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  1. #31
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take-a-knee View Post
    Billy Bob, I think most of the increased warmth you experience when you crawl inside you bag (you must be related to Houdini)
    Houdini! That's a hoot! Actually, it was almost impossible for me to get zipped up in a bag when I FIRST STARTED down the hammock obsession road. But now it is no big deal, though it is definitely easier in some hammocks than others. However, quilt style is no doubt easier and more comfortable ( assuming I can stay warm) than bag style. It is the way I sleep most of the time.

    ........comes from using the hood, not much if any benefit at all from the compressed insulation on the down side. If you used a JRB hood or a Bozeman Mtn Balaclava with the bag quilt-style, I don't think you'd see much difference.....
    Well, yes and no.

    YES I have separate hoods and balclavas ( hooded PG jacket, thick Patagonia Pile balclava, neck gaitors and even a 3" thick gore dry loft Marmot separate hood!). I have almost always used one or more of these when trying to use my bags quilt style below 30*. Virtually every time I found myself too cold, getting in the bag ( often after removing some of my warm clothing and/or hoods) and zipping up, sealing the neck collar and cinching down the hood to a breathing hole, I would be more than warm enough pretty quickly. It really was never much of a contest. In addition, my back, which had not been actually cold but not actually warm ( I would mainly be aware of discomfort on top) would now also get an actual "warm" sensation pretty quick.

    But, keep in mind, this is trying to use a mummy bag as a quilt. The seal and draft around the neck and shoulders and sides- especially when I turn over in my sleep- is just no good compared to being zipped up in the bag. However, I'm pretty sure a quilt- designed to be used as a quilt from the get go- would be quite superior in being able to prevent these drafts. Thus if used with any of my hoods would probably be a-ok. Though I still doubt it could quite match the draft proof seal of a mummy bag's hood/collar. But it should be pretty close, I imagine. And much more comfortable and easy to use.

    NO: I don't think so regarding back warmth of either a quilt or down bag vs a synthetic bag. The test I am reporting has nothing to do with hoods or drafts. It was the same in both cases. With the bag used quilt style( or any other quilt and probably a down bag), the only insulation between me and the cold air is the nylon of my hammock. When I got in the bag for the test, I did not zip the bag up nor put the hood on. If anything I had less coverage now on top than I did quilt style, because I was fully unzipped on one side. But there was an almost instant and significant improvement in my back comfort/warmth so that I could have stayed there all night if needed.

    No, I don't think the dif ( in this bck yard test ) had anything to do with hoods or draft prevention. It was that layer of PG under my back, combined with whatever benefit was contributed by the bags wind/water resistant shell. Or so it seems to me, but I might be wrong.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  2. #32
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhalin View Post
    I won't debate that you felt a comfort boost from laying on your sleeping bag. But the title of the thread is "Down vs. Synthetic in a hammock." So, I am going to advocate down. .
    I agree, that was a poor title I used, I didn't want it to be too long. But as I'm sure you have already figured out from reading the thread, I should have titled it:

    " Down or synthetic Top quilts and/or down sleeping bags used in a hammock and their effect or lack thereof on back warmth(all other things being equal) VS PG bags when used as designed- sleeping bag style".

    You give the example comparing your synthetic bag and UQ combo to adding clothing and/or using a pad, but never consider using a thicker down UQ which would be more compressible and lighter. Or a sock like Jeff designed. Or a tarptent or hammock hut. All of these options are providing me with the ~10* boost that you are after here with either less weight, or more functionality than the synthetic bag.
    I actually do consider these things, though I don't mention every possible variable. But they all amount to the "all other things being equal" category. Yes, you can use a tarptent or hammock hut or a thicker UQ. Regardless, with any of these combos, it seems likely that you will be able to either A: sleep about 5 or 10*( possibly more) warmer on the bottom with a synthetic sleeping bag than you can with a down sleeping bag or for sure a top quilt. What ever you ight be using for an UQ or pad or tarp, your back should be somewhat warmer with the PG bag than a top quilt. Conversely, if you are going to use a synthetic bag anyway ( there are a few who will ), you can probably get by with a somewhat lighter UQ or pad, which will slightly mitigate the extra weight of the PG bag.

    Most ( but not all) will choose the lighter weight and greater compressibility and longer life of down, and are willing to pay the greater price and take their chance with the rain. Lord knows I have often enough! But I like to consider all of the trade-offs, variables, pros and cons when making such decisions. And the (at least somewhat) greater back warmth of the lowly PG sleeping bag, compared to any kind of top quilt, is a variable that I had not been considering until now.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 05-22-2008 at 12:17.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    " Down or synthetic Top quilts and/or down sleeping bags used in a hammock and their effect or lack thereof on back warmth(all other things being equal) VS PG bags when used as designed- sleeping bag style".
    I like that title better, LOL!

  4. #34
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=cavediver2;63346]
    Quote Originally Posted by Hector View Post

    This is another "advantage" which doesn't really exist. I am not going to sleep in a wet sleeping bag regardless what it's stuffed with (who would want to?!?), so what's warmer when it's soaked makes no difference to me whatsoever.


    I have in the past slept in a wet synth sleeping bag because of misfortunes that happen while in the back country. In fact I have worn them tell they were dry or nearly dry because it was either that or freeze to death. I would have done the same thing with down but it would have been harder to do and take a lot longer to do.

    lost my pack out of a boat once. and fell fording a stream hip high and me and pack went down stream. and both times I was glad to have synth bag's I after both of those times I have said and always will go camping/backpacking/boat camping and the like with a synthitic bag in my pack.

    No down for me.
    I have also had to sleep in 24*F with clothing and gear quite damp, in a raging, windy June snow storm. Many years ago on a NOLS course. I'm sure gear is better now. But nobodies "waterproof" stuff sacks kept their gear dry that day, and clothing was subject to sweat from the exertions of the long day. I was very cold(shivering) all night, but I might have been in serious trouble if everything I had was down. (And I wasn't even the poor guy who had a branch fall through his tarp that night, or the gal who fell back first into the shallow stream where a rock punctured her pack/stuff sacks!)

    I have never forgotten that night, and I'd bet neither have any of the 20 other folks who were there. It influences how I view these things. I none the less use down, but I always keep the likelihood of getting wet and the difficulty of bailing out (before hypothermia sets in) in mind when deciding: down or PG or a mixture of the two?
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 05-22-2008 at 19:21.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  5. #35
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhalin View Post
    This isn't really a down vs. synthetic discussion. We all know what the end result of that debate is.

    I think the point of this was to discuss the advantage of using a synthetic bag versus a down bag with regards to the insulation either choice would provide while compressed under bodyweight. Correct me if I am wrong, BB58! I agree that the synthetic bag may well give you a 5-10* boost depending on how thick the bag is. And, I also agree that the synthetic bag will be more advantageous than the down which will compress more and provide less insulation.

    However, using synthetic insulation like a pad is not efficiant. It works. But I am trying to imagine a situation where this would be applicable, and I can just always imagine it would be better to use equipment meant to deal with the conditions that are present. If it is 20* with a wind that would bring down the temp, why not use the ~24 oz. that is on the bottom of the bag you are laying on to boost the UQ or add size to the tarp? If your UQ goes down to ~20*, and it will be less than that, why not make an UQ that goes down to ~0*? Or add insulation between the UQ, and the hammock (using an UQ that is made using differential baffling, of course )? I have 24 oz. to play with.

    Adding a windblock over the quilt or around the entire hammock, or using an all encompasing tarp or "hammock hut" would be a more advantageous approach. Or a thicker UQ. (UQ's don't have to be made of down synth fans!)That way you are either using less weight or getting more functionality for your weight.
    You are exactly correct, Nar, on the point of the thread. And your points are right on that it would probably be better to address back warmth with a thicker down quilt, PeaPod or pad. It would probably be more weight efficient. I am not advocating abandoning the standard techniques for keeping your back warm in a hammock.

    I am just saying that, for those who use sleeping bags anyway, and especially for those who sometime use synthetic bags for other reasons, there is an additional variable to consider. Another reason to maybe choose a PG bag if you were leaning that way anyway, for other reasons. For example, I might make this choice because I prefer being zipped into a mummy bag if conditions are going to be severe, and I want PG because I feel the risk of getting wet is just too high to risk down. And that if you are leaning towards a PG sleeping bag anyway, then whatever other items you are using ( UQ, pads, SS PeaPods), you will get maybe 5 or 10 degrees extra warmth on your back than you would with a top quilt.

    Certainly not that I would choose a synthetic bag for this reason alone. But if I was debating about whether to take my 20* PG NF bag or my down top quilt on a given trip- based on all of those normal down vs PG pros and cons we all know so well, I would also now want to consider this additionl variable, which I would call a "pro" for PG, all other things theoretically being equal and accounted for.
    Bill
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 05-22-2008 at 13:05.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  6. #36
    cheaper less compressible synthetics like you might find in older or not so top of the line gear will likely give even more warmth under you than the polarguard. i used a crappy forest service issue synthetic bag a few times in the hammock with no pad at all. it was cool at night, not sure how cold, and i was warm on the backside all night. an added benefit was that it was much more comfy and less hassle than a pad would have been. it wasn't something you would want to carry around in your pack though.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Tobit's Avatar
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    Personally, I've never been a big fan of Polyguard. My synthetic of choice is ClimaShield XP when I want something different than down.

  8. #38
    Senior Member 6 feet over's Avatar
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    I find this thread, or more correctly, people’s reactions to this thread, strange. This site is full of helpful people.

    It’s clear the original purpose of this post was to say that (in his opinion) synthetic sleeping bags have perhaps a slight ‘back warmth’ advantage over down sleeping bags:

    • in the hammock
    • without pads or underquilts.

    Somehow a segment of people have chosen this to be more than that simple statement. I found it clear, and am surprised at how it has progressed beyond the original thought. I agree it’s a narrow application he’s saying the difference would matter, but he’s made that clear too.

    As for the idea of refusing to sleep in a wet bag: I’d agree no one would choose to do so. It seems a overwhelming majority would choose a wet synthetic bag over a wet down bag, if the only other alternative was no insulation at all.

    My personal reason for not using down is simple. This early in my ‘career’, I don’t trust myself to keep a down bag dry, and choose to believe conventional wisdom that down doesn’t perform as well when wet, compared to synthetic.

    6
    The harder I work, the luckier I get.

  9. #39

    Hmmm

    I feel like a salesman for this item.
    For me, I use a military survival blankey. Wind will not penetrate the thing, the heat will be retained, it's super light, and super cheap. I know i speak for myself on this, but I use it religiously. Here's what i do: if i just want a wind barrier, i fold the blankey in half and place under my prolite. If its colder, between my bag and pro;ite. Even colder, in my bag. Colder?, wrap up like a Taco Bravo burrito.

  10. #40
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    From first post--
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    OK,

    So, this raises the question: Is PGs relative lack of compressibility actually a slight advantage in a hammock...... Would this possibly be an advantage for both quilt and bag users when dealing with hammocks compressing insulation on the sides? Possibly allowing the use of thinner or more narrow and lighter pads
    Short answer -- Basically yes. But...

    My first 6 or so hangs were during the winter of 03-04 in the PNW ... wet cold and damp just begins to describe it. I used a Wiggys 20* synthetic bag in a Hennessy and was initially surprised at the additional insulation value when also used UNDER me....eg me inside. Wiggy's bags have very firm and aggressive fill ... which also makes them slightly bulkier and heavier (IMHO) than other dino-derived bags.

    Discussed the Wiggy bag thing with Tom Hennessy in 04 and he confirmed it made sense.

    Normally your sleeping comfort depends on insulation .... a combination of clothes, quits, pads, under quilts, sleeping bags, over-bags and shelters etc.

    The advantage of synthetic insulation, IF it is under and around you, is real. But only you can decide if it worth the bulk - weight vs other options.

    All of my hanging is in the wilderness so pack size, weight and volume are important. I exclusivly use downie bags in hammocks now. I sleep out mostly in the 30s and low 40s so that my experience is not directly correlated to yours.

    Hangers usually have several options to solve the warmth issue ... you can and will find the one(s) that suits you and can afford. Best to you.
    Last edited by riverkeeper; 05-25-2008 at 01:42.
    "There's no accounting for other people's taste in love, fiction and huntin' dogs." ---Mark Twain

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