British Army Sleeping Bag

The 58 pattern sleeping bag had many flaws- the feather down filling moved about and clumped up after being used for a while, degrading its thermal properties. It was also bulky and not particularly war. By the last decade of the twentieth century new materials had been developed and sleeping bag technology in the civilian market had advanced considerably. It therefore made sense for the British Army to introduce new and improved sleeping bags for its troops and it is one of these we are looking at tonight:imageThe sleeping bag is made of a waterproof outer shell, with a layer of wadding and then a comfortable inner layer. The sleeping bag is in the ‘mummy’ style with a large hood that can be drawn around the sleeper’s head:imageInside the sleeping bag a pair of mesh pockets are sewn to allow the user to store anything he might need during the night:imageThe label sewn into the base of the bag dates it to 1999 and shows it was made by Seyntex:20992703_10154824323078045_2372006847703631014_nSeyntex is actually a Belgian company and illustrates the growing move away from placing contracts for equipment with purely British firms. The sleeping bag is carried in a thin nylon compression sack:imageThe straps and buckles allow it to be pulled tight to expel excess air and reduce the size of the bag. These sleeping bags are sometimes nicknames ‘bouncing bombs’ by squaddies. The compression sack itself predates the sleeping bag by a few years; the label indicating it was made in 1992:imageThe standard sleeping bag will work in temperatures as low as -20 degrees and with a bivvy bag as low as -25. Lightweight jungle sleeping bags are also issued which are smaller but not as war. One user recalls:

Just got back from spending 3 nights on Hankley Common (that’s the extent of our annual sqn ftx) and with overnight temps down to about -3 I wouldn’t have been without the bouncing bomb and bivvi bag as well as a roll mat/inflatable sleeping mat. With the doss bag and bivvi bag stuffed in the bottom of my bergan I still had room in the top for all my warm kit, deflated sleeping mat, water proofs and an empty patrol sack.

One guy on this ex went on last year’s equivalent with a jungle bag hoping to save space, with the temps and weather conditions the same he spent the first night sleeping in all his warm kit and had a bouncing bomb bought out to him on day 2. This year he went straight for the bouncing bomb and just made everything else fit around it.

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