun intended) and are now looking at options to keep warm when in a hammock or on the ground, this could be the mat you’re looking for.
Design, Comfort & Durability (Rating: 90%)
The design of the Hammock V is similar in many ways to a standard sleeping pad with a few key differences. There are two versions in the Hammock V mats. One non-insulated version which weighs in at 774 grams and has an R-value of 1.6. Size wise the non-insulated mat is about 10cm shorter than the insulated version and about the same thickness at 7.6cm thick.
I have the insulated version to test, which weighs in at 907 grams so a bit heavier but has an R-value of 4.4 so quite a bit warmer. As previously mentioned it’s longer than the non-insulated version at 198cm long. The thickness is close enough to the same at 7.5cms thick. The insulated version is lined with a synthetic material called ‘Klymalite’ which is ‘Lightweight, compressible and durable’ according to Klymit’s marketing. This should translate to light, packs down well and will keep doing its job after lots of use.
The main length of the pad is similar in width to a standard wide pad at 65cms wide. The four wings (two per side) make up the rest of the 119cm width total and are about 28cms wide both sides. When the pad is out and inflated it’s wide as far as sleeping pads go if you include the side wings so something to keep in mind if you will be using it more on the ground than in a hammock.
The pad is made up of multiple air chambers that run in a ‘V’ shape which continue out onto the wings. Klymit’s marketing claims the pad has ‘signature body-mapping technology’ which I believe translates to designed to be comfortable for all types of sleepers (back, stomach and side sleepers.)
The sides will make a difference to heat retention in cold weather use compared to a standard pad as when in use in a hammock they wrap around your hips and shoulders and help stop cold creeping in or the warmth creeping out. Its similar in theory to what an under quilt does but offers a more rigid structure than a quilt so some may find that more comfortable than just the Hammock and an under quilt and some may not.
The pad has ‘strategically placed non-slip zones’ to hold the insulated Hammock V pad in place while you sleep. The non-slip zones are easy to identify and look similar to when you coat silnylon tarps or tents with silicone. It has one non-slip area on the top of the mat near the head end about 1/3 of the way down the pad. The underside has two similar non-slip areas which are in place to stop the pad slipping around in the hammock. I haven’t deliberately dropped it in the dirt yet to test it, but I have a feeling if used on the ground without a ground sheet of some kind these non-slip pads will attract dirt and end up quite dirty.
The key difference on this pad from a standard pad is quite clearly the ‘side wings’ which make it specifically suitable for use in a hammock. The wings are there to allow more room inside the hammock and to keep the hammock sides off you when laying on the pad inside the hammock. The width of your hammock and how tight you hang it will both influence how well the pad does the above when in actual use. The pad has two valves which are both up one end. The valves and are flush and flat valves meaning they and comfortable to lie on top of and less likely to be undone by accident when moving around.
The pad is made from a 20D polyester material which is lightweight and should still provide ample protection against tears, punctures and abrasion if used as intended. If the worst happens or you decide to test its strength by using the pad as a sleigh down a hill and get a puncture the kit comes with a basic patch kit including 2 patches and a small tube of glue. These store neatly inside the stuff stuck in a small internal pocket.
The storage bag is the usual affair, a tube style bag with drawstring closure on top. It is a shorter and wider bag which I prefer as the mat is easier to put away than if the bag is long and skinny. When packed away it’s not a tiny size as far as packing goes but I do have other mats such as an Exped down mat that would probably be slightly bigger. Its size is more than acceptable for the in-use size and R-value in my opinion
The pad is also claimed to have a treatment inside to inhibit the growth of nastiness caused by moisture from breathing inside the mat. Obviously, I couldn’t test this but anything that reduces the chance of a stinky dirty mat is a plus in my book.
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 90%)
The basics of the Hammock V are the same as every other mat I have used – A valve to inflate, a valve to deflate and that’s about it. There’s nothing stand out in the overall operation of this pad, but I’d say that about all the pads I’ve used and own. During my use, I’ve found it holds air well and no real concerns in that regard. One thing I found which is a definite plus is the pads not noisy when moving around on it like other pads I’ve used. That’s great if you’re a light sleeper or someone you’re sleeping near is.
As far as inflating the pad goes it was blown up in 20 – 25 breaths when I used my mouth so wasn’t too exhausting to do. The inflate valve is a one-way valve as well so if you get tired and want to take a break from inflating to catch your breath the valve will stop all your hard work escaping the pad. Personally, I prefer to use a pump sac to inflate pads to avoid moisture entering the pad so would love to try Klymit’s rapid air pump. The pump would always be my preferred option for inflation of a pad, but I didn’t have one, so the lungs had to do.
Just for curiosities sake, I tried to use my Exped Schnozzle bag to inflate the pad as that’s what I had laying around from my usual sleeping pad. It worked… just. The valve on the pump sac is smaller than the valve on the mat so I had to hold the pump sac valve in the pad valve continuously for it to work. I’ll be honest it wasn’t a thing of beauty to watch and proved to be quite awkward so not an ideal solution if you’re crossing over from an Exped system.
For sleeping, the ‘V’ shaped air chambers were a bit different to what I am used coming from Thermarest and Exped mats. The gaps between the ‘V’s are wider than other mats I have used. At first, I thought it would be uncomfortable when in use on the ground but when laying flat on the mat as you would sleep it’s actually not bad. The only time I could feel any ground under me was when seated or leaning on just my elbow but that’s no different to my current array of mats.
For use in a hammock, it works reasonably well to keep the sides of the hammock away from you. It’s not like you’re suddenly sleeping in a tent but it’s enough to make it more comfortable and is definitely a worthwhile feature to have.
I found the non-slip surface to work well and it really helped keep the mat in place within the hammock. I sleep with a top quilt so didn’t really get to test the full benefit the non-slip surface on top might offer a sleeping bag user. Having said that I have no doubt it would be better than having nothing on the surface of the mat or sleeping directly on the hammock material.
My only concern with the mat when used in a hammock is as mentioned above the reasonable gaps between the air chambers. I haven’t been able to take the mat into any real cold weather at this point but worry a bit that when the mat is in used and curved around a body in a hammock that the gaps in between the air chambers might allow for some cold air to get through to you. As I said this theory is untested but is my only major concern with the mat at this point. I will, however, put it to test in some cold weather when mother nature allows and update the review accordingly.
Overall the Insulated Hammock V sleeping Pad by Klymit is a good option for someone who wants to cover all bases with one product. If you’re into using a hammock and find yourself without the required trees and need to take to the ground for the night I know what I’d rather be sleeping on in that scenario and it’s not an under quilt.
What I Like
- Multipurpose mat suitable for use on the ground and in a hammock.
- No hassle to set up and use unlike an under quilt which is more fiddly to use especially for beginners.
- Packs down to a reasonable size given the mats actual size when in use.
What I Don’t Like
- Weight compared to an under quilt as the pad is quite a bit heavier.
- It’s big when used in ground mode so something to consider if you sleep in a small or narrow tent.
- Possibility you might feel the cold given the gaps in the air chambers (yet to be tested properly).
The Klymit Hammock V is available online directly from Klymit.
Disclaimer: Klymit provided a Hammock V for review. This doesn’t influence the opinions presented here in any way.
Have you tried the Hammock V? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.