Wiggys bags have a reputation online as being heavy, but tough, comfort rated, incredibly durable, and the ability to keep you warm when wet. The owner comes off as a bit of a blowhard, just check out his blog sometime. But there is a certain endearing quality as well. He’s been screaming into the void about his patented Lamilite insulation for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid living in Alaska his bags always got mentioned as being some of the best and most affordable options out there. There must be something to Lamilite and Wiggys bags that has earned it such a following.
Reading online, the always studious folks at Backpacking Lite were able to offer some insight, and background on the material as seen here. Also this:
With that in mind I ordered a Wiggys bag in November of 2020. I ordered their “Ultra Light” 20F ACU bag with the regular mummy foot. It cost me $150 shipped to my door. I got it with a compression sack and kept it in the back of my car as an emergency bag for roughly 10 months before moving the bag, still in the stuff sack, to my basement. Could I keep it compressed down tight for over a year and still stay warm? That would be the test.
At 5+ pounds for a 20F bag this thing is definitely not lightweight by any means. Here is what it looks like size wise.
Just for comparisons sake, here is my custom 20F Warbonnet Diamondback topquilt with an extra 3 ounces of overstuff in it.
And here are the two side by side. The Warbonnet is longer but MUCH more compressible. I’d need a hydraulic press to get the Wiggys bag stuffed any further.
Here is what the Warbonnet looks like all lofted up. I know not very scientific but the best I could manage with my time constraints.
Here is the Wiggys bag immediately after opening out of the compression sack.
And here it is an hour later. Hard to tell, measurements arent exactly precise but it did seem to gain about an inch of loft to my eyes.
So overnight temps in my area were supposed to be in the mid-20s. I thought that was about perfect for a test. I setup my Eureka Timberline SQ2 and my normal winter ground setup. That is a Thermarest Zlite foam pad under my Exped Downmat 7. That pad combo has easily taken me down to -20F so it was plenty of insulation.
My thermometer reported much higher temps. Possibly due to the little micro-climate inside of the tent. This temperature reading was captured around 3AM.
So what were my conclusions from this test? Did the bag stored compressed live up to its epic durability claims?
In a word. NO.
Overall I was impressed that it performed as well as it did. I sleep warm normally. I can routinely sleep comfortably 5F degrees or so below a bags temp ratings. That was not the case with the Wiggys bag. But that had more to do with the design of the bag then it did with the materials used in its construction.
First the positives. I felt no cold spots along the beefy zipper, and you’d be hard pressed to snag that zipper as big as it is. At $150 for a US made bag shipped to your door the price is pretty great as well. This is definitely a better bag then you’d get off the shelf at a Wal-Mart or Target for sure. The stitching is great and it seems well put together. Despite it being stored as long as it was I didnt really feel any thin spots or lumpy hard areas that would indicate a shift in the insulation, it was uniform throughout.
Now for the negatives. The biggest one in my mind is the lack of a draft collar. This was a mummy bag with a hood to go over your head. Unfortunately the way this bag is shaped that head hole is the biggest I’ve seen in any sleeping bag. Even cinched down as tight as you can you have a huge drafty hole for cold air to come in. The owner has some long tirade of a post on his blog about why he doesn’t include one. To each their own, but I’d never have another bag without one.
The second obvious negative is the weight of this bag. Its heavy as hell by backpacking standards. Weighing as much as my two man REI tent. When compressed it acts like a giant cement cinder block in your pack. You will not be shaping it around other gear in the bottom of your bag. If weight is not a concern then fine, but its a huge negative for backpacking.
Finally, I found the mummy shape of this bag to be oddly constrictive. I’ve slept in plenty of mummy bags before. I had a North Face Cats Meow 20F for 10+ years that was cut in a different way that I found to be more comfortable. This is just a personal preference but worth pointing out.
With all that said I’m on the fence as to if I should keep the bag or not. When cinched down I think it’d make a “better than nothing” survival bag to keep stowed away in a vehicle in winter. Beyond that I personally dont have much use for it.