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Thread: Wet Wiggys

  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Wet Wiggys

    A while back I tested some of my Polarguard clothing, actually a Bozeman Mountain Works (BPL) ~ 13 oz hooded WPB jacket. I think the test was something like soaking the jacket with a few cups of water in the sink, squeezing out and wearing on a ~ 1-2 mile hike in light rain/snow/wind. I thought the results were quite good to excellent, and the garment was bone dry inside at the end of the hike, and warm enough. I think I did this a couple of different times.

    The subject of Wiggy's comes up every now and then. Awfully heavy stuff compared to what is usually used by folks at HF. The one thing I have never been able to figure out is exactly how Wiggy's is different than other PG clothing/bags. I know he uses the Lamilite, which if I understand is simply Polarguard type insulation glued to the shell rather than sewn or quilted. I think he was just using PG and I know he is now using Climashield. For which it is claimed that NO quilting or gluing is needed, so I'm wondering: is Wiggy still doing the Lamilite thing? And how could Lamilite or any other method of stabilizing insulation make Wiggy's stuff out perform the exact same insulation material to the degree he claims it does? And to the degree some people in his testimonals seem to think it does? ( there is a current thread here about Climashield, which has a link to Whiteblaze, which has a guy ranting about Wiggy's superiority to all other PG or CS- which got me looking into this again)

    Any way, here is a really wild video on the subject where some one took the testing I did with my clothes to the next level and then some:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD3wA5Wrcmc


    Actually, I don't know how I got on that Whiteblaze thread, but here it is:
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...d-vs.-Lamilite

    Notice the comments of Lukebaugh. To wit: all other synthetic bags- cept Wiggys- are junk. Actually, this might be Wiggy posting!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-19-2012 at 16:06.
    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

  2. #2
    Senior Member Slo's Avatar
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    that's unreal.. I've heard of the lore of Wiggy's as well and have seen some crazy demo vids.. but this one was by far the best. Think they can make a quilt set?
    "I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"

    - George Strait

  3. #3
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    The guy in the video with the wiggy's bag is a buddy of mine. He certainly is not afraid to test out product claims and post it to youtube.

    As for what is lamilite, this right off the wiggy's website about us page.

    Our exclusive processing of the fiberfill laminates the nylon. The Lamilite is an unbounded, silicone-coated continuous filament fiber. This is inside and cannot be seen. The silicone coating gives the fiber two very desirable properties. The first is “antistatic” which allows the fibers to perpetually repel each other regardless of how tightly the fibers are packed against each other (such as compacting in a stuff sack). The loft always returns after removing our sleeping bag from the stuff sack.

    (snip)

    The second benefit of the silicone treatment is in making the fiber HYDROPHOBIC. Hydrophobic comes from the word “hydrophobia,” or fear of water. Water simply does not attach itself to the fiber. This is extremely important for the moisture leaving your body, passing through the spaces between the yarns and easily moving through the fiber. Also, it is extremely important for the moisture not to condense in the insulation. If this occurs when temperatures are below freezing, frost buildup can severely reduce the thickness of your insulation, as occurs with down, or the moisture simply freezes as in any other sleeping bag and adds weight.
    Cheers

    Brian

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    The guy in the video with the wiggy's bag is a buddy of mine. He certainly is not afraid to test out product claims and post it to youtube. ........................
    Wow! What are the odds?

    As for what is lamilite, this right off the wiggy's website about us page.

    Quote:
    Our exclusive processing of the fiberfill laminates the nylon. The Lamilite is an unbounded, silicone-coated continuous filament fiber. This is inside and cannot be seen. The silicone coating gives the fiber two very desirable properties. The first is “antistatic” which allows the fibers to perpetually repel each other regardless of how tightly the fibers are packed against each other (such as compacting in a stuff sack). The loft always returns after removing our sleeping bag from the stuff sack.

    (snip)

    The second benefit of the silicone treatment is in making the fiber HYDROPHOBIC. Hydrophobic comes from the word “hydrophobia,” or fear of water. Water simply does not attach itself to the fiber. This is extremely important for the moisture leaving your body, passing through the spaces between the yarns and easily moving through the fiber. Also, it is extremely important for the moisture not to condense in the insulation. If this occurs when temperatures are below freezing, frost buildup can severely reduce the thickness of your insulation, as occurs with down, or the moisture simply freezes as in any other sleeping bag and adds weight.
    Right, but except for the lamination- or gluing to the shell of the Climashield(elsewhere he says it is CS)- and Climashield is not even supposed to need that- but how other than the means of attaching to the shell is it any different than any other Climashield or Polarguard? All CS is silcone coated. IOW, what is it about a Wiggy's that makes them so much better in water than a North face Climashield or Polarguard bag? ( as I already said, my own wet testing of Polarguard clothing showed it to be excellent when wet. Especially compared to my jeans which I got wet while soaking the Polarguard!)

    And what makes Lamilite (laminated Climashield) so much more durable than any other Climashield or Polarguard? Supposedly holding it's loft for years after great compression? BTW, In years past, I tried to get answers about this- just curious like the gear fiend I am- from Wiggy. But that did not go at all well. What a story that is!

    PS:
    Wow! At last here is a thread that answers most of my questions about the difference in Polarguard ( and now Climashield) and Lamilite:
    http://www.kifaruforums.net/archive/...hp/t-4236.html
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-19-2012 at 21:35.
    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

  5. #5
    turnerminator's Avatar
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    I hadn't even hear of Wiggy's before this thread.

    A few days of reading up on them and then reading all the threads on them, including the very enlightening Kifaru thread , has resulted in me ordering a Thule bag off them for a trip to the arctic in a months time.

    I'm looking forward to finding out myself just how good they are.

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerminator View Post
    I hadn't even hear of Wiggy's before this thread.

    A few days of reading up on them and then reading all the threads on them, including the very enlightening Kifaru thread , has resulted in me ordering a Thule bag off them for a trip to the arctic in a months time.

    I'm looking forward to finding out myself just how good they are.
    I look forward to getting a report from you. Particularly a long term report about performance (warmth, warmth when wet or damp) and durability/loft retention. Especially if that can be compared to your or your friends non-Wiggy Polarguard or Climashield bags.

    I have never figured out how Wiggy manages to do what he says he does with what starts with simply Polarguard and now Climashield. It took me a long time to find out that is the base material he starts with. Even talking directly to him did not give me satisfactory answers, and in fact that ended up becoming a very unpleasant experience. But though I never quite figured out how he does it, the testimonials from many users of his product seem to indicate he does have something very beneficial in his manufacturing process. What he calls the "Lamilite". Which is simply Polarguard/Lamlite that he does something special with, apparently.
    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

  7. #7
    Kia Kaha's Avatar
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    Wiggy Bags was a very hot topic some time ago on the Backpacker forums (and other places)

    http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin...91101925;st=60

    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.

  8. #8
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kia Kaha View Post
    Wiggy Bags was a very hot topic some time ago on the Backpacker forums (and other places)

    http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin...91101925;st=60

    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.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 01-23-2012 at 20:36.
    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

  9. #9
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    There must be better measurements of vapor retention out there.Plenty of folks have slept in the cold, and plenty of military units have had an interest in keeping units effective.

    Wiggy's pretending that vapor doesn't turn to frost, because they make the insulation "hydrophobic" isn't just silly. It is wrong.....as in "not true."

  10. #10
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Thanks, BillyBob58. That was an eye-opener.


    To be honest, there are three reasons that I use synthetic insulation over down:

    1.) I'm not a very experienced backcountry camper. I feel that I have a good handle on the basics, but I'd much rather have something that will work despite my potential screw-ups. I know how to build a survival fire, but I've never had a chance to attempt it in 33* sleet, so I'm not completely sure that I can under circumstances like that. Synthetics give me a bit of a safety net under those circumstances.

    2.) Cost. Plainly put, synthetics are cheaper than down items, on the whole.

    3.) Age and general fitness. I'm under thirty and in decent shape; a pound's difference in the pack isn't going to kill me over the distances I like to hike.

    All of that being said, down is a much more efficient insulation under most backpacking circumstances. It just isn't something I'm going to be using in the near future.

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