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1/14/2016 7:55 PM
 
Thought I'd put two questions in one post . first wiggys sleeping bags , anyone have any experience with them ? In particular , their 35* bag .
Next is the exped synmat . it seems it may be what I'm looking for but I wanted to see if anyone has any experience with them .
 
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1/14/2016 10:36 PM
 
I'm pretty curious about the Wiggys bags too. I think I got rid of my old zero degree bag (too bulky and heavy for anything but car camping). And my summer bag is just too short, I feel like I'm wrapped up shrink wrap!

"Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."
 
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1/15/2016 6:38 AM
 
That's me . the one I have is like that , it weighs a ton and is big . Its time to upgrade .
 
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1/15/2016 7:23 AM
 
Wiggy's bags have a reputation or being bombproof but heavy. Evan and I talked to a SAR guy who used them to keep people warm on helicopter skids during medevacs. They were the only bags that would hold up to more than a couple of months of use. Basically, they got back to base threw them in the washer and dryer and then repacked them for the next message. I think they retired them after a year or two (can't remember which) just because, rather than through need. For vehicle born probably a pretty good choice, for on foot I will go with something else.

Amusingly, I know a number of people here in town who know what he drives and only go by his shop/store when he isn't there. He has a bit of a reputation.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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1/15/2016 8:46 AM
 
IMO, Climashield is the only serious use synthetic insulation available and Wiggy's process of laminating it maximizes Climashield’s potential effectiveness and the durability of Wiggy bags is well documented. Nobody in the industry will tell you to wash and compress their product at your leisure and then cover it under warranty if it loses loft. Nobody! That fact alone should get your attention.

If you do an unbiased side by side comparison with any other SYNTHETIC bag with a similar temp rating, you’ll find they aren’t significantly “heavy” or “bulky” when you compare specifications. It’s also worth noting that Wiggy’s temp ratings have a reputation for being accurate, not optimistic like most products on the market.

Having said that, I don't routinely use my Wiggy bag for my casual/benign activities because I'm a backpacker not a camper; weight and space are a premium in my pack. But, if I were doing limited mileage days or exposing myself to unsupported activities that could kill me if my gear failed, I'd carry a Wiggy bag without any thought or reservation.
 
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1/15/2016 6:36 PM
 
scothill wrote:
Wiggy's bags have a reputation or being bombproof but heavy. Evan and I talked to a SAR guy who used them to keep people warm on helicopter skids during medevacs. They were the only bags that would hold up to more than a couple of months of use. Basically, they got back to base threw them in the washer and dryer and then repacked them for the next message. I think they retired them after a year or two (can't remember which) just because, rather than through need. For vehicle born probably a pretty good choice, for on foot I will go with something else.

Amusingly, I know a number of people here in town who know what he drives and only go by his shop/store when he isn't there. He has a bit of a reputation.



That's interesting that you mention that about him . he must have a huge reputation . I was doing some other research on the brand and they definitely have a reputation of being very durable .
 
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1/15/2016 6:40 PM
 
41magfan wrote:
IMO, Climashield is the only serious use synthetic insulation available and Wiggy's process of laminating it maximizes Climashield’s potential effectiveness and the durability of Wiggy bags is well documented. Nobody in the industry will tell you to wash and compress their product at your leisure and then cover it under warranty if it loses loft. Nobody! That fact alone should get your attention.

If you do an unbiased side by side comparison with any other synthetic bag with a similar temp rating, you’ll find they aren’t significantly “heavy” or “bulky” when you compare specifications. It’s also worth noting that Wiggy’s temp ratings have a reputation for being accurate, not optimistic like most products on the market.

Having said that, I don't routinely use my Wiggy bag for my casual/benign activities because I'm a backpacker not a camper; weight and space are a premium in my pack. But, if I were doing limited mileage days or exposing myself to unsupported activities that could kill me if my gear failed, I'd carry a Wiggy bag without any thought or reservation.



I appreciate the opinion. I really do like the fact that they USA made . I do try to buy whenever possible products made here . which bag model do you have ? How small does it compress ?
 
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1/15/2016 6:40 PM
 
Anyone have anything on the exped synmat ?
 
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1/15/2016 7:59 PM
 
peppergat wrote:
41magfan wrote:
IMO, Climashield is the only serious use synthetic insulation available and Wiggy's process of laminating it maximizes Climashield’s potential effectiveness and the durability of Wiggy bags is well documented. Nobody in the industry will tell you to wash and compress their product at your leisure and then cover it under warranty if it loses loft. Nobody! That fact alone should get your attention.

If you do an unbiased side by side comparison with any other synthetic bag with a similar temp rating, you’ll find they aren’t significantly “heavy” or “bulky” when you compare specifications. It’s also worth noting that Wiggy’s temp ratings have a reputation for being accurate, not optimistic like most products on the market.

Having said that, I don't routinely use my Wiggy bag for my casual/benign activities because I'm a backpacker not a camper; weight and space are a premium in my pack. But, if I were doing limited mileage days or exposing myself to unsupported activities that could kill me if my gear failed, I'd carry a Wiggy bag without any thought or reservation.



I appreciate the opinion. I really do like the fact that they USA made . I do try to buy whenever possible products made here . which bag model do you have ? How small does it compress ?



I've owned two different Ultra Light 20 Degree bags. I bought the first one about 15 years ago, sold it, and recently repurchased another one. IIRC, I only paid about $20 more for the second than I did the first one.

The compression sack that comes with it is about 9 x 19, but I suspect it might compress a bit more with a good Granite Gear sack.



 
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1/16/2016 9:55 AM
 
I've owned several Wiggy's bags over the years. I would agree that as far as bags go, they are very stout. However, mine were all well over advertised weight and extremely bulky. I did not find them particularly warm, particularly given the weight and bulk. I think vacuum packed in a vehicle, they would make a good emergency sleeping bag, but I would never spend full price. I have one of his insulated ponchos for that purpose to bolster my serape or share. It was a gift, and purchased locally so inexpensive. According to my brother in law, the woman who works there is no peach either. I have dealt with his son (I think) years ago, and he was really nice.
 
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1/16/2016 12:41 PM
 
I always read the heated debates about wiggy's bags and got curious enough to dig around a little a few years ago. What I learned (all second hand mind you) can be summed up thus:

1) Lamilite is basically old polarguard. When the product became climasheild they let Wiggy use the new name but it is not the Climasheild Apex that other brands use.

2) Lamilite is less efficient then most synthetic insulations on the market. Most educated guesses I heard put the CLO at 0.6, compared with CS apex at 0.8 and PL gold at 0.9.

3) Lamilite maintains loft much better then other synthetics. In theory (I know, a dirty word) PL/CS will break down enough that they will be more or less comparable to lamilite, but whether this happens in 2 years or 20 probably varies widely between users.

4) the efficiency of lamilite is largely moot since it cannot be separated from the efficiency of Wiggy's bags. Very large sizes, lack of neck baffles and heavy shell fabrics mean that even if he was using the same insulation as everyone else the bags would still be heavy and bulky by comparison.

5) He definitely uses his own temp ratings and you can't compare them to other ratings from other companies. The only bag I found a firm number on was his 20*, which uses a whopping 12oz/yd^2 of lamilte. For comparison most DIY and cottage quilt makers seem to agree on 6oz of CS roughly equating to a 30* bag.

As for his reputation, as long as you have enough time to listen to a few rambling stories and you don't mention goretex or down you'll probably have a pleasant enough experience. But as CCH's BIL advised, don't talk to the lady behind the counter.
If I can find a cheap bag on the used market I'll probably grab one just to give it a fair shake and for vehicle/loaner use.

 
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1/16/2016 8:36 PM
 
I have purchased at least 5, and maybe 7, of his bags over the years. They are durable, bulky and heavy for their temperature rating. Two ride in my pickup's toolbox - a 0 degree Hunter model (temperature highly over rated), and a -20 deg wide mummy bag for emergency use. I also have one of his foam pads in the tool box that works fairly well. The other bags were either sold or returned to Wiggy for not being even close to the advertised temperature rating or loft. So if you need bomb proof (think military type usage) they could be a way to go. If you are going to backpack forget it - too heavy and bulky for the warmth provided. YMMV



Wiggy is a character. I had several "interesting" conversations with him, the best being about the real Jeremiah Johnson and the worst being telling him a couple of his bags did not cut it.
 
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1/18/2016 6:40 AM
 
I really appreciate all the information from everyone . I think I'm gonna look for something else . besides , I live in northeast Texas . we don't really have too much of a winter so I don't really have to have a bomb proof heavy bag .
 
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1/18/2016 11:10 AM
 
That Wiggy's Freedom Shelter should be in everybody's SHTF/truck kit.   I've spent a night or two in a Wiggy's bag.  My only complaint is the Army bought larges.  They do make them in various widths.  You stick men should lift more :)  They'll outlast that Army issue bag about 5 to1, IMO.
 
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1/18/2016 11:44 PM
 
I've been using an Exped Synmat UL7 for a couple years. It's been pretty nice. Usually just bring it for hunting though and use the REI version (REI Stratus). Don't know about the other versions though. I am 6' 205lbs, so I opted for the long/wide. Some people can deal with the 20" width and be fine, but my arms dangling lower than my body wasn't very comfortable for me, so the wide version it was :)
 
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1/19/2016 6:27 AM
 
chorpie wrote:
I've been using an Exped Synmat UL7 for a couple years. It's been pretty nice. Usually just bring it for hunting though and use the REI version (REI Stratus). Don't know about the other versions though. I am 6' 205lbs, so I opted for the long/wide. Some people can deal with the 20" width and be fine, but my arms dangling lower than my body wasn't very comfortable for me, so the wide version it was :)



Good deal. I think I'm gonna go with the wide one as well. Do the rei versions seem to hold up pretty well ?
 
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1/19/2016 3:05 PM
 
I have 35 deg and 20 deg bags from Wiggy's, both in a standard length, wide width. The 35 is my go to bag for packpacking in the warmer months. Sometimes I supplement it with a HPG serape. This bag compresses nicely for me.

The 20 deg bag is my cold weather bag. I usually use it in conjunction with a serape, or if it is really cold, I can use the 35 as an overbag.

I find the bags to be tough and aren't showing any wear with moderate use over the last few years. I sleep cold, so will use the two bags in conjunction with each other down into the teens. And since I am either truck bound, the size of the bags compressed isn't a problem.

I hope that helps.
 
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1/19/2016 6:15 PM
 
Just curious , both your bags are the same size ? I ask because he offers an overbag which I believe is a 35* bag and then the inner bag , for lack of a better word . I think he calls it a ftrss system . I'd have too look .
 
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1/20/2016 12:23 AM
 
peppergat wrote:
chorpie wrote:
I've been using an Exped Synmat UL7 for a couple years. It's been pretty nice. Usually just bring it for hunting though and use the REI version (REI Stratus). Don't know about the other versions though. I am 6' 205lbs, so I opted for the long/wide. Some people can deal with the 20" width and be fine, but my arms dangling lower than my body wasn't very comfortable for me, so the wide version it was :)



Good deal. I think I'm gonna go with the wide one as well. Do the rei versions seem to hold up pretty well ?

I feel much better about not ending up on the ground with the REI pad than I do with the Exped. That extra lightness and compactness comes at the cost of sort of having to baby it. I had one that got a pinhole somewhere, and replaced it, but have been using the REI pad since even though it's slightly larger (packed) and heavier. I also haven't had a chance to go hunting in the last year or so, so it hasn't come out for even that :)  

 
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1/20/2016 12:32 AM
 

Here's a size comparison with 32oz. and 40 oz. Nalgene bottles for size reference.

Something to note is that the Exped is packed as is from the factory (so, tighter roll), and the REI is packed by the last person I lent it to (who didn't really roll it very well)


 
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