Insulate the walls and isolate moisture, and a person can sleep in bitter cold anywhere. That’s the theory behind a new product from Swiss start-up Polarmond.
The Polarmond provides shelter, cushion, and insulation for a person sleeping outdoors in winter. It rolls the functions of a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad into one insulated, modular pod the company claims can keep you warm to -30C.
It debuted at the OutDoor Show in Germany this summer, where it won an award for design. It comes to market in 2016 at an undetermined price.
While we’ve seen plenty of bivy shelters over the years, this concept is unique in its use of insulation in the walls and waterproof, breathable membranes to isolate insulation from moisture created by the user or weather.
Insulated ‘Sleep Shell’
The product begins with a “sleep shell” that forms a tunnel-shaped inner sleeping room. The space is insulated by a layer of synthetic insulation.
An impermeable inner layer stops moisture from entering the system from the inside, while on the outside, a breathable membrane protects the insulation layer from wind and rain.
A second layer of insulation is incorporated into the liner, which serves as a “blanket” for the user. A person can choose a liner with less or more insulation, depending on the outside temperatures expected.
The liner covers the body and has a “skin-friendly,” breathable membrane. A barrier keeps body moisture directed away from the sleeping area and insulation, the company claims.
Polarmond will release the shelter in three configurations — a “sleep shell,” a bivy, and a tent. At the lightest configuration, it weighs about 8.5 pounds.
Add the tent component and it can tip the scale at almost 12 pounds for the complete system designed for use down to -30C.
Compared with other cold-weather bivy options, it’s a little heavy but not dramatically so. A cold-weather bivy sack combined with a -20º bag and a well-insulated sleeping pad will be 8 or 10 pounds even with the best gear.
The Polarmond caught the attention of judges at the Outdoor Show, earning the show’s top honors, a Gold Award. Said the judges:
The All-in-One Sleeping System by Polarmond embraces research and development from the last 20 years. Innovative and extremely functional – this is how we described the ultra-light, modular sleeping system, which consists of a sleep shell, sleep mat and liner with a one-person tent or bivouac shelter. It’s the first system to consider all factors that affect sleeping outside in all weather conditions, and adapt them to each other accordingly.”
The Polarmond will be released in 2016 in Europe, but plans for U.S. distribution remain uncertain. The company is looking for sales partners in Europe now, but sales in North America often mean additional certifications (fire resistance, etc.,) are required. Retailers interested in selling Polarmond can contact the company.