May 5, 2008
MADE IN AMERICA
We, the working class of America in
my opinion can produce any product in the world and probably
as good as or better than can be produced in any other
country. Toyota and Honda are perfect examples of companies
that set up production in America; you know how particular
the Japanese market is about quality; and these companies
are making cars in America and shipping them to Japan.
Wiggy’s uses the finest fiberfill insulation
made in the world for all of its insulated products and the company that makes
the fiberfill; Western Nonwovens is an American company making their products
in America. It is for this reason that the Wiggy’s products are the best
products of their type made any where in the world. They are made in America.
Something interesting is starting to happen in China;
the work force wants more compensation for their labors and all other costs
are increasing. I have read as much as 30 percent increases particularly for
textile products. I guess capitalism has really taken hold.
This being the case I am told some companies are starting
to return to the USA for their production as a result
of the cost increases. How much is still questionable
as these companies are also looking at Vietnam and India
for work. Even in those countries I expect the labor
and material costs will increase. This is a situation
that was inevitable as far as I am concerned.
My opinion; the American consumer will be better off
once more production is here. The quality of the products will again in my
opinion be better.
Three cheers for CAPITALISM.
The new insulated carrier we are now
producing has shown in testing that about four pounds
of ice stayed frozen for over 30 hours before significant
melting occurred while the cooler was in my office with
the ambient air temperature at 75 degrees. A second test
was to place three beverage containers (12 ounce size)
taken from the refrigerator and placed in the cooler.
24 hours later they were basically just as cold as when
taken from the refrigerator.
This cooler is lighter in weight and simpler to use
as well as being more efficient that the plastic coolers. When it is empty
it also takes up significantly less space.
STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLES
I mentioned in the April 2008 article
about the problem with the plastic water bottles that
occurs when chemicals are leeched from the plastic. I
heard that all of the retailers around the country have
removed them from their shelves. I have also received
an influx of orders for the stainless steel water bottles
Some have asked for a 16 ounce size. I expect that
I will have them in inventory no later than June 2008. At this moment I do
not have a price. As soon as I know I’ll post it on the web site.
WEB SITE FORUMS
I enjoy reviewing
the various outdoor forums that exist today. The subject
of sleeping bags is the most controversial of all. If
ever a poster says they use a Wiggy’s bag all hell
breaks loose. The reason is due to me going on some of
the sites dispelling erroneous information being posted.
In one case I made bags that were to the specifications
of several of the posters. I made them knowing they would
not perform, but they chose to buy them at a premium
price and not a one to the best of my knowledge was happy
with the product. I chose based on their reporting to
eliminate making the bag. When 100 or so people tell
you it does not work I think that’s a good enough
reason to stop making the product. These guys went ballistic
with me. It made no difference that I suggested it would
not work in the first place and if they were to buy a
product that I made with their input it did not come
with any guarantee; that made no difference to them I
was still wrong. They lambasted me with out mercy. However,
I had the last laugh because they paid me a premium price
for a non-functioning product. What they wanted was a
sleeping bag that would work if possible at a low temperature
of +20 degrees with clothing if necessary and a weight
of 2 ½ pounds to 3 ½ pounds depending upon
size. I lightened the bottom layer of the bag because
they said they would be on a ground pad. I lightened
the fabric from 2 ounces per square yard (70 denier taffeta
that I use) to a 1.1 ounce rip-stop nylon that is made
from 40 denier yarn. These ideas were theirs. I was their
humble servant. I was thinking all of the time; if they
are so smart why don’t they make the bags themselves
and go into business. After all if their ideas worked
they would make a fortune as everybody wants the lightest
most compactable warmest bag they can get. Well as I
said these bags didn’t work.
The upshot of their fiasco was the owner of the forum
who has a back ground in manufacturing decided he “knew” better
than me how to make sleeping bags. He wanted to buy Lamilite. I would not sell
him any. If you think they were ballistic before you wouldn’t believe
what went on, on the forum after my refusal. You would think that a bunch of
third graders were at work. The forum owner has ultimately produced what I
categorize as a dross (something that is worthless or of low standard or quality)
bag. He calls it a sleeping bag so to speak. I will be very surprised if anyone
can actually sleep in one of these dross bags in a tent on a ground pad in
their underwear. That is how I recommend my bags be used versus under the stars.
I have followed the progress as he has reported and reviewed the advertising
on his web site.
My unsolicited advice to anyone seeing these bags
is to pass them up. I hate to see people waste their money on dross products.
This is not
the only web site that deals with camping; there are
probably two dozen. The one consistent subject when it
comes to sleeping bags is the weight. As I said everyone
wants a bag as light as possible for a specific temperature.
When a company presents one to the market place some
get sold and lo and behold comments appear on these web
site forums. In almost all cases the bags do not perform
as advertised. The exception is the comments about the
Wiggy bags. They work but they are heavy. I do not go
on any of these forums; but if I did I would ask; if
the 2 ½ pound +20 F rated bag from any other company
doesn’t work and my +20 F 3 ¼ pound bag
does work; is my bag heavier? When I have asked that
question the responding party try’s to wiggle around
with an answer. At that point I end the conversation.
Our military is again searching for
a new lighter weight sleeping bag. These people in charge
should get with these guys on these web sites. They would
be birds of a feather.
They too reject reality. In the case of the Marines they
may give a company in New Mexico An award through the
SBIR; SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH.
The owner of the company states his “goal is
to produce a bag that is 30 to 50 percent lighter and 20 percent warmer”.
This fellow was directed to speak with me last year. We had very pleasant chats
and he even visited. He found out that I had substantial knowledge of insulation
and I found out he had no knowledge of insulation. Therefore, he is an excellent
candidate to present the award too. The Marines specifically desire a bag that
will meet the criteria described above. When you tell them you have tried to
accomplish the manufacture of such a bag and all efforts have proven to be
failures it falls on deaf ears.
So the continuity of wasteful spending continues to
continue. Our tax dollars at work, the reality here is a company possibly getting
this award (I do not know if it has been consummated, I hope not) to develop
a product that the owner of the company and any of the employees have no knowledge
as to what materials to use and why this or that fabric should be used. Pathetic,