Nov 17, 2011 at 9:06 am #1282093
diego deanBPL Member
Dont know if this has been discussed here or not. A good alternative to down? What do you think?Nov 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm #1802908
I am not sure if it is a problem at my end but the link you provided does not work for me…Nov 18, 2011 at 8:48 am #1803074
Link .BPL Member
@annapurnaMar 8, 2014 at 5:51 am #2080790
Thomas DeanBPL Member
@tomdeangwi-netLocale: Four Corners
Has anyone used a Thermoball hooded jacket? I hike in the high desert and southern San Juan Mountains quite a bit. If rain comes it usually lasts a few (violent) minutes. If there was an insulated jacket that stayed reasonably warm and dried quickly, it would spare me carrying a rain layer.
I saw a review of Thermoball online somewhere, and the poster said he had drenched a Thermoball jacket and hiked unto high elevation. He reported that the wet jacket dried quickly and maintained insulation the whole time. That's just what I'm after. Does anyone have experience with this?Mar 8, 2014 at 9:48 am #2080842
I don't know. While I would take a synthetic insulation layer instead of down on a wet hiking trip, I would sure not want to rely on that as a rain jacket. For one thing, the DWR finish is the only protection against rain and that is only going to provide limited protection before you get soaked through. And, while the synthetic puffy may still provide some insulation when soaked, it sure is going to be a miserable piece of clothing to wear for as long as it is wet.
I think the best way to look at synthetic insulation layers is that they are an alternative to a fleece. Usually a little lighter and offering a bit of wind/drizzle/snow protection. However, the one I have is too hot to wear while actually hiking, even in the winter or while snow shoeing. The last time I tried, I soaked the thing with sweat. PowerStrech fleece would have worked better that day, because it's more air permeable.Mar 8, 2014 at 11:53 am #2080872
Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
"That's just what I'm after."
I've thought about making a jacket with Styrofoam beads (think bean bag chair) but it looked like too much sewing for me.
I'm hoping this thermoball idea works out.Mar 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm #2080889
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Hey Daryl. There is a floor underlayment that's styro balls glued to a sheet of plastic.Mar 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm #2080906
Daryl and DarylBPL Member
@lyrad1Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Thanks for the reminder. I now recall that from your other post. Will have to take a closer look at that stuff.Mar 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm #2080928Mar 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm #2080930
polartec alpha is significantly less insulating than your standard insulation
think of it as a fleece (its based on the thermal pro fleece) with an element resistant shell on top …
i suspect that for static insulation use it may not be the "optimum" choice
;)Mar 8, 2014 at 3:40 pm #2080932
I thought about some type of plastic beads, too, when I first read about the thermoball. The main downside, I think, would be low compressibility, and depending on bead size, breathability. If one didn't mind non-compressibilty, I think this could work.
The actual technology is compressible, but how well will it recover from compression?
Bill S.Mar 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm #2080935Mar 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm #2080936
for the same weight im willing to be that the alpha has a much lower CLO value … which is what polartec and westcombs chart above show
i mean if all we wanted was "warmth" we could just wear heavy fleece … its "warmth" per weight
;)Mar 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm #2080941
Steve KBPL Member
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
I have been playing with both 80g Alpha and the Thermoball jacket.
Alpha is great for situations when you want to be warm but may also sweat a lot. Excellent for stop and go and dries faster and retains less moisture than standard Primaloft gear. Basically, exactly as advertised. Not as warm, but good for those who sweat. Outstanding for climbing ice or in shoulder season.
Thermoball jacket is very nice. Fabric is gossamer thin, so I am not going to rub it on rocks. It's an interesting piece from a lightweight standpoint. It is unlined unlike the Nano Puff that people usually compare it to, so less "wasted" fabric. The quilting makes it pretty chilly in windy weather, but it is nice and warm under a wind proof. The comfortable temperature range for this jacket is pretty wide because of this. Finally, it does warm and release moisture faster than Nano Puff. I have noticed some Thermoball escaping the quilting. I'll be testing this jacket through the spring.Mar 8, 2014 at 4:12 pm #2080942Mar 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm #2080944
the chart comes from the westcomb fall 2013 catalog … the numbers are from polartec themselves
they give it as "* Warmth: clo test using ASTM F1868-09 "
i dont have access to the actual standard but you can purchase them here
remember that just because primaloft expresses it in one measurement metric doesnt mean every other company does as well
basically polartec THEMSELVES is saying that the alpha is NOT as warm per weight as normal synthetic insulation
nor should it be … its meant for people on the move … and its based off their thermal pro high loft FLEECE
if you want im sure you can ask polartec themslves if their alpha is as warm as say primaloft
;)Mar 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm #2080946Mar 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm #2080950
FWIW, the dry time value also differs from what Polartec publishes under their own site.
shall you or i send an email to polartec asking if the chart i posted is correct?
are we REALLY arguing that a chart in the westcomb 2013 retailer catalog with polartecs own numbers and charts are incorrect???
one way or the other the FACT remains that the alpha insulation is significantly less insulating than say primaloft … according to polartec themselves
slow rainy day
;)Mar 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm #2081156
Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
Just to say that that chart is not from Westcomb but is also published by others.
And the clo/oz for the first available Alpha was, I think, around 0,37 but Polartec said once that it would be available in both a range of weights ànd clo's.Mar 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm #2081199Mar 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm #2081212
Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
>>>>No matter who published the chart, it shows the competitor "market leading synthetic insulation" to have a clo of 2.12. This is HIGHER than 800FP down and more than 2x higher than what was previously thought to be the market leader, Primaloft One with a clo of 0.92.
If that spec is correct, we need to find out what this new insulation is!>>>>>
I also found that a bit weird. However, good on them for admitting that their warmth for weight is somehow inferior.
I can definitely see a use for this kind of synthetic if it is indeed very durable and breathable. A hard wearing vest for cold, wet, rough and tough conditions (hard bushwalking in Tasmania especially heading towards autumn, winter, spring) would be good.Mar 9, 2014 at 7:53 pm #2081247
No matter who published the chart, it shows the competitor "market leading synthetic insulation" to have a clo of 2.12. This is HIGHER than 800FP down and more than 2x higher than what was previously thought to be the market leader, Primaloft One with a clo of 0.92.
If that spec is correct, we need to find out what this new insulation is!
No matter at the end of the day, it is the design, construction and fit of the garment that determines its utility. Shell fabrics and insulators are of secondary importance though sometimes that's what we seem to focus on.
oh come on now rick …
you dont even know what the listed standard ASTM F1868-09 is denominated to … ever consider that primaloft uses clo/oz/yd2 … and that polartec might use a DIFFERENT metric ???? … you just assume the mesurement sample standards are the same as what primaloft quotes in their MARKETING literature
what if i told you that one of the best insulations is rated at 0.027 clo … i bet you would rush off to say it "sucks" … but thats what PL1 is rated at depending on how you measure it
if you want well simply send off an email to westcomb and polartec asking for clarification … instead of you having to be "proven right"
No matter what, when we spend $$$$$ on a synthetic insulation piece we are looking for something that meets our needs … if you are looking for something to wear while active/semiactive most the time the perhaps polartec alpha is what youre looking for
but for a more static insulation use, it insulates significantly less per weight than your normal top of the line synthetics
i mean if the "warmth" per weight doesnt matter … we should go back to polarguard 3d … and 500 fill down … after all "Shell fabrics and insulators are of secondary importance"
BTW … here is the polartecs OWN material … i doubt they are saying their garment is LESS insulating if it werent … if it were as warm as say PL1, they would be screaming it to the top of the mountains =P
;)Mar 10, 2014 at 4:05 am #2081332
Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
Euh, that leading competitor is P1 and that 2,12 is the (i)clo for a garment and corresponds to 0,92 clo/oz for a weight of ± 2,3 oz/yd2 (80 grams/m2).Mar 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm #2081921
Barry PBPL Member
@barrypLocale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
“A good alternative to down? What do you think?”
I’ve been wondering about this since I started wearing it 5 months ago. Mine is a medium and weighs 14oz. My Montbell Action Thermawrap (size M) weighs <10oz.
I have found my thermawrap keeps me warmer. And the thermawrap packs smaller. But the Thermoball looks nicer and so I’ve been wearing that around town and reserving my Thermawrap for biking and backpacking.
In terms of weight, packability, and warmth, both out due midweight fleece.
In the end, I would not buy Thermoball again knowing there is lighter and warmer synthetics out there.
But some more pluses for the NF thermoball: It has the best zipper of all my coats (WM, Montbell, and Marmot).
Have fun experimenting,
-The mountains were made for Tevas
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