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New Insulated Parka Liner for The USMC

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About two months ago a request for information or sources sort notice appeared from Natick labs asking “industry” for a liner that will fit into the existing military sleeping system as well as a liner that will fit into the “new” Marine Corps sleep system. See the January 2010 article now archived.

Now the same organization, Natick labs has put out a new “request for information; USMC cold weather liner for the APECS parka. APECS is the acronym for All Purpose Environmental Clothing System. I believe this system went through 2 or 3 years of field testing before it was determined it was good for use in the harsh winter environment that exists in Afghanistan. One of the many layers is the “windpro fleece jacket” which I believe the new liner is supposed to replace. In my opinion fleece is not, never has been, nor will ever be worthwhile as a material that is used for cold weather clothing. But what do I know.

The picture description is of the old button in field jacket liner, certainly better than fleece but not as good as the new liner I am producing which can be seen in the new products section of my web site. The difference between my product and the old liner is my use of the continuous filament fiber even though I quilt it. The quilting versus lamination is much less costly, hence the price. The insulation factor is marginal at best when you consider the fact that it is a low loft product.

It is very interesting to me that Natick spends oodles of money and time testing and evaluating materials and then garments before they put out solicitations to bid on items. Once awarded and issued to the soldiers of all the different branches of service. Once in the field these soldiers in some instances find the products do not necessarily perform as they were told. This has been the case with the sleeping bag systems for years, and now it seems the insulated fleece liners are not doing the job.

Our military men are doing battle in Afghanistan a country that has a cold environment to say the least. Even during the summer months it is cold in the mountains as I can attest from my own experience living in Colorado. One of the significant drawbacks of wearing fleece is the simple fact that the fleece material will retain moisture and we know that moisture absorbs heat more efficiently than any other substance on the planet. Since these men do not have the ability to dry the garment since they are mostly in the field they can not dry the garment when it does get wet from any source to include body produced moisture i.e. sweat. An additional negative drawback is the fact that the fleece fabric can be binding. The liner jacket I am making is made from nylon taffeta which will slide easily with any movement so it does not bind and restrict movement. And of course the Lamilite is not adversely affected by moisture no matter what the source.

Am I surprised that they are again looking for an improvement to yet another product, no. Why, because they refuse to examine what does work, if they did they would eventually, potentially that is, end their need to do any more experiments. All they have to do is accept that of all the different insulating materials available today the continuous filament fiber that I use “CLIMASHIELD” stands alone as the finest insulation material in the world.

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When it comes to extreme cold weather gear, Wiggy's has you covered.

Check out all our products from sleeping bags & shelters to footwear & clothing. Our uniquely developed continuous filament fiber called Lamilite insulation is what sets Wiggy brand insulated products apart. What is Lamilite and why does it perform better than all other forms of insulation? Click here to keep reading & find out more »

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