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Best insulation for cozies
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Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Best insulation for cozies on 05/28/2011 17:45:57 MDT Print View

Need some help here-

I have a seamstress that is going to make some cozies for me, for freeze dried meals such as Mountain House, etc.

I would like to get some feedback from you all as to what would be the best (highest R-value) insulation for this application.

Reflectix? Closed cell foam?

I'd like your suggestions please.


todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Best insulation for cozies on 05/28/2011 17:56:02 MDT Print View

I use the heavy-duty foil bag that MH meals come in. I just repackage my meals in freezer bags (I make most of my own nowadays, FBC-style) and wash the MH bag well.

I've been using the same MH cozy for three yrs.

Lighter than anything else I've tried, and packs paper thin to take no room in my food bag.

Reflectix works great, as does CCF, but the CCF is bulkiest and least flexible.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Best insulation for cozies on 05/28/2011 17:56:08 MDT Print View

I NIX'd the cozy, but if you must have one, yeah reflectix, closed cell foam or windshield sun reflector (thin reflectix-like).

Edited by jshann on 05/28/2011 17:56:38 MDT.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Performance is a priority on 05/28/2011 17:58:31 MDT Print View

I should add that I am most interested in performance as I use packgoats and weight is not a concern.

Edited by vigilguy on 05/28/2011 17:59:09 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Best insulation for cozies on 05/28/2011 18:00:51 MDT Print View

Aerogel or down.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Performance is a priority on 05/28/2011 18:02:35 MDT Print View

The goats will eat anything that isn't solid metal.


Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Aerogel? on 05/28/2011 18:08:29 MDT Print View

I am not worried about my goats eating anything, as we keep them out of our kitchen area.

Aerogel? Can that be purchased as a raw material?

Now we're talkin'. I think Aerogel is just the insulation that I was looking for!

Edited by vigilguy on 05/28/2011 18:11:02 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Aerogel? on 05/28/2011 19:10:42 MDT Print View

It seems a hell of a lot more accessible than it was a few years back when I posted this.

I even have some of it in my Pacific Outdoor sleeping pad.

Here's an article with some leads.

Space-age Aerogel Insulation Now Cheaper and Available in Sheets

Good luck.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Aerogel? on 05/28/2011 19:43:08 MDT Print View

Aerogel is the best insulator. Several companies make a fabric out of it (basically suspending aerogel particles in a thinsulate type fabric insulation) which should work for making a cozy. Alternatively just fill a sock with it, but aerogel is very moisture sensitive depending on how it's made and can be a pain to work with.

Raw aerogel, which probably won't stand up to humidity or getting wet, can be obtained here:

There are some companies making aerogel shoe insoles. Or Aspen Aerogel and Cabot both make fabrics (may have to contact directly for purchases).

Honestly for cooking a lot of this is overkill. Some of that reflective insulation they sell for A/C work should perform more than adequately for your purposes and much less of a hassle than going aerogel or down. Neoprene should also do the trick. Anything else is taking a sledgehammer to trim work.

Eugene, how much (weight and volume) and where did you get your aerogel from for your sleeping pad? Have you noticed it improve performance. I've been toying around with making a down mat but also am open to aerogel if it maintains it's low density and performance in granule form.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Aerogel? on 05/28/2011 19:46:19 MDT Print View

Dustin, sorry, my comment was misleading. I did not make my sleeping pad, Pacific Outdoor Equipment did. I believe last year was the end of the line for my particular model. It's a shame too because it's incredibly warm, but I guess that's okay because I've been wanting to move to a down air mattress for its smaller size when packed.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Aerogel? on 05/28/2011 20:10:33 MDT Print View

Ah, yeah I thought you had added the aerogel yourself.

That is a concern I've had with the material, it being a solid matrix it's not particularly fond of packing small. The frabics improve this by making it flexible but doesn't help much for compression.

So far it looks like aerogel remains only useful for areas where insulation is normally compressed and thin layers are wanted, like shoe inserts (anecdotal info on aerogel inserts is that it works VERY well, sometimes too warm).

I have been wanting to play with aerogels for so long, but it just doesn't seem appropriate for the outdoors yet =/

I may just stick with my original idea of seeing if a space blanket will heat seal to heat sealable fabric. Then I can laminate it myself without adding the weight of adhesive and get the reflective benefit along with down above it in a homemade downmat. So many projects and nowhere near the time/money to see them through.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Neoprene on 05/29/2011 13:28:37 MDT Print View

My first thought was 3mm neoprene. Flexible, durable and cheap.


Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Cozy on 05/29/2011 13:48:16 MDT Print View

If you use a closed-cell foam sleeping pad, you could cut out a piece and fold it into an envelope shape. A little velcro could be used to hold the envelope together. Then it could be reattached to the rest of the pad. The main benefit of this approach is weight savings, though, which I realize is not your main goal.

Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
Your hat? on 05/29/2011 14:15:02 MDT Print View

That's what I use.........

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
other design considerations... on 06/06/2011 11:43:41 MDT Print View

Also bear in mind what will happen when you spill stuff in the cosy (and you will...).

The metallised bubble wraps like Reflectix (I think) will hold on to the spillage, and it will be hard to clean.

Closed-cell foams might therefore be preferred. And are more robust than Reflectix.

Edited by captain_paranoia on 06/07/2011 06:06:50 MDT.

Derek Goffin

Locale: North of England
Best insulation for cozies on 06/06/2011 13:48:31 MDT Print View

I used reflectix if that is metallized bubble wrap type stuff. I found evazote foam cheaper, lighter and more insulating. I have made a cosy for food packets that doubles as a insulated cosy for a 1 litre platy for use as a hot water bottle.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Best insulation for cozies on 06/06/2011 14:07:50 MDT Print View

We use Insul Bright, an American made insulating fabric for our FBC cozies that we sell. I came across the fabric years ago and it worked perfectly - it is flexible, thin, easily sewn/cut and is washable. It insulates both hot and cold.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
reflectrix is too hot on 06/06/2011 14:40:31 MDT Print View

My refectrix cozies worked too well, in that my food stayed too hot for too long. Not fun when hungry, ask the guy with the blisters on the roof of his mouth. Like a sleeping bag, my winter cozy was too warm for summer use. Mine were cylindrical in shape to minimize material/weight. I'm now using a much thinner, cut off, bubble wrap mailing envelope. It is the right combination of weight and function. Away from bear country, it is part of my pillow stuffing.

Think about function before investing in optimal materials (the cuben, aerogel cozy), unless you are building a backcountry crock pot.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Best insulation for cozies on 06/06/2011 15:30:57 MDT Print View

@Charles - I have some thin closed-cell foam with reflective mylar laminated to it that makes nice cozies. If you would like some, PM me.

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: Re: Best insulation for cozies on 06/06/2011 16:31:58 MDT Print View

I'll second Sarah's suggestion for Insulbright. She recommended it several months ago in a post here when a similar question came up; it's like a fleeced mylar and it works really well. I love that it's washable.