- Apr 14, 2019 at 8:07 pm #3588772
I was always suspect. I know Zpacks discontinued using it some time ago, and after poking around a little bit, I can’t find any bag makers using it outside of EE.
Anyone using it in clothing or bags any more?
I’m not interesting in it myself but, I am interested in knowing if it was one of those short lived things some touted as a miracle tech.
What’s the story?Apr 14, 2019 at 8:27 pm #3588773
Sierra Designs and Kelty use it (DriDown). Thermarest uses it (Nikwax Hyrdrophobic Down). Sea to Summit uses it (ULTRA-DRY Down). Big Agnes also uses DownTek (in addition to EE). I’m sure there are others.
Found this article, which I found somewhat interesting:
https://gizmodo.com/we-tested-waterproof-down-by-jumping-in-a-frozen-lake-1694953456Apr 14, 2019 at 8:30 pm #3588774Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Seems like the stuff that gets sold to “normal” consumers is well saturated.Apr 14, 2019 at 9:33 pm #3588781
“Seems like the stuff that gets sold to “normal” consumers is well saturated.”
Yeah, it does look that way. But Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering still do not use it and neither does Nunatak, Marmot, Katabatic Gear, or Patagonia. I’m thinking if the stuff really worked, lasted, and didn’t use toxic stuff, we’d see more reputable companies using it.Apr 14, 2019 at 10:35 pm #3588787S LongBPL Member
Katabatic Gear offers it as two of their three fill options.Apr 14, 2019 at 10:40 pm #3588790
gizmodo test not realistic, not long enough exposure to water?
maybe test it with longer exposure? maybe from sweating for an extended period?
I made a vest with down. Half untreated down that I had. Half treated down because that’s what was available. I thought possibly the untreated down had a little more loft for the weight. If so, it could have just been difference between two batches although they were both 850. But I didn’t evaluate getting it wet. Maybe some day I’ll have opportunity to test sweating.
I don’t see much down side from using treated down.Apr 14, 2019 at 11:01 pm #3588792
Looks like Marmot does use it:Apr 14, 2019 at 11:04 pm #3588793Apr 14, 2019 at 11:56 pm #3588801Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Recently went shopping for a hammock underquilt. Most manufacturers were offering water resistant down. I’d prefer not to have it as we don’t usually best nature long term. I also believe that the shell fabric is more important in keeping the moisture out.Apr 15, 2019 at 1:17 am #3588809
“Also looks like Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering are evaluating it”
I talked to both companies about this ~several yrs ago. At the time, both were cautious about saying anything positive or negative. Considering that and the fact they still have not jumped on it is telling to me… if not that it doesn’t work, that they are honest in admitting that they do no know what it does or doesn’t do without yrs of real world testing (no company knows definitively due to that)… and that they will not sell something without knowing for sure. I have high respect for those sort of company ethics.
I did miss that about Katabatic and Marmot. Thanks for pointing that out.Apr 15, 2019 at 1:18 am #3588810
“I’d prefer not to have it as we don’t usually best nature long term.”
My thoughts too.Apr 15, 2019 at 1:24 am #3588813
“gizmodo test not realistic”
My thoughts as well. Plus, to be fair, the same test should have had two identical tops with the different down. That’s for starters….Apr 15, 2019 at 1:49 am #3588816
treated down on one side, untreated down on the other side : )Apr 15, 2019 at 1:58 am #3588818
Ah, yes. I forgot about your vest, Jerry. :-)Apr 15, 2019 at 2:46 am #3588824Jenny ABPL Member
@jenniferaLocale: Front Range
Most major manufacturers ( Marmot, Kelty, Sea to Summit, Big Agnes, Mountain Hardware, The North Face, REI, Nemo, Sierra Designs) now use the treated down; in fact, it is getting harder to find a bag from these companies that isn’t filled with the treated down, even the high-lofting 750+ fill bags. Funny how manufacturers seemed tentative when it first became available, then most seemed to jump on the bandwagon within a couple of short years – guess they were afraid to miss out on a perceived advantage.
They all claim that the treatment doesn’t impact the longevity of the down. I hope that’s the case. Time will tell. Kind of seems like solving a problem that doesn’t exist, since down contains oils that naturally repel water, and most bags are treated with a durable water repellent finish anyway. Perhaps some through-hikers or folks from wet climates can attest to the claimed ability of these bags to not soak up water after many consecutive nights of use and to dry out more quickly.Apr 15, 2019 at 2:51 am #3588825Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Gizmodo tested the two-minute water resistance of the shell material, not the down. Anyone who’s washed a sleeping bag in a bathtub knows how hard it is to get the down soaked.Apr 15, 2019 at 6:15 am #3588840Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Western Mountaineering’s FAQ page has a different take than the “About” page Tallgrass linked to…
Why isn’t Western Mountaineering using hydrophobic down in any products?
We have found in our own testing that the performance enhancements of hydrophobic treatments on high quality down are widely overstated. High quality untreated down already has naturally water repellant oils on it left by the geese (makes sense since geese spend a lot of time in water). These oils help repel water and keep down lofted. More importantly is that these oils last indefinitely. Hydrophobic treatments wash out like a DWR and remove the natural oils during the application process. Because of this, and the water resistant capability of our shell fabrics, we feel that hydrophobic down does not provide a considerable impact on performance and could actually inhibit performance over the lifetime of our products.Apr 15, 2019 at 10:43 am #3588843Apr 15, 2019 at 1:14 pm #3588851
hmmm… I guess I won’t be washing my vest : )Apr 15, 2019 at 1:52 pm #3588857
My take on this is that Western Mountaineering is a fairly conservative company, when it comes to change. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not faulting this, at all. There are companies willing to embrace the cutting edge, and companies that don’t. WM has a good thing going, and don’t see much of a reason to shake things up. With that being said, I tend to believe that treated down is probably not as great as its manufactures would hype, but not as bad as WM would have us believe, either. As with many things, the reality is probably somewhere in between.Apr 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm #3588869Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
One thing I like about WM is when the bring something to market it stays— that is they aren’t discontinuing products every two years with a “new and improved” model. Plus we know their product is top notch. I’ve had one of their bags for a very long time. I also have 10+ year old Nunatak quilt, a model no longer made, nonetheless a fabulous piece of gear.
Down requires special care in the field. Over the decades I’ve only had one incident where my down sleeping bag became too wet over a period of nights that put me in a potentially dangerous situation. Perhaps the “waterproof” moniker will create a situation where users will assume it really is waterproof and abuse the product?Apr 15, 2019 at 5:19 pm #3588879Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
“Over the decades I’ve only had one incident where my down sleeping bag became too wet over a period of nights that put me in a potentially dangerous situation”
This is precisely what I wish BPL had more field data on – just how how WP down performs while on extended cold/shoulder season use. While I suppose most users of down protect it from bulk water issues, dealing with gradual moisture buildup is far more tricky to manage.
In theory, I’d wager that wp down should improve vapor management, since the down plumes are (allegedly) more hydrophobic than their non treated counterparts.
Regardless of what WM says about “natural oils” on down, we all know what happens to down when it gets wet, natural oils or otherwise. And down loft loss is a very common issue on extended cold/damp weather trips, when not properly tended to. This is a proven fact.
Which is why folks either use synthetic or bring a second “outer bag” to handle the moisture. But if we had more field data on WP down, it could be pretty helpful, imho.Apr 15, 2019 at 7:48 pm #3588906Michael SirofchuckBPL Member
@mr_squishyLocale: Great Wet North
FWIW – I live in Kodiak, Alaska, where it rains 78″ a year. I have used down bags on short 2-4 day trips without much problem, but I now pretty much go with my MLD Spirit Quilt 28 synthetic and synthetic puffy pants and jacket. I still manage them to keep them as dry as possible, but in the case of dampness, no worries. I once completely soaked a Quallofil bag (remember Quallofil?) on a river trip – that night it still kept me warm after squeezing as much water out as I could. Had it been down, WP or otherwise, well……Apr 16, 2019 at 1:29 am #3588960Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
My boyfriend has a Zpacks dridown quilt. I think he got it in 2010. It’s still perfect. He just the other day bought a dridown jacket from Massdrop.Apr 16, 2019 at 1:47 am #3588968Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
MY OWN “TEST” WITH HYDROPHOBIC DOWN
I ordered some 800 fill DWR treated goose down from Ripstop By The Roll. i got a gallon bag full of down with the same DWR treatment The North Face uses. I bought it to fill some down clothing a bit more in some areas.
This was the 1st time I’d seen “free” DWR treated goose down in quantity so I decided to test its water resistance.
1.I took a highball glass (short, fat glass) put in a roughly 2″ x 3″ down “hunk” in the glass
2.Using the kitchen faucet I sprayed water over it until the glass was 1/2 full and down was sticking up out of the glass about one inch.
- After spraying water on it very few droplets stayed on the down.
- No down was seen below he water surface more than 1/8″.
- After 4 days in the water glass STILL no down was more than the initial 1/8″ below the water surface.
- I took out the down and let it dry for an hour then put it back in the gallon ZipLoc bag.
Now “I’m a believer” in DWR treated down and certainly the kind of DWR The North Face uses. Naysayers can claim it comes off after repeated washings. OK, that’s fine with me B/C I very seldom wash my down garments. Mostly I air them well after spraying liberally with FABREEZ.
My -20 F. 750 fill sleeping bag has Bean’s Down Tec, and my Bauer First Ascent vest and PEAK XV expedition parka have Dri Down. “In down DWR I trust”.
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