Originally Posted by BillyBob58
Now I can't remember, but I think Cannibal has taken this even colder, maybe ~ minus 20? But, we don't know for sure that he could not have taken the CS version just as low. Or do we, Cannibal? Please correct me if any of that is wrong.
I would have to go back and look at the thread from that night in the synthetic Yeti, but I think it was only -10° that I got recorded; not that a single degree is of any real consequence. It is worth keeping in mind that I was still very new to cold weather hanging when I did that. I was very well dressed inside the hammock with layers that included fleece. Remember, I was in the backyard that night. In truth, I was a lucky idiot. That is illustrated by the fact that I awoke to the netting pressed against my nose because I elected not to put a tarp up. I mean really! Who would have thought there would be a foot of snow on Xmas Eve? It was a clear and star filled sky when I went to sleep. That never happens except in story-books.
To prove the power of my clothing during this test, take a close look at the underquilt. It is vented in this picture like nobody's business. It looks like the quilt had shifted over to the right side and had fallen completely off my left shoulder. I was still snoring when this picture was taken by my dad when he came out to see if I was alive. He said he took the picture about 30 minutes before I got up. I'm guessing that venting was a big part of the reason I got up. Do I think it could have gone colder that night, sure. Do I think my clothing had a lot to do with it, oh yeah!
The contemporary Winter Yeti has taken me to my lowest recorded temp of -26°. That is actually a better reading than the synthetic because it was done 'hiker style'. Yes, I was in a car-camping situation because I was "testing" (same campground we've done a couple of winter hangs at), but I tried to keep it real with regards to what I used. I still had some trusty fleece because it's rare that I go out in the winter without some fleece, but it certainly wasn't the level of dress I had when taking the synthetic below zero. I was not cold at -26°, but I am convinced I was within a few degrees of the limit for me and the Winter Yeti (without reflective liner). I used a GG pad below my legs, which was on top of my Catalyst pack, a Superfly tarp (early model), and a Rocky Mtn. Sniveler as a top quilt. I did have a 3-season quilt with me to boost the RMS if needed; used it initially to get warm, but pushed it aside after about 20 minutes.
The -26° was early winter of 2009. The synthetic Yeti was Xmas of 2007. Both were at altitude; 9,950 & 5,280 respectively. In 2011 (I think; might have been 2010), I did push the synthetic Yeti deeper than the -10 or -11° mark. Again, it was a backyard test, but it was done 'hiker style'. The clothing may have been slightly different, as it had been a year of heavy gear/clothing acquisition, but I was still dressed as I would be on the trail. Top quilt and tarp were identical to the previous Winter Yeti test. Temps did not dip below about -15°, but I was comfortable. I wasn't crazy warm, but I wasn't really cold either. Maybe call it a little chilled until I fell asleep. I do not believe I would have been comfortable below -20° with the synthetic Yeti. It's possible, but I don't think it likely. However, we must keep in mind, that in 2011, the synthetic Yeti was 4 years old and had spent 6.5 months of its life packed and unpacked daily as I made my way north on the AT. That is a whole lot of compression for extended periods. Whether it would have performed better as 'new' will forever be a mystery. Still, to this day I have zero worries about taking that thing below zero. Given a choice, I wouldn't want to take it deeper than the teens below zero, but I might try it again in the backyard if we get some deep cold spells this year. It is a very solid quilt and still goes with me on most trips that the ElDorado gets packed. Just doesn't feel right to separate those two; they've been good friends over the years.
Standard cold disclosure: I readily acknowledge that I am some kind of freakish mutation among humans when it comes to cold weather. I shiver like anybody else does standing around in the cold, but for whatever reason, when I sleep...I'm a dang furnace. My results really can't be reliably pushed out to the general population. When I was doing some testing for Brandon, it was pretty standard for me to give him false data simply because I knew better than to tell him the actual temps I hit. Even then, I think he added a few degrees to whatever I told him, just to be on the safe side. I'm weird and your results will almost certainly vary. Don't claim you haven't been warned.