- Dec 11, 2019 at 1:18 pm #3622362Matt WBPL Member
Almost have all my gear rounded up and acquired for winter backpacking here in WI! One thing i still need to get is a balaclava primarily for sleeping but also in case things get chilly while hanging around camp. Any reccomendations on brands or styles? Temps range throughout the day/night will likely be -5 to 20 degrees F.Dec 11, 2019 at 2:04 pm #3622364Renais ABPL Member
I’ve used a Nunatak balaclava for many hundreds of nights. (I estimate it has almost 800 nights of use now.) It accompanied me on the entirety of two AT thru hikes, as well as several other long trips. I had the balaclava made a little bigger than standard since my head is a little larger than standard. It has been one of the best items of equipment in my packing list. Not only is it warm during the night, it also cuts almost all the noise out if sleeping in a shelter. I’ve almost worn out this wonderful item; I really should look into buying another. I believe I had a little extra down put in the balaclava when I bought it. The folks at Nunatak were a real joy to work with; I’ve regularly recommended them.
RenaisDec 12, 2019 at 6:44 am #3622476Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Another option is Downworks Balaclava. I have used one since 2006… no idea how many nights. Doesn’t allow you to open the neck like the Nunatak, but I think it “tucks into” jackets or quilts a bit better. Only downside is that my wife says it make me look like a tele tubby.
Comparison between Nunatak and Downworks from several years ago
and some pics https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/25197/Dec 12, 2019 at 10:54 am #3622488David PBPL Member
Mountain laurel Designs- essential for me below 10 degrees into the negative teens at night.Dec 19, 2019 at 3:26 am #3623392Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
For several years I’ve carried a light fleece Serius brand balaclava for sleeping and for very cold, windy winter days under a hat. I keep it in the top lid compartment of my winter backpack for fast access but it’s small enough keep in a parka pocket as well.
You are smart to wear a balaclava for sleeping because you know it’s nearly impossible to keep your head inside your bag’s hood all night.Dec 19, 2019 at 5:36 am #3623446KarenBPL Member
I have two balaclavas, and take both when it’s really cold. I have a fleece one for high wind, and rarely for nighttime use, and a very lightweight poly one that dries more quickly and is easy to tuck into a pocket. I take that poly one even on summer trips, because it weighs nothing and can be used as a hat or full cover. I probably use that the way some people use a buff. In winter I can use the lighter one when moving, and the sweat dries off within a few minutes.
The fleece is Turtle Fur, and the poly is Patagonia, both purchased 10+ years ago and still doing fine.Dec 19, 2019 at 7:35 pm #3623511
My current fave is an Icebreaker merino balaclava. (Incidentally named after the Battle of Balaclava—Crimean War—and then called Uhlan caps—renamed balaclavas after the battle).
Here’s a pic of the thing in action—Dec 19, 2019 at 8:19 pm #3623519Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Walter, that is one serious Hilleberg tent you have there.Dec 19, 2019 at 10:04 pm #3623530
The perfect solo backpacking tent? Probably not. But I like it.Dec 20, 2019 at 1:55 am #3623580MJ HBPL Member
Incidentally named after the Battle of Balaclava
That’s why the best Balaclava recommendation is “Don’t send unsupported cavalry against artillery.”Dec 20, 2019 at 4:21 am #3623597
And the second best Balaclava recommendation is “Keep your heads warm, boys!!”
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