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polyester shell and lining

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For the past 2 years I have researched the retail industries selling of polyester shell and lining sleeping bags and they are charging the same prices I charge for my sleeping bags of comparable temperature ratings. Today I found the reason these brands that get their sleeping bags made in China or some other Asian country keep their prices as they do. It is the price of the polyester fabric.

I had one of my suppliers check for me the price of a 70 x 70 deniers’ nylon single ply taffeta [which I use] versus a 70 x 70 deniers polyester taffeta. What he told me is the polyester taffeta is not 70 x 70 deniers but 68 x 68 deniers. This means the size of the yarn is thinner. In all of my years in the industry I have never heard of a sixty-eight denier’s yarn. I was further told that the price of the nylon is $1.83 per yard and the polyester is $1.19 per yard. These prices are delivered to me in the USA from China [which I do not use]. I can only imagine the prices in China are significantly less. The prices are based upon a width of sixty inches.

It is for this reason the sleeping bags seen in REI, CABELAS, BASS PRO, DICKS, L.L. BEAN and who knows how many other retailers of camping equipment are selling these sleeping bags.

At this point I will state that these are not sleeping bags but “NO SLEEP SLEEPING BAGS”!!!!!!!!

To continue the quality of the polyester taffeta fabric is very fragile in my opinion and that is the reason it is damaged easily. All of these bags are made with coil zippers that break very easily. And finally, the chopped staple polyester fiber fill is inefficient as an insulator, this is why people who buy these bags discover that they have a no sleep sleeping bag and have otherwise wasted their money. In addition, you really shouldn’t launder these bags which is what the sellers tell you not to do.

There are other reasons why the no sleep sleeping bags should be left in the stores. Polyester fabric is combustible and nylon fabric is not [see the video I made demonstrating this fact on my website]. Many customers of mine when they first called me to find out if Wiggy’s bags are made with fabric treated with fire retardant chemicals are told NO!!! They further have told me when they called REI specifically to find out about the bags, they sold were treated with flame retardant chemicals they were told yes. So, you treat a combustible material with a FR chemical. Regardless in my opinion sleeping bags made with this fabric are a potential danger to the user. People who sleep under the stars during the summer months who also sleep near a fire pit if an ember shoots out of the fire pit and lands on the bag as an example you will have a fire.

However, the biggest problem is in my opinion is the general public being ripped off by companies who purchase no sleep sleeping bag products from Chinese or other Asian manufacturers who use materials and other components they are told to use that I believe are not acceptable for use in sleeping bags. Keep in mind it is not the Asian manufacturer who is at fault but the American companies directing them to use these materials, components based upon the price. The Asian manufacturers do not care if the bags work or last.

Speaking of a company that does not care I offer up REI as an example. Years ago, a Wiggy customer who worked at an REI store called me and said he tried to get with who ever the buyer was at REI to possibly carry Wiggy bags because of his experience with his and the fact that about 40 percent of the bags they sold at the REI store came back. Obviously, his efforts were for naught. That said a few years ago REI had a policy change that made it much more difficult to bring back sleeping bags or other products for that matter. And in more recent times they had a change of policy where people could bring product back for credit if the product could be repurposed.

From what I have observed during the 50 years I have been involved with sleeping bags I have come to the conclusion sleeping bags are a stepchild in the industry. All of the brands over the years have needed to have a sleeping bag line so they created one. they did this void of the knowledge required to make the most important piece of equipment one takes into the field. They concentrated on the visual appearance to attract the customer. Each year they offered a newer improved sleeping bag based upon zero knowledge.

At the expense of tooting my own horn if you look at a current Wiggy’s production sleeping bag and looked at 34 years, old Wiggy’s bag regardless of color the look the same. The reason is simple I have been using the same insulating material in the same manner to its best advantage. I never gave thought to “bells and whistles.” Starting in the year 1968 when continuous filament fiber was first made, I laminated it, which was called Polar Guard and now it’s called Climashield. They were both called Lamilite as well. I showed and explained it to every company in the country that made sleeping bags and every company in the country turned me down. They never wanted to make a sleeping bag that worked and still don’t.

So, they tell some factory in Asia to make what they want using the cheapest components available and when people return them, they don’t care so they give you a credit to get something else in the store.

By the way, the same story can be told about lots of products sold these days. Welcome to the American retailer.

And I received this yesterday. Thank you Frank

Hello Wiggys,

Just wanted to thank you for your finely crafted products and over-the-top customer service.
I’m totally impressed and recommend Wiggys whenever the subject of outdoor gear comes up.
Thanks again for standing behind your products.

Be well,

Frank in Arizona

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