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  1. #1
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    Jarbridge vs Jarbridge Apex vs Flamethrower

    Going to be getting an underquilt around Christmas. Can someone explain the benefits to each of these. Is the apex upgrade worth the $50. Is the flamethrower worth the $50 more than the apex? Packed/compressed size of all three for comparison? Use in the southeast and KY/IN mostly. Currently use a synthetic sleeping bag converted to a quilt and a heavy thermarest self inflating mattress.

  2. #2
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    i cant give you a comparison but i can tell you that the jarbridge is excellent its the only one of the 3 that i have used and paul is top notch one of the best online shopping experiences i have ever had

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    Yeah I've ready nothing but great reviews on all 3 quilts. Jarbridge seems like the best bang for the buck. $100 bucks seems like a lot for 6 oz of weight for my first quilt but I'll go with the flamethrower if it has significant benefits.

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    Senior Member barbermike's Avatar
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    Well I dont have a jarbidge yet but I just ordered the regular one for my girlfriend. I have a DIY Climashield Apex underquilt that is just slightly shorter than the Jarbidge. I have to say Apex is great stuff but at just one step down I believe Paul uses the regular Climashield for the base Jarbidge so its great stuff too.(someone correct me if I'm wrong) Difference is warmth per weight of the fabric. where as 6oz sq/yd Climashield is usually rated around 30* most people will rate 5oz sq/yd Apex around 25*.

    So to sum it up you get a little more warmth with a little less weight using APEX. Its up to you to decide if that is worth the $50 to you. For my GF it wasn't worth it because she isn't willing to be out in those colder temps anyways and her pack is so light already because I carry most of the food and ect items.

    Down vs. synthetic is a whole nother comparison. I'll give you a couple quick points though:
    Down looses all warmth when wet, Synthetic does not.
    Down will pack down smaller.
    Down will weigh less for colder temp ratings. some say past 40* or 30* ratings down wins out in weight.
    Last edited by barbermike; 11-01-2012 at 07:35.

  5. #5
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbermike View Post
    Well I dont have a jarbidge yet but I just ordered the regular one for my girlfriend. I have a DIY Climashield Apex underquilt that is just slightly shorter than the Jarbidge. I have to say Apex is great stuff but at just one step down I believe Paul uses the regular Climashield for the base Jarbidge so its great stuff too.(someone correct me if I'm wrong) Difference is warmth per weight of the fabric. where as 6oz sq/yd Climashield is usually rated around 30* most people will rate 5oz sq/yd Apex around 25*.

    So to sum it up you get a little more warmth with a little less weight using APEX. Its up to you to decide if that is worth the $50 to you. For my GF it wasn't worth it because she isn't willing to be out in those colder temps anyways and her pack is so light already because I carry most of the food and ect items.

    Down vs. synthetic is a whole nother comparison. I'll give you a couple quick points though:
    Down looses all warmth when wet, Synthetic does not.
    Down will pack down smaller.
    Down will weigh less for colder temp ratings. some say past 40* or 30* ratings down wins out in weight.
    Here is another comparison: The original WB Yeti used CS XP ( older version before Apex ) for insulation, in a wt of ~ 10 oz per sq. yd. ( that was 4 removable layers of CS each being 2.5 oz/sq.yd) Since each layer was in fact pretty close to a sq.yd in size for this torso UQ, that added up to a total of roughly 10 oz of insulation. I think the entire quilt weighed between 18 and 20 oz. I have one, but the weight is a little heavier ( and maybe even warmer ) due to only one layer of XP and 3 layers of CS Combat.

    I can not remember the rating of this UQ. Maybe 5 or 10F? But Cannibal used his at minus 11F, and if memory serves was not at all cold, maybe even warm. So at least for that known very warm sleeper, it was good to something colder than that before being cold.

    Compare that to the current WB Yeti, rated to zero F. It has 10.5 oz of 850 FP down insulation and weighs a total of 18.5 oz. Now I can't remember, but I think Cannibal has taken this even colder, maybe ~ minus 20? But, we don't know for sure that he could not have taken the CS version just as low. Or do we, Cannibal? Please correct me if any of that is wrong.

    But my point is: even if the down Yeti is actually a bit warmer than the CS version, the difference does not appear to be great. There may not be near as much warmth per weight advantage of 850 down vs CS as we have been thinking, in fact the difference may be quite small. Now that 10 oz of 850 down will pack down a lot smaller, so there are still advantages. Then again, if you have room for it, there is a moisture advantage to the CS.

    Another point is that the Jarbridge etc may be a good bit warmer for many folks than Paul has them rated. And I know some have already used them well below the rating with success, (but people vary greatly) With 6 oz ( per sq.yd) of insulation, he has them rated for 30F. Rule of thumb at Thruhiker is 20F for 5 oz of XP or Apex. But, that is in a bag. Things are not always so consistent with a quilt.

    Down may last a lot longer. Any one seen much loss of loft with the CS? The stuff I got with my Yeti maybe 4 years ago has held up well, but has not been stuffed all that much.

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan.custer View Post
    Yeah I've ready nothing but great reviews on all 3 quilts. Jarbridge seems like the best bang for the buck. $100 bucks seems like a lot for 6 oz of weight for my first quilt but I'll go with the flamethrower if it has significant benefits.
    Do you mean 6 oz of insulation? The quilt will weigh a lot more than 6 oz, what with shells and suspensions.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 11-01-2012 at 17:10.
    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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    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    If you don't customize with CS Apex for $50, what kind of CS is used? Is it XP or Combat or what?

    And which ever version of CS is used, is it all still 6 oz./sq.yd. ?

    Does any one know the advantages, if any, of Apex vs XP or the other versions of CS? The CLO ( warmth ) rating per oz at Thruhiker appears identical to XP. Is it maybe more durable? Something other advantage?
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member Les Rust's Avatar
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    Like others, I cannot compare because I only have a flamethrower, but I will say that Paul does top-notch work and that this thing rocks. It's toasty warm, light, easy to adjust, and I have never had any issues with CBS or suspension problems. It pretty much just clips on to the hammock suspension and you're good to go. It definitely packs smaller than my DIY synthetic topquilt. I cannot imagine you going wrong with any of Paul's products.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Now I can't remember, but I think Cannibal has taken this even colder, maybe ~ minus 20? But, we don't know for sure that he could not have taken the CS version just as low. Or do we, Cannibal? Please correct me if any of that is wrong.
    I would have to go back and look at the thread from that night in the synthetic Yeti, but I think it was only -10 that I got recorded; not that a single degree is of any real consequence. It is worth keeping in mind that I was still very new to cold weather hanging when I did that. I was very well dressed inside the hammock with layers that included fleece. Remember, I was in the backyard that night. In truth, I was a lucky idiot. That is illustrated by the fact that I awoke to the netting pressed against my nose because I elected not to put a tarp up. I mean really! Who would have thought there would be a foot of snow on Xmas Eve? It was a clear and star filled sky when I went to sleep. That never happens except in story-books.



    To prove the power of my clothing during this test, take a close look at the underquilt. It is vented in this picture like nobody's business. It looks like the quilt had shifted over to the right side and had fallen completely off my left shoulder. I was still snoring when this picture was taken by my dad when he came out to see if I was alive. He said he took the picture about 30 minutes before I got up. I'm guessing that venting was a big part of the reason I got up. Do I think it could have gone colder that night, sure. Do I think my clothing had a lot to do with it, oh yeah!

    The contemporary Winter Yeti has taken me to my lowest recorded temp of -26. That is actually a better reading than the synthetic because it was done 'hiker style'. Yes, I was in a car-camping situation because I was "testing" (same campground we've done a couple of winter hangs at), but I tried to keep it real with regards to what I used. I still had some trusty fleece because it's rare that I go out in the winter without some fleece, but it certainly wasn't the level of dress I had when taking the synthetic below zero. I was not cold at -26, but I am convinced I was within a few degrees of the limit for me and the Winter Yeti (without reflective liner). I used a GG pad below my legs, which was on top of my Catalyst pack, a Superfly tarp (early model), and a Rocky Mtn. Sniveler as a top quilt. I did have a 3-season quilt with me to boost the RMS if needed; used it initially to get warm, but pushed it aside after about 20 minutes.

    The -26 was early winter of 2009. The synthetic Yeti was Xmas of 2007. Both were at altitude; 9,950 & 5,280 respectively. In 2011 (I think; might have been 2010), I did push the synthetic Yeti deeper than the -10 or -11 mark. Again, it was a backyard test, but it was done 'hiker style'. The clothing may have been slightly different, as it had been a year of heavy gear/clothing acquisition, but I was still dressed as I would be on the trail. Top quilt and tarp were identical to the previous Winter Yeti test. Temps did not dip below about -15, but I was comfortable. I wasn't crazy warm, but I wasn't really cold either. Maybe call it a little chilled until I fell asleep. I do not believe I would have been comfortable below -20 with the synthetic Yeti. It's possible, but I don't think it likely. However, we must keep in mind, that in 2011, the synthetic Yeti was 4 years old and had spent 6.5 months of its life packed and unpacked daily as I made my way north on the AT. That is a whole lot of compression for extended periods. Whether it would have performed better as 'new' will forever be a mystery. Still, to this day I have zero worries about taking that thing below zero. Given a choice, I wouldn't want to take it deeper than the teens below zero, but I might try it again in the backyard if we get some deep cold spells this year. It is a very solid quilt and still goes with me on most trips that the ElDorado gets packed. Just doesn't feel right to separate those two; they've been good friends over the years.

    Standard cold disclosure: I readily acknowledge that I am some kind of freakish mutation among humans when it comes to cold weather. I shiver like anybody else does standing around in the cold, but for whatever reason, when I sleep...I'm a dang furnace. My results really can't be reliably pushed out to the general population. When I was doing some testing for Brandon, it was pretty standard for me to give him false data simply because I knew better than to tell him the actual temps I hit. Even then, I think he added a few degrees to whatever I told him, just to be on the safe side. I'm weird and your results will almost certainly vary. Don't claim you haven't been warned.
    Trust nobody!

  9. #9
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Yes Cannibal, I realize you are a human furnace who MAY EXCEED Neo! ( especially sense, as the years go by, he has made a comment or 2 bout not being as warm as he would like with his thin pad! )

    First, that picture is, for me, the all time classic for HF! I mean, backyard or not, it's ridiculous! Like you said, you don't even have a tarp to block any precipitation or wind, and you certainly got plenty of precipitation! Good grief! You mention you had plenty of fleece clothing and you give that some credit. If memory serves, you didn't even have a high quality bag, but just whatever old synthetic bag your dad happened to have handy?

    And if all that isn't enough, if minus 10F exposed in a wet snow storm isn't enough, now you tell us you were venting? So if it is like only 20+, what do you do, sleep naked with neither TQ or UQ?

    But it turns out your record with that Synthetic Yeti ( probably could not apply to normal humans I realize) is not that minus 10F, but on another night you were "comfortable" at minus 15 with a well beaten up synthetic Yeti, with out a reflective barrier, space blanket or vapor barrier. Very, very impressive IMO!

    But my point is not so much how low you, furnace that you are, can take any particular UQ or TQ. For me it is the comparison of of the down Winter Yety vs the CS Yeti with 4 layers of 2.5 oz CS. ( or for that matter, the comparison of a 3 season down UQ vs one or 2 layers of CS. ( Not really off topic. I realize this is an AHE thread, but I'm talking down vs CS, which is part of what the OP is asking about).

    Let's, for lack of more exact info, go ahead and say that for you the down Winter Yeti- with appropriate clothing) is a minus 26 UQ ( you said you didn't think you could get much lower) and the well worn CS XP version is minus 15. And you don't think you could have gone below minus 20F.

    I don't consider that a huge dif. Again, didn't that original synthetic Yeti weigh in between 18-20 oz or so? With 10 oz of that insulation? If so, this is very close to the specs of the 850 down Winter Yeti, which gets you roughly another 10F.

    Then add my experience, with NO fleece, warm with one layer ( ~ 2.5 oz CS insulation) in the mid to high 40s, a total quilt weight of roughly 10 or 11 oz. Can that be beat significantly by any 3 season down quilts out there?

    So I'm thinking that- based on my experience and yours, that Climashield XP is really pretty darn close to 850 down warmth per weight, once you add the weight of baffles to the down version. Probably closer ( maybe even warmer for the weight? ) with temps at 40 or 50, due to weight of baffles in 3 season down quilts. But advantage shifting to down below 20F, but maybe not as much as we always thought!

    And the CS has a definite moisture advantage IMO. While the down has a significant volume advantage. I would normally also say the down will last longer, but sounds like yours is holding up pretty well, as is mine.

    What do you think? Am I crazy? Let me add that, as I said, this theory is based on your experience and mine. Last night I read a lot over at WB, folks using CS XP for TQs, and they didn't seem to be getting near the warmth to weight that you and I have got out of these CS UQs. Plus, Paul's Jarbridge ratings don't seem to approach our results.
    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

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Well first of all, I didn't vent on purpose.

    It probably just slipped off during the night. That particular UQ was very much a prototype and there were some weaknesses compared with the final production model. Most notably being that it didn't 'cup' the shoulder the way the down Yetis do; hence the slippage.

    I'd have to weigh it, or find the old thread. Honestly, I think that thread is one of the ones I deleted when I had a fit of anger at some point shortly after I got home from the AT (it's a bugger of a transition back to the "real world"). However, I really want to say that quilt was right at a pound (16oz). I'll throw it on the scale tonight to be sure.

    I realize this is an AHE thread too and tried to focus more on the material than the construction. I do think the XP was very close to down in terms of insulation. At the same time, I have a theory on why the top quilts made from the same material aren't getting the same results. As we all know, CBS generally comes from gaps between the hammock and the quilt. The Yetis, as well as the KAQ I have, both seal-up extremely nice to the hammock. I can only assume Paul's continuation of the KAQs function and fit nearly, or better than the originals cause Paul's work does not suck! But a top quilt? They don't really seal, they just drape and synthetics don't drape half as well as down quilts IMO. *I think*, that synthetic insulation works great when it's against, or very nearly, your skin. It traps the heat quickly in that situation. When draped and pockets of air form, I believe it isn't nearly as efficient. Made more exaggerated by a sleeper that tends to roll around....like a groundling. While I am still a semi-fan of synthetic insulation in underquilts, I am pretty exclusively a down-guy for my top quilts. I have a couple of synthetic top quilts, but they are strictly loaners. I don't think a synthetic top quilt, gram for gram, can take on a down top quilt.

    And yes, for a top quilt in that picture I was using a very old synthetic bag. If memory serves, it was a Coleman bag. It was either a 0 or 15 bag. Plus a base shirt, plus a cotton shirt, plus a fleece pullover, plus a hoodie, plus...you get the idea.
    Trust nobody!

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