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North Face Thermoball technology
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diego dean
(cfionthefly)
North Face Thermoball technology on 11/17/2011 10:06:06 MST Print View

Dont know if this has been discussed here or not. A good alternative to down? What do you think?

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-11/north-faces-thermoball-jackets-promise-goldilocks-winter-warmth

Robert H
(roberth)
Dead link? on 11/17/2011 17:01:45 MST Print View

I am not sure if it is a problem at my end but the link you provided does not work for me...

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: North Face Thermoball technology on 11/18/2011 09:48:51 MST Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=55984&skip_to_post=471791#471791

Thomas Dean
(tomdean@gwi.net) - MLife

Locale: Four Corners
The North Face Thermoball on 03/08/2014 06:51:24 MST Print View

Has anyone used a Thermoball hooded jacket? I hike in the high desert and southern San Juan Mountains quite a bit. If rain comes it usually lasts a few (violent) minutes. If there was an insulated jacket that stayed reasonably warm and dried quickly, it would spare me carrying a rain layer.

I saw a review of Thermoball online somewhere, and the poster said he had drenched a Thermoball jacket and hiked unto high elevation. He reported that the wet jacket dried quickly and maintained insulation the whole time. That's just what I'm after. Does anyone have experience with this?

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
wet synthetic insulation on 03/08/2014 10:48:29 MST Print View

I don't know. While I would take a synthetic insulation layer instead of down on a wet hiking trip, I would sure not want to rely on that as a rain jacket. For one thing, the DWR finish is the only protection against rain and that is only going to provide limited protection before you get soaked through. And, while the synthetic puffy may still provide some insulation when soaked, it sure is going to be a miserable piece of clothing to wear for as long as it is wet.

I think the best way to look at synthetic insulation layers is that they are an alternative to a fleece. Usually a little lighter and offering a bit of wind/drizzle/snow protection. However, the one I have is too hot to wear while actually hiking, even in the winter or while snow shoeing. The last time I tried, I soaked the thing with sweat. PowerStrech fleece would have worked better that day, because it's more air permeable.

Edited by wcollings on 03/08/2014 10:49:17 MST.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: The North Face Thermoball on 03/08/2014 12:53:16 MST Print View

"That's just what I'm after."

Me too.

I've thought about making a jacket with Styrofoam beads (think bean bag chair) but it looked like too much sewing for me.

I'm hoping this thermoball idea works out.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Styro balls on 03/08/2014 14:18:46 MST Print View

Hey Daryl. There is a floor underlayment that's styro balls glued to a sheet of plastic.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Styro balls on 03/08/2014 15:09:23 MST Print View

Delmer,

Thanks for the reminder. I now recall that from your other post. Will have to take a closer look at that stuff.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: The North Face Thermoball on 03/08/2014 16:26:51 MST Print View

del

Edited by rmjapan on 06/21/2015 10:18:05 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
alpha on 03/08/2014 16:34:10 MST Print View

polartec alpha is significantly less insulating than your standard insulation

think of it as a fleece (its based on the thermal pro fleece) with an element resistant shell on top ...



i suspect that for static insulation use it may not be the "optimum" choice

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 03/08/2014 16:35:17 MST.

Bill Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: Re: The North Face Thermoball on 03/08/2014 16:40:32 MST Print View

I thought about some type of plastic beads, too, when I first read about the thermoball. The main downside, I think, would be low compressibility, and depending on bead size, breathability. If one didn't mind non-compressibilty, I think this could work.

The actual technology is compressible, but how well will it recover from compression?

Cheers,

Bill S.

Edited by sbill9000 on 03/08/2014 16:41:30 MST.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: alpha on 03/08/2014 16:46:30 MST Print View

del

Edited by rmjapan on 06/21/2015 10:18:47 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: alpha on 03/08/2014 16:52:29 MST Print View

for the same weight im willing to be that the alpha has a much lower CLO value ... which is what polartec and westcombs chart above show

i mean if all we wanted was "warmth" we could just wear heavy fleece ... its "warmth" per weight

hmmmmm

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 03/08/2014 16:59:19 MST.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Alpha and Thermoball on 03/08/2014 17:11:53 MST Print View

I have been playing with both 80g Alpha and the Thermoball jacket.

Alpha is great for situations when you want to be warm but may also sweat a lot. Excellent for stop and go and dries faster and retains less moisture than standard Primaloft gear. Basically, exactly as advertised. Not as warm, but good for those who sweat. Outstanding for climbing ice or in shoulder season.

Thermoball jacket is very nice. Fabric is gossamer thin, so I am not going to rub it on rocks. It's an interesting piece from a lightweight standpoint. It is unlined unlike the Nano Puff that people usually compare it to, so less "wasted" fabric. The quilting makes it pretty chilly in windy weather, but it is nice and warm under a wind proof. The comfortable temperature range for this jacket is pretty wide because of this. Finally, it does warm and release moisture faster than Nano Puff. I have noticed some Thermoball escaping the quilting. I'll be testing this jacket through the spring.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: alpha on 03/08/2014 17:12:08 MST Print View

del

Edited by rmjapan on 06/21/2015 10:20:19 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: alpha on 03/08/2014 17:16:32 MST Print View

the chart comes from the westcomb fall 2013 catalog ... the numbers are from polartec themselves

they give it as "* Warmth: clo test using ASTM F1868-09 "

i dont have access to the actual standard but you can purchase them here

http://www.astm.org/DATABASE.CART/HISTORICAL/F1868-09.htm

remember that just because primaloft expresses it in one measurement metric doesnt mean every other company does as well

basically polartec THEMSELVES is saying that the alpha is NOT as warm per weight as normal synthetic insulation

nor should it be ... its meant for people on the move ... and its based off their thermal pro high loft FLEECE

if you want im sure you can ask polartec themslves if their alpha is as warm as say primaloft

;)

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: alpha on 03/08/2014 17:22:52 MST Print View

del

Edited by rmjapan on 06/21/2015 10:20:49 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: alpha on 03/08/2014 17:31:27 MST Print View

FWIW, the dry time value also differs from what Polartec publishes under their own site.

DUDE

shall you or i send an email to polartec asking if the chart i posted is correct?

are we REALLY arguing that a chart in the westcomb 2013 retailer catalog with polartecs own numbers and charts are incorrect???

one way or the other the FACT remains that the alpha insulation is significantly less insulating than say primaloft ... according to polartec themselves

slow rainy day

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 03/08/2014 17:42:17 MST.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: alpha on 03/09/2014 16:27:58 MDT Print View

Just to say that that chart is not from Westcomb but is also published by others.
And the clo/oz for the first available Alpha was, I think, around 0,37 but Polartec said once that it would be available in both a range of weights ànd clo's.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: alpha on 03/09/2014 18:26:53 MDT Print View

del

Edited by rmjapan on 06/21/2015 10:21:19 MDT.