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additional history of a product that does not work.

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THE SPECIAL FORCES OF THE USA ARE NOT ALONE!

Today I received the following email from a customer located in Finland, maybe our GSA and CSPA should take note as well as all of the companies that offer this company’s products.

Dear Wiggy,

I read your previous newsletter with great interest.

Few years ago (probably in 2016) I had exactly the same experience with Snugpak Special Forces system sleeping bag as the SF soldier wrote about. The bag was comfort rated to – 7 C, which is roughly 20 F, and extreme rating was very optimistic at -14 C. The specifications were impressive, given the compact size of the bag. I also liked the fact that the bag was not made in China.

I packed my rucksack for camping, it was beautiful autumn in Lapland. I always test my gear in easier trips before more extreme conditions.

The first night I slept in the bag was around 0 C, so not very cold. The tiny zipper that jammed all the time when closing or opening the bag drove me crazy, and it was clearly a liability. Worst of all, I was miserably cold in the bag in temperatures that were way above the supposed ”Comfort” rating. That sleeping bag had one merit though, because through research I found Wiggy's sleeping bags. I currently own two complete Super Light FTRSS systems, Ultima Thule and Center Zip Ultra Light. The Overbags alone have kkept me warmer than the Snugpak sleeping bag did, and the overbag actually compresses smaller!

Now it's less gimmicks and more warmth and durability for me.

Yours Truly, Joni

Finland

Joni thank you very much for sharing your experience with me and my readers. If one was to go through my newsletters from the late 1990’s and forward, you will find a number of stories expressing experiencing the exact same results.

The zipper used is I believe a #5 or a #8 coil zipper which all the US brands have on their bags and they have a notorious reputation for failing.

The material used as insulation which I think is a stretch to call it an insulation is a chopped staple fiberfill which I have previously described in other newsletters. I do not care what you do with chopped staple fiberfill it does not now, never has or will ever be an acceptable product to use as an insulation beyond light weight quilts used in a bedroom where there is an additional heating system.

Having said that I do not believe the other companies that exist that claim to make sleeping bags, that I refer too as “no sleep sleeping bags”, will ever stop using the chopped staple fiberfill because it is so cheap. And of course, those companies blatantly refuse to learn and understand that continuous filament fiber fill stands alone as an insulating material. Also, it is only made in America and these companies do not want to buy it and send it to the factories they use in Asia for manufacturing.

The question you as a consumer must ask is why all these well-known companies that have been in business many years longer than Wiggy’s have not learned about the most important component that is used in sleeping bags or cold weather clothing; the insulation?

In my opinion it has to do with the advertising dollars offered to these companies by the companies who sell what they think of as insulating materials. In addition, I know for fact that the constructions used to make the polyester batting's were not of interest of these companies. When I entered the industry selling batting's to the skiwear manufacturers, I was selling what is known as straight line garneted batting. They had strength in the long direction but not in the width direction and the fibers were laying down, it was hard to get much loft. Then I started working for a company that made their batting on a Rando-Weber. This machine formed a web that would set the fibers in a random direction, and the loft was considerably better.

When I would show my product to a manufacturer and explain why it was better, not only loftier for equal weight of the straight-line products it also had strength in all directions. But it was also more expensive. That made some companies walk from my product. The point is they did not want to learn. Then my company started making the continuous filament product and as I learned about it I offered my knowledge to the industry, I went to every company there was and the up shot was it was in their eyes to expensive, so it languished and has for 50 years with few brands buying it.

If one of these companies’ employees were to get an education it would be a dangerous thing for the employee, he would be rejected. I know this for fact as well. What follows is an actual example.

In the late 1990’s I had a 4 hour or longer meeting with a guy named David M. who at the time was the product developer for REI. He developed tents, backpacks and “sleeping bags”. After all was said at the meeting (we were walking the outdoor retailer show), he went back to Seattle and convinced his superior to allow him to buy some Lamilite. He purchased the L-12 so he could make a plus 20-degree bag. He told me it was the loftiest 20-degree bag he ever made. The result is he was not allowed to go any further with his work with Lamilite. You now know why REI does not sell Lamilite bags. They do sell the closest Mountain Hardwear could come to copying me with their lamina bags that have chopped staple fiberfill in them, and they are no better that the brand noted at the beginning of the article. But as I found out REI wallows in a 40 percent return rate of sleeping bag sales. You bring back a bag and they give you a store credit versus a refund these days. They made that policy change due to the enormous number of returns they were getting; LL Bean did the same thing. I am sure they did what they did because they were getting significant returns of all products.

The people I am most concerned about are those people commonly known as consumers. The consumers are learning about insulated products and Lamilite. I am very happy to report that sales of all products insulated made here in the America are doing well.

The difference between me and the other companies is that I never think of the consumer in a way to sell them short. I have found when people get accurate information they can and do make intelligent decisions.

And finally 5 hunters 2 bow and 3 black powder stopped in to say hello. They all use the super light and even though the temperature was in the teens each night they could not keep the bags closed. They were hunting at 11,000 feet outside of Telluride. they only got one bull. They never said if it was with a bow or rifle.

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