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  1. #1
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    Primaloft question

    Does anybody here have any experience with Primaloft for UQs. Pro or con.
    I see it comes with a scrim backing so it doesnt need to be quilted, which is a big plus.

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    Firesong's Avatar
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    Primaloft does need to be quilted. No ands ifs or buts. Its an amazing synthetic insulation but for an UQ, use climashield and save yourself some hassle.

  3. #3
    Can you explain your statement please?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redfish View Post
    Does anybody here have any experience with Primaloft for UQ’s. Pro or con.
    I see it comes with a scrim backing so it doesn’t need to be quilted, which is a big plus.
    The Scrim is just a carrier (like tissue paper). It carries no structural value and is used for the manufacturing of the insulation itself as well as by some companies during the production of the finished goods.
    So no you still need to quilt it. You can quilt through the scrim (which adds roughly .5 ounces per sqyd) and this makes it easier to sew.

    For a home application/personal use: you can probably get away with 9-12" O.C. for 3 ounce (100GSM).
    If you sell it then you need to adhere to the 6" OC for that weight in order to meet the manufacturers requirements.

    I wouldn't use any less than 3 ounce for a top quilt. You can do a double 3 ounce for an UQ, a combo like WV does (PLG plus down) or use 4 ounce.
    That said, I think down is more efficient for anything much past 45*. I have a handfull of UQ's out there that some hot sleepers really like but I wouldn't generally suggest it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firesong View Post
    Primaloft does need to be quilted. No ands ifs or buts. It’s an amazing synthetic insulation but for an UQ, use climashield and save yourself some hassle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dekozn View Post
    Can you explain your statement please?
    See above- you have to quilt.
    Part of the point James is making... once you go to the trouble of quilting it... the labor involved tends to offset the reasons to use Primaloft and you might want to just use Apex for its simplicity... or go one minor step further and sew full baffles and use down.

    I tend to agree... Primaloft Gold (100GSM) has a fairly narrow and specific application: a 45* top quilt for summer use. In this specific application it is probably the very best on the market.
    Unless you are allergic or morally opposed to down- no reason not to use it for everything below 40*.

    Down at very low fills tends to easily shift and/or develop cold spots. I personally consider any down gear rated above 40* to be a waste of money and a poor application for down.
    It is also more labor intensive and heavier due to the shell construction requirements than it needs to be.

    However as an UQ... I'd bump that same 3 ounce Primaloft Gold down to 55* or so as an UQ.
    In addition- it's generally fairly practical to 'overdo it' with your UQ. As in pair that 45* top quilt with a 30* UQ, even in warmer weather.

    At best; I would say a 3 ounce (100GSM) top quilt and a 4 ounce (120GSM) underquilt can make for a very nice summer set (temps in the 60's and high humidity). Much better than down generally... but again a very specific use that doesn't always apply well in real life. Even in high summer if there is any elevation involved you can easily find yourself in a Katabatic zone where temps may drop into the upper 40's or 50's. If you live in the flatlands like me... then Primaloft Gold makes a good summer set for UL backpacking use and the high ambient humidity. Though even in the midwest you can find pockets of cold air in hollows, river banks/bends, or other valleys that may bring you into a very damp bone chilling 50's range even with temps well over 80* during the day.

    Down is good at 'self regulating' and an UQ is easy to vent out... so for most folks out there down is cheap insurance against that odd cold evening you'd encounter. While it's easy to talk about 'good site selection' as the catchall solution to these problems, the simple fact is that more and more we are relegated to designated camp sites with little or no choice regarding where we will setup. (In the USA at least). So while 'site selection' is a nice catchall for a long distance hiker or person out west who can walk an extra mile to a better spot... if the designated site is on the beach at the bend in the river... tough ****. So for hammock use especially where you are very dependent on the 'real feel' temp rather than the actual thermometer temp... it's hard to recommend shorting yourself on insulation in your UQ unless you have a good reason to push it.

    If you are car camping or new to MYOG/DIY... then you will find Apex simpler to work with and more affordable. If you don't need the packsize and weight advantage for backpacking then why bother?
    You could think PLG as the 950 fill of synthetics- more money than it should be and with a very limited application range.
    So if you are discussing 'the best money can buy'... short of Eiderdown there are a few spots and applications where Primaloft Gold is it.

    Bringing you to the final point- you have to have a fairly decent idea how to make gear to work with Primaloft Gold. Not rocket science but if you have that skill level you can probably sew a down quilt.
    Many folks who have that knowledge and/or time would likely just work with down and be done with it.
    Primaloft Gold is a premium synthetic and actually costs more to produce than a down or apex piece in todays market.

    I got into Primaloft specifically for FKT/speed hiking use where you needed the highest performance gear possible.
    It is this type of trip and use where the shortcomings of low loft down products tend to literally fall down on the job. (40* and up) A few days into a damp FKT trip and my 50* quilt was often about as useful as the shell it was made from and served as little more than a 70* bedsheet.

    But if you don't need a 55* or higher premium synthetic UQ... plenty of folks call an apex, costco , woobie, or even a wool blanket plenty good.
    I ride a bike- but I don't have a carbon frame $X,XXX.XX performance road machine- I have a $200 bike from REI that gets me around the neighborhood with my kids just fine.
    It's your time and money- so spend it however you want.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys.
    Guess Ill stick with Climashield.
    I was just curious because I got a couple of Eddie Bauer primaloft throws and am impressed by the feel and lightness of them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tstark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redfish View Post
    Thanks guys.
    Guess I’ll stick with Climashield.
    I was just curious because I got a couple of Eddie Bauer primaloft throws and am impressed by the feel and lightness of them.
    Just curious, how does the Eddie Bauer throws compare to the Costco quilts? Is it much heavier? Is it warmer?
    If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.
    - Yogi Berra

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redfish View Post
    Thanks guys.
    Guess Ill stick with Climashield.
    I was just curious because I got a couple of Eddie Bauer primaloft throws and am impressed by the feel and lightness of them.
    Looking at your profile- if you can sew a bridge you can handle a Primaloft Gold UQ (or a down one).

    Apex is like a brillo pad once you've handled Primaloft. Probably closest in feel to synthetic down IMO.

    The army woobie with those wavy quilting lines is usually Primaloft too. So people are more familiar with it than they think.

    That said- the Eddie Bauer throw is Primaloft Black. Two steps away (black, silver, gold)
    So if you like that, you'd really like the Gold.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Hangnout pioneered a hybrid synthetic/down UQ design that used synthetic insulation along the sides and down for the center (bottom) of the quilt. The synthetic insulation is quilted in place and resists compression a bit so it keeps shoulders and the sides of legs warm. The down is more likely to settle to the bottom and it lofts to fill available space. preventing CBS. I've used Primaloft Silver for this, but Apex might even be a better choice. The design of the fabric shell is important. You need room for the insulation to expand, but not so much that there are air gaps. Making the UQ fit the hammock tightly without undue compression is also critical. (Truth to tell, I haven't actually built underquilts since I started experimenting with this design, just insulated hammocks, but the same principals apply to a layer of attached insulation.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tstark View Post
    Just curious, how does the Eddie Bauer throws compare to the Costco quilts? Is it much heavier? Is it warmer?
    They don’t seem quite as warm as down, but very light and comfy. Used one as a TQ down into the forties with no problem.
    I do believe that Mrs Claus is getting me five yds of 3 oz plus some calenderd OutdoorInk fabric for Christmas.!
    Going to make a TQ!!

  10. #10
    GilligansWorld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firesong View Post
    Primaloft does need to be quilted. No ands ifs or buts. It’s an amazing synthetic insulation but for an UQ, use climashield and save yourself some hassle.
    I have only had the fortune of gazing upon your Premium (note the Capital for P) down gear so your opinion is highly valued by yours truly, ok forgive the gushing but..., ohh now I remember, I have never worked with synthetic insulation (down yes but it is a huge pain) but I am curious if it is possible to create an underquilt good down to about 0* DIY that would pack small enough for a pulk style outing, and suggestions or help on the design would be greatly appreciated if only a nod in the right research direction.
    Be The light in Someone's Darkness - Change the World one Act of Compassion, One Act of Kindness at a Time - We are All Living on Borrowed Time

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