Here’s our latest review thanks to our friends from Varusteleka.
Full review with pretty pics and my ugly dial can be seen at:
ITEM: TST Thermal Cloak
MANUFACTURER: Varusteleka Särmä
A multi-functional thermal cloak that is capable of being used as a coat/cloak, sleeping bag, tarp or emergency shelter.
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).
Like any review of supplied equipment, I have done the review with the proviso that I will be painfully honest.
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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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
Width: 216cm (unfolded) (approx. 85inches), 108cm (approx. 42.5inches) (folded as a sleeping bag)
Length: 216cm (approx. 85inches)
Weight: 1.3kg (approx. 2.86lbs)
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.
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.
Spread out as a groundsheet to insulate one from cold ground.
It could even be used as a tarp (or hootchie in Australian parlance).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!