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View Full Version : Woobie versus Doobie!



bmstrong
09-02-2009, 07:01 PM
Only have the cash for one this fall. Woobie or Doobie, what do you guys think?

Bushcraft
09-02-2009, 07:13 PM
That's easy...

What are the temps you are likely to encounter the most?

Warmer Temps = Woobie

Colder Temps = Doobie

Koop
09-02-2009, 08:48 PM
If you could only own one, and planned on making use of it regardless of the season, which would it be?

steveb
09-02-2009, 10:22 PM
If used alone, then Woobie for lows above 55F, and Doobie for cooler temps. If you will use it as a liner, spare or emegency blanket and space is an issue, then Woobie. If you will use it as your primary 'bag', then you will get a wider range of use out of the Doobie (being a quilt, it's easy to ventilate). just my .02.

evanhill
09-02-2009, 10:44 PM
I think the woobie has the most all around utility. It is small enough to be a spare or emergency blanket that you can tuck just about anywhere. It can also be used to supplement a sleeping bag at the edge of its temperature range.

The doobie is the size of a sleeping bag when stuffed. In that case, why not just carry a sleeping bag? On the other hand, that's big enough that it's not something you would just throw in the daypack or suitcase. Not much usefulness either way in my opinion.

I've had a doobie down to 40 degrees while wearing the following:

mid weight long john bottoms
light weight long john top
light merino wool sweater
ultralight soft shell
watch cap
wool socks
wool oversocks
rain coat used as knee length bivy sack
With that setup, I was comfortable as long as the blanket edges stayed tucked under me. I would have been more comfortable in a sleeping bag where I didn't have to fight to keep the edges under me.

Perhaps for summer backpacking that will reliably be above 45 or 50. Perhaps.

I know others will disagree, but that's my $.02.

remington79
09-03-2009, 01:32 AM
I used my Gen 1 Woobie down to the mid 40s. I started off the night sweating and had to put some layers on later. I was wearing an Under Armor escape beanie, wool socks, and worn out ECWCS polypro bottoms and a Cabelas packable fleece. My chest was a little cool but if I was wearing the polypro top I would have been fine.

duckear
09-04-2009, 10:02 AM
I used my Gen 1 Woobie down to the mid 40s. I started off the night sweating and had to put some layers on later. I was wearing an Under Armor escape beanie, wool socks, and worn out ECWCS polypro bottoms and a Cabelas packable fleece. My chest was a little cool but if I was wearing the polypro top I would have been fine.

What kind of pad were you using?

evanhill
09-04-2009, 10:10 AM
Doh! very relevant Q duckear. In my case, it was a BA insulated air core. Not nearly as warm as my 1.75" thermarest. This makes a big difference in relative warmth of a quilt.

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 11:10 AM
I used my Doobie during last weekend's scouting trip for 4 nights and had great results. Very comfortable, much more so than if I'd been confined in the usual mummy cocoon.


Tarp - OR Heliem, kept us dry, out of the wind and provided plenty of room for us and our gear.
Pad - Downmat 7 on top of a 3/4 Ridgerest
Feet - I didn't wear socks most of the nights.
Legs - I wore my pants half the nights (but was too warm).
Torso - I wore a cotton t-shirt Thursday night and Sunday nights (trailhead sleeping) and a merino t-shirt while in the field. Plenty warm. I doned the Parka one of the nights while in the field (too warm and clammy) and used it for a pillow the second night.
We got back to the rigs late on Sunday night and, exhausted, just threw down our sleeping gear in the back of my truck, rather than drive. I was so tired and just said, "Screw it, I'll get in the truck if it rains." We had a very heavy dew down in the valley bottom that last night and the top of the Doobie was soaked come morning...and I hadn't even noticed, much less cared, while I comfortably slept until I got up to hit the road for home. I was still plenty warm. Coldest night-time temps were probably down in the mid-40's. From prior testing, I knew I could comfortably get down into the upper 20's with the additional items of clothing I brought (Kifaru Parka over merino long handles and wool socks).

The thing I really like about the doobie/blanket/quilt/whatever you want to call it, versus a mummy bag, is the absolute freedom of movement and "just like at home" kind of comfort you get when sleeping on a poofy insulated Downmat. You can easily turn your body under the insulation, hitch a knee off to the side, move your arms around or sleep on your belly with your arms raised, just like at home. All things that are impossible when zipped up in a mummy bag.

remington79
09-04-2009, 11:30 AM
I was using my ThermaRest. I don't know what model it is. I bought it around 1992-1993. This was long before they started to put R ratings on anything. I don't remember what model it is and I don't think they even make this one anymore. Mine has a dark brown bottom with a dark green non slip top. I remember getting a good deal on it from Campmor.

Despite being so old it still looks good as new. I only had one hole in it some time in the 90s. That was caused by a stick or thorn when we were tarp camping and not using a ground cloth. I have used this pad to winter camp a lot growing up and have never felt any coldness coming from the bottom.

I should add to my earlier post that I tend to be a cold sleeper. The poly pros I used are worn out and are not as warm as they used to be. However they were still too warm for the beginning of the night. The temps got down to 40-45 that night. I think I would have been more comfortable with a lighter bottom and a slightly heavier top. More of the middle between the poly pro and the packable fleece. The packable fleece is warm and good for moving and having a spare layer but it's not as thick or warm as your traditional fleece.

remington79
09-04-2009, 11:38 AM
I forgot to mention that my TheraRest is the 1.5 or 1.75 inch model. In addition I didn't have to put the fleece on until the early morning hours.

evanhill
09-04-2009, 11:53 AM
Bushcraft, I'm pretty sure that the downmat is key to your satisfaction with the doobie. The lack of any bottom insulation whatsoever in the quilt scenario means it all has to come from your pad. R values for some of the pads being discussed:

4.1 BA IAC
? older 1.5" thermarest -- not sure. probably somewhere in here
6 my 1.75" thermarest (older model)
8 Downmat deluxe 9

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 12:29 PM
Evan,

I think one can rest assured that, almost regardless of sleeping bag insulation, if there is no viably insulative pad underneath, the sleeping bag's R-value is going to be close to zero. Thus the need for a pad of some sort. Therefore the relative attributes of the pad are a completely separate part of the insulation/warmth discussion, but important part of sleeping comfort discussion. The two are but separate ingredients of a good night's sleep.

Dredged up from an old, memorable discussion...

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d11/ARE001/Other/All-SmallCostFactor-1.png

BTW, I'd put the old Thermarest's R-value that he talking about (I have three of them on the rack) nearly equal to the ProLite. I don't know why, if one has the means, they'd ever by a Pro-Lite. Waste of money in my opinion given how much more comfort/warmth is readily achievable. ProLite = Marketing Gimmick.

evanhill
09-04-2009, 12:42 PM
how did I know that this chart would make an appearance?

My point is that the comfort rating of a quilt is far more dependent on what pad you're using it with than a sleeping bag is -- to the point that it's almost meaningless to talk about a quilt temperature rating.

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 12:44 PM
Why?

The pad's insulation is irrelevant to the insulative loft of the sleeping bag or quilt on the top and sides of you (that is not compressed underneath you while sleeping).

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 12:47 PM
Think about it this way. If you were sleeping on cold concrete. Both a sleeping bag and a quilt would be nearly equally miserable since the R-value of either's insulation, once it is crushed down to millimeters, essentially becomes zero.

evanhill
09-04-2009, 01:02 PM
because the value of the insulation on the bottom of a sleeping bag is far greater than the zero value you impute to it.

even where it's compressed, it is still a non-zero value, and potentially a significant one. (try sitting down on the snow with your long johns versus a pair of insulated pants. I think you'd find the insulated pants more comfortable) Also, there are lots of "underneath" places that a sleeping bag will only be compressed a little or not at all. These are places where a quilt provides zero insulation.

I also suspect that conductive heat loss works at an even faster pace than radiative heat loss, which exaggerates whatever difference there is between a sleeping bag and quilt of equal insulations.

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 01:14 PM
I see your point, and I don't see your point.

Who merely lays a quilt over themselves unless it is warm out (another benefit of the quilt versus a sleeping bag)?

One can easily obtain a full circumference wrap with a Doobie...thereby negating any percieved superiority of a similarly temperature rated sleeping bag.

evanhill
09-04-2009, 01:17 PM
One can easily obtain a full circumference wrap with a Doobie

I'm sure that's true on a Downmat. Not my experience on a BA IAC. Haven't tried on a thermarest.

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 01:33 PM
Ummm...what?

Again, what difference does the pad make in the wrap equation?

evanhill
09-04-2009, 01:41 PM
It is a constant fight to keep the doobie tucked underneath me on the 20" BA IAC. Both surfaces are pretty slick and the BA IAC, despite its thickness, doesn't really "cup" the body the way that I imagine the 25" downmat does. I imagine that cupping factor does a pretty good job of keeping a doobie properly melded underneath your body with a downmat.

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 01:51 PM
I don't know what the difference might be since I've only used it on the skinnier DM7.

evanhill
09-04-2009, 02:13 PM
sounds like you've got a couple of nights of testing ahead of you -- downmat versus one of your old thermarests.

Bushcraft
09-04-2009, 02:26 PM
Alright...what am I not understanding here...

The Downmat I've used is approximately the same width as the older Thermarests. Again, the pad, so long as it is warm enough, is irrelevant to the loft/comfort/warm equation of the sleeping bag or quilt comparison. By design, they warm your top and sides, not necessarily the bottom.

Just wrap/tuck it under you and go to sleep. Or, leave it unwrapped/untucked if it is too warm. I've used it, and greatly prefer it over a sleeping bag, in my Hennessey Hammock. I'm probably going on 20+ outside nights ranging from mid 20's (wrapped with additional clothes) to room temps (partially laid on top and pulled up as the night gets cooler).

Personally, I think its a fantastic, very versatile piece of kit that I'm glad Kifaru saw fit to make after getting input from us.

andyoz
09-07-2009, 03:17 AM
I think the woobie has the most all around utility. It is small enough to be a spare or emergency blanket that you can tuck just about anywhere. It can also be used to supplement a sleeping bag at the edge of its temperature range.

The doobie is the size of a sleeping bag when stuffed. In that case, why not just carry a sleeping bag? On the other hand, that's big enough that it's not something you would just throw in the daypack or suitcase. Not much usefulness either way in my opinion.


I just wanted to give my (non-techincal) assessment of were the doobie is useful.

True if I wanted an ultra compact emergency blanket then I think the woobie is a very useful piece of kit. If I'd had the money I would probably have bought both.

However my considerations were (in no order):

First aid kit - my experince has been that a quilt is more useful for covering a casualty than trying to get them in a bag. Nor do most modern bags lay out flat with useful surface area. In this case the warmer the better.

Emergency kit - I'd find it much easier to wrap a blanket under other clothing layers than a mummy bag. Again maxium isulation is what you need.

My last serious use was on an exercise on Salisbury Plain, concrete floors or stoney ground. Not much cover from the wind and uncertain weather. Very limited on what could be carried so I took the doobie. In a small reg. stuff sack it's smaller than my 3 season issue bag and feels warmer. I sleep hot anyway. I don't know the actual temp. but breath was fogging in the morning and frosty. Shelter was an Aussie basha as a wind/rain break with old carpet ripped out of a van as a mat. In just battle dress trousers, fleece gilet and wind proof smock this was quite tolerable. Also I could jump straight up without hinderance when we got the "Stand to" every 45 bloody minuntes throughout the night.

As I had to choose one I went for the warmer and just don't wrap completely if I am too hot.

For general back packing use the doobie tied together with an old (original pattern) thermarest has been more than enough for Spring through to Autum. For altitude or winter in the mountains I'd be using a full bag anyway.

Not Scientific but my practical "tests" have for me justified the cost/bulk of the doobie over the woobie. I hope to get a woobie for future use in as I think it would be an excellent item for summer super light bivie's or even just at the beach as an always handy item. I certainly got a lot of use from a poncho liner in this fashion.

jadias
09-07-2009, 06:12 AM
Andy, the Woobie is definitely a cracking bit of kit to have with you all the time. Mine pretty much lives permanently in my Express, and whenever I think "Maybe I should leave it behind this time..." and then keep it, I always end up digging it out at random points.

I'm sure the Doobie is better as a sleeping blanket, but the Woobie is definitely more versatile - boosting the insulation of sleeping bags, adding extra ground insulation, as a mat to sit down on, something to throw over yourself when it starts getting chilly out... I love it. I moved into my apartment over 2 weeks ago and I still haven't been able to get to a store to buy bedding, so guess what I'm sleeping under. That's right... ;)

Similar to you, I may end up getting the other one at some point, to see if I can make it replace my sleeping bag. But for now, I'd consider the Woobie an essential piece of gear. Definitely recommended.

Just need a Kifaru compression sack for it now... :(

bmstrong
12-23-2009, 03:50 PM
Finally getting around to purchase one of these. I still haven't decided either way yet. The Doobie looks very smart since I'm knee deep in snow, but I'm wondering how well I'll stay cool if I use it inside.

remington79
12-24-2009, 03:28 AM
I'm still pleased with my G1 woobie but a doobie is definately on the list. The doobie will let you push later into the fall and earlier in the spring with out having to use a sleeping bag and the woobie will be a bit better for the summer when that extra insulation might be too much. I know the woobie is great for the summer when you dont want a sleeping bag but a poncho liner is still too thin. If only my friends and I had woobies when we were growing up. We would have never even bought poncho liners.