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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Down doesn't last forever -- it loses loft in approx 3-5 years of regular use.
    I thought good down bags were supposed to last a lifetime?

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Den/Baltimore
    Posts
    3,935
    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    I thought good down bags were supposed to last a lifetime?
    Why?

    Down definitely loses loft, and therefore warmth, over time. This is especially true if you aren't careful with how you stuff them into a compression sack (the shear forces break down the down fibers) or god forbid store the bags compressed.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    meager stoke

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    244
    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Why?

    Down definitely loses loft, and therefore warmth, over time. This is especially true if you aren't careful with how you stuff them into a compression sack (the shear forces break down the down fibers) or god forbid store the bags compressed.
    I don't know, I've read it informally so many places. It makes sense that they degrade, but no one really seems to ever say that.

    But when you say 3-5 years, is that the usuable lifetime? To what degree does it lose loft and over how many days? Is this degredation of the feathers or loss of total feathers?

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Den/Baltimore
    Posts
    3,935
    3-5 years certainly isn't a hard and fast rule, but I'd guess a hard/daily user will see loss of warmth within 3 years, depending on how careful they are. 10+ years of intermittent use is totally reasonable if it's mostly stored uncompressed. I noticed my down jacket losing warmth after about 5 years of somewhat-regular use, but I wasn't particularly careful about stuffing it into the compression sack. Now I'm more careful about rolling it, but sometimes I still stuff it when I need it in there quickly.

    It's degradation of feathers, not loss of them. From the Stephenson's warmlight website:
    Life of insulation: If you lie on the insulation in your sleeping bag or parka, and then move sideways to turn over, you put shearing force on the insulation. That tears synthetic insulations, and rolls Down into pieces of “string” from which it will never recover. Stuffing your bag or parka does the same thing, plus puts excessive loads on seams. Prior to 1966 we had people bring 2 to 3 year old bags in to restore loft, and we found the lost loft was entirely due to “strings” of Down caused by lying on it. Since 1966 our bags with pads IN them have never had that problem. If you are using a bag loose on a separate pad, put some straps on the bag bottom to hold it securely to the pad, and shift as much of the Down out to sides and top as you can so you won’t lie on it. To pack a bag, always carefully fold and roll it. Uniform end compression of the roll to fit in a sack won’t harm it. Don’t stuff anything you don’t want to rapidly destroy!
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    meager stoke

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