There are also couple related discussions about this same fill elsewhere on HF. Some of it has been repeated here to serve as a reference to others who may be considering it's use.
I recently read about a source for loose fill Primaloft from a company called Downlite
in Mason, Ohio. On their online sales website shopdownlite.com
, they offer a product called Primaloft Thermo in 5 lb. batches
. I was curious about the product, but had trouble finding much information about it.
Here's what we know so far:
• Downlite is licensed by Albany Int'l Corp, (parent company of Primaloft) to manufacture Primaloft - The Luxury Down Alternative.
• This loose Primaloft is offered in 3 specific styles: "PrimaLoft Thermo, PrimaLoft Support and PrimaLoft Memory – all engineered for specific performance attributes and end uses." The product i was able to obtain was the Primaloft Thermo.
• [from a press release I found online] "PrimaLoft® Thermo’s exclusive formula of blowable polyester fiber fill provides optimal performance for down-like™ comforters and blankets. The microfiber blended technology of PrimaLoft® Thermo allows the polyester fiber to mimic the loft and softness of down. The polyester fibers also create a layer of insulating technology which that mimic the warmth of a 550- fill power down product."
I contacted both Downlite and Primaloft to ask how this loose fill lines up with Primaloft's products offered to the outdoor market. Downlite responded promptly saying, "Albany International makes Primaloft and may be able to advise on insulation and an other technical details for their outdoor products". So far I've had no response from Primaloft themselves.
Curiosity got the better of me so I decided to purchase a 5 lb. batch of this stuff for $35.00 ($51.59 with tax and shipping). That makes this insulation approx $0.65 per ounce. Purchasing an equivalent amount of Primaloft Sport from Thru-Hiker would cost $135.04 or $1.69/oz. Is this loose fill worth worth the cost savings?
Note - HF member ciphoto made a nice quilt with this and had good success with this insulation.
My Test Quilt
52 wide x 80 long, 6 longitudinal baffles at 8 5/8" apart, baffles were 2" high
I figured on using just over 18 oz. of fill (approx 3 oz. per chamber)
After stuffing and sewing the quilt shut, I discover that I couldn't get the Primaloft to spread throughout the chamber. Shaking, fluffing, stomping, even using my hands to manually pull the clingy fibers apart didn't work. I could hold the quilt up and watch the large clumps of fill slide back and forth within each chamber. I eventually ended up removing the stitching and doubling the fill. Once each chamber was full, everything spread out nicely and the quilt is usable (for car camping). I didn't have the courage to weigh it. I'll likely make another one, but this time I'll double the number of baffles and make them only 1" high. I'll probably finish adding the hardware to this test quilt and find a Boy Scout that needs it.
• If this product is truly equivalent to 550 fill power down, it would be a great alternative Boy Scouts, Budget minded campers, etc.
• Less messy than working with down. This stuff can be easily weighed and stuffed by hand. (think fluffy cotton, not down).
• The fibers cling together somewhat and don't really spread out to fill a baffle the way down would.
• Baffles will need to be fairly small so that each one is full and there is more control over the insulation.