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Teaser - New Cocoon
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Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Teaser - New Cocoon on 11/17/2005 18:28:22 MST Print View

From the blog:

"A new Cocoon top (no, not the hooded jacket, but that's coming too) will hit the market in Spring of '06. It's not going to replace the pullover, which will remain in the line. Rather, the new product will appeal to the decidely un-mass-market nature of truly ultralight gear at the very fringe of the movement and provide a design that is so simple, so obvious, and so-not-to-be-found-in-your-local-retail-store that its six ounce weight will decidedly - and decisively - shatter the expectations of the precious few that will be the first to figure out the concept"

Six ounces!

What is really intruiging is what the new concept will be. I've got my own wild speculations as to what the new concept might be. It's probably a "why didn't I think of that" type of thing


Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
speculation on cocoon top on 11/17/2005 19:11:27 MST Print View

I'm sure whatever it is doesn't have any zippers. Maybe it's a traditional crew-neck sweater design with an elastic neck and a trim fit? That might get it down to 6oz. Kinda like a quantum/polarguard sweatshirt?

Edited by bobg on 11/17/2005 19:15:22 MST.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Teaser - New Cocoon on 11/17/2005 19:19:37 MST Print View

hard to say what it could be, and I dont think Ryan J. is going to tell us. it may be a vapor barrier technology, thinner insulation, a new lighter weight breathable fabric, thinner insulation in the arms, a whole new lighter insulation, shorter collar????

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
simplicity through design on 11/17/2005 19:34:21 MST Print View

In the segment from his blog, he talks about simplicity through design. That leads me to believe that the concept will not be about new materials or technology but rather about simplicity. So the question is, how can you make the cocoon jacket simpler.

Edited by bobg on 11/17/2005 19:37:19 MST.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: simplicity through design on 11/17/2005 19:38:38 MST Print View

its the simplest jacket I have seen.

this sure is some food for thought

Edited by ryanf on 11/17/2005 19:39:48 MST.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: simplicity through design on 11/17/2005 19:52:15 MST Print View

no collar, no pockets, no zipper, no elastic (except in collar) but have a 3 or 4 inch single layer fabric extension to tuck into pants and gloves, different design to minimize seams,

Edited by ryanf on 11/17/2005 20:13:11 MST.

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Re: Re: Re: simplicity through design on 11/17/2005 21:00:32 MST Print View

One concept I've thought about for reducing the weight of an insulated "jacket" would be to make something like an insulated short sleeve shirt. It would be kind of in between a vest and a jacket, with short sleeves. I've cut the sleeves off rain jackets before (for cycling) to make a short sleeve rain jacket and they work pretty good to prevent overheating and increase ventilation. Your forearms get wet but it works surprisingly good since your body core and shoulders stay warm.

I'm wondering if this concept would work with an insulated garment. Vests can work quite well for keeping you warm, though not as good as a jacket. But if one added just a little bit more insulation to keep the shoulder and top of your arms warm (plus preventing drafts too) that garment could be quite a bit warmer (I'm guessing) with little added weight.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Teaser - New Cocoon on 11/17/2005 23:39:15 MST Print View

Does the Cocoon need an inner liner of Quantum? Does the Polarguard insulation really need to be protected from your base layer? Eliminating the inner liner will save 2.5oz (getting us down to 6oz) and you still have the pocket and zip.

I see three short comings to this crazy idea:

1) additional care will be needed in the clothing/declothing process to avoid snagging watches, fingernails etc.
2) extra care will be necessary when cleaning, but BMW already recommends hand washing so this shouldn't be a huge deal.
3) I think the exposed Polarguard will be a dirt magnet.

--veering slightly off topic--
But wait! Being an ULer I'm not willing to stop at light enough!

I think a bare (no inner or outer shell) Polarguard "sweater" could be the ultimate insulation layer when used in conjunction with an oversized windshell to protect the Polarguard from the normal snags and abrasions we encounter along the trail.

So what do you think?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
New Cocoon on 11/17/2005 23:56:34 MST Print View

What is one of Ryan's newest toy's? I vote for a new Cocoon that will share some of the technology from the Vapor Liner Shirt Ryan has just gotten from RBH Designs.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: speculation on cocoon top on 11/18/2005 00:18:17 MST Print View

Bob G:"I'm sure whatever it is doesn't have any zippers. Maybe it's a traditional crew-neck sweater design with an elastic neck and a trim fit? That might get it down to 6oz. Kinda like a quantum/polarguard sweatshirt?"

That's a cool idea, Bob. My personal speculation is: a hooded vest, like I fantasized about over in the G-Spot a while ago. I'm not sure about the closure... maybe slightly gusseted insulation with 1 snap at the neck? No points for fashion, though. My other guess is something really simple like a serape, which follows with his mention later in the blog about putting the burden on the user, not the gear. It could also make it more multi-taskable in a sleep system. Hmm...

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
new Cocoon Top/Jacket on 11/18/2005 02:23:35 MST Print View

ah...speculation. don't want to waste too much time theorizing w/o many facts, but here's some thoughts. maybe you can figure it out, i can't.

as that famous Detective Sherlock Holmes (who was actually based upon Doyle's friend Sir Robert Anderson, Chief of Scotland Yard) said:
"As you know, it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has all of the facts at hand.".

Dr. J, normally, seems rather precise and accurate, when he writes - doesn't he?

he called it a "top". pretty broad term.

hmm...let's see:
no mention of "hooded", so prob. no hood - not even an uninsulated fabric one (maybe the 6oz gives this fact away also, right?)
vest = no sleeves,
pullover = partial front-zip (button, etc) [sometimes means this, right?]
sweater=pullover w/no-zip (no zip/buttons, in the UL context, right?)
jacket implies/means long-sleeves and full-front: zip, or snaps, or buttons, or velcro-type patches, etc.?

what do you think? are there exceptions where some UL Mfr calls their jacket a pullover (partial-zip) or a sweater (no-zip)? i don't know. can you think of any exceptions.

guess we might need to standardize some terminology here.

i'm guessing Dr. J said "top" b/c it doesn't, more precisely, fit the other, more standard, categories - perhaps, due to some clever design changes.

maybe a lightly insulated (over-)shirt, or something similar??? as someone mentioned earlier, could be short-sleeved?

a wrap-around with fabric half-belt to secure would prob. have too much extra mat'l due to the need to overlap, so would be heavier than the 6oz. ( the 6oz size XS, S, or M? - surely not size L???)

so,...maybe we should start here, viz. what do we have to REMOVE/take-off of the Cocoon Pullover to get us down to 6oz? if we can't get down to 6oz this way, then perhaps the design, construction, or mat'ls is radically diff. than the Cocoon Pullover.

the BOLD portion at the bottom of Dr. J's BLOG sounds just a tad "frightening" (overstatement) doesn't it? to me at least, i'll have to go to DEFCON 1 (highest state of alert = "Maximum force readiness") to make sure that i take care of this piece of gear. guess, that means no warranty(!!!) other than mat'ls and workmanship. but, then...we're used to that, and are willing to accept those understandable terms, when it comes to true UL gear.

Edited by pj on 11/18/2005 03:22:13 MST.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
I've seen jackets and pullovers called sweaters on 11/18/2005 12:05:26 MST Print View

The Marmot Tarn Down Sweater is really a jacket. Nunatak calls the Skaha a Down Sweater but I'd call it a Pullover.

Paul, I agree with your definition completely, but some manufactures seem to be confused ;)

Edited by bobg on 11/18/2005 12:05:59 MST.

Eric Smith
(ES) - F
improving that wasteful, overwt, overbuilt, bulky Cocoon on 12/04/2005 12:13:27 MST Print View

Just leave the insulation out of the back. A bonus is that it allows a single layer of fabric in that area. My back is always hot where the pack is anyway. I've thought about making something like that for years, or just cutting the back out of a flannel or fleece shirt.

I'm interested in the no-liner idea (mentioned above). I was just thinking about that last night for a hammock undercover & maybe even a quilt. My wife says that the batting would fall apart in no time, but I think it could work. If anyone has tried this I'd like to know how it held up.

If no lining is too drastic, a very lightweight netting would probably work. I think netting as a performance fabric is underdeveloped. Just about every fabric in common use is much stronger than it needs to be if the load is distributed just right, but the durability is limited by snagging & tear strength. Instead of making fabric lighter by making the individual fibers even thinner, why isn't anyone developing a line of fabric with a more open weave? For the same weight/yd & material, the netting should have much higher tear strength since thicker fibers could be used. Imagine rip-stop with only the rip-stop grid. It might have better load-bearing properties also since it would deform more & spread the load out.

Something else I think is underdeveloped is metallized film (as in emergency blankets). Sure it's clammy, but how hard is it to put some holes in? They could be punched in, but even better would be if it was manufactured with micropores. I've spoken with someone from the developmental side of W.L. Gore who mentioned that they've been messing with that stuff (Goretex) for decades & are pretty good at manipulating the size of the pores. It might not work with Goretex since it’s PTFE (teflon) based & the metallization doesn’t stick well, but since there’s also microporous polypro (which holds metallization better, but still isn’t great) the process to get the pores might be applicable to other films (like polyester/mylar which does hold metallization well). A very thin (~1-2 um) layer of breathable, reflective film laminated opposite the skin-side of the lining seems like a great way to boost the warmth / wt ratio of any type of insulating gear.

Sorry if I got long-winded or off subject. This is my first post ever, so I’m a little pent up.

ps: just kidding about the subject line (sort of).

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: improving that wasteful, overwt, overbuilt, bulky Cocoon on 12/04/2005 12:49:46 MST Print View

>> This is my first post ever

well, welcome to the forums Eric.

since you are "new" you need to post your gear list so we can evalute it.

after I first heard the new cocoon, I thought of the single layer fabric idea, but I dont really think it could work well so I dismised it, but I also thought up the sweater idea with no zipper only a elastic head opening, and I think it is a good idea. also no elastic base just a few inches of fabric to tuck into pants could be a posibility, no pocket or sew through construction, could definately get the jacket down to the weight RJ specified.

Edited by ryanf on 12/04/2005 12:51:18 MST.

Eric Smith
(ES) - F
re: shell-less sweater on 12/04/2005 18:32:11 MST Print View

Ryan F, I just posted my gear list on the gear list forum under "Cheap Florida Trailrunning List".

Why do you think that a sweater without an inner or outer shell will work, but not something with a single shell? There’s only 1.8 oz of insulation in the cocoon, so if it works, that would make the original look like a leather jacket. I thought a single shell design might work for the hammock, since the top of the underpad is against the hammock & the top of the quilt is just against air, so neither should get any stress. Hadn’t occurred to me to make clothing like that. I’ve never handled loose polarguard, so I don’t know if it would hold up to either use, even with care. I’d planned to try my ideas with polyfill batting. Wal Mart has a package big enough for a quilt for less than $4. They only had it up to ½” thick, but the bag lists a 1” version that shouldn’t cost much more. If it works well, I might spring for the polarguard for v2. Does anyone know how polarguard compares to polyfill in terms of handling (or anything else for that matter)?

I like the waist tails mentioned (vs elastic). Should work better against drafts. You could have a jacket rated for 30 deg below your environment & still be uncomfortable if you get a cool breeze across your midsection. It would also make it more forgiving fitwise.

Eric Smith
(ES) - F
re: shell-less sweater on 12/04/2005 18:38:03 MST Print View

oops, newbie mistake. refresh = repost? please delete this post.

Edited by ES on 12/04/2005 18:39:42 MST.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: re: shell-less sweater on 12/05/2005 09:50:32 MST Print View

WalMart polyfill is fine for summer bags and experiments. (The term WalMart polyfill covers a lot of ground because they have continuous, non-continuous and chopped insulation at different times depending on their suppliers.) All these products are post-patent versions of legacy poly fills such as Polarguard, Hollofill, and others from the 1970s. Things have changed.

Modern Polarguard 3D or Thinsulate would not work without some cover. Especially with 3D, the fine fibers snag on anything and everything - even dry skin - and pull and pull and pull. You can get various fiberfills with a factory installed, non-woven covering called 'scrim.' Scrim is lighter than most woven fabrics, and could serve, with extreme care, as the inside layer for a garment or quilt. It might not save weight, though because it is usually found on older, less efficient, heavier products. The exception is some grades of Thinsulate which are available with scrim. That version of Thinsulate is the only modern polyfill that I think would work for a one-sided garment. Check

A common practice with older continuous filliament fills is to set the mat with resin. You can identify them in the store by their harder feel - a little rough to the touch - and their resistance to snagging and fraying. These products might work for a one-sided garment. However, they are heavier than other fills because the resin adds weight. And they don't compress well. A cheap way to experiment, though.

Using 3D is about like using cheapo polyfill batting. All you really have to do is stabilize it on the edges, then spot quilt it. However, you can do a more durable quilting job - important for garments - by quilting 3D continuously TO A SINGLE LAYER (such as the inside of the garment) without creating significant cold spots because 3D has so much loft that the fibers fill in above the stitching as long as you are not squashing it between two layers of fabric. You will have to cover the 3D with a shell fabric through which you do not stitch because it will snag to pieces and leave you wrapped like a spider's dinner.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
cocoon fill - 1.8oz on 12/05/2005 11:38:39 MST Print View


I might be wrong, but I think the 1.8oz refers to the weight per yard of the fill, not the total weight of the fill itself. My guess is that the fill accounts for roughtly half the weight of the garment.


Edited by bobg on 12/05/2005 11:39:55 MST.

Eric Smith
(ES) - F
insul-smock on 12/06/2005 10:59:00 MST Print View

Vick, thanks for the info; very helpful.
Bob, that makes much more sense.

Ok, so on my first post I’ve managed to make an obvious mistake, go off-topic, double post, insult the editor, & propose an idea that probably wouldn’t work (the topless quilt -- haven’t given up on the others). I think I’ll be quiet now; hopefully you guys don’t haze. I only meant to put my 2 cents in for the backless option. Back to that, how about an insul-smock? The variable-girth crowd should go for it. You wouldn’t even have to take your pack off (ironic since you’d probably need to take your pack off just to get at it). I’ve worn a button-up shirt backwards for hiking & sleeping. Plus you could print rude slogans on the front to go with the name – maybe something containing the phrase “variable girth”.

Eric Smith
(ES) - F
no designers on 12/06/2005 11:03:24 MST Print View

You know a company might be able to get by without any designers on staff. Just post a tantalizing but vague future product release & monitor these forums for ideas.