Zombie Squad

Making Dead Things Deader Since 2003
It is currently Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:25 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:01 pm 
Offline
* * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 631
Sorry, no pictures yet

This in no way supercedes the excellent work done by all the other posters who have made comments. These are mine. I bring this subject up again because of some changes in the military. With the change to the ACU pattern, the old patterns are now obsolete, hence there will be a large influx of the old style bags on the market. Additionally, not everyone who posts here is ex military, so they might not be automatically familiar with the system.

Why I choose this:

My current sleeping bag is a rectangular CLOTH sleeping bag. (You, snickering in the back, pipe down!) So totally inadequate. Money, as always, is tight. But it’s my birthday, so I can justify what my wife considers a bit of extravagance.

My daughters and son both have…adequate bags, so that leaves my wife and me. As she has little interest in camping, my thoughts ran “I buy this one bag for the price of a commercial SINGLE bag, and I’ll have two sleeping bags and a goretex bivvy cover. Sweet!”

Additionally, last year, I bid on this bag several times…with the result that it bid out at $200+ dollars. Too high for my blood. But as noted, the price has dropped $50 or so on average (I bought mine for $149 new, no bids, plus shipping. The market is still adjusting, so shop around.)

I’ve had several posters and some others speak highly of the system (certainly it beats a cloth rectangle which folds slightly larger then a beer keg), so I bought it.

Three things gave me a sense of trepidation. Uncle Wiggy panned the bag, and I assume he wasn’t making it up from whole cloth. Two other phrases also bounced in my mind; “lowest bidder” and “government candor”… :shock:

First Impressions:

It came in a 12x12x18 inch box. Not a daintly lady, our MSS. But this is how it is shipped and stored militarily; the patrol bag holds the black bag, the bivvy cover and the stuff sack inside a plastic sealed bag. A quick check of tags shows that they are government illegible, with Tennier barely visible, so it’s the real deal. (A forgery would be much clearer :) )

The Patrol Bag:

It’s green, it’s thin, it’s roomy. I like a roomy bag, and the color is irrelevant. But there is not a lot of Fill inside this bag. Looking at it, I wouldn’t use it anywhere but backyard camping (which is where it will be tested tonight). It’s a right hand zip, some kind of nylon. There is a draft guard; a strip of nylon strap material with some nylon ticking with a little fill on the back. The zippers are heavy duty, with the little pull cords for easy handling (more on that later). The zipper opens from the top and the bottom, but the opening only goes about 2/3 of the way down (probably to keep the Marines from putting their bags together :lol: ). There is a velcro closure to keep the zipper from pulling open accidently (again to alert a Marine about possible amourous advances at night)

Along the length of the zipper, there are two parallel lines of snaps for nesting with the black bag and the bivvy cover. These snaps are female on the inside and male on the outside (which reminds me of some of our sheep posters) which makes it hard to snap the black bag. I used a coin to provide enough pressure with my girley hands.

There is a hood with a cord to pull it shut, but no draft collar on this bag. However, pretty much every bag I’ve seen seems kind of flimsy, so it needs testing. On it’s face, it seems like a 50 degree bag, which works in some the sandier climes our service men go, so I’ll refrain from too much disdain.

Ze Black:

This bag doesn’t look like it belongs at a little girl’s slumber party. It’s heavier with fill, has a nice box for the feet. The zipper and snap system is the same, but with the blank on the inside and the male part outside. It’s easier to snap. Again with the hood, but this seems to close slightly smaller. There is a joke of a draft collar. It covers half of the front panel. Better then nothing. It has a small draft tube like commericial models, but it’s half the size of something you’d find in North Face (this comes from the later having to make a bag someone would want, vs having a bag which you are forced to get.)

Sizewise, it was (unsurprisingly) tighter then the green bag. Slightly roomier then most commerical bags I’ve tried. Lengthwise, all three were more then large enough for my 6’2”. If I were seriously camping, I’d bring this bag and the bivvy.

Let’s get Bivvy!

It’s goretex. It’s a bag. It has snaps and a zipper. The top flap goes all the way up. That is to say, if you seal it up all the way, there is a portion over your face and you’ll look like a camo version of the pods in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. So, in your bag, closed all the way up, you don’t really need a tent. The “bottom” of the bag is sandy, so I suppose you could use it for camo purposes by flipping it over if you’re in benighted places like Afganistan or Texas…I would not suggest this, as the upside down flap will catch rain and send it right into your toasty goodness.

All three mated together, it’s a bit of a chore. Three zippers and the flap snaps of the bivvy to seal. This is where those cloth extentions on the zipper really come in their own. You need them unless you want to spend 10 minutes zipping and sealing the bag.

With all three mated together, one wonders if they NEED a draft collar! You have 4 pounds or so of fill and a draft and water tight goretex tube. I was quite warm when bundled inside. As I don’t own a walk in freezer, it will be some time before I can give you honest ratings for temperature, though I’ll try it in the back yard tonight. However the temperature will only fall to the high 50’s, which is winter in Florida, so Floridians take note.

Get Stuffed!

So, now that I finally have this ginormous thing put together, I look at the stuff sack. It’s regular nylon (someone much more campgeek then I am can tell you the denier) with the standard flap on top to keep out water. It also has a bunch of cinch straps (3) and compression straps (6).

I assumed that I’m a grunt in Afganistan, cold, tired and needing to move. So I roll the whole bag (still put together) into a somewhat cylindrical shape and start shoving it into the sack. Then I pretended to be a SMART grunt who knew enough to losen the cinch straps so that it could actually be PUT inside the sack. :oops:

With much huffing and puffing, I was able to get it all in and then I started cinching it down. I did not try to force it too much as a) it’s new, and b) because I wanted the horrid truth. Without working it for 5 minutes, I was able to get this thing small enough in diameter so that it will fit inside a 5 gallon bucket…and it might not poke ou t the top either. It’s a biggun! I can cinch it tighter, but understand it’s not a down bag. Also recall that most of today’s army is Mechanized Infantry…

The Bottom Line:

I expected both bags to be 3 season bags. This was an unreal expectation on my part. The patrol bag seems like a two season bag, Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and then Summer in the Southern one. The black bag seems like a pretty standard 20 or 30 degree bag, maybe a bit heavier then comperable commercial bags.

I don’t feel my money is wasted. With all the components, I am almost certain it’s a 4 season bag, at least in Ohio. This, unfortunately, leaves the wife out in the cold. Hmm. The Bivvy is a pricey item all by itself. Were I only buying for myself, I conflicted as to whether I’d have gone commerical. I’m reasonably happy with the bag, but I haven’t had to ruck it around along the AT, so I can’t say for certain. It’s rating…adequate as described. Don’t trust the -40 degree thing worth a lick, but I’m not mounting Everest.

If I was looking for a cheap and warm bag, I'd shop piecemeal and get the black bag and the bivvy. You can probably get both for around $80, which is better then closeout prices on most sleeping bags. The only problem is you probably won't find it new. It depends on what your "eew!" factor is.

If you have any questions, ask. I’ll ask Woods Walker and pretend to know the answer.

_________________
"You can be brilliant and still be ignorant of pertinent facts which can end up killing you"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:39 pm 
Offline
* * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 631
Update:

Tennier suggests that you only use the Patrol Bag zipper when the two are nested together, which makes sense insofar as AQ could kill a whole company of our soldiers with two teenagers and a bayonet before they could get out of their sleeping bags if they were all completely buttoned up .

Also, tomorrow will be a rainy day, so I'll try and get some seam sealer and give the bivvy a try. Whoopee!



I am so weird...

Additionally, with a second use, the Black Bag is tight for a straight out 6'2" person. The hood and the foot box both are touching, almost pressing. Most folks don't sleep like a plank, so bear that in mind. There is enough room to reach up and scratch your nose, something not universal in some bags.

_________________
"You can be brilliant and still be ignorant of pertinent facts which can end up killing you"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:00 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:24 pm
Posts: 1549
Location: Stacking mags on Candy Mountain
Nice write up JCD. I think the way you wrote this deserves it's own thread.

I think that for what it is and what it does $150 for a new MSS is a good price. I agree that the prices on these may drop with the introduction of the new system. I think that it is not the best set up for backpacking because of size and weight. The bivy for $40 and a good Northface or Mountain hardware bag would be better for backpacking. A warm cheap option is an old Extreme Cold Weather Mountain Bag and a bivy but it is not a good backpacking set up either. To sleep comfy warm below 10 deg one should consider wearing Poly P underwear or jacket and sweat pants with a beanie and wool socks or booties. I sleep in my jeans and socks with my fleece jacket, shamagh, beenie and flight gloves. I have slept this way down to about 0 with a 20mph constant wind. What the system does do is afford an amount of flexibility during the year from summer to winter and in-between. Because of that and the fact that it is rugged makes the MSS the one I use most.

After you have rolled and packed the MSS a few time it gets easier and quicker. So does using the compression straps. You may want to replace the draw string with para chord. Mine snapped.

When zipping up the bags I zip the bivy to about 8 inches from the top, the green bag to within 4 inches from the top and the black to my chin. This makes getting in and out easier and faster. Practicing a few 'panic exits' helps figure out the best way to do it for you. If you can open the bag enough to clear your shoulders you can slide your butt toward the top of the bag without much effort. You can get out of your bag quickly that way.

After I get up in the morning I turn the bag inside out to air it out and expose it to the sun (if you have sun). I let it air out for at least 10 minutes to help air and dry it out. A fleece or flannel liner would help extend the temp range and help keep the black back clean. If the packed MSS is going to be transported in the bed of a truck or the roof of a car I would invest the few dollars for a USGI water proof sleeping bag cover this protects the compression sack from dirt and the elements.

I do not keep my MSS stored at home in the compression sack. I keep it rolled up loose and stored in the garage in a large leaf bag. These are some of the things I've learned about my MSS.
HTH,
DK

_________________
"I don't wan't to be the ruler of this world... I want to be the ruler of another world."
"Well he should have armed himself...if he's gonna decorate his saloon with my friend."
"...And you can keep that silly fat wanker. The lads can't lift him."

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:09 am 
Offline
* * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 631
Thanks for the additional insight.

Post Sleep-Out Write Up.

We set up my Ozark Trails Tent (sigh...I have GOT to get some better gear. One piece at a time).

Thing 2 said she wanted to see the stars, so the rain fly was left off, making it slightly colder.

Thing 1 had his Alpine Design sleeping bag. Thing 2 had a 20 degree Coleman which has better features then my Patrol Outdoor Sleeper (or POS for short). Thing 3 had my big cloth monster. Everyone had a ground pad, either Ridgerest, Proline 3 or a Wallymat.

I had my POS. I was initially dressed in sweat pants, cotton socks, a t-shirt. Because of my doubts, I also brought

1. A sweat shirt

2. A jar of peanut butter

3. My bivvy bag.

Last night was dry clear and cool. The temperature fell to a low of 49 degrees F or, for benighted Brits, 9 C. Around 1 a.m. I was cold. I chowed down two spoons of PB and threw on a sweat shirt. At 2, I was still a bit chilly and threw the hood on.

From then on, I wasn't cold so much as uncomfortable. It seems my BOB needs a comfy pillow and earplugs.

I don't know where they get the idea that the POS is good to 30 degrees F (-1 C) unless one is fully dressed, with a hat and face mask and has fur.

The bivvy bag wasn't used because I was trying to test the POS all by itself.

_________________
"You can be brilliant and still be ignorant of pertinent facts which can end up killing you"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:10 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 1177
Damn 49 degrees and you were cold with the patrol bag and bivy?

I slept in mine down to 38 degrees wearing socks and drawers and was warm enough to sleep.

Here's the ratings for the MSS:
Sleeping Bag, Patrol (30 to 50 deg F), MSS Green NSN 8465-01-398-0685
Sleeping Bag, Intermediate (30 to -10 deg F), CW, MSS Black NSN 8465-01-398-0687
Compression Stuff Sack, Black NSN 8465-01-398-5428
Bivy Cover, Woodland Camo, Camo NSN 8465-01-416-8517

Theoretically, the whole shebang is supposed to provide for a minimum of 4 hours sleep at -40.

Usually in the army we just carried the patrol bag and bivy rolled up in our shelter half. The patrol and bivy roll up quite small, it's the intermediate that makes up the bulk. If it was a little chilly for the patrol/bivy combo, we'd use the shelter half as a blanket (I don't remember ever actually assembling it into a tent once I got out of training).

For really cold weather I love the intermediate bag's double thickness at the feet. Sleeping with the whole thing nested, I went down to 9 degrees and was plenty warm.

I'm a hot sleeper, but I seriously doubt the -40 thing, even for me. But for anything but true arctic conditions, I think the MSS is more than adequate. I've noticed that the MSS's bulk always attracts attention, but even bags like the snugpack rated to 0 or below, only compress to about the same size as the MSS. For a do-all, layered system, at the prices they go for, I'd call the MSS a best buy.

_________________
"No, they were not 'psychos', they were vampires. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don't give a #^@% how crazy they are."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:26 am 
Offline
*

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:43 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Alabama
I just bought my Army Woodland Bivy for $15 at a flee market. As I remember when I was training, the bivy was pretty much all that is needed in the summer months down south. I think it will meet my needs pretty well. I plan getting some type of fleece liner for the winter months. The guy also had the MSS stuff/compression sack, but I figured I could find one that is also water proof and possibly smaller for pretty cheap. I'm pressed for cash with a baby on the way, but still jump on good deals. :)

[EDIT]What did you use to seal your bivy? Can't be too waterproof.[/EDIT]


Last edited by Drew23 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:28 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:32 pm
Posts: 3165
Location: TheOmegaMan.org
Nice write up! I wish more people would do gear write ups like this. Dak my friend, I know you've got a lot more gear that you could do write ups on lol. JCD good job man! How did this perform compared to your other bags?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:27 pm 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:08 pm
Posts: 2639
Location: Check VA
Nice job


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:45 pm 
Offline
* * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 631
TFB,

Other bags? Do you mean the cloth beer keg? Thing 3, who got the beer keg, said she was warm all night, but that bag is 3 times thicker then the POS (Patrol Overnight Sleeper...or something ;))

JollyRoger,

No, just the Patrol bag. I had the Bivvy in the tent, but wanted to test is alone, sans bivvy. Again, when I threw on the hood and had a sweat shirt on, with the opening kind of gronked down, I warmed up...but I have serious doubts about the 30 degree thing. At that point, it was the neck kricks, the ground, the noises and probably the kicking of the Things which contributed to less then perfect nights sleep. Nature and I have a distant acquaintance...

As far as the other things, I haven't tested them yet. I want to put seam sealer on the bivvy before I try it in the rain. Biff has been a lesson... I expect that I'll get another 10 degrees if I used the bivvy with the POS.



My tent, which was left in the rain also needs replacing sealing. It leaks a little. But as Rumsfeld said, you use what you have, not what you want. The savings has begun.

_________________
"You can be brilliant and still be ignorant of pertinent facts which can end up killing you"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:49 pm 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:32 pm
Posts: 3165
Location: TheOmegaMan.org
JCD wrote:
TFB,

Other bags? Do you mean the cloth beer keg? Thing 3, who got the beer keg, said she was warm all night, but that bag is 3 times thicker then the POS (Patrol Overnight Sleeper...or something ;))


LOL No, I was talking about commercial bags, etc. I was wondering if they compared to some of the more commercial sleeping bags, if they were worth the price, etc.

Oh, and if someone can find the complete MSS in good condition without having to seal anything or sew anything - all that hooplah - for $150 or cheaper then buy it. Reason being is that a lot of surplus stores, at least that I've been to recently, are selling just that freakin bivvy for that price.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:13 pm 
Offline
* * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 631
This is my first, serious sleeping bag.

I've looked at a lot of others. As I will can not afford a down bag, this seemed to offer a lot of flexibility for a reasonable price.

_________________
"You can be brilliant and still be ignorant of pertinent facts which can end up killing you"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:42 pm 
Offline
ZS Moderator
ZS Moderator

Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 8022
Location: CT
I like the green patrol bag more than the black bag. Both bags and bivy tend to run larger than most standard civi gear. But the green bag is even larger and is often used to beef up other bags if not using the whole system. Also I never use any of the snaps. I have done 30s with the green bag/bivy combo but in no way question JCD’s experience with feeling cold at higher temps. For me the green bag works well for the warmer months and I enjoy the smaller pack down. True I have a total of 3 summer weight bags but find myself using the MSS patrol bag more when seasonally appropriate.

_________________
Image

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing"
"Do not mess with the forces of Nature, for thou art small and biodegradable!"

Best of Woods Walker's posts.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:27 pm 
Offline
* *
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:27 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Fort Bragg, NC
green inside the black.

sleep naked (or close to).

your body heat will warm it up.

also suggested to put whatever you're planning on wearing in the sleeping bag with you, so they're warm in the morning -- less of a shock when you put it on.

(memories of trying to find socks in the dark in basic training on an ftx)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:51 am 
Offline
* *

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:52 pm
Posts: 222
One thing to understand is that, 99% of the time, you're really not intended to use the thin or thick bag by themselves - they're meant to be covered with the bivvy cover, to protect the bag from wind, dirt, moisture, etc. The bivvy cover is waterproof/water resisitant, and made of a material that you can reall just brush dirt and shit off of, whereas the bags themselves will sponge up muddy water, wind will cut through them, and dirt will be a pain in the ass to get off.

It also makes it a few degrees warmer. Just my 2 cents.

_________________
Everything is funny. Just not everyone laughs.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:53 am 
Offline
* *
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:27 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Fort Bragg, NC
Pastryfish wrote:
One thing to understand is that, 99% of the time, you're really not intended to use the thin or thick bag by themselves - they're meant to be covered with the bivvy cover, to protect the bag from wind, dirt, moisture, etc. The bivvy cover is waterproof/water resisitant, and made of a material that you can reall just brush dirt and shit off of, whereas the bags themselves will sponge up muddy water, wind will cut through them, and dirt will be a pain in the ass to get off.

It also makes it a few degrees warmer. Just my 2 cents.


are you suggesting that people use equipment as it's intended?

novel!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:18 pm 
Offline
* *
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:21 am
Posts: 293
Location: PNW
In Fall/Winter, I use my MSS with a lightweight ThermArest pad inside.
U.S. poncho liner goes inside the Patrol bag.
The black bag and compression sack stay home unless it gets close to single digit temps.

This all rolls up light & tight. 6"x24" @ around 7lbs.
Underneath a U.S. poncho as a shelter, this is great stealthy setup.

_________________
END THE FED


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:09 pm 
Offline
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:08 pm
Posts: 802
Location: Southern NJ
Just got a surplus MSS for xmas and while I have not had a chance to field test it I am pleased so far. It is in great condition and other than some khaki spray paint on the compression sack. I plan to to test it out in a potential south jersey mock bug out. I am thinking of getting a poncho liner as some have mentioned to go along with it. I will post once I have had a chance to test it out.

_________________
Image

Swords of Legend my RPG gaming blog

My BOB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:20 am 
Offline
* * * * *
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:41 am
Posts: 1177
Also keep in mind the temp ratings are based on having certain pieces of thermal underwear on while sleeping. The -30 to -50 ratings are based on also wearing extreme cold weather gear, not just in the bag, and only supposes to give you 4 hours of sleep at that temp.

Remember where your body's heat sinks are: head, feet, crotch and hands. Wearing a wool cap and wool socks with probably give you another perceived 10-15 degrees of rating. Wear thermal gloves or mittens, maybe another 5 degrees. These are all things you should have anyway when out and about in the winter.

ETA: another thing I've notice about pack size, is the patrol bag can be compressed pretty small almost to the size of the same rating SnugPak. The bivy, however, all by its lonesome won't get much smaller than the compressed patrol bag. I actually find ti easier to pack the patrol bag and bivy separately in my small daypack than to try and get them in there together.

As another poster mentioned, in the summer, in the south, the bivy sack in itself is enough shelter.

_________________
"No, they were not 'psychos', they were vampires. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don't give a #^@% how crazy they are."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:16 pm 
Offline
* *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:21 pm
Posts: 242
Yeah, the bivvy cover is the absolute best part of that system. Consider it the "base", everything else builds on it. Also, if you have a choice between the woodland and the ACU versions, pick the woodland. For some reason it seemed WAY warmer than the ACU one I deployed with last year.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:27 pm 
Offline
*
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:10 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Here and There
I used these in the Marines. With all three, having stripped down to my PT's I was more than comfortable in ~15 F weather. Fully buttoned up, I even slept through a sleet storm at one point, though not exactly super comfy. I will give you the weight and size, but for the price and utility, I say you can't beat them.

_________________
"The mind of the warrior, in the end, becomes nothing more than seeing things as they truly are and realizing the beauty in that simplicity." - Musashi

" Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back. " - Malcolm Reynolds

"I think it's definitely bad form to get killed for lack of shooting back." - tilt


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:33 pm 
Offline
* * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 631
A small update.

Today is 4 degrees F. FOUR! So, my curiosity bump was engaged on how good my MSS worked at such temperatures. I was only able to test it for a quarter of an hour, but plan a longer test "soonish".

I put the entire thing together, bivvy, patrol bag, and black bag. Taking the hint from Red Cell, I put my regular sized Thermolite pad (orange) inside the bivvy. +1 on the suggestion.

So, going into my unattached, unheated garage, I put the weighty shebang on the floor, and stayed dressed in jeans, cotton socks, and columbia shirt. I also put on a thinsulate lined hat.

(As a suggestion to all who disdain any kind of ground mat, try to stand on concrete at 4 degrees in cotton socks. Then try to stand on a mat. It might convince you.)

Now, at 6'2", I am too long for the black bag. My head is pressed against the top of the bag. I have to sleep on my side with knees bent.

The rather large opening in the black bag is not ameanable to closing easily. The total of 3 zippers was a bit problematic to close. And it seems I'll have to pack a pillow of some sort. I found the bivvy top closed clasutrophobic (but didn't feel like that laying on my side. People are weird)

That said, I was surprisingly warm, and I hadn't even zipped the bivvy. These are picky details which need resolving, not deal breakers.. My one caveat on the pad inside is to note that the bivvy is longer then the pad, so make sure you are centered on the pad. My toes hung over the edge.

More later.

_________________
"You can be brilliant and still be ignorant of pertinent facts which can end up killing you"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:14 am 
Offline
* * *
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:57 am
Posts: 631
Winter Wonderland

So, it was put up or shut up time for the MSS. With the sudden cold snap in Ohio, it seems a perfect time to test the system in duress, certainly worse then anything most folks would face.

As noted before, I had the entire sleep system put together, bivvy, green and black bags, with my orange thermorest inside the bivvy. However, the temperature was hovering around 0 degrees F, so I took some added precautions.

1. I put my POD on top of two, side by side Wally Mats to provide added insulation from the ground. I did NOT want to roll off of the mats onto the concrete.

2. In addition to the clothes described above, I also wore an additional pair of wool socks, a sweat shirt and a fleece hood. I am claustrophobic and felt this was a way to sleep without using the bag’s hood too much.

3. I packed a small pillow, a headlamp, and two handwarmers. The last were for an emergency.

When I embarked on this test, it was -2 degrees F at a little before midnight. The temperature dropped to -10 degrees F! The various zippers and drawstrings involved were, frankly, a drag. Added to my claustrophobia, and a good portion of the night was involved in finding a comfortable mean. My solution? Keep your eyes closed. The body doesn’t worry about eyes being closed.

Major difficulties: The opening in the black bag is big. So big that squeezing it tight was difficult…not that I tried too hard. I just flipped it over my head and burrowed my face deeper into the bag itself. This lead to my head being colder then the rest of my body, but not uncomfortably so too often

This bugger is WARM. For most of the night, I did not use the black bag hood, or only a little. While occasionally, the skin around my eyes felt the cold (and it was a biting cold. I eventually flipped the hat down over my eyes) my body for the most part felt very comfortable temperature wise. When I “broke seal” on the sleeping bags, I was shocked at how cold it was outside. Dragging my jacket in when I woke up was like pulling in a bag of ice.

So, how did I sleep? Poorly. I am not used to mummy bags, nor sleeping on air mattresses. So, I tossed and turned a lot. However, I DID experience two straight hours of sleep almost immediately (I checked my watch), and had at least two full dream sequences during the night. As my normal sleep sequence is 12:00 to 6:30, when I checked my watch at 5:18, I was ready to call it a night. Every layer contributed to a better nights’ sleep. This was a problem with sleeping bags in general, and would have occurred even if it was summertime.

I am a cold sleeper, and this thing works down to -10 degrees F. It’s big and unwieldy, but it will keep you alive in extreme conditions (or at least as extreme as I want to face).

_________________
"You can be brilliant and still be ignorant of pertinent facts which can end up killing you"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:31 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:20 pm
Posts: 1956
Location: Vermont Mountains
I wonder and will have to try it out when i get my bags next week (already got the bivy) with the ecwcs thermals and what if one adds the polartech fleece to the mix. I bet we could add another 10 degrees of comfort possibly.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:32 pm 
Offline
*
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:10 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Here and There
I tried mine out as well this Friday night. It was ~8 F. Which almost never happens here in TN, so I thought I would try it out. It's been a couple of years since I used mine. The last time I was a Marine. I know for a fact that I've used it in colder temps. then I experienced Friday, but I think being a civilian has wussed me out some. I slept in my boxers, tshirt, and socks, and used both bags and the bivy. I slept on a military issue iso mat with no tent. I used my USMC issue fleece for a pillow, just like I did on active duty.

It was warm enough. I'm not talking warm, like I'm sleeping under my down comforter with the heat turned up, but warm enough to sleep for 8 hours with only one interruption to pee. (which sucked hardcore, BTW)

As I've stated before, it's not intended to keep you warm, but it will keep you safe and allow you to sleep. Plus, it's about as warm as my brother's The North Face -40 degree Dark Star (which I borrowed Saturday night), doesn't cost 300 bucks, and is waterproof (mostly, and only assuming you use all three bags, which is what the MSS's rating assumes, as well).

_________________
"The mind of the warrior, in the end, becomes nothing more than seeing things as they truly are and realizing the beauty in that simplicity." - Musashi

" Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back. " - Malcolm Reynolds

"I think it's definitely bad form to get killed for lack of shooting back." - tilt


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: psbot [Picsearch] and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group