down jackets

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Pony
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down jackets

Post by Pony » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:15 pm

howzit

I'd like some advice about having a down jacket in SA. Is it worth having one in terms of avoiding getting it wet? Does a down jacket get ruined by a good soaking?

shot

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Justin
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Re: down jackets

Post by Justin » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:14 pm

Down jackets are awesome and a necessity at the crag (as far as I am concerned). I take mine with me everywhere in winter. They are light and offer great warmth.

Down will not become ruined when wet, however it will become useless and very heavy.
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Hann
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Re: down jackets

Post by Hann » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:49 pm

I too take mine everywhere.

And even pop it in the front-loader washing machine every so often.

Skip/Omo, a good day in the sun and the tumble dryer seem to work just fine in returing the jacket to prestine state.....though the manufacturer and nixwax may debate this.

Old Smelly
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Re: down jackets

Post by Old Smelly » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:39 am

Go have a look at the Cape Storm Belay Jacket. It certainly does the job for me & I don't spend any time worrying about down & wet etc. It depends what you want it for but I have used it in the Cape to good effect. Sure there are applications where a down jacket will work better but for a climber who sees a bit of berg etc. I think the Belay Jacket does the job. :thumright

O and I am not a Troll :jocolor: - that always offends me when people accuse me of that. Sure I am of average height but I have feelings too :wink:
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

Chris F
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Re: down jackets

Post by Chris F » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:34 am

Millions of birds can't be wrong!

Marshall1
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Re: down jackets

Post by Marshall1 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:36 am

:idea:
Last edited by Marshall1 on Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Warren G
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Re: down jackets

Post by Warren G » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:38 pm

I have to say this: washing your down product with anything other than a down specific wash is a daft idea. You spend R2k on the jacket but think that every manufacturer of down product is wrong by suggesting you use a down specific wash? Do you think that down garment manufacturers make these statements to make a buck, or increase the life of the garment you bought? I mean if you can get someone to replace the jacket every 5 years rather than 20 surely you’d do that? So by this logic alone surely you’d use some kind of suggested down wash?

Basically down is a natural fibre that needs special care: there are oils on the feathers that are designed to keep its loft, and increase longevity of the feather. Omo/Skip etc are designed to remove oils etc from your dirty shirts and they do a great job of that, but if you wash any technical fabric (down filled or otherwise) you will be removing those protecting layers. This hold true for rain coats etc too.

Water proof fabrics (tents, rain coats, softshells) are a designed to work differently to your cotton clothing. A regular detergent will strip off the layers around the fibres that keep the fabric waterproof. The speed of the damage is influenced by the quality of the water proof coating the manufacturer used, and this is a function of price.

But never mind my sweeping statements about this, let me give you some links to sites that have nothing to do with me: http://www.articlesbase.com/extreme-spo ... 09241.html is an independent site, related to no one, surely they wouldn’t try fleece you?

http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/article ... g+bag.html ever heard of REI? They are the largest outdoor retailer in the world, read what they have to say- this is probably the best article I have come across for general down maintenance.

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/gear-featu ... /2985.html to silence those that will critique me for only using Nikwax recommending articles, here is one from an independent source that recommends Grangers

And me? I spend most of my time talking Nikwax at retailers around the country, training staff etc. this makes me biased, but folks do you think that this is all a hoax? If so maybe we need to do some training, start by going to the Nikwax site (www.nikwax.com) then the Granger site (www.granger.co.uk). If you’re still not convinced sit in on one of my trainings, or come passed and borrow one of the Nikwax training DVDs we have.

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@ Justin: I have tried to make this article as neutral as possible, if you are not happy with it please contact me and I am happy to amend is accordingly, however I think that your site can only bennefit from a resource like this. if you would rather i write something a little more formal then I would be happy to
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Hann
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Re: down jackets

Post by Hann » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:58 pm

Uhm,

...Cough cough...

Let me rephrase:
I have washed mine with regular detergent.




But you, you all, every one of you, you have to do what Warren says.

:mrgreen:



(to be fair, he is right, and I probably shouldn't)

Warren G
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Re: down jackets

Post by Warren G » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:01 pm

@ Hunn: How much research did you do into this before washing your jacket? obvously it isn't a Capestorm or First Ascent jacket or you'd have read the care lables and seen what they recommend specialized down washes.
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Pony
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Re: down jackets

Post by Pony » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:45 pm

thanks guys, you have me convinced.

I'm gonna try and get a Rab on sale from the UK

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Justin
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Re: down jackets

Post by Justin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:53 pm

Just to confuse you further:

My wife had a Rab jacket (bought locally). The down inside was very fine and would exit the jacket through the seams.
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kyle
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Re: down jackets

Post by kyle » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:18 pm

Don't want to be the irritating environmental activist but another thing to consider is whether the manufacturer has a 'no live plucking' policy - this is often stated on their website. The method of actually getting down is pretty brutal and for the most part involves the flensing of the birds while they are still alive. Huge farms in China operate like this - not cool, but there is obviously huge demand for down. Alternatives are companies like Patagonia who have a no live plucking policy (only after getting grilled by activists) - so they source their down from birds that are plucked after being raised for meat, getting a pre-loved down jacket - ie recycled down from old jackets, or going for outrageously expensive eider or similar down collected in the wild. This also should reinforce the idea of caring for your jacket properly so it lasts for years.

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proze
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Re: down jackets

Post by proze » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:22 pm

Justin wrote:Just to confuse you further:

My wife had a Rab jacket (bought locally). The down inside was very fine and would exit the jacket through the seams.
Every down jacket I've ever seen has leaked down. Seems to be part of the territory.

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toprope
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Re: down jackets

Post by toprope » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:17 pm

kyle wrote:Every down jacket I've ever seen has leaked down. Seems to be part of the territory.
Nope, my Rab down jacket does not leak down normally like any other down jacket that I have.

I've had the tnf nuptse vest, the capestorm high down jacket, the first ascent extreme glacier down jacket, a rab womens down jacket, and also some hely hanson down jacket that makes me look like a Michelin Man.

The Rab jacket leaked fine down fibers that floated in the air around me wherever I went. Pretty annoying. And I looked somewhat crazy grabbing into the air around me to catch the down bits.

One recommendation that I have is to look for a jacket with a flap that covers the zipper in front (otherwise the wind blows in and you still get cold). And another "nice to have" is a zipper that zips up from the bottom so that you can belay with the jacket on.

hope the advice helps.

~ Justin's wife.

Jan Viljoen
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Re: down jackets

Post by Jan Viljoen » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:20 pm

I just love my down jacket and sleeping bag. And I feel sorry for the birds being plucked as well, not sure if the plucking after it has been "raised for meat" is more humane, but still.

Warren G
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Re: down jackets

Post by Warren G » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:48 am

@ Kyle. Not to attack you but I'm curious to know if the reason you don't purchase down products is due to the risk of owning live plucked feathers, or for the various reasons you choose to be a vegan?

Recently I did some research into down and found the live plucking started in Eastern Europe, then the Chineese took on the technique. By the way in summer- when the birds don't need down- they are plucked 3 to 4 times. Basically the Western countries such as England and Canada use birds which were grown for their livers, making the feathers a simple by-product.

check out this link RE IKEA Down products
http://digitaljournal.com/article/267439
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Hann
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Re: down jackets

Post by Hann » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:11 am

:thumleft:

Not to hijack this topic.
It has nothing to do with feathers, soap nor Homo sapiens sapiens' carnivorous teeth and digestive tract.

But simply to say I like Warren's 'attie-vattie-kakkie' attitude.

kyle
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Re: down jackets

Post by kyle » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:41 am

Hi Warren. Yeah, I am not a greenie tree hugger or a vegan for that matter, and own a variety of down products. I only recently became aware that there may be better ways to collect down. I had never given it much thought at all. The little research I have done shows that the way down is farmed in the east is pretty horrendous. With every kid and soccer mom now wanting to own a fashionable down bomber jacket etc the demands are enormous.

There is currently no better insulator than down and that is why we all use it. I just know that if I am looking for a down jacket or sleeping bag now I would personally like to know if it is from an (more) ethical source or not (like I said there are also recycled down products now), I will also make a concerted effort to look after my down products and not be tempted by the new season's reinvention of the wheel in a different colour with built in ipod etc... Did you see the Patagonia "Don't buy this jacket campaign?"

For anyone who enjoys the outdoors and our continued access to nice places in a nice world it is important that one weighs up all consumer choices in an effort to tread a little lighter and consume a little more ethically.

Pony
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Re: down jackets

Post by Pony » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:29 am

bloody ethics!

ignorance was bliss

now I'm not so sure about down...are there no synthetic vegan versions?

kyle
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Re: down jackets

Post by kyle » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:06 pm

There are microfibre alternatives - they are getting pretty good and are often better in wet environments where down does not function as well. Down is still the best though. What I have been doing recently is using a wool layering system. New smart wools from companies like Devold are amazing - no longer the scratchy wool sweater your gran knitted you - and keep you warm when it is wet. So many choices, but in truth nothing beats that feeling of putting on a down jacket and feeling toasty seconds later.

GezzaN
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Re: down jackets

Post by GezzaN » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:58 pm

I have both a Capestorm down jacket and a Marmot down jacket, and I can assure you that the Marmot is by far the better jacket. The Capestorm seems to lose feathers at a very rapid rate.

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deadmuppet
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Re: down jackets

Post by deadmuppet » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:32 pm

Does anyone have the First Ascent Extreme Glacier jacket? I bought one recently and the panels on the back seem to have already lost a fair amount of loft, but I'm not sure if I'm just imagining things.

LCD
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Re: down jackets

Post by LCD » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:27 am

I'm with old smelly on this one. The primaloft belay jacket works for me. Gave up down after nearly frekking from hypothermia in Tazmania d/t a leaky 20 dollar tent and a down sleeping bag. Climbed into a savvy Canadian girls synthetic sleeping bag that was dry while lying in 3 inches of water. That sold me on synthetics (and Canadians). Got a Cape Storm primaloft jacket more than 15 years ago from MMO, was so impressed that I got another one which I still haven't used outside as the original is still going strong with a couple of sewn up tears but no lost insulation. Started by hand washing in woolite but now just bung in the washing machine as I have my spare. Its the only jacket other than a light goretex shell that I take anywhere including ski touring. My GF had a Michelin man down jacket then got a lighter one without pannels. They now stay in the cupboard as she got one of the new primaloft belay jackets with hood.
If I got the story straight (stand to be corrected) in Yosemite in 1994, if you were using down or cotton, you paid for your rescue.
Also with Kyle on the wool base layer (Ice breaker, smart wool, ibex). Used to stink up a synthetic base in half a day. Only discovered ice breaker last year and used it for 3 weeks every day ski touring without washing and it smelt better than an hour in a synthetic.
Choices eh

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Re: down jackets

Post by pierre.joubert » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:07 am

LCD wrote:Climbed into a savvy Canadian girls synthetic sleeping bag that was dry while lying in 3 inches of water. That sold me on synthetics (and Canadians).
that's hilarious :lol:

GezzaN
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Re: down jackets

Post by GezzaN » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:39 am

Will definitely get those Icebreakers then. My girlfriend complains about the smell of the fleece base layers I use after a day of hard skiing. Not sure why though?

yvettecloete
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Re: down jackets

Post by yvettecloete » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:10 pm

Where in Cape Town can one buy Icebreaker clothing? Or am I being optimistic again...

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Justin
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Re: down jackets

Post by Justin » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:23 pm

Not that optimistic
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Thermophage
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Re: down jackets

Post by Thermophage » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:32 pm

lol :P When I was in New Zealand last year I saw Icebreaker all over the show. They are incredibly good products and the Merino wool is a fascinating natural insulator and has some water resistant properties.
The one thing I found funny though was the amount of underwear they produce...But then again, it is New Sealand and we know how much they like their sheep :thumleft:

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CraigBurden
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Re: down jackets

Post by CraigBurden » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:32 pm

I bought a Trespass Igloo Jacket that is only R450 at Camp and Climb! It has a 500mm water resistance rating which is more than enough when getting caught in the rain at the crag. I have been rained on at it just shrugs it off :)
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yvettecloete
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Re: down jackets

Post by yvettecloete » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:14 am

thanks Justin!

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