Originally Posted by I Splice
I've got two experiences:
In the first one, I was set up in a cathedral ring of a redwood tree. The new trees were probably over 100 feet tall. The fog/rain/mist would condense on the upper branches and then fall onto my tarp in huge drops. I think that the drops actually sprayed through my silnylon tarp. My Peapod got damp. The down seemed unaffected. I pitched my spare silnylon tarp under the first and solved the problem.
In the second, I was hiking in a area where hammocks are forbidden. I got drenched in an afternoon thunderstorm. My down bag was in a garbage bag but I hadn't sealed it well enough. There were 2 or 3 fist-sized patches where the down was soaked near the head but the rest of the down was fine. It took a few hours for my body heat to dry out my wool shirt and sleeping bag. I started off cold that night but work up warm.
I wear synthetic insulating layers to give me some insulation, even if my down gets soaked. BTW, when washing a sleeping bag, it's takes some work to get the down saturated with water.
That was pretty much my experience. I have a TNF down jacket that I bought on my southbound AT hike. I wore it almost daily for 3 months and used it as either a pillow or wraped around my feet at night. It saw a lot of use in a little time.
Long story short I thought it would be a good idea to hold a fish against it and clean fish wearing it. Not the smartest thing to do when animals around. So I tried submerging it in a washing machine full of water. Long story short it took a lot of effort and time to get and hold it under water. Soaking it wasn't as easy as I thought. I don't think I got it all the way wet.
After that and getting my quilts damp with dew (in a shelter or cowboy camping) I'm not concerned with getting them wet.