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  1. #1
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    Vapor Barrier Problems

    It seems I need some serious help on vapor barrier issues. I just spent my second night in my Blackbird and found the bottom of the hammock was soaking wet in the morning.

    I've been using my OCF HH pad in the pad pocket of the Blackbird, with a Heet Sheet space blanket on top of it. This seems to work very nicely and is way easy to set up. The problem arrises overnight (and I had the same problem in my Explorer Deluxe) in that I'm always a very warm sleeper and now I've got one layer of silnylon between me and the space blanket (which is how the HH SuperShelter is supposed to be set up. Even if I put my sleeping bag down and lay on top of it I still find the vapor barrier soaked in the morning.

    My question is: do I really need the vapor barrier? Is this better left out for people who have night sweats? I seem to remember doing that once and finding that pretty much everything got wet. Help! What should I do / try next?
    Kerri
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    Now I know what they mean by 'Hang loose, man'!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    I use vapor barriers when its seriously cold, freezing or below, anything above that makes me sweat like im in the sauna.

  3. #3
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    Thanks ikemouser, do you still have condensation problems (icing on the barrier) then?

    The first few times I used this setup it was down around 3-5C, but my last couple of camps have been around 10C. Is that too warm for a VB? - vapor barrier, not the beer! I was under the impression the VB was there to stop condensation problems, not to cause them. From reading the other threads about VB's, it seems this is a fairly common concern.

    Do the innovators of the Forum have any alternatives that work?
    Kerri
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    Now I know what they mean by 'Hang loose, man'!

  4. #4
    New Member Bunn's Avatar
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    Aahhh, VB! It has been far too long since I have had one of those, and yes, I mean the beer.

  5. #5
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    First thoughts are: I don't see how you can make that HH OCF pad work in the pad pocket of the BB. It seems to me like it would be crushed flat by your weight, and be cold. Does that not happen?

    I don't know what to advise. I've never used a vapor barrier/space blanket in the BB pad pocket so I don't know how it would work. I have used one extensively in the HH UL Explorer and Super Shelter. But I have never had any problems at all with condensation. Only increased warmth. I have had far more condensation problems if I did not use the VB/SB.

    Could the problem be related to how tight the VB fits against your skin( actually, not your skin,but the inside hammock fabric layer that would be against your skin)? I think you would be much tighter against it in the BB compared to when putting a VB on top of the OCF pad in the SS. The SS elastics only hold the VB/pad against your back with very moderate pressure, and I think said pressure would significantly increase if using the BB, where your body weight would press hard against the pad. I don't know, I'm just making a wild guess.

    Also, there should be no sil-nylon between you and the VB, but only breathable hammock fabric. A layer of Sil-nylon would form a separate, additional VB.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-13-2009 at 08:54.
    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. #6
    2Questions's Avatar
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    There is a sticky under Tips/tricks about vapor barriers I found helpful. Find it here.
    2QZQ Hammock Specialties
    Specializing in:
    Hennessy Hammock zipper modifications
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    Ridgeline and gear organizers, peak storage bags, UQ protectors,
    and More!

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  7. #7
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    Bumper, are you adding silnylon to the layers? Because if you mean the top layer of the pad pocket of the hammock, that's not sil. The supershelter is made of sil, the Blackbird is ripstop nylon.

    I wouldn't use a vapor barrier at all until it's a lot colder than freezing. Switch to closed cell foam and you won't need the space blanket.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to see what happens if he switches to a closed cell foam, CCF, pad since the CCF pad is itself a vapor barrier.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    Bumper, are you adding silnylon to the layers? Because if you mean the top layer of the pad pocket of the hammock, that's not sil. The supershelter is made of sil, the Blackbird is ripstop nylon.

    I wouldn't use a vapor barrier at all until it's a lot colder than freezing. Switch to closed cell foam and you won't need the space blanket.
    Doh! My bad... You're right, it is ripstop on the hammock bottom.

    Okay, I admit to being a very big girl and so regardless of whether I'm using the SS on the Hennessy or the pad pocket on the Blackbird, I'm probably squashing the pad and SB against my back. I also used to get very sweaty using a thermarest on the ground, so maybe the problem is me, not the hammocks! Most mornings I've been able to air out my bedding, but if I was doing a multi-day walk, or it was wet and miserable it wouldn't be possible to get stuff dry.

    As far as temps go, mostly around 5-10C. It's happened in both high and low humdity which makes me think maybe I'm overheating as Youngblood's post says. Trouble is, I'm not awake to know it and do something about it.

    2Q, thanks, yes I'd read Youngblood's post previously (I was one of the ones who needed it!) and I'm still not sure I fully comprehend the whole thing.

    I'll acquire a CCF pad and try that to see if it helps, or try not using a VB until it gets down to freezing. Colour me confused (and moss green)!

    Thanks all for your answers.
    Kerri
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    Now I know what they mean by 'Hang loose, man'!

  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumper View Post
    Doh! My bad... You're right, it is ripstop on the hammock bottom.

    Okay, I admit to being a very big girl and so regardless of whether I'm using the SS on the Hennessy or the pad pocket on the Blackbird, I'm probably squashing the pad and SB against my back.
    No matter what size you might be, things should be different in the SS than the BB, if the SS is set up correctly. The SS would be closer to something like a WB Yeti UQ in function, in the sense that an elastic suspension cord is involved. This cord, and the stretch it provides, determines the tension against your back and shouldn't vary much with individuals of different weight. When the hammock is empty, the not very strong elastics of the HHSS Undercover and pad hold them just slightly in contact with the hammock bottom. When I get in ( or put a weight in the hammock or just push down on the hammock with my hands) the elastics stretch easily, the UC/pad sag down with the hammock, and the upward pressure of the UC/pad against the hammock bottom is not much different than before, it seems to me. And it is all about the same if I put my 8 year old grandson or my 120 lb wife or my 208 lb self in there.

    The only way I can see to thwart this is maybe if grossly over tightening the UC/pad suspension. But then I might be in danger of breaking them. They (mine) are pretty thin, and it doesn't take much weight to stretch them.

    But all of the above is fine theory if some one is interested in how the SS works. It doesn't answer the question of why so much condensation/sweating in the SS or BB with VB. And a few folks have had seemingly unsolvable problems of this sort with the SS. And as you said, things may have been even wetter WITHOUT the VB. so......

    I also used to get very sweaty using a thermarest on the ground, so maybe the problem is me, not the hammocks! Most mornings I've been able to air out my bedding, but if I was doing a multi-day walk, or it was wet and miserable it wouldn't be possible to get stuff dry.

    As far as temps go, mostly around 5-10C. It's happened in both high and low humdity which makes me think maybe I'm overheating as Youngblood's post says. Trouble is, I'm not awake to know it and do something about it.

    2Q, thanks, yes I'd read Youngblood's post previously (I was one of the ones who needed it!) and I'm still not sure I fully comprehend the whole thing.

    I'll acquire a CCF pad and try that to see if it helps, or try not using a VB until it gets down to freezing. Colour me confused (and moss green)!

    Thanks all for your answers.
    Have you considered that you may be one of those folks who are simply going to have to use a BREATHABLE UQ of some sort? One clue might be that you "used to get very sweaty using a thermarest on the ground". I never had that problem. So maybe unless your back is actually cool you are going to sweat? A question to consider: is this actually more of a sweat issue than a condensation against the VB issue? ( just guessing wild) So maybe it is a matter of temp regulation, both top and bottom?

    Or maybe you will do better with something breathable under your back, like one of the JRB, Speer or WB quilts. The only caveat there: if it is indeed a sweat problem, and not a condensation problem, then if your back is nice and warm and then you sweat into your down UQ, that won't work out well at all. So you somehow have to figure out which it is. I'd say if your are likely to sweat anyway, you might as well sweat onto your VB, which will at least keep the moisture out of your down UQ.

    Again may I ask, are you staying warm at 5*C with the HH Open Cell Foam pad in the pad pocket of a WBBB? And in fact even soaking it? Because I just don't see how that very compressible- and not all that thick to start with- HH pad can work in the BB. I have enough weight on a CCF pad in a BB that I can not move it. That should be enough to flatten the OCF and make it useless. If I am not missing something, maybe this is an indication that you are an extremely warm sleeper, and thus will sweat easily?

    Keep us posted on how the CCF works. I'm projecting a wet experience.
    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

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