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Thread: Down? Really???

  1. #1
    New Member Elessar's Avatar
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    Down? Really???

    Ok, I'm a new guy around here and admit that from the start. Also, I'm not trying to start a fight or irriate anybody, but I've been reading about DriDown and hearing some people talk about how great this stuff is, blah, blah, blah,...but, unless your car camping or have easy access to a clothes dryer, it won't matter very much when your bag gets wet because of some accident or what ever, because once it's wet, it'll dry 60% faster than down, when you get to a tumble dryer. Until then, it'll be a matted wet mess.

    Here's where my ignorance shines, because I haven't been watching the technology news, or checking the gear forums, so I admit that my knowledge is old school based on camping equipment from 10-20 years ago. At that time, people were swearing off down because it couldn't save you in an adverse situation.

    Just my $.02, but I'm trying to figure out how down can have improved enough to make it a good investment for backpacking. Car camping is another story because you could find a dryer, or if you were camping at a park with amenities. So I won't be jumping on the dry down product train. Just can't take that chance.

    My apologies again if I've offended anyone. I hope to learn something new about new gear and am willing to hear differing opinions.

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    Caveman's Avatar
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    Down packs down great and is very light. I use a compactor bag in my backpack to keep everything dry. I've been on lots of outings and have never had my gear get wet. I realize that accidents can happen, but unless you are being careless you shouldn't have wet gear.

    If you know you are going to have to do some crazy water crossings, you might want to look at another alternative.
    If you ain't havin' fun, you're doin' it wrong

  3. #3
    New Member Elessar's Avatar
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    Caveman: Thanks for not flaming me, first thing. I am investigating winter camping and have been working through the design phase of incorporating an over/under quilt. I'm not excited about tenting when the temps drop to below freezing and I have practiced a few nights hanging. Still in the beginning stages, and that's why the alternate materials struck a chord with me.

    Thanks for your advice.

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    Down has been the superior fill for over 40 years, for anything you want small enough to fit in a pack. For car camping, synthetic is fine, as you don't have the space constraint.
    Worrying about down getting wet would be like worrying about synthetic fill being attacked by a Sasquatch,...it's not likely to happen.
    I could store my down quilts under water in a dry sack if i wanted.

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    Member macinnisl's Avatar
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    I think most people agree dridown is really designed for humid conditions, light drizzle, minor water exposure and condensation. I know the product claims more but let's face it wet = cold. For me I ordered a dridown bag cause I sweat a lot when I sleep sometimes and I want to be able to open er' up and let the sun dry it out a little faster.

    So I don't believe this bag will save my butt it just gives me a little more wiggle room instead of some light condensation ruining my sleep it should give me (not yet tested) some more resilience to moisture. That's how the expert reviews I have seen have claimed the product to work and how I need it to work. Otherwise the bad boy is going into a waterproof stuffsac and being deployed under a tarp.

    My 2 cents. (2.03 cents US)

  6. #6
    craige's Avatar
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    Not speaking from experience here because I don't own any down products yet, but I believe the main attraction to down is weight and compressed volume, and the fact that it's so soft and fluffy. Another pro is that if taken care of properly down will also outlast synthetics.

    Really the only pro to synthetic insulation is that it will still insulate when when.

    If you take care of your gear when out, the only thing that should get wet is your waterproofs and tarp. Dwr coating on shells will repel any small accidents.

    If the dri down is as good as advertised it will be well worth the investment in my opinion.

  7. #7
    New Member Elessar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caribou Bentspoke View Post
    Down has been the superior fill for over 40 years, for anything you want small enough to fit in a pack. For car camping, synthetic is fine, as you don't have the space constraint.
    Worrying about down getting wet would be like worrying about synthetic fill being attacked by a Sasquatch,...it's not likely to happen.
    I could store my down quilts under water in a dry sack if i wanted.
    Wow, that's some super performing dry sack. I'm impressed.

  8. #8
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    I agree with the others above, down is the lightest and compresses to the smallest size. I am very careful with my gear, so I don't find it a problem at all using down as an insulator. I use a dry bag to keep is dry.
    Happy Hangin!!!


    AKA BajaHanger

    You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. -Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    New Member Elessar's Avatar
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    I use the poor man's dry bag when I motorcycle camp and that works well, even in poor weather while riding. I like the idea as well as the intent of protecting my gear. I'm gonna have to look at down again, because so many of you have pledged faith in it as the superior product. Thanks

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    I have packed and paddled for 30 years and never have I had wet bedding. I am cautious with my packing and have rolled canoes over several times in class IV water. The packing requires some thought, but I really do prefer down for its compressability and warmth. I do carry wool clothing though in the event I get wet. (When rolling those canoes in class IV water. ) I do a lot of paddling in northern Michigan and Wisconsin so even in summer, a big chill is possible. In the early spring and fall, a big chill is probable.
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