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gloves versus mittens

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Request for Information (RFI) / Market Survey

The following I will never understand.

Cold Weather Glove System

The Product Manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment (PdM SCIE), located at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, is conducting a request for information / market investigation to identify domestic products, suppliers and manufacturers of a Cold Weather Glove System (CWGS). PdM SCIE has identified a need for a new modular and scalable hand wear protection system for extreme cold weather operating environments. The PdM SCIE has the responsibility to maintain, develop, and improve Soldier clothing and individual equipment to include gloves as the life cycle manager of these items. The U.S. Army is interested in identifying emergent technologies and capabilities that will meet or exceed the following parameters:

You may recall that I wrote about this request for information several weeks ago, which included a letter that I sent to the point of contact explaining that gloves would not do very well in arctic conditions. They possibly received questioning what was being asked for as well. They want to identify domestic manufacturers of cold weather hand wear and are not as far as I know having any success except that I may be the only one. There is nothing new that fits the definition of emerging technologies that I am aware of at this very moment in time.

1)Environmental Protection in the temperature ranges of 40oF to -40oF Threshold (T), 40oF to -60oF or below Objective (O).

They do want a glove more than anything else that will keep hands warm when the temperatures will drop from, my thought, plus 25 degrees to their thought of -40 but would also like to see it work at -60 F. will the thought of miracles never cease to exist. One more time the creators of this sources sort notice haven’t a clue as to what will or will not perform in the conditions they are projecting.

Rationale: Soldiers operate worldwide to include extreme cold environments. Soldier will need a hand wear system that will provide extreme cold protection for long durations.

Here they use an interesting word “rationale”, however they who dreamt up the notice are in my opinion irrational.

They refuse to accept reality; separating your fingers in a glove means that they the fingers cannot help each other stay warm as happens when you wear mittens. The level of insulation in mittens for temperatures that are -10 to minus 40 or 60 F has to be about 2 inches thick and oblivious to the negative effects of moisture. At this point in time the only material that is used for insulation and used in mittens is Lamilite/Climashield which has proven for the past 20 years to actually perform in these arctic temperatures. But it seems this reality is not a reality they care to learn about.

There were 10 or 12 more comments published but it is all for naught since generally the information published was repetitious.

At the rate that the government office working on the project functions I am confident that the search will be going on during next winter. And all this time we the tax payers will be funding it. IF they had a solution they would need a new project so the incentive to address the problem and solve it will not happen anytime soon.

You now know why I say I will never understand why the need on the part of the soldiers takes a back seat to the need of the problem solvers. Just like the footwear problem that was written up in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes I expect at some point there will be an article about soldiers having frost bitten hands.

A testimonial about the antarctic bag. For the past 6 months sales of these 60 below zero bags are probably 100 times greater than all of the rest of the industry combined for the past 20 years or longer. in the 30 years i have been making them i have yet to see one other brand that truly has a 20 below zero bag let alone a 60 below zero bag.

I bought the the Antarctic bag and over bag to through in the sleeper of my big truck up here in North Dakota oil field as an emergency bag well about a month ago ago my truck shut down on me and I was in about 17 degree weather trying to figure out what was going on with my truck about 4 hrs later I finally got it fired back up and I was pretty cold I climbed in just the over bag it didn't take probably 5 minutes for me to warm back up best money I ever spent I use my over bag as my main comforter now I hope not to ever need the main bag up here but from what I have seen so far I won't be worried about getting cold in this thing up here great quality and most comfortable bag I have ever slept thanks again and keep up the good work

– J Adams

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