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Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/20/2009 21:40:01 MST Print View

Yesterday I read some BPL posts answering questions about low budget garment outfitting for ultralight backpacking. It struck me how confusing all the options must be for a newbie. I then thought that warmth relative to Polartec fleece products might be the easiest way for people to understand their options without having to wade through technical jargon or vague environmental descriptions. This post is an attempt to see if this different approach makes sense to people.

If I say, “It is the same warmth as a Polartec 300”, everyone can understand.

If I say, “The Patagonia Polarguard Delta Pullover’s intrinsic clo value is 1.06 and its total clo value is .509, the experts understand, but the laymen are confused.

If I say, “The Patagonia Polarguard Delta Pullover kept me warm at 30F around camp, the laymen think they understand but the experts know that the information is of little practical value to either the laymen or the expert. Without knowing the wind rate, the reporting persons BMR, the MET rates and durations for their camp activities, and the change in the reporting persons core temperature at the beginning and the end of the camp activities it is impossible to ascertain the insulation value of the garment they are reviewing.

I created the following chart to be Montbell centric. The other garments I listed are common alternatives to comparable Montbell garments.

iclo


Trying to determine the warmth of a garment by just measuring its loft is a measure of futility. For example, the Patagonia Polarguard Delta Pullover and a Wild Things Primaloft One sweater both have a loft of .6”. The Wild Things sweater is more than 27% warmer. The Montbell Alpine jacket has 2” of loft and box baffles yet the New Balance Fugu, which uses sewn through construction, and only has 1.5” loft is 64% warmer. The Montbell Alpine Jacket and the Montbell Permafrost Parka both use box baffles and have 2” of loft; the Permafrost Parka is 41% warmer. A Polartec 300 jacket has .25”loft and a Patagonia Polarguard Delta pullover has .6” loft and yet their insulation value is the same. The only two cases in which the loft is relevant is if you want to compare synthetic garments using the same insulation type and quilting. The other case is base layer garments; their warmth is correlated with their thickness.

In January 2010 there were a number of posts asking for clarification of the specific fabrics I tested. I answered these questions in separate forum posts. In addition, I updated my chart to includes fabric weight information. Version 2 of the chart is as follows:

Iclo2

In January 2011 there was a request to add information regarding how wind would affect the insulation value of each garment. I answered this related question is new post at http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=42263&skip_to_post=359270#359270

Edited by richard295 on 01/30/2011 23:51:05 MST.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/20/2009 22:23:14 MST Print View

Can you tell us more about what makes for a better rating?

When a manufacturer comes out with a "new and improved" version next year, how do we know whether or not it still occupies the same place in your table? And if not, then where it belongs?

How do I determine where a garment not in your table fits in?

-- MV

Edited by blean on 02/20/2009 22:24:27 MST.

Dennis Park
(dpark) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/20/2009 22:38:43 MST Print View

Richard,

By any chance, would you know where Mountain Hardware's Compressor men's jacket would fit on your chart?

Oops, forgot to mention 2007 model.

Edited by dpark on 02/20/2009 23:25:58 MST.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/20/2009 23:11:41 MST Print View

F%$king brilliant Richard! (excuse my French)

I remember coming up against this exact problem when I started looking at lightweight clothing alternatives. You're right... for most traditional backpackers fleece is the gold-standard for comparison, and almost everyone knows how warm it is.

The funny thing is though... I recall asking you in a thread about the MB alpine light down jacket and you said it had a similar clo value to 300 weight fleece (you even made me a graph!). I remember being surprised, because my 300 weight fleece isn't that amazingly warm. But this bar graph sets it all straight! It agrees very much with my own qualitative judgements of warmth now that I know some of the garments. And, indeed, the MB light alpine jacket is *much* warmer than 300 weight fleece!

Anyway, excellent work. This is going to be very useful for newbies. Actually, it'll be useful for just about anyone! (including me!)

Cheers, A

Edited by ashleyb on 02/20/2009 23:14:38 MST.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/20/2009 23:13:27 MST Print View

The MB UL thermawrap doesn't fare too well in comparison to the UL down inner does it?

I suspect a lot of the perceived insulation value of the thermawrap is because of its ability to cut wind.

But why is the parka so much more insulating than the jacket? I thought there would normally only be less than 10% difference (in non-hypothermic situations).

Edited by ashleyb on 02/20/2009 23:16:04 MST.

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Thermawrap Parka vs. Jacket on 02/21/2009 00:15:54 MST Print View

Hi Ashley, the Thermawrap Parka uses a heavier insulation than the jacket, a fair bit heavier in fact. The Montbell site quotes the jacket as using 50g/m2 Exceloft, while the parka is listed as 80g/m2. My understanding was that the parka used the heavier insulation through the torso while using the lighter insulation in the arms and hood, however Montbell does not infer this distinction in their specs or product description.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: RE: Thermawrap Parka vs. Jacket on 02/21/2009 00:20:38 MST Print View

Thanks Scott, that makes a lot of sense.

The other thing that surprised me was the fact that a cotton t-shirt has similar warmth to 100 weight fleece. Sounds a bit odd to me.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re cotton T-shirts on 02/21/2009 00:57:56 MST Print View

Yeah, well, I have some T-shirts which are made from very thick cotton knit, and some which would compete with a silk nightie.

Of course, the values are for DRY cotton. Wet fabrics - very different.

Cheers

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/21/2009 01:34:11 MST Print View

>The Montbell Alpine jacket has 2” of loft and box baffles yet the New Balance Fugu, which uses sewn through construction, and only has 1.5” loft is 64% warmer.

>Richard Nisley
( richard295 - M)

Locale:
San Francisco Bay Area
New Balance Fugu on 05/26/2007 20:31:03 MDT Reply Report Post Print

I have a few things to add to Paul's recommendation to purchase the Fugu including the warmth of the jacket, the fabrics used, and the looks. The New Balance Fugu claimed 4.6F increase in warmth based on the liner piqued my interest and so I did some tests. First, this is what the liner looks like magnified:

:Liner

The tricot protection layer looks identical to the third layer used to protect eVENT and Gore-Tex membranes but, I have never seen the silver membrane below it before. Has anyone seen a similar liner before or know anything about this type of liner? For example, is it microporous or hydrophilic?

The Fugu tested significantly warmer than a Cabela's down jacket with the same single layer loft of ~1.5". It is very much warmer than a comparable loft down jacket than the modest 4.6F claim in their marketing hype. I suspect that this is primarily the result of the 850 down in the Fugu versus the 650 down in the Cabela’s. None the less, this unorthodox liner probably does make the incremental 4.6F contribution New Balance claimed.

My simple test was to IR measure the heat transmitted through the jacket in a 70F room and compare that with an identical loft down jacket and a jacket previously warmth tested by BPL. I used a regulated 135F (65F delta) heat source under each jacket and let each jacket acclimate for 1 hour. The mean 95F skin heat passing through the jackets in a typical 30F (65F delta) winter environment was simulated with this simple test. One other reference jacket I tested was the MEC Magma (1.1" Primaloft One). BPL previously tested this jacket as part of their Synthetic Belay Jacket tests.

MEC Magma (1.1" Primaloft One)..........86.4F
Cabelas (1.5" 650 Down)..........80.3F
New Balance Fugu (1.5" 850 Down + Radiant Liner)....77.1F

The less heat moving through the insulation and measurable on the outside surface, the better is the jacket’s insulation. To put the above numbers into another frame of reference, I tested my comparable weight Patagonia Micropuff pullover (.6" Polarguard Delta) and it yielded 90.1F of heat to the outside surface.

The material is quite windproof. A simple mouth breathability test yielded an undetectable air flow similar to the Epic Praetorian used in the Special Forces PCU Level 4 Windshirt.
___________


Does your test measure conductive heat loss? You seem to have measured only IR heat loss.

Considering average loft is 70% of max or 1.05", this give the garment and incredible clo of approx. 6.18/inch... Did you take the IR test measure at the point of highest loft? Then the effective clo value would be 70% or 4.326. If not I wonder why everybody at BPL doesnt own one.

Edited by huzefa on 02/21/2009 07:27:42 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Wow!!!!! on 02/21/2009 09:11:12 MST Print View

Thanks Richard! Your posts are some of the most informative on this site. This is a great tool for people picking insulation layers, too bad it can't be made a sticky post. I would love to see this updated regularly with other silmilar garments to see how they stack up.

I often talk about how much I have used and loved my Mont-Bell Thermawrap jacket (mine is a 2005 model). In the winter I often use it in conjugation with my Patagonia R1 pullover and rain coat. I guess that combo isn't as warm as I thought.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Question on 02/21/2009 09:12:59 MST Print View

Is the Patagonia Polarguard Delta Pullover the previous version of the Micro Puff Pullover?

Brett Peugh
(brettpeugh) - F

Locale: Midwest
good chart on 02/21/2009 10:36:24 MST Print View

I think this is a very good chart and makes me want to take a third look at the Montbell UL Down Inner Jacket when I get the money instead of my Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover (Polargaurd Delta).

Is it possible you could put up the values for an Patagonia R2 and R4 or would you more correspond these to the Polartec 200 and 300 wt.s?

William Puckett
(Beep) - F

Locale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
Re: "...Understanding Garment Warmth" on 02/21/2009 12:26:47 MST Print View

I absolutely LOVE the chart. Clear. Communicative. No advertising spin.

I, too, would like to see more comparisons. The more the better, imo!

And a big thank you, Richard, for your posts and the research behind them!

Edited by Beep on 02/21/2009 12:27:27 MST.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/21/2009 14:53:39 MST Print View

Richard, I know that we are really heaping it on here, but take that as a show of respect for your always excellent, diligent research.

I have one more to add; that is how does Polartec's own "thermal pro" compare to Polartec's traditional fleece at the same fabric weight?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/21/2009 18:02:51 MST Print View

Richard,
Have you ever tested any of Under Armour's products? I am thinking specifically of their Cold Gear garments and their Compression garments. From a layman's perspective, I have been impressed, but would be very interested in your expert opinion, if you have worked with them.
Thanks much,
Tom

David Mcevoy
(dave_mac68) - F

Locale: Virginia Beach
Re:A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/21/2009 19:07:05 MST Print View

Richard thank you for the information; I for one, as a newbie UL backpacker, really appreciate it. I have a, probably very obvious, question: I own both the MB UL jkt and the Thermawrap Jkt - if I was to wear both at the same time would I just add the Iclo values, or is the value higher because of the insulation gap between both layers? Many thanks in advance,

Dave.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re:A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/21/2009 19:29:05 MST Print View

Dave, you can add the lclo values together to get a minimum lclo for the combo but yes, you get some extra insulation from the air gap too.

Jonathon Rogers
(signet77)

Locale: East TN
Micro Puff on 02/21/2009 21:18:24 MST Print View

I see the old Polarguard Delta Micro Puff being used for calculations all of the time and wonder if the new Micro Puff jacket with Climashield Green insulation has the same clo.

Great work, Richard.

Edited by signet77 on 02/21/2009 21:18:56 MST.

Michael Febbo
(febbom)
fugu really that warm? on 02/21/2009 22:52:58 MST Print View

Maybe I have just not been following this conversation, but am I the only one who is amazed at the NB Fugu beating the Permafrost, a jacket designed for cold weather climbing?
Richard, how are these items tested? I would assume that the Permafrost would still be "real-world" warmer just due to the hood, but the Fugu is just amazing me given that it is 10 ounces lighter. I'm amazed- a 14 ounce jacket that is warmer than a belay parka... this is revolutionary to me.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: fugu really that warm? on 02/21/2009 23:16:49 MST Print View

Bear in mind that a jacket designed for use while climbing must have a pretty tough shell - and that spells weight.

Cheers

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: fugu really that warm? on 02/21/2009 23:24:37 MST Print View

The difference between the permafrost and the Fugu is that the Permafrost has a much heavier shell. The Permafrost has "only" got 9 ounces of fill but weighs 25 oz. So presumably it is designed to be pretty bulletproof. The Fugu, on the other hand, weighs 13-14oz I think but has a much much lighter shell... so it's possible it may have more down in there or at least a similar amount.

But yes, pretty amazing! Goes to show you that sewn-thru baffles aren't that great in comparison to having extra down.

Read an earlier post from Richard about the jacket (scroll down).

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: fugu really that warm? on 02/21/2009 23:25:43 MST Print View

Snap, Roger. Gee I hate it when people say things more succinctly than me and post it while I'm still composing!! ;-)

Michael Febbo
(febbom)
permafrost on 02/21/2009 23:27:24 MST Print View

You're right, the materials will add weight- though the Permafrost should be very warm for its weight given its welded box construction, 9 ounces of 800 fill down, and rather thin shell (15 and 30 denier). It's actually not tough enough for me, which is one reason I have stayed away from it. Still, it appears that the radiant liner of the Fugu is of greater value- warmth wise- than more down fill...

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/22/2009 02:14:04 MST Print View



This means neither Alpine Jacket nor Permafrost Parka are filled at optimum down density.

Edited by huzefa on 02/22/2009 02:14:37 MST.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Powerstretch on 02/22/2009 02:51:00 MST Print View

This is a fantastic graph. Suprising to me is how high powerstretch is up there, I wish it had less elastine (12%) which (I believe) makes it slower drying. It's also a bit fragile (the mountain hardware Zip top I had was anyway).

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/22/2009 04:32:27 MST Print View

Actually, this is a kind of graph I would like to see in the BPL wiki with regular updates to reflect current available pieces. I've started writing for a local outdoor magazine and I'm planning to write an article about insulation comparing fleece with high loft insulation. Most people overhere still buy fleece when they want something warm and I would want to introduce high loft insulation. This graph would seem like a perfect idea for comparing both without making things to complicated.

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Great Info on 02/22/2009 18:37:49 MST Print View

This is fantastic information, and I love the way it's put together. Standing ovation.

In fact, I just made a purchase today based on it - I opted for the MB Down Inner Jacket instead of a the Thermawrap after seeing how much the difference in insulation was on your graph. Thanks!

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Insulation on 02/22/2009 20:50:18 MST Print View

Yes, Thanks to you Richard I am now rethinking my insulation systems. It looks like the Mont-Bell UL Inner Down Jacket is really warm for it's weight. I think I need to pick up the jacket and the pants.

BTW- Does anyone know anything about the new Cocoon stuff? I would love to know the approximate clo and weight. As well as a anticipated release date.

Allen Jacobs
(jacall) - F

Locale: North Texas
RE: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 06:51:18 MST Print View

Just want to add another newbie "thank you". This definitely helps me out. I’d like to think that examples like this will help me understand some of the other more technical discussions on here as well.

Michael Febbo
(febbom)
Someone help the idiot on 02/23/2009 10:42:32 MST Print View

Huzefa, you are going to have to help me out with your chart- I have no idea how to translate that as a means to deduce the proper down fill for a specific garment.

If 9 ounces of 800 fill power down is not optimum for the Permafrost (I assume you mean it is underfilled?) then what would be the ideal amount. 9 ounces is used by Nunatak (Kobuk) and Feathered Freinds (volant) in similar jackets, and I assumed it was standard for a good belay parka.
This is not academic to me- my DAS will die next season and I am switching to down.

P.S. I hope this doesn't sound combatative, but the kind of information being offered in this thread is what I would like to see formalized by BPL, and it's lack is why I let my membership lapse. I feel that I gain more information on the forums than through the articles... just some feedback for the site.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: RE: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 11:57:47 MST Print View

Sure would be nice to slip a Nunatak Skaha hoody into that graph. Very nice work as usual Richard.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Someone help the idiot on 02/23/2009 14:48:05 MST Print View

The table I posted is infact Richard's work which I copied from his old post but I forgot to mention that.

Quoting Richard again: "If you opt for 800 fill down baffles filled for optimal thermal density, they will out-perform (>oz/inch/yd2-green, >clo/in/yd2-red, >clo/oz/yd2-blue) the best synthetics when dry. If you opt for max loft only, you will have better oz/inch/yd2-green (eye candy) but you will not have a higher clo/oz which is the most critical measure for backpackers."

Permafrost has 2" loft, clo of 5.33 or 2.665/in and as you say has 9 ounces of 800+ down. You will need 2.46x time down i.e. 22.1 oz of total down to achieve its potential of 6.562 clo/in or 13.124 clo.

That would be too warm for your needs. Unfortunately no one makes garments to achieve max warmth/inch and max warmth/oz as they require radical designing which is too costly to manufacture. Also most people equate warmth to loft so its bad from business perspective.

My suggestion is to not worry about this since such products dont exist and let Richard's chart help you with your selection.

p.s Sorry, if I have confused anyone.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Someone help the idiot on 02/23/2009 16:01:33 MST Print View

Unfortunately no one makes garments to achieve max warmth/inch and max warmth/oz as they require radical designing which is too costly to manufacture.

I would disagree somewhat. All that is required is to use smaller baffles and stuff more down into them -- so you get a density which is closer to optimum. For instance, you could shove a whole lot more down (3 times as much?) into the MB inner jacket without needing to make the baffles bigger. Then you would have a very warm jacket without needing to make a bigger, heavier shell to hold it. Easy.

Of course, Huzefa has identified the reason manufacturers don't do it... loft sells. If one jacket looks puffier than another it must be warmer right? Guess which one the average joe is going to purchase?

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 16:25:27 MST Print View

Over stuffing down garments actually produces clothing that is not as efficient warmth for weight. The optimum amount of down is that which can loft fully without being too loose. Once the down cannot loft fully there is no advantage in adding extra down.

I also think that thickness is a good general indicator of warmth. It's not the only one of course but I think it is important, despite what some are saying here. Shell fabrics, baffles and radiant barriers all play a part but thickness is key.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 16:48:57 MST Print View

Over stuffing down garments actually produces clothing that is not as efficient warmth for weight. The optimum amount of down is that which can loft fully without being too loose. Once the down cannot loft fully there is no advantage in adding extra down.

I understand that this is the generally accepted view. But Richard Nilsey has some very persuasive data which shows otherwise. In particular, it appears that down can be stuffed at about 2.5x the density that it is normally done, whilst still getting full value for warmth. The idea that down needs to "loft fully" so that it spreads out as much as possible is not correct (again, according to Richard's data and some published papers). Having said this, there is a point at which adding extra down starts to produce smaller gains, and eventually you even go backwards. But there is a linear region where warmth increases proportionally to the amount of down (even if it is "overstuffed").

I don't have the links to the threads where this was all discussed, but if you have a search through Richard's posts in the past year you will find them. Have a read, it is very enlightening!

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 16:57:54 MST Print View

Hey Chris, in case you haven't seen them here are the threads I was referring to (well, 2 of them anyway). Here's the original thread and there are some further comments in this thread which clarify a few points.

Edited by ashleyb on 02/23/2009 16:59:13 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:07:44 MST Print View

"In particular, it appears that down can be stuffed at about 2.5x the density that it is normally done, whilst still getting full value for warmth."

What effect, if any, would higher density stuffing have on
breathability and moisture buildup/drying time?

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:14:23 MST Print View

I accept that down can be stuffed at more than the density used by many makers (though not all - Rab and PHD with some products for a start - PHD will add down if requested) which is why I said overstuffed. There comes a point at which the weight added by extra down isn't justified by any increase in warmth. Of course down doesn't need to spread out as much as possible. Indeed it can't unless an item is very under stuffed. By "lofting fully" I mean to the optimum amount for the maximum warmth for that amount of down.

I've used down bags that were definitely under filled, leading to cold spots as the down could shift too easily. The apparent loft before use wasn't actually there over the whole bag.

I still maintain that thickness is a good general guide to approximate warmth for those - the majority I'm suspect - who don't want to go into technical details.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:30:35 MST Print View

Ashley, I've read the threads and some of it makes sense. I'm not convinced that in the real world these figures really make sense however. And I'm always interested in what happens in practice. To give two examples regarding the compression of insulation. Testing inadequate sleeping bags that didn't live up to their temperature rating (something I've done too often) I've used down jackets to boost the warmth. I've found that wearing the jacket in the bag isn't very efficient if it's a tight fit. It's far warmer to spread the jacket over the bag so it isn't compressed. Now maybe I've always had jackets with optimum density of fill - if so there's quite a few of these about as I've used a variety of jackets from different manufacturers. I've also squeezed down bags into bivvy bags a little too small for them and found that this cut the warmth despite the extra barrier of the bivvy bag. I was warmer sleeping on the bag rather than in it. Overall my experience is that allowing insulation to loft to its maximum provides the most warmth.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:32:03 MST Print View

By "lofting fully" I mean to the optimum amount for the maximum warmth for that amount of down.

According to Richard's data there isn't really an optimum amount of loft for maximum warmth... rather, there is a linear region where the shell can be compressed or expanded without affecting garment (or sleeping bag) warmth.

Anyway, the interesting thing about it is that you can go a lot further than "overstuffing" a sleeping bag by 2oz. You can in fact usually double the amount of down without losing value for warmth (I think Richard have have actually tested this on a generic mummy bag).

Richard pointed out some examples at the beginning of the thread where the thickness of the garment does not correlate much at all with how warm it is. I would say that the amount of down fill (assuming same quality) is probably the best approximate and simple measure of a garment's warmth. You can't always read that on the label though.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:42:07 MST Print View

I'm not convinced that in the real world these figures really make sense however. And I'm always interested in what happens in practice.

Yep, fair enough. If it's your experience that a jacket placed over a bag is warmer than in it, then you can't argue with that. Whatever works best in practice is king. There may be something else going on in those situations you describe. Perhaps the down is not compressed evenly.

It would be interesting to hear from Richard whether he has tested it on a real sleeping bag. Here's some data he posted in one of those threads, but I'm not sure where he got it from. Note the clo/kg of down doesn't change as you increase the fill:

sleeping bag overfill clo chart

Edited by ashleyb on 02/23/2009 17:43:28 MST.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:50:50 MST Print View

"If it's your experience that a jacket placed over a bag is warmer than in it"

One factor is that the jacket will be compressed underneath you when worn, not when placed over you. But this might not be significant, and perhaps countering this is that I find it hard to get all of a jacket usefully covering me without wearing it.

And of course it's not a factor in a too-tight bivy bag situation, where Chris still observed the lesser-compressed bag being warmer.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:52:12 MST Print View

>I would say that the amount of down fill (assuming same quality) is probably the best approximate and simple measure of a garment's warmth.

I thought this was a generally accepted principle of insulation design. The more fill=the heavier insulation=warmer bag. But all most of us need to know is what is the (accurate) warmth rating of the bag compared to it's weight? I choose WM bags because, *underfilled* or not, I find their comfort rating to be accurate and their bags to be light.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 17:56:26 MST Print View

Of course the problem with real world experiences is that there's always something else going on! Any anecdotal statement is always missing some factors. However it is in the real world that bags and jackets are used to keep warm.

Those figures are interesting. I'd like to know where they came from. 12oz is a significant amount of down.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/23/2009 23:52:25 MST Print View

Bob (Dennis-Your question is incorporated in the last paragraph)

I have been up in the Sierras for a few days and am now just getting an opportunity to start responding to questions. First I want to say I was very impressed with your responses to Will's article on "Salomon Tundra Mid WP Insulated Boot Review". Your posts were courteous, well structured, and compelling in the support of your position... great job.

You said, "Can you tell us more about what makes for a better rating"? The fleece and synthetic insulation vendor's clo/oz ratings closely correlated with their relative performance vis-à-vis one another. The down insulation results closely correlated with the down fill amount. All insulations do a good job of blocking convection. Blocking radiation losses is the biggest variable between the synthetic insulation types and as well as the impact of down density. Based on my tests, fleece and synthetic specifications appear to be based on the inclusion of a still air layer on the outside of the insulation in addition to the insulation itself. When layering garments, frequently this still air layer won’t be present and the ensembles won’t be as warm as you would anticipate. Sizing of each layer to have at least a 6mm gap between them is necessary to approach the insulation vendor’s published clo/oz values.

You said, “When a manufacturer comes out with a "new and improved" version next year, how do we know whether or not it still occupies the same place in your table? And if not, then where it belongs?” The situation with garments and sleeping bags in the US is the same as it was with sleeping bags in Europe prior to the EN 13537 standard. In other words the consumers aren’t provided adequate information to make an intelligent decision. I suggest buying from vendors who have a reputation for honest representation of their products specifications and then try and find the closest match to something which has already been independently tested by multiple sources. It is in the interest of most manufactures and their advertising partners to use FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to discredit the value of independent testing. The only manufacturers who would benefit from having independent tests published are the one who products test best.

You said, “How do I determine where a garment not in your table fits in?” You can extrapolate from the existing test results. For example, in a post subsequent to yours, Dennis Park asked, “By any chance, would you know where Mountain Hardware's Compressor men's jacket would fit on your chart? Oops, forgot to mention 2007 model.” The 2007 Compressor specs were size medium [Weight] 16 oz [Shell] Superlight 15D, [Insulation] PrimaLoft One 115 g/m2. That is the same insulation type and a similar amount to what was used in the WT PL1 hoody that I tested. The Wild Things Primaloft One hoody used 2 layers of 60 g/m2. This jacket would theoretically test out with an intrinsic clo of approximately ~1.46. In other words, it is ~1.5 times warmer than a Polartec 300 weight or a Patagonia Micropuff pullover or jacket.

Edited by richard295 on 02/24/2009 17:48:16 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 00:01:11 MST Print View

Ashley,

Thank you for the kind words. I guess that the first time I looked at the question of 300 weight fleece versus the Montbell Light Alpine question; I interpreted vendor specs to arrive at a conclusion... sorry if I screwed up the first time. This time around I actually tested each of the products myself.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 00:16:50 MST Print View

Huzefa,

I used a guarded heat plate. It measures the cumulative heat conductivity from all modes of transmission (conduction, convection, and radiation). The measurement technique integrates the measurements in the seam, along the ramp up/down, and max loft area.

The average clo was 6.18 divided by 1.5 inches for a less remarkable value of 4.12 per inch. A stack of cotton cloth yields 4 clo per inch and so the warmth is less of an anomaly than is the clo/oz.

The Fugu failed in the market place and is no longer available. I don't think people appreciated the jacket's extraordinary value proposition because New Balance wasn't a known performance jacket vendor in the UL community.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Question on 02/24/2009 00:22:13 MST Print View

Brad,

Yes the Patagonia Polarguard Delta 2.7 oz/yd2 Pullover is the previous version. The current version uses 3-oz Climashield® Green continuous filament polyester (40% recycled).

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: good chart on 02/24/2009 00:28:17 MST Print View

Brett,

I haven't measured those garments but my GUESS concurs with your assessment.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 00:34:20 MST Print View

I think you missed my point.

Here is a quote from an old post of yours -"The Fugu down jacket is 800 fill and the Cabelas down jacket is 650 fill. They are sewn through construction. 1 1/2" is the maximum loft. The baffles average 5" wide. Only approximately 2" of the 5" is at the maximum loft. 1 1/2" on either side it ramps up from a few mm to 1 1/2". My crude estimate is that the average loft is about 70% of the max or 1.05"

clo at max loft = 6.18
average loft = 70% or 1.05"
average clo = 70% or 4.362

Wouldnt you consider average clo as the effective clo value of the garment?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 01:27:17 MST Print View

Michael,

Thanks for the positive words. You said, "How does Polartec's own "thermal pro" compare to Polartec's traditional fleece at the same fabric weight?" I haven't tested it to verify their claims but their specs claim, Polartec 300 = .007 TOGS g/m2, Thermal Pro #4060 = .010 TOG g/m2, and Thermal Pro #4082 = .011 TOG g/m2.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 01:37:06 MST Print View

I've always wondered why people don't also consider the heat sink effect of different materials in clothing. In buildings the R-value of a material can affect the temperature sensation of a room; even though the air in the room may be the same temperature, the materials used in the walls and the floor, when touched, can make the room feel cold or hot. That's why, on a cold day, rooms with wooden walls and floors tend to feel warmer than rooms with stone walls and floors. Some of the jackets that I have when I touch the outer nylon fabric feel much colder to the touch than others. There must be some effect of this heat sink sensation on the outer fabric, contributing to the overall feel of the warmth of the jackets.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 09:10:19 MST Print View

Michael,

After waking up this morning, I thought about my response to your question about how Thermal Pro compares to Polartec 300 question some more. I think there is a clearer way to answer it. It is apparently frequently asked because it is one of the Thermal Pro FAQs: What is the difference between Polartec® Classic and Polartec® Thermal Pro®?

"...We have specific thermal data on each Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric but without knowing which Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric you are considering, it is impossible to rate it against Polartec® Classic 200 or Polartec® Classic 300. Each Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric is developed to meet the expected functions needed for a specific use."

I think the clearest answer is that they specify both Polartec 300 and Polartec Pro at .16 clo/oz/yd2. Polartec 300 is 10.9 oz/yd2. Common Thermal Pro fabric options are 6.9 oz/yd2, 7.1 oz/yd2, and 9.4 oz/yd2. To compare their loftiest Thermal Pro version to Polartec 300 multiply both fabric clo/oz by .16. Comparing the ratio yields 14% less warmth for the thickest version of Polartec Pro. It is a much loftier and compressible fabric and so it LOOKS MUCH WARMER and compresses much better for stuffing in a back pack. I haven’t tested any Thermal Pro garments and so this is theory only.

Edited by richard295 on 02/24/2009 09:11:00 MST.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 10:04:54 MST Print View

Tom,

I haven't tested the insulation of Under Amour’s products because they fall primarily into the category of base layers and it is very difficult to get an accurate measurement of insulation that thin. Base layer insulation tends to be of less importance than that of most clothing items, its tactile properties, and the way in which it handles moisture, are of much greater concern since it is in direct contact with the skin.

It is really difficult to get an accurate measurement of base layer insulation based on standards procedures. The usual American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) method for thickness measurement requires compressing the material by 0.7 g/cm2 (.01 psi). This very mild level of compression is still sufficient to compress the fibrils at the surface of the material and these, although very compressible, do contribute to trapping additional surface air film thickness. If one uses a method where thickness is measured without any compression the measured intrinsic insulation will approximate the insulation predicted using 1.57 clo per centimeter (4 clo per inch).

The insulation of base layers is seldom a major consideration in thermal comfort, since it lies within an already trapped still-air layer between the skin and the outerwear. Indeed, static copper manikin measurements of a clothing system frequently give the same insulation measurement with or without a base layer. Nevertheless, a thicker base layer will contribute warmth in the presence of wind or body motion, particularly if the outerwear is not totally windproof, the closures are not tight, or the clothing is compressed by the weight of outer clothing layers or back pack.

A base layer’s insulation over the torso will generally be close to that approximated from its full uncompressed thickness. This is because of the air gaps between the underwear and the clothing worn over the torso. However, the insulation over the arms and the legs will be closer to that suggested by the compressed (ASTM) thickness measurement as a result of the closer fit of the outer garments.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Micro Puff on 02/24/2009 10:18:04 MST Print View

Jonathon,

I haven't tested any Climashield Green garments but Polarguard Delta is specified at 3.06 clo/inch and Climashield Green is specified at 3.25 clo/inch. We can view them as equivalent.

40% of the Climashield Green fibers are recycled polyester and they have to be thicker than virgin fiber for the same strength. This is why Green is much less thermally efficient than XP.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: fugu really that warm? on 02/24/2009 11:41:21 MST Print View

Michael F.,

The garment's torso is tested with a guarded hot plate to ascertain its insulation value. I tested a Patagonia down Sweater vest and determined its intrinsic clo was ~2.31. I also tested a Patagonia down Sweater Pullover hoody and determined its intrinsic clo was ~2.31. The insulation, fabric, and construction although slightly different between the garment types, yielded the same ~intrinsic insulation value. Total clo, for each garment, is determined by multiplying the intrinsic clo by the body surface area that it covers. The average body surface areas (BSA) covered by different garment types are as follows:

Hat 4%
Shoes 7%
Balaclava 8%
Pants 43%
Shirt or Jacket 48%
Hoody 54.5%
One Piece Suit 80%
Sleeping Bag 98%

If you want to compare the total clo between two dissimilar garment types (for example the Fugu jacket and the Permafrost Parka), multiply the intrinsic clo value times the BSA for each garment to determine how they compare. The Fugu total clo is .48 * 6.18 = 2.97. The Permafrost total clo is .55 * 5.24 = 2.90. The hood on the Permafrost is huge but a down balaclava, in combination with the Fugu would easily beat it for greater warmth at less weight, save the relative durability issue.

My objective for this thread was to provide a very simple way to understand the relative warmth of different types of garment’s insulation. It was not to provide the total clo value for each different garment type and insulation type. None the less, for any body so interested, the above BSA values allow you to calculate ~total clo.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Powerstretch on 02/24/2009 12:00:23 MST Print View

Adrian,

Thanks for the kind words. The Power Dry and Power Stretch garments are hybrid base layers/insulation layers. They need the stretch fibers to facilitate the base layer functionality only. For use on trips like Erin and Hig's coastal hiking/packrafting adventure the material gets good reviews. It is probably too heavy and warm for most UL backpacking applications.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 12:15:40 MST Print View

"Tom,

I haven't tested the insulation of Under Amour’s products because they fall primarily into the category of base layers and it is very difficult to get an accurate measurement of insulation that thin."

Richard,
Many thanks for the information. I am in the process of trying to further reduce the the clothing component of my base weight, and you have likely saved me considerable time and expense. Your insights are always appreciated.
Best regards,
Tom

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 12:19:17 MST Print View

Tom and Huzefa,

Please post a link to your article after it is published. Particularly in the realm of WPB fabrics you have provided many well researched posts. I have no doubt that your article will be of similar quality.

Comparing options without making things too complicated was indeed the objective of the graph and this thread.

Huzefa - In line with those objectives, I hope that you understand that old forum posts that went into a much higher level of technical detail won't be discussed by me in this thread.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: RE: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 12:24:39 MST Print View

Lynn,

Thanks for the kind words. I have been contacted by a forum member in the Bay Area. He will provide a WM jacket and vest. I will add this info. If someone in the Bay area has a Nunatak Skaha to loan for a test, I will also add that info.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 12:29:10 MST Print View

Tom K,

Great question regarding the breathability trade off of increased down density. I don't know the answer but, I will try and check to see if there is any published research that answers that question.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 12:39:59 MST Print View

Richard,
That would be much appreciated by the proud owner of a WM Ultralight with 2 oz of overfill. I think it probably was a good idea, but this question has gnawed away at me off and on over the years. I haven't had it out on trips over 11 days and those were in the Sierra in late Sept-Oct, where it worked fine. Winter trips are another question entirely and the results might well be different if I miscalculated the tradeoff.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 12:50:05 MST Print View

Chris,

I appreciate your experience based contributions to this topic. I suspect we have more common ground in our insulation views than our respective posts might lead others to believe. The same insulation types and similar densities will indeed thickness correlate with the warmth of garment. It is the exceptions in down density, down fill power, or differences in synthetic insulation types where anomalies occur. I am sure that there are one or more people in the forum audience who will peer-review at least some of the anomalies I pointed out. As these additional peer-review tests are published, we will both gain additional insights that will allow us to achieve more common ground.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 13:12:56 MST Print View

Richard, I'm sure we have much in common and I appreciate your posts and information. I am trying to correlate your information with my experience. The down density issue particularly interests me as I have not come across this before.

With regard to down fill power and synthetic insulation I have come across many anomalies, especially with the latter. And not just between different synthetics but between apparently identical bags with identical insulation. Synthetics are not uniform. Overall I've found synthetic bags - and I've tested dozens over the years - to be over-rated, some scandalously so. I'm a warm sleeper but have yet to find a synthetic bag that keeps me warm at the claimed temperature rating. With many down bags I am warm below the lower temperature rating. I have raised this with synthetic bag makes occasionally - replies I've been given include "we know serious users don't use synthetics so the temperature ratings are just to make the bag sound good", "we know the bag isn't warm at the claimed temperature rating but our competitors claim the same for similar bags so we can't change it" and "we have no idea what the actual rating is - we just copied what other companies said about similar bags".

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: RE: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 02/24/2009 13:33:41 MST Print View

>If someone in the Bay area has a Nunatak Skaha to loan for a test, I will also add that info.

If no one volunteers, I might consider mailing one to you. The postage costs would be outweighed by the knowledge gained for the BPL collective...

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 03/03/2009 06:14:29 MST Print View

Richard,

Thanks once again for this superlative post that will lead us to many excellent purchases for our gear closets and to the "gear swap" forum to make room for those purchases :-)

I think you covered some of this in your response concerning Under Armor base layers but I'll ask anyway. I use merino wool base layers but, I have some very heavy 320 and 390 weight for winter use. They feel very warm and cozy to me, but I suspect, some of that is due to the other properties (wicking, etc) that you mentioned concerning base layers in general.

My question is, at these stout thicknesses of wool, can you determine their insulation properties, as I have been wearing them as insulation, not as a base layer, although I think they function as both?

Even though these wool garments are heavy, I have preferred them for hiking over my Micropuff or my Montbell Alpine Down as I don't view these as durable enough with their thin shells, or synthetic insulation crushed by the pack, or down absorbing all my sweat. I have limited these "puffy" garments to rest stops and camp or to augment my sleeping bag. But, should these wool garments show that they don't really insulate well, maybe I should reconsider my choices.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 03/03/2009 07:39:45 MST Print View

Michael,

In summary, don’t change a thing.

The heavier Merino wool base layers, as well as the Polartec Power Dry and Power Stretch fabrics, serve a hybrid role. They address the base layer function plus adding insulation beyond what is required for a base layer. The complex weaves and bi-component nature of the aforementioned Polartec products make simple estimations difficult. On the other hand, the thicker Merino wool base layer’s insulation value can be accurately estimated. Measure the uncompressed thickness in inches and then multiply this value by “4 clo/inch” to determine where they are positioned in the insulation graph.

If you are thermo neutral (not uncomfortably cold or sweating) when hiking in your heavier Merino wool garments that is an excellent combo base layer/insulation solution. When you are hiking, you will be typically average in the range of 7 METS. You will only require additional dedicated insulation when your MET level drops significantly. While hiking, you will subconsciously vary your pace in an attempt to stay thermal neutral (not cold or hot). For the same effective temperature that you were comfortable hiking, you will require ~7/1.5=4.7x more insulation when doing camp chores. That activity is typically the province of the dedicated insulation garments.

Edited by richard295 on 03/03/2009 07:41:11 MST.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 03/03/2009 10:47:29 MST Print View

Thanks once again Richard!
Now I feel both physically and academically warm in my wool!
:-)

Edited by mad777 on 03/16/2009 20:44:50 MDT.

f sol
(europeclimber) - F
Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 03/14/2009 11:11:35 MDT Print View

Richard,

As for your Montbell figures,i am a little confused by a former post published by you Nov 28th 2008 (not so long ago)from which i deduce that the MB Alpine jacket CLo would be around 2-2.2 , ie quite lower that what is shown in your nice graph. pls see below

François

own a Mountain Hardware Sub Zero with sewn through construction. It weighs 27 oz in size medium. This is primarily because the external fabric is 55 denier, the liner is 30 denier, and the insulation is 650 fill down. Mountain Hardware doesn’t publish the down fill weight or the clo value of the jacket. Also there is no other independent source that has published the clo value for this jacket. I tested it in my lab and it yielded an intrinsic clo value of 4.477. To put that number in perspective it is more than double the warmth of the Mont-bell Alpine jacket which is Mont-bell’s warmest light weight down jacket. The MB Alpine was also tested by me. The MB Alpine uses 800 fill and box baffles. The MH Sub Zero is an excellent jacket if you require that level of warmth in combination with extreme durability. Equivalent warmth in a jacket using 800+ fill down and lighter fabrics will require ~ 9 oz of 800+ fill

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 03/15/2009 23:40:24 MDT Print View

Francois

The most recent chart I published showed the intrinsic clo for the MB Alpine jacket to be 3.769. The Mountain Hardware Sub Zero tested in the same battery of tests yielded and intrinsic clo of 4.521 versus 4.477 in the earlier November test. This makes the Mountain Hardware Sub Zero approximately 20% warmer than the MB Alpine not 200% warmer as was stated in my November 28, 2008 post. I made a mistake in the November post. Thank you for a great job of consistency checking. I have now corrected the November 28, 2008 post to reflect the correct warmth relationship.

The updated November 28, 2008 post is located at http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=16819

dav rt
(dr150) - F
Questions about SubZero Jackets & Primaloft on 03/20/2009 00:21:08 MDT Print View

Richard,

MH quotes 261g of down in a size L in the Sub Zero jacket and 364g in a size L of the HOODED Sub Zero jacket.

Since they don't offer hood/jacket breakdowns, how much of that 103g difference is placed in the hood in a logical opinion?


Also....are these SubZero jackets warmer than the Phantom (197g size L x 800)?....


I also wonder if a 200g Primaloft jacket could compete with these jackets for warmth.....I keep reading about people using these jackets in 0F degree weather YMMV of course.....

Edited by dr150 on 03/20/2009 00:39:34 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Questions about SubZero Jackets & Primaloft on 03/20/2009 23:04:04 MDT Print View

David,

To recap, my laboratory tests showed that the MH Sub Zero jacket with 9.2 oz of 650 fill down was approximately 20% warmer than the MB Alpine jacket with 6 oz of 800 fill down.

The down, normally allocated to a hood, is in proportion to the average body surface area increase. A jacket covers approximately 48% of your body surface. A hood covers approximately 7% of your body surface area. 7/48 = 15% anticipated increase in the amount of uniform coverage down oz by adding a hood. The fill values you quoted are approximately 28% higher for the MH Sub Zero hooded jacket. This infers that additional insulation was also added to the jacket. In other words, 300.15g of down, not 364g is required to add a hood with equal warmth to the rest of the jacket.

The MH Phantom uses approximately 9 oz of 800 fill and so it will be warmer than the MH Sub Zero jacket using 261 g (9.2 oz) of 650 fill.

200g Primaloft One insulation equals 6 oz/yd2 and 1” of loft. The theoretical clo value, based on the insulation manufacturer’s spec would be 5.040 clo. The laboratory tests I conducted on two different manufactures garments, using this insulation, yielded about 2.52 clo. By contrast, the MH Sub Zero tested 4.521.

Your reading about people using 200g Primaloft One jackets in 0F weather means nothing unless you at least know there average MET rate for the rating period in addition to the their core temperatures before and after the rating period. For example this winter I spent a full day out in -30F wind chill temps wearing only a Power Stretch hoody and hooded wind shirt and was comfortable. Although the preceding sentence is true it is of no value to your ability to gauge the warmth of a Power Stretch hoody. Only if you knew I was that my average MET rate for the day was 7 could you approximate the relative warmth of what I was wearing.

dav rt
(dr150) - F
Primaloft Question on 03/21/2009 01:34:06 MDT Print View

Richard,
Thanks for your very insightful response. Good info.

QUESTIONS:

Does "laminating" (instead of quilting) Primaloft Sport substantially improve the warmth, waterproofness and longevity of this material (per a mfgrs. statements)?...


BTW, isn't 650 x 261g fill (MH SubZero) warmer than 800 x 197g (MH Phantom) (MH quoted me 7 ounces instead of ~9oz.)?...

Edited by dr150 on 03/21/2009 01:36:47 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa)
Re: Primaloft Question on 03/21/2009 02:05:47 MDT Print View

I am not sure there is much advantage in laminating Sport. Sport has minimal quilting requirement so seam stabilization may be sufficient depending on the pattern. Seam will be there even in a garment made of laminated sport. Difference in warmth will be minimal.

Lamination is done to liner.. so waterproofness will depend on shell fabric, zippers and whether it is seam sealed.

Longevity? not sure. synthetic insulation do not have much of a life anyways.


Richard, did you get my PM?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Primaloft Question on 03/21/2009 08:49:30 MDT Print View

David

You are correct on the fill amount for the Phantom. I was going by memeory. I looked at my files this morning and the Phantom was listed at 197 g or 6.948 oz for size L.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Primaloft Question on 03/21/2009 08:51:30 MDT Print View

Huzefa,

Good analysis!

I didn't receive your PM. Also I have some other PMs in the queue which I haven't had an opportunity to answer yet.

Tim F
(kneebyter) - MLife

Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)
re: new paradigm on 03/21/2009 11:17:20 MDT Print View

Richard,

Not to belabor this point, but I also thank you for giving of your time and knowledge to help fellow backpackers understand these issues. You have taught so many of us not just the what (garment X is *relatively* warmer than garment Y), but the why (clo values, MET for different activities, BSA coverages). I think your posts let people understand this stuff at whatever level they want to or are able to. One can take away an understanding of how to calculate some of these values oneself given the right information, or simply look at one of your easily understood graphics for a quick comparison. Also fully explaining the right and wrong of long held axioms (such as loft vs down density) has changed completely how I look at some choices.

I also wanted to let you know that if you have not done any testing on the BPL Cocoon 60 jackets I would be happy to ship mine to you, and pay for return postage. Might be best to wait until June when I won't be using it. Let me know if you are interested.

Andrew Shapira
(northwesterner) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Request to add weight to the table on 09/12/2010 10:42:14 MDT Print View

Nice table, Richard. I appreciate your putting that together. Is there any chance that you could add the weight of each jacket in the table, say, in parentheses after the jacket name? That'd help make the tradeoffs even clearer.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
Primaloft v Polarguard Question on 09/20/2010 16:04:27 MDT Print View

I was wondering where a light-weight primaloft one hoodie like the Patagonia nano-puff would compare in the table versus a BMW Cocoon UL 60 hoodie? Any thoughts?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Primaloft v Polarguard Question on 09/20/2010 17:55:43 MDT Print View

Jim,

The WT jacket in the chart is comprised of 2 layers of 60 g/m2 PL1. Other PL1 jacket's clo value can be estimated by simple extrapolation. The Pat Nano Puff uses 1 60 g/m2 layer and so it would test with approximately 1/2 the iclo value.

The Cocoon used 1.8 oz/yd2 Polargaurd Delta and the Patagonia Micropuff used 2.7 oz/yd Polargaurd Delta. Again a simple extrapolation can be used to estimate the Cocoon's iclo value from what I published for the Micropuff.

Edited by richard295 on 09/20/2010 18:29:16 MDT.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 11/30/2010 13:47:14 MST Print View

Anybody know where the MB Ex Light would be on this chart?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 11/30/2010 13:52:08 MST Print View

1.62 Iclo

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 11/30/2010 13:57:24 MST Print View

Thanks! Any idea on the Patagonia Down Sweater?

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 11/30/2010 16:53:09 MST Print View

Ex Light = 1.62 Iclo vs. Down Inner = 1.78 Iclo

This does not seem to add up with my field observations. I own both the Ex Light and Down Inner. Subjectively, the Ex Light seems noticeably warmer to me. Does the above figure take into account the difference between 800 and 900 fill down? One factor that may make a fairly sifnificant difference is the lack of pockets in the Ex Light, which translates to less convective heat loss. On paper, I would not expect to notice any difference between the two garments, so this is puzzling to me. An additional anomoly of note is that both my Ex Light Vest and Jacket are approximately 10% below specs on weight (Size L and M, respectively).

@Chris - from an earlier post in the thread by Richard, regarding the Patagonia Down Sweater vest and Hooded Pullover: "intrinsic clo was ~2.31."

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
parka on 11/30/2010 17:20:19 MST Print View

is it compared to the UL parka?

my exlight is pretty warm for the weight

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: parka on 11/30/2010 17:35:42 MST Print View

"my exlight is pretty warm for the weight"

Mine, too. I have taken to using it as my second layer in place of an Ibex wool crew neck. Much warmer, and lighter, as mine weighs 4.5 oz in size medium, about an ounce lighter than the Ibex crew.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
ex light on 11/30/2010 17:59:32 MST Print View

"my exlight is pretty warm for the weight"

mine three (or is it four?) :)

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: parka on 11/30/2010 19:23:58 MST Print View

is it compared to the UL parka?

Yes, the UL Inner parka and the jacket, but I am mostly comparing the Ex Light to the current version of the UL Inner Parka, which I recently parted with in favor of the Ex Light combined with a Black Rock Beanie.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 11/30/2010 21:16:32 MST Print View

The Montbell tests (2010 catalog) list the UL and EX garments as the same Iclo. Only a .16 Iclo difference is effectively equal when you consider the tolerances between individual garments of the same type.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
vests on 12/01/2010 07:11:30 MST Print View

Richard- hate to bother you, but would be possible to list a few vests (if the info is available)- maybe Micro Puff and one of the down offerings?

Would like to see how they fit into the scheme of things

thanks in advance

Mike

KEN LARSON
(KENLARSON) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
RN Laboratory Measured IcIo on 12/01/2010 07:47:46 MST Print View

Richard ….I seem to have remembered that you were going to measure the IcIo of a Skaha Sweater some time back.

QUESTIONS:
1.) Have you posted those measurements on another thread or just have not updated your RN Laboratory Measured IcIo graph?

2.) If you haven’t as of yet made those measurements, would I be correct in saying, that a Skaha Sweater would have a 2.7+ IcIo value with a down content (4.5oz/850+ down), compared to the MB Alpine Light Jacket (4.0oz/800+ down) of 2.51 IcIo and MB Alpine Light Jacket’s replacement, the MB Frost Line Parka (6.7oz/800 down) of 3.77 IcIo?

3.) Would I also be correct in saying, that a Skaha Sweater IcIo value with a down content (6.5oz/850+ down) would be comparable to that of MB Permafrost Down Parka (6.9oz/800 down, of about 5.25 IcIo without the actual testing of either the Skaha Sweater and MB Permafrost Down Parka?

Edited by KENLARSON on 12/01/2010 07:54:07 MST.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
extrapolation question on 12/01/2010 11:07:35 MST Print View

richard, your work has added new meaning to how i look at the insulative quality of clothing. thank you for your work.

as recommended, i have tried to extrapolate from information provided. the wild things hoody has 2 layers of 1.8 oz primaloft for a Iclo of 1.46. the wild things belay jacket has 6 oz primaloft insulation. would that give the belay jacket an Iclo (based on the chart) of 2.43, which would compare to a patagonia down pull-over? having worn the patagonia pull-over, montbell alpine light and the wt belay jacket, i thought the belay was considerably warmer than the other two. is there an error in my thinking? do i need to make adjustments for the diference in shell material?

thanks

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: vests on 12/01/2010 21:54:14 MST Print View

Mike,

The relative warmth between garment types within the same family (down or synthetic) can be easily approximated. This assumes the typical case where the garments all use the same fabric and insulation areal weights (for example 100g/m2 PL1 and 15 denier ballistic nylon). The average body surface area for a parka is 52%, a jacket is 48%, and a vest is 36%. A vest will keep you 75% as warm as the comparable jacket, because 36 /48 = 75%, and compared to the parka it will keep you 69% as warm. A vest is generally the most efficient insulating item you can add to your clothing. To illustrate this BSA phenomenon, as discussed above, the Montbell Thermawrap synthetic vest provides 75% of the total insulation that the jacket provides yet, the ratio of garment weights is only 63%. This phenomenon holds for all insulation types.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: RN Laboratory Measured IcIo on 12/01/2010 22:23:30 MST Print View

Ken,

It will be probably be spring 2011, at the earliest, before I do anymore new in depth garment testing. It is a very time consuming process and I have some higher priorities that I need to take care of first. Extrapolating from past tests is easy and so I can address your questions 2 and 3 now.
2) Answer - The standard fill amount Nunatak Skaha sweater, with 850 down, has a theoretical Iclo value of 3.02 versus the MB Alpine Light Down Jacket’s 2.70 Iclo, and the MB Frostline’s 4.10 Iclo.

3) Answer – 4.08 is the theoretical Iclo for a Skaha sweater with 6.5 oz of 850 fill versus the Montbell Permafrost at 5.29.

The above estimates are predicated on proprietary regressions derived from the large battery of lab tests that I did last year.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: extrapolation question on 12/01/2010 23:14:55 MST Print View

Richard,

Your extrapolation methodoly is correct. I can understand that it is hard to believe.

I found a troubling anomaly relative to every synthetic garment I tested last year; they provided consistently less Iclo than the insulation manufacturer’s specification. See http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=31482&skip_to_post=268989#268989

To give the synthetic insulation vendor’s the benefit of the doubt, I use the vendor’s insulation specification when estimating the Iclo value of a garment that I haven’t lab tested. Using this optimistic (blind faith) approach, the Iclo value for the Wild Things Belay Jacket (2009 version) is 4.96 and the 2010 version is 4.44. This would jive with your real world experience that it is considerably warmer than a Patagonia down pull-over.

Please place both your WT Belay jacket and your Patagonia down pull-over on your living room floor and place an ice cube under each. After the first ice cube melts, please let us know which jacket it was under and if the melt times were significantly different.

Edited by richard295 on 12/02/2010 10:44:06 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
vests on 12/02/2010 07:46:26 MST Print View

Richard- thanks, that makes sense and is easy to do :)

good point on the weight of garment vs insulation value, the vest (if sufficient for your needs) does fare well

Mike

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
vest on 12/02/2010 12:31:56 MST Print View

one useful attribute of a vest i find in winter is that it gets less moisture ...

now you might say "eric youre an effing idiot for getting down wet"

but in winter when youre playing around in the snow youll notice that your gloves, sleeves, and other peripheral areas get quite moist ... when you put on yr jacket those areas have a tendency to soak up some of that moisture as well ... DWR or not

a vest avoid a lot of this issue by not having sleeves...

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
vest on 12/02/2010 12:39:55 MST Print View

^ good point, and now that you mention that's my experience as well

I'm thinking a syn vest + R1 for 3 season "wet trips" (we're contemplating some trips to the PNW), thinking syn vest w/ R1 w/ a medium-ish down jacket for winter- I think a syn vest would fit into my hunting clothing scheme as well

for the Rockies, I really can't see anything replacing my ex light for three season use

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
fleece on 12/02/2010 21:44:31 MST Print View

mike ... if youre going to be active in it a highly breathable fleece vest would be a better choice IMO for PNW winters/shoulder seasons

itll weight a bit more but dries much faster IMO ... the thing with synth is that both the nylon lining and the synth insulation must dry ... fleece is one uniform fabric

itll be more breathable when active, weight a bit more ... but itll also be cheaper and over time it wont lose insulation due to compression

and much more durable around those pointy things we carry in winter ...

i dont think you need both a R1 and a vest though for active situations ... id overheat unless it was below 0F

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/02/2010 21:45:36 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
vest on 12/03/2010 07:30:25 MST Print View

eric- for 3 season "wet" I wouldn't really anticipate hiking w/ the syn vest, and only occasionally w/ the R1

the vest & R1 would essentially replace my down garment that I would use here

winter I envision the syn vest augmenting a lighter down jacket (vs a more "traditional" heavier one)- again probably would be rare to be moving w/ the vest (but possible)

just thinking out loud :)

Bill Reynolds
(billreyn1) - M

Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
Ex Light vs. older UL inner on 01/26/2011 08:57:07 MST Print View

I just got a new MB Ex Light jacket. I have an older 2005/2006 725 fill UL Inner jacket. I haven't worn the new one yet but was looking for comments regarding the relative warmth of one to the other. The EX is 3 oz lighter in XL but it is hard to believe it could be as warm or warmer than the UL Inner. I have worn the inner on some cold nights and stayed warm. It would be particularly helpful to hear from someone who has owned both ( the older UL Inner and the new 900 fill EX Light) Thanks in advance.

Bill Reynolds
(billreyn1) - M

Locale: North East Georgia Mountains
Ex Light vs. older UL inner on 01/26/2011 13:03:04 MST Print View

Anybody?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
ul v exlight on 01/26/2011 13:12:51 MST Print View

I never owned the UL Inner (but do have the Exlight)- you want to look at fill weight vs overall weight- most of the savings in overall weight are construction (no pockets, etc ) and material 7d vs 15d

then it comes "down" :) to 900 vs 725- there is a formula floating around that shows how much impact the quality of down makes

I have heard from folks that have had both, they thought the Exlight was as warm (some thought even warmer) than the UL- maybe one of them will pipe in

Edited by mtwarden on 01/26/2011 13:13:30 MST.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
UL Down Inner v EX Light on 01/26/2011 13:31:42 MST Print View

I have them both, and thought that the EX Light was warmer, thanks to the 900 fill down. I had serious problems with the EX Light's zipper (it eventually broke and I had to replace the jacket) and fabric, which was a long way from being down proof. I should say that my EX Light was one of the earliest on the market, and I understand that newer models have been more reliable. My Down Inner is the parka, which has a hood, a feature I really like. If buying today I'd probably go with the Down Inner.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 01/26/2011 21:14:04 MST Print View

ahhhh .. all this timei thought polarstretch was toastier than polartech 100. now we know.
a long time, and we are talk'n about 3 decades ago, Fletcher wrote at length about warmness., and to some extent this included a bit about poofyness (my word), and how some insulations feel warmer (and ARE) because they not only insulate, but poof up to exclude cold air from entering into where You are.
this to me is the major reason those down jackets made of so-very-light material seem so toasty.
poofy pushes out the cold. what remains is heat. (that's right.. isn't it ?)

alex lucovich
(MtMAN) - F
high clo jacket on 01/30/2011 11:24:20 MST Print View

Hi y'all ... I'm new to the site but I've been reading posts for the past month - very informative!
I was wondering if I could get some advice - I'm looking for a down jacket w/ at least 800 fill power (preferably 850) & w/ a high fill weight (6.5 - 8 oz). I'm not extremely concerned w/ every little oz. of the total weight but it definitely has to bundle up very tightly when in my pack & be somewhat light.
The NB fugu seems ideal but its not available in my size - I'm considering the rab infinity - it is light w/ 7.4 oz of 850 down & is actually 50g less than the advertised 510ish grams (hope that doesn't mean 50g less of down).

Any other suggestions?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: high clo jacket per weight jackets in the range of 6.5 - 8.0 oz 800+ fill on 01/30/2011 12:02:02 MST Print View

Alex,

Based on the criteria you specified, the Rab Infinity is the fourth most suitable. The three jackets ahead of it, in rank order, are Feathered Friends Helios, PHD Yukon, and the Sir Joseph Koteka. The fifth most suitable is the least expensive and is the CAMP ED Jacket.

Edited by richard295 on 01/30/2011 12:06:30 MST.

alex lucovich
(MtMAN) - F
Re: Re: high clo jacket per weight jackets in the range of 6.5 - 8.0 oz 800+ fill on 01/30/2011 14:04:36 MST Print View

Thank you Richard!
I think I've narrowed it down to the helios, yukon & infinity. PHD doesn't advertise its fill weight although it is 900 fill power. Would you be able to estimate its fill weight & those 3 jackets' clo values? I'm wondering whether the numerous cold spots on the infinity will substantially reduce its warmth (although will be excellent for protecting the down from shifting). The infinity also seems to be able to pack the smallest but I could be completely wrong on that.
Thanks again =)

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: high clo jacket per weight jackets in the range of 6.5 - 8.0 oz 800+ fill on 01/30/2011 15:32:37 MST Print View

Alex,

Helios - 8.00 oz., 4.78 Iclo
Yukon - 7.85 oz., 4.90 Iclo
Infinity - 7.41 oz., 4.56 Iclo
PHD - 7.85 oz., 4.90 Iclo

The average person can only detect a variance in a jacket's insulation in increments of .5 clo and so all of the aforementioned jackets will feel the same to you, assuming a good fit.

The secret to maximizing the efficiency of sewn through baffle garments, such as the Infinity or Helios, is to size either your wind shirt or hard shell to wear over it. The v shaped spaces between the baffle seams and the outer material of a wind shirt or hard shell create insulating air gaps that offset the loss of insulation at the seam.

The rank order I provided in my prior post was based on the ratio between warmth and weight / volume.

Edited by richard295 on 01/30/2011 16:01:02 MST.

alex lucovich
(MtMAN) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: high clo jacket per weight jackets in the range of 6.5 - 8.0 oz 800+ fill on 01/30/2011 15:39:10 MST Print View

Richard, to say that you're a wealth of info would be a huge understatement - thanks for all the advice! I feel a lot more comfortable now making a purchase. =)

Yoann Larguier
(MayoCaen) - F
Rab Jackets on 02/16/2011 02:49:55 MST Print View

Hello,

I'm french so sorry for my english... I was reading your messages, and I was wondering about the clo for Rab jackets such as : Photon Jacket, Generator Jacket, Xenon Jacket and Generator Alpine Jacket.

Do you have an idea ? I tried to calculate it, but the result is not correct.

Thank you in advance,
Yoann

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Rab Jackets on 02/16/2011 14:28:45 MST Print View

Yoann,

Rab Photon Belay Jacket 3.92
Rab Photon 2.66
Rab Generator Jacket 2.27
RAB Xenon Jacket 1.51
Rab Generator Jacket Alpine 2.27 (Has a 60 g/m2 hood but assume a similar hat for the Generator Jacket)

Edited by richard295 on 02/16/2011 14:45:40 MST.

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: OH & AK
Rab down gear on 02/17/2011 23:59:42 MST Print View

I picked up a Rab Microlight Vest for a decent price and it seems pretty warm. What would the clo be for something like that? How about the Microlight Jacket? Thanks

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Rab down gear on 02/18/2011 00:40:31 MST Print View

Ryan,

Both the Microlight jacket and vest have an Iclo of 2.22. The Iclo values are to compare garments in the same class. Since the vest class only covers 75% of your body surface area, it will only be 75% as warm as the jacket class with the same insulation per unit area.

Yoann Larguier
(MayoCaen) - F
Re: Re: Rab Jackets on 02/18/2011 00:57:55 MST Print View

Waow !!
Thank you very much !

Do you know a way to calculate approximately the "temperature of comfort" or the "limit temperature" of the jackets (as for sleeping bags). The only one way to calculate de "temperature of comfort" is with : T=31-0,155 P * R with T in °C, P in W/m² and R in clo, can I say : "The jacket can help me to be confortable up to :"

Or should I say :
with a micro-fleece of 200g/m² (weight=275g size L, clo=0,76 ?) and a merinos wool long-sleeves of 210g/m²(weight 260g size L, clo=0,16 ???), I have CLO = clo_jacket + clo_fleece + clo_merinos

Jacket alone Jacket + fleece + merino
Rab Photon Belay Jacket 3.92 -5,5°C clo=4,84 -14,0 °C
Rab Photon 2.66 6,3 °C clo=3,58 -2,3 °C
Rab Generator Jacket 2.27 9,9°C clo=3,19 1,3 °C
RAB Xenon Jacket 1.51 17°C clo=2,43 8,4 °C
Rab Generator Jacket Alpine 2.27 9,9°C clo=3,19 1,3 °C

If it's "right", is it for you a temperature for "comfort" or for "limit" ?
Thank you very much in advance !
Yoann

Sergiy Sosnytskiy
(ssv310)

Locale: Ukraine
Re: Re: Rab Jackets on 02/18/2011 01:06:34 MST Print View

Hi Richard,
You give Rab Generator Jacket a value comparable to that of Montbell Alpine Light. The latter is much loftier (I think, at least twice) and, in my limited experience, feels warmer. What is the reason they have comparable Iclo?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
loft and down fill weight on 02/18/2011 01:14:40 MST Print View

It appears, from my experience and from winnowing the information from several posts, that garment loft is a relative issue, even using the same type of insulator.

Two identically constructed jackets filled with down TO THE SAME LOFT THICKNESS, one having 850 cu. in./oz. of down and the other having 650 cu. in./oz. of down will insulate differently in actual on-trail use with a pack.

The pack harness and back pad will compress the wonderfully light 850 fill down more than the "lesser" 650 fill down. Everybody knows about how well high count fill down compresses. That's great for packing it in a stuffsack, not so great when wearing under heavier or more restrictive shells and especially under a pack. You lose more insulation with the "higher cu. in./oz." down with the same compression/sq. in. compared with "lesser" down.

So maybe we need to re-think what fill weight is most satisfactory if a down garment is to be worn with a pack.

Just sayin'...

Edited by Danepacker on 02/18/2011 01:22:54 MST.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Vests? on 02/18/2011 01:55:24 MST Print View

Richard,

I am unsure if this information exists anywhere. Forgive me if I have missed it.

What is the relative clo value of a vest of comparable loft, down and shell fabrics compared to a jacket?

I know there may not be a simple answer. However, how much warmth are we getting, scientifically, from our down vests?

FWIW, I'm thinking of my WM Flight Vest in particular. It looks like it's a sleeveless version of their Flight Jacket. Comparable insulation value over the core, but with gaping holes where the sleeves should be.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Vests? on 02/18/2011 04:11:10 MST Print View

Stephen I am not sure if this is what you are looking for but from earlier in this thread





Richard says
"The relative warmth between garment types within the same family (down or synthetic) can be easily approximated. This assumes the typical case where the garments all use the same fabric and insulation areal weights (for example 100g/m2 PL1 and 15 denier ballistic nylon). The average body surface area for a parka is 52%, a jacket is 48%, and a vest is 36%. A vest will keep you 75% as warm as the comparable jacket, because 36 /48 = 75%, and compared to the parka it will keep you 69% as warm. A vest is generally the most efficient insulating item you can add to your clothing. To illustrate this BSA phenomenon, as discussed above, the Montbell Thermawrap synthetic vest provides 75% of the total insulation that the jacket provides yet, the ratio of garment weights is only 63%. This phenomenon holds for all insulation types."

also


"The garment's torso is tested with a guarded hot plate to ascertain its insulation value. I tested a Patagonia down Sweater vest and determined its intrinsic clo was ~2.31. I also tested a Patagonia down Sweater Pullover hoody and determined its intrinsic clo was ~2.31. The insulation, fabric, and construction although slightly different between the garment types, yielded the same ~intrinsic insulation value. Total clo, for each garment, is determined by multiplying the intrinsic clo by the body surface area that it covers. The average body surface areas (BSA) covered by different garment types are as follows:

Hat 4%
Shoes 7%
Balaclava 8%
Pants 43%
Shirt or Jacket 48%
Hoody 54.5%
One Piece Suit 80%
Sleeping Bag 98%

If you want to compare the total clo between two dissimilar garment types (for example the Fugu jacket and the Permafrost Parka), multiply the intrinsic clo value times the BSA for each garment to determine how they compare. The Fugu total clo is .48 * 6.18 = 2.97. The Permafrost total clo is .55 * 5.24 = 2.90. The hood on the Permafrost is huge but a down balaclava, in combination with the Fugu would easily beat it for greater warmth at less weight, save the relative durability issue."

My apologies if you had already read these posts

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Rab Jackets on 02/18/2011 07:54:48 MST Print View

Sergiy,

The Rab Generator uses PL1 insulation and the Montbell Alpine Light uses 800 fill power down. Loft is only a rough comparator if the two jackets have the same insulation type, the same density, and comparable fit.

If the Rab Generator Jacket feels warmer to you, my only guess is that this garment fits you better at the openings. If you have gaps at the neck, wrists, or torso then the chimney effect will purge the warm air from a garment.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 02/18/2011 08:06:17 MST Print View

All body surface area is not equal

Head is more important than torso than arms and legs

If you're cold, reduced blood flow to arms and legs will cool them off, so there will be less heat leaking out there

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Rab Jackets on 02/18/2011 08:16:54 MST Print View

Yoann,

You also have to factor in your MET rate to determine what level of insulation will keep you comfortable. This old foum thread may be helpful:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/9378/index.html

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Jerry's Comment About Head Warmth on 02/18/2011 08:33:26 MST Print View

The physiological factors that are a result of slow onset hypothermia, such as vaso constriction of the limbs but, not the head, are discussed in detail here:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=13697

Edited by richard295 on 02/18/2011 08:36:40 MST.

Sergiy Sosnytskiy
(ssv310)

Locale: Ukraine
Re: Re: Re: Re: Rab Jackets on 02/18/2011 10:39:36 MST Print View

Richard,
No, Montbell Alpine Light feels warmer to me than Rab Generator, and the difference seemed to be more than than the difference in figures. Though, now I am confused. I will try to compare them again :)

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
vests weight efficieny also due to hight regulated core temperature (37C) on 02/18/2011 12:26:30 MST Print View

Doesn't the fact that only the bodys core is temperature regulated to 37 degrees C mean that bodywarmers(vests) are more weight efficient, because there will be a bigger difference between ambient and body temperatures, hence vest insulation here has a greater effect.

Presumably, hats have a similarly 'boosted' effect, as I dont think you can cut blood supply to your brain when cold.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rab Jackets on 02/18/2011 17:47:00 MST Print View

Sergiy,

Look at the very first post in this thread, it shows the clo value for the MB Alpine Light, it has a higher Iclo than the Rab Generator; so, the MB Alpine Light should feel warmer as you confirmed.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Re: Vests? on 02/18/2011 18:11:54 MST Print View

Roger,

Thank you, that was exactly the type of response I was looking for. I must've missed it.

a b
(Ice-axe)
All body surface areas are not equal in importance. on 02/18/2011 19:03:06 MST Print View

"All body surface area is not equal

Head is more important than torso than arms and legs

If you're cold, reduced blood flow to arms and legs will cool them off, so there will be less heat leaking out there"

I have been thinking about this thread a lot while training in the cold rain these past days.
I have to agree with the above statement. Even though the head has a relativeley small BSA it is responsible for a very much greater amount of heat loss due to the blood flow very near the surface of the skin.
When it comes to being comfortable I and quite a few of my friends(judging by the insulating garments they wear) have found that keeping the Torso, Head, Hands ,Feet, arms, and legs warm in that order of importance to yield the best results.
If someone locked me in a meat locker naked and offered me one piece of clothing at a time I might chose differently say: Torso,feet,head,hands,arms,legs due to percieved immediate comfort.
Either way the head is very much more important to preserving heat than it's 4% BSA would indicate.Brr

I have to add though that i am tentatively on board with the CLO ratings VS simple measures of loft in regards to warmth.
I recently added an MLD spirit quilt with APEX insulation to my gear and have been testing it alongside my WM ulta-light down bag.
The 1.75" of measured loft of my APEX is as warm as the 2.5" measured of Goose down loft.
I used them both as a quilt at temperatures from 38 degrees to the low 50's. At least in my subjective determination they are equally as warm.
The other factor is the momentum fabric of the MLD quilt has greater warmth to the touch. It even seems to warm up quicker but this could be due to the lack of quilting that allows less dead airspace than my down bag.
I was about as stubborn a "loft is warmth" guy as there ever was but lately my experience with APEX is changing my mind.

Edited by Ice-axe on 02/18/2011 19:23:37 MST.

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Insultex clo = 2.0 on 02/19/2011 10:55:52 MST Print View

I'm sitting here with a large piece of insultex draped over my head. The specs say this paper thin piece of foam looking material has a clo of 2. That would put it pretty high on the clo charts and above 300 fleece.

Hmmmmm, I'm going to have to ponder this one. I sure don't feel as warm as I would with a 300 fleece blanket draped over me and this insultex stuff is sandwiched between two layers of remay type fabric....which should make it a little bit warmer yet.

Daryl

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
agreeing on 02/19/2011 11:20:42 MST Print View

I would agree with Matt in that if my head, hands and feet are covered well and pretty warm I can go a lot colder or with less insulation on my arms, legs and torso. But I am really tall and the extremities are even moreso.

I know that Andrew Skurka really liked using an Apex insulation quilt over his Alaska trip and did not notice much if any loft loss over the course of it.

Edited by bpeugh on 02/19/2011 11:30:33 MST.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
head on 02/20/2011 10:08:20 MST Print View

curious. a question about the numbers and statistics that say people lose the majority of heat through their head....

is that heat loss through your skin (same as the rest of your body) or do they calculate the percentage of heat that escapes through the big holes in your body in the head (mouth, nose, ears, eyes). i would think that those gateways into the body's interior would EASILY be the sources of the greatest heat loss.

if that were the case, then the priority of covering one's body with insulation would have to change due to the inability to cover those holes (or the importance of gear like a hat that covers the ears or a balaclava would increase). i can see a down turban in the future!

can anyone provide any clarity or insight to this?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: head on 02/20/2011 21:43:44 MST Print View

Josh,

Your 10 -12% nose and mouth heat loss is covered under the category of respiration heat loss and is a separate category from the body surface area dry heat losses.

The “United States Naval Flight Surgeon's Manual: Third Edition 1991: Chapter 20: Thermal Stresses and Injuries”. It states, “Vaporization of water removes heat from the skin surface and the moist mucous membranes of the respiratory epithelium. When one gram of water is converted into water vapor, 0.58 kilocalories of heat must be supplied from the surroundings for the conversion to occur. Although the actual amount of heat loss depends on the ambient relative humidity, in Antarctica, where humidity is very low, respiration alone may account for ten percent (375 kcal) of an individual's total daily heat loss. Insensible perspiration, as is shown in a later section, accounts for an additional loss of about 400 kcal.” Note the 10% value for Artic respiration.

70 Kcal/hour is effectively the same as the 70.77 Kcal/hour BMR value used in the ISO 8996 (2004) International standard. Most physiology models list the constituent components of heat loss as 12.5% (= 8.8 Kcal/hour) respiration, 12.5% (= 8.8 Kcal/hour) insensible perspiration, and 75% dry heat loss (= 53.1 Kcal/hour).

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
:( on 02/20/2011 21:55:29 MST Print View

richard,
i appreciate your answer. do you think you could explain that to me like i'm a 4th grader?
thanks

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: :( on 02/20/2011 22:05:53 MST Print View

> like i'm a 4th grader?
:-)

If your head cools by 1 C then your body work very hard to restore the temperature of your head - at almost any cost.
If your arms or legs cool by 1 C, then your body says ... ho-hum.

Does that help?

cheers

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
no rog on 02/20/2011 23:00:16 MST Print View

hehehe. i appreciate the thought that went into that, but it doesn't clarify my post a couple above this. concerning heat loss through the holes in the head (mouth, nose, eyes, ears).

a b
(Ice-axe)
The lunatic fringe are "nose breathers" on 02/20/2011 23:16:21 MST Print View

Okay.. I am a new member of BPL so take it easy on me but....
For a long time I have noticed that breathing through my nose even while hiking has advantages over mouth breathing under extremes of cold and heat.
Remember I was born and raised in California so if my theory sounds whacked out it's because I am.. er it is.
Here goes:
Under cold conditions when the air is also very dry breathing air through the mouth causes stress on the lungs and increased dehydration and cooling of the core.
Breathing through the nose under similar cold/dry gives the nasal turbinates time to humidfy and warm the air as it is inhaled and recapture some warmth and humidity on the exhale that would be lost out the mouth otherwise.
Similarly in very Hot conditions breathing through the nose cools massive amounts of blood in the nasal passages and therefore the head and brain versus mouth breathing. Also nose breathing in Hot dry conditions reduces dehydration by scavenging moisture from the lungs and using it to humidfy incomming dry air in the nasal passages.
If you are still with me.. I have found i use less water when i force myself to nose breathe even if it means moderating my pace to allow for it.
While it is not always possible to breathe solely through the nose at higher activity levels (such as Colorado's CDT) I found that i can "train" myself to do so for a significant part of the time while climbing uphill.
I believe nose breathing doubles the distance i can hike on a liter of water before reaching the same state of dehdration as mouth breathing.
I have no hard science to back up my belief.. but I did stay at a Holiday Inn express once.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: The lunatic fringe are "nose breathers" on 02/20/2011 23:21:25 MST Print View

See if you can cross your nose breathing for temperature with pressure breathing for high altitude.

--B.G.--

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: The lunatic fringe are "nose breathers" on 02/21/2011 02:49:32 MST Print View

> I have found i use less water when i force myself to nose breathe even if it means moderating my pace to allow for it.

Yup. Happens that way.

Cheers

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Face Mask on 02/21/2011 09:52:22 MST Print View

So, for retention of heat, breathing thorugh some type of face mask probably helps.

In cold weather I like to use one anyway because it feels better. I don't like cold air going down my windpipe when I'm breathing hard. It sometimes makes me cough.

Daryl

Eric Botshon
(Ebotshon) - F
Chart Vs. Stated CLO Values on 09/07/2011 14:31:35 MDT Print View

According to Primaloft, Primaloft One has a clo value of 0.92

The patagonia nano puff uses 60g/yd -> 2.12 oz/yd which if my understanding is correct would give this garment's insulation a clo of 1.95

This would be as warm as the MB Down Inner. The MB Thermawrap Parka has 80g of exceloft insulation and is rated at .77 on your chart.

Why is this?

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Chart Vs. Stated CLO Values on 09/07/2011 14:57:03 MDT Print View

Look at the dates. Those charts are nearly 2 and half years old. You'll notice the Patagonia uses Polarguard (PGD) and not primaloft. A lot has changed.

Primaloft recently (within the past year) updated the clo of all their products. Some new manufacturing process is my guess. They actually were rather generous and simply replaced all their old products with the improved products instead of differentiating lines and charging more...

Anyway PL1 used to be rated lower (0.89 if memory serves me). Also remember these are MEASURED clo values. The MB and Patagonia both use sewn through construction which decreases clo. Also manufacturer specs aren't always most accurate, with testing conditions usually being optimized to max out the clo value...

Hope this helps.

M L
(herzzreh)
hm.. on 10/19/2011 19:51:14 MDT Print View

I don't quite understand... if you look at Richard's other chart and the chart on top, it appears that I will be more than warm if I wear the Fugu jacket and nothing else on a 0 degree while sitting still. Something seems odd... Am I misinterpreting something?

James Klein
(jnklein21) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: hm.. on 10/19/2011 20:17:44 MDT Print View

I didn't dig up the other graph but I am pretty sure I remember the one you are refering to...

The one at the top of this thread gives Iclo (intrensic clo) for various garments. This is the insulation value nominalized for surface area (a 1"X1" square of the jacket would have the same Iclo but much much smaller clo.

The other graph (if I remember) had clo required vs temperature with MET rate traces. The clo required is the total clo of all clothing. If you had the iclo's of all your garments you would have to multiply each by the %body covered and add them together to get clo.

You would need a fugu bodysuit to stay warm at the temperature and activity level.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: hm.. on 10/20/2011 12:04:52 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=9378

M L
(herzzreh)
Re: Re: hm.. on 10/21/2011 11:05:34 MDT Print View

Oh, ok... makes sense. I was adding up clo for some of my clothing and it was not adding up to the required clo for the activity level... I forgot about the legs and head...

Richard James
(newparadigm) - F
Re: Ex Light vs. older UL inner on 11/17/2011 01:24:59 MST Print View

Outstanding jacket and good value. It weighs (and packs to) almost nothing and kept me warm on a trip to the Alps with temps in the 20's. Pair this with a lightweight waterproof shell and you probably won't need anything else for most endeavors.

gao qian
(smgao) - F
Re: A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth on 11/28/2011 05:58:53 MST Print View

hi richard
do you have same parameter about EB MOUNTAIN GUIDE HOODED DOWN JACKET.
thanks

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
EB Mountain Guide Jacket on 11/28/2011 07:27:07 MST Print View

4.35 iclo

gao qian
(smgao) - F
Re: EB Mountain Guide Jacket on 11/28/2011 10:11:45 MST Print View

thanks for your quick replay,
this iclo Below my expectations.
so could you tell me the WM vaper and WM meltdown.
the iclo about meltdown is with hood or not?
thanks again

Edited by smgao on 11/28/2011 10:12:30 MST.

Patrick Young
(lightingboy) - F

Locale: Southwest
CLO of Patagonia ultralight jacket/hoody? on 12/10/2011 05:44:17 MST Print View

Richard,

According to pata cs this series of garments uses the same amount of down as
the down sweater and hoody. Would the clo be the same give that down density
Also is a contributor to that overall value or have they compressed it too much?
Thx
Pat

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: CLO of Patagonia ultralight jacket/hoody? on 12/10/2011 16:08:36 MST Print View

Pat,

They test the same. The key to maximizing the warmth of small down channel garmets, like these, is to always wear them under a windshirt or hardshell. This will capture still air pockets over the seams for significant additional warmth.

Patrick Young
(lightingboy) - F

Locale: Southwest
RE: "A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth" on 01/06/2012 19:51:47 MST Print View

Richard
Do you have the clo for the Patagonia ultralight down shirt? I want to layer it with the ultralight down hoody for colder temps.
At what temp would that combo be thermal neutral?
Thanks
Pat

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: RE: "A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth" on 01/06/2012 23:16:42 MST Print View

Patrick,

The Patagonia UL down shirt is 1.66 Iclo. That shirt plus a MB UL Down Hoody and doing camp chores, sheltered from the wind, will be thermo-neutral at ~31F.

Ismail Faruqi
(ismailfaruqi) - F
CLO on 01/09/2012 19:43:06 MST Print View

Hi Richard,

Could you tell me the lcl clo of following combination:

Top:
1) 100% merino 150gsm
2) Capilene 4 half-zip
3) Rab Alpine Pull-on
4) R3 hi-loft
5) Crux Lava (310grams of down)

Bottom:
1) R1 thights
2) Softshell Pant
3) Feathered Friend -40 pants

What is my thermo-neutral point when belaying and doing camp chores? Thanks!

Patrick Young
(lightingboy) - F

Locale: Southwest
RE "A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth" on 01/30/2012 07:57:58 MST Print View

Richard,

Do you have a clo on the Golite Bitterroot?
Thanks

Pat

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Golite Bitterroot Iclo on 01/30/2012 11:24:09 MST Print View

3.44

Erik Hall
(telemonster) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Help me understand on 01/30/2012 15:26:52 MST Print View

I have an old wild things sweater that I want to replace, that has the 2 layers of 60g primaloft 1 quilted together, and the chart gives it a 1.46 iclo. The Rab Xenon, with one layer of 60g primaloft has an iclo of 1.51, and the Rab generator, with 100g of primaloft 1 has an iclo of 2.27. Shouldnt the wild things be similar to the generator, or higher? Thanks

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Help me understand - Being Politically Correct on 01/30/2012 19:36:54 MST Print View

Erik,

I have made multiple prior posts explaining that NO synthetic garments that I lab tested, unlike the down garments, were close to their theoretical Iclo specification. I don’t doubt the value of the synthetic insulation’s specified Iclo at the time of manufacture, BUT after being manufactured into a garment and boxed and unboxed during distribution, they test, on average, 51% of their theoretical values. This chart is a portion of one of my many prior posts on this topic from a couple of years ago:

a

About the same time that I did these tests, BPL was manufacturing synthetic garments for UL backpacking. They were also recommending that synthetic garments and quilts be used during their courses. So, TO BE POLICTIALLY CORRECT, after first posting multiple times that ALL synthetic garments that I tested averaged about ½ of their theoretical Iclo value, I posted all subsequent synthetic garment’s Iclo values based on their theoretical specs. For my personal sustained-wet-weather use, I select garments based on the -51% of Iclo spec. lab test results. I try to not dissuade others from making their decisions based on the manufacturer’s specifications if they choose to do so.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Fugu on 03/18/2012 16:55:27 MDT Print View

I wonder if the Fugu is still king of the hill?

I am still trying to figure out how it is that much warmer than my Montbell Alpine jacket. The Fugu is a sewn through construction with less loft and down while the Alpine is box baffled and very puffy. Is it just the metalized inner? Where can I get a jacket just made out of that stuff?

Edited by bpeugh on 03/18/2012 17:09:29 MDT.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Fugu on 03/19/2012 11:58:15 MDT Print View

@ Brett - the Fugu has a reflective barrier (think NeoAir with down fill) and an Epic-like fabric which both aid in mitigation of heat loss via radiation and convection respectively. I know of no other down garment that compares. Especially when combined with a well-designed down hood, I still consider it king of lightweight the down-heap. It is hands down the warmest jacket that I own and I only bring it out for sustained winter weather conditions.

See this thread also: wee bpl thread link with opinions, photos + specs of Fugu

Edited by biointegra on 03/19/2012 12:06:27 MDT.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
thanks on 03/19/2012 20:12:45 MDT Print View

Yeah, I just wish my XLT was bigger to fit better.