Stephenson's Warmlite

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Shirts | Socks | Gloves | Under Pants | Converta Pants


The Vapor Barrier “No Sweat” shirt is made like a sport shirt with zipper front. Arms are extra long to allow full arm motion even when the cuff is closed and held to your wrist with the velcro tabs. The collar can be turned up when desired for a better seal and neck protection. It also makes a good lightweight windbreaker (or rain jacket if you seal seams.) Release the velcro cuffs to let extra sleeve length cover your hands. A covered pocket gives inside security for small items.

STEPHENSON VB shirts were originally made to give people a low cost useful way to learn the value of Vapor Barrier insulation. They soon became our most popular repeat and gift sale item. The original coated fabric shirts served the purpose well, but needed an undershirt under it for best comfort, and didn’t last long enough to suit us. About 1983 we got the smooth version of FUZZY STUFF (which we still use in VB sox), and in ’85 the FUZZY version with best comfort. Since then all Stephenson Vapor Barrier clothing and Warmlite sleeping bag interior bottoms have been made with FUZZY STUFF.
For shirt colors we’ll send your choice of colors we have in stock. We can’t stock shirts in all colors and sizes, but can special make one from available color if you don’t mind the 1 to 3 month delay. Undershirt color isn’t critical. We’ll make VB shirts in custom sizes, but need extra $9 and a shirt that fits you for pattern, or very precise measurements. Sleeves will be made 4 to 5" longer so you can raise your arm with the wrist velcro closed. Or purchase enough FUZZY STUFF to make your own (we’ll even chalk mark your selected size pattern on it so you can modify it as wanted).

Vapor Barrier SOCKS

The first popular use of VB protection was socks to keep feet warm and dry, and boots dry and unfrozen. Without VB socks, water evaporates from your feet, condenses in your boots and soaks your socks and feet. That distilled fresh water softens the skin and promotes fungus and bacterial infections.
VB socks keep humidity high at your feet, stops evaporative cooling, keeps boots and socks DRY. If feet get hot and sweat, boots and socks still stay dry and still insulate. Sweat is salty so doesn’t promote infection as bad as fresh water.
In 1955 we kept our feet warm and dry with plastic wrap over thin nylon socks. Later we used bread bags (cheap, last 2-3 days), even tried scuba wetsuit socks which worked but were uncomfortable. Over the years various coated and laminated fabrics were tried, but were not stretchy or durable enough. When tough stretchy FUZZY STUFF was developed in 1983, we tried it on socks, were amazed with durability and comfort!
Our VB socks are made from a double layer of FUZZY STUFF, so the tough urethane film is captive between soft nylon layers for comfort and durability. Sizing is based on your shoe size, so order by the largest shoe size you wear. If too big, pin off excess then sew along pin lines or send to us to sew. If too small exchange them. Put VB socks on first, then any kind of insulating socks you like over them. When you remove boots and socks, dry your feet to prevent chill.

Vapor Barrier GLOVES

We used plastic and rubber gloves for VB protection of hands for many years. They were effective but plastic is uncomfortable. Moisturizing hand lotions also help but don’t give near the potential extra warmth, and don’t keep gloves dry, a main objective of VB gloves. VB glove liners made from FUZZY STUFF solve those problems and provide all benefits of Vapor Barrier with the comfort of a soft knit glove and MUCH longer life than any other VB glove liners. Sizing is the only problem since hands vary so much, and there are no real standards. For glove sizing send your hand tracing and measurement around the widest part of palm. We’ll send our guess for best fit, and will quickly exchange for another size if too small. If they are too big. pin out excess and then sew to pin lines and trim off excess, or send to us to sew.
Use VB gloves for your first layer, then knit gloves over the VB. Finish with thick mitts (or thick gloves if it isn’t too cold). When you need finger dexterity you can remove mitts and still have some protection.

Vapor Barrier UNDERPANTS

Vapor barrier pants have not been used as much as other VB clothing. We generate more heat in legs, and don’t seem to feel the cold as much there, & low sales requires high cost custom construction. FUZZY stuff solved the problems of comfort and durability, so we now make VB pants to order. We use simple construction to keep costs down. Send a sample pair of pants that fit comfortably, or FULL dimensions as for CONVERTA pants. If your dimensions result in wrong size, we or you can modify to fit (not exchange.) These have simple overlap fly (no zip, opening can extend thru crotch if desired), and velcro waist. They come with long legs so you can trim them off long enough to tuck into your socks so they stay there when you bend your legs. Knit fabric prevents fraying of cut edge, so uncomfortable hem is not needed or wanted. For more warmth wear loose fit insulating pants over the VB pants, thus allowing free leg motion.
As with all custom made and custom sized items, we can’t take pants back for refund, but will correct any construction or size error WE make, and if needed will modify to correct any size error you make. If you like to sew you might consider making VB clothes for yourself with our FUZZY STUFF.


To avoid carrying both long and short pants in 1961, I made pants with zip off legs (still done by some others and still very difficult to use!). In ’69 I tried zippers in inseam of pants, so I could lift up legs and tuck into waistband, switching from longs to shorts with hardly a pause in hiking. Adding zips in outer seam let me vent pants without raising the legs, for leg cooling and sun and insect protection. With pant legs raised the outer zip gives access to pockets. In 1979 we started producing them for others, with another improvement: extended fly zipper all way through the crotch, allows full opening, front, back or middle. You can relieve yourself, and women can pee, mostly protected from insects and cold.
Fabric is Nomex, a modified Nylon made for aviators and firemen uniforms for fire resistance, durability, and comfort. It has the wear resistance and quick drying of Nylon, higher strength and flame resistance, in a texture like wool suit fabric, perfect for hiking pants (except for cost).

CONVERTA Pants are similar to other pants except for the following:

  1. Zippers in leg inseams & outseams. Open them from the top down for cooling while retaining sun and bug protection. Open inseam from bottom up so pant leg can be lifted up & tucked into waist, converting to shorts. Odd looking, but very practical.
  2. Waistband has belt loops and velcro closed half belt, so separate belt isn’t needed.
  3. Fly zipper goes all the way thru crotch, and has normal zipper slider plus a pair of sliders for selective crotch opening. (I notice this feature is now in some Hunting suits for women.)
  4. Velcro ankle closures block wind and dust.
    Pockets are inset in side seam. We realize that some people want different kinds of pockets in various places so, rather than risk putting them in wrong place, at your request we’ll include enough material to add what you want.

For best fit send us a comfortable pair of your pants with your order, indicating any dimension changes wanted, or a detailed drawing with full dimensions taken from such pants. Don’t send stretchy or shrunk fit pants, or elastic or drawcord waist. Usual pants size don’t give height of waist, crotch depth, thigh, knee, or hip circumference. Women normally want the crotch fairly close fitting to avoid leg chafe, while men need more room. Allow for bulky underwear. We can fix some size errors after construction but may result in some strange seams and additions if it was ordered too small!
Some people question the comfort of a crotch zipper, but users report it’s unnoticed (and they prove it by buying additional pairs!).
Custom construction and Nomex makes these excellent pants too expensive for many people. If you have a fabric you prefer us to use, you can provide it and reduce price $30 (but call and discuss it first: we may not want to use something we know won’t work well enough). Or if you can sew, buy the fabric you want and do it yourself. We’ll even chalk a pattern on the Nomex if you wish.