They have become a staple for me at much of the year. It can be a challenge(i.e. not to overheat) during heavy exertion like doing hard physical work either actual work or carrying a pack as fast as possible up a very seep hill. But any other time, like sitting around camp or sleeping, or even doing moderate work, I have found them amazingly useful at surprisingly warm temps. It's just a matter of using less insulation, a problem most of us rarely have in the winter! LOL! Or, another way to look at it: if what you have at 40F or 30F or minus 5F is not warm enough, a VB may well- in addition to keeping your insulation noticeably drier and loftier- give you another 15-20F of warmth for whatever insulation you are using it with. So a only have a 40F quilt and the forecast is for 25F? A VB might just get you through, although it's main advantage is keeping your insulation free of condensation or sweat, particularly important on multi-day trip.johnspenn wrote:I've read some about VBLs but I'm not sure I'm prepared to try staying outside in that kind of cold (single digits/sub-zero from what I've read). Time will tell, but for now this Jawja boy just wants to be able to stay out for most of the year and take it easy during the extreme times.BillyBob66 wrote:One night if you are feeling wild and crazy, you should try vapor barrier clothing. Or, if insulation on the bottom(and not the top) is an issue, just try a space blanket(which is a VB also) between your hammock and UQ. What the heck, if it stinks, you can always go in to bed and try again the next night without it. Or, you may end up amazed. Or not. (having made that recommendation, let me add: just make sure you understand VB theory and practice before hand, or you are almost guaranteed to not like the results)
I realize they are not for every one( actually, apparently almost no one! ), but OTOH they are very easy to experiment with. In fact, ADVStrom14 recently gave VBs a try on her new personal best she set at 27F. I think she did OK with a VB. Maybe she will chime in on that. But, though most folks will not go that route, it is just one more arrow to keep in the quiver, one more tool that might keep us out of a tight spot some cold night.