US Modular Goretex Sleep Bag System MSS Complete 4 part (Rated -40F)
Product Review (submitted on June 4, 2006):
I think that for what it is and what it does $150 for a MSS is a good price. I agree that the prices on these may drop with the introduction of the new system. I think that it is not the best set up for backpacking because of size and weight. The bivy for $40 and a good Northface or Mountain hardware bag would be better for backpacking. A warm cheap option is an old Extreme Cold Weather Mountain Bag and a bivy but it is not a good backpacking set up either. To sleep comfy warm below 10 deg one should consider wearing Poly P underwear or jacket and sweat pants with a beanie and wool socks or booties. I sleep in my jeans and socks with my fleece jacket, shamagh, beenie and flight gloves. I have slept this way down to about 0 with a 20mph constant wind. What the system does do is afford an amount of flexibility during the year from summer to winter and in-between. Because of that and the fact that it is rugged makes the MSS the one I use most.
After you have rolled and packed the MSS a few time it gets easier and quicker. So does using the compression straps. You may want to replace the draw string with para chord. Mine snapped.
When zipping up the bags I zip the bivy to about 8 inches from the top, the green bag to within 4 inches from the top and the black to my chin. This makes getting in and out easier and faster. Practicing a few 'panic exits' helps figure out the best way to do it for you. If you can open the bag enough to clear your shoulders you can slide your butt toward the top of the bag without much effort. You can get out of your bag quickly that way.
After I get up in the morning I turn the bag inside out to air it out and expose it to the sun (if you have sun). I let it air out for at least 10 minutes to help air and dry it out. A fleece or flannel liner would help extend the temp range and help keep the black back clean. If the packed MSS is going to be transported in the bed of a truck or the roof of a car I would invest the few dollars for a USGI water proof sleeping bag cover this protects the compression sack from dirt and the elements.
I do not keep my MSS stored at home in the compression sack. I keep it rolled up loose and stored in the garage in a large leaf bag. These are some of the things I've learned about my MSS.