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Hi-Tec dyes its down with Color-Tec

Yet another company aims to improve upon the natural state of down insulation, this time in a very visible way. This time it's Hi-Tec as the first company to offer dyed down in its insulated clothing, which it will show off inside a new transparent shell for 2012.

Timaru Hoodie
Women's Timaru Down Hoodie

The proprietary technology, called Color-Tec, dyes the individual down clusters vivid colors (see also water-resistant down offerings from Brooks-Range and Sierra Designs).

Why mess with the appearance of down, you might ask?

In addition to the unique look, Hi-Tec claims that Color-Tec technology increases the loft of the down clusters slightly—about five percent—and doesn’t affect the oils needed for healthy down insulation.

Hi-Tec will showcase its colored down in the 700-fill women's Timaru Down Hoodie. The Timaru features a thin, translucent shell with narrow baffles that allow the vivid colors of the dyed down to show through.

The shell fabric is a 15D nylon mini rip, silicon coated. The jacket includes two zippered handwarmer pockets and a single‐hand drawcord adjustable hem.

Timaru Down Hoodie

  • Insulation: 700 fill power down
  • Sizes: Women's S‐XL
  • Available: Fall 2012
  • MSRP: $189

What do you think? Is there a market for colored down insulation or are outdoor brands messing around with an already good thing?

Color-Tec down clusters from Hi-Tec
















Disclosure: The author serves on a volunteer board of directors with a Hi-Tec employee.

Filed under: Gear News, Outdoor Retailer


778 reviewer rep
472 forum posts
February 1, 2012 at 10:27 a.m. (EST)

Looks like cotton candy................

658 reviewer rep
2,137 forum posts
February 1, 2012 at 11:17 a.m. (EST)

Strange. I am sure it will sell well in certain demographics. 

1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
February 1, 2012 at 1:52 p.m. (EST)

Now if only Hypercolors, Jamz, and Zubaz would make a comeback...

This is most certainly different.  I suppose for those that are looking for "the look" this may be intriguing. 

Then again this may also be a bad idea. For instance. How many different color variations will be offered?

The reason I ask is if the above is all that will be offered then Hi-Tec might be shooting themselves in the foot in regards to exactly how many potential customers may be interested in the product. 

Its sort of like pants, shorts, and shirts. Some like khaki, some like blue, some like earth tones....

So my question is who do you cater too?

This will have a great bearing on sales not too mention just how much of the consumer base may actually be interested in the product.

I mean lets face it. There are quite a few well respected options out there. 

Its definitely a niche product imo. 

I look at it like this. 

If someone is that interested in a product such as this they are also going to be pretty picky when it comes to features, color, etc. 

Jake W
973 reviewer rep
571 forum posts
February 1, 2012 at 8:58 p.m. (EST)

What a completely unwarranted and useless idea. This is purely a fashion over function design. The colour probably adds to the retail price at zero gain to the consumer.

1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
February 1, 2012 at 11:14 p.m. (EST)

Ok, 86 everything I said. The wife said if she wasn't allergic to down she would want one in a heartbeat.

200 reviewer rep
3,931 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 11:27 a.m. (EST)


I miss my last down bag, it was a Golite but after 12 years of use 275 nights a year it was a down squirter. I would wake up every morning with down feathers all over me and my tent.

2,679 reviewer rep
1,137 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 3:09 p.m. (EST)


I have been saying for years that the problem with down is that its not multi-colored. 

1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 3:12 p.m. (EST)

I want a down bag with clear outer/inner fabric and clear down. :)

486 reviewer rep
1,357 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 4:17 p.m. (EST)

Wait...after getting a light weight down sweater and how fragile it was, this sems like it would be PAPER thin and just disintigrate!

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
471 reviewer rep
2,913 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 5:47 p.m. (EST)

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I want a down bag with clear outer/inner fabric and clear down. :)

 I can imagine it now: "Hey, anyone seen my sleeping bag?"

1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
February 2, 2012 at 6:14 p.m. (EST)

Alicia said:

I can imagine it now: "Hey, anyone seen my sleeping bag?"

 I am on the lookout for clear geese. I can hear them; now if I could only find them. 

245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
February 3, 2012 at 2:25 p.m. (EST)

Transparent shell,   Uuum , I bet that is good on shell property needs.

0 reviewer rep
61 forum posts
February 4, 2012 at 12:31 a.m. (EST)

A camo version might be worth a try.

20 reviewer rep
63 forum posts
February 4, 2012 at 7:46 a.m. (EST)

I agree with Jake W, for me, form follows function with something as utility specific as hiking gear.

0 reviewer rep
908 forum posts
February 5, 2012 at 3:31 p.m. (EST)

I'm thinking a combo of Build-a-Bear and those places that you fill tubes with different colored/flavored sugar.  Have about 10 different colors and just fill the jacket up with the colors you want.  Do it right and it would be like sand art.

Seth Levy (Seth)
397 reviewer rep
963 forum posts
February 6, 2012 at 11:33 a.m. (EST)

I'm thinking about a transparent WPB shell and a black down.  Perhaps this would permit the down to sublimate excess moisture?

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