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Topic: Is Dridown a lie?, Been watching some videos< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 8:19 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I mentioned this in another post, but I thought it was valid enough to start a new thread.
Check this out where they test dri-down vs untreated down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDx14xueEJA
There are several more tests on their channel testing the stuff.
What do you think, marking scam or is this stuff really doing what it claims?
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 10:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Interesting video.  I wish they had had some treated down to throw into the test.  I think they're probably right about the test not being very realistic unless you plan on swimming in your sleeping bag.  However, they did say they had down fail on them in the field so isn't a test appropriate if you compare regular down failing with the whichever version of the dri-down in the same conditions?
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 11:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Interesting and surprising video. All these years we've been afraid that down absorbs water immediately. The video shows the natural buoyancy and resistance to water absorption of untreated down, but no treated down was included so it's hard to compare.

The DownTek website says, "A micro-thin nano polymer is applied to the down, creating a water repellent insulation that actually floats on water." But the video linked by Treeline shows that untreated down floats on water just as well, at least for the first 5 hours. The only perceptible difference was that shaking the down vigorously in water caused it to quickly become saturated.

Also from the DownTek website: "Unlike synthetic insulation fibers, down actually helps wick away moisture keeping you dry and comfortable." If down wicks away moisture, doesn't that mean that it absorbs water? And then releases it? Confusing.

Some people are saying that DownTek increases the fill power, but the website states, "The micro-thin treatment does not affect the fill power or feel of the down."

I called Bean's and asked how they concluded that DownTek actually works. The answer was nebulous. It was mentioned that a bag treated with DownTek dries "much more quickly" than an untreated bag.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Although I do believe Dry Down is the "real" stuff, I think that a drysack negates the need. I'd also wonder what the effect is on down's ability to insulate. Part of the power of down is in the small structure and spraying something on the down would affect that I, I assume.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 05 2013, 9:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Interesting video.  I wish they had had some treated down to throw into the test.

One of the videos actually does put the dridown against untreated down with a steam test, and there isn't really a notable difference in the resistance of water in that case.
If you really want to destroy everything you thought you knew,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J584AqcikSM
This one discussed how higher fill power can actually be worse in some situations that lower fill.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 12:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is a world of difference between pouring water on down and letting it float above and having moisture slowly seep through or even accumulate from condensing vapour in the air. For example, sand is generally a medium through which water flows very rapidly. But if you pour a glass of water on fine, dry sand on the ground, it will just bead off and roll away - at first. Dry substances tend to be initially quite hydrophobic due to fine particles on their surfaces utilising the surface tension of water to suspend it in place. But if those particles are not by nature hydrophobic, then the water will eventually begin to seep into them and break that surface tension, allowing the water to fully saturate the non-hydrophobic material. So desert rains tend to cause sheet flow of water and rapid flooding, but eventually the water soaks in and saturates the sand.

QUOTE
This one discussed how higher fill power can actually be worse in some situations that lower fill.


More fine surface area makes the higher fill power down more suspectible to moisture collection. But bear in mind that for lower fill power down there is less of the down actually contributing to warmth by weight. That's because it has less fine surface area to trap heat with, so it won't lose as much "loft" overall, but it had less to begin with.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 3:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's important to consider the design intent and expected limitations in the testing and evaluation.  I didn't watch the whole video, but I agree with what seems to be the main premise, which is that untreated down does not instantly become useless in the presence of water.  Most down users already know this, some to know it to a degree that we'd rather not admit.  

Treatments probably have value in a certain range of real-world applications (sleeping in a tent in humid conditions) that are less extreme than the tests.  I don't think any reasonable person expects to sleep well in a tub of water or a blast of steam.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 4:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If'n you plan a trip to the rain forest, leave that garbage at home.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 8:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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There is a world of difference between pouring water on down and letting it float above and having moisture slowly seep through or even accumulate from condensing vapour in the air

They actually test the down both ways. One with submersion, pouring, steam, etc. They really go at it.
The whole point is that down holds it's own, and as far as the tests goes, the treated down doesn't show much benefit. If anyone else wanted to run some more tests in the field that would be more interesting and valid, however the videos speak for themselves. Especially if you watch them all.
Admittedly however  I did just order a downtek sleeping bag. Perhaps manufacturing differences could play a roll.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 1:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The only thing that surprises me is that anyone would be surprised.  Most of us use down bags, and most use them exclusively, and nearly all of them are untreated down.  What would be more of a surprise is if one searched the forums and found a lot of recommendations for treated down, considering how recently it came along and how it addresses a problem that so few people have in real life.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 3:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ May 06 2013, 8:20 am)
QUOTE
QUOTE
There is a world of difference between pouring water on down and letting it float above and having moisture slowly seep through or even accumulate from condensing vapour in the air

They actually test the down both ways. One with submersion, pouring, steam, etc. They really go at it.
The whole point is that down holds it's own, and as far as the tests goes, the treated down doesn't show much benefit. If anyone else wanted to run some more tests in the field that would be more interesting and valid, however the videos speak for themselves. Especially if you watch them all.
Admittedly however áI did just order a downtek sleeping bag. Perhaps manufacturing differences could play a roll.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this particular test is not very meaningful, as most people aren't dumping loose down into water. I'm not really surprised that the down just floating up and stayed dry without agitation.

I saw the steam test. During the "recovery" the dri-down does appear slightly  less damp but it's quite subjective. Unless they pre-weigh the down, weigh it again after the period of steaming, then weigh it once again at intervals afterwards, they can't really say much of anything meaningful. Plus using steam is not a veyr representative way in which down would become damp under real circumstances, though it is a good extreme test.

I like what these guys are doing and am inclined to agree with their musings, but these experiments of theirs aren't exactly meeting scientific method standards.  Kind of like Myth-Busters, it's fun, but not scientific in the least, and any conclusions drawn are anecdotal and based on possibly not very meaningful circumstances.

I'd like to see both the dri-down, regular down, and prima-loft tested by weight under cool humid air, warm humid air, agitation, and steam pre treatment, during treatment at intervals, and post treatment at intervals. Then I'd like to see the same tests when the insulation is enclosed in a nylon cover. You could manufacture several small nylon bags and fill them with a pre-weighed amount of each insulation, then treat them in the bags to see how they react.

Anyone want to fund this project? :)
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 4:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SmokeyBear @ May 06 2013, 12:52 am)
QUOTE
Dry substances tend to be initially quite hydrophobic due to fine particles on their surfaces utilising the surface tension of water to suspend it in place. But if those particles are not by nature hydrophobic, then the water will eventually begin to seep into them and break that surface tension, allowing the water to fully saturate the non-hydrophobic material.

So do you consider down to be hydrophobic or not?

It appears to be a question of to what extent and under what circumstances.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 4:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And in a completely unscientific comparison. ..

I recently washed my down bag. I had a very hard time getting everything wet. I had to run the wash twice just to get the bag completely wet.  It dried slowly but it wasn't easy to get it thoroughly wet even when I was trying.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 4:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTramper @ May 06 2013, 1:12 pm)
QUOTE

(SmokeyBear @ May 06 2013, 12:52 am)
QUOTE
Dry substances tend to be initially quite hydrophobic due to fine particles on their surfaces utilising the surface tension of water to suspend it in place. But if those particles are not by nature hydrophobic, then the water will eventually begin to seep into them and break that surface tension, allowing the water to fully saturate the non-hydrophobic material.

So do you consider down to be hydrophobic or not?

It appears to be a question of to what extent and under what circumstances.

Given the amount of preening watefowl do to their coats I expect the native material requires a certain amount of maintenance to retain it's full characteristics of water repellancy.

The nanocoating might be more persistant.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 6:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From my experience, hydrophobic...it is not. At least not the few nights I shivered  trying to keep my feet away from the soggy bottom of the bag. Temporarily water resistant...maybe.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 6:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTramper @ May 06 2013, 4:12 pm)
QUOTE

(SmokeyBear @ May 06 2013, 12:52 am)
QUOTE
Dry substances tend to be initially quite hydrophobic due to fine particles on their surfaces utilising the surface tension of water to suspend it in place. But if those particles are not by nature hydrophobic, then the water will eventually begin to seep into them and break that surface tension, allowing the water to fully saturate the non-hydrophobic material.

So do you consider down to be hydrophobic or not?

It appears to be a question of to what extent and under what circumstances.

QUOTE
Given the amount of preening watefowl do to their coats I expect the native material requires a certain amount of maintenance to retain it's full characteristics of water repellancy.

The nanocoating might be more persistant.


I think this sums it up well - I'd only add that the down itself is protected by the outlying feathers that are treated by the preening waterfowl, so I suspect that it is not particularly hydrophobic to begin with, other than a small amount of oils and the water tension effect I mentioned. Not sure how much of this oil is removed during the initial washing/cleaning of the down by the processor. Subsequent washes will probably only worsen this.

Seems that down can resist a certain amount of wetting out in direct contact with water, but with water vapour it wets out much more easily. And water vapour in the form of humidity is a more likely cause of wet down for most, but I'd guess that it would take some time for this to accumulate enough to really wet out the down under warmer temperatures. My breath on the top of my down bag this winter certainly killed off a lot of the insulation when it condensed and seeped into it. A 12" circle around the base of my head had probably lost half its loft by morning.

Once I slept in an old (and probably highly used) military down sleeping bag in northern Canada sleeping on a nice soft layer of sphagnum moss - no sleeping pad. Well, turns out the bottom of my tent wasn't overly waterproof and the moss had permafrost about 6 inches or so under it. I awoke around 4 am shivering and damp. A bit of moisture has seeped into the bag and killed what little insulation the down under me was providing, and the now compressed moss meant I was sleeping on a block of frozen bog. Was kind of unpleasant. Now this is more a situation of me being naive and poorly prepared - it was the middle of summer, but I should have had a sleeping pad. Anyway, i was uncomfortable but fine, and dried the bag in the sun that day and threw a tarp under me the next night which helped. There weren't many options to move the tent, and I was only there two nights.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 8:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I saw a PBS special on the changes in cleaning process of down over the years. It has drastically changed recently which is why some people (like me) who are allergic to down...aren't anymore. They use a chemical bath that strips the oils out and make it much more clean.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2013, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pastywhite @ May 06 2013, 4:27 pm)
QUOTE
And in a completely unscientific comparison. ..

I recently washed my down bag. I had a very hard time getting everything wet. I had to run the wash twice just to get the bag completely wet. áIt dried slowly but it wasn't easy to get it thoroughly wet even when I was trying.

I had that problem recently when washing a down comforter, but I think part of the problem is the downproof fabric?? It was really hard to get the air out of the comforter, and the water in.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2013, 6:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The dridown saga continues here

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