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  1. #91
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    PS: Arutha, you may have said previously, but just to be sure:
    1: was that wet foot box down or synthetic?
    2: if down, was it treated down?

    Also interesting about the moisture running down your face, and your desire to try a frost bib. But I've got one for you. I have very few single digit nights way down south in order to test in the kind of conditions I might run into on my trips to the Rocky Mtns. but I have managed to back yard test in a few way below 20F nights over the years. One was a 10F night in my old and much missed(I stupidly sold it) Speer Pea Pod. This would close above me by way of full length Velcro. The norm was to leave a vent right above my face from the size of 1/4" to 6" or wide open on warm nights. Or rarely fully closed for max warmth(the Velcro, even fully closed, was not insulated and allowed for some moisture escape even fully closed).

    That pod was rated 20F top and bottom if just looking at the loft ( 2.5" rated top + 2.5" bottom, probably a bit more than that for mine). But, depending on the width and depth of the hammock used, the sides of the hammock would lift the top section of the pod from almost none to several inches, producing a gap. Which is why the designer, Ed Speer, a very cold sleeper, only rated it to 50F on top. For me it was more like 30+ to 40F, depending on clothes worn. Unless of course I filled the gap with clothing or a light TQ, in which case I now had 3 to 5" of loft on top and in full contact with my body, no gaps. Now that was obviously good for temps way below 20F. ( and draft proof like a zipped up sleeping bag!)

    So, it is 10F, and I am sleeping in it with a 30+ year old 50F synthetic bag liner as TQ on top, under the main Pea Pod Top insulation. And a space blanket under the hammock as a VB and radiant block to try and boost the 20F rating for back warmth. I have maybe a 1/2" diameter vent opening several inches above my face. I did not get any condensation running down my face. Rather, every time I would fall sound asleep, my breath vapor would rise up thru the vent opening, freeze back into snow, and fall back into the vent and snow on my face, waking me up!

    Finally, at about 0500, I decided I was just barely warm enough, but this 10F was probably about the limit of that system for me, without adding a warmer TQ(I think my back was OK, but I would have to look at that over 12 year old report to be sure) But when I realized it was close to time to get up, instead of going in, I just closed the vent hole completely, taking a chance on condensation in the down. I got an amazing overall warm up, and no more snow falling on my face, and went back into a sound sleep for a couple more hours, until it was time to get up, after 0700.

    When I got up, I took the pod in and immediately checked for signs of dampness and loft loss(this was before treated down), and could not find any. Except for a hint right near my mouth, but no loft loss that I could tell. There probably was some, but not enough tell. I expected worse. It might be that the velcro closure allowed enough vapor escape, even when fully closed. But closing it shifted me from barely warm enough to luxurious warmth, plus ended that pesky snow in the face.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-23-2021 at 14:27.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Very interesting that (without socks, right?) your feet were toasty warm at about 0ºF, but you woke up to sweaty feet and a wet footbox. It is impressive that your feet stayed warm at those temps in a wet foot box. But it seems likely that on a multiday trip, particularly if having to pack up every morning along with inadequate sun and/or time for drying, that wet foot box would end up being trouble, as I'm sure you already know. Most likely loft would be noticeably decreasing every night. Although, the new treated down or any synthetic would probably save you. (and indeed, you are using synthetic?) Although being warm in a wet foot box- even if full loft is maintained- is impressive! Because of all of the evaporative cooling that was probably taking place. Though I suppose it is possible that the moisture did not accumulate until neqr wake up time?

    I have always suspected that one reason that some folks have so much trouble with cold feet is that our feet tend to really crank out the vapor and/or liquid sweat. And that this gets into the foot ox and drops loft and or adds greatly to evaporative cooling. I remember when the Backpackinglight(sp?) folks used to go on those UL, long Alaskan trips, the first problem they would have with their down bags was collapse of loft in the foot box, all without any external moisture getting on the bags. I have a buddy who woke up with a soaked down foot box, with no apparent moisture inside our tent. Only the foot box was wet. Was that due to sweat and/or condensation? Don't know for sure.

    In my personal experience, I woke up one morning in the 40s with a soaked foot box(synthetic bag) and underpad(open cell foam pad of the HH Supershelter used without the space blanket/VB) But I was totally warm all night, didn't notice it until I got up. There was no apparent loss of loft, and all was dry by the time I made camp the next night(I used the space blanket/VB from the on and had no more problems like that).

    Anyway, I'm thinking a wet foot box has some potential to be a problem after the first night, especially having to pack up every morning. Still, impressive how arm you remained!
    Yep, no socks. Since I figured out that even the loosest wool socks cause cold feet shortly after getting into the hammock, I've not had socks on in the hammock at all and haven't had cold feet problems since!

    My 0F TQ-mode sleeping bag is synthetic. The 42 bag I put on top is synthetic as well but has a plushy flannel-y interior, while the 0F is synthetic shell inside and outside. I think that's why it was wet. And by wet I don't mean dripping but you could definitely feel it w/ the feet in there and also to the touch when I got up and inside and I turned it inside out to dry it. I also have the sit pad in there and it was covered in - also non-dripping - wetness as well.

    The thermometer doesn't have a history you can download onto a smart phone, just a min-max function. So the 8F was when waking up but I can't tell when exactly it would've warmed up and the weather report is usually quite a bit 'off' w/ the temps. Not sure where the nearest weather station is vs. my location.

    I'm definitely glad I'm testing all of this out without actually being on the trail, so none of this really matters, as it all dries out during the day inside.

    Feet produce a lot of moisture. That's scientifically proven. And then there's also the fact that some people's feet sweat more than others as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    PS: Arutha, you may have said previously, but just to be sure:
    1: was that wet foot box down or synthetic?
    2: if down, was it treated down?

    Also interesting about the moisture running down your face, and your desire to try a frost bib. But I've got one for you. I have very few single digit nights way down south in order to test in the kind of conditions I might run into on my trips to the Rocky Mtns. but I have managed to back yard test in a few way below 20F nights over the years. One was a 10F night in my old and much missed(I stupidly sold it) Speer Pea Pod. This would close above me by way of full length Velcro. The norm was to leave a vent right above my face from the size of 1/4" to 6" or wide open on warm nights. Or rarely fully closed for max warmth(the Velcro, even fully closed, was not insulated and allowed for some moisture escape even fully closed).

    That pod was rated 20F top and bottom if just looking at the loft ( 2.5" rated top + 2.5" bottom, probably a bit more than that for mine). But, depending on the width and depth of the hammock used, the sides of the hammock would lift the top section of the pod from almost none to several inches, producing a gap. Which is why the designer, Ed Speer, a very cold sleeper, only rated it to 50F on top. For me it was more like 30+ to 40F, depending on clothes worn. Unless of course I filled the gap with clothing or a light TQ, in which case I now had 3 to 5" of loft on top and in full contact with my body, no gaps. Now that was obviously good for temps way below 20F. ( and draft proof like a zipped up sleeping bag!)

    So, it is 10F, and I am sleeping in it with a 30+ year old 50F synthetic bag liner as TQ on top, under the main Pea Pod Top insulation. And a space blanket under the hammock as a VB and radiant block to try and boost the 20F rating for back warmth. I have maybe a 1/2" diameter vent opening several inches above my face. I did not get any condensation running down my face. Rather, every time I would fall sound asleep, my breath vapor would rise up thru the vent opening, freeze back into snow, and fall back into the vent and snow on my face, waking me up!

    Finally, at about 0500, I decided I was just barely warm enough, but this 10F was probably about the limit of that system for me, without adding a warmer TQ(I think my back was OK, but I would have to look at that over 12 year old report to be sure) But when I realized it was close to time to get up, instead of going in, I just closed the vent hole completely, taking a chance on condensation in the down. I got an amazing overall warm up, and no more snow falling on my face, and went back into a sound sleep for a couple more hours, until it was time to get up, after 0700.

    When I got up, I took the pod in and immediately checked for signs of dampness and loft loss(this was before treated down), and could not find any. Except for a hint right near my mouth, but no loft loss that I could tell. There probably was some, but not enough tell. I expected worse. It might be that the velcro closure allowed enough vapor escape, even when fully closed. But closing it shifted me from barely warm enough to luxurious warmth, plus ended that pesky snow in the face.
    Making your own snow sounds fun Until it actually hits you in the face.

    Actually I gather that putting the other bag on the inside might change this dynamic quite a bit, because it has that flannel-y inside, which would rather soak up the moisture than get wet to the touch I suppose.

    That's basically what happens around my face. I basically use that flannel-y inside as the frost bib so far, as it catches the moist breath rather than just condensing it on the outside. I try to bend it so that my face is uncovered and I won't breathe directly onto the synthetic outer shell of that outer bag. But as mentioned it flips and flops around and I sometimes wake up with it covering mouth and nose and I'm breathing right into it, while my balaclava and beanie have moved themselves over my eyes. I think that sort-of mimics what you're mentioning there about that vent, just without proper control over it

    In warmer weather I have to have my face sticking out and catching the fresh air but that those temps, I actually find that it's best to have all of the fabric at least so close to my face that my exhale warms up the surroundings of my face and even when it all flops over to cover my face, it's actually OK.


    Just for completeness, the Incubator under me is obviously treated down and the Trail Winder around that is synthetic. Those two have actually been performing very well together. As mentioned, when I sleep outside, I always take the setup inside during the day. I don't bother to actually take it all down individually and just take the whole TW, Incubator, Hammock and two bags setup and carry it inside. I do spread it out on the sofa but I leave it all attached. It took quite a while until it seemed like the performance wasn't as good any longer and I actually took it all apart and let the UQs loft individually before putting it all back together. Just in time for the near 0 actually

  3. #93
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Arutha. I hear a synthetic quilt(like your TW) outside of a down is a good combo. The outer quilt moves the dew point further out, maybe outside of the down. If it condenses inside the synthetic, that might be better than if it did so inside the down.

    There are differing opinions on this of course, but I suspect it might have been easier to keep your feet warm in a wet foot box since it was synthetic. Just like the time I had a soaked synthetic foot box and under insulation(wet in the foot area only) and never even noticed until I got up for the day. In damp conditions, I have not ever noticed an loss of loft with my synthetics, and they dry quickly. Then again, treated down might decrease or negate that advantage, while maintaining the weight/bulk advantage.

    Then again, I often have VB socks, in which case there won't be any wet foot box. But most don't like a VB approach.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-24-2021 at 00:45.

  4. #94

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    Just keep this awesome thread going.


    I have a few insights in stacking my 20 degree TW and 40 degree HQ UQ. Recently slept out in in 35 degree so really didn't need to stack anything, but I wanted to see how well they worked stacked.

    I much prefer the HG down on the outside of the TW. Both are differential cut, but TW just works better with a more solid connection to the hammock. The HG also stretches more so when placed on the outside it fits nicely on the TW. touches the bottom of the TW but not enough to compress it. Lots o' fluff in the down.

    When I reversed them with the TW on the outside, I just didn't like it nearly as much. I had to adjust the TW so that it didn't crush the HQ, but it worked well after that. Switching them the other way there was no dialing in of either I just put the HQ on the outside of the TW just as I use either independently and that was it.

    Glad to report that I think having these 2 will give me the flexibility to comfortably sleep in any temperature that I am planning on camping in.

    One of the things I appreciate about hammocks is being able to mix and match like this. Picking what works for you.

  5. #95
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    That's very interesting Tpatter, especially given I have an Incubator and a TW I've only really used the Incubator on the inside, since the TW feels much "larger" to me. I was worried about the down on the outside too, buuut, I guess I shouldn't be, since it's treated down anyway. Plus it's snowy now, not rainy. So those experience sound very interesting indeed. I guess one doesn't have to worry so much about the Incubator compressing the synthetic insulation in the TW as one would the other way around either. I've actually noticed that it can happen. I usually don't take the whole thing apart when I carry it inside for the day, but after some weeks of doing so, things just felt cold again as mentioned but after lofting it individually and putting it back together it was all good again.

    Yesterday it was too windy for my taste, so I didn't make use of the cold temps and slept inside instead but it looks calmer on the forecast today and the forecast says -4F. Let's see what my thermometer says in the end!

    With just the TW I also have to say that getting it to 'close up' was much harder. So even though it has the better rating at 20F, I just feel like it's much easier to not get drafts in with the Incubator and it's baffles (mine is rated at 40F, so I'll have to wait a few months for testing just the Incubator on its own - while I've had the TW to test around the temps you were just mentioning already).

    And just like you said, mixing and matching is awesome. I'm actually a computer guy and this is the UNIX philosophy (nowadays kept alive by Linux and MacOS). Build lots of small utilities, that do one thing and one thing only, but they do it well. And then you mix and match and combine them together to achieve something awesome. Vs. Windows (or tents). Someone made all the decisions for you and gives you the end result.

  6. #96
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    Just had an email “Your Hammock Gear order has been updated” “status now shipped”
    Premium 20* Incubator and Burrow inbound to the UK

  7. #97
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    Wooohooo! I hope they fly it with a plane and don't literally "ship" it :P

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by arutha View Post
    Wooohooo! I hope they fly it with a plane and don't literally "ship" it :P
    They arrived yesterday, a grand effort by DHL !!
    Some beautiful craftsmanship.
    I hope to try them tonight.

  9. #99
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk Yeti View Post
    They arrived yesterday, a grand effort by DHL !!
    Some beautiful craftsmanship.
    I hope to try them tonight.
    Wow, that was quick! Across the pond to the UK? Wow. Have fun!

  10. #100
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    A well needed overnight camp last night to test the quilts out.
    Incredibly different to climashield I think, I could feel instant warmth and was toasty throughout the night, did only go down to +4c but was very high humidity and chill that I would have felt using my other quilts.
    The workmanship is just superb and the weight compressibility is incredible.
    Shug, you where correct: “goose down is all that”
    35D22F78-B494-4745-A71B-0D254C02B70F.jpg

    31F37503-7110-41D6-A053-6A7CEEF63833.jpg

    DF01BDC8-1B89-4823-9950-4766A4502E1D.jpg

    Also a little YouTube vid of my afternoon/evening out.... https://youtu.be/oa2f41MC8uo

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