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NEW Patagonia Encapsil ("Dry Down") Parka
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Babak Sakaki
(persianpunisher) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: dry downs... on 01/10/2013 17:55:37 MST Print View

Hence, why I continued to post…. apparently, Patagonia has been developing this product for over 5 years and has thus, created a special launch plan for the product- NOTE: I bought this jacket from Patagonia's LiveChat, and paid the full retail price, with the specific intent of writing a review.

I fail to see where this is "my bad", and like others have expressed, I felt that this is the type of info that BPLers(such as myself) pay for.

Am I out of line here?

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: dry downs... on 01/10/2013 18:17:05 MST Print View

I can't comment on the ethics of the situation, not knowing specifics or wider context. But in terms of just information value, at least for me, it is high. And a product review will be awesome. Even better would be testing on the underlying down material under real or simulated conditions (dirty, wet, sweaty, and stuff sack crammed).

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: dry downs... on 01/10/2013 18:47:54 MST Print View


NO, I don't think you are out of line!

The topic of water repellent down has strong interest by the forum members and you did us a BIG favor. I recommend interested parties go to You Tube and search on "Encapsil" to watch your excellent video review; 34 people have looked at it so far.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: dry downs... on 01/10/2013 19:08:51 MST Print View


If you bought this from Patagonia (legally), as it sounds you did, and did not agree to any kind of confidentiality restrictions, you are free to do as you please, IMO.

Disclosure: I am not an attorney. Just a rational human being.

That's a lot of money. I would have to ask my wife for permission -- good news is that she would probably buy it for me as a birthday or Christmas gift :)

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: dry downs... on 01/10/2013 19:27:28 MST Print View

"I fail to see where this is "my bad", and like others have expressed, I felt that this is the type of info that BPLers(such as myself) pay for.

Am I out of line here?

You're not out of line Babak. This IS exactly one of the reasons why people come here, to geek out on gear tech and scope new technologies and options for lightweight outdoor recreation, specifically backpacking. This takes place predominately through the free forum content. No way in hell will I be purchasing a $700 down parka, but I do find the technology developments used interesting enough to take a look. Eventually this will trickle down to more affordable down garments from Patagonia.

Maybe there is an Encapsil Down Parka review in the BPL Editorial pipeline and you, Babak, just beat them to the punch, stealing their thunder?

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
dry downs... testing on 01/10/2013 21:02:35 MST Print View


Down analysis of both simulated and real conditions tells me the following:

-Moisture-regain is a function of the intrinsic material reaction to water as a gas. Untreated down at 100% RH has a maximum moisture regain of ~15%. Tests conducted on DriDown show a 33% improvement in moisture regain to ~10%. In contrast, PET (synthetics) average 2%. All of the conventional down fluorocarbon treatments should yield similar results to DriDown. The Encapsil product treatment should THEORECTICALLY yield moisture regain similar to PET. This is because the coating is more uniform in a plasma chamber.

-Conventional DWR uses fluorocarbon spikes that can lie down in as little as a year just from the pollution in the air. Smoke, water, dirt, etc. accelerate the process. Reactivation is similar to the surface treatments on WPB jackets. The silicone in Encapsil is inert and shouldn’t degrade for the life of the product.

-Total garment/quilt/bag liquid water absorption is directly proportional to the thickness (interstice volume) regardless of the insulation type. This same phenomenon applies to PET as well as all down.

-The demos of down floating in a beaker of water indicate that waterproof down will make you invincible to water but the tests indicate a modest improvement, with the potential exception of Encapsil.

Most of the above is just summary statements from more detailed posts I have made previously. When the price of Encapsil comes down, it will be a significant advancement. The other treatments are currently affordable but offer more modest improvements.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: dry downs... on 01/10/2013 21:38:57 MST Print View

I am with you and think quite a bit of this is BS from BPL, one of the reasons why I did not renew my membership.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: dry downs... testing on 01/10/2013 23:18:46 MST Print View


Thank you. Super helpful information. And for those not familiar (I had to look it up), "moisture regain" is defined as: "The weight of moisture on a textile given as a percentage of the oven-dry weight." Given how little down weighs, that is not much moisture retention.

A big take away here seems to be that the Encapsil process (or at least a Silicon-based plasma process) is superior to the alternative coating processes, which is good to know. But it also sounds like then Patagonia might have a monopoly here and plan on extracting monopoly rents for awhile. I did a quick patent search, but lacked the right key words to find anything useful.

Alternative might be for Patagonia to license the technology to other manufacturers, which will still make it more expensive, but probably less than if Patagonia tries to keep it exclusive. Given that Patagonia does not currently make sleeping bags (unless I am forgetting something...although maybe that is their plan now), it will probably have to wait for patents to run out before the price really comes down. Depending on what the key patents are, this could take some time.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Lament on 01/10/2013 23:52:07 MST Print View

I turn 34 this year. I wonder if down siliconized with this technology will become available in small quantities to the MYOG crowd before I turn 50. Any wagers?

I'm not in the habit of complaining that technological advances don't come fast enough, I believe in intellectual property rights, and I don't feel entitled to the products of other people's innovations. But it is agonizing to watch new materials technologies very gradually trickle down, over decades, from corporate supply chains to small businesses and hobbyists.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Lament on 01/11/2013 00:31:35 MST Print View

Supply and demand. If it works, the owners are entitled to make as much profit as possible. But it will be up to the market place to decide the price. If Patagonia can sell a ton of parkas at $700, they will. They might sell more goods at a lower price and maximize profits -- total dollars. But they are not going to sell anything cheap :)


If smart people see an opportunity and can develop a another technology with the same results, the market (competition) will push prices down.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Lament on 01/11/2013 00:57:20 MST Print View

Spoken like true free marketeer. But the reality is that patents are a government creation. In a truly free market, intellectual property would only take the form of what you can keep secret from your competitors. Why should patents be 14 years versus 5 or 50? Or even exist at all? Or should they last forever? Of course, patents work so well in the IT and smartphone industry right now, we would never want to question them. I would no argue against patent protection in general. I am only pointing out that the issue is more complex than what sounds like a libertarian talking point.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Lament on 01/11/2013 08:11:02 MST Print View

In a free market property rights are the foundation.

The value of a new product is not in the product itself, but in the mind of the person who created it -- the intellectual property.

Unlike real property, which can be physically transferred, IP is not physically transferable. The owner of IP should have ownership of patents and copyrights until death.

Physical property they can transfer, IP is not real property than can be physically transferred. Government protects all propert rights. Govt should not have the authorization to take away the IP property rights of the creater during their lifetime and distribute it to the public domain.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lament on 01/11/2013 08:24:41 MST Print View

The government doesn't take away Intelectual Property and distribute to the public

The government enables and enforces lawsuits by one company against another company that's making some product

If you had a free market, the 2nd company would also make the product and the price would come down

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lament on 01/11/2013 10:59:31 MST Print View

We are off topic now, but since this is fun...

So Nick are you arguing for patents to last forever? I don't think the life of the person is a feasible option, as corporations have patents too and they can "live" forever. You might want to rethink that position, for its implications are wildly radical, not just for the progression of technology and innovation for for the entire economic development of society. What if Edison had a perpetual patent on the use of electricity for lighting? I am going to drop it here, but there are plenty of free market arguments for and against patents, see here:

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on 01/11/2013 11:00:33 MST Print View

Great review! And a great scoop, seems to me you're well within your right to post it here. Sadly, it seems the gear makers have the power to stifle conversations here. Too bad.

This is the youtube review:

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
IPR on 01/11/2013 11:33:13 MST Print View


If there was no IPR and no enforcement then indeed RnD spend would drop, companies would only do theings they can protect through secrecy (many things cannot be protected this way) and the world would create less knowledge. The whole point of IPR is that you need to fully disclose the information to gain a patent - thus enabling other people to gain from it.

i agree that the length of time for a patent might not be relevant anymore - it makes a lot of sense in Pharma or automotive where Rnd costs are through the roof and time to market is also very long...but in internet/SW.....

Btw - @richard...can you point me to some of your posts talking about the WPdown tech and testing


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: IPR on 01/11/2013 12:51:35 MST Print View


What the other Michael said is pretty good - limited time patent protection

Pharma patents are ridiculous - most of the basic research is government, the pharmaceutical companies do minor tweaks

Then they do phony studies that show a medicine is marginally better (even if they have to discard all the studies that show their medicine is not effective)

Then they do heavy marketing on TV or whatever and make huge profits

I'de say the "free market" has run amok

Babak Sakaki
(persianpunisher) - F
Link offline, as per request on 01/11/2013 16:12:16 MST Print View


I've been talking with Patagonia, and have decided to take down the video until the jacket's launch.

They've asked me to keep the jacket underwaps to the public until then. That means, not wearing it in public.

As Richard said- this jacket just might be the warmest jacket for its weight. By being so innovative, I feel somewhat bad for so zealously blowing the lid off of this exciting new product.

This also scratches my plans to have brought this jacket with me at OR in a few weeks (plus, it's WAAAY too warm)

I noticed a few more things:

1) regardless of its country of origin, this is truly the most well made piece of outerwear that I have ever seen. Not single loose thread, all stitching is perfect. WM, Arcteryx (Canada) status.... I think each jacket might be handmade.

2) it is very compressible and very lightweight, which makes me think that Patagonia is indeed listening to the BPL community.

Maybe you can catch a glimpse of it around the hills in my (disappointingly popular) town.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Link offline, as per request on 01/11/2013 16:32:44 MST Print View

So you paid $700 for a jacket FROM THE MANUFACTURER (!) and now they won't let you wear it in public??


Obviously, I have the story wrong.

Please tell me I have this wrong.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Link offline, as per request on 01/11/2013 17:05:12 MST Print View

Hi Babak,

Maybe I missed a part of the thread but how did you manage to purchase the Parka if its not due for release until March.