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Need Help Picking SUL Insulation and List Critique
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Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Need Help Picking SUL Insulation and List Critique on 08/06/2011 16:20:16 MDT Print View

I have done several hikes this summer at an SUL weight. I hike in the mountain of NE Georgia and North Carolina, and during these hot summer months, it isn't too hard to drop a lot of weight. Lately, I have been looking over my list trying to prepare it for a larger range of temperatures. I would like to take it down to 30*, but above freezing, say 35*, would be a nice point as well. Here is a link to what I have so far. Getting some critique on it about things I've undoubtedly missed would be great.

My list currently has a quilt made of 2.5oz Apex that I can wear like a JRB Stealth. According to MLD this insulation may have some difficulties getting down to even 35* though, and I may end up making a down quilt with about 2" of loft to replace this. One thing I think I need on the list is a jacket of some sort to augment this quilt. What are the opinion's out there on the best insulation layer. I'm looking for flexibility through seasons so that I really only need the one item. I will end up making whatever piece I decide on myself, so want to make sure each detail is just right for what I need.

My questions are, do you think a jacket made of the 2.5oz Apex would make my Apex quilt reach these temps, or does anyone have experience with this insulation during colder seasons? Will down save weight over synthetic with this fairly low amount insulation? I know a vest would be easier and lighter, but would a vest be a better option than a jacket? And finally, would a hood on it be worth it?

My current hopes are something along the lines of a Kinsman for synthetic or (with a lot of luck in making it) a down jacket similar to Jamie's newest jacket creation for down. This kinsman pattern doesn't have a hood, so I would have to add one on, but think I could figure it out if it would really help that much.

tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
Wrong thread on 08/14/2011 16:09:56 MDT Print View

Posted to a different thread than intended.

Edited by like.sisyphus on 08/14/2011 16:10:39 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Need Help Picking SUL Insulation and List Critique on 08/14/2011 16:50:11 MDT Print View

I wear a vest and sleeping bag. When it gets down to maybe 35F I start getting cold. My vest and sleeping bag are synthetic a little thicker than 2.5 oz Apex. I think I require a little less insulation than average.

I think if you have a 2.5 oz Apex quilt and jacket maybe 40F would be lower comfort limit. 1 inch down quilt plus 2.5 Apex jacket - 35F. 1.25 inch down quilt plus 2.5 Apex jacket - 30F.

Vest provides insulation over torso where it's needed most.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
General critics on 08/14/2011 20:32:13 MDT Print View

Not sure of your insulation situation, but here are some general suggestions to go lighter:

-Swap nalgene for poland springs or Deer Park bottled water bottle:
Poland Springs 8fl oz bottle 10g

-Swap Ti spoon for Carvel Spoon long handled spoon:

-User Chlorine Dioxide tablets instead of Aquamira

-Swap ibuprofen for aleve (less pills to carry, provided they work just the same)

Swap travel toothpaste for:

-Swap trash bag for nylofume bags (BPLers have been selling them recently)

-Use sticks instead of stakes

-If you already carry an emergency poncho, bivy, and tarp, why not replace the emergency poncho and tarp w/ poncho/tarp and then carry polycro ground sheet for more robust and lighter sleeping shelter system?


Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Great Thoughts on 08/14/2011 21:57:03 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of the input.

Right now my colder weather quilt is a Golite Ultra 20, which just has more weight on it than I think it should. I have about 12 oz of down sitting around, so I think my best bet would be to make a quilt will maybe 1.25 - 1.5" of loft to replace it based on that information.

The critiques are great. The link to the individual packets of things like toothpaste is great. Do you use these Bryce? Do you just pop them open with a blade? Repacking things like that have been a nuisance to me, but this should make life much more simple. I think I'm going to find a way to bring almost all of these into my system. Does aleve take less pills? I got tendinitis at the beginning of the summer, and have had to carry something with me since just in case. I normally repackage them into a small jewelry type baggy, but having less would be very nice all the same. I'll look into that.

I've definitely wanted to move towards a poncho/tarp, and will probably end up making one, but I have a pyramid that I should really finish first. What's the thought on sizes for poncho tarps? I think the MLD poncho/tarp is about 9x5? I haven't had a chance to use a flat tarp before, but the half-mid set up seems nice.

Thanks for the input. Anything else anyone notices would be really appreciated.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Great Thoughts on 08/20/2011 19:40:35 MDT Print View

I haven't used them yet, but have some hikes coming up where I will. I carry a Stanley Mitey Knife and will just put the packet against a hard surface and slice the end off.

Aleve and Advil are in the same class of drugs, but I believe the dosage allowed per day is less than Advil.

As for size of poncho/tarp, here were my thoughts:


spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Aleve on 08/20/2011 20:15:22 MDT Print View

Naproxen (aleve) has twice a day dosing as opposed to ibuprofen's every 4-6 hours, so yes that's fewer pills to pack. However, make absolutely sure it works for you before you take it out in the woods. It does jack for me, and luckily I found that out beforehand (I have carpal tunnel that flares badly sometimes). It was still 12 hours before I could take some ibuprofen, but at least it wasn't X number of days till I could *access* ibuprofen.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Drugs on 08/20/2011 20:22:42 MDT Print View

For me, advil works for 4-6 hours and aleve doesn't work at all for 12 whole hours.

Edited by alexdrewreed on 08/23/2011 08:04:00 MDT.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
aleve on 11/03/2011 11:08:20 MDT Print View

Another factor is that Aleve is notorious for causing constipation. I've never heard of ibuprofen doing that.

Even if Aleve relieves pain, you don't want to be carrying around that "extra weight" longer than necessary! :)

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
My thoughts lean towards jacket on 11/03/2011 18:50:01 MDT Print View

Let me preface this by saying I'm not SUL; I'm at around 9 lbs. I'll probably never be SUL simply because I don't constantly look around for the lightest version of something I already have and use. I think Bryce's critiques are spot on for SUL; you have to be shaving grams, not ounces, which is why I'm not interested.

That said, I would add a jacket. Your quilt is wearable, but I assume poncho-like, so your arms are exposed. If you make a hoodie, you'll double (or so) your torso insulation, plus have insulated headwear, plus arm warmth. Omit the zipper and toggles and pockets and other bells and whistles, and you could easily get it under 10 oz.

As a budding MYOGer myself, I think just going with more synthetic is the right call. You *can* get a lower weight by making it out of down, but I suspect there's more savings in omitting features than the added difficulty of down is worth. But that's a reflection of why I'm never going to be SUL.

Thru-Hiker has a hood pattern posted:

That's my advice; it's worth what you paid for it.


Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
personally.... on 11/03/2011 21:51:54 MDT Print View

I augment my wearable quilt with Jacks R Better down sleeves.

They are a multiuse item for me.

I wear them w/ the quilt, then throw on my Driducks rain jacket over both of them around camp.

Then when I go to sleep I put the down sleeves on my feet...they are lighter than the booties they replaced (north face), I get to drop the booties from my pack, and then cover all the way up to my lower knee. Win! :p


Edited by bster13 on 01/26/2012 14:24:39 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: personally.... on 11/15/2011 18:52:33 MST Print View

I've made a jacket with 2.5 from a thru-hiker design. Came out to 7.8 ounces and is very warm.

Jesse Sleeper
(djester2000) - F

Locale: South Shore
Re: personally.... on 01/26/2012 14:23:36 MST Print View

Bryce - Really like your use of the JRB sleeves. Thanks for another multiuse example of something I normally would not have looked into.