Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Hoodless bag/head insulation technique


Display Avatars Sort By:
John S.
(jshann) - F
Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 09/04/2005 08:27:06 MDT Print View

Many of the gear lists talk about hoodless bags being used and only a possum down hat or similar for head insulation. I doubt I could be comfy using a possum down hat in 30-40 degree weather, especially in a tarp (haven't tried). I have been using the expensive Nunatak down balaclava with good results. It has it's drawbacks mainly due to not staying in one place when I turn on my side. Any comments are welcome.

Jason Shaffer
(pilgrim) - F
BMW Cocoon Balaclava on 09/04/2005 10:46:13 MDT Print View

There was talk on the boards of a balaclava made to the same specs as the cocoon pullover, w/ stated weight around 3 oz(?). The release date was originally expected sometime last spring. To my knowledge its been quite awhile since staff has mentioned it, so it could be on the backburner. Of course Nunatak's down bala is still a great piece of kit. But a Pdelta version might prove superior in a wider range of conditions, for those of us who love the cocoon top and pants for similar reasons.

edit: oops, about your problem! the cocoon bala prototype was supposed to have removable suspender straps, which might help it stay in place a little better while tossing and turning, etc. Again, tho, this info is prcatically a year old by now. Something similar for your nunatak version would make a good DIY project, for minimal wt penalty.

Edited by pilgrim on 09/04/2005 10:52:44 MDT.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 09/04/2005 11:11:45 MDT Print View

John-

I've had the same problem with my Nunatak balaclava staying in place. I'm still looking for an ideal solution, but I've had some success with:

1) Wear the balaclava under a windshirt hood. This only works if the hood is huge, and you'll still get some loft compression, but it's workable. (I like my Cloudveil Prospector Hoodie for this.)

2) Tuck the balaclava into the collar of your torso insulation piece. I find this kind of restrictive around the neck, but it might work for you.

btw, the Possumdown beanie is really pretty warm. I've used it comfortably down to 10 degrees under a windshirt hood.

Edited by MikeMartin on 09/04/2005 11:18:09 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 09/04/2005 13:52:33 MDT Print View

I guess I was mainly wondering how others were able to go without down head insulation when that part is said to be the main source of heat loss. Maybe I'm a wuss..lol. Or maybe I underestimate the possum "down"? It is impressive to be able to wear it to 10 degrees under a windshirt hood.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 09/04/2005 20:02:31 MDT Print View

My gear list has changed since I last had a 10 degree night, but at the time, the clothing/sleep system consisted of:

(from inside out)

Cabelas Power Dry Waffle top and bottom
Heavy Polypro Socks
Fleece Mitts
Possum Down Beanie
Montane Litespeed hooded windshirt
Golite Coal parka (w/o hood)
Custom Nunatak Arc-Alpinist (closest to their current "Arc-Expedition")
Stephenson Down Air Mattress
Oware Epic Bivy

Notes:

1) This was my winter sleep system and had warmth to spare at 10 degrees. I started the night with the Nunatak balaclava and switched to the Beanie to cool off. With the balaclava, it could easily go sub-zero.

2) I left the bivy sack partially unzipped for ventilation. As a result, the warm(ed) air escaping near the head reduced the need for head insulation.

3) For a 30-40 degree night, I currently would use:

Midweight Power Dry zip-top
Wicking polyester undershorts
Golite Equilibrium Pants
Possum Down Gloves
Possum Down Beanie
Smartwool Socks
Marmot Ion windshirt
Montbell Down Sweater (carried, but not needed above freezing)
BMW Torsolite Pad
BMW Arc-X quilt
BMW Vapr Bivy
Oware Cat Tarp

Edited by MikeMartin on 09/04/2005 20:16:08 MDT.

David Spellman
(dspellman) - F
Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 10/16/2005 22:46:44 MDT Print View

Go over to Ray Jardine's site and take a look at his "bomber" hat (polarguard insulation). I've had a similar hat (GoLite's discontinued "SNOW" hat) for quite a while. I think I picked it up for nine or ten bucks on closeout.

Making one of Jardine's hats out of his kit is probably dirt easy, but you could always schmooze somebody with sewing skills to do it up for you if you don't know what end of a sewing machine to look at first. I think the kit's what, $17?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 10/23/2005 18:39:05 MDT Print View

Hi John,
I've used a combination of possum down beanie and a powerstretch balaclava(<2 oz.) down to 20 degrees with warmth to spare. The combo also gives a lot of flexibility in adjusting to conditions above that temperature and does not come off when I shift positions at night.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 10/23/2005 18:39:05 MDT Print View

Hi John,
I've used a combination of possum down beanie and a powerstretch balaclava(<2 oz.) down to 20 degrees with warmth to spare. The combo also gives a lot of flexibility in adjusting to conditions above that temperature and does not come off when I shift positions at night.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
hoodless sleeping bags on 01/27/2006 21:02:53 MST Print View

FYI: Two products I'm working on: A hooded SUL 850+down (about 5.5oz) and/or Polarguard Delta (about 6.75oz) vest, a bit more insulation in front so that when worn hiking the backpack adds insulation to the back. Also a .87 oz/sq yd bag liner with a lightly insulated hood, Delta, with arm holes and a drawstring foot, can be worn, about 5.5oz. Idea is that you can add these items to a an 11 oz / 40degree hoodless down bag and move the rating down in steps to around 20-25 and be able to wear them while hiking if needed. Bag liner would also be perfect alone w/ bivy down to about 60 degrees. Any comments or other ideas to augment hoodless bags? Please email me as I am protoyping them now and love input. mountainlaureldesigns@yahoo.com Thanks,Ron.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 01/28/2006 03:07:32 MST Print View

I've used the same combo Tom mentioned. Works well just like Tom said.

For me, however, I still really prefer a nice insulated hood on my sleeping bag - often, cinched tight with just my nose exposed, but still somewhat surrounded by bag. Ensconced in my own little personal cocoon, I'm quickly sawing wood and off to the land of the sugar plum fairy.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 01/28/2006 17:49:03 MST Print View

Like Tom and Paul, I use my possum down beanie with a Seirus Combo Clava. If I feel the need for more protection, I have a Sherpa ear flap hat to go over all and it will tie under the chin to hold in place as well as my goggles to protect eyes from wind.

As for the rest of the layers, inside out, Marmot Midweight Zip LS and Marmot Midweight bottoms, possum down socks with polypro liner sock and possum down gloves with thinsulate liner; Cocoon Pants, Cocoon Pullover, hat configuration above; Nunatak Arc-Alpinist, Thermarest Prolite 4 short, Bibler Winter Bivy. I used this 2 weekends ago when it got down to 5 degrees and I still was cozy, so I suspect it could bring me down to 0 F or just below and remain comfy.

Of course I keep clothing stuffed around under legs as padding and to make sure it's warmer when putting on in the morning. I will also have a couple hand/foot warmers close by, just in case I need to place by armpits and groin area to keep core thermoregulation up there. Like Cody Lundin’s book suggests - “98.6 Degrees; The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive.”

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Hoodless bag/head insulation technique on 01/28/2006 19:33:35 MST Print View

I'd recommend the jardine bomber hat kit. It is a quality piece of gear and at a great price.

Unfortunately, my sewing skills and sewing machine where not up to the task and I ruined it trying to undo the stitching with a seam ripper.

Dan

Edited by dag4643 on 01/28/2006 19:35:03 MST.