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what were they thinking

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Today I read an article published in SBG that a retailer, Moosejaw is or has started a rental program of outdoor equipment; packs, tents and sleeping bags. You can rent these and maybe more items for a weekend or a week or longer I suppose.

If you have never camped and want to try it without making the investment it is a good way to go or so the Moosejaw people [think]? There are different brands to try.

All of this sounds great for the novice except one item sleeping bags. There are if I remember correctly extremely strict laws pertaining to renting sleeping bags. #1 they must be sanitized laundered just like in a hospital after EVERY use. That means the water temperature must be 190 degrees F. Do you have any idea what that will do to a sleeping bag structurally? More about this later.

Years ago, when I started making Wiggy bags in S.C. there were specialty backpacking shops around the country that had this rental program and they did not last long, there were to many problems primarily with the sleeping bags and laundering. The shops probably experienced damaged tent too. It proved not to be a good business opportunity. With all of the problems the renters mostly never got into backpacking. As an example, a company in Denver and one in NYC opened prior to the pandemic and I do not believe they are around today, but I may be wrong.

Before the pandemic would you rent a used sleeping bag? maybe! Since the pandemic would you rent a used sleeping bag? I think not! What were these people thinking?

To further point out their lack in knowledge [thinking] they will be offering several different brands of “no sleep sleeping bags” all made in China with chopped staple polyester fiber fill that is guaranteed to break a part separate with use and especially when laundered.

For the sake of argument, the first person to rent a 0 degree bag uses it for a week, when they return the bag, it goes into the sanitizing washing machine and is almost destroyed but to rent it to someone else. However, if you compare it to the same model bag yet to be rented it is considerably less lofty. So, you are a novice and do not know this and would not know to compare it to an unused bag of the same model.

You go into the field and do not sleep because you are cold so your camping days have come to an end.

How about the fact that all of the brands of “no sleep sleeping bags” they offer are made with polyester shell and lining materials!

The renters with no experience might find themselves having a cook stove in the tent and if the flame or hot metal were to come against the fabric you might not get out of the tent. The military learned about that. Such a scenario could take place if it is raining and cooking comes into the tent, a mistake sometimes non-novices make.


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