Here’s our latest review thanks to our friends from Varusteleka.

Full review with pretty pics and my ugly dial can be seen at:

 

http://packsandbeyond.com/2019...mal-cloak/#more-3307

 

 

ITEM: TST Thermal Cloak

MANUFACTURER: Varusteleka Särmä

DESCRIPTION:

A multi-functional thermal cloak that is capable of being used as a coat/cloak, sleeping bag, tarp or emergency shelter.

 

 

REVIEW NOTES:

This thermal cloak was kindly supplied by Varusteleka. We’d like to thank them for their support.

The Packs and Beyond team had the pleasure of meeting the crew behind Varusteleka at SHOT Show this year (Link HERE).

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Like any review of supplied equipment, I have done the review with the proviso that I will be painfully honest.

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Please let our suppliers know how much you appreciate their support for Packs and Beyond. You can really show your appreciation by giving them your custom.

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Don’t forget to follow Packs and Beyond on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/packsandbeyond) for all our latest updates.

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LINK:

https://www.varusteleka.com/en

https://www.varusteleka.com/en...-thermal-cloak/57470

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SPECIFICATIONS:

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MATERIALS –

Waterproof and thermal reflective shell fabric

67g/m^2 climashield insulation

Webbing for the tie-down points

Two-way, double sided zippers

1000D reinforcement panels

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DIMENSIONS –

Width: 216cm (unfolded) (approx. 85inches), 108cm (approx. 42.5inches) (folded as a sleeping bag)

Length: 216cm (approx. 85inches)

Weight: 1.3kg (approx. 2.86lbs)

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LAYOUT:

Based on the universal lightweight poncho liner, this is the Finnish interpretation of the Norwegian item.

The external material is a water proof and thermal reflective shell.

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The internal material is standard lightweight sleeping bag lining.

 

Each corner and zip junction has a loop attachment point is bar-tacked to a panel of 1000D reinforcing material.

 

There are three double-headed zips that allow the blanket to be setup in many different configurations.

 

The flexibility of this design allows it to be configured into a variety of different setups, something akin to a Finnish version of clothing origami.

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Spread out as a groundsheet to insulate one from cold ground.

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It could even be used as a tarp (or hootchie in Australian parlance).

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PERSONAL ASSESSMENT:

The Thermal blanket has proven to be a very useful piece of gear.

 

I’ve had a lot of opportunity to use the thermal blanket this winter.

 

Our friends at Varusteleka have made the thermal blanket as a flexible part of any sleep system.

So far, I have used it as a lightweight blanket/sleeping bag in warmer climates.

 

Varusteleka suggest that the thermal cloak used as a standalone lightweight sleeping bag is comfortable for temperatures down to 5degC (approx. 41DegF) and extreme limit down to -10degC (approx. 14degF).

That’s not bad performance for its size when stored.

 

It can also be used as liner or outer layer to supplement a sleeping bag like a bivouac bag for winter conditions. I’ve had occasion to do this on one of our Scout Activities, Operation Nighthawk (Link HERE). With a cold westerly wind and single digit temperatures, the thermal blanket combined with my Crossfire medium weight patrol bag kept me so warm and comfortable that I found it difficult to drag my carcass out of bed.

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Other use by myself has been in lightweight walking trips chasing after my Scouts whilst they were conducting 30 kilometer Patrol activities, and car camping in conjunction with my canvas swag.

 

PROS –

The Thermal cloak is a really nice, well made item that will integrate well as part of a sleep system. It’s going to see even more use in the coming months.

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CONS –

Perhaps one of the only features I don’t like about the thermal blanket is the pull tabs on the zips.

They are a great size for use with cold hands or whilst wearing lightweight gloves. But I find them rather noisy, and somewhat annoying when they contact my face. I will replace these pull tabs with two types of cordage: Australian Hootchie cord and paracord because of the dissimilar appearance and tactile feel they provide.

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SUMMARY:

A great piece of gear from our friends at Varusteleka.

Construction is of a high standard, and it integrates well as part of a sleep system.

Keep an eye out for more reviews of their gear in the coming months!

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

Original Post

How’s the condensation with the waterproof top layer?  The big advantage of this type of insulation, especially in very cold temps, is the breathability of the insulation and I’d be afraid of moisture (and freezing) getting trapped within the insulation instead of passing through.

I have a GI Equipment liner (Kifaru woobie is very similar - continuous filament insulation sandwiched between nylon) that I use in summer and as additional insulation in winter in between a down bag and bivy sack.  Without fail, there is alway frost between the bivy and liner, but the liner and the sleeping bag themselves are dry.  This is mostly in cold/dry temps (10F to -20F).  Cold/wet I skip the bivy bag for breathabilty.  

I just can’t imagine a waterproof blanket being anything but....moist.  Especially after a couple days.  I understand the Jerven Fjellduk was intended as a poncho thing for hunters and not for use as a traditional sleeping bag.  

Is is waterproof-but-breathes-a-bit like Goretex?  Or is it waterproof-like-a-rubber-suit waterproof? 

“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England,”  -George Orwell-

22F posted:

Here’s our latest review thanks to our friends from Varusteleka.

 

Like any review of supplied equipment, I have done the review with the proviso that I will be painfully honest.

I like your objectivity in this statement, but, you didn’t do anything with it.

I don't want to tear your review apart, but what was your net end result and method of testing that you arrived at your summary?

[edited] 

I can give you some"painfully honest" feedback, but, only if you ask for it. 

 

 

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Wild_Willie posted:
 
22F posted:

Here’s our latest review thanks to our friends from Varusteleka.

 

Like any review of supplied equipment, I have done the review with the proviso that I will be painfully honest.

I like your objectivity in this statement, but, you didn’t do anything with it.

[edited]

I don't want to tear your review apart, but what was your net end result and method of testing that you arrived at your summary?

 

  

So...you are angling for 22F to send the blanket to you so you can blow it up in comparison to commercial Woobies & US issue poncho liners?

Possibly a dumb question - thermal blanket refers to "blanket that is warm" rather than "blanket that provides a thermal defeat function" aka hiding you from flir etc. correct? I've recently looked into some "thermal defeat" products light enough to bring in the field but they are multi piece and having a single layer would be pretty neat.

HomoSepian posted:

Is is waterproof-but-breathes-a-bit like Goretex?  Or is it waterproof-like-a-rubber-suit waterproof? 

Without actual scientific testing rigs, I think it’s more like a rubber suit waterproof. 

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

Willie,

I’m working off smart phone, and the software won’t allow me to quote you properly. 

As an old lab scientist, there’s a reason why I call these “Reviews” rather than “Analysis Reports”. 
In my world, a review is a very light, shallow examination of an item or process. Simply because I don’t have the time, equipment, or facilities to conduct full testing that I’m used to from other industries. 

In my world, this shallow examination of a review is just to determine whether an item is even suitable to be examined further. A very basic administrative “tick and flick” of selection criteria as it were for further examination and testing. 
Hence why with my reviews, I envisage myself providing a single data point to compare with others. 

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

Howitz posted:

How’s the condensation with the waterproof top layer?  The big advantage of this type of insulation, especially in very cold temps, is the breathability of the insulation and I’d be afraid of moisture (and freezing) getting trapped within the insulation instead of passing through.

I have a GI Equipment liner (Kifaru woobie is very similar - continuous filament insulation sandwiched between nylon) that I use in summer and as additional insulation in winter in between a down bag and bivy sack.  Without fail, there is alway frost between the bivy and liner, but the liner and the sleeping bag themselves are dry.  This is mostly in cold/dry temps (10F to -20F).  Cold/wet I skip the bivy bag for breathabilty.  

I just can’t imagine a waterproof blanket being anything but....moist.  Especially after a couple days.  I understand the Jerven Fjellduk was intended as a poncho thing for hunters and not for use as a traditional sleeping bag.  

I don’t know mate. 
Unfortunately, because of where I live - I don’t get to experience real arctic conditions. 

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

dirtpro posted:

Possibly a dumb question - thermal blanket refers to "blanket that is warm" rather than "blanket that provides a thermal defeat function" aka hiding you from flir etc. correct? I've recently looked into some "thermal defeat" products light enough to bring in the field but they are multi piece and having a single layer would be pretty neat.

Bearing in mind that English isn’t the first language for those wacky Finns from Varusteleka, naming may not be the most accurate.

However, I believe it’s both. 
HOWEVER - I’m not going to categorically state anything in my review, because I don’t have the equipment to test this properly. So it’s on your own head to determine that if your mission requires such capabilities. 

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

dirtpro posted:

Possibly a dumb question - thermal blanket refers to "blanket that is warm" rather than "blanket that provides a thermal defeat function" aka hiding you from flir etc. correct? I've recently looked into some "thermal defeat" products light enough to bring in the field but they are multi piece and having a single layer would be pretty neat.

It might sound counterintuitive, but finding people in the cold with flir is tough.  It’s near impossible when the temps are colder and your target is well insulated at minimal activity levels as the outer layers are close to ambient, especially on windy days.  Mylar space blankets make it real hard to find people.  Granted, my experience is limited to more S&R type stuff at high latitudes.

22F posted:

Willie,

I’m working off smart phone, and the software won’t allow me to quote you properly. 

As an old lab scientist, there’s a reason why I call these “Reviews” rather than “Analysis Reports”. 
In my world, a review is a very light, shallow examination of an item or process. Simply because I don’t have the time, equipment, or facilities to conduct full testing that I’m used to from other industries. 

In my world, this shallow examination of a review is just to determine whether an item is even suitable to be examined further. A very basic administrative “tick and flick” of selection criteria as it were for further examination and testing. 
Hence why with my reviews, I envisage myself providing a single data point to compare with others. 

In case you forgot this is LIGHTFIGHTER not Boys Life.  

You seem to be promoting a product without actually doing anything with the product and giving this community anything of substance based on empirical experiences, and instead just promoting the same marketing material from the supplier.

 

From the welcome page:

“Welcome to Lightfighter.net

This forum is for the discussion of tactical issues and is for the enjoyment of the tactical community. It was created for Service Members and Law Enforcement Personnel and is populated by Military, Cops, and related industry professionals. If you don't fall into one of these categories, this may not be the place for you. Please don't misunderstand, everyone is welcome in our community; just so as long as you follow some very simple rules.”

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Linz posted:
Wild_Willie posted:
 
22F posted:

Here’s our latest review thanks to our friends from Varusteleka.

 

Like any review of supplied equipment, I have done the review with the proviso that I will be painfully honest.

I like your objectivity in this statement, but, you didn’t do anything with it.

[edited]

I don't want to tear your review apart, but what was your net end result and method of testing that you arrived at your summary?

So...you are angling for 22F to send the blanket to you so you can blow it up in comparison to commercial Woobies & US issue poncho liners?

I see right where you went with that! 

Nope.  I am not in the beneficial write ups for free gear category.  Detonating stuff is only a bit of the testing that I get to do, MIL STD 810 is another whole slice of the testing world and was offering legit assistance to a bit of notably biased product endorsement.

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Willie,

I’m a bit confused mate. 
I’ve been a member here since 2005, writing and contributing reviews for at least a decade now. 
Gear companies have been contributing their product for me to review for most of that time too.

Everyone knows my background and where I’m coming from. 

I haven’t changed from my personal aims, nor the commanders intent for this location in that time. 

If there’s a policy change in this loc about my reviews, then I’ll play by big boy’s rules. But I am confused as where this is going. 

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

I merely offered assistance in a thin 'review' that isn't up to standards you have set in previous examples.

I mean really, Are you proud of that 'review' and does it warrant being on LIGHTFIGHTER - being you have been here for a long time doesn't excuse behavior that looks like schilling for a company for gucci gear.

 I mean technical details ALONE confusing 500D foxdura with 1000d cordura and craptastic bar-tack reinforcement on un-edgeing tape bound or even folded in corner tabs that are single stitched?!

Seriously.  This is phonying it in.

You are capable of so much better than 'I slept in it, and didn't want to crawl out' type of shit review.

~Will

 




 

 

   Anybody can blow something up, but to disarm anothers bomb, this is when talent, skill, bravery & LUCK will all determine "Success or Failure".  

 

Location: UTAH              Joined: 2003

Fair points mate. 
I’ll take that on the chin like a big boy. 

If you think I’m shilling for a company, I have nothing to respond with. 

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

Further to my last, most of my reviews are a swing and a hit, this one is a swing and a miss. 

If it is not up to the LF standard, then delete the thread. 

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

Wild_Willie posted:
Linz posted:
Wild_Willie posted:
 
22F posted:

Here’s our latest review thanks to our friends from Varusteleka.

 

Like any review of supplied equipment, I have done the review with the proviso that I will be painfully honest.

I like your objectivity in this statement, but, you didn’t do anything with it.

[edited]

I don't want to tear your review apart, but what was your net end result and method of testing that you arrived at your summary?

So...you are angling for 22F to send the blanket to you so you can blow it up in comparison to commercial Woobies & US issue poncho liners?

I see right where you went with that! 

Nope.  I am not in the beneficial write ups for free gear category.  Detonating stuff is only a bit of the testing that I get to do, MIL STD 810 is another whole slice of the testing world and was offering legit assistance to a bit of notably biased product endorsement.

Apologies...but some sorta get the impression that's what you do: blow different stuff up.

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