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Ducksback Sale + Do Not Use Polyester Fabrics for Sleeping Bags!

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“Polyester is flammable. Synthetic fibers such as polyester behave differently when they burn. They are flammable, and will burn at a temperature of 350 degrees C and will melt and drip. The dripping is like solder. So it supports combustion. It should never be used for tents or sleeping bags. Nylon will char and not support combustion and it needs about 450 degrees I believe to char”. I found this on the internet.

This morning I had a very long telephone call conversation with the person in Canada who sent out the solicitation for the sleeping bags I wrote about yesterday. While speaking with her I noted that the tent specification also called for polyester fabric tents. My advice was that all of the sleeping bags and tents be pulled from the field because in my opinion they are potentially dangerous. The users of the products are teenage boys 14 to 18. They may have small stoves in the tents and fires do happen. I also noted that the insulation a chopped staple fiberfill product was not going to keep them warm when the temperature was at the 0 degree C level (32 degrees F). There is no morality exhibited by the supplier to the Canadian government.

All of you folks that have been calling me and asking if I use flame retardant chemicals are told no.But it appears that companies that make sleeping bags are using polyester fiber fabrics for shell and lining fabrics. Today I read about a fabric trade named Aqua Light a light weight 190T polyester shell fabric used by one manufacturer of the “no sleep sleeping bags” by the name of snugpak. Here in the USA there is a major concern surrounding flammability of sleeping bags and I have come to find out that a foreign producer in the UK and China is selling these sleeping bags that incorporate what is considered a dangerous material for sleeping bags and tents. I read about the Aqua Light on the proforce web site the importer of snugpak bags and they do sell to our military GSA contract holders. The GSA contract holders do not give a damn about what they sell to our military.

Remember that all of these companies that offer “no sleep sleeping bags” in my opinion sell them as a loss leader so the cheaper that they can make them the better. Polyester fabric is less costly than nylon fabric so that is why they use it. I once did a video titled “Wiggy’s Quality” showing a north face Chinese made sleeping bag. I noted the very poor quality of the fiberfill material that they called heat seeker and the extremely poor quality sewing. The bag I purchased at REI for $185.00. To use this bag in the temperatures it is recommended for means you will be seeking heat for sure. The price was exorbitant for what you get. Today that bag is not sold by north face.

I also checked to see if REI sold “no sleep sleeping bags” made with polyester shell fabrics and lining fabrics my random sampling brought up Marmot and Big Agnes, Kelty to name three companies. I am sure if you look at each and every brand you will find a great many “no sleep sleeping bags” made with polyester shell fabrics as well as polyester lining fabrics. So I looked no further. I then looked at the Western Mountaineering web site and sure enough they also use polyester shell fabrics. They make “no sleep sleeping bags” that are costly.

When I started working with all of the quality sleeping bag manufacturing companies starting in 1966 every last one of them used nylon taffeta or rip stop nylon for their sleeping bags. Polyester taffeta as I recall was also available but they did not use it. Of course they made every item; bags, clothing etc. here in the USA. All of those men are gone from the industry today. They all used the number 10 YKK molded tooth zipper so I started using it. Today as far as I know I am the largest buyer of molded tooth zipper in the world for use in sleeping bags, which is not hard to be since I am the only one using them.Today every brand is using the self- destructing coil zippers because they are lighter by about ¼ of one ounce but more importantly cheaper. They the old timers knew what was necessary for a good product because of them I use nylon taffeta only today. The stark reality is the company brands that still exist today are run by people who have as much knowledge of the subject of fabric and insulation as can fit in a gnats butt. They are only interested in their company’s bottom line so the cheaper they can buy the materials as well as labor the better.

When some of the nylon suppliers I buy from have offered to me polyester taffeta I chose not to buy any even though the prices were attractive because it is softer and I did not think it had the durability of the nylon. I did not know it was potentially dangerous due to the flammability of polyester.

Being a living breathing and thinking dinosaur in this industry versus those that would be my children’s or grandchildren’s age give me a distinct advantage. I think how I can improve my product versus how I can make it look like a good product using the cheapest materials I can get. This is the mantra of this younger generation. They do not do any research into materials such as asking the salesman showing them new materials all the technical questions. The salesman couldn’t answer them anyway. Imagine asking a gore salesman to demonstrate how a garment made with goretex works? He couldn’t do the demonstration to begin with but the new breed of people running these companies really does not give a damn. Their only concern is that gore has name recognition versus product performance.

So all of you out there who have a concern about flammable fabric sleeping bags just remember that you do not want to buy ANY bags made with polyester fabrics unless of course you really want a “no sleep sleeping bag” available at REI stores as well as every other store in the country that sells sleeping bags.


Recently I was told all future orders for the DUCKSBACK material will increase by $1.25 per yard. That puts me out of the DUCKSBACK use of fabric business.

All of the DUCKSBACK products will be sold off at a 25 percent discount. The only garment that will not have a price change is the Urban DUCKSBACK Arctic parka since it is already priced at a 25 percent discount.

I am sorry for this situation because the fabric is easily the best fabric I know of that does what other fabrics are supposed to do. Since I make these garments to order, please allow 2 to 3 weeks for shipping after you place an order. They will be available so long as I have inventory of the fabric.


I went to the GSA Advantage web site and noted the number of GSA contract holders that offer snugpak "no sleep sleeping bags" to the military that are lined with polyester fiber fabrics. Unfortunately these brilliant company owners have no knowledge of materials so they do not know nor in my opinion do not care if the fabrics are highly combustible. These companies are only interested as I have said before only in the bottom line. being a soldier as many of you know is a very dangerous job and you do not need the equipment you are issued to enhance that danger. The GSA should ban these dangerous bags from being sold as well as find out what other companies are represented on the GSA web site that use polyester materials for their "no sleep sleeping bags" such as western mountaineering, marmot, kelty etc.

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