View Poll Results: How do you sleep, and do you have condensation problems?

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  • I'm a COLD sleeper, and I DON'T have condensation issues.

    10 41.67%
  • I'm a COLD sleeper, and I DO have condensation issues.

    2 8.33%
  • I'm a WARM sleeper, and I DON'T have condensation issues.

    8 33.33%
  • I'm a WARM sleeper, and I DO have condensation issues.

    1 4.17%
  • I don't fall into any of these categories/I don't know/This poll is silly.

    3 12.50%
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  1. #1
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    Question Poll: cold/warm sleeping vs. condensation issues

    This is a question I've had in mind for awhile, but I didn't know whether it was worth exploring. I still don't, but I'm going to ask anyway.

    I'm a cold sleeper. I like to be covered up for both warmth and just the comfort of having a blanket layer on top of me to sleep. I love sleeping in cool/cold ambient temps, but I sleep cooler.

    I also don't have sweating or condensation issues.

    It seems that both of these things are a matter of biology, in that you can't really control whether you're a cold sleeper or a warm sleeper, as much as you can't control whether you're left or right handed. I'm wondering, though, whether the two are independent. Are all cold sleepers free of condensation problems? Do all warm sleepers wake up with dewy bugnets? I wonder if there's any correlation... so here's a poll. Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Benson Burner's Avatar
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    I always wake up with dew on the inside when Iím using a sock. But recently seen that it gets Dewey inside when no one is sleeping in it. I had it all ready last Friday but fell asleep inside when I went out there in the AM it was Dewey inside and out I think itís the fog.


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  3. #3
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    It seems you are addressing three different issues here. First, sweat accumulation where the perspiration isn't evaporating or not doing so quickly enough to stay dry. Second, condensation of breath and perspiration in cool conditions. Third, condensation ("dew") of water vapor naturally occurring in the air. Relative humidity and dewpoint all factor in as well as how much a person sweats/perspires. We all perspire, some more profusely than others and also depending on the conditions.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TominMN View Post
    We all perspire, some more profusely than others...
    This is the part, maybe, that I wanted to isolate. Whether the sweating and/or body humidity in your sleep system is tied into cold or warm sleeping.

    My wife is a warm sleeper and throws off more humidity than I do, which would lead to a higher propensity for condensation if she were remotely interested in sleeping outside.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaNu1142 View Post
    This is the part, maybe, that I wanted to isolate. Whether the sweating and/or body humidity in your sleep system is tied into cold or warm sleeping.

    My wife is a warm sleeper and throws off more humidity than I do, which would lead to a higher propensity for condensation if she were remotely interested in sleeping outside.
    I suppose generally so...but IMO there are several other things that can come into play. Temp, Dew point, wind. Are you pushing the rating of the insulation kit you are using, either way? Are you aggressively venting or having to layer up, keep your insulation positioned right and snugged up to be comfortable?

    From my experience. staying warm, within the lower ends of your insulation ratings, usually results in the least amount of condensation issues.
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  6. #6
    TxAggie's Avatar
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    This is exactly why some people have great results with vapor barrier clothing or liners. It stops all perspiration from going thru your quilts and onto your tarp.

    Thereís another consideration however: if you tend to be a mouth breather, you typically exhale much more moisture than if you exhale through your nose. Even more so if you snore. If youíre waking up and your mouth is dry, that could be a (partial) explanation.

  7. #7
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    I don't think I would classify myself in either category. Most of my "sleep warm, sleep cold" issues come down to how well fed and hydrated I am. Your conditioning also plays a big role.

    Most of the issues with condensation and high humidity concern me only because down loses some insulating ability the longer you are in wet conditions. Those are the conditions that "feel" cooler anyway so it is hard to seperate out which factor is the issue, the greater humidity, or the loss of insulation.

    Wind of course is another matter. Just a slight breeze drastically increases heat loss.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    I voted "warm sleeper/no condensation problems". But, I may not qualify as a warm sleeper in my old age, but maybe just in between, I don't think I am a cold sleeper.

    And as for condensation issues, I can certainly get some condensation issues. And I sweat profusely if I am the least bit hot. But it is not a problem for me, so far, except if I screw up and do something wrong. I can get plenty of condensation and sweat, it's just that I have learned a few tricks to manage this problem that keeps it from being a problem. Vapor barriers kept on the warm side of insulation, frost bibs, an paying attention most of the time and trying not to over insulate and thus over heat. But at least one time I did not do what I was supposed to do and woke up with the foot of my bag, hammock and open cell foam pad soaked with condensation.With temps in the 40s. Luckily, I was still more than warm enough, and all dried quickly. But next night I obeyed my rules and slept dry and warm the rest of the trip. And that is how it normally goes for me. So not really sure which category I belonged in, so just picked one.

  9. #9
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I personally get condensation using pads, and I always get condensation if I use a topcover. While there are some who claim they don't experience either, I don't believe them.

    I have two sons who experience the exact same thing as me. Is it some inherited gene that causes condensation? Possibly, but I would think there is a very minor difference in people who "claim" to have no condensation and those who admit to condensation. For example, we've all heard that the average human temperature is 98.6* F. However, for my entire life, my temperature has been 97.4* F. So basically, I'm around 2% cooler than average. Are there people with an even lower core temp? Maybe, but I'd still bet it's within 5% of the average.

    As for condensation, I would expect to see a similar range of difference. Everybody loses moisture through their skin, but maybe some lose 2% to 5% less. As for those who "say" they don't get condensation on a pad, I think it's strictly perception. Some folks "think" they're not getting condensation on a pad, but they really are, and are just used to it.

    Same with a bugnet or topcover - if you are breathing, and it's cold enough, then there will be a difference between outside temps and inside temps and you will get condensation - guaranteed. However, I still think there are folks who might use a topcover in, say, 10* F weather, and swear up and down they had no condensation. It's mostly about perception. If I see snow on the inside of my topcover, I understand that there was condensation. However, I think others look at the snow and simply cannot make the connection that the snow came from their breath. Everybody breathes, and everybody exhales moisture.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    I personally get condensation using pads, and I always get condensation if I use a topcover. While there are some who claim they don't experience either, I don't believe them. .......................
    I know just where you are coming from! I have never believed you actually get condensation!

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