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Topic: Winter / Cold Weather Camping Question, How do you layer your insulation< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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zipposdad Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 8:05 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Here is the question.  I have always layered my insulation using this method.  First, closed cell pad on tent floor. Next is inflatable pad, then the down bag. (The down is up rather than down).  Temp doesnt matter and what type of closed cell pad or inflatable pad doesnt matter.  R value doesnt matter.  I have always used this layering. It was recently suggested to put the inflatable down first then layer the closed cell then the down bag.  What are your thoughts.
I know it sounds like the chicken or the egg, but to me it makes more logic to put the closed cell pad first to lessen heat loss due to conduction.


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markweth Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 8:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I put the closed-cell foam pad down first and then an inflatable pad on top. My logic is that I'm using the closed-cell foam pad to limit the chance of puncturing the inflatable pad and to add extra insulation from the ground.

I've used the following set up (wearing a lightweight wool baselayer and thick wool socks) down to the low teens (F) in a three-season tent with no issues:

- Thermarest Z-Lite 3/4 length close-cell foam pad
- Thermarest Neo Air All-season regular
- Marmot Pinnacle 15*F sleeping bag

If it's not broken, why fix it? I will continue using that system until I find a reason to switch.


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AlmostThere Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 8:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How cold is your winter?

I'd put the ccf on top of the inflatable. Winter for me means snow, and what about snow punctures anything? Nothing.


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QCHIKER Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 8:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I put the CCF pad on top of my BA IAC pad. The reason is that the CCF is  insulating you from the cold air in the pad. I used to do it with the CCF  pad on the bottom and it feels warmer for me with it on the top.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 14 2013, 9:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Straight conduction theory says it doesn't matter--the R-values sum in series.

But in reality there will probably be some short-circuiting due to air getting between the two layers.  So, assuming the air is cold too (not just the ground), putting whichever layer has the higher R-value closest to you should be better.

Another thought:  though I've never paired up two pads like that, as a very active side sleeper I suspect I'd have more trouble keeping the CCF on top of the inflatable than the other way around.

Summary:  try it both ways and see what you like best.

EDIT - I forgot to add the snarky comment:  Why do you bring the down bag into this?  You'd seriously put it under or between the other layers?    :laugh:
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zipposdad Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

texasbb,  The snarky comment comes from a previous discussion we had while camping of the layering sequence where someone made the comment that the down was up not down even though in may not be down...

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 5:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I almost always put the CC pad down first. It keeps my self-inflating pad dry. The few times I put my CC pad on top, when I went to roll my self-inflating pad, I found ice/moisture on the bottom from condensation.

I am not that concerned with winter puncture but if the snow/ice is melting underneath you, it could have sharp edges from the thaw/freeze action.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 15 2013, 8:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For me, I notice that I am much warmer if I layer my 1/8" ccf pad on top of my Neo. I have tried it both ways, and could never get warm (underneath) with the ccf under the NeoAir. I flipped them back around with the ccf on top and noticed instantly that I was warmer.

The ccf pad will hold warm air next to my body better than an air pad will, and just because the air pad is underneath the ccf pad, that doesn't mean it doesn't work anymore. Of course, this is my theory, but in my experience, it has proved to be true.

Oh yeah... and keeping the ccf pad in place has not been any issue whatsoever. Of course though, the ccf pad is a Gossamer Gear ThinLight 1/8" pad, and more recently the EvaRest 1/8" pad from Lawson Equipment. For reference, I am a side sleeper, but still find myself tossing and turning throughout the night.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 8:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i use two closed cell foam pads, so it doesn't matter.  i don't think R value accounts for layering in a different order - it's a function of how much insulating value you place between yourself and the ground.

if i were using an inflatable pad, i would put the closed cell next to the ground and the inflatable on top - not because it makes a diff for insulating value, but because it might be more comfortable to have the inflatable next to my back.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 5:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Often measurements  and perception differ.
So if one perceive ,say, a CCF at the bottom to be warmer it will feel warmer regardless if it can be measured to be so or not.
As an example, not directly related but just to show how we react :
"Still another study found a significant increase in the complaints about the
cold in an office which was painted blue after being yellow even though the actual
temperature in the office had not changed"
http://psych.hanover.edu/research/thesis05/ernst.pdf

in my case I like to use the WM Summerlite in winter because that particular red makes me feel warmer...
( so a a yellow or red mat may be perceived to be warmer than exactly the same mat in dark green or blue...)
With pads having a CCF under can simply be better because it has a better grip on some floors and would protect your inflatable better that way.
If the inflatable is one of those Neo Air that relies on heat reflection, then it might well be that it works better closer to your body.
However if you happen to find a foam mat more comfortable next to your skin, then you may also find it "warmer"
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 11:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank god I used a (cold) blue bag in a (warm) yellow tent yesterday. I am going to paint my XTherm yellow tomorrow…

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 12:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Psychological or not, I have noticed a clear warmth difference putting the CCF on top with my combination in real world tests (and clearly more than just my mind). However, my combination of Prolite Plus and ZRest is plenty enough that I am not concerned about which goes on top.

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11 replies since Feb. 14 2013, 8:05 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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