Apr 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm #1301557
I've posted about closed cell foam clothing before but I'm posting again just to show you my latest shape for upper body coverage. Photos first.
Features/Specs (in no particular order)
(1) The garment shown is made from 2 flat pieces of 1/8" underlayment closed cell foam taped together along the top except for the head hole opening.
(2) It is about 3' wide at the shoulders and 2' wide at the bottom and each piece is about 3' long from top to bottom.
(3) All edges are taped to reduce tearing.
(4) Garment weighs less than 5 ounces (foam plus tape).
(5 Garment is multi-use and also serves as part of my sleeping pad.
(5) Garment replaces my raincoat, an insulating layer and a rain skirt so I figure the net weight savings at something like 1.5 pounds.
(6) This garment insulates even when wet.
(7) It is really easy to make and cheap. We are talking a few minutes and a few dollars.
(8) Wind breaker goes over everything and keeps things in place. Garment conforms to my body somewhat as I wear it and heat up.
(9) If I get too warm I can easily vent things quickly by opening front zipper of wind breaker.
(10) I've been using various foam garments for backpacking for several years.
(11) This particular design has only been tested working in the yard over the last couple of weeks with good rain, some wind and low temps around 40F.
(12) This is a fragile garment. Thicker, tougher foam and/or fabric backing would be more durable. It is fairly well protected inside the windbreaker so my own bodily movements are its greatest threat.
(13) I sweat more than average so I'm always damp/wet. Closed cell foam is the lightest way for me to keep reliably warm . It may not work or be of value to you.Apr 10, 2013 at 8:34 pm #1975143
Daryl, i like the thinking outside the box, and it sounds like it works great for you. Certainly cuts down a lot of weight and expense.
Have you ever tried working with the micro-perforated "breathable" foams? If so, how did that go, was there any noticeable difference, or not really?Apr 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm #1975147
@azajacLocale: South West
Daryl, I always enjoy how you think outside of the box. Have you ever tried this same idea with neoprene? It should be tougher and the stretch will be nice.Apr 11, 2013 at 7:26 am #1975270
Yes, I've tried neoprene. I bought a hooded coat made of thin neoprene. It is used by scuba folks as a warm up coat while out of the water.
It works fine and, like you say, is very durable but neoprene is heavy. It weighs about 3.5 lbs and negates all the weight savings.Apr 11, 2013 at 7:36 am #1975275
I've tried Insultex. Is that what you are referring to? I didn't think much of it. Here's a link to a previous post on the subject:
I use perforated neoprene booties on my feet. They work well but the material is too heavy for a larger garment.
The vest I've shown in this post fits loosely and hangs between the windbreaker and my body. Warm wet air can escape under the arms and up the neck hole so things don't get as wet as you might think.
DarylApr 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm #1975411
Hi Daryl, yes i believe that is what i was referring too. I couldn't remember the name of it. Too bad it didn't work better. I wonder if there is other stuff besides it though.
I kind of see what you mean. I like trying various different systems, just as when i have time, i often have several books going at once. So who knows, maybe in the future i will try out the foam system too–at least a vest like the one in this thread. I would have to be in some serious cold and/or rain to hike in anything significantly warm, breathable or not. Do you still bring puffy insulation for camp and sleep, etc?Apr 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm #1975492
"Do you still bring puffy insulation for camp and sleep, etc?"
Not usually. A 1.5 pound closed cell float coat has replaced my puffy insulation (typically a fiber filled coat), my rain jacket and a portion of my sleeping pad.
The garment in this thread and some of my other experiments are aimed at making something that will reliably replace the float coat at a lower weight.Apr 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm #1975502
Ah, i see.Apr 12, 2013 at 5:39 am #1975690
Michael RayBPL Member
My experience with using that underlayment foam is that it really is pretty fragile. While it's nowhere near as cheap and not quite as large, you might play with a 40×76 piece of 3/16" foam from Oware for $32. It's quite flexible and more tear resistant (and very warm for the thickness). Just a thought.Apr 12, 2013 at 7:21 am #1975721
Kevin BeedenBPL Member
Agree that underlay foam for laminate flooring is feeble stuff.
Packing sheet foam is more robust; stuff like JiffyFoam, for instance. I use bits of pink anti-static aerated polythene packing sheet for sit mats, and my current piece has been going many years. If has a more robust surface layer than underlay foam.Apr 12, 2013 at 8:23 am #1975739
Michael and Kevin,
Thanks for the foam tips. I'll check them out.
DarylApr 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm #1975898
Michael and Kevin,
I checked out the two foams you recommended and both have properties that could help me in my quest.
I have some foam that is similar to each and I have another dozen or so types (hundreds of square feet) that I haven't tried yet. So, for now, I better hold off on future purchases. I'll keep these in my hopper for future use if needed.
Thanks for the tips.
DarylApr 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm #1975940
have you tried sewing inserts for the pad to go into? might help the durability? but would add weight.Apr 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm #1975979
Bogs and BergsMember
I'm sure you've seen/tried this, but — the underlay foam that has a mylar sheet bonded on one side?
I've successfully made a winter sitpad/tent floor R-booster out of this stuff. The mylar seems to improve the durability of the foam as well as the warmth. You've inspired me, Daryl, I'm now considering a vest, maybe with a velcro tab closure…hmm, pretty lightweight bit of just-in-case gear, for sure. I've even got some adhesive aluminum tape lying around to hold the thing together. Then I could leave the signalling mirror home, too, just wear it shiny side out and start dancing… :)Apr 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm #1976055
Yes I've tried the insert route and it can work but it turns into kind of a hassle. I want something that can go on and off easily.
Fully enclosing the garment shown in this thread would require about 2 yards of material so I could do it under 2 ounces. Nylon enclosed garments slip off and on easily so there is an advantage in addition to durability.
Part of the reason I've worked toward a simple design is to allow the easy addition of an inner and outer skin (e.g. lightweight nylon).Apr 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm #1976058
Bogs and Bergs,
I have tried something similar to what you describe. Here's a photo of one:
Once enclosed in my windbreaker it looks like this:
The mylar/plastic covering really helps with rip reduction. It eventually delaminates but so what? Make another. By the way, in case you are interested, I peeled off and weighed the plastic/mylar covering. It adds about 1 ounce per square yard to the garment shown in the photo.
I like this particular foam because it is blue and goes with my eyes.Apr 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm #1976064
Almost every prototype I have made works to one degree or another.
If one can multiple-use this foam item as a sleeping pad and you are already carrying a windbreaker then the net weight of the item is zero.
If you can get it to work for you and you test it sufficiently before taking risks with it you may be able to substitute it for:
(1) an insulating clothing layer and or
(2) a raincoat and or
(3) a rain apron and or
(4) a sit pad
Weight savings depends on what you use now and how you use the foam item.
Or, as Bogs and Bergs suggested, you can use it to supplement your existing gear.
My wife and I were backpacking 10-15 years ago, for example. A heavy cold wet slushy snow started falling. I quickly added a head hole to the blue foam she was carrying and slipped it under her raincoat. It prevented her from losing body heat to the chilling snow.
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