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Thread: Wet Wiggys

  1. #21
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    Wiggy is full of it. He makes up product claims and inserts smart-sounding words to make it sound like his product are amazing but considering the materials he uses (then claims not to use), he just makes an average synthetic bag and probably just rates them more conservatively than everyone else

  2. #22
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Which, if memory serves, the very experienced hiker Cannibal, on his AT hike, got his synthetic Yeti wet more than once. What about that, Cannibal? But it was not a serious problem, because, well- Climashield!
    Ha! I wasn't so experienced at the time, but I was on the accelerated Hikers Masters Degree program offered by the Appalachian Trail.

    It got a wee bit damp once, and flat-out soaked on another occasion. The drenching was during my first week on the Trail and there was literally a couple of inches of standing water inside of my hammock. The UQ was acting like a waterproof bowl and allowed the hammock to catch water. I dumped the pond out of the hammock and went to work with my camp towel. Temps were hovering right around freezing, a bit warmer. I managed to get the hammock body dry(ish) and got in for the night. I will never say I was warm that night because I was far from it. However, I was able to eventually generate enough heat to fall asleep and stay asleep. Course, when I woke the next morning I realized I had left my boots out away from my tarp. They got rained on all evening then froze for the morning. Suffice to say, I wasn't a happy Cannibal that morning. Learning is sometimes painful.

    That quilt had the odds stacked against it that night. While it didn't keep me "warm", it did keep me warm enough while my boots were busy freezing solid. I learned a hard lesson that night, but I learned it very, very well. Had I been using down at the time, I probably would have had to hike through the night.
    Trust nobody!

  3. #23
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Great thread, peeps!
    Dave

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  4. #24
    Senior Member Slo's Avatar
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    I hear you on the being anal about keeping down dry. However, I can vouch for the DRW coating on HG's quilts at least. Used in a soaking fog under a leaking tarp. So long as there's no spot for the water to collect it does a pretty outstanding job of shedding water.

    5 in the morning when I woke up and realized the tarp had been leaking and was now resting directly on me. Thought for sure, since that was night one, that I was screwed for the rest of my trip. Was not the case. Now I'm not advocating getting your down wet. But you have to know the limits of your gear, including it's moisture tolerances.

    Now, I'll probably end up with a synth underquilt eventually. Especially for the summer months when I'm likely to see rain. I'm not an advocate for one or the other, but Bilbo has it right, you need the right tool for the job.

    Guess my point was the relationship between down and water isn't quilt like Superman and Kryptonite if you have a weather resistant treatment on your quilts.
    "I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"

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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strung out View Post
    great to see some experimentation in this area.

    A major point I would like to make is that the guy used a -20F rated bag at a temp of +38F.

    I would like to see this type of thing done where the bag is rated near the temp that it is tested at.
    Well at -20F one isn't going to get rain for precipitation, it would be snow. Even if he used the +40F bag, the point of the experiment was to test the claim of Wiggys bags being able to keep you warm even if it was soaked. Clearly that is the case.

    Cheers

    Brian

  6. #26
    Kia Kaha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo View Post
    I hear you on the being anal about keeping down dry. However, I can vouch for the DRW coating on HG's quilts at least. Used in a soaking fog under a leaking tarp. So long as there's no spot for the water to collect it does a pretty outstanding job of shedding water.

    5 in the morning when I woke up and realized the tarp had been leaking and was now resting directly on me. Thought for sure, since that was night one, that I was screwed for the rest of my trip. Was not the case. Now I'm not advocating getting your down wet. But you have to know the limits of your gear, including it's moisture tolerances.

    Now, I'll probably end up with a synth underquilt eventually. Especially for the summer months when I'm likely to see rain. I'm not an advocate for one or the other, but Bilbo has it right, you need the right tool for the job.

    Guess my point was the relationship between down and water isn't quilt like Superman and Kryptonite if you have a weather resistant treatment on your quilts.
    My gore-WM lynx sleeping bag was similar, I only used it in very low temps were rain would not be an issue, but I am sure it would work about the same in shedding water.

    I am all for everyone going with what works best for them, I just do not agree with the logic of using synthetic over down based on wether one is wet or not, the answer to me seems to be keep it dry. I think everyone with extensive experience in the backcountry has had a wet or damp bag, wether it is from rain, condensation, or stream crossing gone wrong. These experiences teach us how to better use and handle our equipment.

    I have down and synthetic both get damp on me from condensation or a leak, the outcome was no different, the damp spots were cold in both. I am much more careful now based on where i am hiking, if I may get extensive rain or the pobability of a wet bag is increased, I use a dry bag and then put it into a 5 mil contractor bag. When dealing with condensation, I use a vapor barrior or hang the bag in the sun in the am.

    Anyway good inmormative topic here.

  7. #27
    Kia Kaha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I agree that it is wrong. I don't think there is anything about hydrophobic insulation that will keep vapor or wicked moisture from freezing once it reaches outer layers that are cold enough. I have woke up after sleeping under the stars, in enough ice covered Polarguard bags, to know this for a fact. However, there is also nothing to keep it from freezing in the outer layers of a down bag. The synthetic bag won't loose any loft from this and won't when the ice melts and will dry way, way quicker.



    You are welcome, glad you found it interesting!



    You are singing my song! I have found VBs useful since the early 80s. In recent years, mainly under me in my HHSS or PeaPod. After a week in damp cold weather, zero loft lost in my PeaPod. My PeaPod and down/ non-VB using friend was not so lucky, on 2 different trips. But I have new VB clothing I am dieing to use if we would ever get any cold weather.



    I have slept the night through in a wet synthetic bag with wet clothes, as I said in my above post. It was pretty unpleasant until body heat dried everything out, but I'm pretty sure a wet down bag and clothes would have been much worse, and might not have dried much at all during the night. (never had this misfortune with down, so can't say for sure NOLS would not allow down on their trips back then, at least not my instructors) Plus, I have tested my very light PG jacket by soaking it and going for a ~ 1.5 mile hike in the rain/sleet and wind. Stayed warm the entire hike and was bone dry by the end of the hike. I have not tried that with down but somebody should test it. Plus see the video in the OP.
    Another time the foot of my PG bag and foot end of my HH OCF HHSS pad were SOAKED from condensation. I mean dripping water! I never even knew they were wet, feet and all else stayed totally warm. I ran into the water when I got out of the bottom entry next morning. It was time to get going. Stuffed them both in my pack wet, no drying out, hiked all day, both were dry when I set up that afternoon. If my down UQ or Golight UL 20 TQ had been that soaked, would I have stayed as warm and would they have been bone dry with full loft after a wet day in my pack? Maybe, but I don't think so. But who knows?

    I love my down stuff, and usually choose it for hammock hanging, but I don't think it can really compete with Polarguard if getting wet ( from rai/snow or condensation/sweat) is a serious threat. Wet PG s*cks, wet down can be life threatening. It is better in every other way, but worse in that one way. But if you can either guarantee keeping it dry, or are able to bail if it hits the fan, no reason not to always use down.



    Amen, Bro! And I swing both ways when it comes to down vs synthetic. I have lots of both. Like my Climashield Yeti- whoohoo! Which, if memory serves, the very experienced hiker Cannibal, on his AT hike, got his synthetic Yeti wet more than once. What about that, Cannibal? But it was not a serious problem, because, well- Climashield!


    That is really not a terrible weight for a minus 60 bag, heavy duty Wiggy's bag or not!
    I tend to think (but don't know) a down bag would not have done as well, based on my friend's daily decreasing loft problem when he was neither getting wet from rain or snow or getting in his bag wet. Even when we could keep our bags dry in our WP stuff sacks which, after 3 weeks were proving not all that WP, keeping ourselves dry (sweat plus rain/snow) was a different matter. Getting in the bag wet happened more than once for all of us. One day, a young lady on the NOLS course- during that summer snow storm- slipped on a hill on the snow/ice, and slid a few feet down into a drainage. On her back with a pack way to heavy for her(climbing ropes, ice axes, helmets etc). Until we could get to her, she was like an upside down turtle. On her back- pack and sleeping bag under her- in ~6" water and could not get up. ( I guess at some point she would have unstrapped her belt/shoulder straps, but we got to her and pulled her up 1st, but I think she was kind of having a good cry) She was a wet one, as the snow kept blowing. I think she was better off to be fully covered in fleece with a PG bag(even if wet) to get into after she pitched camp in the blowing snow that night.

    I didn't really intend to start a synthetic vs down debate, though that's fine if folks want to debate that. For me it's just a matter of the right tool for the job, which is not always the same tool. ( 90% for me is down, even more so if extreme cold is more likely than extreme wet, particularly with VB ). My main question was: is Wiggy's really any better than other synthetics? And this impressive video had me wondering this again. (also remember: Wiggy's bags are not only heavy due to synthetics, but also due to heavy duty construction)

    But, have Y'all ever thought of this: how much extra trouble and gear weight do you have just trying to guarantee that your down stays dry? Dry bags and stuff sack liners and bigger tarps and such? I just don't worry about that sort of thing near as much with my Climashield UQ or Polarguard bag, though I do take reasonable care to keep them dry. Point? Just that all of that might slightly reduce the weight advantage of down, though not so much the volume advantage.
    I think we have all had similar experiences to yours in terms of a wet or damp night at some point, especially when you are spending significant time in the outdoors. We all kind of deal with it and learn hopefully, it certainly sounds like you did. I guess I just used those experiences I have had to figure out better ways for me to keep my down bags dry rather than turn to a synthetic option. I am not a gram weenie (at least not anymore) but where I can get a warmer bag for 1/3 less weight that is the route for me, and the compressablity on top of it as well.

    A dry bag and compactor bag weighs in at less than 3 oz, there is not a synthetic bag out there than can touch a WM bag in terms of weight to warmth and comressability. The last synthetic bag I had was about 10 years ago, it was a NF cat's meow, it was 2# 10oz, my WM Alpinlite is 1#14 oz, 12 oz and the WM bag is a good 15-20 degrees warmer for me.

    I agree with you about the d vs s debate, but it has been around a long time and will not go anywhere anytime soon I doubt.

    As far as the original topic, I do not buy Wiggy's claims in regards to his insulation, he is using the same stuff that's been around years, are his bags warm and bombproof, I do not know, but in terms of insulation, It is the same stuff others use, his bags weigh a lot, which tells me more insulation=greater weight=more warm.

    Anyway great topic, the most important thing is to get out there and get the dirty!

  8. #28

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    Smile My Dog seems to like Wiggys!

    I got my Wiggy Antarctic with extra outer bag.

    The real reason I ordered Wiggy's bag was the Baby bunting bag Wiggy's is making. The idea is to use down WB Black Mamba TQ and WB Yeti in my canoe or pulk trips in semi cold season and put the (sometimes wet and dirty) dog in Baby bunting to protect my down insulation. It likes to lie on top of my feets in hammock.

    I just "inserted" the dog in bunting and put the combo on our sofa. It stayed there about 30 min and seemed to enjoy itself. Seems a great product.



    I will post some information about Antarctic at some point. Season is the best possible, weather forecast promised <-20 C to the end of the week, but I'm very busy.

    One fact for You all though. Antarctic is a very big bag, about 50 liters in its compression sack with outer bag (It came with two compression bags, one XL and the other XXXL), usable only with pulk, canoe or other similar or bigger vehicle.

    Quality and ruggedness is TOP notch! And as someone said this always makes weight go up, so remember that when comparing against UL down gear.

    I have not ever found a warm synthetic bag which is good for semi cold (from +5 to -10 C degrees) usage (when in fear of true cold weather under -15 C degrees). It is always the same story: First too warm and then at about four a clock it gets cold when the condensation starts to have an effect. I think down is better because it lets the early night vapor go through better, so in semi cold season there is no worry if one has bit too much insulation. I hope Wiggy's will solve this problem.
    Last edited by voivalin; 01-25-2012 at 02:57.

  9. #29
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Ha! I wasn't so experienced at the time, but I was on the accelerated Hikers Masters Degree program offered by the Appalachian Trail.

    It got a wee bit damp once, and flat-out soaked on another occasion. The drenching was during my first week on the Trail and there was literally a couple of inches of standing water inside of my hammock. The UQ was acting like a waterproof bowl and allowed the hammock to catch water. I dumped the pond out of the hammock and went to work with my camp towel. Temps were hovering right around freezing, a bit warmer. I managed to get the hammock body dry(ish) and got in for the night. I will never say I was warm that night because I was far from it. However, I was able to eventually generate enough heat to fall asleep and stay asleep. Course, when I woke the next morning I realized I had left my boots out away from my tarp. They got rained on all evening then froze for the morning. Suffice to say, I wasn't a happy Cannibal that morning. Learning is sometimes painful.

    That quilt had the odds stacked against it that night. While it didn't keep me "warm", it did keep me warm enough while my boots were busy freezing solid. I learned a hard lesson that night, but I learned it very, very well. Had I been using down at the time, I probably would have had to hike through the night.
    That is a hoot about the boots! Sorry to be laughing bout your misery! Glad you were only a bit cold and not dangerously hypothermic, though!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strung out View Post
    great to see some experimentation in this area.

    A major point I would like to make is that the guy used a -20F rated bag at a temp of +38F.

    I would like to see this type of thing done where the bag is rated near the temp that it is tested at.
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    Well at -20F one isn't going to get rain for precipitation, it would be snow. Even if he used the +40F bag, the point of the experiment was to test the claim of Wiggys bags being able to keep you warm even if it was soaked. Clearly that is the case.

    Cheers

    Brian
    I was thinking the exact same thing. Using a minus 20 bag at +38 when he got in the bag. And maybe by morning it was a bit cooler. Probably was as it had cleared a lot, but he did not say.

    But still, I think even a minus 20 down bag soaked inside and out in the rain for 4 hours would have still proved to be a disaster, unless a DWR or WPB shell managed to keep the water out. IOW, not really soaked. Plus it would have never dried out during the night.

    I think if he had used say a +20bag, he would not have been proclaiming warmth so quick, instead after a while he would have been just OK and safe, at least until the bag and his boxers mostly dried out. Then he would have been toasty.

    On that NOLS course so many years ago, the instructors referred to the "clothes drier effect" of the synthetic bags we used. IOW, it was routine to just go to sleep in wet clothes or even in a wet or damp bag, with the full expectation that after a few hours every thing would be dry. This was day after day for 30 days straight, though the weather was often good. But lots of sweat was routine. It was just more or less assumed that no matter how we tried, we would often be wet from the days activities.

    OK, it's been a few weeks since I posted this picture so time to do so again!

    A typical 24*F June 27 Morning after, just outside the tarp trying to catch some rays:


    That is a ~ 35 year old me on the right(63 now), and my old bud Mike, one of my ~ 20 year old tarp mates on the left. Look at all of that Old school wool he is wearing! This was after going to bed quite wet the night before. Taking the picture is my bud Jim from Chicago, the one who on the same night had the snow loaded tree limb bust through his tarp. Thankfully stopping inches from his face, only dumping a big load of snow on him, and not worse. After a period of shocked silence from all tarp mates, Jim was finally heard to say: "Well, live and learn", which caused much laughter from the tarpmates. I'm not sure exactly what he learned!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-24-2012 at 15:01.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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