Finbar Hood IR Marc Pfenning
- Thomas - Here's my Initial Report on the Finbar Hood. Have fun editing
it! It's an interesting piece of gear.
Personal Biographical Information
Name: Marc Pfenning
Height: 6' (1.8 M)
Weight: 165 lb. (75 kg.)
Email address: magickfingers<at>magickfingers<dot>net
Region: the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, at the foot of Jay Peak
Date : March 31, 2004
Backpacking background: I have been hiking and backpacking since I was
eight years old. I was very active in Scouting, earning the rank of
Eagle at 15. Most of my teenage weekends were spent on the Long Trail,
either with my troop, with my brother or by myself. I have continued
backpacking as an adult and fulfilled a lifelong dream last year by
thru-hiking the Long Trail, 278 miles ( the length of Vermont),
finishing the hike on my 50th birthday. My hiking style is best
described as lightweight. My base three-season pack weight is around
15 lb. When I hike solo I sleep in a Hennessy hammock; when hiking
with a partner I use a Kelty Vortex 2 tent.
Manufacturer: Innovations by Fin
Model: Sleeper II
MSRP: $40 US
Weight not given by manufacturer.
Weight, total, as received: 6.8 oz (190 g)
Weight, removable fiberfill liner: 1 oz (28 g)
The Finbar Hood is an insulated nylon hood designed to be worn while
sleeping in a hoodless bag. It consists of a red nylon outer shell
which is sewn to a layer of 3M LiteLoft, an inner blue nylon taffeta
shell also sewn to a layer of LiteLoft, and a removable liner of
polyester fiberfill which is 'bare'; i.e. not attached to any nylon.
There is an integral uninsulated 'bib' which extends 7.5" (35 cm.) down
the front and back. 1/2" (1.3 cm.) light nylon ribbons form arm loops
to hold the hood in place during nocturnal tossings and turnings.
The Finbar Hood arrived in a very small - 4" x 4 1/2 " x 9" (10 x 11 x
23 cm.) - box, which also contained five sheets of related literature:
1) A double-sided sheet which on one side tells of a 10 day test which
Brother Finbar conducted in temperatures ranging from -26 F (-32 C) to
29 F (-2 C), and on the other side has a testimonial from Ann Bancroft,
the leader of the American Women's Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
2) A general description of the hood, illustrated with line drawings.
3) Features, benefits, history and cleaning of the hood.
4) An article about losing heat during sleep, and how the hood helps to
prevent that heat loss.
5) A small sheet with instructions on removing and replacing the
The hood looked very much like the photos on the website, but I was
surprised to see how light the arm straps are. The website photos had
led me to expect bulkier straps, and I was concerned about comfort and
chafing. However, when I donned the hood I couldn't even feel the
straps, so that concern has been alleviated. The hood is surprisingly
large and roomy, coming from such a small box. There is no stuff sack
included, but I found an unused 5" x 8" (13 x 20 cm.) stuff sack and,
surprisingly enough, the hood fit inside it very easily.
Spring has arrived very suddenly this year, with very warm weather. I
also work nights, and sleep during the day, so the temperatures have
been exceptionally warm while I have been sleeping this past week. I
did sleep outside (in my Hennessy hammock) two days in an effort to
give the hood an initial test. I used a combination of Z-Rest,
ThermaRest and cheap no-name blue pads and a down quilt. One day the
low temperature was 30 F (-1 C) and the next day was warmer, only
getting down to 42 F (5 C). The first day I had to remove the liner,
as I was sweating, and the second day even with the liner removed the
hood was too warm to sleep in. I'm hoping that the SnowClaw, which I
have also been selected to test, will arrive while there is still
enough snow to build a snow cave so I can test the hood in the cave.
I'm pretty sure that winter will be back with at least one more good
storm. I have the next three nights off so will be sleeping at night,
when the temperatures will be considerably cooler. I will again sleep
in my hammock and I expect that I will be grateful for the hood.
I am looking forward to further testing of the Finbar Hood, but it may
be late next fall before I can give it the testing that it deserves, in
truly cold weather. The long term report should have more useful
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
- Edit:How about a title? Finbar Hood Initial Report?
Just something to get us warmed up ;)
Edit: In the other reports they have gone with Lite-Loft. Lets keep some
things the same ;)
3M LiteLoft, an inner blue nylon taffeta
Comment/Edit: I might try Therm-a-Rest.
ThermaRest and cheap no-name blue pads and a down quilt.
Edit: Spell checker says long-term
The long term report
Good report, but can I ask for a bit more test plan detail? A little more
of an idea of what you are going to do might be a good idea.
- At 10:08 AM 03/04/2004, you wrote:
>Edit: In the other reports they have gone with Lite-Loft. Lets keep someAP:> Actually according to 3M it is Lite Loft, i.e., two words and no hypen.
>things the same ;)
>3M LiteLoft, an inner blue nylon taffeta
>TestingAP:> Therm-a-Rest is required. Brand name and official BGT spelling.
>Comment/Edit: I might try Therm-a-Rest.
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