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Thread: Wool Insulation

  1. #1
    renegadepilgrim's Avatar
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    Wool Insulation

    I searched around here and couldn't find anything on this...I've noticed that some of the new "puffies" coming out are filled with a wool insulation. Smartwool has their version and there are many more.

    I'm curious if anyone has tried wool insulation instead of down in their quilts. In my search on Google for wool insulation for clothes, I found wool insulation for houses that might work...it's all natural and from what I have seen, it comes in a roll, much like Fiberglass insulation, as well as loose for being blown into walls. Why couldn't this be used in quilts?

    I know...it's kind of a stupid question, but I got to thinking about it after seeing these jackets with wool insulation instead of Primaloft or Down...I think the weight would be similar....

    Any thoughts on my crazy idea?
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    MAD777's Avatar
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    Wool is going to weigh more than down for the same warmth.
    That being said, wool will still be warm when wet and wool will be infinitely more durable.

    Wool for hiking; down for camping. The right tool for the right job.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

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    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    The new wool insulation you speak of must solve the density problem by fluffing it up somehow, but what happens after it gets wet?

    In me humble opinion, wool works very well in garments used in extreme cold... not so well to insulate a hammock. However, in extreme cold I carry a wool blanket, just as in warmer conditions I carry a space blanket... in case things don't go as planned!

    - MacEntyre
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    Crazy thought as to cost....

    I'd be interested from the standpoint of the cost differential. As a recent convertee to hammocking I'm working through the process of building up my first set of equipment.

    Think of it along the lines that the first car you bought (at least for me) was a cheap clunker. It got me to school and work. As time went along I've worked my way up to a mini-van.

    While it isn't a Mercedes... I can load up a bunch of Scouts & equipment, then head off to a weekend of hanging in the woods.

    GeezerScouter

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    Senior Member ibgary's Avatar
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    My experience with wool. I've had a Pendleton wool blanket, for about 30 yrs. The last time I slept with it was in the basement in my hammock about 2 weeks ago. The basement is about 50 at night. The sleeping bag was to hot, the poncho liner was to cold, wooly was just right. It's rools up pretty small, about the same size as my insultex uq, but is on the heavy side.
    I like the weight of it at night because it stays on me, no cold spots.

  6. #6
    renegadepilgrim's Avatar
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    Stay with me here....this is what I am looking at: http://www.oregonshepherd.com/index.php?page=products

    Now, I know that SmartWool has their own proprietary wool insulation, and there are a few other companies also doing something with wool insulation. By insulation, my understanding is this is a loose version of wool...like what comes right off the sheep when they shear them. Could be wrong, but that's what I am imagining.

    So, let's say for arguments sake, you can't get this new kind of wool clothing insulation, so I started looking at the wool insulation at the link I posted and I wonder if this could be used as insulation on a quilt instead of down? It's loose, just like down (or you could get a roll of it at Lowes for $35-40 and cut in strips), but I'm unclear what the weight would be on a quilt (depending on length of course). This seems to be lighter than a blanket but just as warm...

    I gotta get to sleep...worked the night shift last night, but I am interested to hear others thoughts.
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  7. #7
    Dos's Avatar
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    There was a thread last year regarding Alpalca as an insulator.
    I did have this double pillow made
    and it was quite comfortable.

    I'm trying to locate it now that I flew back from the East Coast....



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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by renegadepilgrim View Post
    Stay with me here....this is what I am looking at: http://www.oregonshepherd.com/index.php?page=products...
    Using the R-values vs weight/sq ft chart from your link and some wildly rounded calculations for a 44"x72"x3.5" UQ, it looks like it would require 5 pounds of the wool vs. <1 pound of 900fp down for similar R-values.

    Info I found lead me to believe similar thickness's of the two materials would produce similar R-values. As always, I could be wrong.

    Edit...I'm guessing the sleeping bag manufacturers would have figured it out if wool was a more cost effective equivalent to down and synthetics.
    Last edited by gmcttr; 12-15-2012 at 12:41.

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