Washing of down products
We do not know why it is, but there is a deeply-rooted myth in the minds of people that down products cannot be washed. Well, it just so happens that not only they can, but it is even necessary. Many nights spent in a sleeping bag does not only create an unpleasant odour. The oils produced by our bodies penetrate the down, which causes its fill power to lessen. Clean down expands much better and definitely smells better.
So, how to go about it? To start with, it is good to acquire a washing liquid dedicated to wash down. We recommend Granger’s, available on our website. It is definitely prohibited to use traditional soap powders and fabric softeners. With our sleeping bags we rather advise you to hand wash in a bath and not in a washing machine. The bath should be filled with enough water to immerse the sleeping bag. Then, add the amount of washing liquid instructed by the manufacturer. The water temperature should not exceed 35°C. We immerse the sleeping bag in a small stuff sack and then when in the water, carefully remove the product: in this way, most of the air left in it is already "pumped out", which saves the painstaking attempts to remove air from each successive chamber when immersing the sleeping bag. Wash the sleeping bag gently. We suggest rinsing with clean water as many times as seems necessary, but 1-4 times should be sufficient.
Rinse the sleeping bag until not a drop of soapy water remains. In the case of machine washing, which we do not recommend, be sure to rinse it a few times and set at the lowest spin speed. If washing by hand, after rinsing, do not wring out the sleeping bag, just roll it like a foam mattress in order to maximize the “pumping out” of water.
If drying the product in an automatic dryer, it is advised to stop the drying process several times in order to break up the wet balls of down which can form. Putting tennis balls into the dryer can help a little, but it is not necessary. The drying process can take several hours. If the sleeping bag is dried traditionally, we also suggest repeatedly popping the balls which form in the down during this time. The dry down should not be allowed to form into balls. It helps to spread the sleeping bag on the ground and hit it with the open hand. If we just hang our sleeping bag, the down can take between 2-5 days to dry, depending on the quantity of down filling.
Our down jackets can be machine-washed with confidence.
Washing of clothing with synthetic Climashield insulation
Wash jackets made with Climashield according to the instructions in the jacket. Temperature: 30°C. Do not use fabric softeners. That's all!
Restoration of DWR coating
The DWR factory coating on Pertex fabrics is diminished after a few washes or long-term use. To restore the coating, we recommend using Nikwax, available in outdoor stores. Use according to manufacturer's instructions.
Use in the field
You do not have to handle our products with kid gloves, but there are a few simple rules that must be followed if we are to ensure that these products will serve us for many years. First, if the sleeping bag is in contact with moisture, it should be dried in the sun as soon as possible. If it is necessary to put a slightly damp sleeping bag in its cover, it is good to hang it out to dry at the earliest opportunity. If humidity does not allow complete drying, you can still hang the sleeping bag to enable it to breathe a little.
When it comes to compression of down, the stuff sack is designed to be used, obviously. Down, however, is at its best in its expanded state, so it is good if it can decompress once a day. Normally it happens when we simply use the sleeping bag at night. If, however, during the night the sleeping bag is not needed for use, it is good to hang the bag out. If you have room in your backpack, you can put the sleeping bag in loosely and it will fill the remaining space without being overcompressed.
Absolutely do not use the sleeping bag directly in contact with the ground. First, for reasons of insulation: compressed against our body, the down will not insulate us well from the ground, so it is better to use a mattress or foam pad. Secondly, even though the materials we use look more delicate than they are, uneven ground can damage a sleeping bag, especially affecting the external transverse seams, and thus the integrity of the down chambers.
For the durability of the sleeping bag and its much less frequent laundry requirements, we recommend using silk or cotton inserts inside the sleeping bag. They absorb the majority of dirt generated by our body, so the sleeping bag definitely stays clean for longer. A similar result can be achieved, of course, by sleeping in thermal underwear or simply by wearing nightclothes. We recommend sleeping in socks, which will reduce wear and tear of the bottom of the sleeping bag.
Storage of down products
Here the rule is simple: down likes to be expanded as much as it is possible. If you do not have space, the sleeping bag can be stored in our purpose-made breathable mesh bag. However, if it is possible, the sleeping bag is best left hung freely in a dry atmosphere.
The fact that the fabric is downproof does not mean that a single feather will never find its way between the fibres. Sometimes a feather comes out. Firstly, the escape of feathers is normal: the fabrics we use are ultra-light and the fact of this happening is a very low price that we pay for having equipment that weighs nearly nothing. Secondly, each gram of down contains many feathers. Really, very many. Depending on whether we are counting each, even the smallest constituents of feathers or the down in its entirety, each gram has from 400 to 800 feathers. Assuming a safe average of 500 feathers, using the model Lite Line 200, there are approximately 100 000 feathers in it. It should also be remembered that only down of lower quality, with a clearly delineated rigid core, which makes up less than 5% of down, does escape. This occurrence, therefore, leads to no significant weakening of sleeping bag’s thermal performance.
If, by chance, you notice a feather halfway between a down chamber of the sleeping bag and the great wide world, do not pull it out. It can lead to more feathers being pulled out and expand the hole between the fibres of the fabric. The feather should be caught from the other side of the material, and pulled back into the chamber. The place where the feather has escaped can be gently stroked with your finger to help the natural process of laying the fibre in a single structure.
Please also note that escaping feathers do not make holes in the fabric. They come from between the fibres which then return to their original structure.