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DWR Down Ye or Nah
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Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
DWR Down Ye or Nah on 01/29/2014 10:36:02 MST Print View


A fellow backpacker at work just asked me for recommendations for a new Down Parka and it got me thinking about DWR Down vs normal down.

So what are folks thoughts on the subject.


Edited by stephenm on 01/29/2014 10:37:40 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
YEA! on 01/29/2014 12:51:48 MST Print View

I currently own two untreated down garments:

1. WM Megalite sleeping bag
2. Eddie Bauer Down Sweater

While they are both great garments they have all the problems of "regular" down.

P.S. ALL my future down garments will have a DWR treatment on the down. It just makes a lot of sense. i.e. better loft and less moisture absorption (for less carried weight).

Edited by Danepacker on 01/29/2014 12:53:06 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: YEA! on 01/29/2014 13:00:17 MST Print View

Not a lot of long term use experience

It may be that the DWR down is only slightly better. Maybe in dry weather it's less warm for the same weight. It may not last as long as regular down

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: DWR Down Yea or Nah on 01/29/2014 13:24:44 MST Print View

Thanks Gents,

I apologies for the typo in the heading as was posting on my phone, it will be interesting to see if the likes of WM start using it.

Steve Martell
(Steve) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Washington
DWR Down: Don't waste your money yet on 01/29/2014 15:21:10 MST Print View

I'd wait myself--looks like the technology is not there yet and the lifespan of the down (loft) is likely less than regular down.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: DWR Down: Don't waste your money yet on 01/29/2014 17:12:49 MST Print View

Thanks Steve,

I would be mighty annoyed if I had to send a down jacket off to be washed after only a months use.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Buy the close-outs on 01/29/2014 17:26:54 MST Print View

I will buy the regular down gear on specials or close-outs.
It has worked perfectly fine for me my whole life, and I have never had any down product fail to do what I needed it to do, in any conditions that I have ever encountered.
So, I feel comfortable using it for the last couple decades of my life, and expecting it to be as good as it has been in the previous decades.

I don't need "special down". Regular down is perfectly good, and doesn't need "fixing".

Last time I checked, the ducks and geese stay warm, and they swim around in the water too.

Edited by towaly on 01/29/2014 17:28:39 MST.

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
Meh.... on 01/29/2014 19:12:09 MST Print View

I don't really care. I'm going to wash any down piece every year or two and, when I wash it, I'll treat with with a cycle in the washer with NikWax Direct-In DWR treatment to renew the water shedding of the outer shell. So, my down is going to end up with a "temporary DWR" treatment sooner or later, one way or another.

If an item I wanted had treated down that would be fine. If it didn't have treated down, that would be fine, too. DWR doesn't miraculously make fabric waterproof and I seriously doubt that it has a miracle impact on down, either.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Thanks guys on 01/29/2014 19:33:36 MST Print View

Thanks Gents :-)

just Justin Whitson
Re: Buy the close-outs on 01/29/2014 19:41:08 MST Print View

"Last time I checked, the ducks and geese stay warm, and they swim around in the water too."

Quite a bit overly simplistic. Many processors of down wash off a good percentage of the natural oils in the down and feathers. There is some left, but nothing like it is when the ducks and geese are wearing it still.

Course even more importantly the ducks and geeses' bodies are constantly replenishing those natural oils which help to keep the down very water resistant.

What they are trying to do with DWR stuff is almost like replace the natural, nature made semi-durable-WR with a more human made hygienic, less smelly, and longer lasting one. Ever smell low grade and not well processed duck down--people report it's not all that pleasant smelling (some have reported that the cheap Walmart down bag has a noticeable smell for example). Ironically though, in some ways it will perform better as far as moisture goes.

However to better apply the DWR, i think they have to strip off more of the natural oils, which *could* possibly shorten the longevity of same. But some claim the opposite, that say fluorocarbon DWR treatment, makes it last longer. I don't what or who to believe on that one.

Suppose we won't fully know until a number of us have had a bag or quilt with DWR down for some 10 or 15 years minimum.

just Justin Whitson
Re: DWR Down: Don't waste your money yet on 01/29/2014 19:45:35 MST Print View

Steve, there are different down DWR's, just like there are different garment DWR's. Pagatonia's is a silicone based one. Others are fluorocarbon, and others still are wax based.

Interesting, this follows the different garment DWR's some, except some of the processes of application are different. Patagonia's process of applying the silicone is a super expensive, plasma treatment.

It could be that fluorocarbon treatments have a very different handling than the Patagonia one. Patagonia does stress that their products do need to be specially cleaned and more often, which is why they say they will pay for it.

However, on a long trip, where you can't just send the jacket back, that's a major weakness i think.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: DWR Down testing on 01/29/2014 20:58:30 MST Print View

Too much time to waste today and came across this bit of info. At least the leading down testing lab is trying to develop a methodology.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: Re: DWR Down testing on 01/30/2014 07:25:58 MST Print View

Cheers Rick,

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
why waterproof down? on 01/30/2014 17:59:53 MST Print View

Interesting approach by Outdoor Research: waterproof the fabric, not the feathers.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: why waterproof down? on 01/30/2014 18:01:52 MST Print View

It does work, I have a Crux Lava event shelled waterproof Parka which has been in some nasty downpours and it stayed dry, the key with it is that it has welded seams.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
fabric on 01/30/2014 18:03:08 MST Print View

The fabric doesn't prevent water vapor (humidity) from getting into the down.
Unless you made the fabric out of cuben or something.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: why waterproof down? on 01/30/2014 18:06:02 MST Print View

This only solves the problem of water from the outside, not water from the inside.....

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: why waterproof down? on 01/30/2014 18:49:18 MST Print View

Very true Doug,

It's not an issue I have ever had with a Parka but could be a big issue with a sleeping bag.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: DWR Down Ye or Nah on 02/14/2014 18:40:15 MST Print View

Another DWR Down video out offering some more data points.

I have to say after washing my EB Downlight 50 Stormrepel down jacket for the first time last week I was impressed with its quick dry time compared to my MB EX Light even though the EB has way more fill and heavier shell fabric.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Re: DWR Down Ye or Nah on 02/15/2014 05:04:01 MST Print View

Sure, but is it worth the extra cost ? Sometimes/often, that's high. I remember noticing that something that costed 300 $ suddenly went to 350 $. The only change: DWR-treated down instead of untreated down.