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  1. #11
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Thanks, BL.B. So it's TWO layers on the KAQ?! I GUESS that is the case with this quilt. As the loft of one layer appears to be somewhat north of 1" for sure, but maybe not quite 1.5", it's just hard to tell. Like you said, it's more if you are holding it up rather than letting it compress itself on the floor.

    While we are guessing, let may ask you guys what you think about this: I have a Polarguard Delta North face cats meow sleeping bag that weighs a little over 3 pounds and is rated at 15. It has a endurance shell, otherwise the rating I think it normally is 20. For me personally, it has never quite been warm at those ratings. If I get down much below the upper 20s in this bag, it's usually a struggle for me to be warm. So I consider it about a 25 bag max. Anyway, if I take the new cocoon quilt and place the cocoon jacket and pants inside (with the back of the quilt open as wide as it will go) and lay them beside the cats meow bag, they appeared to be about the same overall thickness. And I am being careful to make sure the sleeves of the parka are not laying on top of the parka chest area, providing a double layer of loft.

    In other words, the cocoon quilt plus pants plus parka is about the same thickness as the sleeping bag. Although, the total weight of the cocoon components is about one quarter pound to one half pound lighter than the bag. I'm wondering if most of that additional weight is the much stouter shell material plus zippers and such, of the sleeping bag. If so, that would mean that the amount of Polarguard is probably about the same.

    So, do you think it would be a reasonable conclusion that the warmth of these two systems would be about the same, considering they're using the same insulation and are about the same thickness? Although I definitely think the bag would be warmer if exposed to wind, since it has an endurance shell all the way around the entire bag, compared to the cocoon system which only has the Endurance Shell on the parka.

  2. #12
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    In the same way the insulation value of synthetic insulation depends on its manufactured micro-structure, the macro-structure built into an insulation system plays a large role in how well the system as a whole insulates.

    For instance (and relevant here), many mass-produced sleeping bags have a "shingled" insulation structure, designed to increase the insulation/weight ratio.

    I have no idea how your new BPL quilt is constructed, but most smaller manufacturers (myself included) don't use construction techniques like this because they're way too labor-intensive without the use of expensive machinery.

    End result: a synthetic insulation system from a cottage manufacturer may not have quite the insulation value to weight ratio that a sleeping bag from a large company could, all other variables held constant of course. As to how much of a difference there might be, I couldn't say.

    I guess my overall point here is that, while down is pretty easy to judge just by loft, synthetic insulation incorporates a lot of different variables that you may or may not be able to account for.

    What does all this mean to you personally? The experience you have with your sleeping bag, given its similarities to your new quilt, should give you a ballpark idea of how low you might could take your quilt. But a ballpark idea only. Bottom line? You need to find some cold weather and test your gear!

    BTW...the point I was making about judging the loft of your quilt and/or sleeping bag had nothing to do with whether you were holding it or laying on the floor. My point was that for the sleeping bag in particular, counting the loft or weight of the insulation in the bottom of the bag would give a deceptive idea of the system's insulation capability; because you lay on this insulation during use, you compress it and render it much less effective. Unfortunately I don't have a better alternative for judging the insulation; I just avoid the issue altogether and use a quilt so that I actually DO make use of all the insulation I'm carrying.
    Last edited by blackbishop351; 06-28-2007 at 14:53.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  3. #13
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbishop351 View Post
    BTW...the point I was making about judging the loft of your quilt and/or sleeping bag had nothing to do with whether you were holding it or laying on the floor. My point was that for the sleeping bag in particular, counting the loft or weight of the insulation in the bottom of the bag would give a deceptive idea of the system's insulation capability; because you lay on this insulation during use, you compress it and render it much less effective. Unfortunately I don't have a better alternative for judging the insulation; I just avoid the issue altogether and use a quilt so that I actually DO make use of all the insulation I'm carrying.
    Oh, I see. I misunderstood you. And yes of course, I'm well aware that the insulation directly under your body is pretty much useless due to the compression from your body weight. Still, with me being used to many years of observing sleeping bag ratings, and with loft top + bottom having been the mainstay of those ratings, a bag with 5 inches of total loft is typically rated by most manufacturers at 20°. That of course is including the more or less useless insulation on the bottom of the bag. And I suppose that it usually includes roughly equal loft top and bottom, especially for those in mummy bags, so that when they toss and turn from one side to the other they will still have insulation on their backside once they are no longer laying on their back.

    So, just to get a rough idea of where I stood with this quilt and the total amount of polar guard, I laid it down like a regular bag and took the open back (which has a drawstring on it) and pulled it closed. So then I was then looking at it pretty much as if it was a regular sleeping bag. Then I could measure the loft in this normal sleeping bag fashion and get an idea how it compared to other normal sleeping bags. Just as a base to start from. That also gives me a larger and easier( since I don't have to try and lay it flat) figure to measure, and I figured that by halving that I would then have roughly the equivalent of the top layer only loft measurement to compare to something like a No Sniveler. Because like I said earlier, it was not necessarily easy to lay this quilt completely flat since first of all the bottom foot box is permanently sewn and secondly the adjustable cord that allows you to close the back is permanently fixed. I would have to undo a knot to overcome that, and then I still might have the large foot box section interfering with attempts to lay the whole thing flat. So that's why I decided to just measure it like a regular sleeping bag to start with, and then divide in half to get a comparable figure to quilts that can be laid flat.

    I also have always had my doubts about the statements I always see here that say you can use your sleeping bag like a quilt and then get the effect of all of the insulation. I don't know how that could be quantified. Of course, if people are saying that their bags are much warmer using them this way, then it is probably so. But here's what I'm getting at: if I open my sleeping bag up as a quilt, then obviously the layer over the top of me is still no thicker than it was to start with. The bag is mostly just wider. Unless of course I laid the entire zipped up sleeping bag over me, then I would truly have double the loft. But of course that would be unusable because of no insulation at your sides. Now I suppose that a sleeping bag used as a quilt, even though technically the layer of polar guard it's over you is still the same thickness as it was, you might pick up some extra warmth from the "extra folds" that would result from having the bag sort of bunched over you, loosely laid over you rather than the normal fashion.

    But as I've been fooling around with this quilt, experimenting with it a bit, I'm once again reminded that I'm not so sure that the bottom insulation on a sleeping bag is totally useless. It's true that the part directly compressed by your body weight is not of much use, especially with down. But on the other hand, that insulation wrapping around makes a nice automatic "tucking in", you might say, sort of a "seal" that you don't even have to think about. In other words, you're going to have lofting insulation all the way around the back of your shoulders and hips and legs right to the point where the weight actually starts compressing. But when I got in this quilt with the jacket and pants on, I realized it is going to be a bit tricky avoiding drafts when I turn over. Probably because I'm 6'1" and 205 lbs. I don't think it will be a problem if I don't have the insulated clothing on.

    Of course, if it was larger this would be less of a problem even with the insulated clothing. And the No Sniveler might be larger and large enough that this is not a problem. But regardless of how large the quilt is, I can see that turning over would at least give you the potential for some serious drafts at least temporarily, long enough for some precious heat to escape. As opposed to zero drafts while sealed in a mummy bag with a thick neck collar and insulation going all the way around and under you, available to help out even when you're carelessly rolling over in your sleep. Although, that may not be much of a hammock problem, since apparently most of us stay on our backs in hammocks!

    Just from my personal and limited observations: When I have tried to use my sleeping bags as a quilt at temps near their rating, I have more than once gotten cold. ( Though I never have a good neck draft block this way, and this would be much improved with a quilt that would snap behind your neck) Then when I've gone to the trouble of getting in the bag and sealing the insulated neck collar and hood and zipping up all the way, I am usually very quickly much warmer. Though it is much less convenient and though the insulation under me is considered "useless", so far I have always been much warmer this way.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 06-28-2007 at 16:10.

  4. #14
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    I don't move when I sleep in my hammock, so I'm probably not the best one to talk about these issues.

    One thing you might want to take into consideration, though, is that in a hammock you generally already have side insulation built into whatever bottom insulation choice you're using.
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  5. #15
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackbishop351 View Post
    I don't move when I sleep in my hammock, so I'm probably not the best one to talk about these issues.

    One thing you might want to take into consideration, though, is that in a hammock you generally already have side insulation built into whatever bottom insulation choice you're using.
    True, but we still need some sort of means to prevent drafts around the neck and sides for those who do happen to move or roll over. However, re: the proposed increased warmth of a bag used as a quilt( so that "all the insulation can be used") and my arguments against it. Which was that you still only have the original thickness of polarguard over you. I conceded that you might pick up some extra trapped air over you from having bottom and top layers "folded or bunched up" over you. But I just came on this explanation by Pan over on this thread, where he calls it "accordian" effect:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...p?t=290&page=2

    It's a pretty good explanation, and I will have to reconsider yet one more time. Although the superior neck seal from collar/hood is definitely a lost benefit that must be dealt with. And I'm sure it can be.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 06-28-2007 at 20:37.

  6. #16
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Although the superior neck seal from collar/hood is definitely a lost benefit that must be dealt with. And I'm sure it can be.
    using the insulated clothing (including a head piece that comes down around the neck) & having the quilt tucked in around your shoulders does a pretty good job.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  7. #17
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Apples, oranges and grape fruits are hard to compare....

    Using a system ie an insulated jacket, insulated pants and a quilt/bag can be defined, but just as people are different sleepers the effect of mico climate containing clothing and macro climate quilts and bags will vary with each item individually and synergistically.... Sorta like the math problem of how may ways can the value of three items be taken in combination with themselves times the infinately (but within a range) variable human factor.

    Lest not forget if it is cold enough to use this approach you really should build the problem to factor the head gear and foot gear .... Note, BPL surely has by offering the balaclava in a couple differnt weights..... same reason that Nunataka and JRB both offer balaclava and hood items.

    Then to turn the fruit basket problem to a a humongus bowl of fruit salad.... CONSIDER THIS.... given the state of the market and each individual's needs supported by a variable economic conditions( current gear locker and bank roll)... IE. anyone can use this approach with any equiptment items and obtain results ranging from poor to equally great, or maybe even better.....For example Consider a Nunatak Down balaclava, Mont Bell inner down jacket and pants and say a JRB no sniveller..... More lofted insulation set, equal or lighter weight, equal to less cost, arguably more variety of use, available off the shelf. Feel free to substitute on hand fleece pants, generic mid layer jacket, navy watch cap and Ray Way quilt....etc.

    The point is that direct comparision is almost infinately variable and virtually undable when systems are involved, and if there are readily available substitutes for the parts of the system.

    For this reason it is important to be able to define each part and its contributing values

    Hope this wasn't too essoteric a post.... figured this well thinking group would appreciate it....

    Oh... almost forgot (hammock relevance).....Is ones root value for the ground use or hammock use of a system or should there be an X factor for Nivara....(works equally well in either/both applications).

    Carpie Diem!

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  8. #18
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Pan, BBis. et all:
    Speaking of apples/oranges and many variables in "systems" and the old "layering" concepts, I wonder if there is any advantage weight wise or warmth to thickness wise, to multiple layers in a sleeping system?

    IOW, approach A = 2" of loft above you, and is achieved by a single quilt. Approach b = 2" loft above you, and consists of various pieces clothing plus a thinner quilt.

    The obvious weight advantage of system B = multi use of items. Also more adjustability in warmer temps. But I'm also thinking of what I used to hear about more warmth from layers compared to one thicker garment, due to air layers trapped between the several different garments.

    But, I suppose if there were trapped air layers, then it would show up in the thickness and if it was going to be any warmer than it would have to be a little loftier. And weight wise, multiple garments leading to equal thickness would require more shell material to insulation ratio. The additional linings and shells required to hold the various insulating garments together. Hence, there might be a weight penalty.

    So, the more I think about it, weight savings from multiple use and adjustability are probably the "only" real benefits of a multigarment approach to sleeping warmth. Though that weight savings might not be as much as it at first appears due to extra shells and linings.

    One last thought on "systems" for sleeping warmth: If you have had to travel all day in the rain/snow, and you have worked up a sweat on the uphill slog despite best efforts to avoid it, and now you are dependent on your wet or damp clothing for sleeping warmth as temps plummet? Oh well, there are just a lot of variables, aren't there?

    Sorry, my mind is on a random wandering course here.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 06-29-2007 at 09:15.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Sorry, my mind is on a random wandering course here.
    I find coffee the best cure for that this time of the morning.

    When hiking in cold weather, I usually have, at the least, one warm top that is packed in as near water tight conditions as possible that I use only for sleeping or staying warm in camp. I know it is a weight penalty, but one warm night's sleep after a cold wet day makes me forget all about the extra few ounces.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Do I understand you to be saying you were warm into mid 20s using JUST the Cocoon pants and the Dolomitti jacket and 1/4" pad? You did not need your quilt in these conditions? FB, are you the one I have previously accused of having antifreeze for blood?

    Do you then suppose you could accomplish the same thing with the Cocoon pants/parka? Or is the Dolamatti a much warmer jacket?

    BTW, I saw a real good review of the ID Dolamatti on BPL. They really put it to the test.
    That'd be me.

    Clarifications:
    - The insulated clothing and the other stuff; long underware, balaclava, fleece gloves, socks and booties. But even before my days of hammocking and insulated clothing, I used the 'other stuff' in my sleeping bag depending on the conditions.

    - My lowest low was hit wearing ID Denali pants. They've been replaced by the much lighter Cocoons (old model). I believe the Cocoons are as warm but I haven't tried them out in cold weather yet.

    My biggest issue is the under insulation, i.e., the " pad. I've been fine at 26 (on the trail), and felt uncomfortable cold coming through at 22 (backyard test). I didn't have any problems with the clothing or lack of cover at those temps. To be sure, it was good weather (dry and still) and, with the system as described and the pad as is, I believe I've hit the lower limit.

    It's easy and just four or five ounces to boost the pad's capacity but 25 is a good safety margin for my three-season bp'ing so I haven't pursued it. I have an oversized sit-pad cut from blue foam that will rescue my cold back should the need arise.

    No doubt adding the quilt will make things even more toasty and/or make up for less favorable weather. I've used it on the ground in high-30s/low-40s (no insulated clothing) and was really impressed...it's got a great footbox -- no booties needed then! I also think I find a psychological comfort in cuddling up under a blankie. It'll be nice to have something to snuggle under in the hammock and the quilt's added weight will be partially mitigated by the weight savings from the Cocoon pants.

    As for the Dolomitti jacket...it is warm. I sometimes think it is too warm for hiking. My three-season bp'ing is filled with warm to hot days and cool to cold nights (my place @~3600' hit 28 Monday morning and 100 Thursday afternoon ). Therefore, the jacket hasn't been used while hiking or moving actively...but for hanging around camp and as part of a sleep system. With its hood, it's toasty! I warm up rapidly when hiking and if I ever find myself in weather cold enough to be wearing the Dolomitti while hiking/bp'ing I'll be trying desperately to get back to the trailhead. But in western MT, particularly at elevation, that day is probably coming for me and I'll be singing love songs to the Dolomitti...I dedicate its extra weight to preparedness and safety.

    We're all different and our 'personal bests' will be different. But I really like the concept of using clothing as part of a sleep system. For my home area it works out great...I can use the cold weather clothing that I always carry just in case and leave the sleeping bag at home. Besides, I've read it's a real pain to put that bag on in the hammock.

    FB

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