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  • #3759027
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I have a Alpha 90 hoody and Dooy wind shirt. That is indeed warm with a peloton 97 base layer, but if the wind is blowing and it’s damp I think I would want more insulation.

    Stephen’s testing shows the Proton FL at R1.0 and dual layer alpha 60 was R0.7. Should I just get a slightly looser alpha fleece and have 3 layers of alpha? Is that too many? Lol.

    #3758981
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I believe DWR is made less effective by Oils. DWR works by repelling the water due to an electrical charge. from what I understand, oil does not share this same charged property and thus is not repelled by DWR.

    My guess is you need oil impermeable clothing, which I think would mean non-breathable like silpoly or silnylon. Even then, I would not trust that without testing at home (with canola oil maybe?). Even then, I would probably just use 55 gallon contractor strength trash bags or something similar.

    My buddy got a horrible case of poison oak after the oils penetrated his long sleeve shirt. After seeing that, I would not chance oils penetrating any outerwear and would personally choose a mile of clammy discomfort over any chance the oils penetrate.

    Having a tube of Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash may be worth while as well. If you wash it off quickly, I hear the oils have much less effect.

    Good luck!

    #3758825
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    Ah, bummer, ok. I’ll let things heal naturally then.

    I’ve been meaning to get some signs made, but reference the police and forest service instead of LNT. The delinquents who frequent this area don’t care about rules. But I have been rather successful scrubbing grafitti and cleaning trash to the point the condition of ~1.5 miles of mountian stream has substantially improved. The tree carvings are one of the last traces of hooliganalery I’d love to erase but apparently isn’t in the cards.

    #3757086
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    Could this be scaled to fit a 185-190cm person? I am not familiar with Sketchup’s capabilities.

    Excellent work!

    #3756973
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I have both the peloton 97 and macpac nitro which is alpha 90.

    The peloton in medium is 5oz on the dot. Nitro is about 5.6oz.

    The nitro is much warmer than the peloton assuming no wind or wearing a wind shell. This jives with Stephen’s articles, which find that fleece warmth is directly proportional go loft. The alpha 90 had 2-3x more loft than the P97. The P97 fabric is probably like 1-1.5mm thick while the Alpha 90 is closer to 3-4mm.

    Both the P97 and Nitro make a comfortable base or mid layer. Most often though, I end up using the P97 as a cold weather base layer or sleep shirt, while the Nitro is better suited as an active mid layer.

    The nitro does better as a mid layer because Alpha vents much more effectively and thus opening up a wind shell can remove nearly all Alphas insulation. The P97s woven fabric is better at blocking wind and thus cannot be vented as effectively.

    The durability of the P97 seems pretty good. I have not snagged or torn it or had issues with stickers getting stuck in it. Without doubt it is less prone to snag or attract stickers.

    Overall I don’t think P97 is a direct replacement for Alpha. They are similar and I like both. Alpha excels at venting and stop and go activity. P97 is better as a base layer, more durable, less prone to damage, but also thinner and less warm

    #3756949
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I have an alpha 90 fleece.

    I find the major issues come from it touching velcro or the ground. God help you if you get a bunch of prickly things in it. It is best to keep it as debris free as possible. Avoid the ground and all stickers.  Hook side Velcro also sticks to it like glue and is a pain to remove and may damage it.

    Branches are an issue too. I would not bushwhack with my alpha as an outer layer.

    It’s not real fabric, it’s mesh with puff balls. It’s also magic and great active insulation

    #3756667
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    Good point Wisner – cancer.

    even sunblock will only stop UVA and UVB rays, but UVC spectrum still penetrates and is the band that causes skin aging (wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and the leathery look). So even if you apply sunblock religiously and dont get cancer, your skin will still look aged if exposed to direct sun. This is the primary reason use near 100% physical barrier (clothing) for my sun block

    #3756662
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I exclusively hike in long sleeves long pants. 100% of the time regardless of heat. But some smart choices can make this comfortable –

    1. If you’re wearing pants, they MUST be vented. a single vent per leg is ok like the RR Ecomesh https://www.railriders.com/men-eco-mesh-pant-with-insect-shield-p-837.html These are the best overall pants for relatively-cold to relatively-hot weather (like 30-85* approximately).

    If the nights wont get below the 50’s and daytime highs are >high 80’s I switch to the RR Bone Flats pants – the greatest hot weather hiking pants ever (after you treat them with permethrin) https://www.railriders.com/men-bone-flats-pants-p-992.html  The dual leg vents on the BF pants makes them as cool as shorts IME. They are loose and billow-y, so each step pumps some air through them. Also if there is any wind the double vents on each leg let wind blow through them freely similar to shorts. Choose the lightest color. They show dirt quickly and the mesh wont hold up to thorny brambles very well, but they are Awesome for hot weather. I really cant say enough good things about the bone flats pants in hot hot weather.

    Without mesh vents even the lightest weight pants are miserable IME.

    Similarly, I hike in a 50/50 Merino/Poly 120gsm shirt from Icebreaker. The entire back panel has the knit holes in it and is quite airy. The 1/4 zip helps too. It isnt as cool as a UL 100% poly shirt, but poly smells so quickly I cant stand it on a multi day hike. Again, choose a very light color like off white or light gray.

    Last, the sun umbrella is GOD in exposed hot weather (from Zpacks, GG, SMD, and others). I have done multiple tests and depending on the intensity of the sun and surrounding vegitation, the temp difference under the umbrella vs full sun is 15-35*. For example, 2 weeks ago I was hiking in the lockwood valley of southern california – full desert essentially. Shade temp under my umbrella was ~95*. After 20 mins in the sun my thermometer said 130* and I believe it.

    If you hold the umbrella in a perfect line between you and the sun, I can shade 70-90% of my body (including most of my legs). The difference of the umbrella is incredible. Yes most people consider holding the umbrella annoying, but I consider being SOAKED in sweat, sticky, and miserable the worse option. Also since my sweat load is reduced by >50% from the umbrella, I can carry less water and be comfortable.

    So if you’re going long sleeve & pants –

    1. Light colored pants with 2 or 4 vents is mandatory for comfort

    2. A light colored LS shirt is critical. 100% poly or Poly-Merino blend is recommended. Knit holes in the fabric help a lot. A 1/4 zip helps a lot.

    3. Portable shade from an umbrella makes your life 15-40* cooler and pays for itself via less water requirement and increased overall comfort. The only time I miss my 2nd pole is doing steep descent, but in that case I usually put away the umbrella and suffer in the heat for a little while to save my knees

    #3756580
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    A regulator only sets a maximum discharge pressure. If the canister pressure falls below that set point on the regulator, then it is not actually regulating anything, which could possibly happen if your canister is very cold.

    Unregulated stoves can output too much gas (energy) for the target (water in a pot) to absorb per unit of time, but that is also true of a regulated stove, it’s just easier to do on an unregulated stove. Like the BRS (which sounds like a jet engine when turned up too high)

    The Soto Windmaster (a regulated stove) was praised as the best designed stove by stove guru Jon fong. The main benefit is the integrated wind shield on the burner head, plus the short distance between head and pot. If I remember it was like .200″. Although the MSR PR2 has a nearly identical burner shape, the gap is closer to .300 or more.

    The result per Jon’s tests is that the Soto Windmaster is the only stove to boil water in his 8mph wind test. The MSR would heat but not rolling boil. The Reactor was the only other stove to achelieve this, but the Reactor is a radiant type burner.

    IMO there is no reason to look at other stoves besides the windmaster. It has everything you want and nothing you don’t. At most you save 1.8oz with a BRS but that weight is negated by lower fuel efficiency and a need for a wind shield in a measly 2mph wind.

    #3756445
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    In that case go with the alpha pants from Farpointe or Timmermade (1×90 or 2×60 gsm. Personally I would do the 2×60) that will be 5-6oz, then if you still need more warmth consider the Torrid Apex pants. That’s quite a bit of versatile leg warmth for ~12oz.

    I have the same MB pants Lowell linked and they are great, but on a wet mountain with stop and go movement I think the EE Torrid pants would be a better choice for their improved moisture tolerance. Also the MB pants are too warm with much of any movement unless its very cold (think single digits)

    #3756407
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I just pulled them out to check for you –

    They are (in my subjective opinion) rather strechy. I pulled on them and was able to easily get 1-2″ strech with a moderate tug. since this is a base layer, if you’re right on the size border I personally would size down so its tight.

    2nd, I pulled out my .01 oz scale and reweighed my size medium pair:  4.7oz or 131g. My spreadsheet said 128g so I’ve added 3g sweat and funk to them apparently :)  I have a 33-34″ waist for reference and the medium fits well, other than the short inseam (30″ would be better IMO)

    I asked Kuiu customer service to make a zipper-less pair. That would probably be like 3oz, no? Everyone, please email them and ask them to make zipperless Peloton 97 bottoms with a long inseam for us! I have both the top and bottom and both are some of my favorite gear for cool-cold weather

    Also consider the EE apex pants https://enlightenedequipment.com/mens-torrid-pants/

    Personally I would ask them to make a custom 4oz apex version.  those are a strong contender if you want synthetic.

    #3756399
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I have the Peloton 97 pants as well as Montbell ExLight Down Pants for my lower half insulation. I like leg insulation below 40 because my typical trip is hike a long day, chill for a couple days, hike a long day out. When you’re putzing around camp or just doing a day hike, a lower layer is very nice in sub-40 temps (to me at least).

    I normally use the peloton 97 bottoms as sleep pants, as they only weigh like 4.5oz which is less than a 150 merino layer and dirty clothes/skin never touches my quilts. They are good down to around 35-40* static and low 20’s while moving. I wear them with boxers, but otherwise next to skin.  The zip off ability is awesome. On cold mornings I’ll start the hike with them on. After I warm up I’ll stop for 20 seconds, drop the pants, zip off the Peloton’s, stuff in mesh pocket, pants up, keep going nice and warm. One thing to note is they are cut rather short (like 28″ inseam for a medium) because they are cut with high top socks/boots in mind. I need high top socks to prevent skin being exposed.

    When its around freezing and I’m static, if I’m standing around my legs are generally ok in the Pelotons. But if there is a cold wind or it gets much below freezing, I throw on the ExLight down pants (3oz fill, 7oz total). I have not found their lower limit, but its below 20. Its sooooo nice to have toasty warm legs at camp. In addition to general lower half comfort, I find the pants add 5-10 degrees to the puffy comfort temp. I can get away with my Cumulus Primelite slightly below freezing with the down pants, but consider freezing the Primelite’s lower temp without down pants.

    My go-to setup for 25 degree temps while static is – Peloton pants (worn as base layer) 4.5oz, Montbell Exlight Pants (7oz), Regular hiking pants (mostly worn just for pockets and to protect the MB’s. THe pants are kinda baggy so do not impede lofting, weight not counted as they are my primary outerwear). On my top I wear a 120 merino/poly base layer (4.5oz), Macpac Nitro (Alpha 90) 5oz, Plasma 1000 parka 9oz, lightweight hat (1.5oz), and a Peloton97 buff (1oz) if its windy.

    I am a night owl and refuse to go to bed for warmth, thus an adequate puffy and down pants make the evenings much more enjoyable in the cold season. That setup makes me the last man standing in my group after the others retreat to bed to find warmth.

    My feet are slightly cold at 25*, but I havent found a light/modular solution for them. I am thinking down socks with no bottom that drape over my shoes (trail runners).

    That all adds up to 2lb of wearable insulation, but ~12oz of that is my sleep clothes (which I consider mandatory), so I have ~20oz of additional insulation between the ExLight pants, P1K parka, and Nitro. I think that setup could easily get you into the low teens if you add a shell over the P1k and lower if you are cold-hardy. (I used to be, but am now a total SoCal cold-wuss acclimated to 80-90deg who gets cold at 65 with a light breeze. lol)

    And although I generally love Kuiu, I do not recommend their (or anyone’s) merino bottoms for leg insulation below 40*, as they are not warm for their weight. Choose either the Peloton97 or ExLight pants or both. (both together are only 2.5oz more than the Merino 200 but are much, much, much warmer).

    I got a pair of Farpointe Alpha 90 pants in 2020 but sold them as they didnt fit well (not articulated, no crotch gusset, high waist). He said he was going to make a more articulated pattern last year so recent ones may be better. If I did this route again, I’d have him make a Double layer Alpha 60 as stephen’s articles show 2×60 alpha is warmer than 1×120.) I think this would work great for me as my normal hiking pants are the RailRiders Ecomesh which have zipable vents down both legs. This would work great with the Alpha as I could effectively vent for comfort when moving, though I would choose different pants if it were 20-30 daytime, vs my normal 20-30 nighttime.

    Also Goosefeet Gear and Western Mountianeering offer down pants with zips. the MB’s dont have a zip, but it would be nice in the morning when its time to take them off. Probably a 1.5-2.5oz weight penalty tho

    #3755529
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    why sewn through baffles are bad
    There may be 2″ of down in the middle, but there is no insulation at the line of stitching. Sewn-thru quilting is not very warm. (But it is cheap.)

    This is my beef. On a close to $600 quilt (assuming there is some shipping or tax) it should be premium to the max in every way. That mean box baffles. They would add 1/2 oz? but would completely eliminate cold spots and improve the lower limit of the quilt.

    The down fill is adequate for the temp rating as you note, but that assumes box baffle. The numerous, long seam lines all have 0 insulation as Rodger says

    #3755517
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    Brad, that’s what I did – returned the 20k and got 2x 10k. This is better IMO anyways because you can select-a-weight/capacity based on trip length.

    The only advantage to the 20k is the ability to 45w charge (which is only relevant to mid sized electronics like an Ipad, and I dont think we’re carrying many ipads in this group)

    #3755516
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I asked HMG yesterday and they confirm this quilt is SEWN THROUGH. $550 for a sewn thru quilt you could make for ~$250. Sheesh. I sleep cold so personally I doubt this would work for me, cost ignored.

    EE 950 FTW.

    #3755470
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I scored Thw last pair of Solomon speedcross 5 Wide in the US from rei back in May.

    Their soles are Spiderman grippy when new. On rough sandstone you can climb 45°+ slopes without hands. Not the greatest longevity, but grippy as hell. Soles are a tad soft for rocky off trail. If I were doing that I’d take some 3mm semi flexible plastic and make a rock plate to put under the insole.

    #3755412
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    This is a joke. Look at the picture of it partially stuffed in the stuff sack below – does it look like sewn though baffles? Looks like it to me. Also appears to be sewn through based on how the footbox seam looks.

    Based on my comparison to Hammock Gear fill weights, it appears the HMG quilt has 130% overstuff. Personally I dont hit comfort rating until at least 150% overstuff or over-height baffles (for example, katabatic or gryphon gear use taller than standard baffles for a given temp rating) .

    Hard pass. Trailheadz is cheaper and better for the same quilt. He quoted me $400 for my 10* dream quilt in 900fp or $500 in 1000fp (but a 10* has approximately 2x the down of a 40*, so still cheaper for a TH quilt with almost a POUND of 1000 fill down.).

    #3755371
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    Jerry, cut it open (even just a tad from each side) and do the water submersion test just like in Downtek’s video.  If it still works it should be obvious which was treated, no? The blind nature of the test just makes it more impartial, lol

     

    #3754469
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    Great real world testing Stephen and BPL. Thanks for your objective 3rd party reporting.

    Stephen, in your subjective opinion, what is your preferred active insulating fabric based on your testing and personal experience?

    I admit it has quirks as a garment, but your tests seem to show Alpha direct as a tough material to beat in moisture transfer and weight:warmth.

    Have you tested  Kuiu’s Peloton 97 fabric? I’d like to see how that stacks up too

    #3754114
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    After using this all winter, I have to say I am very pleased with the Primelite and highly, highly recommend it. Also, I have too many Montbell jackets and nerded out on deciding which to keep or sell by making a spreadsheet to show warmth, weight, cost, and the ratio between them. You can see that the Primelite + Plasma 1000 parka is a killer combo that is comfortable from 55F down to single digits or probably lower if you’re not a cold-wuss like me.

    These 2 jackets are one of the best, most versatile combos in UL jackets in my opinion. The Primelite weighs nothing (~6.5oz in Large) and is good to around freezing in calm-ish, dry-ish weather. It packs to the size of a softball and ensures you’re never cold in 3 season weather. Below that the P1k at 9.1oz (size large) is comfortable to the high teens, probably lower is the rest of your body is properly insulated and again, not a cold wuss like me. (David I can hear your alaskan laugh from here :)

    Put them together and I would think you’re good to single digits or less. I havent had cold enough weather to test this in practice, but can confirm at 24F I was overheating in them both.

    Throw a windshirt or hard shell over them and the wind is eliminated from the equation, and the sewn through construction matters less. Assuming 2.5oz for a UL windshirt you have 6100cuin fill with an exterior wind blocker/sacrificial abrasion/fire layer for 17.6oz total. That warmth:weight ratio is better than the Mirage 7d/box baffle parka. (not quite that simple I realize, but you get the point). For colder climates like Canada, the P1k+Mirage could be a similar colder-combo.

    Cropped for readability –

    Full sheet – Comfort temp assumes some wind, minimal humidity/moisture, and only a light base layer (Peloton97 shirt or 150weight merino blend). And im a cold wuss so the cold hardy can subtract 5-15 degrees from my subjective ratings. Also note once it gets to the high 20’s I typically put on Montbell ExLight Down Pants, which extends the jackets comfort rating substantially.

    Basically thats a long way of saying I think the Cumulus Primelite and Plasma 1000 Parka, combined with some sort of shell, are 2 of the most versatile jackets a UL backpacker can have and provide incredible Warmth to Weight, although their Warmth to Cost is significantly worse than heavier jackets such as anything from Decathalon, the Alpine Light, or REI 850 down jacket 2.0

    I could not resist a Mirage for half price and will review that this winter. Now I need to seek out some mountain peaks to get temps cold enough to test its limits!

    Closing thought – My name is Marcus and I am a Downaholic.

    PS Stephen, if you want to Clo/R test any/all of these, it could make an interesting article

     

    #3754111
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    This video (and the whole 5 part series) from Gear Skeptic lays out excellent examples of why that extra .00001% COULD make a difference, particularly if you are on the trail for a hundred days on a Thru or are drinking very dirty water.

    YouTube video

    I think he shows that something like 3% of hikers will theoretically get ill on a 150 day PCT hike drinking treated water 100% of the time because of the buggers that slip through .0001% of the time. Some cysts (Giardia if I remember right?) only need 1 or 2 to make you sick.

    I dont fret about it, but i do rinse with fresh water a couple-few times per david’s dilution method if a little dirty water contaminates my bottle. Personally I always have time to prevent waterborne illness in the backcountry. Havent been burned…yet.

    #3754110
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    Unfortunately it is your (my) duty to remove this crap. Everything in life has gravity – cleanliness, dirtiness, safety, crime, order, disorder, peace, war, kindness…all has gravity that pulls more of itself together.

    I’ve only seen people litter directly a couple times and confronted them and was a level 10 dick to them. People like this need to know they are not welcome where we (the respectful people) are. Pack your trash out or feel our collective unwelcomeness.

    I have become the caretaker for a 2 mile stretch of stream near my house. in 2020 I removed close to 300 gallons of trash in 5 months. Every weekend I would collect a 13 gallon bag of cans, shirts, shoes, diapers, tampons, fruit, bottles, you name it. 2021 was a little better and I painted over 50 gallons of rock colored paint to cover grafitti.

    Just last week I saw the fruits of my labor – I went on my weekly trash run and there was almost zero trash, AND someone picked up a bunch of broken glass and out it safely on a rock for me to collect! My gravity of cleanliness is starting to attract more of the same from people! This week I collected a small grocery bag of trash including a diaper, but still, since I’ve cleaned the stream religiously the amount of trash has gone down by 80+%, showing that 1 person can make a difference.

    Might not seem like much to carry out 5 beer cans, but it undeniably makes a difference in how other people act.

    #3754097
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I would think the 2 critical functions of a compass are

    1 keep its magnetism such that the needle points North

    2 the needle can freely rotate

    Assuming you don’t compromise those core functions, I would think it’s fine. But as with everything,  less frequent and severe shock is better.  Also watch out for strong magnets

    #3754027
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I have Dutch Shorts in both Argon 90 and Hexon 1.0. They’re great. I bring them as swim shorts / hot spring shorts when modesty is prudent. 1oz is easy to justify.

    I recommend the Hexon as its less sticky when wet and the Argon is semitransparent. Not so much that you can see the goods, but in the right light you might show a shadow

    #3753927
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I’ve never been afraid to trespass a bit, but I’m also the type you’ll never know I was there. Permits are good when I can get them, but I havent been harassed without them the couple times I winged it. Maybe I’m just lucky.

    Most recently I showed up at a state forest camp in oregon after 14 hours of driving. Drove around the loop at 9pm, 7 open spots. Asked the camp host if I could stay – she said no, they’re full. So I drove around again and camped the night, no problems.

    Dumb (illogical) rules are asking to be ignored. Generally I’m ok taking a chance with low consequence. Also I always pick up other peoples trash, so I feel like I could get some sympathy from authorities with my bag of trash if needed. Not everywhere obviously, but my experience has all been good so far.

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