Originally Posted by Kia Kaha
Wiggy Bags was a very hot topic some time ago on the Backpacker forums (and other places)
Seems people either love the guy or hate him. I have never used any of the bags, just find it interesting the emotion that people had when discussing the product. From what I have read the application of the bags are best suited for car camping and SAR. I have yet to see th bag that will outperform down in terms of warmth to weight, and were weight is concerned, backpacking in particular, I do not see a reason to consider synthetics. The better when wet is usually the argument you hear for synthetics, IMO if you can't keep a bag dry, you have no business being in the backcountry. Anyway, interesting topic.
I'll have a look at that thread at backpacker.com. But I have mixed feelings about keeping down dry. ( EDIT: I meant to say mixed feelings about the ease of keeping down dry. I have no mixed feelings about the desirability of keeping it dry) So far I have always managed to do so no problem. Even easier now that I don't sleep on the ground. But s*it happens. I've seen it happen to some very skilled, experienced and careful backpackers. On a NOLS trip many years ago, after we already had 3 weeks straight in the WY deep wilderness under our belts, a big blowing snowstorm came up on June 27. Thing is, we did not sit those things out, we moved, as weather could be bad every day and we were supposed to cover X miles. But my bag- in a supposed WP sack, was wet. As were my clothes I had hiked in all day. As were most folks. I was grateful all was synthetic. And my buddy - in another 3 man tarp- got a big load of snow dumped in his face about 0200 when a tree branch snapped from the snow or wind and ripped a big hole in his tarp. He was already damp before that, and now he had a snow covered sleeping bag and a big hole in his tarp during a wet snowstorm.
Another friend of mine has- on 2 different week long trips, had the loft in his down bag or PeaPod decrease significantly. Even though nothing got wet from rain or snow. I guess it was all just condensation. Or maybe sweat though he was not aware of over heating. And there was really no sun for drying on those trips. Lots of fog and drizzle. My loft was well maintained, I don't know what the difference was. (EDIT: well, I know what the dif was on one of those trips: I had a HHSS with OCF (synthetic) pad and Polarguard bag- no sign of moisture problems)
So dampness was a problem in all the above cases, but I feel like we had some business being in the back country. I'm not sure most other people could have kept any drier.