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  1. #1
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Though I've sunk to a new low, PeaPod still rocks

    We finally got some temps forecast to be the lowest in a couple of years. So it was time to try out the PeaPod. Although, I was also tempted to test the SuperShelter using all of the tricks I've learned over the last couple of years. Maybe if we get some more cold this year I can put the SS through some more testing.

    So, it was 11PM by the time I got to bed, and already 19*. That right there would have been within 1* of a record for me. I'm not sure, but I think I used a pad/SPE on my 18* day. I'd have to look it up. There was also a slight wind chill of 5 or more degrees.

    I hung the PeaPod by head lamp, at the same adjustment as I had used previously when playing around with it. Since the temp was already below the lower rating of the pod, and there was a slight wind chill, I placed my space blanket, previously removed from my SS setup, down inside the pod and adjusted it it so that it came up and around the sides of the hammock (Speer 8.5). I put my 1-1.25" single layer loft, 24 year old Quallofil(sp?) rectangular summer bag ( 40*? 50*? not sure, but least warm bag I own ) in the hammock, along with a small pillow and and another small pillow for under my knees. Then I put my tarp up. By the time I had done all of this, I was starting to get a pretty noticeable chill, even though it didn't take all that long.

    I had on thin long johns, wool socks, neck gator, hat and Cocoon Polarguard pants ( 8 oz ) and parka( 14 ozs ). I crawled in, pulled the bag up quilt style, and sealed up the pod Velcro, leaving about a 6" diameter gap above my face.

    Before I closed the Velcro all the way, I felt around from the outside. Once again, it did not feel like I had full loft under my butt. I'm going to have to work on that some more. But for the sake of simplicity, and looking towards days on the trail when I would be too tired to fool with it, I just let it be, even though this was going to be one seriously cold night.

    After about 10 or 20 minutes, I was plenty warm on the bottom, starting to worry about over-heating on top. I was very warm, so I lowered my jacket hood, and was still plenty warm but not overheating.

    I slept fitfully, with some weird dreams. In fact, I think I was often dreaming I was awake. After what seemed like a few hours, I was no longer " really warm", and was just barely "cool", top and bottom. So I pulled my hood back up, and fooled with the "quilt". I was having my usual problems with draft around my neck/shoulders when I would move or turn briefly to my side. The hood helped, but after a while I realized I was still not quite warm, and I figured it was 2 or 3AM and probably 15 or 16*. Since I was not actually cold but no longer particularly warm, I decided I would bail out, feeling I had basically established the "comfort" level. So I turned my head lamp on and was amazed to see it was already 0430! I had not even been up to take a leak, while 5.5 hours had gone by! ( I drank a full glass of water right before sack time hoping hydration would help me stay warm, so I was expecting to be up) Since it was that close to get up time ( work day ), I decided I would just ride it out, since I was not actually cold. But, since I would be up in an hour or two anyway, I decided to try closing the pod all the way. That really helped, and I warmed up significantly on top, remaining just adequate ( no discomfort, barely "cool") on the bottom. I did not see any loft loss after this brief closure. Amazingly, my feet were fine all night with just one medium layer of socks.

    But some noise in the distance woke me up again at 0500, and this time I realized I did have to take a leak now, so I just got up and stayed up. That gave me 6 hours total. I checked my thermometer near the hammock. It read 10*! Plus a small wind chill, maybe 5* worth or more all night, according to the local weather folks. The official lows in the area, a few miles from me, were 12-13*.

    So, not bad overall, in my opinion, considering it is only rated for 20* bottom. I guess the space blanket helped. I did feel a cold elbow once or twice or some other protruding part when I would get positioned wrong. But not as long as I was near the center, even with a diagonal lie.

    A little thicker quilt or bag, and a GG pad or some clothing along with the space blanket down in the pod, and I suppose you could do zero with this setup. Great product, especially for those who prefer down.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new low!

    As much fun as just hanging is, I've really started to enjoy seeing how low I can go with the least amount of fussing. The challenge is a blast! Sure wish I had 10F to deal with, but 36F is the lowest it got last night here in Vero Beach.
    Trust nobody!

  3. #3
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Ah yes, BUT, you did just get back from that Colorado torture test, with only a 3/4 length UQ!

    I should add that, unlike you, I guess I'm an "average" sleeper temp wise. I used to be considered very hot natured. But in recent years, cold temps bother me a lot more than they used to, when I was 25 or even 40.

    Also, I went out after a couple of hours ( it was still 18* with a 10* wind chill!) and removed the space blanket. It was slightly damp in a few spots on the surface that touched the hammock. But some of that was ice, which I think fell in when I got out and brushed the tarp, which was covered with an impressive layer of ice. the SB had been sealed up in the pod, which I closed when I got out. So I don't think it could have frozen, which is why I figured it fell in when it "snowed" on me. But there wasn't much.

    The pod, around the "breathing hole" ( which was also closed completely for a short time) looked and felt a little damp, but I can't say it really lost any loft that I could see. I weighed it, and it was at most a couple of ounces heavier, if that. Though by then, it had been out in the sun ( though under the still ice covered tarp) in the teens. I'm wondering if it could have dried out any under these conditions? Also, I suppose some of the moisture was in my clothes and summer bag.

    I am thinking of 2 options. A PeaPod hood such as Jeff made. Or, using my marmot hood ( 2.5+" loft around my head and face). If needed, a piece of Velcro 6" long or so to cover the scratchy Velcro on 1 side of the pod. Though my hood has some Velcro on it which might match up with the pod Velcro, have not checked yet. With either option, I could seal the pod up tightly since I wouldn't need a breathing hole for moisture to escape.

    Either that, or some kind of breathing tube and sealing the pod fully around that! Because full closure of the pod makes a big dif.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-04-2008 at 12:17.

  4. #4
    Mule's Avatar
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    Thanks for the test results. I am going out tomorrow and Saturday night in the Hoosier National Forest for what they are predicting will be a 14 degree night tomorrow. I am planning on using only the Speer Snugfit until I need something else, then add the sock, then if needed add a 24 inch pad between the layers of my Claytor, next, add the space blanket if needed, then close the nest up and finally build a big fire and drink hot beverages all night. I'm going to have a good time for sure. Mule
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  5. #5
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skskinner View Post
    ............. then close the nest up and finally build a big fire and drink hot beverages all night. I'm going to have a good time for sure. Mule
    Sounds like a party all right!

  6. #6
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I'm glad that you are going to try and use the SnugFit by itself. I am anxious to get an idea of how low it will go before having to add additional insulation.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  7. #7
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    Hey guys, great to read about the lower temp hanging.
    I was out here in UK last night, 0 degrees C, light precipitation. I was troubled by a constant battle to keep things in balance - warmth with ventilation, comfort to condensation etc. I gave up around 3am after fidgetting the night away. I was in a homemade pod with a sock over the top and wearing a woolen jumper (sweater) and cargo pants - it felt warm enough until I shifted position when all the warmth seemed to vent out through the breathing hole.

    Any ideas or tips I could try without breaking the bank?

    ATB

    Ogri the trog

    Edit - My apologies for posting this here, I just came across the "condensation" thread, so I'm trying to get my head around some ideas.
    Last edited by Ogri the trog; 01-04-2008 at 08:28.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogri the trog View Post
    Hey guys, great to read about the lower temp hanging.
    I was out here in UK last night, 0 degrees C, light precipitation. I was troubled by a constant battle to keep things in balance - warmth with ventilation, comfort to condensation etc. I gave up around 3am after fidgetting the night away. I was in a homemade pod with a sock over the top and wearing a woolen jumper (sweater) and cargo pants - it felt warm enough until I shifted position when all the warmth seemed to vent out through the breathing hole.

    Any ideas or tips I could try without breaking the bank?

    ATB

    Ogri the trog

    Edit - My apologies for posting this here, I just came across the "condensation" thread, so I'm trying to get my head around some ideas.
    Did you have some kind of top quilt or bag, or just the clothing you mentioned? And a pad or underquilt? 0*C ( 32f?) is kind of pushing it without a quilt or some kind of under insulation. I can see where you might be just barely OK( on top, anyway) until you moved and bellows action would force the warm air out.

    I'm not sure what to do about your condensation problems. I have never had any significant problems in my HH SuperShelter. And I have not noticed any so far in my Speer PeaPod, though it may have all seen absorbed by the down top layers. If so, it wasn't really verifiable by observing loft (when I got up the next AM, that pod was puffed up like a balloon along it's full length) , nor by weighing. But I did not weigh my clothes or synthtic quilt to see how much they might have absorbed. But I think the space blanket vapor barrier may have blocked any condensation absorption on the bottom and sides.

  9. #9
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogri the trog View Post
    Hey guys, great to read about the lower temp hanging.
    I was out here in UK last night, 0 degrees C, light precipitation. I was troubled by a constant battle to keep things in balance - warmth with ventilation, comfort to condensation etc. I gave up around 3am after fidgetting the night away. I was in a homemade pod with a sock over the top and wearing a woolen jumper (sweater) and cargo pants - it felt warm enough until I shifted position when all the warmth seemed to vent out through the breathing hole.

    Any ideas or tips I could try without breaking the bank?

    ATB

    Ogri the trog

    Edit - My apologies for posting this here, I just came across the "condensation" thread, so I'm trying to get my head around some ideas.
    Ogri, I have a sock I will be probably going to tonight too. Mine is made of DWR sil, and at Neo's campout it did great. Only about 35 degrees that night though. Since then I have made another that is two feet longer to cover more of my Claytor. If I get condensation tonight I will not close it on top, at least not all the way. Now for the questionable modification: I may take a pointed soldering iron and purferate the entire sock if condensation gets bad this weekend. If the holes stay small, say, 1/16" or smaller, it will still stop almost all the wind even with the holds. The sock is no good the way it is if it causes condensation. I am encouraged however by Cerberus' comments on his sock made with the same DWR; his does fine for him.
    I agree with Billy Bob on the top and bottom insulation. I figure I need four inches of loft or and added pad on bottom, or both, and the same lofty on the top for below freezing temps. But if you have that you should be OK.
    I don't think the bellows effect of the shifting would bother you at all if you had enough insulation. The down would not lose it's warmth/ insulating power just because the surface air has changed. How thick is your PeaPod and did you use any other quilts/ bags? Mule
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by skskinner View Post
    How thick is your PeaPod and did you use any other quilts/ bags? Mule
    I'm using a homemade pod, built from a 13 tog (UK winter rated) duvet. I've done various modifications to it (I want to get a design right before making one from a down filled item), so I can use it in all sorts of configurations - underquilt/UQ with footbox/1/2 UQ 1/2 pod/full pod. I was using it as a full pod arrangement but there's possibly too much room inside!
    Your comments about other quilts may just have hit the nail on the head - if I'd used an over-quilt, I could have opened the vent a bit more to be rid of the condensation before it became an issue whilst avoiding the bellows motion pumping out the warm air.

    I guess I'll try again

    Cheers

    Ogri the trog

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