WHY WIGGY’S SLEEPING BAGS ARE THE BEST THAT
CAN BE MADE
For many years customers of
mine have after using my bags in numerous situations,
asked why my bags perform so much better than all the
others they have used during their years camping. What
is it about the Lamilite that makes it better than
all of the other forms of insulation to include the
continuous filament fiber product as used by other
manufacturers? Often I have said it was magic, which
of course is not the case. They perform better than
all of the others that are available for purchase because
of the technology that has gone into the making of
the Wiggy’s bags.
The single most important component of any sleeping
bag is the insulation used. It has been my experience in the field of insulation
to have recognized that continuous filament fiber is singularly the absolute
best raw material there is for use as insulation. There are several other companies
who use the continuous filament fiber insulation in their bags; however their
bags do not perform as they note on their temperature ratings. Why is this
so; if these other companies are also using the continuous filament fiber?
They are number one not using it to its best advantage and number two they
are not using heavy enough weights.
What I mean when I say they are not using the continuous
filament fiber to its best advantage has to do with the manufacturing method
used. Their manufacturing method used entails quilting the fiber. This process
damages the lofting quality of the fiber. The quilting confines the fiber in
small areas. The quiltings lines may be as much as 10 inches apart while the
over all width of the sleeping bag is 33 inches. This means that the fiber
is restrained in 10 inch increments. Restraining the fiber in this manner causes
the fiber to fatigue and therefore it loses its loft, never to return. I have
also noted that the weights of the fiber used by these manufacturers are so
light as to be porous. Under this condition when the fiber is fabricated into
a batting the resin binder sprayed on the fiber penetrates deep into the fiber
web structure and as such the fibers become adulterated, coated with the resin.
This coating weakens the fiber further causing it to not have any resilience
of any consequence. Loss of loft is enhanced as a direct result of the coating.
The use of these light weight battings is a contradiction
to what is actually needed to make a sleeping bag that will perform. The weight
or thickness of the fiberfill is so thin as to be extremely porous. There is
no density to speak of so all warmed air is not stifled or trapped by the insulation
provided. The resilience of the fiberfill as I said is compromised by the resin
bonding process so the loft of the bag deteriorates quickly. Now the insulation
is further reduced. The quilt stitching also compresses the insulation along
the stitch lines which will trap water if it is introduced to the bag. In 1996
or 7 this phenomenon was noted by the science advisor to the Alaskan command
(Army) when he received samples of the then new sleeping bag system to evaluate.
This was reported back to the laboratory that sent them. All to no avail since
all of the sleeping bags that the military has had made for them under their
contracts are quilted. They also use continuous filament fiber batting that
is to light for the intended temperatures they are supposed to work at.
If you took the time to look at every other sleeping
bag that is insulated with continuous filament fiber sold in the consumer market
they too are all quilted with the exception of the Wiggy’s bags.
The fabrics these manufacturers use for the shell
and lining of their bags contributes to their poor performance. It is a known
fact that the human body is constantly exhausting moisture which if contained
in a sleeping bag is detrimental to the bags ability to retain the heat that
is also produced by the human body. As with the fiberfill these manufacturers
are trying to make the lightest weight bags they can, so the fabrics they use
are most often down proof high count nylon made with fine denier yarns which
may also be calendared. They are also one half the weights per square versus
what I use. The problem they have created for themselves has to do with the
lack of vapor permeability. These fabrics are so tightly woven that any vapor
coming out of the human body will ultimately get trapped within the cavity
of the bag. Once the moisture is trapped in the bag it will absorb the heat
you produce and cool you; not a good thing.
Those who make sleeping bags using this method of
manufacture with these materials are destined to fail. They have failed since
the late 1960’s when continuous filament fiber was first sold to them
and they have learned nothing from their own history. You can read any day
of the week on any outdoor oriented web site that has a chat room people writing
that this brand of bag or that brand isn’t keeping me warm. They are
civilians or military personnel commenting on the issued bag system. They still
chose to follow the failure of these bags with new voices who claim that they
can do it. In one instance I read about a fellow who may have received a contract
from the military to produce a bag which he claimed would be 30 percent lighter
and 20 percent more efficient than the existing bag used by the military. The
only thought that came to me after reading the article was the man is a joke.
He has no knowledge of the subject; I know this since I did have opportunity
to speak with him in my office. I think he came to see me to glean if possible
information from me. I was actually open to his questions but he was incapable
of understanding my answers since he was predisposed to quilted concept.
The Wiggy’s sleeping bags utilize the continuous
filament fiber to its best advantage. I make
no concession to the cosmetic appearance of the product.
The others want their synthetic bags to resemble down
bags. I have eliminated all of the sewn through seams
created by the quilting process. Why? Because I have
learned sewn through seams are cold spots, didn’t
these other people recognize the problem? Blank out.
Then there is the fiberfill itself, what I use are
heavier weights than anyone else, why? Because the loftier and denser the fiberfill
the more difficult it is for the heat produced to escape. Because the fiber
is not quilted every 8 to 10 inches but is uniform in its loft from head to
foot and side to side the heated air does not have an easy way out.
Then there is the nylon that I use for both shell
and lining. It is not the high count quality but a fabric that has been to
the best of my knowledge in production since the inception of nylon production
in the 1930’s when DuPont first developed nylon. Its strength is unquestioned
and its vapor permeability qualities are exceptional. Body produced moisture
does not stay in a Wiggy’s bag.
Wiggy’s bags are sold in greater numbers in the USA
than any other brand and while I do not know exact figures I am sure Wiggy’s
bags in their price range are sold 10 to one over all the other brands in the
same price range. Why? Because they are the only bags that perform in the temperature
ranges they are noted for use. In reality they are under rated. The sleeping
bags as well as the clothing that I produce are made in a manner that utilizes
the materials to their best advantage as I have learned about them; with respect
to their various characteristics. Knowledge derived from experience that I
have had with my products as well as from others users of my products dictates
the best ways of using the technology that is available.
That which I have learned I have offered to other
companies without success. The new blood so to speak is people in the outdoor
industry are uneducated in this field. This attitude reminds me of the 14 year
old who knows everything and his father nothing until the kid becomes a gown
up and then wonders how quickly his father became so knowledgeable. Therefore,
the question I leave you with is will they ever learn? My personal answer is;