Friday, November 14, 2008

The Rolling Yurt/Baby Bike Shelter

We are working on developing an insulated rain cover for the Llama. Using some yummy fabrics! Mmmm, makes me drool! eVent and prima loft. :) We managed to get our hands on some lovely slate blue gray eVent. eVent, if you don't know is a highly breathable waterproof/breathable fabric. One of the comparisons we found put it at about as breathable as Schoeller, another one of our favorites. So basically eVent is as breathable as a soft shell, but it's a hard shell. Primaloft has a similar weight to warmth ratio as down, but it does not absorb water. Should be perfect for cold mornings.

Anthony and I were talking about our needs for this winter. I take the older one to preschool early in the morning and some of the mornings have already been about 20 degrees. If I don't want to have to take 20 minutes to bundle the kids, we need to have a bike-mounted warming system. We are trying to design this one so I can just put a coat and a hat on the boys and them be fine in cold morning and snowy weather. That way, when I get somewhere I don't have to unbundle them to go inside. Nor do I have to bundle them up to go outside of the bike shelter. That scenario is possible if we made the yurt/bike shelter too warm for jackets even and then had to bundle them up to walk to the door.

We are working on designing double paned vinyl windows to prevent cold spots and condensation. We are also considering how the shelter will interface with a load vs an empty bike. Currently, the rain shelter just rides up over a load, which is fine as long as most air is sealed out. Another consideration is making sure the sides don't flap in the wind, transferring cold air in and warm air out. This should be an exciting project! We'll post pictures when the project is completed! :)


mnultraguy said...

We are trying to design a rain cover for the free radical bags, as they just take on any precipitation coming down. We are thinking of a basic camping tarp cut to size with hooks that can be attached to frame. Thoughts or any ideas you are willing to share? Hope Nickie and the boys are healing well.
The Quinces

The Stouts said...

hmmm, I'll think about it. That's a good idea. One thing we had considered doing was extending the free radical bags with a waterproof fabric, but we haven't put much thought into it yet.

For our trip we designed silnylon dry bags/duffels to put our stuff in. That works for an occasional rain. If your in a rainy place, you'd probably want something that keeps rain totally out of the free radical...

I'll think about it.

Charlotte said...

OK, I'm not being completely serious, but maybe you can incorporate a bit of my great-grandfather's technique as a boy:
1) bake a potato
2) put hot potato in your pocket
3) walk to school with warm hands
4) reheat potato at noon, eat lunch
5) get home somehow!


I'd personally be very nervous about heaters on my bike, but maybe something could be run off a dynamo hub?

Charlotte said...

Another thought:
When camping we've often taken a rock, warmed it through in the ashes of the campfire, then wrapped it in a towel and put it in the sleeping bag before getting in.

What about the equivalent of a pre-warmed sleeping bag in the yurt? I'm imagining some kind of large heating pad (we have one that goes across the foot of our bed), which prewarms the baffled baby area (which would include both of them so they can share each other's heat). Remove heating pad, insert children, zip up "sleeping bag", apply hats, and go. Might frustrate the little ones as they'd be essentially swaddled, but as long as you kept the wind off their faces they'd be plenty warm.

The Stouts said...

The thinking is that between the fact that we park the bike overnight in a garage that stays a fair bit above exterior temps, and the fact that people make great little heaters, assuming you don't let that heat escape, and zero windchill they should within a couple minutes have that yurt in the low 50's.

For example with the insulation we're planning, it will be either R7 or R10 insulation, which on the higher end is equivalent to the insulative properties of a lined igloo. Such an igloo solely heated by body heat and a single candle stays in the mid to high 50's even when its 0 degrees outside.

I figure even when its 0 degrees outside water never freezes in the garage, so we're already at a starting place around freezing in worst case, add their hot breath and all that insulation for a smallish space the volume of our current rain cover and even when its 10 degrees out, it should be above 40 degrees inside our yurt on wheels.