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military sleeping bags

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Does the military actually issue to the grunts sleeping bags or do they issue “no sleep sleeping bags”? The latter is in my opinion the more factual answer to the question.

Factually in summer of 1993 I created specifically for the USMC a two bag sleep system. A representative of the USMC went to the outdoor retailer show in February of 1993 when it was first displayed in SLC, UT. He visited every single company showing sleeping bags that were made in the USA. He asked for a two bag system that would perform in warm weather [a single bag] and a bag that would perform at zero degrees F and if the two bags were integrated to make one bag would perform at -20 degrees F.

In May 1993 I was speaking with the Major about other bags I was making for him when he told me of his plight not getting a single answer from any of the companies he visited with.

One week after that conversation I called him and told him I had a two bag system for him. Kok with my assistance created the FLEXIBLE TEMPERATURE RATED SLEEP SYSTEM [FTRSS for short that became known as the FORTRESS SYSTEM].

He ordered 12 sight unseen. They have order very few over the years.

Wiggy’s has continued to make this system ever since. Over the years we have incorporated it into our other models. Shortly it will be in production for 30 years. It has never failed.

The USMC sent a representative, a captain who worked for the Major to visit Wiggy’s. He listened to me made notes went to Natick Labs who went to a company that had been their primary supplier for 30 or more years, Tennier Industries who proceeded to bastardize what we at Wiggy’s had created.

Their two bag system was made for maybe 15 years and every three or four years was modified because it never performed.

However, one company Slumberjack copied the bag and continued to make it because it had a national stock number for small units that Tennier had no interest in supplying. The gsa contractors loved the product because it had the nsn so they sold it versus mine. However, this two bag system has still not worked and I think it is now sold under the sister company label called Kelty.

Now that we the US military is becoming more active in Alaska, I would not be surprised to find out that this non-performing sleeping system will/is being used.

I have sold many thousands of sleeping bags to those who live in Alaska and more thousands who have gone to Alaska. We also sell our arctic bags to the National Science Foundation subcontractors who operate in Antarctica.

Since I started making sleeping bags which predates Wiggy’s by two years they have always been made the exact same way, laminated continuous filament fiberfill. Always called Lamilite. In the past 36 years [34 as Wiggy’s] my bags have never failed to perform beyond my recommendation, I have purposely under rated them.

What the military has concocted has never worked!!!!!!!! If their concoctions did work why the need to change?

I would not be surprised to learn this winter that the issue bags are a disaster. The biggest single problem is going to be the extensive retention of moisture in the bags. That retention of moisture will ultimately become a cause of the occupants of these bags to become cold.

In the year 2001 a Chilian training operation suffered a lose of 150 men to hypothermia because I believe these soldiers were using sleeping bags unfit for the training exercise. That should tell those in charge that it is imperative to make sure the most important item you issue a soldier for use in cold conditions, their sleeping bag will actually perform. If our soldiers experience an extreme drop in temperature that can very easily happen in Alaska, the sleeping bag becomes your sanctuary.

If the sleeping bag traps your moisture, it means it is letting out your body heat.

Alaska is not only a cold environment in the winter it is also a wet humid environment. If you are unable to retain your own body heat which in turn drives out the moisture you will be miserable and certainly not sleep.

Of every product out there referenced as a sleeping bag not a one except a Lamilite insulated Wiggy’s bag will drive out the moisture. Those who are charged with creating or getting sleeping bags have as much knowledge of how dangerous moisture retained in a sleeping bag can be than a toad.

Never forget your moisture is your greatest enemy in cold weather.

Protect your soldier by getting him/her a sleeping bag that will work for them.

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