Nov 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm #1309555
So, let me get this straight, the water repellant/resistant down is great for when there is a chance of your down piece getting soaked by liquid water but it really doesn’t do anything for when there is water vapor in the air, correct? Great for when it is raining and you forgot your rain gear but not so much walking around the moors of Scotland on the shoulder seasons?Nov 7, 2013 at 6:21 am #2042103
It helps with both. The extent that it helps is up for some debate, but part of the draw to hydrophobic down is the resistance to moisture buildup from water vapor from your body.Nov 7, 2013 at 6:46 am #2042112
I thought someone on here had said differently in that it would only help with the liquid water, not he water in the air from whatever source that may be.Nov 7, 2013 at 6:54 am #2042117
Ultimately, it resists the capture of moisture better than regular down. However, down is not a substitute for synthetic in really wet conditions like you described. It doesn't perform better than synthetic.
Maybe go back to the thread on down from last week and read through it for the expert's take?
Sorry I don't have more info.Nov 7, 2013 at 8:33 am #2042152
From Roger Caffin:
"For DWR to be of any use in a quilt or a jacket, it must stop the down from collapsing. There are two different cconditions it has to handle: water, and ice.
First of, note that water or ice can still collect all around the micro-fibres of a down tuft, even if the surface of the down tuft is 100% waterproof. There is nothing to stop it. A DWR-treated shell (or even a GoreTex shell) cannot stop the water vapour from getting inside the shell either. Only a vapour barrier can do that.
Ice itself around the down tufts inside a shell will cause some problems, and no amount of DWR on the down will do anything about ice forming inside your quilt if it is cold enough.
What about dampness (rather than ice)? It will soften the keratin in the down tufts and leave them limp and flat, with a loss of loft. To handle this you need to block water vapour from penetrating into the down tufts. But a DWR does not do that: it blocks liquid water from 'wetting' out the surface. So water vapour will go straight through the DWR layer into the down fibres and you will end up with a limp zero-loft mess.
This is why companies like WM are not convinced about these DWR treatments. They do not work in Real Life. They only work in gimmicked demos with the down stuffed in a bottle of water. Its 99.9% marketing spin again.
For me I am much more worried about water vapor when there is a high humidity level or just from me rather than rain. I wish there were better synthetics than fleece but that is mainly what I will have to use around freezing because I refuse to buy synthetics that don't have a long usage range.Nov 7, 2013 at 10:10 am #2042189
Paul MountfordBPL Member
@sparticusLocale: Atlantic Canada
“… because I refuse to buy synthetics that don't have a long usage range.”
Nor should you. I just moved back to Canada from the UK after living there for 3 years. I did most my hiking (and some packrafting) up in Scotland on the moors in the shoulder seasons? My son and I got by just fine with down bags and down mid layers.Nov 7, 2013 at 10:22 am #2042196
@andrew-fLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
As far as I know nobody has posted on this forum the results of any real-world testing of DWR down. So anything you read is just speculation at this point. I don't disagree with Roger's theory in principle, but my 1 night of usage of dry down in a heavy condensation environment contradicts it. We won't know either way until somebody has a year or two of field experience with it. Maybe that'll be me.Nov 7, 2013 at 11:43 am #2042222
I think I will just go fro the el cheapo route and use TX Wash in or DownProof on items I already have.Nov 7, 2013 at 11:54 am #2042229
Good synthetic items pay for themselves in usage. In my opinion, the ability to use a synthetic bag for ~800 nights or more before it's truly dead is more than enough to warrant my dollar.
What's the alternative? Die of hypothermia in a soaked down bag?
I would get a good quality down bag and use it on 95% of your trips, because it'll last you 30 years or whatever. But, there's not much of a downside of paying $100 for an EMS Solstice or similar synthetic bag and using it 5% of the time over 30 years. Both bags will age with you just fine, and you'll have a bag for trips to Ireland.
Personally, I think anyone who considers several years to be "not enough durability" to be a little ridiculous. I don't plan on owning a single item in my arsenal by the end of the decade because I will have used everything enough to need a replacement. My money will be well spent in that regard.
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