There are two pieces of sleeping equipment every operator literally needs in his kit. First off, a summer sleeping bag and also a woobie/poncho liner. They are not just essential for sleeping outside. They are also essential for sleeping in the camp, in the vehicle or just getting that extra bit of warmth or and coziness while staying on overwatch for extended periods of time.
I did get issued a good sleeping bag during my active military service time in the German army, but I never got issued a woobie. Some of the experienced guys with multiple deployments already purchased woobies themselves. But I thought a summer sleeping bag will by everything I need.
During my transfer to Afghanistan I packed all my mission critical gear into my dufflebags. Some of the smaller things I packed into my hand luggage.
The summer bag would have been to big for the hand luggage and also why would I need a summer bag for a flight?!
After we arrived at our first destination, we had to wait for the military transport planes. And we had almost a day of waiting time. All weh ad while we were waiting for the final transfer was a big tent and several steel beds. All the experienced guys simply pulled out their woobies or fleeceliners out of the hand luggage and took a nap.
I was just sitting on the bed, waiting.
I can go on about several similar situations during my first deployment were all we needed was just a quick nap during a cold summer desert night. I finally decided to get a woobie.
Some time ago I was doing a military competition. A woobie would have been way to less for -7°C but a full sleeping system would have been too much. So I searched for something that combines a sleeping bag and a woobie. I stumbled upon the Snugpak jungle bag.
First off, its very lightweight at 900gramms. Ist built like a boxy sleeping bag with mosquito net. But you can unzip it all around to get either a full blown sleeping bag with mosquito netting or a full woobie style blanket. There is also an intermediate stage where you unzip just one zipper and use it as an insulated poncho. Snugpak says its comfort zone is at +7°C and the extreme temperature ranges to +2°C degrees.
I can say, this is an understatement. When wearing cold weather clothing or even a basic midlayer inside of it you can reach an extreme limit of up to -5°celsius. The material is also water repellant. So you don’t really need a bivvy when sleeping on wet ground, but I would recommend it.
You can also combine it with a fleece liner and/or a reflective rescue blanket for getting extra warmth.
The blanket is made of a silky ripstop material with antimicrobial properties. Something I really appreciate you can use it day to day without washing.
One feature I literally waited for is a small zippered pocket inside. I can remember many situations where I lost my headlight or my phone during bivvies’ and ended up searching for it. You can fit a phone and a
headlight into the pocket. Its also possible to place a handwarmer there for colder days.
The jungle bag combines two of the most essential items a operator or outdoorsmen will ever need but is packing it in a very effective measure of 20 x 18 x 18cm , that’s tinier than even some woobies.
The woobie also has an insulated hood and two tie down points. Normally the tying points are for airdrying but it is possible to build a hasty helter out of it. If there is one thing I would like to improve on the bivvy than in would be at least two more tie downs, so you could easily build a little emergency tarp out o it.
I personally think that because of its comfort and the combined capabilities (anyone shouted redundancies here?!) the Jungle Bag is he Go-To product for those who are seeking a summer bag and usually carry a woobie with them.