Mar 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm #1286458
I have an older but decent down sleeping bag that I want to modify for my daughter. Seems like all of the kids sleeping bags are 3lbs or more. This is a 30 degree bag that's right at 2lbs total. I figure if I can take off 18 inches of bag and then move some of the lower down to the top, I'll have a 15 – 20 degree kids bag that's well under 2lbs.
I'm a bit concerned about trimming and seweing the nylon material more than anything. Also reducing the zipper size could prove difficult.
Has anyone modified a bag like this? Looked around and couldn't find any tutorials or examples of someone else doing this. Not a expert sewer but I do have a decent sewing machine and have no problem doing much of it by hand.Mar 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm #1847460
The simplest way of shortening a down bag I can think of is to just cut a part off the head end and sew it shut again. Add a sleeve for the drawcord and you're done.
You can cut the zipper a little longer than the rest of the bag. You can fold over the excess bit of zipper and have it disappear inbetween the outer and inner shell.
Putting the excess down in the shortened bag won't add any warmth if the baffles aren't high enough and the down is unable to fully loft.Mar 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm #1847476
I didn't think of cutting off the top end. That would make it a lot easier. The down is a bit compacted now, so I planned on moving some from the unused portion. I looked at ordering some new 800+ down, but it's pretty pricey for sure.Mar 2, 2012 at 6:53 am #1847765
Seth BrewerBPL Member
I would wash the bag with Nikwax Down Wash on low in a commercial front load machine. Dry 2-3 hrs on low heat with a few tennis balls to break up any clumps and get it dry to touch throughout the bag (feel it every hour or so and see if you can feel and wet clumps of down — if so you need to keep drying it).
Once its washed that should help it maintain its max loft — then cut off the top portion you don't need, invert the edges of the fabric and pin in place — adding a drawcord channel (or simply cutting off the existing drawcord channel at the hood with enough fabric below it to flap over the new cut edge – and resew together. I've gone it and its not that bad.
IF POSSIBLE try to cut right above (1 inch or so) an existing baffle to help keep the down from coming out when you cut it open. (down will still come out – but not from the lower portion of the bag, which is what you are saving)
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