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  1. #1
    Senior Member NFA's Avatar
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    DIY Insultex Top Quilt

    I'm going camping this weekend with a group of friends up into the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York, and in my ongoing attempt to cut weight from my pack am trying out something new for keeping warm...

    I'll be hanging in a GT nano, protected by a hammock sock (made lovingly by Mac with some insultex in the lower parts), and this afternoon made a simple TQ out of some Insultex I recently bought...

    I bought 3 yards of the stuff (about 50" wide), and made a simple 2' footbox in the bottom by doubling the bottom 2' back on itself and sewing it closed on the sides...that's it, nothing else...

    I'll be interested to see how it works inside the hammock sock...the TQ folds up tiny and weighs almost nothing...

    Jamie - nfa
    "We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin


    My Author Website/Blog - My first novel, "Here Be Monsters", a mystery set in the Adirondacks, has just been published in paperback and Kindle formats.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Newzy's Avatar
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    Hope you have enough warm clothing to wear in case it gets chilly.

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Here is my IX experience:
    I made a two layer IX top quilt with footbox and sewed the ridges in both the top and bottom layers to create a dead space between them.
    Took it out on weekend hike where it got into the 30's - no wind, no rain. I didn't have a sock, but, I nearly froze to death! Didn't get any sleep.

    I hope you can fit a portable space heater inside that sock! If not, my advice is to take a back-up plan with you!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member NFA's Avatar
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    It's likely not going to get that cold, but my hammock sock works incredibly well at creating a microclimate and keeping me warm...

    My thinking is that I'll use the TQ (top sheet really) to stop wind and the loss of body heat in an upwards direction, but I wanted to try not bringing a heavy sleeping bag...I'll be bringing insulating layers for daytime use anyway, and so thought I could make good use of those overnight as well...

    I'm planning to sleep in long underwear and beanie and socks and gloves...it'll be fine...

    Pics and report to follow...
    Last edited by NFA; 09-21-2011 at 04:11.
    "We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin


    My Author Website/Blog - My first novel, "Here Be Monsters", a mystery set in the Adirondacks, has just been published in paperback and Kindle formats.

  5. #5
    Senior Member egrant5329's Avatar
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    Mad777
    How did the ix breath for you. I keep seeing posts of people using it, but the manufacturers info says it is impermeable to moisture and is waterproof.

    One of the reasons hammocks initially interested me is to get me off of the sleeping pad because I sweat against it.
    Ed

  6. #6
    AaronAlso's Avatar
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    I'm not sure a TQ made souly of IX is going to be as effective as an IX UQ. Why, you ask? Gravity!. IX absolutely needs dead air space trapped between the layers to work effectively. In an UQ, using differentially cut layers with pleats creates the airspace and gravity allows them to stay open. However, with a top quilt gravity is working against you to close those air gaps and perhaps create cold spots. I imagine you would have to use a thin layer of lofting insulation between layers to hold the airspace open on a top quilt. That's just my speculation, I have no DIY experience with IX, yet, but I do have a firm grasp of the physics envolved.

    BTW: IX isn't impermiable, I can breath through it, slightly. It is not waterproof, but pretty resistant. I've read several places that it seems to be more breathable & water resistant on 1 side than the other.
    Last edited by AaronAlso; 09-21-2011 at 11:03. Reason: BTW
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Newzy's Avatar
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    I made a double layer IX TQ with a ripstop outter shell and a fleece inner lining with footbox and draw collar at the shoulders, too hot to use for anything above 30f , your right they don't breath well

  8. #8
    MAD777's Avatar
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    While the raw material IX doesn't breathe, that's not what is used in quilts.
    The quilt material is a single layer of IX with a layer of polyester scrim sewn to each side.
    Therefore, the "package" has thousands of needle holes per square yard.
    These holes allow a modicum of air through, but not a lot.

    I agree that gravity is the enemy of an IX top quilt.
    That's why I sewed 1/2" high ridges every 3.5" into the fabric in an attempt to keep the two layers apart.
    I think that worked for the most part.

    Newzy, I think your fleece liner helped out a great deal, plus a little more help from the nylon shell. My double IX top quilt was only two layers of IX - nothing else.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  9. #9
    sclittlefield's Avatar
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    I just field tested a two-layer IX quilt. It was just a 54" wide rectangle, with drawcord enclosure at the bottom, and 2ft of velcro to create the footbox. Layers were differentially cut, but as stated above, that doesn't fully ensure dead air space between layers.

    I used it as a cover for my warm weather sleeping bag (40deg synthetic) - in cold weather (33deg first night). I was very very warm, perhaps a bit too much so. The first night there was no trouble, but the second night (more like 40deg) I had some moisture in the sleeping bag foot area, and the inside ripstop shell of the IX topquilt was moist. Not much, but enough to tell me that IX doesn't breath enough for me.

    Had I switched to having the synthetic bag over the IX quilt, I have a feeling I might have felt a bit clammy. More testing is in order. I perhaps should try it with opening the foot end drawcord a bit, maybe leave a 4-6" hole and see how that works. I'm not sure it would allow all the moisture through, but might help a good bit. Then, it might also negate the warming effects of the quilt significantly too... more testing....
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  10. #10
    psyculman's Avatar
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    IX top quilt

    I always carry my "cover" made of three layers: ix/spaceblanket/ix with in a shell of regular rip-stop. It folds down to next to nothing, and adds a lot of warmth to other quilts.

    But, used alone this combination results in condensation which dampens sleeping clothes, and, by the wee hours of the am makes for uncomfortably cool sleeping at any temperature. Because of it's weight, and compressability though, it's always with me, and has proved very effective in boosting the warmth any other quilt or sleeping bag, no matter how cold it gets.

    Used with my Coccon over bag as a top quilt, the ix cover gets me to freezing comfortably, I'm not sure about below that yet.
    Never more than one man left behind, so far !

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