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  1. #1
    Kapang!'s Avatar
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    Help. I can't let my old bag die.

    I do not sew. My nearly 20 year old 0 degree down bag has too many patches, a busted zipper and is losing feathers. I've been through hell with this bag. I love it. I just can't see throwing it away. I'm in talks with one of the vendors about re-purposing the bag into a quilt. But, he said that I would need to harvest the down myself, because its messy and time consuming. So here are my questions:
    1) What's the best method for removing the down from the bag?
    2) Do I just need to let it go?
    3) Are there options I'm not thinking of?

    Thanks in advance. I love this forum...................

  2. #2

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    I feel your pain. I have a threadbare North Face Bigfoot I bought from yard mowing money in the mid 70's. I had to put it down. I still haven't disposed of it. But, I did find a mint 80's version on Ebay for 72 dollars shipped....

    As to your question. A friend, who was a great seamstress, told me the way she harvested down from coats and sleeping bags was to put a new bag in a vacuum cleaner and then carefully suck the down out of the donor. Then you can put the bag into a large ziploc bag(s) and cut the vacuum cleaner bag open and empty. Never watched her perform the surgery but seems like it would work.

    Andy
    Last edited by Full_timer; 08-12-2012 at 12:05.
    Friends don't let friends sleep on the ground.

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  3. #3
    dragon360's Avatar
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    Interesting way of doing it!
    The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. - St. Augustine

    Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
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  4. #4

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    Don't let it die!

    You might give these people a call about your down sleeping bag. I had them clean my 30 year old Camp 7 down bag and it came back like it was new. Renewed loft and clean. They are nice to do business with.

    http://www.rainypass.com

  5. #5
    If you really cant let it go...

    Then turn it into a Under Quilt like this guy did:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=44808

  6. #6
    Kapang!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    If you really cant let it go...

    Then turn it into a Under Quilt like this guy did:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=44808
    I don't sew and it's losing feathers from the seams, i believe. It's hard to tell. They just magically appear. It really needs a new shell.

    Thanks for the suggestions, fellas. I'll, most likely, try the vac method. Although, I'm trying to picture sucking the feathers out without constantly sucking in the nylon, as well.

    One thought I had. Could I get the whole thing wet and try to move the down out by hand? Then, put it in a breathable bag and let it sun dry with alot of shaking and turning. It's really hot and sunny out here.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Manipulating wet down is not a lot of fun.

    The Vacuum method works well. Another, more mangeable vacuum method is to take an extension hose and put a piece of noseeum in the joint. WHen you vacuum it up, you get a hose full of down which can be transferred (don't blow!) with a stick into a plastic bag...

    I tried a clean shop vac, but when I opened it, it overflowed...
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  8. #8
    Kapang!'s Avatar
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    My vendor suggested putting a mesh bag in the shop vac. I like your method, too, John.

  9. #9
    Kapang!'s Avatar
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    Well, this is a disaster. The stuff has no respect for the law of gravity. I'm using a small shop vac. One baffle filled it. The transfer to bag is nearly impossible. I'm gonna try a couple of different things. But, as of now, my wife's gonna be pissed. Little feathers all over the garage.

  10. #10
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quick! Go buy a chicken and put it in the garage. Then blame it all on the chicken! Hey, you may even get chicken soup out of the deal
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