Winter Snow Sport Gear
Winter Hiking & Snowshoeing
Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#106720 - 11/20/08 04:53 AM Vapor Barrier Socks
earlylite Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 31
Loc: New England
I'm thinking about buying a pair of Integral designs vapor barrier socks, mainly for showshoeing and winter hiking use.

Couple of questions:

1. Do they work - will they really keep my feet warmer in a less insulated boot, or is boot insulation far more efficient except heavier?

2. Should I wear them directly on my skin or should I wear them over a sock liner?

3. Should I wear a heavy wool sock over them?

Thanks,

Earlylite
http://sectionhiker.com
_________________________
Earlylite
http://sectionhiker.com

Top
#106721 - 11/20/08 07:58 AM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: earlylite]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I've been using the poor man's version of VB socks...bread bags.....for years. They're durable enough for a weekend of skiing or snowshoeing.

My layering system from the skin out is thin nylon liner socks/VB/wool socks.

My feet sweat a lot and there's nothing much worse than having the inside of my boots wet when I make camp. The VB liners solved that problem.

My plan is to make a simple pair of VB socks out of silnylon this winter. Should be an easy project. The only reason why I haven't done it so far is that the bread bags are so cheap and effective.

Needless to say, all those layers will require an oversize boot. I like plenty of room in my winter boots so circulation is not compromised.

Top
#106722 - 11/20/08 10:14 AM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: Trailrunner]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
There are several earlier discussions of vapor barrier socks, etc. in the archives. Use the search function and set it for "newer than" 2-3 years and they should show up.

Warmlite makes vapor barrier clothes. If you go to their website, there is an explanation of how they are supposed to work.

www.warmlite.com

I have never used any kind of VBL. They are supposed to work well in really cold weather to prevent sleeping bags, etc. from getting loaded up with moisture from your body which will turn to ice within the bag or jacket, but I've never been out long enough in really cold weather to have that happen.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
#106723 - 11/20/08 08:15 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: earlylite]
verber Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 269
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
Do vapor barrier socks work? I love them. I have been happy in a pair of rbh designs VaprThrm socks to 0F inside a pair of uninsulated gore-tex trail runners. I wear the rbh directly against the skin because they are comfortable that way. When I have used less comfortable socks (link plastic or mylar bags), I have used the thinnest liner I could find.

As to whether to wear heavier socks over them.. that would depend on how much insulation you need. Keep in mind though that you don't want to be pinching you feet... too much pressure effects blood flow which is a great way to make it hard to keep feet warm.

--Mark

Top
#106724 - 11/20/08 08:38 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: verber]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I say wet feet when necessary, but not necessarily wet feet.

Top
#106725 - 11/23/08 03:26 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: JAK]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
Vapor barrier socks are remarkably effective in seriously cold conditions.
I'd almost call them a necessity, although I suppose that's a bit much.
A no-brainer?

Top
#106726 - 11/25/08 08:44 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: TomD]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
Quote:

Warmlite makes vapor barrier clothes. If you go to their website, there is an explanation of how they are supposed to work.

www.warmlite.com


Whats up with all the naked people in their catalog? The owners aren't bashful that's for sure.

Top
#106727 - 12/04/08 11:27 AM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: verber]
hikerFedEx Offline


Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: United States
Have rbh designs VaprThrm socks & insulated version. They both work great IF its COLD. Just bought a pair of Integral Designs VB socks.

Generally your feet feel wet, so you may want to wear a pair of liner socks inside. Can add insulating sock over them inside shoe if size up your shoe 1 size for winter.

Here's a great review article of them.


http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/...vel_part_1.html

PM me if you can't open it and I'll cut and paste it.

As others have stated bread bags work well (for years as a kid sledding!), they just wear out from friction pretty easily, then provide no benefit once punctured.

hikerfedex@gmail.com <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Top
#106728 - 12/04/08 01:34 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: hikerFedEx]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I went on a hike recently, on a nice trail with 3" of snow in trail runners, it was about -5C and sunny. I had thin wool socks, and a second pair and a thicker pair to change into. Here was my dilemna...

If I wore thin socks, I didn't get too cold but the snow still melted like crazy on my trail runners, and they seemed to hold alot of water and not want to dry out at all under those conditions. Once my trail runners were wet they held enough water to instantly saturate both of my dry pair when I put them on, and then I conducted enough heat to keep them wet. If I had worn thicker wool socks from the beginning I think that might have kept the snow from melting on my trail runners, but my feet would have sweated and gotten wet that way. Still that might have been preferable. I could have hiked in shorts to compensate for the thick socks.

Still, if the trail runners were not so darned absorbant, and in a cold when wet way not in a warm when wet way, I think I would have been able to hike alot more comfortably and change socks when I wanted without it being a total waste. Vapor barrier socks would have allowed me to change my socks effectively, but they wouldn't have kept the snow from melting on my trail runners unless I wore thicker socks than I needed to. I think what I really need is trail runners that don't absorb water.

I think I'm going to make something out of deerskin or mooseskin that I can dry with a fire when I need to, and that I can make as breathable or non-absorbing as I need to with beeswax or whatever. I would like trail runner soles though. I might tear apart my trail runners glue the soles onto a pair of ankle high moccassins.

... or I could find a pair of trail runners that don't hold so much water in non-drying conditions.

Top
#106729 - 12/06/08 12:51 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: earlylite]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I use a thin nylon liner sock, and then the vbl sock. if it's cold I then put a wool sock overtop of that.

Although realisticly, that isn't "if it's cold" - I never do vbl socks unless it's *darn* cold <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


Edited by phat (12/06/08 12:52 PM)
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#106730 - 12/06/08 01:02 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I'll have to try some VBL socks and see where they fit in.
Are they more or less just like the old bread bag trick or what?

Top
#106731 - 12/06/08 01:09 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: JAK]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

yup. they are exactly that - just when you make a pair out of scrap silnylon they last longer <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#106732 - 12/07/08 10:04 AM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: phat]
Cesar Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 217
Loc: El Paso, TX
Quote:

yup. they are exactly that - just when you make a pair out of scrap silnylon they last longer <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


How often do you need to seam seal them? I heard the seams on VBL socks in particular need to be sealed often, or the moisture leaks out in your shoe.
_________________________
My gear is no where near lightweight

Top
#106733 - 12/07/08 07:36 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: Cesar]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Quote:

yup. they are exactly that - just when you make a pair out of scrap silnylon they last longer <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


How often do you need to seam seal them? I heard the seams on VBL socks in particular need to be sealed often, or the moisture leaks out in your shoe.


I did when I made them, but I didn't have any silnet so it was kind of a more rubbery version of silicon cut with white gas. realisticly, a little moisture you really won't notice. most of it happily stews my feet like a wet suit. mind you I've made my pair and maybe had them out for 3 seasons, 2-3 trips per winter. I don't wear them in the summer or anything remotely like it. last time I used them they were still just fine.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#106734 - 12/08/08 12:22 AM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: phat]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Thanks for those tips phat. I will do the scrap sylnylon thing for sure but you got me thinking now I might also try experimenting with stuff like beeswax and lanolin and thin socks, in an extra large size for over my wool socks.

Good firestarter if nothing else. lol

Top
#106735 - 12/08/08 12:49 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: JAK]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
hmm.. unless your beeswax/lanonlin'ed sock can be used to carry water - I think it's probably not the best vapor barrier. - will probably only serve to make your feet smell like
either honey, or a wet sheep..

So come to think of it - if you try it - go for the beeswax <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#106736 - 12/09/08 06:50 PM Re: Vapor Barrier Socks [Re: hikerFedEx]
earlylite Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 31
Loc: New England
Hi Fedex,

Didn't we meet on the LT this year? We compared Mariposa's just before you got to Jap peak.

I have a pair of the Integral Designs VB socks too, but I've never used them (yet). That should change in a few weeks.

They don't fit perfectly - there's like extra fabric - does that lead to any blister issues in cold weather, or is it just the way VB sock "fit".

thx,

earlylite
http://sectionhiker.com
_________________________
Earlylite
http://sectionhiker.com

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Backpacking/Camping Near Savannah, GA
by Sean&Brit
10/22/17 08:27 PM
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
10/22/17 06:13 PM
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 26 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
rackfinity, dalmany, ravensfan, Sean&Brit, Blackbuzzard
12429 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com