A few purchases made today, three of which require serious testing: VBL Pants and shirt from Stephenson's (warmlite.com), VBL socks by Integral Designs and a windpro balaclava that had an integrated nose and mouthguard.
First, on the vapor barrier clothing. I accept the fact that I need some form of vapor barrier liner, either clothes or a sleeping bag liner for sleeping. Last year in the BWCA I did not use a VB liner. When I got home and set out down bag to dry, it was soaked. The moisture came from sweat, it could not have from spilled liquid or from snow. That kind of moisture cannot be tolerated.
I went with VB clothes because I will be carrying puffy, non-fleece insulation pieces as my primary insulation - Montbell UL Thermawrap parka and pants. I will also be bringing probably one piece of fleece insulation for my top, either a softshell jacket, a windpro fleece vest or some other form of basic fleece (either a 200 wgt vest or 300 wgt jacket). This is a question that needs testing. Also, the VBL clothing will serve as a wind layer for my top and reduce my base weight. I'm hoping I can wear just the shirt for my top for the majority of my movement, putting on a puffy when I stop.
I went with the VBL socks because of my frustration with using Sorel boots without VBL socks. Frost coats the liners and the inside of the calf's pack cloth. I trust ID products, and this is my third product from them.
I also picked up a balaclava to replace and/or supplement my current windpro fleece balaclava. The key is the nose, cheek and mouth protection. Combined with goggles, my entire body can be covered. Last year, I ran into two weekends at North Wind where the temperatures were below zero all day and bottomed out at -19 and -17 F. Wind blew all day, with one day gusting up to 35 mph. The official windchill low was in the -50 or -60 F. These weekends were brutal on my mouth, cheeks and nose and I need some protection. It will also prevent me from having to put duct tape on my nose a la Skurka when wind blows.
They'll be here in about a week or so.