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The following e mail came to me from a gsa contractor located in southern Ca. He received the solicitation for a SEAL team.

Good afternoon, Jerry,

We are working on an opportunity requesting for several -40 Degree F sleeping bags. Do you know if the Ultima Thule with FTRSS or Super Light with FTRSS have a full collar? If so, could we please obtain a quote and lead-time meeting ensuring below specs are met?

QTY 52 – Sleeping Bags

  • Sleeping bag for extreme winter conditions -a joke
  • Rated for -40 degrees Fahrenheit -a joke
  • Minimum length: 6’
  • Total packed weight 5lbs or less -a joke
  • Must be made of wind/water-resistant fabric and materials
  • Design shall have full collar –a joke
  • Color: Urban Grey, Black, or Coyote.

Thank you, sir.

USMC VETERAN [like I said these companies are all owned by ex-military] 

I called the fellow who sent this to me to find out more about the specifications and if he knew whose bag this was. It was a bag made by Western Mountaineering.

I told him that there were no “sleeping bags” using down insulation regardless of weight that were capable of performing at -40 degrees F made any place in the word!!! For Western Mountaineering to advertise that this bag will perform at that temperature is a blatant lie. Actually, I have reviewed the WM web site catalogue and all of the bags they show for 0 degrees and lower are lies about their capability.

I explained to him that the reason draft collars [full collar] came about had to do with the body heat rising out of the bag and cold air rushing in to fill the gap. This process never ends in bags like these. I told him I never had reason to install them since body heat does not rise out of the bag. I doubt he understood the explanation or even cared to understand it.

He asked if I ever sold the SEALs and I informed him that I had through the 1990’s until a chief decided to start getting bags from sierra designs in 1999 or 2000 and they had a situation where 16 SEALs had to be medevacked after a severe snowstorm at Ft. Richardson AK 12 were hypothermic since these were the bags they were using from sierra designs.

In all the years following the change over from my sleeping bags to the no sleep sleeping bags they have not found an acceptable product. This also happens to be the general situation that the military has faced for years trying to issue an acceptable sleeping bag for use in arctic conditions.

Over the years I have had calls from individual soldiers ordering my bags because they were told about them from residents of Alaska. I have received calls from tec sergeants and lieutenants located in the lower 48 or even Alaska wanting pricing and availability of my Antarctic bag specifically based on its successful use in Alaska. So far none have called back to place orders, I am not surprised.

I told this guy to offer them the original bag system they adopted in the 1990’s, I know my system price is less than the trash down bag. I say trash because after they use it for a week, they throw it in the trash with so many others. I do not expect to get a call saying they want my sleeping system.

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