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Kifaru's New Sleep System
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Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Kifaru's New Sleep System on 03/10/2007 19:25:09 MST Print View

For the last several months I have been watching Kifaru as they have been about to release a new "Military" like sleep system. They are using Climashield Combat as the insulation.

"Evolution of the Regulator"

Sleep System Pictures

This is where they talk about using Climashield Combat

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Kifaru's New Sleep System on 03/11/2007 07:25:43 MDT Print View

Those prices are not inviting huh.

Greg Vaillancourt
(GSV45) - F

Locale: Utah
Priced the same as a good down bag on 03/16/2007 22:11:00 MDT Print View

Who knows how long the insulation will last....

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
How Accurate is the Warmth Rating??? on 03/16/2007 22:38:48 MDT Print View

Hmmm... the 20F base bag is cut roomy (even the footbox is sized to accomodate boots!), it's got added zippers and snaps for modular add on's, it's made with synthetic materials, AND it weighs only 2lbs 4oz!!!

Has Kifaru discovered synthetics that beat out even 800 fill power down in warmth to weight ratio -- or are they counting on soldiers staying quiet and not wimping at their officers about feeling cold in 20F nights???

Edited by ben2world on 03/16/2007 22:43:27 MDT.

James Watts
(james481) - F

Locale: Sandia Mountains
Re: How Accurate is the Warmth Rating??? on 03/18/2007 16:03:17 MDT Print View

As far as I know, the military bags are generally rated to "survivable temperature", which I can only assume means you'll crawl out in the morning without hypothermia, but probably not very happy. They may also rate these assuming the person inside is wearing full BDUs.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: How Accurate is the Warmth Rating??? on 03/18/2007 16:07:37 MDT Print View

I see. Thanks.

Mark Hart
(dingbatoolpud) - F
Kifaru's new sleep system on 03/18/2007 16:21:26 MDT Print View

I can't speak to the Kifaru system (although it looks pretty cool), but I do have a current issue military sleep system which has the following components:

Synthetic 30 degree bag (green): 2lbs, 3oz
Synthetic -10 degree bag (black): 3lbs, 3oz
Gore-Tex Bivy: 2lbs, 2oz

Using all three together (black inside green inside bivy), they claim it should be good to negative 50, but according to the labels they're assuming you're using components of the 'cold weather clothing system' as well.

I'd assume the same with the Kifaru - that they don't do their temperature calculations based on a naked marine spending the night in an area unprotected from weather.

I have, however, slept in my back yard using the full green/black/bivy setup in -17 degree temps and only worn soccer shorts and a t-shirt (with a snowhat and liner socks) and slept through the night quite comfortably.

The only thing about the Kifaru system I don't like is the possiblity of zipper failure making for a rough night's sleep.

Edited by dingbatoolpud on 03/18/2007 16:27:56 MDT.

Mel Terkla
(Rhino) - F

Locale: Captola Village
Questions and comments addressed. on 03/20/2007 01:45:58 MDT Print View

Hey guys, I just ran across this thread, and decided to register for the forum so I could answer any questions about our new sleep system. My name is Mel Terkla from Kifaru, and I am the R&D guy and sales rep for the military division of Kifaru.

This sleep system project started almost 2 years ago, and we tested several types of insulation, including different types of Polarguard, Primaloft, and Climashield. We finally settled on the Climashield insulation for it's warmth to weight ratio, compressability, excellent drape properties, and the fact that the Climashield did not have to be quilted or laminated. Rest assured, the insulation is as durable as any Polarguard or Primaloft insulation.

The listed weights are real, and were weighed at the shop on a very accurate scale. Our synthetic bags are still not quite as light or compressable as a comparable temperature down bag. I talk about that in a thread from our message board, in the military forum, titled "Regulator & Woobie Live!!". Here is an excerpt from the first post:

"As you will see, the pricing is definately high end, but the Regulator system is the most advanced sleeping bag system in existence. We're using the latest, state of the art, US made materials, and manufacturing in the US, making the whole Regulator system Berry Compliant. For comparison, check out the pricing for the sleeping bags from Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends. These two companies probably produce the finest down sleeping bags available, and they both manufacture totally in the US also. Check the pricing on comparable temperature ranges between their bags and ours. Also, check out the comparable weights. There used to be a large gap on warmth to weight ratio, and compresssability, between down bags and synthetic bags. We have narrowed that gap tremendously with our synthetic bags. Also, our bags have multifuntion features that set them apart from ordinary sleeping bags."

Our temperature ratings are in the comfort zone, and not in the extreme or suvivable zone. The temp ratings are based on the user wearing base layers, using a sleep pad, and in a tipi or tent. As most of you know, temperature ratings can be very subjective, depending on many factors, but we feel our ratings are right in the ballpark.

There was mention of worrying about zipper problems, but I'm not sure what that meant. We're using YKK zips, and have not had any zipper issues.

I hope this helped a bit, and I'd be happy to answer anymore questions. This is a great site by the way.


Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Mel Terkla, questions please on 03/20/2007 02:10:32 MDT Print View

Mel, This is an interesting sleep system; can I ask a few questions? (I previously worked acquisitions with a DOD supplier)
Did you create your system to meet an RFP, or are you proceeding on risk hoping for an R&D contract?
Did you build to a particular standard? This does not seem to meet MIL-S-A-A 55262 (MSS) or any other bag standard I've seen.
Will your company hold the patent; or will this go for open bid for the production run?
Im not competing with your company much as it might sound that way; just curious who would take such a risk developing a product, and why.

Edited by Brett1234 on 03/20/2007 02:12:41 MDT.

James Watts
(james481) - F

Locale: Sandia Mountains
Re: Questions and comments addressed. on 03/20/2007 13:45:16 MDT Print View

First, I want to say thanks for taking your time to answer our questions about your new product. It's always good to see a manufacturer representative here on the forums supporting the products.

>> Our temperature ratings are in the comfort zone, and not in the extreme or suvivable zone.

May I ask, what is the fill weight and loft of the 20 degree base bag? I looked at your new bag compared to what many consider the "de facto" standard of synthetic bags, TNF Cat's Meow. Your bag is claimed to be the same rating, with more height and girth of internal space, plus attachemnt points for the MOBs, yet is claimed to be a full six ounces lighter (than TNF's published weight, which I've heard is generally a little low). Where does this substantial weight savings come from? Is Climashield Military by weight really that much more lofting than Polarguard Delta?

Mel Terkla
(Rhino) - F

Locale: Captola Village
Questions and Comments on 03/20/2007 16:40:20 MDT Print View

Brett: Actually, our sleep system was not built to any special requirements or specific military standards. Yes, we do have the patent, but will not be entering any open bids at this time. You ask why are we taking the risk of developing a new product, but that's just what we do here at Kifaru, always trying to come up with innovative new designs. The real reason behind the new sleep system is explained pretty well in Patrick's essay the "Evolution of the Regulator", which you can click onto in the first post in this thread.

James: The insulation in the 20 degree base bag is 5.4oz sq yd, and it is more thermally efficient than Polarguard Delta. I have a TNF Cat's Meow, and our 20 degree base bag is significantly lighter. Our RhinoSkin shell material is one of the reasons for the weight difference. It is only .9oz sq yd, which is even a little lighter than Pertex Quantum, which is considered the benchmark for lightweight shell materials on high end bags. In testing, we have found the RhinoSkin to be 2-3 times more puncture proof and tear resistant than the Pertex Quantum.

I'd like to talk a little more about the temperature ratings, and how they came to be. Patrick Smith, the owner of Kifaru, is in the field almost constantly it seems, testing and developing gear. Even though we had other testers in the sleeping bag development, Patrick's expereience with temp ratings was the baseline used in reaching our ratings for the Regulators. On several occasions, Patrick had tested various manufacturer's bags, and come up with what he considered the temp rating to be, regardless of any claims. When Backpacker magazine would finally test one of the bags that Patrick had used, they ended up with the same temp ratings that Patrick arrived at. This happened more than once, so Patrick feels pretty confident on our temp ratings. Hope this helped a little.