I am very pleased overall with the winter sock after…
Price Paid: $120
I am very pleased overall with the winter sock after i had its size altered. It effectively blocks wind and prevents drafts, is water resistant (light rain/mist are fine but wouldn't push my luck beyond that), breathes very well and has very little to no condensation build up, creates an effective dead air space that adds approx 10-15F of warmth to the hammock sleep system. Also serves as an underquilt protector by keeping dirt/debris, and ground water splash off your quilt
Winter Sock (hammock sock) by Papa Smurf (Randy) from www.mydiygear.com.
I purchased the winter sock several months ago. I originally spoke with Papa Smurf via email about the sock and my needs of wanting to put it over a hammock gear winter incubator, in which he recommended making the sock 2-3 inches larger to accommodate. I ended up going with his recommendation and had him build the extra few inches into the width, I ordered the winter sock in black momentum ripstop.
I received the sock and the overall build quality was excellent upon inspection. I took the sock on two different trips and it seemed as if the sock IMO was way too large width wise. Also i felt that the foot end of the sock was just a little small for getting cinch buckles through easily (could be done with some amount of effort and fiddling). I felt that because the sock was so large that it created too large of a dead air space IMO to be effective, and also felt that it really caught the wind and flapped around alot, and also would catch the ground brush/debris due to it hanging down so low and dragging the ground if the hammock was hung at typical chair height.
So I spoke with Randy and he had me mark the fabric with a safety pin and mail it back to him. I had him take in approx 6 inches of fabric, as well as make the foot end opening about 1/4in
I received the modified sock back from Randy and was able to take it out on my week long trip. I want to start off by saying that I LOVE this winter sock, it is absolutely perfect. The modified size was spot on and was much more effective, without having any unnecessary fabric.
I used the sock on for 7 nights. All nights were between 15-25F lows, with winds in the 5-20mph range, but most nights averaged about 20F and 10mph wind. Of the 7 nights i only used my tarp one night. I wanted to really give the sock a workout, and so i wanted to really be able to judge the sock itself and not have the tarp play a role in the equation at all. I was using a WBBB 1.7dbl hammock, a hammock gear winter incubator and burrow.
The winter sock does an absolutely excellent job of blocking the wind, Only one night of the seven did I put up my tarp and that was only because snow was in the forecast. I found that as long as the wind was less than about 10-15mph the sock blocked all of the wind, and if it was above the 15mph mark I would occasionally get a draft and a momentarily chill. Of the 7 nights, i slept a sound 9-10 hours a night without waking once for 5 nights, 1 night i would occasionally get a slight chill because of the strong winds 20-25mph, 1 night i used a tarp to help block wind and snow but slept fine.
The sock IMO definitely adds about 10-15F to a sleep system. I now have a good faith in the sock in its abilities to block wind, be water resistant, and breathe. It does all of these things pretty well,
however it definitely excells at blocking wind. Condensation was minimal on most nights, and mainly consisted of a few tiny water droplets on the part of my top quilt right in front of my face.
By the end of my trip I was very confident in the socks abilities and felt absolutely no need to put up my tarp unless rain/snow was forecast. If you have trouble staying warm in the winter, or at any time of year, I would highly recommend the Papa Smurf winter sock. I would however recommend considering going a few inches smaller in width from the standard sock size, though work with Randy on this as he is truly a stand up guy and will do anything to make your order work for you.
The pictures that i took specifically for this review did not come out well, so here are a few random pictures of the sock in action.