Howdy folks, i wanted to post some results from a week long test of the winter sock.
I purchased the winter sock several months ago. I originally spoke with Papa Smurf via email about the sock and my needs of wanting to put it over a hammock gear winter incubator, in which he recommended making the sock 2-3 inches larger to accomodate. I ended up going with his recommendation and had him build the extra few inches into the width, I ordered the winter sock in black momentum ripstop.
I recieved the sock and the overall build quality was excellent unpon inspection. I took the sock on two different trips and it seemed as if the sock IMO was way too large width wise. Also i felt that the foot end of the sock was just a little small for getting cinch buckles through easily (could be done with some amount of effort and fiddling). I felt that because the sock was so large that it created too large of a dead air space IMO to be effective, and also felt that it really caught the wind and flapped around alot, and also would catch the ground brush/debris due to it hanging down so low and dragging the ground if the hammock was hung at typical chair height. So I spoke with Randy and he had me mark the fabric with a safety pin and mail it back to him. I had him take in approx 6 inches of fabric, as well as make the foot end opening about 1/4in wider.
I recieved the modified sock back from Randy and was able to take it out on my week long trip. I want to start off by saying that I LOVE this winter sock, it is absolutely perfect. The modified size was spot on and was much more effective, without having any unneccesary fabric.
I used the sock on for 7 nights. All nights were between 15-25F lows, with winds in the 5-20mph range, but most nights averaged about 20F and 10mph wind. Of the 7 nights i only used my tarp one night. I wanted to really give the sock a work out, and so i wanted to really be able to judge the sock itself and not have the tarp play a role in the equation at all. I was using a WBBB 1.7dbl hammock, a hammock gear winter incubator and burrow.
The winter sock does an absolutely excellent job of blocking the wind, Only one night of the seven did I put up my tarp and that was only because snow was in the forecast. I found that as long as the wind was less than about 10-15mph the sock blocked all of the wind, and if it was above the 15mph mark I would occassionally get a draft and a momentarily chill. Of the 7 nights, i slept a sound 9-10 hours a night without waking once for 5 nights, 1 night i would occassionally get a slight chill because of the strong winds 20-25mph, 1 night i used a tarp to help block wind and snow but slept fine.
The sock IMO would definitely add about 10-15F to a sleep system. I now have a good faith in the sock in its abilities to block wind, be water resistant, and breathe. It does all of these things pretty well, however it definitely excells at blocking wind. Condensation was minimal on most nights, and mainly consisted of a few tiny water droplets on the part of my top quilt right in front of my face.
By the end of my trip I was very confident in the socks abilities and felt absolutely no need to put up my tarp unless rain/snow was forecast. If you have trouble staying warm in the winter, or at any time of year, I would highly recommend the Papa Smurf winter sock. I would however recommend considering going a few inches smaller in width from the standard sock size, though work with Randy on this as he is truly a stand up guy and will do anything to make your order work for you.
I am working on putting together a trip review which will have pics of the sock setup, i expect to have it up by the end of the weekend but wanted to post this first.