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Idea for baselayer and mid layer for cold temp activity.
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just Justin Whitson
Idea for baselayer and mid layer for cold temp activity. on 09/30/2013 21:42:02 MDT Print View

So, after talking about the layered silk with thin, lightweight cord on another thread recently, i've also hit on the idea to do this with some baselayers and mid layers.

The experiment. Buy some ultra cheap and lightweight, thin, hollow core polypropylene cord (significantly lighter than even dyneema/spectra [and MUCH cheaper]! though obviously much less strong) and take some of my baselayers and mid layers and add a lattice (criss crossed/vertical-horizontal) of cord across the surface either by fabric tape or sewing, or a combo.

Since i suspect it won't be particularly comfortable directly on the skin, i would put it on the outside of the baselayer and on the outside of the mid layer.

It will create a lot more still air space in-between the layers, increasing the warmth at very little weight. 3/16th cord maybe? Or thinner? What say you?

For shits and giggles (and research and PROGRESS), one or two of you who live in or backpack at much colder climates than myself, here's a proposition. You send me one of your cheaper baselayer and mid layer, i will polypro cord it up and send it back free of charge, and you test it your much colder climate than mine (VA, U.S.) and report back. There are number of people here who could (or should) vouch for my honesty and integrity since i've made and sent Kapok pillows to people here (or sent just the stuffing) and only asked for actual shipping price, or sent linen shirts to folks for shipping price. I will put a pic of myself up too.

I'm also going to try it myself, and combine with my Polypro fishnet baselayer, to see what happens. But i have a while to wait before any real cold hits :( (i actually like the cold, well to about 15f).

I have a couple projects to finish up before i can or should start this though. Will give it time to cool down some too.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 09/30/2013 22:12:12 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Idea for baselayer and mid layer for cold temp activity. on 10/01/2013 00:11:37 MDT Print View

Well in any case, i just bought 1000 feet of 1/8 inch polypropylene cord for about 26 dollars. I just might do my whole cold weather wardrobe (joking).

Let the experimentation commence...

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Guinea Pig, you say?! on 10/01/2013 08:00:19 MDT Print View

Yeah, I'll help. Massachusetts/VT/NH/ME. I would like to see pictures of what it looks like when done first, though, if you don't mind.


just Justin Whitson
Re: Guinea Pig, you say?! on 10/01/2013 08:21:42 MDT Print View

Hah, fashion has no place in backpacking or innovating gear! ;p

In any case, the cord i ordered is bright neon yellow.... consider it extra safety measure. ;)

But yeah, i will do one of my garments first and put a pic up.

just Justin Whitson
Weird Science...weird. on 10/04/2013 21:58:20 MDT Print View

Ok Max, are you ready...i said, are YOU READY!???? Enough theatrics, bam!

corded shirt

Ok, so this was a prototype. You will note that i first tried sewing it...yeah, silly me. So then i tried the fusible bonding stuff, which required me to put some kind of fabric over the cord. Since this was just a prototype and i was impatient to get er done, i used whatever fabric i had plenty of left overs of. Which happened to be a somewhat heavy, 65% Polyester-35% Linen blend. Note that at first, i used too much fabric and fusible stuff and it became increasingly more narrow as i refined my approach.

I weighed the amount of Polypropylene cord i used in the shirt, and it came out to .7 oz. Next shirt i make, i will use a lightweight silk to be the top fabric. Max, this too could be yours, for the low, low, low price of well, nothing except shipping to me. I have my system down, so i won't flubb up your baselayer as i flubbed mine up a bit (but please send me a cheaper or less favorite one just in case). I think i have some light weight silk laying around somewhere. It's white/off white colored, so a white baselayer would make sense.

just Justin Whitson
Back from the future, future backpacker. on 10/04/2013 22:01:21 MDT Print View

Me g'quing it up. I know, you're jealous, and i can't blame you.

side pic

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
was thinking on 10/05/2013 04:08:54 MDT Print View

that this is a fantastic idea!! But it seems that you may need a LOT more cordage to actually separate the 2 garments you are wearing especially if they are thin garments as they will touch (especially around bends of contour of the body). Nice to see some great innovation!!

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
Re: Idea for baselayer and mid layer for cold temp activity. on 10/05/2013 08:25:34 MDT Print View

I can vouch for Justin's honesty - he's legit.

Justin have you seen this thread:

Daryl's super sweet vest

I think you could use some 1/8" foam from gossamergear in a grid a pattern similar to your cordage above and come in around 1 oz (the foam is ~3oz/sqyd).

just Justin Whitson
Re: was thinking on 10/05/2013 18:06:15 MDT Print View

Hi Mik

Yeah, as soon as i put it on, i realized that i realistically would need more cord on it, but i'm not sure i would say a lot per se. I think 3 more on the front should do it for the front, and then some down the sides. I don't actually want it on the back because i figure especially with a pack on, the back gets too hot as it is.

Thank you for the good feedback and positive vibes, much appreciated.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Idea for baselayer and mid layer for cold temp activity. on 10/05/2013 18:14:01 MDT Print View

Hi James,

Yeah, i did see Daryl's thread on the foam. So would you think i should cut strips of it off and glue or fuse it on a shirt, or do sort of like a vest like Daryl's but with spaces for ventilation?

A separate vest might make more sense as far as that goes, because i don't think foam would handle being washed and dried as clothing very well.

Perhaps a separate foam vest with lot's of ventilation, in combo with a base or mid layer with more cord, might be more ideal? I honestly don't think that shirt would require a lot more cord to work as planned. Definitely needs some more, but like i told Mik, i don't want extra insulation on the back, though i realize that the front and sides does need some more cord.

Thank you for the feedback.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
? on 10/05/2013 18:39:25 MDT Print View

I am totally missing what is going on here. Please explain.

just Justin Whitson
Re: ? on 10/05/2013 19:08:20 MDT Print View

Hi Brett, the idea is sort of akin to, and was inspired by the concept of Fishnet baselayers. The idea behind those is really well explained in a BPL article that was written a little while back about Fishnet baselayers. A lesser summary follows below.

Anyways, it's less the fabric and material which insulates and creates warmth for us, but rather the "air it traps". If you can create a layer of more still air, like with what happens with a Fishnet baselayer, with subsequent layers over the top of same, this insulates just as well as well knitted or weaved, many fiber containing garment. Ultimately, a wind resistant outer seems very necessary to such systems, but most of use something like that anyways.

So what i'm trying to do with the corded shirt, is to put some constant air space in between one layer and another, creating more insulation at less weight than a full fabric would usually entail (except for down because it's so light and efficient at creating still air space and "trapping air"). I don't have enough cord on the shirt though, to fully implement this (as others have pointed out).

The obvious advantage over down and even a lot of fully knitted or woven fabrics, is moisture is no problem. Also one can very quickly vent the heat and moisture should it become necessary to do so. Just open up one's windshirt outer, and ah, let the heat and moisture escape. Also don't have to worry about drying times as much, especially using something like Polypro cord since it's so hydrophobic. Since the PP cord is encased in fabric, it should be less stinky too.

Hope this helps. This thread should probably be on MYOG section...

Edited by ArcturusBear on 10/05/2013 19:10:24 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: ? on 10/06/2013 09:34:00 MDT Print View

One issue using foam is packability/compression. The corded shirt packs up surprisingly well.

dave p
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
The 80s called.... on 10/06/2013 13:25:34 MDT Print View

Tron prototype costume?
Did your wife find out about this project yet and if so what was your explanation?Is she buying it also?

just Justin Whitson
Re: The 80s called.... on 10/06/2013 17:46:28 MDT Print View

Haha Dave... No, she's been away at a Burning Man regional in Ohio, but she shall find out tonight. Yeah, maybe i'll say it's my costume...

(she doesn't mind my projects too much, unless they happen to cost $$, fortunately for me this is a relatively cheap one, but i'm not sure why i ordered 1000 ft of the cord).

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: base / mid for col temp activities on 10/06/2013 17:58:22 MDT Print View

I appreciate the DIY idea using the corded shirt, but I would suggest that the grid version of powerdry that patagonia started to use in the Cap 4 hoody in 2012 is fishnet done right. There are air voids in the grid pattern, and the fabric wicks moisture away from body and spreads it over a wider area which isn't touching skin. Extremely air permeable, so controlling ventilation with a windshirt or some sort of shell lets it be worn in an amazingly wide range of conditions. In my case I have been comfortable when active between 25-65 with the variables being whether I was using a wind shirt, hood used, sleeve down or pushed up.


just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: base / mid for col temp activities on 10/06/2013 18:51:56 MDT Print View

Hi Mark,

Thanks, it looks interesting and pretty nice--haven't seen it in person but would like to. Unfortunately for us poorer folk, it's got that Patagucci price tag though--119 retail, which seems pretty high for a fleece, albeit, a specialized one.

If i use the right materials--especially if i make a shirt from scratch, i can get the weight of the corded shirt design pretty darn low. Actually, my new Polypro 3.4 oz shirt would work great for this, combined with some lightweight nylon to bond the pp cord (i will have to be careful with the iron though, PP would be easy to melt).

I could get the weight down to about 5 oz or less i imagine. Wouldn't use it as a baselayer as it would stink too much.

But if i combine it with a true fishnet baselayer top (which i have one of), and a windshirt, i don't think it can be beat in terms of a combo of weight, warmth, moisture management, and adaptability. At a very low price to boot.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: base / mid for col temp activities on 10/06/2013 22:47:16 MDT Print View

> it's got that Patagucci price tag though--119 retail, which seems pretty high for a fleece,

ouch. yeah, I forgot what it's retail price tag is. I actually think it's worth that because it is such a great piece, but this is when having a patagonia outlet nearby combined with memorial day / labor day sales is a boon because it can sometimes be found for sub $50. Still not cheap, but more reasonable.

Good luck with your experiment. It's always good t fine DIY solutions which work and are affordable!