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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    A PeaPod, Some IX=Too Danged Hot

    THE POD IS TOO DANG WARM!

    Shug's pod adventures forced me to (at 10 PM last night) takedown my Uber comfortable JRB bridge hammock/MW 4 and put up my Claytor No Net and Speer Peapod. No supercold temperatures like Shug and the Minnesota adventurers experienced, of course. But how do you make for a challenge when the forecast is only for +20? By using less insulation on top: no TQ.

    My previous experience with this set up in the wilds of Wyoming was using: 20° Speer Peapod, one space blanket underneath, my Bozeman mountain works 14 ounce Polarguard jacket (either worn or fluffed up on top of me, maybe worn backwards) an 8 ounce pants, a 9 ounce down vest, and some kind of hat. I recall that on the first night (coldest night) with a low around 27F I was just barely warm enough on top. (Sleeping under the stars, no tarp) I definitely was not toasty warm, but was not too cool to sleep. The rest of the week I was just fine, with lows a few degrees warmer than that first night.

    The plan for what would be different last night, at similar temps, would be replace the space blanket with a MMG IX UQ. Also, instead of my Polarguard stuff, I wore a thin Merino wool base layers with heavy fleece top and bottom (Mountain Hardware monkey fur top, Moonstone pile pants). And a 25-year-old Patagonia pile balaclava. Then I used my Uber light Polarguard jacket(same as previously) on top to fill in around my neck as needed. It was 28° when I went to bed, with a forecast low 21°.

    The pod and IX was too dang hot! I read a couple of chapters with the pod mostly open around my chest area, hands outside the pod in order to hold the book where I could see it in my headlamp. I really stayed quite comfortable for this entire reading period. I was amazed that my hands stayed warm holding the book outside the pod, without gloves. Then it was lights out, close the pod up. I maintained a several inch breathing hole throughout. It wasn't long till the balaclava I had to come off. As with previous experiences with this Peapod and Claytor No Net hammock, I was once again amazed at the amount of heat that seems to be "generated" in the head and neck area. Then I had to start increasing the size of the vent hole to maybe 6 inches in diameter. Then I turned on my left side with legs straight and then fetal. Pod rotated with a breathing hole off to the side. Very comfortable, very very warm. Top and bottom for the most part. In fetal, I felt some coolish areas around my knees, which I'm assuming is because my knees were compressing the pod loft in that area. But still overall very warm. Most of the time I was too warm on the verge of sweating. Also it did not get as cold as forecast, I don't think it got any lower than 26 or 27. Wind was not a factor. So okay, obviously I should have removed a layer or two. But I was having my usual lousy backyard sleep, so after about four hours – considering I was so dang warm it was no challenge – when I had to get up to pee I just went inside.

    Now this was a way warmer experience than I had previously with a very similar overall set up insulation wise. So I guess it was the IX under quilt? Do you guys think that two layers of IX (Molly Mac Gear first-generation with Insultube added) between hammock and pod (instead of a space blanket used previously) could add enough heat from the bottom to make it feel almost too warm on top? (IX weighed about 8 ounces – and might or might not act as a vapor barrier – compared to the two or 3 ounces of space blanket) On bottom it just felt toasty warm and was comfortable. But then I was well within the rating of the Peapod on bottom anyway. All of the sensation of being too warm seemed to be on top, most especially in the head and neck area. By the way, I did not notice any condensation at all. Loft in the head and neck area seems as puffy as usual. Of course it wasn't very cold.

    A claustrophobic would not like this system. Using something like a JRB BMBH with adequate top quilt and separate hood is a much more "open", less restricting experience. But it sure is warm for the weight.
    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

  2. #2
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Very good and interesting....... maybe heat rising from the bottom???? Always good to be to warm as we can vent.
    I have never messed wit insultex so am useless there on any info.
    Look forward to more.
    The Pod is Hot!!!!
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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  3. #3
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Okay, went back outside after a breakfast with the grandkids who spent the night here last night. By this time it was a balmy 34°. So instead of longjohns and pile pants I just had on my PJ bottoms, though I did wear the same fleece top. This time I gave it a shot the way it was designed to be used by Ed Speer: with a top quilt. I did leave the IX under quilt in there.

    Needless to say, wonderfully warm and toasty at these non-challenging temperatures. The main reason I'm posting about this is: this gets rid of the majority of any claustrophobic properties of a Pea Pod system. In fact, my North Carolina buddy who uses a 55° Peapod with a pad underneath the hammock inside the pod, and a separate top quilt on top, considers this his least claustrophobic system. One way to do this (if temperatures allow) is to just let the top quilt fill up all the space from mid chest or sternum and below, only closing the pod too mid chest or so, or closed down to a breathing vent. My go light 20 top quilt seems to completely fill up any space, resulting in a whole ton of loft on top, chest to toe. The foot box of the quilt fills up on dead space at the foot of the pod and hammock, greatly reducing any need to really cinch it down tight if the foot. Best of all, I now have a nice roomy insulated space around my head without even the need for a hat unless temperatures are really cold by my standards.

    Then for the only slightly claustrophobic: do like the above, but just leave a much larger head opening. This leaves some pod down laying on top of my head and down to the sides of my face or very close to it. Still for the most part no need for a hat, balaclava or separate hood. At least not at the temps we've had around here for the last couple of days, like 20+. Or this morning at 34. Hardly even counts as winter, I realize. But a lot of us might want to use the Peapod at normal camping temperatures of the 20s and 30s and 40s. Needless to say none of the above would apply at the kind of life-threatening temperatures that Shug and fourdog and the rest of the Minnesota gang have been adventuring in the last week or two. But at normal cold backpacking temperatures (say 20s to 40s), this could make for a really luxurious sleep. I also find that I can have my hands and arms stretched out above or under my head, no need to be under the quilt. Since I'm wearing a jacket anyway, the same warm space that's keeping my head warm will keep my arms and hands warm.

    For the way claustrophobic, just act like you would with a regular top quilt. In other words, it is really cold, use a really good balaclava, hat system or separate down hood. Then just have the pod closed up over your TQ to – say –the top of your chest. With the under quilt coming up to your neck, and the hood taking care of head warmth. You might even like Velcroing the pod to the bottom of your chin and the back of your neck, leaving your head outside protected by the hood. Of course, it will take a really thick hood to make up for the head warming affects of being down inside the pod.

    Anyway, using the system this way should take care of most complaints from the claustrophobic group. At least if you're able to be under a regular top quilt while using a hood or really warm hat or balaclava. If you can't do that I don't know how you're going to be out sleeping in the cold anyway.

    Boy, attention to the pod approach has really exploded around here as of the last few weeks. After many years of relatively little discussion. Fourdog, thanks for all the attention you and the other Minnesotans have brought to this. I first reported a review here at HF in – I think – December 07. I see your join date here is February 10, but it sounds like you have been doing the pod thing at severe temperatures even well back before my posted review. And of course there have been a few others using pods for long before that. Which is where I got the idea to give it a try in the first place. But it just seems like generally, very few people have tried the pod approach. Either from a DIY approach or purchasing a Speer. But man what a flurry of activity in the last few weeks! And most of it from the truly severe cold bunch!
    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

  4. #4
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    I agree that it is a wonderful approach to sub0Ί camping ... and nothing falls out upon egress.......
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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  5. #5
    lizzie's Avatar
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    A few weeks back I bought a cheap Coleman 20 degree bag to use pod-style in case I get up into the mountains in the next few months. The bag is a behemoth and really only good for car camping. All this pod talk has me itching to try it out - alas, it is too darn warm here in So Cal.

  6. #6
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    OK, what I'm getting out of this for use on the Roan High Knob hang is that I'm thinking I can use a layer of MacIX between the hammock and the pod?????? Instead of a space blanket....what do you think? will the MacIX act as enough VBL to help?

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MedicineMan View Post
    OK, what I'm getting out of this for use on the Roan High Knob hang is that I'm thinking I can use a layer of MacIX between the hammock and the pod?????? Instead of a space blanket....what do you think? will the MacIX act as enough VBL to help?
    Hmmmmmm............ I was wondering the same thing. To quote myself: "IX weighed about 8 ounces – and might or might not act as a vapor barrier – compared to the two or 3 ounces of space blanket".

    I don't know. Again, based on a previous experience, I'm suspecting that TWO layers of IX was much warmer than the space blanket, at the price of more than twice the weight( still, only 8 oz). At least it seemed a good bit warmer at about the same temps with otherwise about the same amount of insulation. It appears that the IX might be giving a good bit more insulation/warmth boost than the reflective/VB/space blanket did. But I have no idea if if the IX would keep moisture out of the UQ or not. Mac, any thoughts? Any one else?

    It seemed REALLY warm on top for just the PeaPod and clothing, a combo I have used before. Was it the IX below? I'm not sure what else it could be. My clothing? I had thick fleece top/pile bottoms rather than my light Polarguard jacket/pants and down vest. I can see the fleece being an advantage on bottom as would not compress as much as the PG under my weight. But I actually always felt the PG would be warmer on top as it is much loftier. Plus I was using the very thick down vest as part of the mix a couple of years ago in WY.

    So if it was not the change from PG to fleece clothing ( maybe it was?), I don't know what else it could be but the IX. An advantage to the IX ( like the SB) used in the pod is it is pretty thin, taking up little space. I had the pod hung so that there was a small gap under the IX.

    I have consistently said that I was just barely warm enough on one 27*F night with my pod and warm clothing only. Last night, with what I think was actually less clothing was that I was near over heating a couple of times, until I got enough venting. But who knows the exact cause?

    Plus, it was just one night compared to a weeks trip a couple of years ago. I'd hate to make a major decision based just on that.

    Again, Mac has used IX in combo with a pod. Maybe he can also comment on that as well as VB aspects.
    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

  8. #8
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    the ix will at least slow the movement of moisture downward into the uq or pod. on a multiday hike maybe not slowed enough but for 1-2 nights probably enough.

  9. #9
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    I never seem to get moisture under me at all.
    Do ya'll get a lot?? Southern thing?
    Shug of the North and South
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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  10. #10
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    I never seem to get moisture under me at all.
    Do ya'll get a lot?? Southern thing?
    Shug of the North and South
    No, I don't ever get any noticeable moisture under me. But, I have never weighed my UQs after a hang, so it is possible some is condensing in there. Plus, I am often using a space blanket VB, either with my SS or in my PeaPod, so that would tend to keep moisture out any way.

    Shug, have you ever weighed your UQs after several days of hanging below 20F? Ever noticed any loss of loft?

    Maybe ( first time thinking of this) moisture condensing in an UQ is a needless worry, no matter how cold it is? Because, maybe any vapor (insensible perspiration) that escapes your back is going to tend to rise, rather than sinking to where the dew point is finally reached? Maybe condensation worries should be mainly for TQs and clothing?

    Whatch y'all think?
    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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