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  1. #21
    Senior Member blackbishop351's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Yeah I was wondering why you were getting one, since you didn't seem to have a very high opinion of the SS. I figured you maybe were going to give it a test for the sake of science and advance of knowlege. But now it doesn't sound like you will be fooling with it much.
    A large part of my motivation was to see what all the talk was about all of a sudden. I think it's interesting how different ideas seem to come and go...when I first started getting into hammocks, pretty much everything I heard about the SS was negative. Now there's a pretty hardcore group of fans, seemingly coming out of nowhere in the last month or so. That's also part of my motivation - like I said, I don't like to take others' word for things. Guess I should've been from Missouri

    I'll definitely be trying it out some, especially since the weather's warming up. That is, assuming I can figure out a good way to pack the thing. I do like my "BB sack" setup with a quilt
    "Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson

  2. #22
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    Had anyone heard of the torso and kidney pads before the Manufacturer's Comment on BGT? I never saw any mention of them until, as the testers started saying the SS was only good to the upper 40s, the test was put on hold while these extra pieces shipped.

    TeeDee - also unlike down, the OCF in the SS underpad doesn't lose its loft when wet. Given that the hammock body is water resistant, the system should be pretty usable even when wet. Still damp, certainly, but usable.
    I hadn't heard of them, but then I had never heard of hammock camping until about a week before my Wind River trip last September!

    And what you said there about the wet OCF is pretty much what I had been thinking.

  3. #23
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    learning curve

    I hope I'm allowed to quote small amounts of text from BGT? If not, let me know and I won't do it anymore!

    From BGT SS test with addition of torso/kidney pads:
    one extreme:
    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...Term%20Report/


    Due to the added shelter components (the OverCover and the Torso and Kidney pads) sent to myself and the other HH SuperShelter testers in February of 2005, our Long Term report date was pushed back to allow for more testing of the new items. I have now been using the SuperShelter for almost a full year and despite the additions I have only been able to sleep comfortably down to about 50 F (10 C) degrees without wind. This is using only the provided shelter components. With the addition of closed cell foam padding inside the hammock I have taken the SuperShelter down to as low as 27 F (-3 C). Many of the comments/observations I made in my Field Report still stand and will be referred to periodically during the rest of this report.
    Jamie J. DeBenedetto
    Dec. 12th, 2005

    The other extreme:
    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...Term%20Report/

    But this winter is the reason why we extended the test. Having received the optional hip and shoulder pad too late to test it last winter, we extended the test so as to give it (the SuperShelter) a proper test. In my previous reports, I noted that when out in the teens, I did get a chill when the temps dropped to the low teens - 13 F (-11 C). When able to get out and test the SuperShelter with the new pads, I did not get any chills - the pads are an excellent addition to the included underpad. Being made of the same contoured open cell foam as the underpad, the pads stay where I put them regardless of how restless a sleeper I happen to be. That was nice. I wasn't sure that the pads would stay put since there was nothing to "attach" them to the underpad. However, the "grippy" nature of the open cell foam allows the pads to be placed where I want them to be and they stay there.

    Temperatures during this testing period ran from 65 F (18 C) to lows of 0 F (-18 C). The weather was calm and warm during the summer with some rainy nights, and this winter testing has had temperatures that have ranged from 26 F (-3 C) to 0 F (-18 C) with heavy snows, some winds (5 to 20 mph /8 km to 32 km) and some clear, frosty nights. I have woken in the morning with snow piled on top of the hammock but did not get any moisture inside the hammock. I stayed very warm with the extra pads - every evening I wore the following: my sweats, wool socks, and my Psolar Balaclava ®. My sleeping bag is my Slumberjack Ultimate + 20 F (-7 C). These, along with the pads, kept me comfortable.
    Jodi Cornelius
    So that's quite a range. Frankly, I don't think there is anyway I could take this system to zero! Nor could I take the basic system without kidney/torso pads to anywhere near 13* and only complain of gettig "a chill"! Though I guess she is also using the overcover? Regardless, I think my back would be cold for sure. But I can take it into the high 20's, and with a little bolstering underneath ( clothing, Garlinton Insulators) to at least 20, maybe 18*. Add a pad, and it's much lower.

    There is one other test that seems to be in the middle of these two.

    BB, Did you get the torso/kidney pads? If you decide to keep the SS for testing, consider the learning curve. Even the quilts have a pretty good learning curve, from what I read here! Even though some have talked about how simple it is to use, I think there are some definite tricks to proper use! If it's cold enough that you feel you must bolster it, Don't put anything on top of the pad that might be heavy enough to cause the pad to sag away from your back! And of course, consider TeeDee's advice on flexible pads( I've got to look into those GG pads!). Ditto for the undercover, nothing heavy enough to pull it further away from the pad than the added item is capable of filling back up. Garlinton insulators are great for the undercover, cheap and very little weight per area, they won't pull it away from you. Good luck with your testing!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 03-29-2007 at 21:37.

  4. #24
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    I think what some people might be missing here is our physicist friend's science background. It tends to wire one's brain a little different. Kind of like an engineer.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  5. #25
    Senior Member Fiddleback's Avatar
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    BillyBob58's post above captures the whole hammock insulation issue, IMO. No matter what the system, no matter what the technique; the performance results, i.e., "were you warm when you tried to sleep?", are very much specific to the individual and the low temp experienced. When you throw in different sleep systems the results get skewed beyond useful comparison and we are all forced into trying out the insulations for ourselves armed only with the information that it worked for some others.

    The comparative efficiency of under insulation at a specific low temperature is a result of several variables; weight, convenience, cost, bulk/volume, comfort, etc. In turn, whether the under insulation worked or not is affected by the other components of the sleep system and, most of all, the individual him/herself. We all have to bite the bullet and try out those systems we think might work for [I]us[I].

    I understand TeeDee's experience...I spent a winter sharing a room in which the window could either be closed or wide open. I walked in one night to see my sleeping roommate, whose bed was directly under the window, covered by an inch of snow. Ahhh...good times!

    FB

  6. #26
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Good point, TeeDee. But the same can be said from experience. A cat walking across a hot stove may learn to never walk on stoves again. His experience says stoves are hot. A smarter cat will wait until the stove cools off. (Paraphrased from a Mark Twain quote that I'm too lazy to look up.)

    More to the point - I've never heard of anyone's experience with a space blanket where the space blanket's impact was isolated. "I was warm" is about as precise as they can get - then they mention the weather shield, other pads, etc, that were also involved.

    I guess the most practical test would be to put the SS undercover w/o pad on the HH and see how warm that is. Then have someone slide the space blanket between the hammock and undercover (w/o the occupant getting out of the hammock) and see how much difference it makes. The gain in loft would be minimal, and the convection loss would be very close in both cases. Having someone else install the space blanket w/o the user moving means he won't lose his body heat so it'll be easier to "feel" the difference.

    Just have to make sure the space blanket doesn't have any wrinkles when it's installed...that would act as loft and not isolate the space blanket's radiative properties.

    We could also get some medical thermometers with those little EKG-looking sticky patches for measuring the temp change at specific locations between the user's body and hammock body.

    But heat loss from evaporating condensation counteracts the heat gain from radiation...the question is how much. I don't know how we'd isolate the impact of condensation.

    I've never heard that radiative heat loss only happens at high temps like BB says. I've actually heard that tarps help a bit by capturing radiative heat leaving the body. But regardless of whether the theory and experience of space blankets say they work or not, I'm pretty sure there are lighter and more convenient ways to get the same/better performance. That's my experience talking...with some non-scientific, undocumented, out-of-the-lab, backyard testing to back it up. Never took one into the field b/c I wasn't impressed with the performance.

    I know Pan did a lot of testing before he and Smee designed the underquilts...I wonder if they have anything useful to add.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  7. #27
    slowhike's Avatar
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    another possible way to test the space blanket would be to very neatly have it on "one side only". that way the person laying on his/her back as a guinea pig, should be able to tell a difference from one side to another after a while.
    about the wet down vs synthetic... did anyone here (jeff?) read the article on <http://backpackinglight.com> a while back?
    they went to great lengths to put that to the test & the out come (according to BPL.com) was far better for down than you might think. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  8. #28
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    One thing I liked when I use to hang in a string type hammock is that the down would push through the holes in the netting and still retain its loft. It would only be compressed at the strings. So when I had my sleeping bag in it I didn't use a pad or an underquilt. I don't ever remember any cold spots or discomfort from the strings. I just didn't like the bugs and getting in it was a task. That and I had to have drip strips tied to every lead line.
    If you must choose between two evils, opt for the one you've never tried before

  9. #29
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    Sorry TeeDee, but I dumped the SS and switched to a JRB quilt system. I find that the quilt system is warmer and easier to set up. Plus I was looking to replace my old sleeping bag and decided to use that money towards a better plan also.
    If you must choose between two evils, opt for the one you've never tried before

  10. #30
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    but I haven't heard of too many people that changed from an SS to something else. There are a few out there, but most folks are so happy with it that they stick with it for good.
    Pretty funny, TeeDee! Except this part - I've read more people who switched away from SS to underquilts than vice versa! Point taken, though.

    The lightest and most convenient I've found so far is the insulated hammock. IMO, space blankets aren't very convenient anyway - they crinkle, they're noisy, not very durable, they flake after use, etc. I haven't used the more expensive ones though - they might last longer. But, JMHO, the ones I've looked at aren't worth the hassle.

    Bumblebee metaphor doesn't work - the bees have done a pretty good job of isolating exactly what makes them fly. Countless kids have proven the concept by taking the wings off of grasshoppers and butterflies. I haven't seen a single hammocker isolate space blankets as the cause of their warmth. Which was my point - everyone draws conclusions from their experiences every day...figuring out which conclusions are RIGHT will make you a smart person though. And FWIW, I'm questioning both sides of the argument...and basically agreeing with you that we need hard(er) real-world test data.

    Slowhike - I did read the BPL article some time ago. IIRC, the down dried much faster than they anticipated. I don't remember how the wet loft compared though.

    And the half-space blanket idea is one good approach to add. Have to put plastic or silnylon down the other side so the VB effect remains the same on each side.

    Who's testing?
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
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    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

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