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response to wed article

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RESPONSE TO SEPTEMBER 12 ARTICLE

Great article. That's true. The original Extreme Cold Weather sleeping bag from the Korean War until about 1990s was actually pretty good as long as you kept it dry. I believe it was down filled. The synthetic modular system introduced in the 1990s was total crap. I didn't know about Wiggys in 2002 when I went to Afghanistan, so I ordered a Snugpack sleeping bag from the UK and I froze my butt off.

Robert

MSG (Retired)

US Army

I wrote to Robert asking what products of mine he had. Below was his response, warms my heart.

2 sleeping bags FTRSS overbag

1 ducksback zippered jacket

1Lamilite sweater

2 poncho liners with zippers

2 jacket liners

1 liner vest

1 mesh long underwear top

1 pair Lamilite booties

2 Lamilite socks

1 ducksback Lamilite balaclava

1 insulated head cover

My next purchase will be your new dry suit insulated jacket.

I'm a Wiggys nerd. Lol...I love your products.

Jerry

When I first got my system (Can't remember which one it was- it had a bivy, inner, and outer bag and I STILL have it) in 1995, my first test of it was in the field at Yakima Washington in late winter or early spring of 1995. It was cold outside. I threw down my military issued sleeping pad on the hood of a HMMWV and zipped up my bag(s). I woke up only because I had to- not because I was cold. Still have that set up and it is my "go to" bag system. Might send the bivy back for new seam taping- that's the only issue- and it HAS been well over 20 years, so that's to be expected. Bags are still fine.

All the best
Mark (still active duty)

As for Mark I have dealt with him for years so I how many items he has purchased.

With respect to the SEALS in San Diego I have had calls from many of them and actually been visited by some and they are all still using their bag systems since the mid 1990’s when they were issued to them. One would be lucky if their Kelty bag lasted a season, of course that would be in Florida.

Now day’s people have been conditioned to think that every year there are supposed to be changes that are supposed to improve products. That may be true of many things but when it comes to insulating materials that are used in sleeping bags and winter clothing that is absolutely not true.

I have written so many times about chopped staple fiberfill and the fact that it has not changed since its inception in 1960. Several companies such as primaloft have in theory remade it over and over again because each time they make a “new” product it is always the same old product which fails and that is exactly true of every other company that is marketing a chopped staple fiberfill product. In the case of chopped staple fiberfill all of the old products have demonstrated that they do not work and the effort to come up with one that does work is insanity. As Einstein so eloquently put it doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result proves insanity.

Continuous filament fiber when used in proper weights for various temperature range products and used correctly in manufacturing has demonstrated that it is so superior to any and all other products for the same use and that certainly includes down. Of course the absolute most efficient way to use continuous filament fiber is as a laminated construction. I do quilt the very light weights to enhance the stability of the fiber since the insulating properties are minimal.

I have maintained using the same weights since inception for the various products I make because the products work as advertised and I have been doing the same thing now for 30 years, over and over again expecting the same results which I have gotten. Only in my case it demonstrates continuity and why changes when the results are always the same is unnecessary. The fiber basically has not changed just the method of distributing the fiber. The method of making the batting as good as it is, is a testament to the diligent work done by Harvest Consumer Insulations the company that makes the Climashield that I use to make Lamilite. Change is not made to improve the products performance because when used to its benefit the performance is so good it makes ALL other synthetic insulations totally obsolete to again include down. Change for the sake of change is unnecessary, very difficult to make the best better, maybe one day in the distant future. However what that will be I cannot fathom.

While the Kelty bags do contain Climashield they do not use enough of it and they quilt it. That is how Tennier made their bags and why Exxcel makes the Kelty bags. If the bags never worked when they were first issued; refer to Robert’s comment, why would they work today. They will not.

This is symptomatic of what goes on in the industry. It is totally irrelevant to companies that get products made and retailers who sell them if the product does not work such as every product made with goretex. There are many other products that I will not mention since I have written about them in the past, but the retailers want “new” stories to tell so the consumer is swayed into thinking they are getting something “new”, but they are not. This way of thinking is also very apparent with respect to the military. They make claims about materials that are not true but they who are supposed to test to get the truth about materials do not do it. They leave that up to the company offering them the material. So it goes with the sergeants who order sleeping bags, they do not rely on past experience but the slick salesman to look them straight in the face and tell them their “new” product is the best. A bold face lies when it comes to sleeping bags.

Over the years I have had numerous calls from parents whose sons and daughters are serving all over the world ordering for them Wiggy’s bags because whatever they were issued were not working. I expect that to continue. One parent actually came to the business and bought one of my Ecotat shelters because her son was told he would not be issued a tent where he was being sent, because they had none to give him and his cohorts. I have no doubt that this trend will continue unfortunately.

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