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Old 09-14-2019, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Astronomy View Post
Over a pound lighter than the Military MSS bivy, another decent breathable model is this one:
I have the same strategy, but went to the lightest quality bivvy I could find:

The Ptarmigan bivvy works well, it may not seem as robust as the MSS Gore-Tex bivvy, but it's proven more than tough enough and the weight savings are worth it. I always pair it up a good ground pad and tarp, so it's a moot point anyways. Simply an excellent bivvy at 6.4oz.

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Old 09-14-2019, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by recklessdriver View Post
You will need to flip it every 4 to 6 hours in extreme cold as it the padding gets crushed.
Thats why the Army has switched to Thermarest sleep mats over the foam. They dont crush over time and are less bulky.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:40 PM
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Ultralight quilts. If you're planning a get-home bag or whichever bag you are thinking about, think about getting ultralight gear when you can. It's a little more pricey, but I think about it this way. If I can save 5 to 10 pounds of weight in sleeping gear, tent, cooking stove/pots, etc... that's 5 to 10 pounds more for food, ammo, first aid.

Instead of sleep systems, think layering. merino wool long-johns, socks, balaclava, etc.,
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:07 PM
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Made in America by guys who’ve spent a lifetime learning how to stay warm in harsh climates!

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Old 09-14-2019, 09:52 PM
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just saying again the MSS is fairly good, currently using it, been using it for years and years.. the bags are prone to ripping, so the bivy is useful.. the bivy tends to keep more moisture on the interior while the bags absorb and dry moisture. The bivy is like gortex or nylon /cordura etc.. properitry material that is harder to puncture... if you are just throwing down chances of a stick tear are way less if your bags are in the bivy.

Not sure if a water resistant spray would be useful (currently experimenting with boot/footwear sprays on other fabrics), otherwise plan for a tarp also as the bivy is only water resistant not waterproof .. poncho or tarp/ground cover or building a ground pad are luxury additions.

The mss is pretty good to roll out in most conditions but in swamp/river or heavy rain it is not perfect and you will need to build cover (easy if there are conifirs or you can strip bark for roofing.

With a decent sized tarp things are good. The standards light and heavy bag are good for msot weather conditions. however I found that in actual winter conditions below freezing sleeping with a wool sweater, and the extreme cold weather permaloft and a pair or two of wool socks made it so you didn't wake up at 2 am.

Currently experimenting, but I have really good options at the moment, with lots of extra cover.. a good tarp wrapped around the kit gives it way more water protection and keeps even more heat in.

definately recommend something like it if you don't.

A family member prefers light weight hiking waterproof bag --- .. so there ar single bag waterproof options that cost more... you will pay a bit more but it is a much lighter system.

The other thing you want to add to the MSS is bug netting if you are in an area with bugs... especially if you have a light source you are using. phone/computer, flashlight etc..

its good enough for most conditins but I would go two of the black bags if you are in cold weather rather than the gree and black. Throw a tarp or waterproof poncho in... a waterproof bag cover, full cover interior, plus a strap on/elastic... can be used to add water protection to the bivy... .

if you are in a jam filling the bivy with extra grass or conifir branches adds more insulation..

a fleece blanket inside the interior bag makes it even more comforable.. if you don't have ground cover if you can find soggy logg, softwoods/birch etc... you can create a corky ground pad.

shelter building 101.. having a few thick logs to build a breakwall adds more wind reistance, much the sam eas a bunch of conifir branches.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:56 AM
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Years ago I used military feather bags. I found the canvas covers at thrift stores, washed them and sprayed them well with silicon spray. With a good set of long underware, I have slept in the open in really cold weather. You know it is cold when there is frost on your sleeping bag. The key is to do your research and get a good bag. As said above, I like thrift stores for good bags. We all look for different things. I remember my daughter telling the clerk in REI that they didn't have any camping equiment.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post

Made in America by guys who’ve spent a lifetime learning how to stay warm in harsh climates!

I was looking at wiggy the other day. Also your not the first one to mention them. They're are right in my price range. Which mostly I'll buy. My problem with the mss is the weight really.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post

Made in America by guys who’ve spent a lifetime learning how to stay warm in harsh climates!

I bought several Wiggy bags, and I lived out of one for 8 weeks when I was building my shop on the ranch (first building).

Wiggy uses a continuous batting style of synthetic insulation they call Laminite. It behaves much like old style Polarguard, meaning it retains loft when wet, and is incredibly durable. They claim you can leave a Wiggy bag stuffed long term (I dont). That is much different than other synthetic insulation fills that stuff easily, but loose loft quickly if left compressed.

Wiggies makes a very cold weather bag called the Antarctic, and I would expect problems stuffing that one into the bag compartment of an internal frame pack. Buddy of mine owns it and uses it for late season hunting trips, but he only carries it 20 ft from the truck.

Wiggy also makes their version of the MSS system. I like their FTRSS Overbag very much and highly recomend it. Their core bag comes in various fill wts and sizes to fit large/tall persons. But if you live in a very cold area, I suggest pairing a Wiggy overbag with a high quality down core bag.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:46 AM
DaveBarrows DaveBarrows is offline
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I get so many wonderful recommendations from here I will look into each bag and will pick the right for me.
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharkbait View Post
Good, light, cheap.

Pick 2
This ^. You may be able to have your cake and eat it too if you shop places like:

Sierra Trading Post -
Steep-n-Cheap -
REI sales

You might be able to pick up a decent North Face or other brand name at a decent discount. If you are planning to do any serious backpacking, you will want lightweight. I have the MSS Bivy and it is neither lightweight, nor compact. It all depends on what you plan to do.
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:57 PM
animalspooker animalspooker is offline
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I say hammock and down quilt!
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