View Full Version : Need help finding an ultra-compressible synthetic sleeping bag.

ZS Gunny
02-11-2006, 02:33 PM

I'm in the market for a 20 degree or warmer synthetic sleeping bag that compresses enough to fit into my EMR's sleeping bag compartment.

Price really isn't an option at this point as my google-fu has turned up one dry hole after another. Thanks in advance for your help everyone.

02-11-2006, 02:40 PM
Try snugpakusa.com

The SnugPak bags festure high compressability and come in a variety of weights. Don't have any myself, but others seem to like them.

The Slumberjack Thermolight bags (campmor.com) are also compact.

02-11-2006, 02:54 PM
How quickly do you need it? Word around the campfire is that Patrick is working on something. Last I heard they were aiming for this summer.

ZS Gunny
02-11-2006, 03:12 PM
Ideally I'd like to get one ASAP but if I can get a nod from Patrick that he's working on one that fits the bill I'll hold out.

Thanks for the help thus far fellas. I own a Slumberjack Paradox Denali -25 bag but it's entirely too big to put into my EMR.

02-11-2006, 10:43 PM
Snugpak Merlin 3 packs up about the same size as a USGI poncho liner and is plenty warm for 20 deg+. Retails for about $150 from what I have seen. Got mine from the PX for about $145. I haven't used it much but I love the size and it's been very comfortable so far. I use it on a cot here in A-stan and for awhile it was cold enough that I could see my breath when I get up in the morning (inside a hooch, heaters don't work) and I was still comfortable in the Merlin.

I roll with an EMR as well, and I can put the Merlin, a pair of boots, a black issue fleece jacket in a large pullout, and a pair of shower shoes in the sleeping bag compartment with room to spare. I think I have a pair of tennis shoes in there too.

Mind's eye
02-12-2006, 05:15 AM

Could I just hijack and ask what shower shoes are please? I've seen them mentioned a few times and am rather interested.

02-12-2006, 06:16 AM
Flip flops, right?

Nathan C
02-12-2006, 06:43 AM
Us joe's(And I'm sure other branches) call them shower shoes cause from basic through your whole career you take them everywhere beause of unsanitary shower floors. When I came home on R&R I forgot to take mine off the first time :p They also are more comfortable to roam around in when you've been in boots all day. In the field they're the first thing I put on. In the box if I wasn't wearing boots I wore them, never know what diseases are around there.

I use the Addidas Addisage's, but any kind of light sandal, flip flop will do.

ZS Gunny
02-12-2006, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm looking at Snugpak's Tactical 3 bag. Packs up to the size of a soccer ball and is rated to around 15 deg F. The cost is around $200 in total.


Mind's eye
02-12-2006, 10:38 AM
Ah gotcha. Yeah it's standard practise to carry those sorta deals when hiking to let your feet breath /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif


Just a word of caution - Snugpak ratings are a little 'generous' to put it mildly. I'm a very warm sleeper so I've never had a problem with them, but I know a few squaddy lads have taken a Softie 3 out and frozen there bollocks off due to the generous claims, using them in early winter here.

I think I've heard the softie 3 described as an advanced poncho liner in the past /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Don't get me wrong, they're good kit certainly, but if you're a cold sleeper be wary of the ratings /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

02-12-2006, 10:44 AM
I'll second what Minds Eye said about over generous temp ratings. 20 degrees in a Merlin would be way too cold for me. For me it's a realistic 40-45 tops. YMMV.

Nathan C
02-12-2006, 11:00 AM
If I remember right they state in very small print that ratings are assumed the person is wearing warm clothes, which of course most of us try to get out of at night. I think that has a huge factor in ratings. If I wear my sweater, gatorneck and beenie, I'll be warm almost no matter the bag. Without all that I like both green and black bags(MSS) for anything 50 and below. Which of course means I'm sucking when it starts getting into teens.

02-12-2006, 12:53 PM
I haven't checked around for the best prices, but for those eligible to shop at aafes.com, they have a link to Brigade Quartermasters that may save you some money. Log into aafes.com with your SSN and birthday, then go here: http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.e...priorcase=main. (http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/emilitary/results.tam?xax=17425&nextrow=11&maxhits=10&qrymar k1%2Enew=2262&qrymark2%2Enew=0&priorcase=main.) They have a decent selection of bags, including Snugpaks.

ZS Gunny
02-12-2006, 01:46 PM
I'm having poor luck locating the bag I want online anywhere. Do any of you fellas know of an online store that carries Snugpak's Tactical 2, 3 and 4 series? Brigade carries them but for about $80 bucks more than they should go for.

02-12-2006, 02:22 PM

US Cavalry Store has a good price on the Merlin compared to what I've seen elsewhere. They carry the Tactical series, but I dont know the MSRP on those bags.

<a href="http://www.uscav.com" target="_blank">http://www.uscav.com (http://www.uscav.com)</a>

ZS Gunny
02-12-2006, 05:55 PM

Thanks for the link. <a href="http://www.botac.com" target="_blank">http://www.botac.com (http://www.botac.com)</a> has them for about 20% cheaper with free shipping. Does anyone have any experience with this company?

02-12-2006, 06:05 PM

Botach has spotty customer service.

From what I've experienced(admittedly through a friend), call them and make sure the item you want is in stock. If it is, you should be safe ordering from them. If it's not in stock, you may never see it if its back ordered. But they do have good prices on most items.

02-12-2006, 10:44 PM
you may want to check out carinthia. eagle industries is a re-seller of theirs so you can check out the gear at their website. they also supply the civilian industry as well as many european militaries. from what i have read they are of high quality, along with snugpak.

02-13-2006, 01:42 AM
Be VERY leary of Botac. Some horrible stories about them.

Mine wasnt that bad but def try someone else if you can.

02-13-2006, 06:02 AM
On Botac...

Always call to check stock availability and order status constantly. I have had bad luck with them in the past.

That said, they have some good prices, and are still my main source for BDU's and batteries.

Flesh Thorn
02-13-2006, 06:52 AM
I tried to call Botach and couldn't ever get anyone. Email exchange was a little slow and I still don't know if they canceled my order.

ZS Gunny
02-13-2006, 07:40 AM

I actually just called them and got right through. Their prices are roughly 30% cheaper than I've seen anywhere else.

I'll be weary though and I appreciate the comments. If you guys are looking for excellent customer service, try <a href="http://www.campmor.com" target="_blank">http://www.campmor.com (http://www.campmor.com)</a> I've been picking the brain of a CS manager for a few days now. Their CS is (IMO) #2 right behind Kifaru's.

Flesh Thorn
02-13-2006, 07:48 AM
ZS Gunny, Keep us updated on what you find. I have looked a Campmore a few times. My biggest problem with civilian gear is the lack of earth tone(tactical)colors. I wouldn't buy red and purple bed sheets for use on my bed at home nor am I going to sleep in a red and purple bag out in the woods.

02-15-2006, 01:36 AM
I don't find the SnuPak termeratues rating overly generous.

I have a Softie 12 (Osprey??) that is10 or more years old and has had reasonable use and a little abuse. It's been machine washed a couple of times a year.

I'm warm sleeper and am always stinking hot in it - I normally use it like a quilt, and if used in bag mode always have the foot open and often the top.

Temperatures rarely get much less than 0C here but even on the coldest night in that bag I've been very warm.

And it is still going strong after 10 or more years.

If I wasn't a tight ass, I'd buy a new lighter one with a lower raing.

ZS Gunny
02-15-2006, 11:22 AM
Thanks for the stuff thus far guys. I'm still looking at <a href="http://www.botac.com" target="_blank">http://www.botac.com (http://www.botac.com)</a> (free shipping and they're a full $60 bucks cheaper than the others I've seen) though I'm weary as I've heard a few terrible things about their CS.

Flesh: These bags come in green and black, IMO that's pretty tactical. Hell the bag I'm looking at is called 'tactical black 3' for petes sake.

02-15-2006, 11:37 AM
I work for a company that has HORRIBLE cusomter service.

My advice, when you call, make sure they have it in stock. Not "it's coming in tomorrow", not "these ship directly from the manufacturer", IN STOCK. Ask them when it will leave their location and when it will arrive to you. They should know within a matter of 2 or 3 days.

If anything is fishy, bail.

02-15-2006, 01:14 PM
Snugpak also has a new softie elite model in varying temp ratings. It comes standard with the expanda panel.


ZS Gunny
02-16-2006, 07:22 PM

Wilco champ. I mentioned I was a First Responder for the ARC and they knocked 5% off of my order.

On a different tact: they're selling Omni-Glow light sticks for roughly $1.10 ea. They sold them to me for $1.00 ea, not bad at all.

Flesh Thorn
02-17-2006, 08:26 AM
I ordered a Slumberjack Delta bag http://www.slumberjack.com/product.asp?p...IFD9BGDSH679XYA (http://www.slumberjack.com/product.asp?product_id=K9XH45NDR7CCDNTCEZ68YPC6NS&amp; category_id=UG8BGW3ZXTFIFD9BGDSH679XYA)
It appears to be similar to the MSS patrol bag. The 7" X 7" compression size and 2 lbs 11 oz weight caught my attention. I'll let you all know how it works for me. I decided against a Snugpak for several reasons. Mostly because I wasn't sure if a Snugpak would fit my over-feed American build.

ZS Gunny
02-17-2006, 08:52 AM
Keep in mind that slumberjack is made entirely in China. Additionally if you should happen to burn a few small holes in your bag (doh) they won't fix it.

Flesh Thorn
02-17-2006, 09:02 AM
They state that the MSS and VCSS are Made in USA not China. Maybe they mean the Made in USA tag is Made in the USA. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

I called them and the military bags( MSS and VCSS) are made in Glasgow, MO USA.

ZS Gunny
02-17-2006, 01:25 PM
Hrm I spoke with Mrs. Brenda George who noted, "All of our bags are made in China, and I don't think they do repairs there even if you wanted to pay for shipping"

The mystery deepens :p

02-17-2006, 02:08 PM
ZS, I spent quite a bit of time talking to the Slumberjack guys at the SHOT Show, and the MSS and VCSS are made in the US, so as to be Berry Amendment compliant for government sales. If you just call up Slumberjack and start asking questions, you probably will not be talking to anyone from the military side, but instead from the civie/greenie side /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif .


ZS Gunny
02-19-2006, 04:30 PM

Thanks for the info here, I was wondering about the validity of my 'Made in the USA' tag on my sleeping bag.

What's up with their 'no repair ever' mantra? I just put in an order for a Snugpak, but when Kifaru comes out with theirs, I'll be buying one of your cold weather bags simply because the customer service is second to none.

Are we still looking for Summer of 06?