The Therm-a-Rest Slacker Super Snuggler Underquilt (MSRP $129) is a simple-to-use hammock insulation layer that’s more comfortable to use than trying to wrestle with a sleeping pad in a gathered-end hammock. While designed for use with Therm-a-Rest’s Slacker hammock, it can be used with other gathered end hammocks that use carabiners to clip into a suspension system. If you own a gathered-end hammock with a ridgeline, you can also easily modify the Super Snuggler with some elastic cord and cordlocks to position it on the hammock.
Priced at $129, it would be easy to dismiss the Super Snuggler underquilt as a cheap synthetic hammock insulation option for netless camping hammocks. But there’s much more to this product than meets the eye and it has some innovative, performance-enhancing features that I’ve not found on other underquilts, even from cottage manufacturers.
For example, the Super Snuggler has a built-in reflective thermal liner. The ends are also cut quite narrow to save weight and block warmth-robbing drafts, without the need for a draft collar. Add in the fact that this is a full size 80″ x 46″ underquilt, and the Super Snuggler provides an eye-popping amount of value for the price. If you’re using a sleeping pad in your hammock and want to switch to a underquilt-based hammock insulation system setup, I think the Slacker Super Snuggler is an excellent place to start. It’s also a cost-effective way to augment an existing underquilt, so you can hammock in colder weather.
Specs at a Glance
- Temperature rating: None provided; I rate it at 35-40 degrees, but underquilt temp ratings depend a lot of individual metabolic differences. The use of a winter sock is also recommended when temperatures drop near freezing and there’s any kind of breeze.
- Weight: 25 oz
- Length: 80″
- Width: 46″ in the center, tapering down to 16″ at the ends.
- Insulation: eraLOFT polyester hollow microfiber w/ reflective lining
- Fabric: 20D polyester ripstop shell, 30D polyester reflective lining
The Slacker Super Snuggler’s Temperature Rating
Therm-a-Rest doesn’t provide a temperature rating for the Super Snuggler underquilt, which is strange and even off-putting since other underquilt manufacturers provide one. What’s up with that? The truth is that underquilt temperature ratings are notoriously inaccurate, which is why you’ll often get advice like “get a underquilt that’s rated for 20 degrees more warmth than you need.” As it stands, there’s no standardized way to measure the thermal efficiency of a underquilt and individual metabolic differences: whether you’re properly hydrated, when you last ate, what you’re wearing, etc. can have a huge impact on warmth.
Some back story is also useful here. Therm-a-Rest was one of the leading companies that pushed the outdoor industry to adopt sleeping bag temperature ratings (EN13537) a few years ago and they’re actively involved in standardization efforts for measuring the R-value of sleeping pads. I know some of the product designers at Therm-a-Rest and given their history, I can understand why they don’t want to pick a temperature rating out of the air and slap in onto their underquilts. It’s not necessarily smart from a sales perspective, but “making up” temperature ratings isn’t in the Therm-a-Rest DNA.
So how can you know how warm you’ll be with a Slacker Super Snuggler? Short of trying one or taking my word for it (based on field testing) you don’t have many options. But that’s not all that different from any other underquilt you’d consider buying. Personal recommendations from reviewers and friends are still your best source of information since there’s no standard way to measure or judge the accuracy of underquilt temperature ratings. It’s not so different from the way it was before sleeping bag temperature ratings were introduced.
Super Snuggler Design
How different is the insulation and design of the Super Snuggler from other hammock underquilts? First off, Therm-a-Rest includes a thermal reflective liner in their underquilts, much like the reflective liners they include in their NeoAir inflatable sleeping pads, or the emergency mylar blankets that cold weather hammockers use to augment a underquilt. While this makes the Super Snuggler a bit crinkly sounding when you pull it out of your backpack, it’s silent once the underquilt is hung below your hammock.
The insulation that Therm-a-Rest uses in the Super Snuggler is called eraLOFT. While it’s not as well-known as Primaloft or Climashield Apex, it’s the same hollow fiber insulation that Therm-a-Rest uses in the synthetic sleeping bags and quilts they manufacture. There’s an interesting debate going on behind the scenes in the outdoor industry about whether consumers really care about having massively marked up insulation like Primaloft, Climashield, or Polartec when there are plenty of no-name products that provide equivalent or close-to equivalent performance at a lower price. By using eraLOFT, the Super Snuggler is nearly 50% less expensive than other synthetic underquilts like the Primaloft-filled ENO Vulcan. Having tested both these of these synthetic underquilts (see my Vulcan Review), I think the Super Snuggler is a far better value.
The Super Snuggler is a full length 80″ quilt, which is what you want in colder temps to insulate your feet. It’s also quite wide, a full 46″, providing plenty of coverage, even if you like to sleep on a diagonal in your hammock. Where it differs from other, mostly rectangular cold weather quilts, is close to the ends, where the Super Snuggler tapers to 16″. The taper is quite sudden though. If you measure the quilt’s width one foot from the end, it’s 34″ wide, which still gives you plenty of foot coverage.
The nice thing about these narrow ends and the curve of fabric between them is that they wrap around the end of your hammock without the need for the more elaborate primary and secondary suspension systems found on rectangular shaped underquilts. This helps keep the cost of the Super Snuggler down and makes it easy for people new to hammock underquilts to configure right away.
Layering multiple underquilts
The Super Snuggler can also be used together with another underquilt if you want the option of hammocking in even colder weather. Given it’s thermal reflective liner, I’d position it flush against your hammock and add your other hammock over it if it’s shorter or filled with down. Synthetic insulation doesn’t lose its insulating value, like down does, when it can’t loft. For example, here’s a Super Snuggler in use with a 3/4 synthetic underquilt that I own. I don’t normally insulate my feet in warmer weather, but when temperatures drop below 40, the Super Snuggler can be used to provide foot insulation because it’s a full length quilt.
I’ve also modified the Super Snuggler in this configuration to make it easier to reposition along the length of my hammock. I simply replaced the two end cords that the underquilt comes with, with four individual elastic cords, to make it more compatible with a hammock with a ridgeline. Each pair of cords hooks onto an S-biner attached to the ridgeline. I’ve also placed a cord lock on each elastic cord to make it easy to tighten or reposition each side individually, by taking slack out of the lines without the need to tie any knots.
This system lets me easily position the underquilt closer to my body or move it closer to one end of the hammock than the other. It’s not rocket science, but I find it a more convenient to use than the suspension that’s included with the Super Snuggler when using a ridgeline hammock.
The Therm-a-Rest Slacker Super Snuggler Underquilt is a great value if you want to switch from a sleeping pad to an underquilt for hammock insulation. It’s a full size underquilt measuring 80″ x 46″ which is what you want in cold weather to provide coverage for your feet, with enough width so that it’s easy to sleep on a diagonal. Filled with synthetic insulation, the Super Snuggler is compatible with all gathered-end hammocks, with a simple suspension system that’s virtually fool-proof to use and configure properly. While Therm-a-Rest has not published a temperature rating for this quilt or any of the others they sell, I’m quite comfortable recommending it for use in 35-40 degree temperatures.
Disclosure: Therm-a-Rest provided the author with this product for review.
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