Loco Libre Gear is a new cottage quilt maker with a host of radical ideas about how to build top quilts and underquilts for hammock and tent campers. If you’ve given up trying to tell one cottage quilt maker from another, wander over to Loco Libre’s store and feast your eyes on their innovative products. You won’t be disappointed.
I recently bought a torso-length, 3/4 size, Cayenne Pepper synthetic underquilt from Loco Libre, rated for 40 degrees and insulated with Apex Climashield 3.6. I paid $110 and it took just under 3 weeks to arrive. I considered that a good deal. Low price, and I didn’t have to wait 3-4 months to get it like many made-to-order down quilts and underquilts.
Loco Libre also makes down-filled quilts and underquilts, but their synthetic underquilts are unique because they’re built like high-end down-filled underquilts with differential cuts and full primary and secondary suspensions. Shop around. They make a very competitive synthetic underquilt.
Down-Filled Draft Collars
For one, the Cayenne Pepper comes with down-filled draft collars at the head and foot-end that prevent hot air from leaking whenever you move around in your hammock. While draft collars are not a revolutionary concept, who’d ever think to put down-filled draft collars on a synthetic hammock? But it makes perfect sense when you think about it. Synthetic insulation comes in rolls or sheets, so it can’t be used in a collar because it’s fairly stiff and doesn’t have a lot of fluff. Down does, so why not use it? Brilliant.
Allergic to down? It’s a product option, so you can get a Cayenne without the draft collars.
Full Primary and Secondary Suspension
The Cayenne Pepper also comes with a full primary and secondary suspension system (end-biners are included for free), another common feature of down-filled underquilts.
- The primary suspension is an elastic cord that runs through a full length channel at the top of the quilt and holds it flush against your body across its length for maximum warmth. It acts as the primary suspension system holding the underquilt up, in place.
- The secondary suspension is controlled by four cordlocks at the corners of the underquilt. It lets you position the quilt where you want it under your shoulders and torso, or asymmetrically, depending on the direction of your lay (right lay or left lay), so one end is longer than the other. It complements the primary suspension to prevent the underquilt from folding up like an accordion and creating cold spots.
The best underquilts come with a primary and secondary suspension system in order to optimize heat retention and adjustability.
Made to Order
All of Loco Libre’s top quilts and underquilts are made to order. Their store has an easy to understand quilt buyers guide that explains the various options available and Loco Libre is easy to reach by phone if you want to ask their advice.
Here are the specs on the Cayenne Pepper Underquilt that I ordered:
- Length: 50″
- Width: 45″
- Insulation: Apex 3.6
- Outer Shell Color: Black Argon 90
- Inner Shell Color: Brilliant Blue Argon 90
- Down Draft Collar: Yes, please!
- Actual Weight, including suspension and mini-biners: 14.3 ounces
Economics of Synthetic Underquilts
I almost always buy products insulated with duck or goose down, so buying a synthetic quilt was a real departure for me. It was a gamble, but I decided I’d give it a go to explore the difference with a down quilt. A gamble that paid off handsomely, when you consider that I got a high function 3/4 length 40 degree synthetic underquilt that only weighs 14.3 ounces, less than 2 ounces heavier than the Loco Libre down Haberno underquilt in the same size. All for $110, which is a great deal.
While full-length synthetic underquilts rated for colder temperatures are much heavier and less compressible than down underquilts, there’s an interesting economic case to be made for the 3/4-length synthetic 40 degree Cayenne Pepper I ordered. The economics get even more interesting when you can buy a synthetic underquilt, like the Cayenne Pepper, which has the same features and construction as a down-insulated underquilt.
If you want to save some money or you want to avoid buying a product that’s backordered by several months, synthetic underquilts can be a viable alternative. Check out the synthetic Loco Libre Cayenne Pepper underquilt. It opened my eyes, while helping me close them (snore!)
Disclosure: Philip Werner paid for this product with his own funds.