Forum Index » Make Your Own Gear » Any experiences adding down to existing bag?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M
Any experiences adding down to existing bag? on 11/25/2012 13:32:10 MST Print View

One of my wife's bags is a (mediocre) North Face Blue Kazoo 15 degree bag.

It's not a great bag. I think it has 650 fill down, and it's pretty heavy at 2lb 8oz for the Women's Regular.

It was purchased in 2008, and has seen only moderate use.

Still, it's one of her favorite bags for weekend 3-season use. Unfortunately, I've noticed quite a few areas where holding the bag up the light reveals baffles that are only partially filled. She's a COLD sleeper to begin with. Those cold spots in the baffles can't be helping.

I've washed the bag using Nikwax Downwash, and tumbled it in a dryer with tennis balls.

I now have a couple of choices:

1. Get her a new bag. I don't think she's ready for a quilt, though I personally just ordered one from Enlightened Equipment to use next season. A good light bag will cost us extra $$$, but there may be no other options.

2. Extend the life of this bag by purchasing extra down and filling the baffles. I see that thru-hiker.com has 900 fp down for sale.

Any experience trying to add fill to an existing bag? We own a Viking Husqvarna sewing machine. I've done a few small projects on it, but I consider my sewing skill to be beginner level.

Would any consider this a worthwhile, cost saving winter project, or am I wasting my time?

Any tips or suggestions? I know down can be difficult to work with. I've read of people setting up a tent inside their living room and working inside the tent to contain the down. This sounds like a good approach.

Gary Yee
(lakemcd)

Locale: NW Montana
Any experiences adding down to existing bag on 11/27/2012 20:51:15 MST Print View

Having worked for feathered friends a couple of decades ago here are a few things to consider.

1, Adding down to an old bag will reduce the width of the bag. When you re-sew the bag you need to add for new seam allowance as the old stitch holes will weaken that part of the fabric. So maybe we are talking 3/4" x 2.

2. Do not leave existing down in the baffles that have been compromised. Normally it's in the hood and the top 24-30 inches as that is the down that either has worn down due to body weight crushing it or moisture and oils. So replace all the down in those baffles.

3, If the Kazoo does not have a side block it will be easier.

The rest is cost and time analysis to see if it is worth the effort.

Hope this helps

Jeff McWilliams
(jjmcwill) - M
OK on 11/28/2012 06:33:35 MST Print View

Thanks, Gary.

Perhaps I'm better off just waiting to see what GoLite, for example, comes out with for the 2013 year.

Their bags seem pretty affordable and light weight.

Jeff

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
How hard on 11/30/2012 01:26:26 MST Print View

How hard would it be to add down to 2-4 baffles on the torso area?

Does anyone know about a shop that does this, or contact the manufacturer?

Jim Arzigian
(Renais) - M
North Face Down Warranty on 11/30/2012 04:19:41 MST Print View

I had a North Face low temperature (-20 F) bag that had seen 30 years of fairly hard service, and had several areas which were showing less down than optimal. In addition, on much of the bag there were flat spots where the down was flattened and did not have its original loft. North Face has a lifetime down guarantee, but I was not sure what they would do with such a well used and old bag. However, the folks at the North Face store told me not to buy a new bag; they encouraged me to leave it with them to send out for work. I was amazed to receive the bag back in about 3 weeks looking brand new, and fluffy as can be. They had opened the whole bag up and restuffed it all. No charge for any of the down added, or any labor. This bag will continue to serve me well for many more years, and North Face certainly made me a very happy customer. I also had a down parka which had seen extensive service and again the North Face folks sent it out to their service center, and it came back looking brand new. I rarely ask for warranty service, and in both the case of the bag and parka, I was actually trying to buy a new item when I went into the store. So, before doing anything to your bag, I'd encourage you to contact North Face. You can either send in your bag, or deliver it to a NF store. If you deliver it to a store, they ship it out for you at no cost, and ship it back at no cost.