But is that not amazing, the 180° different opinions people can have about the same product? I have used my super shelter on two different week long trips. Plus numerous overnighters and back yard testings. Not counting all of the user error involved in the first (22°) night which resulted in me freezing my behind off, I have used it quite successfully from 18° through the mid 40s, including a 27° night with an extremely high winds.
And condensation problems had been virtually nonexistent! As I have reported here previously, the only night I ever had any significant condensation was the one night in the foggy, rainy super damp Olympic Mountains in Washington, the first night of the trip were I chose not to use the space blanket. I slept plenty warm without the space blanket with it in the mid-Hi 40°, but I had some condensation in the foot of the over cover and on the foot of the pad. And the foot was definitely wet! But still plenty warm. But it quickly dried out pretty much all by itself. Every other night of the trip, all I would have is a few drops on the space blanket itself, which did not get in the hammock or down in the insulation or in the undercover. And I just read a post here by rpettit who also had no problems with condensation.
And when I read about the Super Shelter drastically failing to live up to Hennessy's claim for it, I've gotten to where I always wonder if the space blanket was used as clearly advised by Tom Hennessy. Hennessy considers that two oz. space blanket an integral part of the system. But I have found most people loath to use it. I virtually always use it, and I see no drawbacks to it other than the initial hassle of getting it situated on top of the pad. But after I get it on there, it pretty much stays in place. Even after the entire system has been stuffed into a stuff sack.
Using the space blanket as directed by Tom Hennessy, I have certainly never had to "wring out" the pad. Or actually, even without the space blanket. Sometimes I even had down vests and such down in the undercover or on top of the open cell foam pad, but of course all of it underneath the space blanket, and never had a drop of moisture get into any of this insulation. It kind of makes me wonder if this is related to how some people have a lot of trouble with sweat issues on closed cell foam pads, while other people don't seem to have much trouble. Either that or it's related to not using the space blanket as directed, or at all.
I should add to my statement above about the temperatures that I have used the SuperShelter in successfully, I certainly did not use the basic system of just one pad and one space blanket down into the 20s, or at least not the low 20s. I can't exactly remember right now, but I'm thinking I was good into the high 30s without the space blanket in back yard testing. But I may have used the kidney/torso pad, just no space blanket, on that test. But I remember that at about 38° the backs of my calves were a little cold. Then I added the space blanket the next night it was okay, if memory serves, into the high 20s, but for sure into the very low 30s. Again, this was with the additional kidney/torso pads, which I always have in the system now unless I'm not expecting temps below 40°. Then with the addition of insulated clothing and/or Garlington insulators or a ridge rest pad and SPE, I have taken it to about 18°. I'm sure that with the pad I could have gone much lower.
But for me the basic super shelter system (undercover/1 open cell foam pad/space blanket) is good to the mid-Hi 30s. I know that because I spent that week in the Wyoming mountains where except for the first 22° night and all the user error that went with it, I was just fine the rest of the week. And the temps ranged from mid 30s to mid 40°. I did not have another cold night.
But here we have a user who could not be comfortable below 50°,and was soaking wet with condensation. And I do not doubt this user's word at all. But I'm always hard-pressed to explain the differences. And realistically, I'm pretty sure that most experienced users who have reported here have been able to do much better than that.
But I do always wonder for the people that have so much trouble with condensation issues -- whether with super shelter's or with closed cell foam pads -- where does all that body moisture go when using a down under quilt? Shouldn't it still be condensing somewhere? Could it be condensing in the down? It just seems to me that this body moisture/vapor is going to condense when it hits a surface that is cold enough. That's why I don't hesitate to have a space blanket suspended underneath me whether in the super shelter or the Peapod, especially if it is really cold. Let the moisture condense on that surface and stay out of the insulation. For whatever reason, works for me.