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New weights for Ray Way quilt
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Thomas Conly
(conly) - F

Locale: Lots of canoeing and snow
New weights for Ray Way quilt on 03/08/2008 14:55:25 MST Print View

So I just finished a third Ray Way quilt. I've made one for myself, one for my fiancee, and I just finished one for my sister. I remember seeing a thread earlier asking what the weights of the new Climashield quilts are but I can't find the thread anymore, so I started a new one. Although Climashield XP is supposed to be lighter than Polarguard 3D the new Climashield quilt I made is actually heavier than the old Polarguard quilts. Even though my sister's quilt is smaller than mine it is 3.3 oz heavier. If the quilt had been the same size I would guess it would have been about 5 oz heavier.

I figure one of two things must be true: either the new quilt I made is warmer but Ray hasn't updated the website to indicate this, or Climashield loses it's loft quicker and therefore the initial weight must be higher to compensate. Frankly, I suspect the second possibility.

When Ray was still using Polarguard 3D he criticized Polarguard Delta because any initial weight loss is eventually lost due to it's inferior durability. Having worked in an outdoor gear store and talking to reps and customers I wholeheartedly agree. I suspect the same is true of Climashield XP. I mourn the loss of Polarguard 3D. I think it was a great compromise between durability and weight. The first quilt I made is nearly as warm as the first night I slept under it 3 years ago.

Although I would certainly buy Ray's quilts again if I was bent on having one made from a synthetic, I think I would use down if I were to make another quilt for myself.

aaron mount
(amount) - F

Locale: Sierra Foothills
So what are the weights? on 03/08/2008 22:58:45 MST Print View

Inquiring minds want to know.

Thomas Conly
(conly) - F

Locale: Lots of canoeing and snow
Quilt Weights on 03/09/2008 08:43:29 MDT Print View

Didn't even think to post the weights. Both versions are for the deluxe version. The Polarguard 3D quilt is 25.8 oz. That quilt fits me and I'm 5'8". The new Climashield XP quilt is 29.1 oz. That quilt fits my sister who is 5'5" (I think, I've forgotten exactly). Her quilt is also a few inches narrower that mine too.

On the note of the deluxe aspect of the quilt, I really recommend the deluxe to anyone considering a Ray-Way quilt. The gorget is pretty useful and the draft stopper is essential as far as I'm concerned. Some day I plan on making a down quilt but with a draft stopper. I'd also like to figure out how to sew box baffles similar to the Western Mountaineering Highlite but without the sewn through horizontal seems. I've never figured out how I would fill the boxes and sew them shut.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: New weights for Ray Way quilt on 03/09/2008 17:35:26 MDT Print View

you can figure out the oz/ yd of the xp by taking the weight of the quilt, divide it by the area of the quilt in square yards, subtracting 2.4 (2 layers of 1.1 nylon + DWR weight) and dividing by 2 again (for the 2 layers of XP). They would shout your name from the rooftop!
BTW, Ray uses an outdated formula for finding warmth. XP is a far superior insulation, but isn't as lofty as P3D per weight, so according to his old calculations, may need more weight to get the same loft, but should be far warmer. XP is much warmer per weight than 3D. Also, there has been extensive research that has shown that even when synthetics go flat, they loss far less % warmth than % of loft somewhere in the archives (good luck finding anything ;)

Jed Augustine
(jaugusti) - F

Locale: Appalachians/Rockies
Re: Re: New weights for Ray Way quilt - data on synthetics on 03/09/2008 18:36:47 MDT Print View

Maybe this is the thread David is referring to, with all of the great graphs contributed by Richard:

Thomas Conly
(conly) - F

Locale: Lots of canoeing and snow
Weight of insulation on 03/09/2008 21:46:15 MDT Print View

I've done some crude calculations to figure out the weight of the insulation in the new Climashield quilts. The standard quilt with two layers of .75 inches loft seems to have about 3.5 oz per square yard insulation which is then doubled. This is really just an estimation because the quilt with the gorget and draft stopper is a really irregular shape. According to my figuring, 3.5 oz would be about .75 inches of loft so it would make sense.

I've heard that Climashield is a better insulation and doesn't need the same loft to achieve the same warmth but I'm suspicious. Insulation is all about trapping dead air space. It's a balance between the amount of air you can trap and how well the insulation can keep it in place (i.e. the air can't flow around inside the insulation). However, loft seems like the bigger factor to me. To keep air from moving around inside the insulation, it generally needs to be denser. Having had the chance to directly compare scraps of both Climashield XP and Polarguard 3D I think Climashield is much denser but even though the individual fibers are thiner. When you look at various types of insulation, the denser the insulation is the less weight efficient it is. This (as far as I know) is true of down, synthetics, foam, aerogel, etc. Even if you look at different fill powers of down, the higher the fill power (less dense) the warmer it is for the same loft of down. Therefore, if the main criteria for insulation is light weight, then the goal should be the least amount of weight for the most amount of loft.Polarguard 3D does achieve a higher loft for less weight. I don't think there will be some great insulation that achieves low weight, low loft and big warmth.

I also have a theory that insulations that are thin and dense can be tested in labs in such a way that they provide inflated specs. Take a look at aerogels in Pacific Outdoor Equipment pads. The Hyper High Mtn Sleeping Pad has a stated R value of 20. However, if you look at the real world reviews of the pad a few people have said they don't really notice much of a difference over a therm-a-rest and closed foam pad. If you've ever had a sleeping bag or jacket made from Thinsulate you might have found that it doesn't insulate much better that any other thin insulation. These examples make me think that there's some laboratory tinkering going on.

Another thing that is not taken into consideration when looking at loft vs. density is the breathability. Breathability never seems to be taken into consideration in tests of insulation. If an insulation is denser it stands to reason that it wouldn't breath as well causing it to be less efficient.

Basically, I'm not convinced that Climashield XP is better. The fact that Polarguard is no longer available seems fishy to me. It's under the same umbrella as Climashield but it doesn't really make sense to me that they would get rid of it. They didn't get rid of 3D after Delta came out and they didn't even get rid of the original Polarguard until it became unprofitable. Given how many product were using Polarguard I highly doubt it was unprofitable. I suspect that the demise of Polarguard has something to do with the fact that Climashield Combat is used by the U.S. military. I figure some deal went down with the military that meant Polarguard had to go. If the military helped finance the development of Climashield it may be entitled to some of the profits. They would would have wanted to kill Polarguard to replace it with the profitable Climashield. But enough conspiracy theories for one day.