Apr 29, 2008 at 6:08 am #1228657
You folks w/ a lot of experience, what is the best base layer, for sleeping only, with the highest warmth/ weight ratio? Needless to say I'm trying to stay light but I'm such a cold sleeper- I need help!Apr 29, 2008 at 9:07 am #1430694
Mark, a principle of going light is multi use gear. So I recommend you sleep in your base layer, or base plus insulation layer. The same layers you are carrying anyway. Don't bring a 'sleeping' set of clothing. For me its wool-1 or wool-1 plus Montbell Thermawrap top and bottom. That adds 20F to my 1lb down bag.Apr 29, 2008 at 10:43 am #1430709
Brett, what's wool 1? I thought Patagonia's lightest wool layer was called wool 2.
Mark, I think a simple wool or synthetic base layer is all that's needed for sleeping. I usually use the shirt I'm wearing througout the day for my upper body, plus perhaps another layer, and bring Underarmour base 1.0 bottoms or Smartwool midweight tights for my legs. The few times I used that Skaha Plus I sold you, I discovered how great it is to wear an insulated jacket as a sleeping layer, so maybe give that a try too on trips that are cold enough, even in a mummy bag I found some definite comfort advantages to wearing a jacket at night. Also, like Brett said, UL is multiuse. I generally wear my sleeping layer on my legs, then wear my Goretex rain pants over that. I don't think it's so much of a vapor barrier, like some say, as it is, just a wind barrier–it stops heat loss from my legs through convection.
I haven't used the new UL merino clothing that BPL sells, but that looks like the ideal sleeping layer–wool and very light. A problem I sometimes have on very cold nights is that I'll be too warm when I go to bed, overheat after I fall asleep and sweat, then wake up later because my synthetic clothing is flash freezing me. Wool regulates moisture much more comfortably than synthetics so I try to bring as much as I can, but on trips where I only use a base layer for sleeping, the wool shirts I have can be a heavy option.Apr 29, 2008 at 10:56 am #1430712
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I dedicate a set of long-sleeves upper and lower for sleep wear. A silk-weight set weighs 7 ounces total. While that is added weight, I think it's more than worth it. Sleeping in clean and dry base layer will keep you warmer and also keep your bag cleaner. In contrast, sleeping in the same clothes that you hiked in will introduce more body oils, sweat and grime — and compromise the ability of both clothing and bag to keeping you warm.
I choose the bag to match the expected nighttime lows — and use my insulation clothing as "insurance". Weather forcasts can be notoriously inaccurate.Apr 29, 2008 at 11:30 am #1430719
Ben, that's sort of my thinking. I don't want to don my sweaty day shirt to sleep in, esp. against my skin.
Last night i tried out my setuo in the backyard as it got down to 28 degrees (bizarre weather!). I WAS using, trying out, the Shaka (thanks again) and the Montbell 90 pad and pillow. I had a very fine silk top under the Shaka and the same on my legs w/ fleece socks.
At about 3 AM i started to feel cold in my body thru the pad and in my head thru the pillow. A little in my legs. So, I'm thinking a little heavier bottoms and a GG 1/8" or 1/4" pad on or under the Montbell pad (which is better?). Also something (?) to cover the pillow. The Shaka was heaven. Also, was in the Golite 40 degree zipperless bag.
Thanks for the help guys.Apr 29, 2008 at 11:43 am #1430721
And then there are some who do sleep in their trail clothes like me (exofficio pant/exofficio long sleeve button down) and simply pull on a windpant and windshirt over the trail clothes to keep the bag clean. I've hiked in the desert to the mountains and it works fine.Apr 29, 2008 at 11:54 am #1430723
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
If you feel the cold permeating up, then the pad is not enough for you. As you probably know, the 1" MontBell pads are for 3-season use. I am very happy with my 1.5" REI Lite Core pad. I have the short version, and I lengthen it by velcroing a blue-foam foot section (which also serves as camp seat and supplementary wind breaker for my stove).
But wait, isn't it an overkill to use a 1.5" pad for the summer? Yes, except that I'm a side sleeper and my hips dig into the ground when I use 1" pads! Sure, I wish I could be comfy with just a blue foam pad, but that's the way it is.
You know, just as extra tall people can never use the very lightest tent… if you sleep very cold, you will just have to allocate a few extra ounces to your sleep system — and maybe knock a few ounces off elsewhere. Also, if your overall pack weight is light enough that you are enjoying the hike and not just thinking about reaching camp… then cutting more ounces and freezing every night make no sense whatsoever.Apr 29, 2008 at 12:35 pm #1430734
I'm not sure that it matters which pad goes on top or bottom, but the evazote pads I have all just "feel" warmer than any of the inflatable pads I have used — with the exception of the Thermarest Prolite 4 I borrowed from a friend once.. that thing is toasty. So anyway, I usually put closed cell foam on top of inflatables.Apr 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm #1430736
@derekoakLocale: North of England
scientifically I am sure the foam on top is right because that reduces edge losses. Heat that gets into your non down filled inflatable will convect out sideways and get lost. foam ontop will stop that.Apr 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm #1430737
@alohatinkLocale: In the Middle of No Where!
GG pad on the bottom-1.2 oz…air core in the middle and another GG pad on top 3.9 oz. Keeps me from slipping and sliding around too:)
Now that I just bought the insulated air pad, I should be able to skip the top pad!
I have never had to put down any seal seam McNett in my tents using this method either, which is nice.Apr 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm #1430738
im sorry, gail, but i dont understand what the sandwich method you use with your pads has to do with keeping water out of a tent…? you say you dont have to seam seal the tent because of this method, but all this method would do is keep you high enough off the water that could still leak inside, it seems, so that you wouldnt get wet while your stuff on the floor of the tent still would… at least that is how i am picturing it. please explain?Apr 29, 2008 at 1:09 pm #1430740
@jeffcadorinLocale: paper beats rock
I believe Gail is referring to painting strips on the floor with the silicone to prevent sliding around. Nothing to do with seam sealing the tent itselfApr 29, 2008 at 1:11 pm #1430741
@alohatinkLocale: In the Middle of No Where!
ooops sorry…yes to prevent sliding around in the tent.
Gotta love communication breakdown of the internet forums.
Or it could be I have just been on the islands too long!Apr 29, 2008 at 2:37 pm #1430761
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
I always carry a light, clean and dry layer to change into at the end of the day. It is not SUL in philosophy by any means, but I'm out to have fun and be comfortable as much as keep my weight down. I like silk, but then again I'm allergic to wool :( I hate synthetics. A silk base layer with added insulated and windproof clothing as required (Skaha Hoody is a must bring item for this) gives me a broad range of comfy sleeping temps.Apr 29, 2008 at 3:26 pm #1430773
The pad thing is a bit off-topic of the thread but the correct usage would be closed-cell pad on top. The idea of the closed cell pad is just like loft in a sleeping bag- not necessarily to keep the cold out so much as to keep heat in. The closed cell pads do a much better job of trapping your body heat next to you than a self inflating or inflatable pad, hence the higher relative R-Values of closed cell foam pads. With an inflatable pad, your body has to heat up any air circulating around inside the pad. That's why the 'insulated' inflatable pads like the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core and Pacific Outdoor Thermo pads glue/laminate the insulation to the top of the pad. Put the closed cell pad on top for maximum performance.Apr 29, 2008 at 3:30 pm #1430775
As for sleeping gear, I often sleep in my trail clothes too. It does get my bag dirtier. For max warmth/weight baselayer, you'll want wool. Which weight of material? That's going to depend on how much warmth you need. As with all things warmth, its a very personal thing. I'd suggest experimenting with a thin wool layer and see how that works for you. Optionally, using silk combined with high-loft insulating pieces (as mentioned by others) might be a good compromise.Apr 29, 2008 at 3:53 pm #1430777
@archnemesisLocale: England, UK
I have an EN rated 2 season bag and a 3 season bag that is also EN rated. That means that the manufacturer's temperature ratings are realistic and comparable.
When I looked at the difference in weight (which is all down) it was less than the 2-season plus a thermal base-layer.
I've no definite sleeping setup but I dislike sleeping in my day gear because sometimes it will be wet, sometimes sweaty and often stinky.
A minimal sleeping setup for me is just a pair of merino wool boxers and some liner socks.
I might add a merino wool T to that.
If I expect to need to wear more than that then I tend to just take the heavier sleeping bag.
This is very much a personal preference thing. I don't wear a lot in bed at home and I prefer to dress in a similar fashion outdoors.
Of course, the transition into the sleeping bag can be 'refreshing'.
At least I know that I have a decent safety margin since a cold-snap can be resolved by wearing my clohtes inside my sleeping bag.
I do have an 80g silk liner but I don't tend to take it – it's 80g….
I'm a cold sleeper by nature – especially at the start of the season. By the end of the season I'll be sleeping in a much lighter bag for the same temperature. Consequently, if it is safe to do so I don't mind feeling a little cold in my bag at the start of the season or on the first few days of a trip – it helps with the adaptation.
The human body is quite good at adapting to temperatures, it's just that we don't often give it the space to adapt…Jul 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm #1762468
@alinaLocale: Toronto, Ontario
I was wondering if there is any sleeping base layer that can protect you from mosquito bites (when you sleep with the bag opened up)? Maybe something that is tightly woven?
I am a mosquito magnet.
Thank you.Jul 24, 2011 at 6:03 am #1762497
I'd try permethrin on your existing clothing and see how that works
if not, something like this might work for youJul 24, 2011 at 7:19 am #1762503
Try a windshirt.
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