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  1. #1
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    Question Why aren't quilts and sleeping bags rated in R value?

    I see floor mats rated with R value and I can't understand why it isn't the same for sleeping bags and quilts.

    Anyone know why they don't use the same rating for everything that keeps you warm?

  2. #2
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Good question. I think the problem is that consumers think about bag ratings in terms of "how warm will be in this bag," or "how cold can I go" instead of "how thermally insulative is this bag?" I believe it is because the unknown variable is the occupant. Trying to standardize the warmth rating is challenging. The r-value doesn't tell you how warm it is, but a measure of heat resistance.

    A sheet of plastic or tyvek may have hi r-values, but wrapping yourself in them may not give you the same warmth as a sleeping bag. There are a lot of factors in play.

  3. #3
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    The bottom half of a sb is compressed, reducing the insulative value of that portion of the bag by a considerable amount. Thus, the r-value of a bag varies with what's under it, effectively making it a system value. The maker of the sb has no control over that.
    Dave

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    kayak karl's Avatar
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    R- value was set up for construction. that's why pads and things with air gaps have R-values (they were being used in construction before we started using them.)

    R-value is determined under consistent standards. our bodily internal heaters are not consistent. even if a quilt was rated at R-5 the first question would be, but how cold can i go. then we would need a chart. we could put it with all the abbreviations i don't get yet.

    most people don't even know that cold is the absence of heat and a quilt is retaining heat not keeping out cold. tell some body that their house AC is removing heat, not adding cold and look at the blank stare you get.

    KK&K
    "Tenting is equivalent to a bum crawling into a cardboard box, hammocking is an art" KK

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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    most people don't even know that cold is the absence of heat and a quilt is retaining heat not keeping out cold. tell some body that their house AC is removing heat, not adding cold and look at the blank stare you get.

    KK&K
    Oh how true that is!

    Thanks for the answers everyone. I just found out something else about sleeping bag ratings here: http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text....34374302887297

  6. #6
    Alamosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    ...R-value is determined under consistent standards. our bodily internal heaters are not consistent. even if a quilt was rated at R-5 the first question would be, but how cold can i go. then we would need a chart. ..
    To me, that is the advantage of going with something standard like an R-value. It will be pretty easy for me to deterimine what temperature R-5 relates to for me, which will likely be different for others.

    Having a bag/quilt manufacturerer choosing a temperature rating is completely subjective and doesn't really provide me any means of comparing them objectively.

    I would love to see all bags/quilts showing a standard R-value.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    I completely agree with everybody! =)

    To put a finer point on what I think Alamosa is getting at, an industry standard test, that shows an insulation rating regardless of how an item is used. Like an R-value, would be a nice addition to all specification sheets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xutopia View Post
    I see floor mats rated with R value and I can't understand why it isn't the same for sleeping bags and quilts.

    Anyone know why they don't use the same rating for everything that keeps you warm?
    There is an industry standard out there so to speak, although we don't use it in the US very much. It's closer to a standardized test like you're talking about.

    Google the EN 13537 standard.

    Ryan

  9. #9
    kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Violent Green View Post
    There is an industry standard out there so to speak, although we don't use it in the US very much. It's closer to a standardized test like you're talking about.

    Google the EN 13537 standard.

    Ryan
    before that they were using tog values
    Lightweight summer duvet: 4.5 tog
    Spring/Autumn weight duvet: 9.0 - 10.5 tog
    Winter weight duvet: 12.0 - 13.5 tog

    we can't use R-value because it is for things stationary (buildings) even if we came up with another value wouldn't it still be subjective for the manufacturer to determine it? if we had things tested by testing companies who would pay for it? in the end i think we would.
    "Tenting is equivalent to a bum crawling into a cardboard box, hammocking is an art" KK

  10. #10
    default's Avatar
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    my thoughts are that when you have household items, like insulation, it IS standardized, unlike quilts which all have different variables including fill type, baffles, materials etc...

    same with pads. ccf pads get compressed, causing variations in insulative qualities, and with air pads, each user may end up inflating it to different PSI's and therefore causing the same variables with weight and otherwise.

    so whereas home stuff is consistently used the same, things WE use constantly changes.
    Give a man fire and he's warm for the night.
    Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life. Dante

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