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DanO

question Need some advice, drying clothing in sleeping bag

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I have a larger down bag that has a waterproof but breathable fabric on the inside and it works pretty well drying out very wet clothing and not collapse the down. It is a sort of breathable vapor barrier. I can use this bag but is a little heavy and bulky to carry. Also it is not water proof from the outside in and must have a very good shelter(good tent) around it. It is too large with down mat to go into my event bivy sack.

 

I also use a event bivy sack and down quilt. I would like to be able to dry out very wet clothing in this after hiking out in the rain and not collapse the down insulation in my sleeping quilt.

 

The ways I am considering is a breathable vapor bag, something made from a gore tex like material, and use this inside the sleeping bag. To warm up and fan out the moisture from time to time inside the clothes I am wearing. This inside a very overrated down quilt for the expected temp. This would in effect protect the down quilt insulation but not leave you in a sweat box once your dried out.

 

Another thought is to use a synthetic over quilt, over the down quilt. Ether alone or with the gore tex vapor inner sack.

Can a synthetic over quilt work alone? If so, maybe this is the best option. What temp rating for the overquilt for colder rainy weather?

 

Another thought is to get a 20 degree synthetic quilt to use alone in rainy weather, thinking of one with clamisheild insulation. To use alone or with the inner gore tex vapor sack. Thoughts?

 

Thought of getting a buffalo pile sleeping bag but seems too heavy and bulky to be suitable. Would really like to try one out but a little expensive for experimentation and likely too bulky and heavy to carry. Very big and bulky as compared to down.

 

I want a wet weather system that can handle drying out clothes when soaking wet. Ideally, set up shelter and lay down sleeping system. Shake out wet clothing and wring fleece and pile clothing etc, go into sleeping system wearing wet clothing, get warm and eventually dry out clothing in some hours. Sleeping system dry and ready to go next night, no worries.

 

Maybe this is impossible without a pile sleeping bag? Any thoughts?

 

 

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Wow, a lot of topics up there but I'll stab at a few.

 

If it's going to be rainy and wet, I don't bother with down. It's too much of a pain and you won't get the temperature gradient required to really push moisture out of it. I don't have any experience with any of the new hydrophobic fancy down stuff so maybe someone else can chime in on that, but in really wet weather just leave down behind. Just like you still get sweaty and damp under your breathable goretex jacket in the rain, you face the same problem sleeping in one.

 

I don't think any sort of liner is going to solve your problem. A vapor barrier is by definition not breathable, if it's breathable it's by definition not a vapor barrier. In my limited experimentation that doesn't help much unless you are talking about REALLY cold stuff and then you have a different set of issues instead of drying soaked clothing.

 

If I am planning on camping wet I would go with your synthetic climashield or primaloft or whatever quilt. Take your clothes that are soaking wet and wring them out and wear them to bed over some dry long underwear or something. Your clothes will dry if you are warm enough, the outside of your quilt will get damp but probably only a little. If your clothe are totally soaked, maybe it's better just to get a good dry nights sleep in your quilt with your long underwear on drying only the necessary inner layers. When you get up in the morning put on your wet stuff and MOVE. Use your body heat to dry those clothes out without worrying about soaking the other stuff around you.

 

Honestly other than falling in the creek, you shouldn't have anything soaking wet that isn't easily dried while wearing or put aside and back on wet (rain gear). Look at your clothing system during the day as well. If you are getting wet from inside, you are wearing too much clothing, if you are getting wet from outside, wear breathable rain gear. If you are getting wet from both sides wear only a light synthetic t-shirt under your rain gear and this will dry out later (you have a dry inner layer in your pack too).

 

Does that help?

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I want to see a TR from some of these adventures Dan. Sounds character building, to say the least.

 

I'm too much of a weather weenie to offer any firsthand tips or techniques.

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I have a standard Gore Dryloft covered down sleeping bag. I pretty much had to come to grips that I was only going be comfortable for the first night, cold and kind of miserable the second night, and after that it was just plain miserable. I found a light weight synthetic bag to have better staying power, but at significant weight and bulk penalties.

Edited by DPS

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I can tell you what has worked for me, but it may not be what you expect. Background -- I led trips professionally for the boy scouts and for outward bound for sixteen of my younger years. For week long trips in colorado, new mexico, wyoming, and utah, I used an ankle-length waterproof cagoule as my rain shell. I wore as little as possible inside it -- the secret is to not let your clothes get wet in the first place.

Leading 21-day outward bound courses in the sisters wilderness, I upgraded my raingear to helly-hansen fisherman's gear -- rubber - very heavy, but I stayed dry, even when it rained hard for 19 days of a 21-day trip. again, I wore as little as

possible underneath. clothes stayed in plastic-bag lined

stuffsacks in the pack. I had dry clothes to sit around in and sleep in. the system depends on your ability to judge how much you need to wear under the waterproof. wear less - move quickly; wear more - move slowly. -oh, and I used a down sleeping bag which I religiously kept as dry as possible. yeah, the down bag got damp just from humidity during the really long rainy stretches in Oregon, but it never got too wet to function.

so - my take: if youre serious about being out for days in real west-cascades-olympic rain, ditch the breathable rainwear and get something truly waterproof - then wear as little as possible underneath it. don't worry about drying wet clothes -- keep clothes dry -- and the only item you'll have to dry in your bag will be socks.

-haireball

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The Haireball used the word "cagoule", which means he's really old. ;-)

 

Doesn't mean it's not good advice though (although the breathable stuff is much better now than it used to be).

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down in the true true damp is bullshit :(

 

a nalgene filled hot water can do something to dry shit of course, but if its that wet, it's gotta be synthetic, and you can use the hot bottle jsut for drying your drawers n' socks :)

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Thanks Everyone,

 

I suppose the goal is to be warm and wet rather than wet and cold, mo matter what system. The pile and pertex system from the UK depends on making a micro climate at the skin that is dryer and is pumping the wetness out by body heat, works if your moving, warm and hopefully not overheating. If not moving then in camp inside a pile pertex sleeping bag drying out, or drying out with some other equivalent bag of some type.

 

I guess a modern version of non breathable hard shell rain gear that would work is something made out of silnylon. Rain jacket and bibs. Using minim amount of clothing, wet with some sweat, this seems like a good option when out there for a long time. If the rain stops you dry the inner layers super fast by taking the outer layer off. You can put on some other kind of outer layer if needed while drying

 

Some options, gear out of pertex or event or equivalent and wear the lest amount of clothing possible. Can keep on pertex or Event or equivalent and dry out that way. Maybe a better system for off and on hard showers and for general usage??? I myself don't mind wearing a merino wool base layer if warm enough in the rain as I tend to run hot and sweaty anyway.

 

At camp to hang up what you don't want to dry and use bedding to dry out what you can dry or want to dry. I myself would prefer to dry out as much as I can, as in most everything.

 

I have experienced a semi breathable vapor barrier inside a sleeping bag and it works really well, Stephenson's triple bags work this way. With a way over rated bag, you get warm and then fan out the moisture from time to time as you warm up. When moisture gets low enough you just sleep and dry things out over time. Wool is hard to dry in a sleeping bag but polyester does well.

 

I am considering the hard shell non breathable, verses Event with pile/fleece, verses pile with pertex systems. I am also thinking of instead of pile/fleece clothing is mesh clothing. Or maybe some odd combination of all the systems.

 

If I was going to get a synthetic sleeping bag I would want the inner layer to be of some sort of breathable vapor barrier, something like gore tex in effect and let the outer layer breath completely, IE very breathable material. I have a Event bivy and would use that in the combo. The Event bivy is super breathable and won't hardly restrict the moisture coming out the total system.

 

With unlimited time, money and most importantly will I would test all possibilities. Maybe I will do so to some extent but for me to do so would take several years. I already have a good bit of gear and will use that while picking up more stuff here and there and see what works for me. Recently I have been renewing the outer DWR layer on outer clothing, giving it new life for awhile. Using Atsko water proofer, it seems to work fairly well.

 

I will have some sort of semi breathable vapor barrier inside my sleeping bag or quilt, either down or synthetic. Good chance I make up a synthetic quilt as I want someday. By semi breathable I mean waterproof but somewhat breathable, something like a lower breathable waterproof jacket material. I am kind of thinking of a pertex wind shirt and pants along with a silnylon hard shell to put over that for poring rain. But still thinking.

 

Still thinking and researching.

 

Thanks

 

Edited by DanO

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Further, If I was going to build a wet weather quilt, it would have a semi breathable material for the inner. Enough to let normal body moisture travel out while sleeping and SOME more to dry clothing but not too much to overwhelm insulation. The outer material super breathable and then use a event bivy sack. Likely better to use a synthetic insulation quilt but I have down for now, need it over rated for wet weather. I myself would prefer a rating around 0 to 10 degrees, you need that extra warmth for drying clothing.

 

Alternatively, Make a sleeping bag with the same semi breathable material on the inside with super breathable outside material, best would be Event for the outside. Either down or synthetic, but synthetic is likely better if wetness did get in, but either would work, depends on preference, down is my favorite if it works.

 

Since I have a Event bivy sack(check out the Borah gear Event bivy, best deal on a Event bivy that I have seen to date) And I have goose down quilts, I ordered a Tyvek bivy sack,(Tera Rosa Gear) very simply made and very light at 5.5 ounces to try out as my semi breathable vapor barrier inner sack. Plan, craw into Tyvek sack, and then get into down quilt and Event Bivy. Get warm and then fan out moisture from time to time until manageable, then sleep while drying wet clothing. As you can imagine you want a overrated sleeping quilt to do this. So I am using a zero degree down quilt when dumping rain. Will it work? most Likely, but unknown by me, as it is untested, so will test at home.

 

I put clothing and sleeping gear in waterproof sacks, what is the opinion about back pack covers? Sort of hard to use with gear on the outside, such as ice axes and snowshoes, Opinions? Any pack cover out there much better than the rest? I have not used pack covers to date.

Edited by DanO

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I really like thin merino wool for base layer, wool is warm when damp. Warmer than many nsulators wet, fleece/pile are almost as warm and synthetic puffys are likely warmer when wet or at least as warm wet, nothing soaking wet is that warm. The thing about wool is it is heavy, heavier wet and drys really slow. I may circle back to wool again but for now I use it for a base layer and it works great for this role for me. However, I sometimes bring a mid weight merino wool zipper neck sweater, it is that or fleece/pile. With synthetics you have a chance to dry them out in a sleeping bag, almost no chance with a lot of wet wool, that is my experience.

 

Thanks

Edited by DanO

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To Montypiton

 

I have been thinking of pertex and pile/fleece for general clothing and getting light silnylon pants and jacket for when it is really raining hard. Any opinion on silnylon rain gear? I like the light weight. Do you have any other rain gear that you recomend? Thinking of something to put on when raining hard, otherwise use the more very breathable gear. However if you know of more heavy rain gear that stays on all the time I would check that too, thanks for any information. I have not found much of non breathable rain gear made for hiking, but seen a cargoule by serria designs that may work. Would prefer something can use with gear and harness but am considering anything. Have a thought to use a campmor silnylon poncho as well, pros and cons for most everything.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

Edited by DanO

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Hello,

 

I decided to try a kind of poncho called the packa. The type I am getting is silnylon. So it is an non wetoutable hard shell upper. For legs not sure yet, will try some light gore tex pants that I already have. Other options are chaps or rain skirt or non breathble hardshell. The advantage of these hard shells is not worrying about drying them out at camp.

 

Second approach at the same time is a pertex wind shirt with much pile/fleece. I will likely use a merino base layer since it is much more comfortable wet than a polyester base for me. The goal is to shed light rain and staying dry by the pile pertex method. If rain comes too hard, shed layers as needed and go to the non breathable but ventable hardshell approach.

 

At camp, take off outside hard shell rain wear. Then use sleeping system to dry out the rest. Using a over rated sleeping bag. In my experience one needs at least 20 degrees over rating to dry damp to wet clothing. I am going to use a semi breathable vapor inner bag or layer to protect the insulation of my sleeping bag. Going to try a tyvek inner bag first to see how it goes. Stephenson's warmlite bags have such a vapor barrier built in and it works very well. When you warm up in bed you fan extra moisture out into open air, of course wring out clothing before you get into place if needed, you can see the need for an over rated bag, 20 degrees +++ over the expected lowest temp. After you get the bulk of moisture out, sleep like normal and be dry by morning and the plan is everything inside the event bivy sack to be dry by morning ready for next day. I am surprised that a semi breathable inner vapor layer is not more commonly made by sleeping bag manufacturers.

 

If I use a down quilt, event bivy sack, with a semi breathable inner vapor sack. I think I can dry clothes and keep the down dry. Even in a 100% humidity outside environment the down quilt inside the event bivy sack should have a much dryer micro environment---at least in the morning.

 

 

I like wool clothing well enough except it is harder to dry than synthetic, so at this point will keep wool to a min, even leaning toward Synthetic socks and gloves, even these small items hold a lot of water and dry slower.

Edited by DanO

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Other options are chaps or rain skirt

 

If you just spent 16 posts and a grand in cash writing these posts and buying the gear all to justify wearing skirt... well...

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Sorry for a troll-ey non-answer to your questions, but instead of spending time and energy and money on a sleeping bag, you'd be better spending it dialing in better clothing systems. Also - I assume you live in the northwest - manage your expectations. "Damp" is dry enough and "not hypothermic" is warm enough. Smile. Warm and dry is for Californians.

 

How are you getting so wet that you can wring water from a pile jacket? If it's warm enough to be raining and you're don't need much beneath your shell. Speaking of shells - are you wearing a modern Goretex or eVent or similar hardshell? Other types of shells have their time and place, which are times and places where it's not raining in the mountains. Shit's expensive but there is a reason everyone carries one. Don't overthink it.

 

Are you popping a synthetic poofy coat over your base layers as soon as you are out of the rain? If not, the sleeping bag you are looking for might actually be a jacket.

Edited by Jake_Gano

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As has already been said, forget about down.

 

And the only breathable that keeps you dry in hours of pouring rain is an expensive Goretex branded jacket.

 

Otherwise some of the sil or urethane lined stuff works okay. HelliHansen used to make a nice heavier set of urethane lined jacket and zip pants that I would trust on a big wall but I haven't seen it lately.

 

I've found the best thing on a long rainy approach through say forest is an umbrella. You can even tie it to your pack.

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