The cells in the material trap warm, still air, providing insulation. The silver reflective surfaces block radiated heat. The elastic causes the material to hug the body, stopping drafts, reducing convection, and keeping the material right next to you where it is needed. The outer layer is completely waterproof and windproof. Unlike most other insulating materials, ours works just as well when wet.
What is the coldest temperature at which Reflexcell™ products will be warm enough?
That depends on many factors:
- The individual’s ability to tolerate cold
- The amount of other clothing worn
- Duration of exposure
- Insulation from the ground
As a rough guide, if you are wearing the type of clothes appropriate for the season and you make some effort to find a sheltered spot and put some insulation underneath you, then in spring, summer and autumn you should be warm and comfortable. In
winter you may not be so comfortable, but you should be able to survive for several days in all but the most extreme conditions.
How strong is Reflexcell™ material?
Surprisingly strong. Single layer reflective blankets are very fragile because they are easily punctured, and once a tear has started to develop, it rips right across the material. This doesn’t happen to Reflexcell™ material because:
- The three layers reinforce each other, and even if one is damaged, the others usually remain intact
- The seams in the material act like the thick threads in ripstop nylon, stopping tears from developing.
- Materials only tear when they are pulled tight. The elastic in the Reflexcell™ material helps to keep the material in a relaxed state – if it doesn’t get pulled tight, it doesn’t tear.
Of course the material can be damaged (it should be kept away from sharp objects) but even if this happens, it will continue to keep you warm.
Don’t reflective products reflect the cold back to you?
Technically the answer is no. Physicists tell us that whereas radiated heat can be reflected, cold cannot. It is true that if the surface of your body is cold, it will emit very little radiated heat, so that reflecting this back to you will only make a very small difference to getting you warmer. But it is scientifically impossible for a material to reflect cold back to you and make you colder.
Fortunately, unlike other reflective products, most of Reflexcell™’s warming ability comes from trapped air insulation, so even when there is very little effect from the reflectiveness of the material, this insulation will help you to get warm much faster than other reflective products.
Are Reflexcell™ products expensive?
If you compare Reflexcell™ products with single skin products, for example with polythene survival bags, or with space blankets, they might not look cheap. But they are actually a completely different type of product – equivalent to a traditional “bivvi bag” and a conventional insulating sleeping bag in one package. Polythene survival bags may protect you from the worst of the weather, but you will usually be cold, damp and uncomfortable. In cold conditions they will not stop you becoming hypothermic.
People who have used single layer reflective blankets in any but the most gentle conditions report disastrous results – blankets disintegrating when unpacked, ripping in the wind, and not even offering the illusion of warmth. Compare this with a product which will give you a comfortable night, even in cold conditions, which in a real emergency will keep you alive for a week, which will provide instant warmth and shelter and protect against hypothermia even if you are wet through.
Do you get condensation inside Reflexcell™ products?
Not normally. This is because the warmth of the material suppresses the formation of condensation, and the perforations in the inner and middle layers allow much of the moisture to move away from the body. However under certain conditions small amounts of moisture can form. No one who has used Reflexcell™ products has felt that these caused any problem, or affected the performance of the material.