Blizzard Gets Military Thumbs Up
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The innovative Blizzard Survival System kit is making big waves with the military winning a Royal Marines arctic survival bag trial and being issued to US special forces deployed in Iraq and elsewhere.
Blizzard's range of survival bags, blankets and jackets gives incredible insulation by using a technology called Reflexcell. Basically it's an elasticated, lightweight reflective material which also traps layers of insulating air inside triangular channels making it extremely warm.
According to figures from Leeds University, a Reflexcell bag gives warmth figures of 24 Togs/kg which is well over twice the value of goose down, previously thought to have the highest warmth to weight ration among usable insulating materials. It's also barely affected by the presence of moisture, unlike down.
That was born out by Royal Marine tests in Arctic Norway earlier this year which showed that the Blizzard bags were up to four times more effective then current UK army issue survival bags and kept soldiers warm for up to three times longer than bivvy bags commonly used by civilian mountaineers.
The bags are also a big hit with the US military. Every medic operating with US special forces is now being issued with the military version of the Blizzard Survival Blanket after research showed that a high proportion of casualties in Iraq suffered hypothermia while being evactuated to field hospitals.
British Apache pilots are among others also using Blizzard as are search and rescue helicopters in the UK, Cyprus and the Falklands, which have replaced standard sleeping bags with Blizzard bags to save weight and bulk.
Previously rescue helicopters carried our sleeping bags and weighed around 70lbs, with a volume of 100 litres each. These have been replaced by four Blizzard Survival Bags, which weigh a total of around 2 kgs (4.5lbs) with a packed size of around 4 litres, which increases the capability of each aircraft to carry more fuel and equipment.
That's a ringing endorsement of the effectiveness of the Blizzard system, but it's also something that makes a lot of sense for walkers and climbers as well as ultra-lightweight backpackers and adventure racers.
Blizzard bags offer around 8 Togs of warmth - equivalent to a lightweight sleeping bag - are fully watrproof and windproof and weigh 385 grammes with a packed size of 21 x 11 x 4cm.
What's interesting for lightweight freaks is that although they're supplied in vacuum-packed form, they can be re-used and repacked for planned bivvies.
Definitely worth a look. See www.blizzardsurvival.com for more information.
Dang, seems pretty cool!
We'll see them in the Guard in about 2017.
looks like he is sleeping in a military issued trash bag