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False Advertising

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I have been observing the Gore Company promoting Gore-Tex material since its inception about 1976. As I have stated many times that it doesn't work as advertised. In recent years I have made known, through my newsletters, evidence why it doesn't work. I have received numerous responses supporting my statements. Now I am pleased to present further information from one of the largest users of Gore-Tex, showing that it is not what it seems: the U.S. Military, although they continue to use it.
One of my customers, having read in my last two newsletters about the fact that waterproof/breathable materials do not allow for a transfer of O2 and CO2, wrote to the U.S. Army Natick Labs. My customer is retired from the Army and worked at or with Natick at one time. His concern was that several of the members of his Boy Scout troop had been given military bivi bags by their parents who are military, and he observed that these kids simply stayed uncovered, where as he rigged a coat hanger to keep the hood of his bivi propped up. The kids had learned quickly to not close the hoods.
He wrote to Natick referencing his observations and the information I published. The response he received was as follows: "I can tell you that Gore-Tex is not as breathable as one might assume. It's better than a non-breathable fabric but overall I would not suggest you attempt to breathe through it. It is only intended to add comfort to waterproof items like jackets, pants, etc."

EDITORS NOTE: I suspect the meaning of the last sentence is that it is waterproof, and therefore if worn over a jacket or pants they are protected. A second individual working for Natick made the following comment: "The Gore-Tex fabric, or any other waterproof or so-called breathable fabric, is not really 'breathable' the way consumers may like it to be, i.e., fabric that an individual can actually breath through.
"First, the term 'breathable' refers to microporous, membrane-based fabric because it is air-permeable and air can be blown or forced through it. The Gore-Tex fabric is not air-permeable because its microporous polytetrafluoroethylene membrane has been coated with a thin layer of 'nonporous' polyurethane urea membrane, making it non-air-permeable. However, Gore-Tex and other nonporous semipermeable membranes are permeable to moisture vapor. This moisture vapor permeability aids the evaporative cooling of the body."

EDITORS NOTE: I believe there is ample evidence to prove that permeability in practical application does not happen. It may have occurred in a laboratory, hence the statement.

"As far as using a waterproof /moisture vapor permeable (WP/MVP) membrane-based sleeping bag, leaving a few inches to breathe while sleeping in a cold, high altitude environment is not such a good idea. As a matter of fact, the manufacturer would say that this is a misuse of their product. In high altitude, the user may consider a breathing device such as the microclimatic conditioning system for warm air and a re-breather for CO2 removal and O2 supply into their WP/MVP sleeping bag. Additionally, to keep warm, adequate insulation must be used. Moisture vapor from the body (sweat) will condense on the inner wall of the sleeping bag if there is no moisture vapor concentration-gradient from inside to outside. Especially if the individual body is in a high, cold altitude (10,500 feet +)."

EDITORS NOTE: Body sweat leaving the body during sleeping activity is so slow that any sleeping bag that has a Gore-Tex shell, regardless of its quality, will retain whatever moisture reaches it.

There is an unconfirmed report that the British military suffered two deaths by suffocation in bivi bags this past summer. I have made several inquiries myself without confirmation. Investigation is still going on and, if confirmed I'll let you know. I wouldn't be surprised if it were true. It should also be noted that I have no idea what type of fabrics the British use for their bivi bags. As we know, there are numerous brands today.

EDITORS NOTE: As I see it there are other problems associated with this bivi bag. We know from past evaluations of the "modular sleep system" which is a bastardization of my 'Flexible Temperature Range Sleep System" that it does not function below +15 degrees. When combined with the bivi bag, any person using the combination would most certainly close it as much as possible. Having done so, involuntary suffocation becomes possible.
This is the system that is issued to our soldiers in all branches of service.

I read an article in the November 2000 issue of amc outdoors magazine (Appalachian Mountain Club). Three of the editors went on a winter camping trip for the first time. One of them, Jane Roy Brown, made the following comment: "'Yeah,' I murmured. Even at 32 degrees in warm sunlight, perspiration was already dampening the two layers of polypro under my (allegedly breathable) shell." I find the comment particularly interesting since I have read in several past issues advice from Annie Getchell, a member of their advisory board, that it is imperative to own Gore-Tex or some other brand of waterproof/breathable garment. Maybe Annie should go out with Jane and advise her as to what she did wrong so the waterproof/breathable jacket didn't work.
Then she can learn why these materials don't work. I also appreciated Jane mentioning that her polypro underwear and a second layer of polypro were "dampening," I'll bet she thought they would "wick" the moisture away from her skin surface. No such luck! She would have been a much more comfortable if her first layer was fishnets.

The three editors were only out for one night, and I am quite sure they felt that was a sufficient amount of time for winter camping.
The Gore Company is concentrating heavily on the footwear market. In the November 10, 2000, issue of Sporting Goods Business a Gore product specialist made the following comment: "As Gore continues to focus on developing versatile footwear technology, the company will gradually move beyond its winter-oriented 'warm and dry' story. We want to spread the word that Gore-Tex is about protection and comfort, in cold and warm seasons."

EDITORS NOTE: Do the Gore Company employees really believe that the film actually keeps people "warm and dry." It is apparent that Gore-Tex is not only not protection from the elements, but a detriment in those same elements as we are now learning.
Don't they, the Gore Company employees, read any of the negative comments that contradict the "hype" they spew? They have made a concerted effort to evade the acquisition of knowledge.


"First of all I have one of your Antarctic sleeping bags which I have been using now for the past year and a half in the field in Alaska and have never been cold once. I also have one of your cagoules, which I also enjoy.
I work for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game."
M.T. Moran

"Hello, This past July I purchased your Lamilite vest from a small outfitter in Talkeetna, Alaska. Although it has been rather warm these past few months I have been wearing the vest in the evenings. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite jackets to wear."
Thanks, M. Magni

EDITORS NOTE: The shop is Alaska Wilderness Experience, located in Talkeetna, AK. It is the only retail store in Alaska that carries Wiggy products.

"Your sleeping bags kick ass, keep me warm, so warm I had to open it up to cool down, it was about 9 degrees. That impressed me a lot. I tell everybody about your sleeping bags, keep up the good work. The guys in the 20th Airborne, S.P.O Army Reserve Unit say keep up the good work too. And thank you for keeping us warm, in those cold nights."
Mr. ED

"Wiggy's, I saw your advertisement in a magazine today and thought I would take a moment to say thank you. Not so long ago (two- three years) I ordered one of your systems (-20degree). After requesting a catalog from an ad. Little did I know how much use that bag would see. Three hundred nights a year would be a fair guess. I like your style and when I immediately returned the bag for a change in size, response was prompt. Good service is getting scarce and when I get a chance I pass your name along. Thanks for a trusty bag."
J. Ranck Chitina, AK

"Dear Wiggy, The claims you make on your fishnet underwear are right on. I bought them based on my experience with your sleeping bags-superb products, which give you lots of credibility. Now I've tested your fishnets for a week of rugged camping and hunting for Colorado elk, temperatures varying from -16 to + 45. On several days, the fishnets were all I wore under my wool outer layer. They were great."
Thanks, C. Lambert

The following letter is one that I was particularly pleased to receive.

"Dear Jerry, When I went to the P.O to pick up my new flotation suit, I couldn't wait to open the package. The first thing I said to myself was; self, Jerry forgot to put the suit in the box! It was so light! I got home and unpacked my suit. My wife said, 'how will that float you?' and my friends all said, 'there's no flotation to it!' So I went out for a test. Blowing about 20 knots and a three-foot sea, I pulled my King Crab pots while wearing your suit. In my old Mustang suit I would have become overheated, but in your suit I did not. Also, when running into the wind in my open skiff at 20 mph, not a whisper of the air touched my skin. When I got back to the dock I decided to go overboard for the supreme test. Would I float and stay warm? The initial shock of the 38-degree water took my breath away, but I floated high, and after the water warmed I was fine."
Thanks again, Greg Gallant Juneau, AK

EDITORS NOTE: The only letter that I could imagine being better, with respect to the flotation suit, would be if it came from someone who really had to bail out of a sinking boat, and was saved because he was wearing the suit. Greg has given me permission to use his comments in advertisements directed to offshore fisherman, for which I am very grateful.

The following is from the Internet-An astronomy Web site.

"Re: Keeping warm--Wiggy's is good stuff and quality. David is correct about Wiggy's equipment being top of the line. I sold my goose-down sleeping bag quickly after purchasing one of Wiggy's synthetics and using it on backpacking trips in both the Smokies and the Rockies. The insulation is nearly as light and compressible as down, but far superior in wet weather protection (rain or dew) and durability. He uses the exact same insulation for all of his products, but just enough more or less of it to work well. He doesn't advertise much due to his loyal customers referring others to his very high-quality line of products. He does have numerous defense contracts for various products he manufactures. These products do work much better in weather extremes than what you would find in the standard sports stores. By the way, I too have been a very active scouter in the past, used far worse equipment, and still made do. I just know that when I'm up at 12,000+ feet and gone for more than five days in a row, I don't ever have to worry about getting cold with Wiggy's equipment. Wiggy's line is also definitely under-priced when compared to other 'high end' cold-weather gear that doesn't perform anywhere near as well.
This equipment is extremely useful for winter astronomy as well. You don't ever have to stink or sweat in these products, because they breathe. You may be happy with other gear and it's definitely prudent to use what works for you, but you will never be disappointed in any Wiggy's product. Warm and clear skies."
Posted by Lonnie


Wiggy's Signature

Surprise Information

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I have been asked about children's outerwear insulated with Lamilite for at least 10 years. I have reluctantly told all that I do not manufacture any. All of those asking have some Lamilite-insulated product such as a sleeping bag or parka and have been so satisfied they wanted the same (outerwear) for their children. I [...]

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