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Down is escaping, is this normal?

All our fabric is technically down-proof but there are two situations in which your down may appear to be migrating. The first is that sharp quills may poke through the fabric or stitching. ‘But I thought this was down!’ The quality of down we use is 90/10, this means 90% is the really fine down plumes you expect while the other 10% is less pure and may include small feathers. Slowly remove the jacket and attempt to pull the feather back into the jacket from behind. Scrunch up the fabric between your thumb and forefinger to close the pin sized hole left in the shell. This will happen more when the jacket is brand new. The second possible explanation is that you have big hole that needs immediate repair. Again remain calm and don’t under any circumstances move. Ask one of your expedition buddies to find the gaffer tape.

Let's say the average down jacket has 300 grams of down in it.  A gram of down is made up of about 500 filo plumes or bits of down.  So that means in your jacket you have roughly 150,000 bits of down.  If you are worried that your jacket is leaking a few feathers here and there, please don’t.  Even if you were to lose 10 bits a day, it would take about 41 years before you had none left.  And thinking about it, as you lose down the pressure inside the baffle would reduce making it harder for individual bits to force their way out.  So let's say the pressure reduced by 50% in 10 years reducing the loss to 5 bits per day you’ve now got 62 years left.  I think I am rambling a little here.  Suffice to say unless you have a stream of down pouring out of your jacket or sleeping bag don’t worry about the odd feather or bit of down.

Updated: May 02, 2007

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