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Cyclopath
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Joined: 20 Mar 2012
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 12:05 pm 
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Aerogels resist heat transfer better than any solid known to man.  They’re also extremely lightweight, being up to 99.9 % air.  They’re warm when wet, and give full insulation even when compressed.

In the past, aerogels have been brittle like glass, but newer techniques for making them make them a lot more flexible.  You can buy sheets of the stuff and roll them up like blankets.

Of course it’s expensive, but less so than Cuban fiber.  So, naturally, I’m wondering about lining part of the inside of a tent with it, and then carrying less clothing and a much lighter bag.

I’ve done some googling about this in the past, and it seemed like the stuff was almost ready for prime time, but not quite.  But that was a while ago.  I’m wondering if anybody in here has tried any type of aerogel insulation and has any first-hand experience to share?

An aerogel protecting a flower from an open flame.
An aerogel protecting a flower from an open flame.
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texasbb
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Joined: 30 Mar 2009
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texasbb
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 1:25 pm 
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My answer to your question is "I don't know," but I can't say I share your enthusiasm about moving insulation from the bag to the tent.  The latter requires you (literally) to keep a lot more volume warm, volume that in this case is leaky as all get out.

Are the rollable sheets you mention soft enough to drape over the top of your bag?  If so, that would seem a more likely approach.
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JonnyQuest
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Pretty sure Pacific Outdoor Equipment played with Aerogel on sleeping pads.  AFAIK, it never went anywhere.
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Seventy2002
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Aspen Aerogel SPACELOFT™ blanket is available on ebay for $4 a square foot.  The sellers warn that the stuff generates dust when handled and recommend using gloves, eye protection, and dust masks when handling.  Not quite ready for trail use.
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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Dec 07, 2017 8:02 am 
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Sure, but there are a bunch of different blankets made in different ways by different companies.

A company, Oros, says they've made a flexible and machine-washable form of the stuff, and have put it into clothing.  I'm skeptical that that's a good use of the stuff, because it's important not to overheat and stew in your own sweat.  But they have a video of somebody wearing a jacket with aerogel and being sprayed down with -320 F liquid nitrogen.

I found an article in Outdoor Magazine, apparently the stuff is used in a pair of warm boots with poor tread ( frown.gif ) and an insulated water bottle.

It seems pretty obvious that this technology will be transformative sooner or later.  I'm not getting any younger, and neither are any of us.  I'm looking forward to enjoying warmer, lighter, better gear as I age.   smile.gif
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DadFly
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DadFly
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PostTue Dec 12, 2017 9:14 am 
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I used Aerogel footbeds on Denali in 2003. They were very effective. They were worn out by the end of the following winter. But I recommend them for this use.

--------------
"May you live in interesting times"

Keith
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