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#127536 - 03/17/08 03:54 AM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: jaywalke]
JerryFountain Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida
jawalke,

You have to be kidding me! "most long-distance hikers. Those are pretty much the only folks in modern society who spend months outdoors and cover thousands of miles without a vehicle."

Sorry, but there are LOTS of others, even if they do use a vehicle when they get the chance. I bought my Wiggy's bag(s) after a weekend with two Marines - who brought their Wiggy's bags even though both had more expensive down bags at home. Several collegues have used them in the Antarctic (and no, they did not carry them). Some of us do not have the ability to baby our gear the way a down bag needs it -- especially a super light one. I had a Holubar down bag (700 fill) that I got in the 60's. It was great in the Rockies where I could keep it dry and was a little lighter than the synthetic bags and would pack much smaller. No net baffles, super lite fabric, etc. It lasted about 30 years. In SE Alaska, I quickly got a synthetic bag. I have seen several of the new, high quality, super light down bags die within a year of hard use. The down is great, but the fabric must be taken care of.

Wiggy's is a good bag IMHO, if you are not fixated on a super light pack and are in wet weather much of the time. In the Rockies and having the time to care for a down bag (and the money to buy them repetedly if you use the light ones hard) they are great.

Respectfully,

Jerry

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#127541 - 03/17/08 11:08 AM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: JerryFountain]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Sleeping system components are tools. Different users like different tools. All users can explain and justify their tool choices, otherwise they would choose different tools.

Few users have the resources or inclination to conduct scientifically valid tests before or after they choose a given tool. Each of our experiences, observations, and those anecdotally related by others about sleep system components almost certainly do not amount to statistically valid data.

So what! We choose based on imperfect information because that is usually the practical, if not only, choice that we have to navigate the world. We do the best we can, like checking out our experience with others we believe we can trust to be reasonably honest – even folks on the ETS forum!

Wiggy’s or not Wiggy’s, that’s the question? The answer is clear: sometimes for some people.

For a largely fair weather distance-per-day-critical Appalachian Trail trip with an every-ounce-is-critical group a Wiggy’s bag makes little sense. For a largely foul weather distance-is-handled-by-vehicle trip, or other situations where wear-and-tear, not carrying, is most relevant [ like when you are at your survival retreat], a Wiggy’s bag makes more sense.

Is a Wiggy’s bag the best in the world for some conditions? As always, it depends upon who you ask and what the criteria is for judging “best”.

Let’s just enjoy the discussion.

For what it’s worth, my car kit includes a Wiggy’s bag. My bugout bag does not usually include a sleeping bag; only heat sheets and bivys. My recreational pack includes a down bag for fair weather and, yep, a Wiggy’s for foul. If I find and can afford something better, I’ll use it. – and I’m guessing you will., too!

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#127580 - 03/17/08 05:29 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: JerryFountain]
jaywalke Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 172
Loc: Appalachian mountains
Originally Posted By: JerryFountain
jaywalke,

You have to be kidding me! "most long-distance hikers. Those are pretty much the only folks in modern society who spend months outdoors and cover thousands of miles without a vehicle."

Sorry, but there are LOTS of others, even if they do use a vehicle when they get the chance.


Jerry:

That last phrase of yours sort of negates the argument. If they use vehicles, they aren't the people I'm talking about. Vehicles (even sleds and canoes) make packweight a lesser or a moot point. Who are these lots of others who travel thousands of miles on foot, carrying everything? I honestly tried to think of some, but all the outdoor jobs I can come up with are based, at least, around vehicular travel: timber cruisers, surveyors, etc., even if that vehicluar travel is one big load-in/out to and from a base camp. Even some hunting trips are done with pack animals.

So, who carries all their gear every day and goes border-to-border (CDT, PCT). Illegal aliens? Homeless people? :-]




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#127585 - 03/17/08 06:14 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: clearwater]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: clearwater
By the end of the summer with daily use and monthly laundering they had lost roughly 1/3 of their loft and students were getting cold at below freezing temps.

That's actually what worries me. I've read a lot of posts on various forums that say Wiggy's bags don't stand up all that well over time in terms of loft. There seems to be two schools of thought about Wiggy's bags:
1. Love 'em
2. Hate 'em
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#127588 - 03/17/08 06:25 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
With a good down bag I would expect the lifetime to be 2-3 times longer than even the very best synthetic bags.

That's the conventional wisdom. Like I posted earlier, my dad's old circa 1960 Tempco Quilters down bag is still a good warm bag. It's patched, and the little cloth tabs around where you could snap in a hood or something are in some cases, completely worn through, but the loft is still pretty darn good.

Jerry Wigutou of Wiggys says that Lamelite really holds up well, but on the other hand there are a lot of posts to the contrary out on the 'net -- but there are also a lot of posts of extremely satisfied long term users of Wiggys bags. What's a poor boy to do? confused smile
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#127590 - 03/17/08 06:28 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Glock-A-Roo
Oh wait, I'm responding to a Luddite post on the Internet. How ironic: using perhaps the finest example of modern technology to rail against... modern technology.

Lol!
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#127592 - 03/17/08 06:42 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: Hikin_Jim]
Greg_Sackett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 225
Loc: KC, MO
Jim,

My wife and I both have Wiggy's 0-degree bags (4 lbs). She got her's last year, and I have had mine for a couple years now. I haven't used it enough to confidently give you a good evaluation, but so far we are both pleased with our bags. We also have the baby-bunting for our 6 month old who will be trying it out this year.

I am wondering what kind of pad you use under your down bags? Do you use a 2" pad? Less? More? How much does it weigh? I have slept with a 3/4" Thermarest with no temperature issues, and I tend to get cold when I sleep. I'm sure I could sleep with no pad at all if I was really weight concerned. We also have some lighter North Face bags that pack smaller but we always seem to get cold in them.

My biggest issue with them is that they don't pack small enough to fit in a typical internal frame pack. I just use a smaller pack and strap it on the bottom, but it's less than ideal. I haven't experienced any loft loss issues, and I keep mine compressed (because the manual says you can). I haven't washed mine 100 times yet though either. The bags have a lifetime warranty though so if you have a problem just send it back.

It seems to me, if you are happy with your down bags (and you seem to be), why are you even looking at Wiggy's bags? They aren't for everyone purposes.

Greg



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#127593 - 03/17/08 06:52 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: jaywalke]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: jaywalke
I can't answer your questions, because his attitude turned me off long ago. The laddy doth protest too much, methinks.

Yeah, his attitude does scare me a bit. I hesitate to buy because I've heard he really lashes out at anyone who has an experience different that what he portrays on his website.

Originally Posted By: jaywalke
I've made my own views clear on here. To be honest I do own two fiber bags, but I see their use as very limited. I'll take a fiber bag kayaking/canoeing on short trips, or backpacking in the rainiest weeks of spring in the Smokies, when it comes down like it's getting paid. That's about it.

That's why I have been looking into something like wiggy's. It also seems that his vacuum packed bags really work as advertised, they would be an excellent option for my winter car survival kit.

Originally Posted By: jaywalke
I don't want to hijack the thread, either, but weight of pack is a real survival issue.

Absolutely, and I think that's a point that is often missed. Having all the best equipment doesn't necessarily make one better off. Weight leads to tired. Tired can lead to mistakes, injuries, and accidents. Also, if because your slowed by excess weight you don't make it out of an exposed high altitude area to your more sheltered camp area before dark, again you can be put into a dangerous situation; I know this one from first hand experience. The trick is to find that happy medium between well equipped and over burdened vs. under equppied and foolishly going unprepared.

Originally Posted By: jaywalke
I think that if Wiggy's really was the best, their bags would be carried by most long-distance hikers.
There's a funny divide in the outdoors world. If you look at a Cabela's catalog vs. an REI catalog you'll see the difference. Hunters and the like appear to want more durable, heavier gear and don't seem to be quite as concerned with bulk. Hikers, Backpackers, and the like want compact, light weight gear and are willing to take a hit on durability to get it. Maybe that's because the Cabela's types use more vehicles and base camps? Also, I would think that the hunting crowd would be travelling fewer actual miles on foot and doing more beating through brush and other hard uses than the hiking crowd. The hikers on the other hand carry everything on their backs the whole time and want to make miles to be able to get to good water sources and good campsites while still being able to enjoy the walk. Nothing spoils a good hike like a miserably heavy backpack. That's kind of the divide I see in the outdoors world. One set is probably attracted to Wiggys and the other set has never even heard of them.
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#127596 - 03/17/08 07:08 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: dweste]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: dweste
Sleeping system components are tools. Different users like different tools. All users can explain and justify their tool choices, otherwise they would choose different tools.

Few users have the resources or inclination to conduct scientifically valid tests before or after they choose a given tool. Each of our experiences, observations, and those anecdotally related by others about sleep system components almost certainly do not amount to statistically valid data.

So what! We choose based on imperfect information because that is usually the practical, if not only, choice that we have to navigate the world. We do the best we can, like checking out our experience with others we believe we can trust to be reasonably honest – even folks on the ETS forum!

Wiggy’s or not Wiggy’s, that’s the question? The answer is clear: sometimes for some people.

For a largely fair weather distance-per-day-critical Appalachian Trail trip with an every-ounce-is-critical group a Wiggy’s bag makes little sense. For a largely foul weather distance-is-handled-by-vehicle trip, or other situations where wear-and-tear, not carrying, is most relevant [ like when you are at your survival retreat], a Wiggy’s bag makes more sense.

Is a Wiggy’s bag the best in the world for some conditions? As always, it depends upon who you ask and what the criteria is for judging “best”.

Let’s just enjoy the discussion.

For what it’s worth, my car kit includes a Wiggy’s bag. My bugout bag does not usually include a sleeping bag; only heat sheets and bivys. My recreational pack includes a down bag for fair weather and, yep, a Wiggy’s for foul. If I find and can afford something better, I’ll use it. – and I’m guessing you will., too!


Thank you! That is the best, most sensible "tie it all together and make sense out of it" statement that I've seen about the down vs. synthetic debate that I've ever seen. To Wiggy's or not to Wiggy's? Tell me the scenario, and then I'll answer.

Synthetics in hard use or foul weather scenarios make all the sense in the world. I've kept my old 1970's Alpine Products Polarguard bag, dirty and de-lofted as it is, just to have a "beater bag" that I can use as a loaner or do whatever without having to baby it or worry about it getting abused or stolen. It's original -15F rating is probably now about a +45F rating, but for a sleep over for the nephews or summer use it's great.
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#127602 - 03/17/08 07:57 PM Re: So, is Wiggy's just plain "wiggy?" [Re: Greg_Sackett]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Greg_Sackett
I am wondering what kind of pad you use under your down bags? Do you use a 2" pad? Less? More? How much does it weigh? I have slept with a 3/4" Thermarest with no temperature issues, and I tend to get cold when I sleep.

Greg, I'm a side sleeper, so I like to have a fair amount of padding. I normally sleep with a Thermarest Prolite 4 because it's a little thicker (1.5" thick). I bet most people would be just fine with a Prolite 3 (1.0" thick). In the winter when I'm snow camping I put a Ridgerest (0.625" thick, also made by Thermarest) underneath my Prolite 4 for a total of 2.125" of insulation. Very warm, and very comfortable. Dad used to sleep with just the short Ridgerest. If I'm hammock camping, I'll normally just use a short Ridgerest.

Weights
Prolite 4 Regular - 24 ounces
Prolite 4 Short - 17 ounces
Prolite 3 Regular - 20 ounces
Prolite 3 Short - 13 ounces
Ridgerest Regular - 14 ounces
Ridgerest Short - 9 ounces



Originally Posted By: Greg_Sackett
My biggest issue with them is that they don't pack small enough to fit in a typical internal frame pack. I just use a smaller pack and strap it on the bottom, but it's less than ideal.

That's why I traded in my old synthetic bag for a down bag. When they started coming out with the way more comfortable (IMHO) internal frame packs, I switched to down so I could pack it inside the pack instead of having it flopping below the back which is uncomfortable in my experience.

Originally Posted By: Greg_Sackett
It seems to me, if you are happy with your down bags (and you seem to be), why are you even looking at Wiggy's bags? They aren't for everyone purposes.

A good point, actually. I'm looking at them for wet weather use. I think they'd be good for someplace like the Olympic National Forest in Washington. I could also use them here in the mountains of California in spring when everything is slushy. They'd also be great in inclement wx.

Having now "done my homework" both here on this forum and on other websites and forums, I'm pretty much concluding that Wiggy's bags are probably not the best choice for my immediate needs but I'd seriously consider them in extreme cold wx situations where weight and bulk weren't a big issues.
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