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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:14 pm 
The New Guy

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:01 pm
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Location: Colorado
Thank you Pkekyo!!

I have been looking for a real world comparison between Brynje and Aclima as well as synthetic vs wool and wool blend for mesh baselayer. Your reply is fantastic!

A few of follow up questions:

1. How durable is woolnet? If it is worn everyday for 6 months for light and static activity, how long would 1 pair last?

2. For light and static activity in subzero (down to say minus 30 or 40), what would you wear over that? (No down, please. When in remote, off grid places for a long time, down is difficult to completely reloft.)

3. Do you have any experience with Woolpower vs Aclima for midlayer insulation like 200g, 400g or 600g?

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:32 pm 
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1 - To be honest, I wouldn't know - I only wore mine on and off for about three months (bought mine mid-winter, and only used them when in the field). For that use, it held up great though. Unlike the issued stuff, I never experienced (or met anyone else that did) the Aclima Woolnet gear tearing, and the elastic also held up well.
2/3 - The issued mid-layer is a military version of the Woolpower 200gr pants and shirts. I do not know the differences between it and the civilian version. We were also issued the 600gr full zip jacket that could replace or complement the 200gr layer.

When it comes to down, we were issued the Nanok SF reversible jacket. It was rarely used outside shooting ranges and long term static use.

I found the 200gr Woolpower midlayer more than sufficient between the Woolnet and issued goretex field uniform in temperatures well below -30C. That said, at times I opted for the 600gr jacket just because it's so damn comfortable. I have no experience with Aclima's mid-layers, but judging by the quality of the Woolnet gear, I wouldn't hesitate to consider them if I were looking for a new one.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:56 pm 
The New Guy

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Location: Colorado
Thanks!

woolnet, 200g woolpower, 600g woolpower (optional), a down parka (rarely used), hardshell

wow, that's it and you were only doing static/light activity? great. I thought I'd need more, although since I don't want to take down I'm thinking of taking two synthetic parkas, the warmest I can find, I'll share for anyone looking for something other than down. And if anyone knows of a better option than these I'd love to hear about it.

Arcteryx Dually
http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?la ... elay-Parka

Arcteryx Kappa Hoody
http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?ge ... anguage=EN


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Well, we mainly wore just the fishnet baselayer underneath the hardshell when working.
When we took breaks, and around camp/base/OP areas, we would add a 200gr layer.
Then we would bolster it with the 600gr or Nanok gear if needed.

These days, I wear my NFM GARM Cold Extreme Weather Jacket for an insulation layer. From my limited time with it, I have the impression it is somewhat warmer than the Nanok SF jacket. It is also more practically designed, but is a bit larger when compressed in the stuff sack.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:50 pm 
The New Guy

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wow, that looks great. do you remember how much you paid?

I also noticed the fleece and jiib jacket on their site. Would you ever wear the woolnet, 200g woolpower, fleece or jiib and extreme cold parka? Or does the fleece/jiib replace the extreme cold parka when it isn't that cold?


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:59 pm 
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I paid roughly $260 USD + shipping. At a rather heavy discount.

It should be said that I am a pretty warm blooded individual. I generally don't wear long sleeves unless the temperature is lower than -10 to -15 degrees Celsius.
So personally I don't see the need for excessive layering like that. That being said, NFM have accounted for the need to wear multiple layers, or perhaps even tactical gear underneath them, size-wise.
It is a bulky piece of clothing though, and I wouldn't advocate it's use unless it's actually cold.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:06 pm 
The New Guy

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Location: Colorado
yeah, i run cold. always have lived in warm places until the last year. it gets to about 0 farheinheit, sometimes minus 10 where i live now but i am moving somewhere vastly more remote and colder i'd much rather take too much gear and gift something to someone than end up being underprepared.

the two arcteryx jackets cost $1025 US + tax (but I got one on sale so I paid $900). it will be interesting to see how much the NFM gear costs and get the technical specs on it to compare it to arcteryx. maybe what i have is equivalent in terms of warmth and cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Ok....Learning to survive, or rather thrive during winter is actually something that is very easy to accomplish.

It really doesn't matter so much the clothing you wear, but how you use it. The "best" clothes in the world won't do you any good if you are clueless on how to do things correctly. As we said in the military, it's 20% Equipment, 80% fieldcraft knowledge.

We have covered the basics when it comes to clothing:

-Base layer (moisture wicking and insulating through the use of air pockets next to skin)
-Insulating layer (a mid weight garment to provide some insulation when static)
-Outer garment (Wind/water protection)
-Reinforcement garment (for extra protection/insulation)

Now, I am an anomoly, as I have NEVER worn a fish net type base layer. Ever. I wear a cotton t-shirt. I also wear cotton/poly outer clothing. Big deal, I am still here. Never ever had frostbite or suffered from hypothermia.

Now, on to the most important stuff. Fieldcraft and discipline.

The most important element of this whole undertaking is to be disciplined. Do not take short cuts.

*Dress down when you are marching or working. You will sweat anyways, try to reduce it to a minimum.

*Dress up when static or doing work/tasks that are low intensity in nature. Remove wet items from body surface (I put my t-shirt over my mid-layer in order to dry it).

*Protect exposed areas; hands, nose, ears. People are very sloppy when doing work that requires fingers. Use a god damn contact glove. If you lose the use of your hands, you are in trouble.

*Keep your gear on your person or in your pack when not in use; lose your hat or gloves/mittens and you are in a world of hurt

*Air is what heats you up, not clothing. Remove clothing to replace air regularly. If you are cold, putting on more clothes won't do you any good.

*If you are cold, do something. Move around, use your body to create energy.

*Dry your clothing when you have a chance, in prioritized order; socks, boots, base layer, mid layer, hand/headgear. Outer layers can wait.

*Drink water/electrolytes regularly. Thirst sensation is not as prominent in cold weather.

*Try to eat one warm meal per day. It doesn't increase your core temp, but your body does not need to expend energy to heat the food up.


These are only a few pointers. The main thing is knowing what to do, and when to do it.


Last edited by AGR416 on Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:43 pm 
The New Guy

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:01 pm
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Location: Colorado
Great info...and big thanks to the folks on this site. I've been struggling through all these backpacking and camping forums and outdoor company-faux-scientific-gobbledygoop (which is really marketing bs). Its fantastic to finally find people who know this because they have lived it. Thank you


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 Post subject: VBL/vapor barriers? Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:52 pm 
The New Guy

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:01 pm
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Location: Colorado
Anyone with experience using vapor barriers? I've found two companies in the U.S. that make VBL clothing. One is Warmlite.com and the other is RBHDesigns.com. They say its the best. People I've talked to and stuff I've read online is a mix of a few people saying it is fantastic (but requires more fuss) and most say it has limited use. Also, I'm not just talking about socks but vbl shirts as well. Personally, I've experimented using bags and raingear with mixed results.

Anybody have experience with VBLs?


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:44 pm 
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@ Club Mate :
As for me, I'm 100% merino wool too, using Woolpower 200 when it comes to cold days. To be sure, I add an Acrylic wool layer, taken from the sport shop next door. (If you're close to the french border, Decathlon made some cool stuff for not so much dineros)
So my set are : Woolpower 200g/m², acrylic wool jacket plus an extra wind stopper layer. If needed, the wind stopper transforms into rainshield layer


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 Post subject: Re: VBL/vapor barriers? Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:41 pm 
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ngakpa wrote:
Anyone with experience using vapor barriers? I've found two companies in the U.S. that make VBL clothing. One is Warmlite.com and the other is RBHDesigns.com. They say its the best. People I've talked to and stuff I've read online is a mix of a few people saying it is fantastic (but requires more fuss) and most say it has limited use. Also, I'm not just talking about socks but vbl shirts as well. Personally, I've experimented using bags and raingear with mixed results.

Anybody have experience with VBLs?


Vapor barriers for shoes like ski-boots are good if you plan to stay out for a long time or if its really cold. The shoes won't get wet from the inside and this prevents it from freezing at night so you don't have to have them in your sleeping bag.
plastic bags are fine for this use, but personally i wear the VBL vapor barrier socks, they hold up longer. Make sure to wear a thin base layer sock underneath, preferably wool to better deal with bacteria and smell, and also a thick wool(smart wool heavy mountaineering) or a fiber-fur sock outside the VBL sock to protect it from the shoes and keep your feet warm.
A good alternative might also be a thin neoprene sock, but make sure its roomy since getting wet neoprene over wet feet or wet liner sock can be a drag.
Vapor barrier for sleeping bag or upper body is absolutely not necessary unless you plan to stay in temperatures below -30/-40C for extended periods of time, and this is only for the bag.
For the body it will never be necessary unless you plan to do physical activity in your insulation/down layer. and for this a neoprene vest will be sufficient. altho moving around in down clothing is not something you will need to do if you know how to layer correctly. Except for mountaineering obviously.

Quote:
2. For light and static activity in subzero (down to say minus 30 or 40), what would you wear over that? (No down, please. When in remote, off grid places for a long time, down is difficult to completely reloft.)

This is just not correct at all. A quality down jacket (RAB, PHD, TNF Himalaya, Bergans Expedition, etc) will have no problem with relofting. Its all about the CUIN/Fill power in the down.
Choose 750 or over for Extreme cold temperatures.
Down is the preferred insulator for all extreme cold expeditions and is also fine for military activity if it is dry-cold or very cold so things don't melt.
for 0 to -15 i would go for a thick primaloft jacket for military activity.

I would also take some of the advice here with a pinch of salt.
Using only wool net, 200g of wool mid layer and a shell jacket as static insulator in below -30C will be at best uncomfortable and at worst unsafe.
If you plan to do this you better make damn sure you have a good sleeping bag to crawl into..

As for the Aclima stuff, their mid layers are of good quality, maybe one of the best..
The Warmwool Hood sweater is a great product since you get neck protection integrated in the top so you don't have "cold-brigdes" at the neck..

I don't know what you are planning to do but if you are ski-trekking or something in temps below -30/-40C (and don't plan to get wet) i would say that choosing something else than down would be the less smart option..


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:58 pm 
I need to get out more

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Quote:
I would also take some of the advice here with a pinch of salt.


Any other advice you would not trust?

Quote:
Using only wool net, 200g of wool mid layer and a shell jacket as static insulator in below -30C will be at best uncomfortable and at worst unsafe.


Who said this?


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:36 am
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Location: Norway
I guess this is what he's referring to:

Pkekyo wrote:
Well, we mainly wore just the fishnet baselayer underneath the hardshell when working.
When we took breaks, and around camp/base/OP areas, we would add a 200gr layer.
Then we would bolster it with the 600gr or Nanok gear if needed.


Pkekyo wrote:
I found the 200gr Woolpower midlayer more than sufficient between the Woolnet and issued goretex field uniform in temperatures well below -30C. That said, at times I opted for the 600gr jacket just because it's so damn comfortable.


If that's he case, he does seem to have missed some essential context though.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Second post from the top, or thats how i read it anyways.
If i missed some context then thats on me..

Im not saying that your post was wrong AGR, and it was not your post i had in mind either.
Im just pointing out that there might be a focus in this tread that isn't exactly correct or the "best advice in regards to the equipment.
I can't possibly see a reason for a person to choose a synthetic insulator for outdoor activity in -40C.
staying outside for prolonged periods of time in that temperature range(in remote locations as is the case here) is serious business if you don't know how to handle yourself or choose the right equipment.
I have extensive experience with expedition length time frames in these temperatures and i have also used both the Arcteryx belay and those Carinthia Type insulation jackets(military use) that is the topic of discussion here, and i can't see how either of these belong in -40C on a trip where you carry your own equipment. Both insulation and weight wise.
The Arc jacket is a BELAY jacket and the other one a heavy lump, neither one is designed for what he's looking for in my opinion.

Walking around with vapor barriers on your body in those temperatures for the first time might even give you frostbite or trench-foot if you don't have the right routine for doing this.


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