View Full Version : Polarguard Delta Insulation

2006-08-22, 18:11
Does anybody know of a source for the Polarguard Delta insulation??

Besides, i.e., buying a finished product.

I want to make 1 or 2 custom quilts. Have decided on Polarguard Delta as the best insulation. Now if I can just find a source.


2006-08-22, 21:02
Thru Hiker carries Primaloft in three weights.


I plan to make a quilt of one layer of the 6.0 oz primaloft. I don't think there is much difference between polarguard and primaloft. All the textile companies take turns telling lies about how their product is "Almost down-like" or, "As good as down" , which is never the case...until it gets wet. Thru Hiker also carries the Momentum nylon in 0.9oz, that is an excellent material for the liner of a quilt.

If you don't have a plan for the quilt I'd just order Ray Jardine's quilt kit. I'm well pleased with how mine turned out, except for the bulk. Don't order the "Alpine Upgrade" unless you need it and if you do, plan on making a lighter quilt also. Don't go out and buy one of those ultralight packs the size of a bookbag until you get the rest of your kit together, it may not all fit.

2006-08-22, 21:26
Don't go out and buy one of those ultralight packs the size of a bookbag until you get the rest of your kit together, it may not all fit.

amen brother! - I have had the hardest time beating the "volume demon".
definately harder than cutting weight.

2006-08-22, 21:35

I had found Ray Jardines site before, but knew nothing about the 3D insulation he uses. Finally found the Polarguard site and discovered that their specs show almost no difference between Delta and 3D. Also, read Rays comments on Delta and finally decided to go with Ray's quilt.

Just Jeff
2006-08-22, 21:44
Yep - volume is harder than weight. Kinda less important, though. Including external pockets, my pack is about 3600ci. When I don't fill it up, I just don't compress my quilts as much, so they take up extra space and my pack is still stable. Then when I get extra food or hike with my kids, I compress them back and I'm still not hurting for space.

I guess I could save an ounce or two with a smaller pack, but I kinda like having the convenience. I even packed for a two-night snowshoe trip in that pack at about 25 lbs, including a few conveniences since we spent one whole day in camp instead of hiking.

Anyway - back to Polarguard. I have a quilt made from Primaloft and it works fine. I understand that the biggest difference is that PG is continuous filament, so it holds together well with fewer quilting loops, while Primaloft is not continuous so it drapes better for clothing but needs more reinforcement to keep it in place over large areas(i.e. more quilting loops). I'm not sure anyone has tested those claims, though.

Patrick just had a thread at WB asking for PG sources b/c his dried up...don't remember if it was Delta or not. He found a new source but I don't remember where it was. Might PM him - he posts here, WB, and has his email on his website - www.kickassquilts.com (http://www.kickassquilts.com)

2006-08-22, 22:53
Yes, that volume thing is a pain. I have a Granite Gear Vapor Trail and I can't get it all in there with a synthetic bottom and top quilt. I was delighted to see that Granite Gear makes external pockets so I figured I'd just carry potentially wet items like the hammock (hopefully condensation only) and my wonderful McCat in those pockets. We'll have to see how much room that makes inside the pack. From what I've read here the consensus is to hang your tarp seperately, makes sense to me

2006-08-23, 08:25
Key to reducing volume is to use down quilts ans a hammock...cuts 20+ percent from a bag and is way more compressable...my three season two quilt loaded pack fits in about 1500 cubic inches leaving 500 for food....2000 cu in for a weekend is day pack size.

Matter of fact Gossamer Gear is testing a new thinner Mariposa ( read about 2000 Cu In ), 5 inches thick vs standard of 7 inches...I'm lucky enough to be testing it...Absolutely super carry...hugs the back...still larger than needed for a low volume ULer... I can easily carry 5 days of food as well.



2006-08-23, 10:14

"my three season two quilt loaded pack fits in about 1500 cubic inches leaving 500 for food....2000 cu in for a weekend is day pack size".

Question for you: Does your pack list include all the items your reference on your website's list?


2006-08-23, 18:55
I bought a sleeping bag with Primaloft. Opened it up and was sorely disappointed. It was very lumpy and a lot of areas didn't feel like they had any insulation at all. Only the shell material between me and the floor/pad. Same on the top. The bag as made with internal baffles, but they didn't seem to be working.

I've only used down bags in the past and am just getting fed up with the down-side of down, mainly it is really bad when wet and can be deadly in that condition. We use down comforters at home, custom made back in '74 (mine is king size with 9 lbs of prime down and my wife's is queen size with 6 lbs of prime down - when laying under one of those, nobody can even tell if you are under it - about 6 inches loft for each). Not concerned about the comforters getting wet, but my experience with down in the field says they will, not if, get wet and usually when you can least afford that happening - when you are 40 or 50 miles of bad terrain from any prospect of drying the bags.

The bag was reportedly rated for a comfort level of 15 degrees (I had assumed that meant Fahrenheit, but from the appearances of the bag, I think they meant Celsius).

I returned the bag with no further use.

That experience ruined Primaloft for me. Lumpy sleeping bags I don't need.


Just Jeff
2006-08-23, 23:53
My Primaloft isn't lumpy. Your experience may be more about that manufacturer than with Primaloft.

How many times have you gotten your down bag wet to get you fed up with it?!

2006-08-24, 09:01

"my three season two quilt loaded pack fits in about 1500 cubic inches leaving 500 for food....2000 cu in for a weekend is day pack size".

Question for you: Does your pack list include all the items your reference on your website's list?



Yes....Although things vary for each hike, what is on my gear list is very, very close to my packing list....True confessions?....Since my load is so light and so low volume I frequently add my old ,trusty, comfortable waldies for plus 11 oz.


2006-08-24, 10:01
Yes....Although things vary for each hike, what is on my gear list is very, very close to my packing list....True confessions?....Since my load is so light and so low volume I frequently add my old ,trusty, comfortable waldies for plus 11 oz.


Man, I have a lot of work to do....
:adore: :adore: :adore:

2006-08-24, 18:28
How many times have you gotten your down bag wet to get you fed up with it?!

Depends on how long I stay out. If I am out for a short time only, less than a month, then it has gotten wet about 25% of the time (subjective messure) - rain, condensation, accident, whatever. If I am staying out for more than a month (most of the time), then the percentage goes up dramatically to over 50% of the time.

I like down - breathability, compressability, weight and warmth. But it is useless when wet.

Most of the time, only portions of the bag get wet and working around the wet spots is not easy. Drying out the wet spots takes a lot of time - fortunately I usually spend a lot of time in one spot and then move on.

I am finally learning why the military uses synthetic.

2006-08-24, 20:55
If you want the best synthetic bag you can buy, order one from Wiggys in Colorado. His are the last synthetic filled bags made in the USA. The SEALS use his bags, the army bought some contract junk that falls apart. About half of my unit got issued Wiggy's bags in the 90's, they rock, never a loose seam and they didn't seem to lose loft. Wiggy's has the contract for the vaccuum packed survival bag in ejection seats, his insulation was the only one that would loft up again after being packed like that.

Just Jeff
2006-08-24, 21:32
I have a Wiggys set that I deploy with - the overbag (35F used alone) and the 0F bag, plus the bivy. I usually just use the overbag...it's very comfortable and I haven't had a problem with the loft. Never been cold enough to use the 0F bag. I wish the bivy was breathable, though - I get very clammy in there but it's better than being rained on.

2006-08-25, 14:24
I have a Canadian Forces issue Gortex Bivy that is very breathable, but it is 2 pounds. I have thought of cutting it down to be gortex on top and 72"x28" blue foam pad and tapered towards the feet, but I haven't had the guts to do it yet. I suppose I would end up with two, and one with an extra large flap on top.

I have also wondered in summer about just using the bivy with just large batt of synthetic insulation and some sort of liner. It might be tapered some for a wider body and narrower foot box. Hopefully it would still all roll up nicely, or even fold up to fit your pack. Something like this:

Bivy Top Gortex = 72"x30" (14oz)
Bivy Bottom Blue Foam = 72"x24" (10oz)
Synthetic Insulation = 72"x48" (12oz)
Fleece Liner = 72"x36" (12oz)
Total 3 pounds


I've also wonder if a simple knit wool poncho and nylon rain poncho might be the simplest thing for summer, perhaps even late Spring to early Fall.

Rain Poncho/Tarp 9oz
Wool Poncho/Blanket 3 pounds
Two garbage bags stuffed with debris for ground pad.

Just Jeff
2006-08-25, 15:46
Maybe replace the bottom of the GoreTex with silnylon...probably cut 8 oz from the weight, and you don't need a breathable bottom if you're using a pad anyway.

Using a bivy and quilt is a pretty lightweight system. Also check out military poncho liners. Or just get a quilt from JRB, Feathered Friends, etc.

2006-08-25, 19:40
Turk - for the volume deamon consider the "The Bag" from double bull archery. You can get them from Cabelas:


Maybe other sources too.

Very good for compressible stuff like clothes. I used to use those vacuum plastic bags (put the stuff and then use the vacuum to suck the air out). Good when I'm at home, but once I opened in the field, the volume was back - and no outlet for the vacuum handy.

"The Bag" uses a very good zip lock type closure on the top and three one way valves on the bottom. Put in what you want to compress, seal the top, and squeeze out the air (sit on it, roll it up, whatever). They really work for compressible items and they also keep it dry. Plus, you can re-compress in the field. Don't know the weight of a single bag, but how heavy can a plastic bag be? My subjective guess from hefting one is less than 1/2 oz (lifting a bag in one hand and a 1/2 oz brass weight in the other).

2006-08-26, 03:35
Teedee, that is a hell of an idea. didn't know they made ziplocks with air valves in them. Do you own any? If so could you comment on how durable they might be? Handled with care, could one last 2 months in the bush? being opened daily and recompressed?

2006-08-26, 12:19
One way valve eh. Neat.

Turk, was it you that mentioned using two garbage bags and forest debris as a sleeping pad? If so, how did it work out? I can see that working very well in summer when you a blue foam pad might be the bulkiest thing you would need, and maybe Fall before stuff gets to wet. I could see it getting punctured right away so it would carry loft of its own, but it would keep the debris dry.

2006-08-26, 13:07
I doubt very much I was the first to mention it, but yes I have done quite a bit of weekender testing with different insulating pads made in the field. I have used dried fern and leaves at about 5" loft between the HH and a JRB Nest. Some mixed results there. Condensation was a big problem. Have also used the idea ...hmm
can't remember to whom I should credit this, either Just Jeff or Risks site ( I frequent both) had an idea about inflated bags with just air under a hammock for some insulation value.

The problem with any forest vegetation is that is has to be absolutely bone dry.
Nothing more than a husk really. Otherwise for the same reason a solar still works so well, the stuff produces a considerable amount of condensation. Just last weekend I was playing with a "garbage bag" underquilt. I used two Glad "force flex" bags, size XL, stuffed with various debris. One half was all green stuff and the other all dry stuff. The green side was very warm, but produced alot of condensation inside the bag by morning.

So far here are the key problems to overcome.
1) the enviromental impact. Cutting green stuff for insulation every night
would probablly get you lynched in the USA so I am told. And sure, if some
care is not taken, the impact on enviroment can be a real issue.
2) the process of gathering and stuffing an insulating sleeve every night
can add considerable time to camp chores. Also not easy to do if you
set up camp in the dark.
3) My whole test system so far is a little 'too ultralight'. Durability is a big
concern. A sewn silny tube with some d-rings and suspension system might
be able to create a 1/2 or 1/3 weight JRB type quilt, with about the same
savings in volume, however at the serious penalty of warmth and time to fill.

So far the whole thing has not proven worth the effort. I love my Nest.
Wouldn't replace it. But I will continue with this line of testing as a possible
Range extender to the nest.

2006-08-26, 21:40
Yeah I own quite a few. As Cabelas sells them they come in a set of 3

1 - 19"x23"
2 - 16"x16"

The smaller one is just the right size for 2 or 3 pairs of jeans, so that gives you an idea of the size. Haven't found a really good use for the large size yet. It is really big. I haven't tried, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could put two mummy bags in their stuff sacks in one, seal and still deflate quite a bit of air out and reduce the volume even more. The small one would definitely take a mummy bag in a stuff sack and reduce the size more - a lot of air still in there. With a stuff sack, no matter how hard I try to compress, they always still have a lot of air still in there. With the one way valves you could squeeze out even more air. Just sit on and bounce on it a few times. Of course with that kind of compression, you would have to setup camp earlier to let the insulation reloft.

The plastic is really heavy duty and has something like a cross-hatched pattern in it. Don't know if that is some kind of reinforcing material or just a heavier thickness of the plastic. They do take a hell of a beating though. The top closes with a slider. The instructions say to slide the slider across the top at least twice to insure a good seal.

Kind of neat to stuff it, seal it and deflate it - squeezing by placing on the ground/floor, placing both hands on the top and leaning down heavy and then rolling, I find quite effective. Depending on how much you stuffed it, it comes out as flat as a pancake. I have experimented with deflating and setting aside for about 2 months - no discernable leakage - subjectively it looks as flat as when I set it aside. I have used the Zip Locs with double zip closures and they always leak in a day ot two. Not these though.

Makes reducing the volume in the field easy - open, remove what you want, reseal and deflate again. I carry at least two spares for soiled clothes, etc.

Take care when you deflate though. Once deflated, the bag is hard to bend to conform to what you want. With care in deflating and practice you can deflate and form the shape you want at the same time, especially if you want a tight cylinder shape. A final rolling will give you that pretty easy. Takes practice though. As with any new equipment, practice at home.

As too two months in the bush, daily opening and resealing/deflating. I see no problem. With reasonable care and precautions to keep away from sharp pointy objects, no problem. The plastic, as I wrote, is pretty thick and it would take a very deliberate attempt to puncture it - or a very sharp, pointy and durable object. This is definitely not your kitchen type thickness.