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Dustin_B

Marmot's new "900-fill" down ???

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catbirdseat said:

The dude sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

 

Oh, I agree, I wasn't rippin' on him.

 

My second point stands, however. A lot of bags are made with different fills in the different sections, to attain a tradeoff between weight and warmth.

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Oh, I know differential cut is a feature. Is it a desirable feature? how many ounces are you going to save? Your average fill weight in a fifteen degree bag is around twenty ounces. How much down can you shave off a pound and a quarter and still get 15 degrees of warmth? In my opinion I don't want it in my bags and it's not a real "worthy" feature.

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“Marmot is the largest down buyer in the climbing apparel industry.

The buyers are able to purchace the vast majority of highest quality down from Eastern european farmers.”

 

Beck is mistaken. Marmot is not the largest purchaser of down either in the US or in the World. Most of their down is supplied through China as a biproduct of the food industry.

 

 

“: Marmot independantly tests every 16 pound shipment they receive, They test it in house, then also send it to an independant testing house. I've seen the test results from this; EVERY shipment tests out at 900 fill standards. Even Marmots 800 fill down tests out at 900 in the lab. NO OTHER manufacturer teste EVERY 16 pound shipment.

One of the high end manufacturers recently went 18 months without independantly testing theirs.”

 

I think Beck is mistaken. Every bag that is shipped to the manufacturer is tested. The bag could weigh 10 pounds or 40 pounds but regardless, the supplier tests the good down regularly. I don’t think manufacturers are ever required to test their down. Most actually choose not to since there is no industry standard requirements.

 

“The down used by Marmot is NEVER compressed until the customer or store stuffs that bag into its stuff sack. The down is shipped to marmot, worked with, and shipped to stores NEVER having been stuffed. I don't believe any other manufacturer can claim this.”

 

Every other manufacturer can claim to have never compressed their bags. Go to REI and tell us if Marmot bags are treated differently than any other manufacturer. Most bags are shipped in their storage sacks. If bags are shipped via UPS or FEDEX, they are always compressed including Marmot mail order in Bellevue.

 

“The baffles in a marmot bag are filled with computer controlled fill equipment. This is NOT a bag stuffed by a seamstress with a yardstick and a dictate to "fill them full"; Marmot bags are so precisely filled that when comparing bag weights, your marmot bags differ very little in total weights.”

 

It is easy to keep the down fill weights consistant. Take a box of down, put it on a scale and subtract the amount of down you need to fill a chamber. A fill chart has the calculation for each chamber and the total is always the same in the end. Most of the weight variances are from the fabric not the down.

 

“Marmot bags offer continous baffle stitching; some High end manufacturers (no names) have semicontinous stitching of horizontal baffles. Saves cost, but This can allow down to shift in the bag, woah!”

 

With high end down and light mummy bags, there is no unintentional shifting. Only when dealing with expedition bags will you need to have a cross block baffle to keep more down on the top and less under you.

 

“Marmot bags in side profile, maintain their inches of loft down the length of the bag. Some high end manufacturers have differential fill, more loft up top, skimping on inches towards the footbox. Cheaper, but it's like having two different temperature bags.”

 

Beck is mistaken again. Hop on Marmot’s website and look at a photo of their bag. The footbox and torso is always higher in loft than the rest of the bag. The footbox needs more down to insulate that poorly insulated part of your body. The torso and hood should have more loft because your body’s core needs to be insulated more than your legs. Loft is measured at the lowest part of the bag or in the area with the least amount of loft.

 

“Also, Marmot down is guaranteed to have no "couchet" i.e. reused down. Marmot is the only manufacturer to be able to make this claim.”

 

I have never heard of anyone reusing goose down for high end sleeping bags.

 

“And for tech correctness, Down higher than 900 fill will not loft up even a flimsy fabric? Incorrect. Down is measured in a tube, with a weight placed in the top- of the cylinder. This weight is considerably heavier than 30d ripstop. The reason there is no 1000 fill down is the current industry testing standard maxes out at 900.”

Mistaken again. Read my previous posts. I obtained this information from IGFA which posted a nice publication during the OIA industry standardization meeting at the Outdoor Retailer Show in January. All of the major manufacturers were in attendance.

 

Here is a blurb for everyone…

 

Origin

 

You can tell very little about the down is a sleeping bag from outside the shell, other than the relative fill power that is evident in the loft. FTC regulations even allow a percentage of duck down in down labeled goose, and although goose down is potentially better than duck, the best duck down is better than mediocre goose down. Down processors buy down from all over the world, basing the purchase decision of quality, price, and maintaining a long term relationship. The down may then be mixed to meet standards required by a manufacturer.

How is it obtained?

Down is commonly described as coming from mature, cold climate geese. In truth the climate the goose is raised in has very little to do with the quality of the down, and very little down comes from geese that you or I would call mature. Almost all down commercially available is a secondary product of geese raised for consumption. It would be prohibitively expensive to raise geese for down alone. Geese generally are hatched in the spring and slaughtered for poultry in the fall. A small number of breeder birds are kept through the year. These geese molt naturally in the spring. While their down is loose it is collected by hand. This is the down used in Feathered Friends sleeping bags and jackets. It is very rare and , of course, expensive.

 

What is the difference in quality?

There are other important measurements of down quality. In other parts of the world the percentage of whole down pieces verses feather and fiber has traditionally been the measure of down quality. Down with 95% cluster is about as good as you can get, and even down with 80% cluster would pass as “all down”. Cleanliness is important also. Contaminants cause odors, shorten the life of the down, and can cause allergies. Recovery from compression used to be regarded as an important property to measure. With high fill power down, you can be pretty much assured that care has been taken in cleaning and separating the down, otherwise you simply cannot get the high fill power figures. The premium 700 to 800+ fill are both quite different from 550-650 fills. Down is commonly described as coming from mature, cold climate geese. In truth, the climate the goose is raised in has very little to do with the quality of the down, and very little down comes from geese that you or I would call mature. Almost all down commercially available is a secondary product of geese raised for consumption. It would be prohibitively expensive to raise geese for down alone. The "mature" geese that are the source for lower fill down are about four months old when they are "harvested" for food. Down from these geese can be carefully sorted, washed, and blended, but it will never loft like really mature down. In addition, there are differences in the breed of geese. 800+ fill is a more mature, more careful selection of the same type of down that makes up the 700+ fill. The larger individual plumes are what gives the greater loft. The only way to get down of this quality is by careful hand selection. This is the major factor in its scarcity, not the lack of mature geese. Farms that want to produce the highest quality down must raise the right geese, feed them properly, let them get mature, and carefully gather the down. Very few poultry farmers want to go to this trouble. Some of the 700+ down fill we use comes from a small number of birds kept for breeding purposes throughout the year. These geese molt naturally in the spring. While their down is loose it is collected by hand. It is very rare and, of course, expensive. Down processors are very secretive about their sources. We will probably never be able to determine how much of our down is "live plucked" and how much is collected from the geese that are eaten.

 

Fill Power

How is down measured?

Down is measured for quality by volume. The formula refers to the fill power of each ounce of down by cubic inches per ounce. For 800 fill, the minimum measurement is 800 cubic inches per one ounce of down. When we label our down, we use the symbol “+” to signify that our fill typically supercedes the minimum requirements of fill power.

What is the industry standard?

Fill power is not an official measurement of down subject to any government regulation. The original fill power standard test was developed for the army, and requires equipment that no one has. A less formal standard has been accepted by down processors, manufacturers, and testing labs. It involves measurements taken of a one ounce sample of down in a glass cylinder with a weighted piston compressing the down. The test requires controlled temperature, humidity, and preparation of the sample to be to be even close to accurate. A number of tests must be made with down collected from several places in each batch, and the measurements averaged. The most reliable tests are done by certified testing labs. A processor or manufacturer's test cannot be considered accurate without lab confirmation.

 

Who is creating the industry standard?

Currently, the outdoor industry is working on the standard method of measuring down sanctioned by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Subcommittee F08.22 has been working together to standardize the method of how down should be conditioned and measured for fill power.

 

Content.

If down has no central quill why do you sometimes find sharp feathers poking through a down jacket? In commercial use it is impossible to separate out all the feathers from down. The separation is done by blowing down into the air and counting on the heavier feathers to settle out faster. Large pieces or "pods" of down are larger than small feathers and to separate out all the larger pieces would lose the best down. Down also tends to stick together and stick to the small feathers. Hand separation would take all day for one pound. The real down content of "down" can vary from above 90% to less than 50%.

FTC regulation allows down to be labelled all down if the down content is over 70%. Up to 20% can be feathers and the remainder can be broken fibers and extraneous matter. There is no organized testing or compliance program except in a few states; and naturally, since feathers and broken fibers are less expensive than down, cheating is not unheard of. You cannot get 600+ fill down that exceeds maximum feather content. The 750+ and 800+ fill down used is more than 90% pure down cluster.

 

 

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MY DAD'S DOWN BAG WILL BEAT UP YOUR DAD'S DOWN BAG!!!!

 

Thanks for the good info crackbolter and beck.

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jon said:

MY DAD'S DOWN BAG WILL BEAT UP YOUR DAD'S DOWN BAG!!!!

 

Thanks for the good info crackbolter and beck.

Yep, you just can't win with this crowd.

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Hey, this is a fun topic. I love Marmot's gear until Arc 'Teryx started making waterproof and softshell jackets. I owned a Dryclimb jacket for 5 years and wore it almost every trip. I owned a waterproof jacket from Marmot for 4 years and loved it.

 

This is also a great opportunity to educate the community on down products. By next year, you guys will have a master's degree in goose down products.

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crackbolter,

 

you are flat out wrong in most of your "rebuttal" points,

but that's okay.

 

nice addition of origion info. Not many people understand the down sourcing issue.

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Beck said:

crackbolter,

 

you are flat out wrong in most of your "rebuttal" points,

but that's okay.

 

 

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Beck said:

crackbolter,

 

you are flat out wrong in most of your "rebuttal" points,

but that's okay.

 

nice addition of origion info. Not many people understand the down sourcing issue.

 

Beck, would you like to elaborte why you think he is wrong? Maybe I'm weird, but I am interested in learning about these things. Whatever info I can get to buy better gear is good.

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THE ONLY THING THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN I AM BUYING GEAR IS WHO AND HOW CAN I GET THE BEST DEAL. GEAR IS THE LAST EXCUSE TO USE FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO DO A CLIMB. PLEASE DONT COME BACK SAYING SHIT ABOUT A BETTER BAG WILL MAKE THE BIVIS BETTER AND BLAH BLAH BLAH...

 

GIVE ME A DEAL AND YOUR GEAR WILL BE THE BEST IN MY MIND!

 

 

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erik said:

PLEASE DONT COME BACK SAYING SHIT ABOUT A BETTER BAG WILL MAKE THE BIVIS BETTER AND BLAH BLAH BLAH...

 

GIVE ME A DEAL AND YOUR GEAR WILL BE THE BEST IN MY MIND!

Erik's favorite bag.

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Yeah, Erik, you are right, but if I am compring two bags that weigh the same, cost the same, and both claim the same fill power, it would be nice to know which bag will actually keep me warmer. I too would like to pay as little as possible, but I dont like freezing either.

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erik said:

THE ONLY THING THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN I AM BUYING GEAR IS WHO AND HOW CAN I GET THE BEST DEAL. GEAR IS THE LAST EXCUSE TO USE FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO DO A CLIMB. PLEASE DONT COME BACK SAYING SHIT ABOUT A BETTER BAG WILL MAKE THE BIVIS BETTER AND BLAH BLAH BLAH...

 

GIVE ME A DEAL AND YOUR GEAR WILL BE THE BEST IN MY MIND!

 

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,Well, personally, I like to cover myself with pine boughs and a piece of tyvek and call it good. In the winter, add snow to insulate. or just dive in if the snow is soft; elbow out a air pocket, with a good vent to the outside... a nice, wool, soft shell, double cruiser mackinaw works well for this.

 

But the reality of high fill power down is, Marmot has got it. An independant lab tests every 16 pound shipment of uncompressed HQ down as well as in house tests: the independant lab shows 900 fill, every time. i've seen the test sheets from the lab.

 

crackbolter is right about the rest of the manufacturers, not Marmot.

 

my earlier reference to horizantal baffles refered to the main baffles that run around the body of the sleeper, not the sideblock baffle to stop down from running top to bottom.

 

crack, your refernced post about the way down is measured is right. a cylinder, down, and a weight. the standard accepted test measure has a scale that tops at 900. all that earlier stuff was B.S.

 

 

 

Let's see, need anything else, boys and girls?

 

 

 

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I just read an article by Andy Kirkpatrick, who is the only guy I know of who writes unbiased articles on how climbing gear works in the real world. He says

 

1. fill power measurements differ from country to country.

 

2. he says that 800 fill down is available from only one or two sources, and is damn expensive

 

3. whoever claims 900 fill down is on crack and works for a sleeping bag company.

 

Now, I have an inclination to believe this guy, as he sounds like he knows what he's talking about. What do you down specialists say to this? the_finger.gif

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Get what's comfortable, what will keep you warm, what's light, and what doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

 

Instead of arguing over the point....get out and climb.

 

yellowsleep.gif

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Dustin_B said:

Maybe we can get someone that works at REI to tell us how superior REI down is to Marmot and FF. yelrotflmao.gif

 

Hey I work at REI and know that we make bags just as good if not better than everybody else, and at half the cos............Argh!! I can't say it cry.gifcry.gif...it's just not true...

 

Hey, our bags don't completely suck though. You all know that what REI does is steal everybody else's ideas and makes them cheap. They aren't top of the line, but they also cost about half the price of a high end Marmot. Still I generally don't recommend our bags to climbers who really do need the absolute best stuff for whatever reason. I have a Marmot bag, REI hasn't fired me yet. Whatever you do, don't accuse me of supporting REI just because I work there. Trust me, there's nothing in that for me. I'd shop at Marmot or FF if I didn't work at REI and get a 50% discount.

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REI gear is OK. It works for casual users (eg backpacking), but I feel that for more gear-intensive, more severe conditions situations more specialized gear is worth it. My only beef with REI is the lack of climbing gear. I can deal with clueless salespeople, I just ask them a question they can't answer, and they leave me alone. yelrotflmao.gif

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A recently purchased Mamot Fusion was weighed and came in at 7 ounces heavier than advertised.

 

I'd love to hear what out self-proclaimed gear expert and Marmot employee has to say about this rather glaring discrepancy.

 

hahaha.gif

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