Army ECW Bags

Discussion in 'Equipment & Survival Kits' started by sailaway, May 19, 2009.

  1. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    I have spent a small fortune on Western Mountaineering sleeping bags. I have heard that the Army ECW bag is 4 bags in one that you add or take away from depending on the climate that you will be in. Is this So?
     
  2. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

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    It is a 4 piece modular system designed for extreme cold weather. I think Tennier Industries is one of the mil-contractors for this bag.

    I prefer the Snugpak Special Forces 2 bag. It is lightweight and rated to 10 degrees F which is more than sufficient in my neck of the woods.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2009

  3. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    Is the Snugpak SF comfortable?
     
  4. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

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    I don't travel so my wife and I have MEC -20 C bags if things get really bad in winter. In Toronto the temperature in an unheated room wouldn't go below -20 C. That's about -4 F. Make sure you read the temperature specs. Our MEC bags are rated to -20 if properly fitted and if the user is wearing no clothes. With clothing we're good to -30 C.
     
  5. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

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    I think the Snugpak is comfortable to me....what works for me might not work for others. I grew up in a family that took the idea of "roughing it" to the extreme. You are sacrificing some comfort for weight.

    Wanna add some cushion.......lay it on top a bed of leaves, a ground pad, or something that has some give to it.
     
  6. U.S. Cavalry

    U.S. Cavalry Guest

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    ECW Sleeping Bag

    Hey Sailaway,

    I work for U.S. Cavalry and though we do carry a variety of sleeping bags, the 4-part sleep system seems to be the overwhelming customer favorite.

    It comes with two sleeping bags, a bivy cover and a stuffsack (they count the sack as the fourth part, go figure!).

    The bivy is a waterproof outershell, which is useful if you are sleeping right on the ground.

    The Patrol Bag is rated to 30°F by itself. The Cold Weather Bag is rated to -10°F by itself. When you combine the two bags with the outer bivy cover, you get a -40°F temp rating.

    You can buy just the bags, just the cover or the complete kit.

    Check it the complete kit here: U.S. Cavalry - 18963

    Hope this helps!
     
  7. SnakeDoc

    SnakeDoc Well-Known Member

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    I have slept in ECW bags while stationed at Ft Wainwright, Ak. The coldest I was camping in was -51 with a leanto and campfire. Don't expect a full 8 hours of sleep. Also put you sleeping bag case over you feet for some extra warmth.

    I am 6'3" and fond the bags to not be overly roomy. So bear that in mind as well.
     
  8. cowpuncher

    cowpuncher Active Member

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    I used the ECW 4-bag system in the late 90s and early 00s when only SOCOM had them. They were alright. I used them in Norway, Alaska, and the 'Stan.
    Honestly though? Any bag rated for below -20F is pointless. At that point, you should be building some form of shelter and have a fire.

    Even in a tactical situation, we built shelters of some sort. In Norway we built snowcaves, in Alaska I just dug a snow trench. In the Stan we never stopped moving long enough to worry about it.

    For post-.mil, I've had really good luck with two sleeping systems. One, since I cowboy'd for a living for so long, I used a canvas bedroll with about six thick quilts in it. I've slept through a -20F night with it and woke up sweating. They're as near waterproof as you can hope, far more comfortable than any sleeping bag ever made, and less expensive than most sleeping bags.

    The only real problem with a cowboy canvas bedroll is the total lack of man-portability. You have to have them in the truck or on a packhorse.

    For foot-mobile travel, I've had really good luck with an amazingly cheap sleeping bag. Right after I got out of the Army I spent a year teaching wilderness survival skills in Utah. We were issued NEBO Teton sleeping bags (about $100 new). Best sleeping bag I ever used. Most sleeping bags are rated at the temperature stated...as long as you are on a sleeping pad, in a tent. The NEBOs are rated on bare ground. They're about 7 pounds, so they're not ultra-lite by any stretch of the imagination, but for a guy who regularly carried a 90+ pound rucksack just to stay in shape, it wasn't too bad.

    I've looked at getting them for the GF and myself for BOBs.
     
  9. Halfway

    Halfway Grunt

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    Don't discount the army ECW down bag that the 4 piece replaced. I have several of these and they are bombproof in the field and only require some basic preventative maintenance.

    Keep the zippers cleaned and waxed.

    Keep them unrolled when not in use to maintain loft.

    Get them dryed as soon as possible after returning from the field.

    They are a bit bulky, but we are not talking about mountain bike ultra-lite camping right, LOL!

    The 4 piece systems are great especially when joe can knock it down to the patrol bag and compression sack.