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BMW Cocoon vs ID PLQ Pants
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Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
BMW Cocoon vs ID PLQ Pants on 11/01/2006 18:09:44 MST Print View

BMW Cocoon:

7.7 oz size large
stuffs to approx. 6"x7"
Polarguard Delta insulation, Pertex Quantum shell

ID PLQ Pants:

10oz size large
stuffs to approx. 7.5"x5"
Primaloft Sport insulation, Pertex Microlight shell

The designs appear to be nearly identical. The size and price are easily comparable, but the BMW pants are 2.3 ounces lighter in size large. However, the ID pants are much easier to get a hold of and don't require pre-purchase and long waiting time.

Are there any other benefits to the ID PLQ pants? How does the warmth and/or loft compare? I'm assuming Pertex Quantum is more breathable than Microlight...but by how much? Is Microlight more durable or more water repellent?



Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: BMW Cocoon vs ID PLQ Pants on 11/01/2006 20:51:12 MST Print View


The warmth may be comparable (there may be minor differences?), they both use a similar weight of insulation I think. I haven't seen the PLQ's so can't make a direct comparison.

Microlight is slightly more breathable than Quantum.


Jeroen Wesselman
(jeroenman) - F

Locale: Europe
Montbell Thermawrap Pants? on 11/02/2006 03:20:19 MST Print View

Hi Dane,

have you considered the Montbell Thermawrap pants. I need insulating pants too and wanted the BMW Cocoon pants but they will be available no sooner than April 2007 (!) so I am opting for a pair of Montbell pants, also very light, different materials but even cheaper ($130.-).

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Montbell Thermawrap Pants? on 11/02/2006 03:45:21 MST Print View

Last winter i found the performance of the MB Thermawrap pants excellent. Very impressed with the weight and warmth. Too warm to use while hiking, IMHO. I can wholeheartedly recommend them.

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
thermawrap pants on 11/02/2006 10:00:19 MST Print View

Thanks Jeroen, I had forgotten about the thermawrap pants. How do you like the full zips? How cold can you wear the pants (with a warm jacket of similar insulating ability) just sitting around in camp without feeling chilly?

And also, what size do they stuff down to?

I figure I can do without the pants don't need to go on and off very often. Just put them on in camp at night and take them off in the morning while packing up.

And because the Thermawrap and PLQ pants are the same weight, I'm betting that the PLQ pants have more insulation because they don't have any zipper weight (I doubt the shell weight is so much greater for the PLQ that it makes up the weight of the zipper).

They are a bit cheaper though, on sale now for $120.

Edited by Dane on 11/02/2006 10:03:21 MST.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Montbell Thermawrap Pants? on 11/02/2006 13:25:22 MST Print View

PJ, do you make frequent use of the side zippers to vent or do you tend to just put the pants on and forget about it? I'm very interested in these pants but I am trying to weigh the value of the zippers. In most cases I love zippers and use them to dial in the right temperature. I plan on using these in the winter in the Rockies. In particular, this January I am going out with the Scouts to dig snow caves and sleep in them. Do you think these will wet out while digging a cave? Will durability be an issue?

P.S. While the BPLRank is essentially meaningless at this time, I still think it's funny that your rank is higher than Ryans. You've been posting great stuff for some time. That apparently counts for something. I'm joking, because I never thought your posts were too long, but maybe post length does play a roll. :)

Edited by ericnoble on 11/02/2006 13:39:17 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Montbell Thermawrap Pants? on 11/02/2006 14:32:03 MST Print View


Actually, i don't use the zippers very much. As i mentioned i feel that these pants are too warm for me to hike in (perhaps if the terrain had fewer hills with lower exertion levels they would do fine??). I don't do a lot of winter backpacking (you could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times i'm out in a winter), but when i do the temps are not lower than the twenties and upper-teens, though they can rarely be as low as single digits or just below zero at night. These cold temps are rare for me though. I wear them in the camp and often in my sleeping bag.

I've worn them over heavy weight synth. long johns shoveling snow as low as the low teens and once in the teens with the wind really kicking up. Kept me plenty warm both times. This would be the extent of the active use i've gotten from them. But i find them very warm around the rare winter camp and in the sleeping bag as i've already stated.

I don't find that my legs get that cold. I do like warm feet, a warm head and a warm torso and arms.

Sorry i can't be more help.

As far as the "rank", certainly numbers don't tell the whole story. I agree with you that it's very strange that Dr. J's number would be a bit lower than my own. Who wouldn't agree with me that Dr. J's posts are far more authoritative and informative than my own. I rarely miss reading one of his posts and the posts of several other BPL Staffer's (RD, DJ, etc.), UL Cottage Industry folks (Ron Bell, Ron Moak, DO, Brian Frankle, Henry Shires, GVP, etc) and other Forum Regulars like KD, KH, GR, BF, MV, FD, MA, BT, RC, and a bunch of others (i hesitated mentioning any in case i leave anyone out & those that i did are in no particular order). If some of these individuals didn't have such high numbers, i would have thought that lower numbers were better since mine was so high!!

[NOTE: forgot RN as a Forum Regular. How could i forget RN? I've learned so much from his informative posts on insulation and heat transfer. Sorry, Richard, my apologies.]

I wonder how other Forum participants' interactions with a Post affects one's ranking. More responses to a Post might increase rank??? The current rank of those other Posters who interact? Starting Threads or first Reader Reviews of a piece of gear? Number of posts? Length of Posts? There are a number of other possible parameters that run through my mind also. Oh well, too much time on my hands if this is all i can wonder about.

It's good that BPL isn't revealing the algorithm involved in ranking. Hope they never reveal it.

Edited by pj on 11/03/2006 01:41:09 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Re: Re: Montbell Thermawrap Pants? on 11/02/2006 15:34:18 MST Print View

I'm not a zipper guy either. I prefer pull-on pants and anoraks/pullovers.

Yeah, PJ, your BPLRank is higher than mine: "This website must be BROKEN!"


Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Montbell Thermawrap Pants? on 11/02/2006 18:30:18 MST Print View

Thanks PJ, you were more helpful than you realize.

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Re: Re: BMW Cocoon vs ID PLQ Pants on 11/04/2006 19:35:37 MST Print View

Ryan, you said "Microlight is slightly more breathable than Quantum."

However, Nunatak says Quantum "is the lightest most breathable Pertex fabric ever."

Has there been any quantitative comparison between Pertex Quantum and Pertex Microlight that shows which is more breathable?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: BMW Cocoon vs ID PLQ Pants on 11/06/2006 08:01:04 MST Print View

I've never heard microlight being more breathable than quantum.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Microlight vs. Quantum on 11/06/2006 13:04:01 MST Print View

Microlight is definitely more breathable than Quantum. This was a new revelation to me this spring after testing some wind shirts I made with both.

I made two hooded wind shirts using both fabrics, and completely washed out both of their DWR using detergents.

The difference in breathability was perceptible in the field. So I measured the fabrics using a standard benchtop breathability cup test and PML was about 20% more breathable than PQ. I think the quantitative results from Pertex (which I don't have where I'm at right now) show less of a difference, but they do show Breathabilty[PML] > Breathability[PQ]. I think the DWR, when it's washed out, causes the difference to be more dramatic.

The reason behind the difference is that PQ is more calendered than PML.

So, I'm sort of thinking that PML is probably a better high-activity windshirt / wind pant material than PQ, but PQ is adequate for other applications where breathability is not so important, such as sleeping bags and insulating clothing.

This largely governed my decision to take a PML wind shirt on my arctic trek rather than a PQ wind shirt.


Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
fabric madness, i need more nexium on 11/06/2006 15:09:04 MST Print View

Some Pertex Info
1: Pertex brand/name is now owned and made in Japan bu Misui.(Interestingly, they also make eVENT) So 1yr+ old mfgred Pertex may or may not be exactly the same.
2: No fewer than 9 current Quantums and half that in Micro Light are offered. So, some variation in weight, breathability, specs exist. Maybe not so great in use for the Quantums...Not a prefect guide, but the gridstop pattern in the Quantums is the best consumer visual guide to apple and apples comparision.
3: The current lightest Quantum seems to be 2-4gms/sq/m heavier than in the past based on the older claim I often saw of .9oz/sq/yd. I don't have any older Quantum so this is just a guess. More likely the older stuff was hyped a bit and they are really the same...Even so, current marketing copy and info touts Quantum as .9oz/sq/yd while spec sheets state 1 to 1.1 as the lightes finished weight! -Typical PR that seems completely standard all through the industry...

Some Current Specs:

Quantum Family, 9+
.51-.67 cc/p/m breathability (Larger numbers are more breathable)
32-36 gm/sq/m
20X20 decitex (denier)

Microlight Family, 4+
.36-.67 cc/p/m breathability
36-52 gm/sq/m
28-33 decitex (25-30denier)

Calendering within each family varies.

My Conclusions:
1: Therea rea range of Quantums and Microlights and every mfgr may use a different one for differtns apps. The Quantum to Quantum variation offers a smaller range than a Microlight to Microlight range.
2: Older specs pre Mitsui may or may not be the same as now but any difference may not be noticable in a finished product.
3. Some large mfgrs may be specifying some tweaks beyond the stock 9+ Quantums offered if they but large enough lots or may simply have large stock on hand from pre Mitsui mfgr.
4: The lightest Quantum is not the most breathable, aparently due to heavier single side calendering as Ryan stated. This would be good for a sleeping bag or bivy.

Thru-hiker Momentum90 is a 20X20decitex with a final weight 30gms/sq/m exactly like the lightest current Quantum. I consider it equal or better in most applications over Most Quantums. Holding the lightest non ripstop Quantum and Momentum in my hands, they are indistinguishable with out very careful examination, but my feeling based on some non scientific water pooling bivy tests is the Momentum has a slightly better water reppelancy. Made in the USA too. SO, DYI'ers feel good about using the Momentum as prime quality state of the art fabric.

In 2007 There will be a 15d Pertex, but it will be an Equalibrium(more water resistant than Quantum w/ a coating) at about 1.4oz/sq/yd and not a Quantum. We'll, see...

The bottom line I think is to trust the mfgrs you know very well and peers who post well thought out comparative reviews.


Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 11/06/2006 15:21:36 MST.

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
quantum vs microlight on 11/06/2006 15:57:47 MST Print View

Thanks for the info Ryan and Ron.

If I'm properly interpreting the numbers quoted by Ron, all current Quantum varieties are more breathable than all current Microlight varieties. Why do you think your own tests and personal experiences say otherwise, Ryan? Could it have been due to the washing out of the DWR, or perhaps the production dates of the Quantum and Microlight samples?

Being a consumer unable to personally test out both fabrics before purchase, is there anyway for me to determine which is more breathable? Or does it come down to my own decision about whether to trust Pertex's numbers or the personal experiences of Ryan and others?

When it comes the Cocoon vs the PLQ pants the shell fabric is not the deciding factor, but I also have a decision in shell fabric for the Nunatak Arc Alpinist I hope to purchase early next year. I read your owner review on, Ryan, and I see you chose the Microlight. Would you make the same decision again?



Edited by Dane on 11/06/2006 16:00:06 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: quantum vs microlight on 11/07/2006 00:55:01 MST Print View


i'm reading the numbers differently.

There is overlap in Mr. Bell's numbers and it's possible for some Microlights (at the higher end, i.e., 0.67) to be more breatheable than some Quantums (at the lower end, i.e. 0.51). Of course the converse is even more true.

Take a look again, and if you have time, post back and please show me where i'm misreading these numbers (if i'm mistaken, i'll hide behind my "old-timers").

As far as "trusting":

An ethical Mfr will give actual test numbers, but these are probably performed in some testing laboratory using one or more tests that hopefully mimic some "real-life" condition. However, even it does mimic a real-life condition, will it match any that you or i may find ourselves in? For that matter, how closely did DrJ's testing situation, fitness level, precise physiology (perhaps related to perspiration production) match any other person? My point being, IMHO, it's really somewhat difficult to judge personal performance from just one other person's own experience, even under similar conditions, unless we already know that we're somewhat similar to that person. Doesn't mean that there's no value in asking; we just need to take the comparison with a grain of salt. I think that you already know this. I only mention it in case this is not clear to any "newbies".

Just some thoughts.

Edited by pj on 11/07/2006 02:03:43 MST.

Dane Burke
(Dane) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Re: Re: quantum vs microlight on 11/07/2006 14:26:01 MST Print View


i'm reading the numbers differently.

There is overlap in Mr. Bell's numbers and it's possible for some Microlights (at the higher end, i.e., 0.67) to be more breatheable than some Quantums (at the lower end, i.e. 0.51)."

Yeah I need to read a little more slowly :)

Thanks for pointing that out