A Flood of Water-Repellent Down for Sleeping Bags

Down that keeps you warm, even when wet? Outdoor enthusiasts and manufacturers took note when Brooks-Range and Sierra Designs launched water-repellent down at last January's Outdoor Retailer trade show.

Now a flood of water-repellent insulation hits the outdoor market this fall and early next year, with DownTek, DriDown, and Q.Shield Down. All promise to repel water while maintaining down's high loft, insulation, and breathability, even when wet, thanks to nano polymer finishes applied to down plumes.

DownTek

Brooks-Range


Brooks-Range Cloak

Brooks-Range was first to debut hydrophobic DownTek down with its 800-fill Mojave Jacket. Now it's introducing 850-fill DownTek down in its new Cloak sleeping bag series and redesigned Elephant Foot.

Partnered with a sleeping pad, the lightweight Cloak top bags (45°, 30°, 15°) work like a down quilt (13, 16, 20 oz; $249, $299, $369).

Pair the redesigned Elephant Foot with the forthcoming Mojave Jacket for a lightweight bivy system good down to 25 degrees (16 oz, $299).


Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain

Big Agnes

Big Agnes introduces four traditional mummy bags with DownTek this fall: Bellyache Mountain SL 15°F, McAlpin SL 0°F, Juniper SL 25°F, and Lithia Spring SL 15°F. The 700-fill Bellyache Mountain weighs 2.5 pounds ($299).

Big Agnes will use DownTek in 11 more bags in 2013, including the Lost Ranger 15°F and all men’s and women’s Classic series bags.

 

Nemo Rhapsody

Nemo

Nemo will use DownTek in several 700-fill down bags in its  sleeping bag line, new for 2013. The men's Nocturne and women's Rhapsody bags have a Spoon Shape profile to follow your body’s contours and give you extra space in the shoulders and knees. Features include a tuckable Blanket Fold, 10 percent less fill on underside, and a waterproof-breathable footbox.

Available in men's Nocturne 15° (2 lb 11 oz, $349.95) and 30° (2 lb, $419.95), and women's Rhapsody 15° (2 lb 2 oz, $349.95) and 30° (1 lb 13 oz, $399.95)

Sea to Summit


Sea to Summit Alpine

Sea to Summit is introducing water-repellent Ultra-Dry Down, supplied by DownTek, into its sleeping bags. First up are the 750-fill Talus bags, out in October 2012. The Talus, a traditional mummy bag, comes in three models: Talus I (1 lb 15 oz, EN Lower 23°), Talus II (2 lb 5 oz, EN Lower 14°), Talus III (2 lb 11 oz, EN Lower 1°) ($329-$459).

Sea to Summit's entire line of down bags, including the ultralight Micro and high altitude Alpine, will be updated with Ultra-Dry Down for March 2013. Prices will remain the same on each model.

Q.Shield Down

Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear, which works with DownTek supplier Down Decor, updates its popular Phantom bags with Q.Shield Down for spring 2013. The lightweight, 800-fill down bags — available in , 15°, 32°, 45° — now claim to "keep you warm even when wet."

"Q.Shield Down is a giant leap forward in down performance," says Mountain Hardwear. "Individual down fibers are infused with a permanent water repellency that helps maintain insulating performance even when exposed to moisture."

DriDown


Sierra Designs Clo

Sierra Designs

Sierra Designs is investing heavily in its DriDown proprietary technology, which it debuted in January. DriDown will expand to 80 percent of Sierra Designs's down sleeping bag line and 100 percent of its new-for-2013 technical down apparel line.

The men’s Cal and women’s Clo series will feature 800-fill DriDown and InsoTect Flow vertical baffles. Sierra Designs, moving to EN-tested comfort ratings on its bags, will offer the Cal in the EN-tested 6°, 13°, and 30° models and the Clo in EN-tested 18° and 25° models.

For 2013, Sierra Designs's 800-fill BTU series -5 and -20 expedition bags will be updated with DriDown on the inside and a Drizone waterproof/breathable membrane on the outside. 

Kelty

Kelty follows Sierra Designs's lead (both brands are owned by American Rec), offering its first line of DriDown sleeping bags for 2013, the Ignite Down 0° and Ignite Down 20°.

 

With the multitude of water-repellent down sleeping bags soon available, your synthetic bag may get lonely in storage.

Filed under: Gear News

Related Content

Big Agnes  |  Brooks-Range  |  Kelty  |  Mountain Hardwear  |  NEMO  |  Sea to Summit  |  Sierra Designs

Comments

FromSagetoSnow
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,627 reviewer rep
1,274 forum posts
July 24, 2012 at 3:54 p.m. (EDT)

Were'nt the feathers already waterproof while they were still ON the goose? 

Just sayin'

Euphorbia
108 reviewer rep
45 forum posts
July 24, 2012 at 7:51 p.m. (EDT)

I bought an MEC Merlin DF -3 this year, used it twice so far, love it and a review will happen eventually... It has the 800+ goose down.

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/SleepingBags/DownMummyBags/PRD~5025-523/mec-merlin-df-sleeping-bag-3c.jsp

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,166 forum posts
July 24, 2012 at 8:06 p.m. (EDT)

amEuphorbia said:

I bought an MEC Merlin DF -3 this year, used it twice so far, love it and a review will happen eventually... It has the 800+ goose down.

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/SleepingBags/DownMummyBags/PRD~5025-523/mec-merlin-df-sleeping-bag-3c.jsp

Thanks for sharing that. I hadn't seen the DWR-treated down at MEC.

Berghaus also released a water-resistant down jacket, according to this 2011 Outdoors Magic article

It's the Mount Asgard Hybrid Jacket, a "Lightweight Hybrid Jacket Utilising Hydrophobic Down and PrimaLoft Insulation."

Family Guy
2 reviewer rep
699 forum posts
July 25, 2012 at 2:11 p.m. (EDT)

I find this all immensely interesting.  However, as we all know, DWR eventually wears off and hence, this is a bit gimmicky.

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,166 forum posts
July 25, 2012 at 2:33 p.m. (EDT)

Family Guy said:

I find this all immensely interesting.  However, as we all know, DWR eventually wears off and hence, this is a bit gimmicky.

Just to clarify, the nanopolymer treatments used on the sleeping bags in the article aren't a DWR like the ones mentioned in the comments above (though it's interesting to know that method has been used by at least MEC and Berghaus). 

For DownTek and DriDown, a micro-thin nano polymer is permanently applied to the individual down plumes to make them water-repellent, plus anti-mocrobial and anti-bacterial.

Hope that helps. Sorry for any confusion.

We'll have a separate article on the different technologies mentioned as well.

Callahan
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
July 25, 2012 at 5:22 p.m. (EDT)

FromSagetoSnow said:

Were'nt the feathers already waterproof while they were still ON the goose? 

Just sayin'

 I like your thinking

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,166 forum posts
July 25, 2012 at 8:04 p.m. (EDT)

FromSagetoSnow said:

Were'nt the feathers already waterproof while they were still ON the goose? 

Just sayin'

Ha ha! I'll go ahead and take that as an opportunity to share a previous Trailspace article: "Gear Explained: Down Insulation."

For anyone wondering, down can contain both down clusters (tiny, fine, fluffy feathers, from the birds' undercoats) and feathers, but the more down clusters in the insulation the better. The clusters, which are not waterproof, insulate you by trapping air in them.

By the way, a product is required to contain a minimum of 75 percent down clusters to be labeled as "Down." High quality down will contain far less feathers than that though and be mostly down clusters.

300winmag
512 reviewer rep
287 forum posts
July 26, 2012 at 1:42 a.m. (EDT)

With this new Dri-Down technology ANY winter down bag without it will probably hang on store racks long after the Dri-Down winter bags are gone.

This may be true of garments as well, which get their fair share of rain and perspiration in normal use.

chapped lips
3 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
July 27, 2012 at 12:53 a.m. (EDT)

Why no models from anyone in subzero ratings??????? Where are the -10 and -30 bags in semi-mummy and mummy?

Regarding live birds and waterproofing......google "preening" or "preen glands". Waterfowl preen their outer feathers and feet but not the underneath down clusters.

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
715 reviewer rep
3,166 forum posts
July 27, 2012 at 2:11 p.m. (EDT)

FYI, I just updated the article to reflect that DownTek is only used in NEMO's 700-fill bags for 2013. It is not in NEMO's 850 fill down Siren quilt.

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