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  1. #1
    mrcheviot's Avatar
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    Doubling up a Baby Orca..

    This is primarily for Mac, but posting in case others are interested or care to chime in.

    I've read about using IX quilts and the (baby) Orca in particular to buff up other quilts. I currently own two Baby Orcas & one insert (all IX), and have gotten pretty good results with them - love the weight and packability, although as noted elsewhere the fit needs to be a bit of Goldilocks for best results (not too tight, not too loose, edge seal matters).

    I plan on doing some winter hanging this year, firmly in the 3/4 UQ category and will be going w/ down (Phoenix or Phincubator since I'm tall), but unsure if I should go for a 20 deg or a 0 deg, or perhaps 20 deg w/ bit of overfill (which is what I'm leaning towards).

    I'm trying to get to just 2 UQ's that'll cover me in all conditions - double up when it's cold which will almost always be via car camping, use the down quilt when it's cold, vent the down as needed up to 45 or so, then Orca + insert up to mid 50's, then (vented) Orca for summer hanging. Also strongly considering a UQ protector, which I gather will add about 10 deg.

    As I understand it, the issue w/ the Orca on the outside is compressing the down too much, but then if the IX is too loose I'm not sure it'll do much - but I've seen this recommended as the way to go. On the inside seems to make more sense to me, but I'm not sure how much extra warmth that'll give me. Would a Baby Orca inside a 20 deg down quilt bring it to 0? Would just the insert do it? Does it matter which is wider? Does there need to be any space between the Orca and the down quilt regardless of which is on the outside?

    Any experienced opinions would be appreciated, thanks!

    It is a very alert, active sheep, with a stylish, lively carriage.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    I can only speak anecdotally about the under quilt working as a "liner" for a down quilt, but I do have first-hand experience with IX working as a fantastic liner for a top quilt. I took a 35-40F-rated sleeping bag down to 23F easily with an IX top quilt liner. No condensation issues. I was super impressed. Next up will be trying my MMG IX under quilt as a liner with a warm weather down underquilt.

  3. #3
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    I don't recommend using a Baby Orca below freezing, because it is a vapor barrier. I have experienced the discomfort and possible danger of condensation in low temps. and recommend other approaches.

    If you try it, here is what you should expect.

    Baby Orca on the outside of the Down UQ:

    I have done this with excellent results many times. Like a hammock sock, the Baby Orca should slightly compress the down... just slightly... for an inexplicable improvement, possibly having to do with creating a uniform boundary layer.

    However, it can cause condensation to collect in your down. In deep cold, that condensation in your down can freeze. If you put another vapor barrier between the hammock and the down UQ, then your down will be protected from any possible condensation.

    Baby Orca between the Hammock and the Down UQ:


    I have done this with excellent results as well. If you do create condensation, you will know it... a wet spot will become a cold spot, causing Cold Butt Syndrome (CBS).

    Third Alternative: Get a Hammock Sock!

    The best supplement I've found for a down UQ is a hammock sock. Since it is breathable, there are no condensation issues. It doesn't add as much warmth as a Baby Orca, but it blocks wind just as well, and is far preferable to CBS.

    So, since you have a Baby Orca already, you should try it for yourself, and see if you are someone who makes enough condensation for it to be an issue. If it is not an issue, then enjoy!

    - MacEntyre
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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  4. #4
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Not much for me to add, after getting that info from the horses mouth ( Sorry Mac, not that you are a horse ) I only have limited experience, one test really.

    Like Dejoha, I only have one anecdote: there is a thread here somewhere titled something like "too darned hot". In that thread I reported using a Mac IX UQ inside my PeaPod. This was after I had used the same PeaPod on a trip to WY mountains where I was just barely OK on top at 27F with no extra TQ, just layering my warm clothing on top to fill gaps and block warm air escape out of any face vent. I also routinely added a space blanket under me, between hammock and PeaPod. It was never needed for warmth, but I used it to keep the lower half of the pod dry(VB), plus thinking maybe any boost of bottom warmth would help me with my minimal top warmth. This worked, but I am not sure how much colder I could have gone on top.

    So later in the back yard there was a night when the temps were very similar. I did have different clothing on top, but if anything probably not as warm, for some reason I used heavy fleece rather than my PG jackets. On the bottom, I replaced the VB just laid down inside the PeaPod with the IX UQ, suspended in the normal fashion. I don't remember if I used 1 layer or two of IX. I was way too warm most of the night, having to do some major venting. So from barely OK to way warm at the same temps. So was this due to replacing the space blanket with the IX UQ? Or some other unknown variable? I don't know, but I suspect the IX UQ had a lot to do with it.
    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.
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  5. #5
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Not much for me to add, after getting that info from the horses mouth ( Sorry Mac, not that you are a horse ) I only have limited experience, one test really.

    Like Dejoha, I only have one anecdote: there is a thread here somewhere titled something like "too darned hot". In that thread I reported using a Mac IX UQ inside my PeaPod. This was after I had used the same PeaPod on a trip to WY mountains where I was just barely OK on top at 27F with no extra TQ, just layering my warm clothing on top to fill gaps and block warm air escape out of any face vent. I also routinely added a space blanket under me, between hammock and PeaPod. It was never needed for warmth, but I used it to keep the lower half of the pod dry(VB), plus thinking maybe any boost of bottom warmth would help me with my minimal top warmth. This worked, but I am not sure how much colder I could have gone on top.

    So later in the back yard there was a night when the temps were very similar. I did have different clothing on top, but if anything probably not as warm, for some reason I used heavy fleece rather than my PG jackets. On the bottom, I replaced the VB just laid down inside the PeaPod with the IX UQ, suspended in the normal fashion. I don't remember if I used 1 layer or two of IX. I was way too warm most of the night, having to do some major venting. So from barely OK to way warm at the same temps. So was this due to replacing the space blanket with the IX UQ? Or some other unknown variable? I don't know, but I suspect the IX UQ had a lot to do with it.
    How was the wind on those trips? The reason I ask is that IX is very nearly impermeable to wind; it's one of the things that initially attracted me to it.


    That being said, my only issue with IX is that I put out way too much moisture to be able to use it. I either need a bit of space between me and my quilt's topside (which doesn't work too well with IX, considering drafts), something that's vapor permeable, or a complete vapor barrier system. Half-and-half, with the bottom vapor barrier pulled up against me and nowhere for the perspiration to pool away from my skin (the difference between my current space blanket semi-Garlington set up and the DIY IX underquilt I was using for a while), makes for a cold night for me.

    However, if you don't put out enough water during your sleep to keep an whole Fremen tribe alive for a month, IX should be a perfect supplement to your insulation. I wouldn't be surprised if a single layer on the outside of your insulation (coupled with a vapor barrier on the other side, mind you; don't want to trap that moisture in your down, for sure) wouldn't give as much as ten to fifteen degrees, especially in windy conditions.

    Just my opinion, though, and it's based on very limited testing. YMMV.
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  6. #6
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    ... something that's vapor permeable...
    I'm adding a Baby Orca using vapor permeable Climashield 2.1 Apex with 3/8" to 5/8" loft, for chilly summer nights. Warmer than PPEF/IX, and a lot more packable. We'll see how light it is when I make the first.

    - MacEntyre
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  7. #7
    mountainhanger's Avatar
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    Ok folks this is what i did the other night here in the windy city...suburbs..lol
    weather was 20* with a consistent wind of about 5/10 mph . i had a wl night owl with a 20* enlightened equipment top quilt and a leighlo 15* full uq. . I had my ogee tarp in basic diamond configuration. After reading this, knowing that i am a cold sleeper, and the winds can gust up to 30,i layered my shamu uq to the rig. I must say that i did not cinch it up real close to the uq. I did however make sure the ends were sealed. I had great results, i stayed real warm and really noticed the difference and there was no condisation on my uq. I do believe however that most of the difference came from it being more of a wind blocker then adding heat value.. if i were to guess maybe added about five to ten degrees more???
    with that said i would not hesitate to use it more and i was quite impressed.
    It's not the boulders that throw us off balance, it's the pebbles beneath our feet

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