Insulation confusion

Posted by: Steadman

Insulation confusion - 05/07/11 11:19 PM

As I've gotten into backpacking (vice hiking and camping seperately) over the last couple years, I've been playing with various articles of insulating and wicking clothing, and have taken advantage of various end of season sales in order to do so.

The cotton socks, underwear, and sweatshirts stay home now, and pine for my attention - but they aren't welcome during a backpacking trip for all the obvious reasons.

The question I have is about my mid (insulating layer). How do I tell which garments are equivalent?

For instance, is a Capeline 3 shirt equivalent to a Gordini lightweight fleece or a Smartwool 100 shirt? After I went to cruise the sales rack today, it was plain that the fleece and Capiline 3 were not equivalent - unless I'm missing something.

So, does anyone know a code I can crack that will explain how well different fabrics insulate relative to one another, or do I need to wander from outdoor store to outdoor store (or thrift store smile )feeling the cloth and figuring it out garment by garment, through monetarily costly experience?

Personnally, I'd love it if someone here knew the system so it'd be easier to take advantage of end of season sales...

A slightly mystified Steadman
Posted by: verber

Re: Insulation confusion - 05/08/11 12:01 AM

There are some standardize ways to test the insulation value of clothing, similar to the methods used to measure sleeping bags. I have links to a number of useful resources on my recommended clothing / insulation page. The single best tool to think about insulation is Richard Nisley's best backpacking clothing post.