The Koala underquilt is a popular choice for hammock campers. The new synthetic version is as nice as its feathered cousin at fraction of the price.
In short: I’ve been testing it on climbing, fishing, and camping trips for the last several months. At $183, Kammok’s Koala is a solid option for the casual hammock camper looking for a quilt that’ll keep them warm in moderate weather.
What’s an Underquilt?
If you’re familiar with underquilts, see the review below. For the uninitiated, an underquilt wraps around the outside of your hammock and connects using elastic bungees. It is an alternative way to stay warm in your hammock instead of a sleeping bag or mattress pad.
The main complaint with using just a sleeping bag (no pad) is that the insulation compresses underneath you and lose loft (read: warmth). The air underneath you is always moving and doesn’t warm up like the ground so you need something underneath you as an insulator. A pad, or better yet, an underquilt.
The trouble with mattress pads is that unless they are hammock specific, they don’t cover your hips and shoulders and you get cold. An underquilt wraps all the way around your hammock eliminating those cold spots. Plus, quilts make it easier to enter/exit your hammock and they stay put all night long.
Keep in mind, an underquilt is just the bottom of your insulation and you’ll need to pair it with a top quilt (preferred), sleeping bag, or blanket to keep the top of your body warm as well.
Personally, I prefer hammock camping to tent camping and with that comes an affinity for underquilts since they are a hammock specific piece of gear. Though, I’ll concede that they don’t do double duty like a pad. I’m always concerned I’ll end up at a site with no trees and end up sleeping on the cold hard ground.
Kammok Koala Synthetic Underquilt (40-Degrees) Review
I’ve been testing the Koala through the spring, summer, and fall. I’m a cold sleeper and slept fairly comfortably in the Koala at 45 degrees with a 30-degree top quilt. If you get too hot, you can loosen it to allow more air between the quilt and hammock which will help cool you to an extent.
It’s easy to set up. Elastic cords attach to your carabiners or suspension holding it in place under your hammock. Then, cinch cords allow you to adjust it so that it is snug next to the hammock and will keep you warm.
The Synthetic Koala packs down okay for its 40-degree rating — to the size of a growler. It weighs 27oz. Conversely, the down-filled Koala weighs just 24oz and should compress better, though we haven’t tested it.
The true weight comparison would be against your mattress pad. I typically use a ProLite (18oz.). For me, the Koala is heavier but more packable and doesn’t have cold spots. Tradeoffs!
Other uses: the Koala doubles as a blanket when unfastened and can be used at camp, at home, or wherever needed. On warmer nights when you don’t need full coverage, you can fully cinch it up and slide it to the end of your hammock to act as a cozy footbox.
Where this quilt really shines is the price. At $183 it’s on par or below other quilts on the market. If you’re a three-season hammock camper looking for your first underquilt this is a good option. It’ll keep you warm in moderate temperatures, last several seasons, and won’t break the bank.
Kammok Koala Synthetic Underquilt Specs
- Temp Rating: 40 degrees
- Insulation: Pinneco synthetic
- Weight: 27 oz (765g)
- Size: 80”x55”
- Fabric: Ripstop Nylon
- Price: $183