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  1. #21
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxhack View Post
    Overstock.com has down pillows that claim to be 700 fill power containing 25oz of down for $40 which comes out to $1.60/oz
    overstock quote: "King pillow: 20 inches wide x 36 inches, (25 ounces) "
    that includes the weight of the pillow case and any zipper, synthetic filling or other non-down ingredients. For one thing, 700 fill power x 25oz would be 17,500 cubic inches of down.

    to further clarify my previous statements, any processor can legally claim any fill power they want to. according to my recent reasearch, the International Down and Feather Laboratory in Salt Lake City, UT can neither confirm the existance of nor have they tested 900fp down. Call them yourself to be sure of my comments if you wish.
    What I discovered is this: "evaluation of accuracy for testing original fill power" is the title. the IDFL says this: "down processing factory normally uses no conditioning when measuring fill power after washing and sorting" they go on to say: "without conditioning fill power is always a changing value and never reproducible"
    it is my educated guess that the 900 fill power claims of many processing factories (and adopted by gear makers, such as the north face and marmot, who have since dropped the 900 number and gone on with a safer, more conservative number ~ (850 to be exact) is a fudged, exagerrated number and will be quickly reduced as soon as it is boxed for shipping, used in garments or sleeping bags/quilts and cannot be accuratley tested again).
    As I stated what I learned before, it is at their discretion to use (or not) the standard protocol for conditioning down using any 1 of the 5 accepted methods (oven heating, box conditioning, tumble dry, water rinse, or steam method) and by avoiding this protocol apparently can claim whatever they want, legally.
    it is however a legal requirement to claim the cluster/feather percentage. That is why your garment tag will state something like: 90% down, 10% feather. Only the consumer can remove this tag, as we have all seen before on a mattress, sleeping bag, etc..

    Im just trying to bring a level of reality to what seems to be hype. consider it the "snopes" of HF?

    still a skeptic of the unusual and exraordinary, mikeinfhaz

  2. #22
    i've talked to them as well and was told the same thing about fill power. my understanding is that if the fill power given to the down at the time of processing is accurate, then steam conditioning is the single method that can bring it back to 100% loft, washing and drying or even just drying bring back most of it's loft, but not all of it like the steam condition. they also claim the best way for a user to bring back loft is to use the dryer set on low/med and add some tennis balls and a damp washcloth. they claim down is warmest with a slight moisture content.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by warbonnetguy View Post
    i've talked to them as well and was told the same thing about fill power. my understanding is that if the fill power given to the down at the time of processing is accurate, then steam conditioning is the single method that can bring it back to 100% loft, washing and drying or even just drying bring back most of it's loft, but not all of it like the steam condition. they also claim the best way for a user to bring back loft is to use the dryer set on low/med and add some tennis balls and a damp washcloth. they claim down is warmest with a slight moisture content.
    if this is the case, it does make the most sense (imo) to list the highest achievable loft (kinda like using the widest point on a tarp as the listed width) as long as it's repeatable/testable with a steam condition fill test. it's known that down loses it's fill power with use, but nobody is going to run a fill power test on something like that, they would condition it first to restore the loft. if you took a heavily used 800 fil power bag and had it tested, they would remove the down, wahs and condition it and it should loft back up to the given rating, that was my understanding

  4. #24
    Senior Member linuxhack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinfhaz View Post
    overstock quote: "King pillow: 20 inches wide x 36 inches, (25 ounces) "
    that includes the weight of the pillow case and any zipper, synthetic filling or other non-down ingredients. For one thing, 700 fill power x 25oz would be 17,500 cubic inches of down.
    You may be right, but I still believe the 25oz is referring to the fill weight (who cares about total pillow weight?).

    This appears to be the same pillow at smartbargains.com only here it is rated at 600 fill down, same size, but does specify the down weight as 24oz. http://www.smartbargains.com/go.sb?p...earch...prod.1

    For my first project, I when with a cheap 550 fill down pillow to stuff my quilt. In my case, the weight stated was the fill weight not the total pillow weight and it came to $.90/oz shipped.

  5. #25
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    that would be good news indeed. for that price, check it out for sure!
    you may be able to make a couple of quilts with that much down.
    let us know if it works, if you indeed go that route. we could all surely benefit from such a savings!

  6. #26
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    I don't really have much new to add to this discussion since all my research also found the same confusing & conflicting claims we've already seen posted here. I do find it curious though that vendors selling less-than-900-fp-down are quite emotional about trying to throw cold water on those who do sell 900 fp. In other words, vendors who don't sell 900 down often go to great lengths to convince customers that it doesn't exist or it is not as 'efficient' as the down they do sell. European vendors were the first to scream fowl, since the high-tech re-processing plants needed to produce 900 down first appeared in the US only a few years ago & are only now begining to show up in Europe.

    This alone tells me that most customers want the highest fp number available & vendors will fight (& even lie) to win those customers.

    Also keep in mind that 900 down is quite rare, it has only recently become available thanks to re-processing plants in the US & even now not all vendors can get it, especially those needing large amounts of it. Even for the small amounts we use, my manufacuter often runs out because they simply can't produce enough of it. To produce the cream of the crop 900 down, a processing facility produces a much, much larger amount of lower quality down as a byproduct & they have to be able to sell both products in order to make money. My suspicsion is that there isn't enough 900 fp down available in the world to supply the market, & the large US sleeping bag manufacturers advertized themselves into a corner stressing higher & higher fill power numbers & now have to convince customers that the more-plentiful & less-expensive 800 fp down is good enough.

    The 900 down we sell is tested in the same labs (there's only 1 or 2 in the US) as all other down sold in the US & the test is the industry standard test---believe me, ALL down is pre-conditioned to give as high a fill power score as possible; even low-fp down is pre-conditioned to pass the test with as high a number as possible. There's just too much money involved here for the down manufacturers not to do everything in their power to get the numers as high as possible. The test doesn't lie--it's not the test that is faulty--beware of anyone who tells you otherwise.

    We all understand that high fp down has more down clusters & less feathers than lower fp down--thus you get more loft & less weight per volume. Removing those pesky feathers from the down clusters is the real problem--it takes numerous episodes of specialized re-processing to remove those feathers! US industry standards recognize this & a small amount of feathers are legally allowed even though the product is called 'down' or 'down-filled'. While some high-volume mass-production pillow & quilt vendors violate the standards & mislabel their products, no one in the outdoor industry could get away with that for long--thanks to people like those on this forum!

    I'm also wary of some foreign-manufactured down-filled products since it may be impossible to verify their claims of fp. I once declined having my PeaPod manufactured overseas when I realized that I'd have to pay for a large production run & have it delivered before I'd be able to verify the quality of the down used. I had heard too many horror stories of inferior fabrics &/or down being used for production runs vs the high-quality items used for the prototypes.

    Curiously I have some customers who call wanting the best quality down available for restuffing a couch or even making a dog bed! I have to tell them that while 900 down is the best for warmth vs weight, it may not be the best for cushioning---some (or even a lot of) feathers mixed with the down clusters would be better for that, so 500-700 down, which is less expensive, probably offers better cushioning for their needs. They don't want to believe me & hang up confused because I wouldn't sell them my down! Actually I'd love to sell them my 900 down--I just don't have enough for Fido's bed!
    Ed Speer (NotToWorry)
    Co-Owner, Speer Hammocks, Inc
    Author, Hammock Camping book
    Moderator, Yahoo Hammock Camping List

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