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Thread: Insltex seepage

  1. #1
    psyculman's Avatar
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    Insltex seepage

    Does Insultex have a moisture permeability direction?

    This is not meant to be an absolute technical evualation of Insultex, simply an observation.

    I marked my 10 yd. bolt of Insultex, one side "a" the other side "b", so as to be able to use the that Insultex material later with proper orientation. Then I cut two 10" squares of Insultex, and also marked the same side orientation as the bolt, 'a' and 'b'. Placing each 10" square on two seperate bowls, one with the 'a' side up, the other with the 'b' side up, the top surface was dimpled down enough to hold 4oz of water. Results are as follows:

    After 1 hr.
    Sample 'a' water had seeped thru, about 1/2 thimbles worth.
    Sample 'b' dry

    After 18 hr.
    Sample 'a' only a few drops had not seeped thru.
    Sample 'b' 1 oz had not seeped thru.

    I suspect seepage of any kind could be slightly increased by the quilt thread stiching of "scrim-like" layers thru the closed cell layer. But, the manufacturer may have used thread which does not permit such seepage.

    How to visually tell the difference on which side is which for permaebility, I have no idea, glad I marked it!

    I'm only using Insultex as a layer in my down quilt at this point, after reading reviews, I'm not planning on using Insultex for clothes due to it's lack of breathability with any serious exertion, such as backpacking, yet, although a poncho would not present a problem. It's still a valuable material as far as I'm concerned, and I will have many uses for it.
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  2. #2
    Mrprez's Avatar
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    This is a good question and am glad you were able to test it. According to the specs, the moisture tubes are one-way which tells me that there is a right way to use this material. Determining which is the right side to have next to your body is the next question. I haven't had a chance to look at mine closely yet, but will be starting to work with it this week.

  3. #3

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    guys please keep posting your results. I have 15 yds of this and i was planning to make a top/under quilt. now i am thinking of getting some 1.1 ripstop and double layering it for the insulation and making both a top and under quilt. maybe even combining it with some down or synthetic. not sure yet, i'm still rolling ideas around in my head.
    any other ideas for this stuff?

  4. #4
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Very interesting result. I asked the question when I was at I.d.i. gear. He said that for waterproofness you needed an outside waterproof fabric layer. Looking at their information on the i.d.i. gear site, I a separate waterproof fabric would be needed on the outside. That diagram accurately illustrates their Arctic Armour gear when he pulled open a seam and showed me the inside. From top to bottom:

    1. outside fabric
    2. membrane for waterproofness - the membrane in the Arctic Armour is bonded to the outside fabric.
    3. Insultex
    4. inside fabric


    From your results it appears that the Insultex with the scrim is fully breathable in one direction and less so in the other, but still breathable. I'll repeat your experiment and see if I get the same results.

    I've been batting around what I want for the encasing fabric layers. I have decided against using an outside layer of silnyl and will use plain DWR instead. Since the Insultex itself isn't damaged or take up any of the water, I decided that full waterproofness isn't really needed for an uq. Now if I thought I would need a floatation device, then silnyl and wrapping the uq around me would probably work moderately well .

    I haven't decided on the inside fabric layer yet. I keep bouncing back and forth between a mesh like Organza for full breath-ability and lightness (0.8 oz/sq yd) and nylon DWR ripstop for a little more protection from air infiltration.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Even if the Insultex is fully breathable (in any direction), doesn't using a waterproof (aka silnylon) as a cover material stop all breathablility?
    Every waterproof material I have used also doubles as a vapor barrier...no breathing allowed.
    Even a DWR finished material allows water seepage...hence, some degree of breathability
    Why the concern with waterproofness if the insulation continues to be effective in the presence of water vapor? (UQ or TQ)
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  6. #6
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animalcontrol View Post
    Even if the Insultex is fully breathable (in any direction), doesn't using a waterproof (aka silnylon) as a cover material stop all breathablility?
    True, very true.

    Quote Originally Posted by animalcontrol View Post
    Every waterproof material I have used also doubles as a vapor barrier...no breathing allowed.
    Even a DWR finished material allows water seepage...hence, some degree of breathability
    Why the concern with waterproofness if the insulation continues to be effective in the presence of water vapor? (UQ or TQ)
    Depends on what you want.

    Like I wrote previously, I have decided against using silnyl on the outside of my Insultex uq, tq and mostly whatever I make using it. Since the water doesn't affect the Insultex, the silnyl isn't needed for the uq. My original thought of using it was a knee jerk hang-over from thinking of down. The thought didn't last long though. That is one reason I am very interested in the Insultex and if it works.

    Now if I wanted a personal floatation device, then the silnyl might make sense. That's why they use the waterproof membrane for their Arctic Armour gear - the gear will not only keep the fisherman warm, but also dry and floating if she/he falls into the water - and yes it has been known to happen. Funny - on the ice fisherman forum thread discussing the Arctic Armour gear, the usual skeptic showed up and vowed that he would never pay $350 for gear. He could simply buy a North Face or similar jacket and some synthetic insulated pants for a lot less. He was absolutely positive that the jacket and pants would keep him afloat long enough to climb back onto the ice. Of course, he declined all attempts to get him to test the gear in freezing water.

    I'm going to start looking for a jacket pattern soon. Any ideas where I can get a good pattern. I figure a jacket made from the Insultex, 2 or even 3 layers, should work pretty good. The poncho I got from i.d.i. gear has a single layer of Insultex. I've had a chance to use it as a poncho twice so far. The first time was on a dreary day in the low 40's with a light rain. Wore jeans and a tee shirt again. Didn't use the poncho hood, since my hat was adequate. Warm and dry. The only part of me that got wet was my right hand using the hiking pole. The second chance was a day or 2 later. Again in the low 40s, heavy, drenching rain this time. Again jeans and a tee shirt. Within 5 minutes my right hand using the hiking pole felt like it was at ambient temperature - and cold. Otherwise, again warm and mostly dry. I say mostly because I felt some wet drops with my left hand was under the poncho. When I got back home, I reversed the poncho to find out where the wet was and found that it was from my left hand. My right hand was outside the poncho using my hiking pole to entire time. However, my left hand was poked out quite often to take care of various chores and got quite wet in the heavy rain. When I pulled my left hand back under the poncho, it was wet and got the inside of the poncho wet. Mystery solved. I have used the Dri Ducks poncho in similar conditions and know that only a tee shirt under the Dri Ducks poncho would be far from adequate to keep me warm in the low 40s in a light or heavy rain and you are chilled through from the wet conditions. About the only complaint I have about the i.d.i. gear poncho is that it was designed for stadium use (hence the name "Stadium pack") and is very wide and tends to get in the way of using the hiking pole.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    True, very true.



    That's why they use the waterproof membrane for their Arctic Armour gear - the gear will not only keep the fisherman warm, but also dry and floating if she/he falls into the water - and yes it has been known to happen. Funny - on the ice fisherman forum thread discussing the Arctic Armour gear, the usual skeptic showed up and vowed that he would never pay $350 for gear. He could simply buy a North Face or similar jacket and some synthetic insulated pants for a lot less. He was absolutely positive that the jacket and pants would keep him afloat long enough to climb back onto the ice. Of course, he declined all attempts to get him to test the gear in freezing water.

    I'm going to start looking for a jacket pattern soon. Any ideas where I can get a good pattern. I figure a jacket made from the Insultex, 2 or even 3 layers, should work pretty good. The poncho I got from i.d.i. gear has a single layer of Insultex. I've had a chance to use it as a poncho twice so far. The first time was on a dreary day in the low 40's with a light rain. Wore jeans and a tee shirt again. Didn't use the poncho hood, since my hat was adequate. Warm and dry. The only part of me that got wet was my right hand using the hiking pole. The second chance was a day or 2 later. Again in the low 40s, heavy, drenching rain this time. Again jeans and a tee shirt. Within 5 minutes my right hand using the hiking pole felt like it was at ambient temperature - and cold. Otherwise, again warm and mostly dry. I say mostly because I felt some wet drops with my left hand was under the poncho. When I got back home, I reversed the poncho to find out where the wet was and found that it was from my left hand. My right hand was outside the poncho using my hiking pole to entire time. However, my left hand was poked out quite often to take care of various chores and got quite wet in the heavy rain. When I pulled my left hand back under the poncho, it was wet and got the inside of the poncho wet. Mystery solved. I have used the Dri Ducks poncho in similar conditions and know that only a tee shirt under the Dri Ducks poncho would be far from adequate to keep me warm in the low 40s in a light or heavy rain and you are chilled through from the wet conditions. About the only complaint I have about the i.d.i. gear poncho is that it was designed for stadium use (hence the name "Stadium pack") and is very wide and tends to get in the way of using the hiking pole.
    thanks for the explanation
    aren't ice fisherman typically stationary? IOW, if it were me, I would have very real concerns with backpacking with a material with limited, at best, breathability. Low 40s and light rain? I'm in a t shirt and my rain gear (fleece top if required)...at those temps the only time someone needs insulation is when they stop moving (breathability is paramount as you sweat and hike)...at camp and I would assume that everyone is carrying more than a poncho for insulation (what would you do when it stops raining?)
    As far as an UQ/TQ goes, if again, IMO 40 and even 30 is too warm for any VB. Your UQ/TQ needs to breath to allow your body vapor to escape or you can create moisture and that can be cold.
    too bad any real world testing will have to wait for real winter, I'm very curious as to what the great DIY minds here can create
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  8. #8
    psyculman's Avatar
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    Insultex DIY uses

    I'm incorporating a layer of Insultex in my over quilt, tacking it to the ripstop inner surface, and sewing it completely around the perimiter of that same inner fabric piece. My noseeum down baffles will be pre-sewn to the Insultex, TeeDee's caro style, and then the other baffle edges sewn to the DWR 1.1 outer fabric, thickness being 2.5 inchs. Same width and length again as TeeDee's. Initially I'm only using 9 oz of down, which is 6 oz under for that cubic volume, but, have a little zipper so can open it, and put in more down later if needed. The Insultex may hold enough warmth so as to not need more down, at least for 3 season use. It does not need to be water proof, just resist a little condensation from inside the hammock.
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  9. #9
    Mrprez's Avatar
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    So, you are putting the Insultex next to you and not on the outside of your down?

  10. #10
    psyculman's Avatar
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    Insultex layer

    Yes, the Insultex is the layer cut the same size as the inner rip-stop non DWR size, and sewn around the perimiter to that sheet, and tacked thru randomly. The outer surface fabric is DWR 1.1 rip-stop camo from Seattle Fabrics, which is only slightly moisture resistant by the same method I used on the Insultex, ie. material sample stretched over bowl, and seep tested. I'm going to apply Tectron spray water proofing to that outer camo surface before using it. Have never had down-loft failure, but, from reading experiences, wouldn't want to risk it. The down won't be sealed in non-breathable containment. I plan to incorporate Insultex as a camp site ware insulation layer, valuable for after-hike warmth. Hope to put together an underquilt using the same idea next winter.
    Never more than one man left behind, so far !

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