- Sep 22, 2017 at 10:39 am #3492552
I am planning on doing a sweater/jacket/pullover as my next MYOG project and am considering PrimaLoft Gold (3 osy) for the insulation but am also considering the 6 osy, too. I am only experienced with ClimaSheild and already have a good amount of 3.6 osy Apex lying around, but want to give PrimaLoft a try unless advised to stick with the 3.6 Apex based on similar performances.
I don’t do many overnighters over winter, but still actively day hike/snowshoe. I am looking for something that candle temps between 36˚ F and perhaps 15˚F; so below freezing but above zero.
I am not looking for CLO charts/spec sheets/my uncle says… any thoughts?Sep 22, 2017 at 10:48 am #3492556
Shoot, forgot you can’t edit first post.
I feel that I create a slightly-above-average body temp while being active, including in during the winter, and can easily sweat underneath even moderately “warm” clothing. I know this is typical for hikers in general, but I feel that I am a little bit more than average. Or maybe I just don’t complain about being cold as much?Sep 22, 2017 at 11:17 am #3492568
I’ve used Primaloft One a little which is the old name for Primaloft Gold
It is a little warmer for the weight than other insulation like Apex. 0.92 clo/oz/yd2 vs 0.82
You have to do more quilting, is it a 3 inch grid? or 6 inches? something like that. As opposed to Apex where you only have to sew around the perimeter.
For the same reason it requires more quilting, it may have a shorter lifetime.
Where there is quilting, the loft of the insulation is zero, so that reduces some of the advantage of the better warmth per weight
To me, it’s not worth the hassle.Sep 22, 2017 at 10:48 pm #3492685
Nick SmolinskeBPL Member
@smoLocale: Rogue Panda Designs
This is a bit of an aside, but I have the same issue where I generate a lot of body heat when active in the cold. I made some fleece arm warmers and they work great for that sort of thing. Like the opposite of a vest. Much better for my body type. My core doesn’t need much insulation while hiking and sometimes it will be sweating at the same time that I’m getting cold arms and numb hands.Sep 22, 2017 at 11:23 pm #3492689
The thicker the insulation [ i:e the heavier] the further apart the quilting can be. But if maximising the warmth value of the garment is the aim then double layer with offset quilting lines works as does layering thinner / lighter Primaloft over APEX in a triple layer construction, but that is a technique for very cold conditions and obviously not UL.
Nick I have a mate with the same problem; he used a windproof layer over some arm warmers made from an old pair of polypro long johns legsSep 22, 2017 at 11:38 pm #3492692
Down to 20 F, I wear WPB jacket, long sleeve base layer, synthetic vest (5 ounces), and down vest (5 ounces).
I don’t like insulated arms, too restrictive.Sep 26, 2017 at 10:14 pm #3493514
Since the plan for the next bag or quilt is to use sewn in baffles, and let the synthetic insulation float much as down would, it would be nice to know which synthetic insulation is the warmest that way. Had planned to use 3M Thinsulate LiteLoft, but understand there are warmer batts available now.Sep 27, 2017 at 1:41 am #3493535
LiteLoft is good for clothing but not for sleeping bags. Not sure I understand what you mean with sewn in baffles and synthetic insulation thoSep 27, 2017 at 7:12 am #3493554
I thought thinsulate was good for gloves. More warmth for the same loft, but you sacrifice warmth per weight. For gloves you don’t care about weight because the surface area is so small they weigh very little regardless, but you want them to be as thin as possible so you can do things with your hands.
For a jacket, you’d want more warmth per weight because the surface area is big enough so weight matters, and if there’s a little more loft it doesn’t matter.Sep 28, 2017 at 4:02 am #3493666
LiteLoft is a very light and puffy batt, and nothing like the Thinsulate used for gloves, booties, etc.
Sewn in baffles are the standard construction for down sleeping bags. I want to find the best synthetic puffy insulation for that construction.Sep 28, 2017 at 5:29 am #3493671
I don’t think it’s possible yet Sam. I think shingling is the closest you will come
Synthetic down perhaps if you can find a source but my experience tells me that Edge stabilisation and APEX gives the best synthetic sleeping bag construction so far.
But that said those old school REI bags that used the triple layer sandwich construction were very very warm and long livedSep 28, 2017 at 8:54 pm #3493756
Google search for Allied Synthetics LOFTECH
Apparently it approaches 600FP down and can be used in baffled constructionsSep 29, 2017 at 4:10 am #3493856
See no reason why a light and puffy synthetic can not function as well as down in compartments using sewn-in baffle construction. Suspect that conventional synthetic constructions are used because they are much cheaper to produce. One way to find out is to try it. Also, the LiteLoft packed away years ago appears to have maintained its loft when checked from time to time.
In checking several suppliers for the Loftech as you suggested, noted that Quest has DWR treated 950 fill down for sale. But would still prefer a synthetic, as even the best DWR wears out eventually, and have doubts about how treated down will function when wet, as can happen no matter how carefully sleepwear is packed, The lightest and best synthetic I’ve found so far is Climashield Apex in a really great bag from Cumulus in Poland. But lighter may be possible with the baffle construction, using 0.5 oz sheer panty hose for the baffles. No MCP cracks please, as occurred when posted about lingerie baffles a while back. And the stretch may produce a baffle that does not have to be tailored to the curved shape of the the bag.
In the meantime, have continued to use a 20 oz Montbell spiral baffle down bag that keeps me much warmer than any of the much heavier synthetic bags used previously. So far no monsoons or tent failure have gotten it wet; but then do not camp in winter, or in tents or tarps that are not double walled, free of condensation, and allow dry entry and exit.
As the BPL forums have shown, many of the new materials are over touted, and do not pan out, especially when someone like Richard Nisley gets around to testing them.Sep 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm #3493902
with baffle construction there’s a little more weight from the fabric for the baffles. Although mainly it’s just a lot of labor to do baffles. Synthetic batts have a slight advantage.
Especially with something with a lot of surface area like a sleeping bag/quilt, you can save a couple ounces with down. And you pay for it by being more susceptible to wtness, and it’s less compressible when packed.Sep 29, 2017 at 4:26 pm #3493919
I have considered doing a synthetic bag/quilt with baffles, largely because in my mind I imagine with would be slightly more compressible. However, I think a reason for why we don’t see this is because with down with channels are built and then down is poured in. For something as wide as a quilt it might prove difficult to get the synthetic strips all the way into the channel. Perhaps you could use a long stick, I dunno. I am thinking, however, it would be a best practice to incase the insulation as you are sewing the baffle[s]. I have done a few MYOG sleeping bags with draft tubes and from my experience it is difficult to get a uniform cut across synthetic fabric. Meaning, the width of any one length can vary by an inch or more at any given point along the length. This might prove to be trivial, I dunno, but I am thinking that because of this it might be necessary to angle the baffles so that there is some overlap.
I think that I am going to try this with my project mentioned in the OP; build two jackets with one having sewn-through baffles and one having true baffled channels.Sep 29, 2017 at 4:40 pm #3493925
I think if you put strips in the baffles you would have air gaps.
I think there’s loose synthetic insulation. It’s an extra manufacturing step to turn it into battsSep 29, 2017 at 5:32 pm #3493936
You can buy “loose” synthetic fill at just about any hobby/craft store and at Wal-Mart, but this stuff seems heavy by comparison to Climashield and PrimaLoft unless you can spread it out thin enough. I have also yet to hear anyone using this stuff for MYOG, and I have looked. It would certainly be cheaper. You might be able to find better quality elsewhere…
edit to add:
Yeah, I know there will be air pockets, which may decrease thermal efficiency, but I am not worried about it much. I prefer a little draft, anyways. I am sure someone has done this before but this is one of those things where most people will shy away from attempting based solely on perceived notions. I’m willing to waste my own money and time to experiment here for prosperity.
Sep 29, 2017 at 6:48 pm #3493956
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Sam C.
Just did a quick experiment comparing sewn-through with baffle/channels; used 3.6 Apex and a width of 6″ between baffles. Both crumbled at the stitch sites as expected, and I imagine this will allow either style to be a little more compressible than a continuous, non-quilted, style would. With the channeled baffles, I cut the strips of Apex 1/2″ larger to help the strip press on the baffle walls top and bottom. Anyways, certainly doable.Sep 30, 2017 at 3:34 am #3494032
So the difference in weight between the Cumulus 30 degree Climashield Apex bag and the spiral Montbell 30 degree down bag is just about 8 oz, a half pound. That’s more than a couple ounces.
Would be very surprised if synthetic insulation sold at Walmart etc. were at all comparable with PrimaLoft or Climashield products, especially in terms of insulation per weight. Know we live in the age of fake everything, but that does not mean EVERYTHING is junk dressed up and marketed to be special.
The problem with sewn in synthetic insulation, including shingle construction, is that each seam compresses the batts, creating spots, or strips actually, where body heat dissipates. I know Richard has done some good research showing compressed insulation can hold its effectiveness; however, compressing a batt to practically zero thickness all along a seam has got to mean a colder bag, IMO.
So remain interested in trying baffles with the best synthetic batts in order to reduce weight without losing much heat retention.Oct 2, 2017 at 1:51 am #3494318
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I certainly hope that the newest iterations of PrimaLoft have a much better resistance to loss of loft from compression than my original PrimaLoft insulated Caribou Mountaineering summer bag had. It was FLAT at the end of the 1st summer.
And yes, I do keep my bag stored hanging in the basement, not even in the big storage bag that came with it..Oct 2, 2017 at 2:24 am #3494330
when you put it in your pack, did you tightly compress it, or loose?
maybe tightly compressing in your pack would cause it to have a shorter lifetimeOct 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm #3494428
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I packed my PrimaLoft bag in the stuff sack that came with it so I’d say it was fairly tightly compressed. Later I had a bag of Polarguard 3D insulation which did not lose its loft nearly as much over several years. And, unlike the PrimaLoft bag, I used a compression sack with it every time. It lost maybe 20% of its loft and I still have that bag. It’s a -5 F. bag that I’ve used from late fall through April in the north eastern US. Yeah, Polarguard 3 D was known for being heavier and difficult to compress due to the hollow fibers being triangular in cross section. But it is warm.
Climashield is the current synthetic insulation champ for retaining loft. But it does not have the higher CLO value of some PrimaLoft insulations. So, does PrimaLoft NOW maintain its loft much better than gen.1 PrimaLoft? I certainly hope so.Oct 2, 2017 at 7:28 pm #3494440
To make things more complicated there are a number of versions of Primaloft. Gold is higher warmth for the weight. Silver is more like Climashield Apex…
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