Why fibre pile for insulation?

Fibre pile is the best insulation for marine sleeping bags. Why? and its' other properties discussed here

Why fibre pile for insulation?

Postby Greg » 14 Mar 2011 13:57

I am taking part in the clipper RTW race 11-12 and doing the full circumnavigation and am in the process of researching sleeping bags. I was hoping that you could provide some further information regarding your sleeping bags and advice on which one I would be best suited to acquiring. I'm particularly interested in the insulating layers. Obviously I should not choose a down filled bag - but why fibre pile?
Many Thanks
Greg
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Re: Why fibre pile for insulation? - short answer

Postby OSmod » 14 Mar 2011 14:03

We use fibre pile because it is the best performing fabric for the job. It is warm to the touch, it is equally warm when wet, and as the fibres do not absorb water, for insulating material it dries very quickly. It also resists mould - which is an issue with the inevitable build up of condensation. We use top quality fibre pile so that it does not shed fibres and lasts well.

The dense weave fibre pile layers are removable so that when it gets hot you can strip out a layer (and the zips open at the foot to allow air in should you require). An extra stuff sack is provided to put the 2nd insulation layer in when you are not using it.

It will probably never get cold enough (even in the Southern Ocean) for you to need more than the 2 insulating layers. But for the odd occasion, it is probably better to wear a fleece hat, socks and thermals, than transport an extra layer around the world. (For example, I did not need an extra layer with sea water temperature down to 2°C up in Greenland, loose wool socks and fleece hat did the trick).

Each layer of the Ocean Sleepwear bag is machine washable. The insulating layers at 40°C with normal washing detergent

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Re: Why fibre pile for insulation? - long answer

Postby OSmod » 14 Mar 2011 21:29

Fibre pile insulation used in Ocean Sleepwear sleeping bags is a luxuriously soft warm material that provides excellent heat retention both wet and dry. It simulates fur or wool to provide the best insulation while retaining the strength and quick-drying properties of synthetic fabric.

Fibre Pile works by using trapped air as insulation. The origin of the word fibre pile is the Latin pilus for "hair". Air is caught between the fine hairs to create a layer of trapped air that collects and retains body warmth.

Fibre pile provides an instant sensation of warmth to the hand

Fibre pile has an open structure and this is what gives its exceptional thermal capacity, and breathes so much better than other bags that it is possible to use it in a wider variation of temperatures. Alone it does not have much wind resistance. But for a sleeping system designed to have a waterproof outer shell, fibre pile is ideal.

Fibre Pile keeps its shape and spring by using fibres that are resilient with large numbers of curls and twists. And for practicality, it is machine washable at 40°C.

Fibre pile is hydrophobic, holding less than 1% of its weight in water. This means it dries quickly and stays dry because the polymers out of which fibre pile is made have very low moisture absorbency. The same open structure that gives fibre pile its thermal qualities also allows fast heat exchange and transportation of water vapour through the pile away from the body and out through the breathable shell.

A fibre pile bag should outlast a synthetic fill bag given the same treatment, and will outperform the same when wet.

Fibre pile is resistant to heat and sunlight, it resists mildew and is not susceptible to attack from insects.

In all this is why we believe Fibre Pile beneath a breathable outer shell is the best choice of thermal layer in our 3-Layer System.
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