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water resistant down sleeping bags....sleeping bags/price #14176867 10/04/19
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79inpa Offline OP
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I'm looking at some light weight down sleeping bag options. I notice that some of them have new water resistant down installed in them. Any first hand experience with them?



Now that the consensus of people are saying that treated feathers are bad could we discuss options in different price ranges. Say can you recommend 1 bag in the 200,300,400 dollars price ranges? I'm six foot four inches tall and between 200 and 220 pounds depending on the time of year. If I had to guess i'm about 210 pounds during the months of September and October when i'm likely to be using the sleeping bag in Wyoming and Colorado.

Last edited by 79inpa; 10/04/19.
300 BP

Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14176900 10/04/19
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SheriffJoe Offline
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Most new down bags have that technology.

Would be helpful if the bag had been immersed in a fall into a body of water or LONG TERM condensation exposure in monsoon-ish conditions.

I still treat the outside of my Marmot bag (and other gear) with DWR to avoid finding out its limitations in lieu of an exterior bag liner.


Don't ask me about my military service or heroic acts...most of it is untrue.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14177183 10/04/19
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Brad Offline
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I wouldn't touch a "treated" down bag with a 20' pole.

The jury is far from in on its performance. Top tier makers like Western Mountaineering won't use it. There's no way I'm wrapping myself in another damn chemical for an 8 hour sleep...

After looking at it for a couple years it appears Western Mountaineering, rather than jump on the latest fad, has made it's final decision... from it's FAQ Page:

We have found in our own testing that the performance enhancements of hydrophobic treatments on high quality down are widely overstated. High quality untreated down already has naturally water repellant oils on it left by the geese (makes sense since geese spend a lot of time in water). These oils help repel water and keep down lofted. More importantly is that these oils last indefinitely. Hydrophobic treatments wash out like a DWR and remove the natural oils during the application process. Because of this, and the water resistant capability of our shell fabrics, we feel that hydrophobic down does not provide a considerable impact on performance and could actually inhibit performance over the lifetime of our products.


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14177206 10/04/19
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RickBin Offline
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After using both Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering down bags for decades, including at least a dozen trips to Alaska with many nights spent in a tent, I will also pass on the treated down.


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Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: Brad] #14177228 10/04/19
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whackem_stackem Offline
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Originally Posted by Brad
I wouldn't touch a "treated" down bag with a 20' pole.

The jury is far from in on its performance. Top tier makers like Western Mountaineering won't use it. There's no way I'm wrapping myself in another damn chemical for an 8 hour sleep...

After looking at it for a couple years it appears Western Mountaineering, rather than jump on the latest fad, has made it's final decision... from it's FAQ Page:

We have found in our own testing that the performance enhancements of hydrophobic treatments on high quality down are widely overstated. High quality untreated down already has naturally water repellant oils on it left by the geese (makes sense since geese spend a lot of time in water). These oils help repel water and keep down lofted. More importantly is that these oils last indefinitely. Hydrophobic treatments wash out like a DWR and remove the natural oils during the application process. Because of this, and the water resistant capability of our shell fabrics, we feel that hydrophobic down does not provide a considerable impact on performance and could actually inhibit performance over the lifetime of our products.

I'm no scientist but that is just plain common sense. Much like silk and wool, sometimes you just can't beat what god handed us.


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Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: Brad] #14177345 10/04/19
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SheriffJoe Offline
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Originally Posted by Brad
I wouldn't touch a "treated" down bag with a 20' pole.

The jury is far from in on its performance. Top tier makers like Western Mountaineering won't use it. There's no way I'm wrapping myself in another damn chemical for an 8 hour sleep...

After looking at it for a couple years it appears Western Mountaineering, rather than jump on the latest fad, has made it's final decision... from it's FAQ Page:

We have found in our own testing that the performance enhancements of hydrophobic treatments on high quality down are widely overstated. High quality untreated down already has naturally water repellant oils on it left by the geese (makes sense since geese spend a lot of time in water). These oils help repel water and keep down lofted. More importantly is that these oils last indefinitely. Hydrophobic treatments wash out like a DWR and remove the natural oils during the application process. Because of this, and the water resistant capability of our shell fabrics, we feel that hydrophobic down does not provide a considerable impact on performance and could actually inhibit performance over the lifetime of our products.




Do you have a link to their "testing" data results?

Yeah, great if you live in the inland cold, dry areas and regions.

Hydrophobic down is effective in wet, cold regions with wet snowfalls and storms. Bring your earthy down bag to a typical rain forest region or alpine valleys as found in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon for a week and most likely you'll be throwing your "natural" down bag in the trash after a good wetting and wishing you had brought a synthetic instead.


Don't ask me about my military service or heroic acts...most of it is untrue.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: SheriffJoe] #14177389 10/04/19
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Brad Offline
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Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
Originally Posted by Brad
I wouldn't touch a "treated" down bag with a 20' pole.

The jury is far from in on its performance. Top tier makers like Western Mountaineering won't use it. There's no way I'm wrapping myself in another damn chemical for an 8 hour sleep...

After looking at it for a couple years it appears Western Mountaineering, rather than jump on the latest fad, has made it's final decision... from it's FAQ Page:

We have found in our own testing that the performance enhancements of hydrophobic treatments on high quality down are widely overstated. High quality untreated down already has naturally water repellant oils on it left by the geese (makes sense since geese spend a lot of time in water). These oils help repel water and keep down lofted. More importantly is that these oils last indefinitely. Hydrophobic treatments wash out like a DWR and remove the natural oils during the application process. Because of this, and the water resistant capability of our shell fabrics, we feel that hydrophobic down does not provide a considerable impact on performance and could actually inhibit performance over the lifetime of our products.




Do you have a link to their "testing" data results?

Yeah, great if you live in the inland cold, dry areas and regions.

Hydrophobic down is effective in wet, cold regions with wet snowfalls and storms. Bring your earthy down bag to a typical rain forest region or alpine valleys as found in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon for a week and most likely you'll be throwing your "natural" down bag in the trash after a good wetting and wishing you had brought a synthetic instead.


I've used down bags starting in 1975 from Maine to Alaska, Georgia to Montana, Nepal to Switzerland.

If you take a little care it's a non-issue... otherwise there's this stuff called "synthetic."

But you only have yourself to please...


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14177406 10/04/19
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79inpa Offline OP
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okay...arguments for both types of materials. While we are on the subject of bags can we recommend a bag that will work in Wyoming and Colorado during the months of September and October. Temperature ranges would be expected to be from 10 to 40 degrees. Sleeping bag would be used for backpacking and camping near my car. Will need to fit in my mystery ranch Metcalf with my tent and other stuff.


please recommend 1 bag in the
200,300,400 dollar price range.

Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14177424 10/04/19
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SheriffJoe Offline
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Originally Posted by 79inpa
okay...arguments for both types of materials. While we are on the subject of bags can we recommend a bag that will work in Wyoming and Colorado during the months of September and October. Temperature ranges would be expected to be from 10 to 40 degrees. Sleeping bag would be used for backpacking and camping near my car. Will need to fit in my mystery ranch Metcalf with my tent and other stuff.


please recommend 1 bag in the
200,300,400 dollar price range.



Take a look at Marmot:

https://www.marmot.com/equipment/sleeping-bags/down-bags/

https://www.marmot.com/equipment/sleeping-bags/synthetic-bags/


https://www.rei.com/c/sleeping-bags-and-accessories

https://www.moosejaw.com/search/sleeping-bags


Don't ask me about my military service or heroic acts...most of it is untrue.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14178058 10/04/19
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My REI 17 degree down was fantastic.

Weighs like 2 pounds

Odd name, but starts with an “O”.

Cost $300 I think


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Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: addicted] #14178147 10/04/19
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SheriffJoe Offline
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Originally Posted by addicted
My REI 17 degree down was fantastic.

Weighs like 2 pounds

Odd name, but starts with an “O”.

Cost $300 I think






Igneo.


Don't ask me about my military service or heroic acts...most of it is untrue.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: Brad] #14178478 10/05/19
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MontanaCreekHunter Offline
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Originally Posted by Brad
Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
Originally Posted by Brad
I wouldn't touch a "treated" down bag with a 20' pole.

The jury is far from in on its performance. Top tier makers like Western Mountaineering won't use it. There's no way I'm wrapping myself in another damn chemical for an 8 hour sleep...

After looking at it for a couple years it appears Western Mountaineering, rather than jump on the latest fad, has made it's final decision... from it's FAQ Page:

We have found in our own testing that the performance enhancements of hydrophobic treatments on high quality down are widely overstated. High quality untreated down already has naturally water repellant oils on it left by the geese (makes sense since geese spend a lot of time in water). These oils help repel water and keep down lofted. More importantly is that these oils last indefinitely. Hydrophobic treatments wash out like a DWR and remove the natural oils during the application process. Because of this, and the water resistant capability of our shell fabrics, we feel that hydrophobic down does not provide a considerable impact on performance and could actually inhibit performance over the lifetime of our products.




Do you have a link to their "testing" data results?

Yeah, great if you live in the inland cold, dry areas and regions.

Hydrophobic down is effective in wet, cold regions with wet snowfalls and storms. Bring your earthy down bag to a typical rain forest region or alpine valleys as found in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon for a week and most likely you'll be throwing your "natural" down bag in the trash after a good wetting and wishing you had brought a synthetic instead.


I've used down bags starting in 1975 from Maine to Alaska, Georgia to Montana, Nepal to Switzerland.

If you take a little care it's a non-issue... otherwise there's this stuff called "synthetic."

But you only have yourself to please...




Not since 75 but I have used Down all across America and the globe. Have spent a week in rain and fog on Mount Fairweather. Never been an issue. I have never bought into the down treatment. I agree with Brad 100%.


Eat Fish, Wear Grundens, Drink Alaskan.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14181318 10/06/19
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If I thought I really needed a down treated bag I would just go to a synthetic bag. Tell the truth my down bag is heaver than my synthetic.
Go to Outdoorlabs.com or backpackerreviews.com for sleeping bag recommend best bags for 2019.

Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: 79inpa] #14182184 10/06/19
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I think the difference between down and treated down is very little- if exposed to much moisture (externally or internally from sweat/breathing) it's going to lose loft; if conditions are going to be on the drier side you're not going to beat down for warmth/weight (or volume), if wetter conditions are expected I use synthetic (Climashield Apex) and take the weight/volume hit.

Re: water resistant down sleeping bags [Re: mtwarden] #14182236 10/06/19
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Originally Posted by mtwarden
I think the difference between down and treated down is very little- if exposed to much moisture (externally or internally from sweat/breathing) it's going to lose loft; if conditions are going to be on the drier side you're not going to beat down for warmth/weight (or volume), if wetter conditions are expected I use synthetic (Climashield Apex) and take the weight/volume hit.

+1 on synthetic. Especially at temps/conditions where wet is likely.


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Re: water resistant down sleeping bags....sleeping bags/price [Re: 79inpa] #14182489 10/06/19
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Interesting what WM has to say about treated down......
I had a WM Antelope GTX for over 20 years. The shell was regular Gore-Tex back then, not the Gore Tex later developed for sleeping bags. A bit stiffer, more robust shell, and didn't pack down quite as small. Bought it in 1990 and a month later spent 15 days on the river in Alaska on a DIY moose and caribou hunt. We were blessed with better than average weather, but had a 5 day, 4 night stretch of really wet weather where it rained most of the time (as opposed to just drizzle) and two days of 15-30 mph winds. By the fourth night the down had begun to wet out, lose loft and warnth. The following year backpack archery hunting for elk in the San Juans we hunted in a stretch of wet rain/sleet/hail/snow for 4 days, and I could tell the bag was losing it's insulation ability again. When I went back to Alaska in 1993 for a repeat performance, I brought a North Face synthetic bag--and we had more days of rain on that trip. But the bag did fine. Of course it weighed more and didn't pack down as small, nor was it rated for as cold of temps, but on a raft in Sept in Alaska, it was a good choice for the conditions.

As I eventually figured out--and talking to others--the down wasn't getting wet from the outside in, it was becoming damp from the inside out. After hunting in rain, no matter how militant a guy is, it's impossible not to drag water into the tent, and with extremely high humidity conditions, plus your body is clammy because even with the best rain gear a guy gets.....well, damp. One of the disadvantages to any water resistant, breathable fabric is as body vapor, plus any water on us, can quickly condense into water as it slowly makes its way through insulation and also encounters the water resistant-breathable membrane. I loved the Antelope for it's light weight and warmth in the summer at 12K, or while winter camping while teleskiing, (15 below outside the tent one January at 11.5k ft) but I stopped using it in September when there was a good chance to encounter wet, coolish conditions, when things would not have a chance to dry out. Plus it takes down a long time to dry.

Alas, the Antelope was about right for me in my 30's, but by the time I gained another 10 lbs in my 50's, it was too small--I plumb outgrew it cry I sold it about 5 years ago (WM bags are like Swaro, they hold their value).

These days my neck of the woods are well populated by millennials and Generation X'ers who are adventure travelers of the first order. Lots of expedition climbers, and backcountry skiers, etc. The word from them was buy the treated down. It allegedly wets out a bit slower and dries noticeably faster. So I bought a KUIU 0 degree bag when they had their Black Friday sale a couple years ago. Although I've used the bag, I have not really been in the kind of weather to make a determination as to how effective it will be in extremely wet conditions for days.
I do like the bag so far. It is lighter than my Antelope, stuffs a bit smaller and the 0 degree rating seems to be reasonable.


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Re: water resistant down sleeping bags....sleeping bags/price [Re: 79inpa] #14228365 10/25/19
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In my opinion, Western Mountaineering makes the best bags in the world with Feathered Friends coming in second.

Re: water resistant down sleeping bags....sleeping bags/price [Re: 79inpa] #14228383 10/25/19
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Rock Chuck Offline
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Originally Posted by 79inpa
I'm looking at some light weight down sleeping bag options. I notice that some of them have new water resistant down installed in them. Any first hand experience with them?



Now that the consensus of people are saying that treated feathers are bad could we discuss options in different price ranges. Say can you recommend 1 bag in the 200,300,400 dollars price ranges? I'm six foot four inches tall and between 200 and 220 pounds depending on the time of year. If I had to guess i'm about 210 pounds during the months of September and October when i'm likely to be using the sleeping bag in Wyoming and Colorado.

Nothing to do with waterproofing, but for cutting weight have you considered a quilt? I love mine. Here's a good company that makes them in larger sizes for big guys. UNDERGROUND QUILT


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Re: water resistant down sleeping bags....sleeping bags/price [Re: alpinecrick] #14229144 10/25/19
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SheriffJoe Offline
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Originally Posted by alpinecrick
Interesting what WM has to say about treated down......

"... Although I've used the bag, I have not really been in the kind of weather to make a determination as to how effective it will be in extremely wet conditions for days.
I do like the bag so far. It is lighter than my Antelope, stuffs a bit smaller and the 0 degree rating seems to be reasonable."




"lighter", "smaller" and warm makes for the best sleeping bag.

BTW, bag liners are available that can mitigate absorption of water vapor, body oils, dirt inside the bag as well as add a few degrees of temp rating.


Don't ask me about my military service or heroic acts...most of it is untrue.
Re: water resistant down sleeping bags....sleeping bags/price [Re: SheriffJoe] #14238152 10/28/19
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Edwin264 Offline
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Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
Originally Posted by alpinecrick
Interesting what WM has to say about treated down......

"... Although I've used the bag, I have not really been in the kind of weather to make a determination as to how effective it will be in extremely wet conditions for days.
I do like the bag so far. It is lighter than my Antelope, stuffs a bit smaller and the 0 degree rating seems to be reasonable."




"lighter", "smaller" and warm makes for the best sleeping bag.

BTW, bag liners are available that can mitigate absorption of water vapor, body oils, dirt inside the bag as well as add a few degrees of temp rating.


They are called vapor barriers.

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