Here's something I did for gear maintenance. Just wanted to share for all the new hangers, and all those funky smelling folks I've hung with on group hangs (no names to protect the guilty). Go wash your quilts!
My 20* Incubator is about 2 tears old and on the last couple of cool weather hangs I've not been as toasty warm as I thought I should. I knew my quilt suspension was tuned in, and always made sure to fluff the quilt before hanging it.
This past weekend I measured only about 2.5" loft, not the advertised 3.5" for a 20* quilt. So I decided it was time to wash it. I filled the bathtub with nice warm water, used some Castille soap (just a few swishes to color the water), and washed the quilt. It took a while to get everything good and wet, massaging it to get the air out.
I am a stickler for keeping my gear clean so the quilt didn't "look" dirty, but the water was noticeably hazy after working it around for several minutes. (The Mrs must have been right all those times about my hiker funk after a trip. ) After 5 rinses I was satisfied it was clean. All in all, I took about hour for the wash and rinses. If you try it, take care not to pull on the quilt unnecessarily. Wet down is very heavy.
After the wash and rinse, I mashed as much water as possible out of it. Then I placed it in my washing machine, spread evenly around the agitator, and ran the spin setting for a couple of minutes to remove more water.
Then to the dryer with tennis balls. I alternated between low heat and fluff air, keeping the quilt warm enough to dry well, but not get the fabric or shock cord too hot. Every now and then I would inspect the progress, breaking apart any clumps of down that migrated to the ends of the quilt.
This morning I measured loft again. It's back about 3.5" where it should be. Very worth it. Can't wait to try it out again.