Minima Insulation Question
Posted: 25 April 2011 12:52 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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What weight and type of insulation should I be looking at for making a Minima vest?

I’m looking to use it in the summer as my primary insulating layer for cooler evenings and as supplemental insulation underneath a heavier jacket for the winter. I’ll also be carrying a long-sleeve baselayer in the summer, so between the two items I’d like to be able to get away without any other insulating clothing on summer trips in upstate NY. I’m looking at (for the summer) temperatures in the high 40s F at the absolute lowest, but I’d like to be warmer slightly below that, down to 40 F or so, if it’s possible to reasonably do so (i.e, vest still <8 oz and not absurdly bulky).

I’m thinking either 1.8 or 3 oz Primaloft or 2.5 oz Climashield. Anything heavier I think will probably be excessively bulky and not really work well with the Minima’s design. What are the differences between Climashield and Primaloft in this kind of application and which would you recommend? Also, how warm can I expect the Minima to be with each of those insulations? I realize that this is a pretty subjective question, but I’d rather get someone’s opinions on it so I know what to start with than have to make three vests and only use one.

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Posted: 25 April 2011 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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All three of those insulations will work well in the Minima.  None will be too bulky and all will be easy to work with.

I have always tended to prefer primaloft sport for apparel because its quilting requirements are minimal in that application, and it has desirable characteristics such as an extremely consistent loft/construction, good drape, it’s soft, and it compresses well.  That said, Climashield Apex is the most consistent continuous filament insulation I’ve seen yet.

If you want something nominally warmer, use 3 oz sport.  If you want something as light as possible, go with 1.8 oz sport.  If you’re intrigued by continuous filament insulations and want the minimal amount of quilting, go with Apex.

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Posted: 25 April 2011 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Just for reference, how much will an extra small Minima weigh with each of those insulations?

Also, is it worth it to get the Momentum90 instead of the standard fabric? I’ve heard good things about it, but is it as durable as regular 1.1 oz ripstop? I’m worried about it rubbing underneath pack straps and potentially wearing out sooner with the lighter fabric.

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Posted: 25 April 2011 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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It’s hard to know exactly because there are possible variations to the way you cut the pattern, but all will probably weigh in somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5 ounces.

Yes, it’s totally worth it to get the Momentum fabric.  No question about it.  Durability as compared to 1.1 is not an issue: neither will survive serious abrasion or puncture, and both will survive indefinitely with reasonable care.  Your loft or zipper will degrade before you wear out the fabric, accidents such as tears excepted.

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