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Insolating pants question

  1. Apr 13, 2007 #1

    I just wondered.. You normally say that if you wear pants with a little air in between the legs and the pants you will warm up the air and that will make them warmer. If you wear tight pants there will be almost no air in between and therefore they will be colder.

    Or similar with other kinds of insulation, its the AIR you warm up..

    So know I just thought; is it because the heat from your legs radiate out and gets reflected by the pants, that the air is hot (in the baggy pants)? And is it because you can transfer heat by the vibrations of the molecules in the tight pants that they aren't hot? Is that also a factor for the coldness of the tight pants? Because in the baggy pants you can't lose heat by "vibration transfer" (what is it called?)...

    hope you understood the question, and sorry for my bad English..

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2007 #2
    Can't anyone help ? :)
  4. Apr 13, 2007 #3


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    Insulation by layers of clothing means air is trapped in the the clothing. Air has a very low value of heat conductivity, so if you have a STILL layer of air, or lots of air trapped in the weaving you will have a fairly poor conductor of heat.

    I do not think that extremely loose pants will help much as there will be excessive exchange of outside air, thus heat lose.

    You need trapped air for insulation.
  5. Apr 15, 2007 #4
    Just a note to say that this how wetsuits (for regular scuba diving, surfing, jetskiing etc) work, except that they keep a layer of water instead. Once the water layer (less than a mm because the suit is practically in contact with the skin) is warm, the wearer can stay much longer submerged than without a wetsuit.
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