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Summer Quilt Synthetic Insulation
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Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Summer Quilt Synthetic Insulation on 01/28/2011 15:28:56 MST Print View

I am thinking about making a synthetic quilt similar to the one Bill Fornshell made a few years ago

The design is really well done and the results were amazing. I'm interested in synthetic for moisture purposes for this summer when I hope to be hiking very long days on the AT and possibly ending late, and it would just be easiest for me to have synthetic rather than down I think in cases of rain. I actually liked the idea of using silk as the fabric in it, can anyone say how well that will hold up and would a slightly more water resistant material be a better decision? Also, my main issue is what insulation to use and where to get it. In the above quilt, the insulation was polarguard, which I definitely can't get my hands on, but it seems like thru-hiker recently stopped selling their climashield. I know owfinc will sell Climashield HL, and my first option now is the 3.3oz weight of that. Are there any other better options out there for a lightweight summer quilt?

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Summer Quilt Synthetic Insulation on 01/28/2011 17:42:38 MST Print View

Want some PG? Have a whole plastic trash can full of it from a defunct outfit known as Synergy Works. It has very light yellow ripstop nylon laminated to both sides of the bat, but it could easily be pulled off. As I recall, the bats are 1.5" and 2.5" thick. Will weigh it if you want, but with the nylon left on. It's the original PG, I think, not Delta. They made and sold sleeping bags out of it.

will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Re: Summer Quilt Synthetic Insulation on 01/28/2011 20:51:01 MST Print View

I've got the exact same project in mind. Nothing to add, but I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.

Sam, would you mind weighing some of the 1.5 inch PG? Also, do you think a shell could be left out because of the nylon fabric on the PG? I'd be interested in trying to work out a deal for some.


Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
"Summer Quilt Synthetic Insulation" on 01/29/2011 18:55:16 MST Print View

So I cut out foot square pieces and weighed the materials I posted about. They seemed heavy compared to what is available today. But here is the info:

The batts have a bright yellow nylon bonded to one side, and a white scrim (but woven - has a fabric feel to it) bonded to the other. The batts are 44" wide. Each is at least 4 yds long. The lighter batt weighs a little under 12 oz/sq yd, including the fabric and scrim, and the heavier one weighs close to 15 oz/sq yd, including the same. They were quite compressed when I took them out of the 30 gal. container, but after a few minutes were at least 2" loft for the heavier, and around 1.5" for the lighter.

I tested the nylon with some water, and it bounced off it; so I would say it has a good DWR treatment. It appears lighter than 1.9 oz, the old industry standard, but I could not say by how much. It was sold to me as Polarquard, and was used by Synergy Works for bags and jackets that were high-end for the time, 1980's I think. It does appear to be a continuous filament, like Polarquard, but I'm no expert.

About the bonding - Polarguard and many other insulations are laid down in layers, so just because the outer surface of the batt is bonded to a fabric does not assure that it will remain so. I had a "Yak Sack" from Yak Works with Thinsulate bonded to the inner, but the bonding failed eventually, and the inner became loose and bunched around me when turning in my sleep - very uncomfortable. After many years, the inulation on these batts is still bonded to the inner and outer fabrics, however.

Yes, I think an outer shell could be omitted - that was the reason for laminating the fabric to the insulation. The scrim is a woven gossamer material that is smooth to the touch, but one still might want a liner. Or one might use a WPB material for an outer, and leave the laminated nylon for an inner.

Hope that is responsive. You have my email in the earlier post, so let me know if you are interested. Thanks for the inquiry.