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Dustin_B

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

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Yes, matt, you have an excellent point. To wit: last summer I got a bunch of 775 down and made a couple of pillows for my bed. I ended up eviscerating a feather pillow and putting a few feathers in the down pillows for the same reason.

 

For what it's worth, I have heard from non-Marmot sources that Marmot does the 900 fill down. Pretty cool, but my 775 is hard enough to take care of that I don't know that I would want one.

 

 

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mattp said:

Old man-

I have used a synthetic overbag over down. It works very well for winter camping, whether it be in a tent or snowcave -- the moisture mostly goes into the outer bag and your down stays quite dry (though you certainly don't need the extra warmth in a snowcave).

 

also you can use your winter syntho overbag as a superlight summer bag for bivis and couch surfing

 

since allison, um i mean marylou, didn't snaffleize her pagetop i will include one here even tho its not top any more cry.gifsnaf.gif

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Dru said:

 

also you can use your winter syntho overbag as a superlight summer bag for bivis and couch surfing

 

 

I've used the MEC Penguin overbag as a lightweight bag on several trips, like Slesse and Goode. It's rated to +15C on its own and weighs 0.5-0.6kg (depending opn size). This isn't as warm as any of the down bags mentioned for the same weight but at around $100 Canadian is a lot cheaper.

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Crackbolter,

Thanks for your very informative postings. I have read one technical article before about FP test procedure "On evaluating the quality of feather-down ware" at http://www.bask.info/tech/down2.php . Everyone interested in more details can check it out.

 

This producer of down and down products has different point on how the quality of down depends on the climate. You stated: "In truth, the climate the goose is raised in has very little to do with the quality of the down". An article at http://www.bask.info/tech/down1.php says: "The quality of feather is influenced greatly by the natural conditions of breeding of the birds. The raw materials gathered in the cold Russia are appreciated greatly in the West – the down is bigger and its content in primary products is bigger."

 

I would appreciate if anybody has more information and can clarify how down depends on the climate the goose is raised.

 

One more question, if I want to buy 10F (summer) down sleeping bag should I shop around for higher FP or 650 would work the same as the higher FP? I suspect that high FP is really important only for winter bags.

 

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One more question, if I want to buy 10F (summer) down sleeping bag should I shop around for higher FP or 650 would work the same as the higher FP? I suspect that high FP is really important only for winter bags.

 

It seems to me, and maybe I'm wrong, the higher loft is better for summr bags as well. It takes less high loft down to get to the bag's degrere rating, and as such should be a lighter bag and more compressible. (Is it that it takes less or that the same volume amount weighs less?) I'm not a down professor, but it seems to me that a 650-fill 30 degree would be heavier than a 900-fill 30 degree (Assuming all else is the same).

 

Anyone conform this? Or debunk me?

 

wave.gif

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Hey, thanks for the link. I already sent the info to our local expert/owner so we can discuss the legitimacy of the information. So far, everything seems correct.

There is one aspect that is not covered in the information I have or anywhere else which may lead to the result of an 850 or 900 fill power. I can only speculate though, considering there is only one respected organization who does independant testing in the US.

During the subcommittee meeting (F08.22) at the OR show last winter, representatives from all of the sleeping bag manufacturers gathered to discuss ASTM standards for tents, bags and pads. It seemed that there wasn't a real standard on how the down was conditioned before it was tested using the standard cylinder test. I suspect that there might be a different method as to how the goose down is to be prepared before it is actually tested for loft. The result could be a higher loft rating. This might explain why Western Mountaineering has suddenly changed their down fill power from 800 to 850 even though they receive their down from the exact same supplier and it is the exact same down. When I called to inquire, I spoke with their customer service rep over the phone, her reply was that they were receiving a different down that was "better" than what they were receiving last year. I suspect that the rep didn't really know why, so her answer was something she came up with herself.

 

BTW, check out the new site if you have a chance, it was launched yeaterday so it might not be accross the globe yet but it is working on my computer here and at home.

 

Click Here!

 

 

bigdrink.gif

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I think that'd be correct, Rodchester, that a "30 degree bag" stuffed with 900 fill down would be lighter and more compactable than one stuffed with 650 fill -- all other things being equal. However, I bet most of the difference in the weight of two different 30-degree bags lies in the weight of the fabric shell, the zippers, and the overall cut of the bag.

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For a summer bag, check out the western mountaineering highlight. It weighs 16oz and I have found it warm enough for anything I have thrown at it around here in the summer. It compresses down to nothing and weighs so little you don't know it's there.

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cirpich said:

I would appreciate if anybody has more information and can clarify how down depends on the climate the goose is raised.

 

For some really good information on down and how it's processed, tested etc, the technical brief at www.phdesigns.co.uk is really good. He has been making down products even before WM and feathered friends and I think he knows what he is talking about. Along with Rab and Mountain Equipment (the company he founded and then sold once it got too profit orientated), they are the best in the UK

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mattp said:

I think that'd be correct, Rodchester, that a "30 degree bag" stuffed with 900 fill down would be lighter and more compactable than one stuffed with 650 fill -- all other things being equal. However, I bet most of the difference in the weight of two different 30-degree bags lies in the weight of the fabric shell, the zippers, and the overall cut of the bag.

 

I agree. If you look at the down fill weight vs. the overall weight for a bag the down is roughly half the weight so the down is only 50% of the story.

 

It also depends on the bag having a good design. You could easily make a bag with 800 fill down that felt colder than a 650 fill bag of the same weight if it was poorly designed.

 

JoshK - What's your feeling on the likely durability of your your HighLite? The outer fabric is very light.

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Ade said:

JoshK - What's your feeling on the likely durability of your your HighLite? The outer fabric is very light.

 

It's definitely not going to survive repeated beatings, that's for sure, but mine has served me well for two seasons now, and doesn't show any signs of wear. I was willing to live with a decrease in long term life for a gain in weight savings. I think that with the proper care, however, this bag will serve me for quite a while. Interestingly enough, the lightweight fabric seems to be as downproof as other bags I have made of much heavier fabric.

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Hey, thanks for all responses. If 900-fill is not a myth, that's cool. But, I, personally, don't buy it!

 

I like Feather Friends down products. Crackbolter, do you know where Feather Friends gets their down from?

bigdrink.gif

 

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It left out our local favorite...the Feathered Friends Hummingbird. Highly recommended. Think that was said somewhere else here, too.

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Old_Man said:

It left out our local favorite...the Feathered Friends Hummingbird. Highly recommended. Think that was said somewhere else here, too.

 

Yes. The Hummingbird in the review is not made by FF, it's someone else's. I couldn't find a good review of the FF Hummingbird online.

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Here is a mediocre one. wave.gif

 

It sure would be nice if some of our loyal customers would do reviews here on this site of their favorite Feathered Friends gear though. I'd like to do one but then everyone would think that I was biased. Hey, they're right!

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Crackbolter said:

Pacific Coast Feathers and Allied Feather and Down. WM gets theirs from Allied as well.

 

Are there more than TWO Allied companies because a quick check on the internet shows that Allied Feather and Down is a Chinese company. Are you saying that FF and WM both use Chinese down? I always thought that European down was the only down that gave fill power 750+ and beyond. From everything that I read, European down is superior (lofts higher, more durable etc) as they rear the geese till they're older (so bigger plumes).

 

If North Face, Integral Designs, MH, Mountainsmith, Moonstone and Marmot (Polish and Hungarian) all use European down, it would strike me as rather odd that FF and WM (both synonymous with quality) use a supposedly inferior down. confused.gif

 

 

 

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Donovan, Read the previous pages!!! hellno3d.gif

Ever wonder why sleeping bags are made in China rather than the US? Two reasons; one is to cut labor costs and the other is to cut materials costs. Most down is PROCESSED in China but comes from all over the world including Europe.

 

 

Edited by Crackbolter

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I have read the previous pages and have enjoyed in throughly smile.gif

 

I have thought about why people manufacture goods in China, Vietnam etc...economics! Cutting cost in order to focus on brand management and marketing (I do not believe that everyone does it for that reason but certainly most do). The quality may be as good as items made in Europe or North America but I would rather my money be invested into the product itself rather than go into the pockets of the marketing director smirk.gif

 

I'm not sure about North America but here in Europe some of the better companies process their down in Europe. I know for sure that Joutsen, Valandre, Rab, Yeti-Exner and PHD all use European "grown" and processed down. Perhaps it makes more sense for Europe since the down in locally available and it would make more sense to process here rather than ship to China to be processed. However I do have to admit that my WM bag looks and lofts better than any Rab bags I've seen or owned.

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I originally thought that FF bags are sewn in Seattle from down processed in Poland and from raw down materials coming from Russia. Now I think I was mistaken.

 

What stages of FF sleeping bag production are still in the US? How legitimate is it with “Made in Seattle since 1972”? What FF writes on sleeping bag labels – made in US? I know WM states made in US. I hope WM do sew their bags or perform the legitimate percentage of work in the US.

 

I think that something wrong going on with this industry. It seems that producers can easily lie about FP, the country of origin, and etc. Can you guess who will be the winner? My suggestion is that the winner always be the company who produces sleeping bags in China from the cheap grey down and after that states 900 FP and made in USA. I hope I am mistaken here.

 

 

 

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cirpich said:

I originally thought that FF bags are sewn in Seattle from down processed in Poland and from raw down materials coming from Russia. Now I think I was mistaken.

 

What stages of FF sleeping bag production are still in the US? How legitimate is it with “Made in Seattle since 1972”? What FF writes on sleeping bag labels – made in US? I know WM states made in US. I hope WM do sew their bags or perform the legitimate percentage of work in the US.

 

I think that something wrong going on with this industry. It seems that producers can easily lie about FP, the country of origin, and etc. Can you guess who will be the winner? My suggestion is that the winner always be the company who produces sleeping bags in China from the cheap grey down and after that states 900 FP and made in USA. I hope I am mistaken here.

 

FF's bags are made in seattle. The factory is over on mercer street.

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whew! what a spew-fest! i hate to risk adding to the debate... however...

 

i should point out the obvious, which nobody has brought up: marmot's claimed fill power went from 800 to 900 NOT because the down quality changed, but because the TEST changed. IDFL in SLC is the north american standard-setter, and they modified their test a cpl years back. the conditioning of the down now goes on longer, and includes blowing warm dry air up thru the down in the testing cylinder prior to testing. previous testing included stirring, but not a session under the hairdryer.

(this was a favorite trick of sleeping bag salesmen in years past - stop by the local laundromat before showing off your wares!)

the new test is consistent and repeatable, and produces bigger numbers for the manufacturers, which they then pass along to impress their customers - which then causes competing suppliers to raise THEIR numbers too, as western mountaineering and MEC (and probably others) have done - otherwise they look like they are falling behind in a loft-race.

but the DOWN has not changed one bit!

this may be a natural, irresistible process, but it plays us consumers for suckers, and it creates confusion in the marketplace, neither result being progress.

 

so much for reality, now for opinion:

 

*** the loft power matters very little to the overall weight of the bag, as others have pointed out. a REAL increase from 800FP to 900FP would allow the designer to lower the fill wt of the bag by 11% and still generate the same loft. this wld save about 1 1 /2 oz on a typical lighter bag, and twice that on a winter bag. at a cost of AT LEAST $50 for the light bag and twice that for the winter bag. light does not come cheap...

 

*** nor, as someone else pointed out, does light "work" very well in scuzzy conditions. very high loft down loses a much higher proportion of its loft power when it gets damp and otherwise abused (like, crammed into the bottom of your pack, as opposed to shipped in a huge storage sack), and it's (more-or-less) the thickness of the insulation layer that keeps you warm, not the FP number.

 

*** the biggest way to save wt in a sleeping bag is to lighten the shell and baffling fabrics, which are around 40% of the total bag wt for a winter bag and 60% (or more) for ultralites. again, this is VERY pricey, plus durability suffers.

 

*** and a bigger way yet is to cut the bag VERY narrow, which reduces fabric wt, fill wt, cost - and comfort!

 

*** the "best" bags for real-world, long term use, in my opinion and experience, include the following elements:

1. moderately high FP down (say 600-650FP) - lively lofting, good feeling, but not overly "high-strung";

2. 14-20 oz fill (12cm-15cm/5"-6" loft, good for 20ºF/-5º to -10ºC or so) - and overfill is good, for resisting loft collapse when damp;

3. 40 denier outer fabric (light, but tough enough for years of use) and maybe a 30den liner;

4. NEVER an expensive waterproof-breathable outer shell fabric (some may disagree with me on this, but i hate the expense, and the THOUGHT of the extra protection seems to work better in the showroom than in reality - plus, ever try to COOK in a sleeping bag, or even a bivy sack?);

5. ALWAYS a synthetic fill overbag when the temperature is lower than the bag can handle, or when the conditions are going to be "demanding" - the MEC penguin is the class of the field:

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER<>folder_id=589113&PRODUCT<>prd_id=15813&bmUID=1058130961064

in 30 years of mountaineering, i have NEVER had a bag accumulate moisture while i was using an overbag. credit george lamb of Camp 7 for inventing the idea back in the '70s.

5. a reasonably comfortable cut, so you can live it the bag for long periods having to get out to change your mind...

 

*** none of this matters if you are out for one night, which is the situation for most people most of the time, and if you have unlimited money. go as crazy as your wallet will allow on lightness; fit the bag like lycra; shred the delicate fabrics, cuz you can always get the "next best thing" next year; top it all off with $200 worth of WPB technology. 50 grams saved is 50 grams saved!

 

p.s. marmot makes superb bags. feathered friends make superb bags. western mountaineering make superb bags. rab makes superb bags. valandre makes superb bags. there are others...

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don baby... where were you 9 pages ago... all this bandwidth could have been saved from these morons spouting so much trash... yellaf.gif

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