Climashield is increasingly being used in sleeping bags and insulated apparel these days. How does its performance and weight compare with other synthetics such as Polarguard Delta and the Primalofts? Steve Olympia, Washington
Climashield is indeed gaining a higher profile. Its a product of a long-existing company in the United States with the inspiring name of Western Nonwovens, Inc., though the insulation itself has been around for a mere four years.
L.L. Bean Katahdin sleeping bag
Katahdin 20-degree sleeping bag
Its gaining traction in the market because manufacturers have found it has some advantages over both of the long-time market leaders in synthetic insulation, Polarguard and Primaloft. Like Polarguard, Climashield is a continuous filament material," meaning it comes in long fibers rather than short ones, as is the case with Primaloft (also called cut staple" insulation). That means that, like Polarguard, Climashield is fairly rugged (longer fibers hold together better) and easier to work with. Primaloft needs a special coating so that the fibers dont separate, and some manufacturers have found it tricky to use.
Compared with both Polarguard and Primaloft, my fabric source tells me, Climashield is softer and offers better thermal efficiencyi.e., it results in a warmer bag or jacket for the same amount of insulation. And, as with other synthetic materials, Climashield resists moisture and is fairly effective at keeping you warm even when wet. Its also hypo-allergenic.
Climashield doesnt yet hit the Hoy Grail mark: a synthetic thats as light, soft, and comfortable as down. But its getting closer.
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