Forum Index > Gear Talk > Vertical vs horizontal baffles; treated vs untreated down.
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langleybackcountry
Langley Backcountry



Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 1 | TRs
Location: Seattle
langleybackcountry
Langley Backcountry
PostFri Sep 22, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Just signed up for the site. I am looking to enter the world of quilts and have narrowed it down to a couple from highly rated, small makers. I have 2 questions for feedback:

1: One company uses continuous horizontal baffles and the other uses vertical on the body and horizontal around the legs & feet. I get the idea of horizontal baffles making it possible to adjust the down, but I am a side sleeper who tosses and turns a fair amount, so I am concerned about migrating the down and am thinking vertical may be better. You can also control temperature with what you wear, venting, etc.

2: Both companies use 900fp down standard, but one uses 850 for their dry treated option and the other uses 900 treated. I am something of a skeptic regarding the virtues of dry down. More than one maker says it loses some loft at the same fill weight, requiring more down to achieve the same temperature rating. But I often use a Tarptent, which is more prone to condensation - especially on the Olympic Coast. Given that the shell materials are variations on Pertex with DWR coatings, would the treated down make sense? (I know the down debate is covered elsewhere, so this question is specific to the PNW and single-wall shelters with these shell materials).

The catch here is that the company with the vertical baffles and 900fp dry down option is more expensive. They also have the option of having a more water resistent foot section (again, more $). So I am trying to decide if the extra $50-75 depending on options is worth it.

BTW: I have purposefully left the companies out of the discussion because the question is about construction and materials, not specific products.

I appreciate your thoughts.
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Schenk
Off Leash Man



Joined: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 2033 | TRs
Location: Traveling, with the bear, to the other side of the Mountain
Schenk
Off Leash Man
PostTue Oct 03, 2017 3:18 pm 
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Both schools can be debated ad nauseam.

My take (and this is for down bags with a 30 degree, or lower, temp rating):
Generally horizontal baffles, with side blocks in the baffling to keep the down from migrating around in the baffles is considered to be superior to a full baffles with no side blocking .
The spin they put on bags with no side blocking is "so you can move the down around for back, side, and stomach sleeping."
That is a bunch of BS...they save a lot of money in construction by not side blocking the baffles.  You don't want down migrating when you sleep and if you toss around a bit when you sleep, it will migrate. If you move much at all while you sleep, you really can't keep the down exactly where you want it overnight  in one of those bags without side blocking. Personally, I would skip any down bag without side blocking in the baffles, unless I was buying a bag for warm weather, or needed a cheap hut/cabin bag.

Vertical vs. horizontal baffling is not a big deal. Vertical baffles that run the length of the bag with no additional blocking can allow down to migrate too, from head to toe, or vice versa. Some bags have vertical baffles in the torso area only, and those keep the down in place just fine.

A lot of bags these days have more down on top than on bottom. This is to save on the amount of down used in the bag to get the desired EN 13537 temp rating. If you are a toss-n-turn sleeper, and need equal insulation all around, those bags do exist. In fact, equally filled down bags, with horizontal, side blocked, baffles work well for nearly all sleepers, including toss-n-turn sleepers. You do carry an ounce or two more down with an equally filled bag.

Edit: Dry treated down is indeed faster drying and a bit more resistant to absorbing moisture than non-treated. It will help in minor, to almost moderate wet conditions. Extreme wet weather, day after day in a cold, humid, tent will still do to any down what water does to down. Nevertheless, dry treated down isn't a bad idea if you expect some moisture or humidity on your trips.
A WP-B shell will keep out liquid water and is a good idea for some conditions. It does increase drying time, if it ever comes to that in the back country.

--------------
Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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RandyHiker
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 5647 | TRs
Location: Greenlake
RandyHiker
Snarky Member
PostTue Oct 03, 2017 5:05 pm 
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FWIW: My sample size is two.  1) Sierra Designs Wicked Light 45 degree semi rectangular bag.  2) Brooks Range 30 degree Cloak quilt.

I've used the 45 bag as a quilt, It's cut a little small to use as a bag when you have a 50 inch chest.  This worked pretty well,  but was somewhat inefficient as there is several inches of bag on either side of the torso lying flat on the ground no insulating anything.  I used it paired with a hooded down jacket.  Horizontal baffles.

The 30 degree quilt also worked well an as one would expect is a bit warmer than the 45 degree bag.  The reviews complain that this quilt is cut a bit narrow, particularly for side sleepers and toss and turners.  I can confirm this critique, but I've found it to not be that much of an issue for me, but so far I haven't slept under in really breezy condition (40 nights so far)  Vertical baffles.

AFAICT: The orientation of the baffles doesn't have a significant effect on warmth.  At least if you payi
attention while making your bed and fluff the quilt to even out the distribution when the down has migrated and encourage  maximum fluffiness.

Water proof fabrics:  No personal experience,  but a friend of my bought a bag with a PTFE membrane in the outer shell and even sealed the seams along the baffles.  The result was a bag that was extremely water resistant,  but also extremely time consuming to stuff.
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DIYSteve
seeking hygge



Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 12408 | TRs
Location: here now
DIYSteve
seeking hygge
PostTue Oct 03, 2017 7:50 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
but a friend of my bought a bag with a PTFE membrane in the outer shell and even sealed the seams along the baffles.  The result was a bag that was extremely water resistant,  but also extremely time consuming to stuff.

Tell your friend to turn it inside out before stuffing
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Forum Index > Gear Talk > Vertical vs horizontal baffles; treated vs untreated down.
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