Nunatak's best...

8:37 p.m. on July 30, 2009 (EDT)
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Nunatak has an option whereby one can have a quilt/bag filled with the hallowed Eider down for an additional $125 per ounce of fill, on top of the normal cost of the product. That puts an Eider down Arc Ghost at $1208!!

Has anyone here any first-hand experience with this rarest-of-rare fill? I hear Eider down is hands and feet above even the best quality european down; they say it's not even a fair comparison, really. I could never afford it now, but for a piece of gear that could possibly last decades, perhaps the premium price is worth it in the long run? I mean, in theory Eider down will only get more rare and thus more expensive in the future, right?--Maybe I should start saving...

10:26 p.m. on July 30, 2009 (EDT)
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I read Generally Goose Down is better than Duck I have ice fished in 80 below windchills with a jacket that was 50/50 goose and baby down;put my back to the wind and did not get cold. Where I was looking said Eider was a sea duck. They had a comforter for around 6,000.

11:28 p.m. on August 6, 2009 (EDT)
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Interested in the Holubar thing here on Trailspace so surfing for Holubar I also found the frostline Kit info. Then a bit on down even mentioning the eider down. It shows who sells down and what they charge. It seems if it good to start with then it is up to fill power after that point. I guess most of it now comes from geese raised in china for food. The difference was 115.00 per ounce.

11:26 a.m. on August 11, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm not sure if the fill Holubar mentions is Eider Down if they say its from a goose in China. As far as I understand, The Eider is a larger brown duck, and it can only be found in a couple countries at or near the arctic circle. Iceland and Finland seem to be the main supplier these days, and the Eider duck is under some kind of special protection there whereby the only method of allowable down collection involves snagging small quanitites from the nesting birds' nests once the nest in question is abandoned or left unguarded for a longer period of time. The notion is that the birds are not supposed to be disturbed from their everyday routines.

5:22 p.m. on August 11, 2009 (EDT)
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[url=http://www.oregonphotos.com]www.oregonphotos.com should clarify what I was trying to say.

12:40 p.m. on August 17, 2009 (EDT)
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So has anyone used this stuff, or just dreamed about it, like me?

12:50 p.m. on August 17, 2009 (EDT)
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It may be nice but there is no way I would pay that much ($1200) for a sleeping-bag nor would I even want one. When there other bags out that will do the job for half or better of the cost but that's me.

2:14 p.m. on August 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Eider are common diving ducks on northern coasts. Two species in the Atlantic, common and king. The females are brown but the males are rather elegantly colored. I used to see them all the time along the northern New England Coast and they are also quite common here in Norway.

This reminded me that when we were in Helgeland in northern (sort of) Norway last summer, I learned that the people there tend eiders and collect the down, especially in the island kommune (township) of Vega. Apparently the build nesting houses so the eider are semi-tame, collect down from the nests, clean it by hand, and use it to make quilts. The tradition nearly died out in mid-century, but a few people hung on and others have taken it up again. The practice probably traveled to iceland with the Vikings (it is mentioned in Egil's Saga, one of my favorites). According to what I found, Iceland is now the largest exporter of Eider down and it is machine cleaned so it is of better quality, or at least lighter than, the hand-cleaned down from Vega. All this and more in a report nominating Vega as a World Heritage site:

http://www.verdensarvvega.no/vegaoyan.pdf

None of which resolves the question at hand, but maybe somebody out there will find it useful or interesting?

I had always heard that goose down was superior to duck down.

7:05 p.m. on August 17, 2009 (EDT)
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My grandmother, Johanna Updahl, from a landholding owned by her family outside of Molde, "The City of Roses" in Norway, brought handmade quilts with her to British Columbia before the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. I used these to start camping with as a young boy and they were very warm....like so many heirlooms in 1950s-'60s B.C., they were just wrecked and thrown out....now, items like these sell in shops patronized by "Yuppies" and their "Yuppy Puppies" for serious folding money.....day late and a dollar short, I guess.

I think that Eider down is still colllected by the Eskimos in Canada's northern territories, as it used to be and probably sold to outfits like Nunatak for huge coin, so, we poor backpackers can bankrupt ourselves buy it in our gear!!! :)

July 26, 2014
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