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  1. #1
    Senior Member Arothian's Avatar
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    Hydrophobic down treatments

    Hello all

    So I have been thinking about picking up a down TQ to use instead of my synthetic bag. I'm really looking for some weight and space savings by going to down.

    What I am curious about though, is if anyone as experience with the Hydrophobic down treatments. These seem to have a variety names: Sierra Design's DriDown, LL. Bean DownTek, ect.

    So far I've only seen Underground Quilts carry this type of treatment in the from of ResistDown(http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=57575).

    Do any of the other cottage makers offer a hydrophobic down treatment as a customization? If you have something that has been treated with one, do you find it worth it? I'm new to down in general, I don't own any down gear, so I'm a bit skeptical at a 'amazing' new treatment like these.

  2. #2
    fallkniven's Avatar
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    Paul only just started offering the resist down, so there may not be too many with much time in witrh them. As far as down goes, I too have only bought synthetic over the years, but once I got my first doiwn quilt, I saw what all the fuss is about. It's just so lightweight, and packs down so surprisingly small. When I got my first quilt, I looked at it and thought there's no way this is keeping me warm to it's suggested rating, sure enough, I was proved wrong, great stuff, you won't regret it. Paul made my first 3 quilts and they are amazing, now with resist down, I've got to work on ordering 3/4 more...

  3. #3
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    I work in an outdoor retailer shop, so I get lots of newsletters, magazines, etc with all the latest news about products and such. I've read a lot about these down treatments, and I'm somewhat skeptical of their actual benefit. I've read a few reviews from testers that seem to indicate that even the new, treated down is pretty much worthless when wet. One that I remember was a guy that took Sierra Design's new down jacket for a 30 minute run in a "drizzle" and he reported it was soaked through. He did say it still gave some warmth, but was soaked enough that he could "wring out a sleeve". I think that was from Outdoor Magazine.

    Basically, I think what I'm saying is that down will never be synthetic, and vice versa. To me, those down treatments seem like they will only be effective in those situations where you just get a little wet, like getting stuck 10 minutes from camp wearing your down jacket with no shell. In that case, little loft is lost, and it dries faster. But it sounds like the possibility of a total wet-out is not history, which is the real concern with down. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a soaked-through down TQ/UQ, you're still screwed. Sure, it might only take 24 hours to dry versus 72, but that still means another restless and cold night.

    I guess any improvement in wet performance is welcome when it comes to down, but I still think the best option is to get good at keeping your gear dry. That means pack covers, good dry bags, good shells, and good tents/hammock tarps. Personally, I think the best solution to this problem will be a better synthetic. Hopefully, The North Face is on to something with their upcoming Thermoball insulation. It attacks the problem from the other side by trying to duplicate down with synthetic materials. If you routinely get your gear wet, go synthetic.

    All of that being said, don't be afraid of down. There are two common myths out there about down that I try to eliminate at work. First, down is NOT ruined or even harmed by water, it just loses its insulation properties until it's dry, which can take days if thoroughly wet. Second, it does not take 6 raindrops to kill your quilt. It seems like people think that down will wilt at the first hint of water. It won't. A top quilt would likely take much more water than you'd think before it was useless. In the end, I say go for down. Whether you want to try the new, treated down or not is up to you. Just be meticulous about waterproofing, and you'll be fine.

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zolen View Post
    I work in an outdoor retailer shop, so I get lots of newsletters, magazines, etc with all the latest news about products and such. I've read a lot about these down treatments, and I'm somewhat skeptical of their actual benefit. I've read a few reviews from testers that seem to indicate that even the new, treated down is pretty much worthless when wet. One that I remember was a guy that took Sierra Design's new down jacket for a 30 minute run in a "drizzle" and he reported it was soaked through. He did say it still gave some warmth, but was soaked enough that he could "wring out a sleeve". I think that was from Outdoor Magazine.

    Basically, I think what I'm saying is that down will never be synthetic, and vice versa. To me, those down treatments seem like they will only be effective in those situations where you just get a little wet, like getting stuck 10 minutes from camp wearing your down jacket with no shell. In that case, little loft is lost, and it dries faster. But it sounds like the possibility of a total wet-out is not history, which is the real concern with down. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a soaked-through down TQ/UQ, you're still screwed. Sure, it might only take 24 hours to dry versus 72, but that still means another restless and cold night.

    I guess any improvement in wet performance is welcome when it comes to down, but I still think the best option is to get good at keeping your gear dry. That means pack covers, good dry bags, good shells, and good tents/hammock tarps. Personally, I think the best solution to this problem will be a better synthetic. Hopefully, The North Face is on to something with their upcoming Thermoball insulation. It attacks the problem from the other side by trying to duplicate down with synthetic materials. If you routinely get your gear wet, go synthetic.

    All of that being said, don't be afraid of down. There are two common myths out there about down that I try to eliminate at work. First, down is NOT ruined or even harmed by water, it just loses its insulation properties until it's dry, which can take days if thoroughly wet. Second, it does not take 6 raindrops to kill your quilt. It seems like people think that down will wilt at the first hint of water. It won't. A top quilt would likely take much more water than you'd think before it was useless. In the end, I say go for down. Whether you want to try the new, treated down or not is up to you. Just be meticulous about waterproofing, and you'll be fine.
    I agree with all you said. And I think that even with current technology, Climashield is a lot closer to down on the warmth to weight scale than many of us would believe. I am mainly basing that on my Warbonnet Yeti's ( EDIT: the no longer available original CS version) performance in the 40s, with only a 2.5 oz layer of CS in it. I just can not believe that 2.5 oz of down would be significantly warmer. Actually, it is hard for me to believe it would be even as warm. I mean, who makes a quilt with only 2.5 oz of down? Volume still goes to the down. And maybe warmth does also, but I think it is a lot closer than most folks think it is. But maybe I am wrong.

    But my experiments with a purposely soaked CS jacket, wrung out and worn in a cold rain ( with a WPB shell ) is that it kept me reasonably warm and dried very quickly. By that I mean, it dried pretty much completely during a 1.6 mile hike in a cold drizzling rain.

    At the same time, I have had 2 or 3 occasions where a lot of water got on my down UQs. Because of either splash up or a tarp stake pulling out of the ground during heavy rain/high winds, and I was not there to quickly correct the problem. To my amazement, I completely got away with it. What with modern DWR shells and today's dry bags, and being off the ground in a hammock, I really think the biggest threat to down- particularly on longer trips - is condensation inside the shell.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-15-2012 at 19:59.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  5. #5
    Still a Hooligan Stone's Avatar
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    My personal experience with the Resist down used by Paul in the Underground Quilts (20* UQ) which has been two extremely wet trips is that down will still get wet if exposed to extreme conditions, you cant soak the stuff and expect it to retain loft, which equals insulation, it is down after all. However, the benefit lies really in the less extreme conditions (wind blown rain, heavy fog, etc.) it will reattain more loft, and keep you warmer than untreated down, and it will dry out much quicker. You should still take all the care that you would normally use with down to keep it dry, but you have a little more room for forgiveness. Which I think is the ultimate benefit. Just my two cents.
    Its a proven fact that 78.4% of all statstics are made up on the spot.

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  6. #6
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    I can't disagree with anything that has been said.

    I have been using down sleeping bags and jackets for well over twenty years. My twenty year-old down sleeping bags and jackets still loft well and are incredibly warm.

    My synthetic sleeping bags and jackets have not fared nearly as well. In fact I recently returned a synthetic sleeping bag that lost its loft and exchanged it for a down sleeping bag under a manufacturer's lifetime guarantee.

    I do most of my camping in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Despite many days spent hiking and sleeping in rainy weather, I have never had a piece of down gear get soaked.

    I just purchased a Resist Down quilt from Paul at Underground Quilts, but I have not had a chance to field test it (it's not cold enough yet!). The reason I purchased the Resist Down is to combat the effects of perspiration and humidity, which can affect loft and are more difficult to control. In my opinion, this is the ideal function of the hydrophobic down treatments.

    If you take care in packing and storing your down gear, and take time to select a camp site, your gear will stay dry and functional for many years.

    David


    PS
    Paul's quilts are top quality. I have three, and I wouldn't hesitate for second to buy another from him.

  7. #7
    Jcavenagh's Avatar
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    Thanks, folks! This is why I like HF so much. Actual, thoughtful info. I had been looking at the Resist product as well. This is very helpful.
    The road to success is always under construction.
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  8. #8

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    I'm surprised this isn't generating even more buzz that it is. If this actually works as advertised, this is the holy grail of insulation. My hope is that this is just the first shot in a big move to improve insulation. I am sticking with my synthetic quilt for now, (mostly because I just bought it and my wife would kill me if I bought another), but I hope in a couple of years when the urge hits, I will have a bunch of options for waterproof down.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arothian's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the comments! I appreciate the info. It does seem that one of the factors they indicate with this treatments is the improved dry time, rather than straight loft increase when wet.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bmwrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zolen View Post
    I work in an outdoor retailer shop, so I get lots of newsletters, magazines, etc with all the latest news about products and such. I've read a lot about these down treatments, and I'm somewhat skeptical of their actual benefit. I've read a few reviews from testers that seem to indicate that even the new, treated down is pretty much worthless when wet. One that I remember was a guy that took Sierra Design's new down jacket for a 30 minute run in a "drizzle" and he reported it was soaked through. He did say it still gave some warmth, but was soaked enough that he could "wring out a sleeve". I think that was from Outdoor Magazine.

    Basically, I think what I'm saying is that down will never be synthetic, and vice versa. To me, those down treatments seem like they will only be effective in those situations where you just get a little wet, like getting stuck 10 minutes from camp wearing your down jacket with no shell. In that case, little loft is lost, and it dries faster. But it sounds like the possibility of a total wet-out is not history, which is the real concern with down. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a soaked-through down TQ/UQ, you're still screwed. Sure, it might only take 24 hours to dry versus 72, but that still means another restless and cold night.

    I guess any improvement in wet performance is welcome when it comes to down, but I still think the best option is to get good at keeping your gear dry. That means pack covers, good dry bags, good shells, and good tents/hammock tarps. Personally, I think the best solution to this problem will be a better synthetic. Hopefully, The North Face is on to something with their upcoming Thermoball insulation. It attacks the problem from the other side by trying to duplicate down with synthetic materials. If you routinely get your gear wet, go synthetic.

    All of that being said, don't be afraid of down. There are two common myths out there about down that I try to eliminate at work. First, down is NOT ruined or even harmed by water, it just loses its insulation properties until it's dry, which can take days if thoroughly wet. Second, it does not take 6 raindrops to kill your quilt. It seems like people think that down will wilt at the first hint of water. It won't. A top quilt would likely take much more water than you'd think before it was useless. In the end, I say go for down. Whether you want to try the new, treated down or not is up to you. Just be meticulous about waterproofing, and you'll be fine.
    I to work for an outdoor retailer, most likely the same company different store, and that is exactly what I learned through job by both beign out there and the training I received, I think that if you are worried about getting cold in your bag while out in the field you should be concerened regardless of what your bag is filled with, a wet sleeping bag will draw warmth from your body no matter what its filled with, a wet synthetic should never be slept in in cool or cold weather, that bag will make your night dangerous by lowering your core temp. same as down.
    If you want a bag that will keep you warm when its exposed to water get one with a water resistant/proof shell so the shell, insulation, draft tubes ect are not wet and will not draw heat from your body.
    I have nothing but down bags and its been that way for years and none of them have ever been wet enough to be cold, even though it seems to rain for 75% of my trips.

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