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inside color for bag/quilt
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(JRinGeorgia) - F
inside color for bag/quilt on 04/01/2014 06:18:02 MDT Print View

Putting aside style and personal color preferences, are there technical/performance reasons for choosing a particular color for the inside of a bag or quilt? I know dark colors absorb heat, so does that mean a dark inside color will keep the user warmer? Or will it make the user colder by drawing more heat away from the body? Or does it not matter?

Other reasons to choose certain colors over others?

Curious, thanks.

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: inside color for bag/quilt on 04/01/2014 07:18:20 MDT Print View

I don't believe color affects conductive heat transfer, so it shouldn't affect the actual performance of the bag while in use.

I like black interiors because color does affect heat transfer from solar radiation, so you can flip the bag inside out to dry faster in the sun. Any darker color will perform about the same I would think.

So if you aren't ever concerned with condensation problems, it's really a non-issue. Even though all my interiors are black, I've only ever really needed to dry a bag a couple times in camp.

Michael Gunderloy
(ffmike) - MLife
For me it was psychology on 04/01/2014 07:21:02 MDT Print View

I went with the brightest green I could get for inside my quilt/underquilt (and a much more subdued outside color to avoid burning the retinas of anyone nearby). For me, it was about trying to have things be a tiny bit cheerier inside, since I'm one of those people who doesn't do all that well psychologically in shorter darker days. Same fabric as all the other color choices, so I'd be really surprised if it had any effect whatsoever on warmth - quilt warmth is all about the air layer inside being heated by your body, no?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: inside color for bag/quilt on 04/01/2014 12:07:19 MDT Print View

If you use the bag for a long trip, the inside can get dirty. So, a dark color is less likely to show the dirt. I can't remember the inside of my bag. It was either black or brown or gray, or a combination of all three.


kristen buckland
(buckie06) - F

Locale: Colorado
Lighter on 04/01/2014 12:41:31 MDT Print View

I'd go for a lighter color. I like to keep clothes, socks, headlamp, etc in my sleeping bag. Having a lighter color would make it easier to find things in the morning. It never fails that one sock gets shoved way in the bottom and it takes forever to find it.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: inside color for bag/quilt on 04/01/2014 12:47:22 MDT Print View

" Or does it not matter? "

it matters.
to that end, it may not matter when you are IN it, but it sure as heck matters when you have a only few moments of sun to turn it inside out and dry it.
thusly, the darker the better.

just my op.


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
inside color for bag/quilt on 04/01/2014 15:17:23 MDT Print View

Yes, faster drying is the reason for those black interiors.
Of course the ones that never get their damp or only do overnighters can happily ignore that.

Edited by Franco on 04/01/2014 18:45:20 MDT.

(JRinGeorgia) - F
thanks on 04/01/2014 18:14:31 MDT Print View

Makes sense all, thank you.

inside on 04/01/2014 20:28:51 MDT Print View

no message

Edited by livingontheroad on 04/01/2014 20:38:37 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: inside color for bag/quilt on 04/01/2014 23:11:32 MDT Print View

Black is black in the visible spectrum. White is white in the visible spectrum. Alas, there is not much visible light at night, inside your quilt.

When I've done timed experiments on differently painted pots, I found amazingly little difference between white, red, and black painted surfaces. Painted versus bare metal had huge differences, but the colors all seemed to be pretty "black" (high emissivity) in the infrared spectrum.

High emissivity means that the colors ABSORBS a lot of the IR (85-95%) AND that the color EMITS a lot of IR (the same 85-95%).

The quilt is only warm to the extent your body has warmed it ( i.e. the quilt is cooler than your body). So you want minimal radiant heat exchange with the quilt. Think Thermos bottle with the silvered liner. So you want metallic reflective material, rather than any color of paint, unless you can find some paint that is "white in the IR spectrum" (has low emissivity in the 4-30 micrometer range).

Frankly, the crinkling of a metallic liner and the minor effects it would have, would make me go for a black-in-the-visible liner so that it can be inverted and dried quickly in the sun.