View Poll Results: Have You Used a Vapor Barrier Layer (VBL)?

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  • Yes, although my clothes/insulation got really wet!

    19 5.03%
  • Yes, I think they work great.

    74 19.58%
  • No, I am skeptical that VBL's work at all.

    30 7.94%
  • No, I've never really looked into VBL's.

    255 67.46%
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  1. #31
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    From my scant true knowledge of VBL use, the impermeable layer goes against the skin directly so bread bags against skin and then silk socks, wool socks, booties in that order.
    In your first,second,third layer I didn't see a true VBL listed.
    I'm wondering if in the James Bond movie 'Goldfinger' was the paint a VBL?

  2. #32
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    I've never seen the inside of the DriDucks raingear but my friend's poncho is kind of "fuzzy" on the inside. Are the raingear pants/jacket the same? If so, this wouldn't seem to be too uncomfortable against the skin. This sounds similar to the warmlite "fuzzy stuff".

    I've been going around and around with my raingear. If these DriDucks would work as a passable VB as well as raingear/windbreaker that may entice me to pick up a set.

  3. #33
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tumbleweed View Post
    So, as I understand this thread, I could use:
    First layer: lightweight silk underwear top & bottom,
    second layer:driducks raingear top & bottom,
    third layer: fleece pajamas,
    then on feet: silk socks, bread bags, wool socks or down booties,
    hands get thinnest possible gloves, surgical gloves, mittens.

    Yeti under WBBB & TQ over all. Then just "ignore" the clammy feeling???

    Would the driducks work differently if put on "inside-out" ?

    Real curious about this thread.
    Driducks breathes too much. It will slow vapor transfer, but it is not a VB. You can probably skip the liner gloves as I don't believe there would be any thin enough to fit beneath a pair of VB gloves.

    The clammy feeling is not pervasive with a good VB set up. You'll notice it from time to time, but it is not the same sort of "cold clammy" that most of us are accustomed to.
    Some folks just use a VB bag liner that can be found at campmor.com in a reflective or non-reflective type. I've found that the vapor tend to pool more in these than with VB clothing.
    If you have a silnylon Packa, you've already got a VB top. Just close all of the vents.

    Personally, I'm looking for a lightweight sauna suit. Some might argue that it is single use; however, in SEVERELY cold weather, you could still keep the VB layers on through your hike and it will boost the insulation of your garments significantly. (Your head and your hands can still regulate heat at those temps.) Even if just used for sleeping, it "could" offset the weight in a couple of ways. The most obvious is that it can reduce your need for more insulation to the tune of about 20° F. The not so obvious weight savings would be that your TQ and UQ will not have gained the weight from the vapor being trapped inside. (This can add up to POUNDS saved.)
    Finally, a VB layer is the best way to prevent frostbite. If your feet are in a VB sock surrounded by sealed in warm perspiration, they can't freeze.

    Again, if you're out in temps above 20 F, the benefits are there but not as large. The colder it gets, the more benefit there is.

  4. #34
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    I'd consider the weight of the sauna an incredible insurance policy since you can get 20F additional from it. I cannot see hiking it a VBL suit unless its in the negatives.
    I think VBL bags have there place but the tighter it fits to the skin the better it will work. But speaking of VBL bags, this one from WM only weighs 4.5 ounces...that is a lot of warmth for that little extra weight:
    http://www.westernmountaineering.com...2&ContentId=44

  5. #35
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Walter, did you see this site yet?
    http://www.rbhdesigns.com/category/1...77/apparel.htm

  6. #36
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MedicineMan View Post
    I'd consider the weight of the sauna an incredible insurance policy since you can get 20F additional from it. I cannot see hiking it a VBL suit unless its in the negatives.
    I think VBL bags have there place but the tighter it fits to the skin the better it will work. But speaking of VBL bags, this one from WM only weighs 4.5 ounces...that is a lot of warmth for that little extra weight:
    http://www.westernmountaineering.com...2&ContentId=44
    A VBL bag will definitely work. I do have a couple of problems with it. First, it's a bag. I dislike VBL bags for the same reason I choose a TQ over a sleeping bag.
    second, I HATE getting out of those things in the morning (or middle of the night) in the cold while I'm wet. VB clothing at least lets me move around under my TQ, and I can swap for dry clothing "one section" at a time come morning.

  7. #37
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MedicineMan View Post
    Oh yeah I have. Those looks like they would work perfectly. That being said, the Stevens Warmlite stuff looks much cheaper for a fairly equivalent function. I'll probably get the Warmlite shirt and socks and see about some sauna pants. If I like the whole concept, I may look at the RBH pants as well.

  8. #38
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    I have done the VB thing and it for sure works. I have VB socks I used to use but I prefer to rise in the morning and not have to deal with changing out clothes.
    For me the clamminess was not enjoyable .... the warmth was.
    May re-visit it again but for backpacking I always seem to be able to bring enough to keep me pretty warm. At least I know that I wont perish....
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  9. #39
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I have done the VB thing and it for sure works. I have VB socks I used to use but I prefer to rise in the morning and not have to deal with changing out clothes.
    For me the clamminess was not enjoyable .... the warmth was.
    May re-visit it again but for backpacking I always seem to be able to bring enough to keep me pretty warm. At least I know that I wont perish....
    I'm pretty much in the same ball park as Shug on VBLs. But they do have their advantages.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  10. #40
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I have done the VB thing and it for sure works. I have VB socks I used to use but I prefer to rise in the morning and not have to deal with changing out clothes.
    For me the clamminess was not enjoyable .... the warmth was.
    May re-visit it again but for backpacking I always seem to be able to bring enough to keep me pretty warm. At least I know that I wont perish....
    I hear ya on changing out clothes in the morning. I've been doing a bit of "backyard research" the past few days. Last night, I went out and bought one of those "sauna suits" and wore it over a layer of smartwool long johns and long sleeves top. On my feet, I put on a pair of nylon dress socks for liners, a plastic grocery bag and some thick wool socks.

    I must say the results continue to impress me. The temps got down to about 21 F here at the global testing facility between two of my tulip poplars. I used a 3/4 UQ by Leigh and a JRB NS beneath my JRB tarp set up in "tent mode". I know, I know, you're saying to yourself ," Self, isn't that enough to get to 21 F anyway?" The answer is "yes". However, 21 F is at the lower boundary of the NS. I'm sure you've all have used gear toward the lower boundary before. While you're not freezing, you can definitely feel the lack of warmth. With the VB stuff on, I felt no chill whatsoever and felt that I could have gone at least 10 more degrees lower if not more.

    Now here's the interesting part. On top of the added warmth, I checked my NS when I got up this morning. You know the way a TQ can feel like it is either damp or cold, but you can't really distinguish which? This morning, the NS felt neither damp nor cool to the touch. It was a dry feeling as when I had it in the house before I took it out. And no frost on the outside of the shell either.

    To top it off, I attempted to "simulate" getting up and changing out in the filed by having my hiking clothes with me under the tarp. When I took off the sauna top, I did feel initially damp, but felt dry in a few seconds. i put a thick fleece over top of my smartwool and felt the same as I would without having used a VB. The same held true for my pant. I just slid the sauna pants off, felt damp and the cool air dried it almost immediately. I put my supplex pants on over top and felt just as dry as I normally would.

    I can't help but see the advantage of not needing to field dry your gear or avoid packing it while it still retains the vapor from the previous night. Either way, you'll either save the time and effort of drying or the weight and loss of insulation of packing a quilt with vapor still trapped in it.

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