Snugpak Hammock Cocoon – Overview
Anyone who’s spent the night in a hammock is familiar with “cold butt syndrome”. Insulation in traditional sleeping bags is compressed under your body weight, leaving you susceptible to heat loss from convection during the night. In order to combat this, many use an underblanket to wrap the underside of their hammocks. This insulation does not end up compressed, leaving you warm and comfortable.
A cocoon however combines the roles of both bottom and top insulation. Eliminating the need to carry both. This provides weight savings in removing redundant material. There are a two different forms of insulation: synthetic and down. While traditional down boasts the best weight to insulation ratio; it is susceptible to moisture and compaction. Ultimately, it will decay over time… especially if not cared for properly. Many consider down to be the cream of the crop as far as hammock insulation goes. Unfortunately, it’s very expensive and doesn’t last forever.
In my opinion, the very best entry level solution for “cold butt syndrome” is the Snugpak Hammock Cocoon. It’s made of high quality synthetic material, very durable, extremely versatile, and is priced at less than half of all other options. It might in fact provide the best value of any hammock insulation on the market today. Read more to find out why.
Snugpak Hammock Cocoon Materials & Construction
Snugpak has designed the Hammock Cocoon with high-tech proprietary materials throughout. After all, they produce equipment for military units all over the world. In order to reach this market, Snugpak creates their gear at true mil-spec; best quality at the best price. For the same reason, their stuff has been adopted by an increasing number of civilians too, and for good reason.
Snugpak’s uses Micro Diamond fabric for the Hammock Cocoon‘s outer shell. It’s rugged, lightweight, and water resistant.
Snugpak’s proprietary insulation is known as Travelsoft. It’s made of 100% polyester and intended to be low weight, high loft, highly compressible insulation. I can tell you from experience that this stuff works very well. While it is durable, resistant to moisture and comfortable down to freezing temperatures; it is heavier than traditional down. It also does not compress as well, and will have a greater pack-size than comparable down products. However it is significantly cheaper, and ultimately should last longer. Also, down insulation loses all of its insulation value when wet, Travelsoft does not.
The inner fabric is advertised as “Paratex Antimicrobial Fabric”. Also made of 100% polyester, it shares the same lightweight durability as Micro Diamond. It is designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus inside your cocoon. After consecutive nights in the wilderness, you’ll be glad your sleeping area doesn’t smell like a hobo’s foot. I’ve even set up my hammock indoors to sleep with this cocoon for weeks on end. It still hasn’t been washed, and it still doesn’t smell.
Snugpak Hammock Cocoon – Final Thoughts
While this product does not fit in the ultralight category, it’s certainly viable for everything else. It compresses down to about the size of a cantaloupe and weighs in at 69 ounces. It’s comfortable down to about 40 degrees, but with the right clothing you can stretch it down to almost 20 degrees. Combine that with a few mods, and it can reach down into the teens.
Because it costs less than half of other options, it’s pretty hard to beat. The only issue I’ve ever had is with the tie-outs. If you put too much pressure on the cocoon the tie-outs are prone to ripping out of the fabric. Be careful not to accidentally sit down on the edge of the cocoon instead of your hammock; that’ll leave you sitting on the ground with broken tie-outs. To remedy this, consider sewing reinforcements for the attachment points, and use shock cord to secure it to your hammock suspension.
Overall, it’s still the best entry level hammock insulation on the market today. If you’re looking to escape cold butt syndrome, I highly encourage you to give it a try.
Questions? Comments? Considerations? Criticisms? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.