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They are Just Despicable!

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I have for several years written about companies that produce fiberfill insulations directed for use by manufacturers of sleeping bags or clothing specifically for products to be used by our men in uniform, i.e. soldiers whether they are members of the Army, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard. The manufacturers of the fiberfill embellish beyond their wildest dreams their products ability to perform, the end item manufacturers go beyond their wildest dreams about their products ability to perform when manufactured with these fiberfills. Both of these entities are in my opinion despicable. But the really despicable are the retail companies that promote these products. When it comes to selling to our military most of these retailers who specialize in selling to the military are owned by men who are ex-military. Therefore, you would think they would have the best interests of the men in the field at heart; obviously not!

If you go to the following web site www.gsaadvantage.gov and then write in “sleeping bags” in the space in the upper left box and then click on “find” you will see the number of companies who are selling sleeping bags that I have exposed in the past that do not perform as advertised, never have and never will. There are several companies there that represent Wiggy’s the only bags that does perform as advertised. As I stated in the May 2010 newsletter I would love to see someone or group bring a law suit against sleeping bag companies who falsely advertise their sleeping bags ability to perform. Once again every other bag shown will not perform as advertised. In one case a store manager for a California location told me one brand of bag was supposedly no longer permitted to be carried into the field by Marines because of problems Marines experienced while serving in Afghanistan. From what I was told the Marines were not warm and the bags deteriorated quickly. In such an instance not being able to stay warm means you do not sleep which will compromise your ability to perform; when in combat that is a problem. Also, if the bag deteriorates it leaves you without a sleeping bag. Then you situation becomes even more of a problem, where do you get a replacement when you are in the field (?), you probably don’t get one. The company that employs this fellow who did serve for 32 years in the Marines is one of the companies listed offering the brand he told me was supposedly not to be used by Marines.

I for one just don’t get it. Most every one of the owners of these companies knows that my bags are the only one’s that perform but they still “chose” to promote inferior products regardless of the consequences. They seemingly do not care if they are responsible for putting inferior products in the hands of the men who are now doing what they probably did. Would they have wanted to get inferior products put in their hands when they were on active duty? I doubt it. They demonstrate to me they are spineless and gutless because if someone who is asking for one of these inferior products and them the seller knows the product is inferior they do not tell them the buyer it will not work and present to them what will. They take the course of least resistance because of the money. For those of you who don’t know that is how it is when it comes to selling to the government, the seller just cowering to the buyer. This is not different in other countries when dealing with those governments. These military has in their employ person or persons who have just like us, as much knowledge of making a sleeping bag as can fill the cavity of a gnats rectum. They decide that they want a sleeping bag that will have a specific temperature capability, specific total weight, size and can be stuffed into a specific size stuff sack. When they receive samples that meet the size, weight and stuff size they then test for the temperature capability. They do not use humans, but a copper manikin. They calculate the temperature capability in the fictitious “clo” reading. This is done not only in the USA but also in Canada, and throughout Europe. They then look at a chart developed I believe by Kansas State Universities Environmental Laboratory. The clo reading is then made to fit the temperature that is needed. Of course their selection never gets tested by a human until it is made and issued to the soldiers. Experience has shown after a year or two a new “sources sort notice” appears for a “new improved sleeping bag” but the criterion does not change. A popular expression heard now a days “INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.” That is exactly what these people who are in charge of getting a better sleeping bag in the USA and from what I can see in other countries have been doing.

The end result is a number of sellers of sleeping bags that haven’t the slightest chance of performing offering these bags to the military, because the bags meet the criteria set forth by illiterates. I have the capability to produce every type of synthetic bag they can dream up for less money than any other company in the USA or Europe but I don’t. I refuse to be a part of putting a man who knowingly places himself in danger; i.e. combat in further danger by making for him the second most important piece of gear he carries, the first being his weapon, a sleeping bag that will simply put not work. Of course the illiterates I previously referred too as well as the sellers just don’t give a damn. They refuse to accept the fact that these non-performing sleeping bags are made with chopped staple fiberfill. As I have written in previous articles chopped staple fiberfill was developed in about 1960 and while it was okay back then but when continuous filament fiberfill became available in 1968 it made the chopped staple fiberfill obsolete totally and completely. The European companies that make sleeping bags chose not to buy the continuous filament fiberfill because they would have too import it from the USA. Harvest Consumer Insulated Products the producer of Climashield is the only producer of continuous filament fiberfill in the world and they are located only in the USA.

As an example of what I can do, there is a bag listed at a weight of 32 ounces for use in a temperature zone of no lower than +32 degrees F, cost to the military from one supplier is about $146.00. If I were to make an identical bag the selling price through a similar company would be approximately $120.00. You correctly ask “why don’t I just conform and make them?” Because they will not work or last very long! Therefore, as a tax payer I do not want the government to waste my tax dollars on non-performing products, as well as not wanting to give the soldier a false sense of security having a product that will not do what it is supposed to do.

An interesting situation is taking place in Australia. The following quote is from an Australian news organizations web site; “Allegations that the Australian Defense Force systematically covers up and discourages soldiers’ complaints about equipment will be investigated independently, the Defense Minister, John Faulkner, said.” You can read the entire article at the following web site;
http:/www.smh.com.au/national/soldiers-complaints-to-be-investigated-20100601-wvfa.html. The investigation of issuing poor quality products to the Australian troops has to the best of my knowledge been going on for a few years and maybe since it has been given national press in Australia something will finally be done to correct the situation there. That said, is it possible the same activity of not listening to our soldiers also has happened? I do know for fact that numerous soldiers have told me they were very unhappy with the sleeping bags that have been issued to them regardless if it were the standard issue bag or any of the various brands that are sold via the GSA web site. I am always happy when they call me to order one of my bags because friends who have them tell them to call me. I never ask, but do these soldiers present complaints to their commanding officers or not? I suspect if they do complain the complaint is probably ignored.

As the title of this article states “they are just despicable” those so willing to do what is necessary to secure an order regardless of the consequences.

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