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SkeeterPee
11-08-2016, 12:49
I am thinking of getting this 40F quilt for summer use, but to also combine with a 20F down bag for winter use. Will this work as well as their chart shows. I.E you get about -10F with that combination?

Also, I am looking at a one ounce difference between 850 flil and 950 fill which is $50 more. is that an expensive 1 oz? I am inclined to go with the 850 as it still is slightly under a pound, but are their other reasons to go with the 950 other than weight.

Thoughts on these choices and whether this will server as a winter and summer set up.

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation/

Hosh
11-08-2016, 13:25
Pretty sure EE's 2 quilt strap system would work with a sleeping bag as the inner piece. I would email Tyler to confirm.

EE's temp ratings are pretty conservative IMO, I am a warm sleeper, not sure about your sleeping bag.

I purchased 850 fill, never thought the extra money was worth the weight or volume reductions.

Ample consideration needs to be given to shelter selection, head gear and sleeping pad to see if this setup will work in the temps you are projecting. EE's Hoodlum and booties are synthetic and a good addition to a cold weather kit.

Studlintsean
11-08-2016, 14:26
I am thinking of getting this 40F quilt for summer use, but to also combine with a 20F down bag for winter use. Will this work as well as their chart shows. I.E you get about -10F with that combination?

Also, I am looking at a one ounce difference between 850 flil and 950 fill which is $50 more. is that an expensive 1 oz? I am inclined to go with the 850 as it still is slightly under a pound, but are their other reasons to go with the 950 other than weight.

Thoughts on these choices and whether this will server as a winter and summer set up.

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation/

I agree about the 850 vs 950 fill wt. I couldn't justify it but if you are at the point where every ounce counts, maybe it is to you. I read that the 850 will perform better if damp but I cannot confirm nor argue against this.

Just Bill
11-08-2016, 14:50
I would agree with what's been said on the temp chart... though would caution taking 10* off the final number (based upon experience with synthetic quilt stacking) as a caution until you get more bag time and can verify for yourself. So plan on zero degrees in your case... you don't want to be too far off in true winter.

ON the fill-
unless you live in a bone dry area (which Viginia ain't) I too agree that 850 fill is as high as I'd go. You just won't see the laboratory perfect conditions needed to get the full loft of 900+ fills so in real life... you either have to over fill the 900+ bags a bit or accept a bit of lost performance within a day or two... So I don't think you save any real weight in the real world whereas you save real money in real life when you stick with 850 or less. :D

SkeeterPee
11-08-2016, 21:58
Thanks for the advice.

As far as tent, I have a lightheart Solong 6 so I think there is enough room to avoid brushing up against condensation. It is a very long tent. I might think about the booties. I have had cold feet in some test overnights at 0-10F in my 20F bag with a liner. so feet may get cold quicker than the rest of me. For head I have a balaclava, buff and fleece hat to keep my head warm. Also I do not know that I will seek out anything colder than 0F as worst case overnight temps. I base of of record lows for area being hiked not average lows.

saltysack
11-08-2016, 22:33
Thanks for the advice.

As far as tent, I have a lightheart Solong 6 so I think there is enough room to avoid brushing up against condensation. It is a very long tent. I might think about the booties. I have had cold feet in some test overnights at 0-10F in my 20F bag with a liner. so feet may get cold quicker than the rest of me. For head I have a balaclava, buff and fleece hat to keep my head warm. Also I do not know that I will seek out anything colder than 0F as worst case overnight temps. I base of of record lows for area being hiked not average lows.

If you have a thick pad i.e. Xtherm you will likely hit the tent wall....im only 5'11" and with a tall pad its hard not too...i started putting my footbox of 20* enigma in my rain jacket or pack liner(compactor bag)...problem solved as long as you have a enough room and down not compressed.


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MuddyWaters
11-08-2016, 22:46
I am thinking of getting this 40F quilt for summer use, but to also combine with a 20F down bag for winter use. Will this work as well as their chart shows. I.E you get about -10F with that combination?

Also, I am looking at a one ounce difference between 850 flil and 950 fill which is $50 more. is that an expensive 1 oz? I am inclined to go with the 850 as it still is slightly under a pound, but are their other reasons to go with the 950 other than weight.

Thoughts on these choices and whether this will server as a winter and summer set up.

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation/

Think about what to put on head at -10 in a quilt
Even in teens

Ive layered similarly, its not without aggravations if have choice.
Quilts allow air between them, and ice can form in between.

Dogwood
11-09-2016, 01:50
...
ON the fill-
unless you live in a bone dry area (which Viginia ain't) I too agree that 850 fill is as high as I'd go. You just won't see the laboratory perfect conditions needed to get the full loft of 900+ fills so in real life... you either have to over fill the 900+ bags a bit or accept a bit of lost performance within a day or two... So I don't think you save any real weight in the real world whereas you save real money in real life when you stick with 850 or less. :D

That's generally good advice but it depends on if it's an untreated down to untreated down or a untreated 850 fp down to hydrophobic 850 or + fp down comparison. As far as I know the EE Rev is currently offered only in 850, 900, 950 ALL Down Tek. But EE may offer a custom untreated down option? EE offers 950 fp Down Tek which lessens the rate of performance decline due to moisture/loft collapse compared to untreated 950 fp down. That decrease in the rate of performance loss can be a game changer in some situations. So, to answer the OP's inquiry, "I am inclined to go with the 850 as it still is slightly under a pound, but are their other reasons to go with the 950 other than weight?" it depends on what's being compared. I don't like with the higher fp's some manufacturers's resort to underfilling baffles, compartments, etc. I don't observe EE or Katabatibc doing that though. Chime in JB but in a 40* rated down quilt( a warm season quilt) doesn't that play into some fp lofting characteristics in some quilt design?

If the OP means 850 Down Tek compared to 950 Down Tek I'd assume the main difference is, as the OP suggests, less wt?

As Tyler says:

DownTek (https://vimeo.com/34761492)™ is a water-repellent coating that is added to goose or duck down. It helps the down resist moisture longer, and dry out more quickly if it does get wet. It is not fully water-proof, so normal precautions should be taken to keep your gear dry (such as a trash compactor bag for use as a pack liner, and/or the included waterproof stuff sack), but as an added layer of protection DownTek can give you more time to react to bad weather, pack or shelter failures, etc. You can read about one test of DownTek's water repellency here (http://indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com/we-tested-waterproof-down-by-jumping-in-a-frozen-lake-1694953456).

MuddyWaters
11-09-2016, 10:32
The thing about higher fill down, imo, is its more vulnerable to loss of loft. The higher feather content in lower fill ( even 850-900 has feathers) is less succeptible to this. The way the increase fill power by stripping natural oils is responsible too.

I think 800-850 is probably best all around based on wt/performance. Paying a premium for higher is debateable benefit. Downtek is a sham imo. It does nothing to reduce loft loss from moisture gain in use, and makes down a bit clumpy. I have a 900 fill downtek quilt, I see no benefit.

So, is 950 worth $50?
Wouldnt be to me. Unless you like to brag about wt instead of using gear

Just Bill
11-09-2016, 11:19
That's generally good advice but it depends on if it's an untreated down to untreated down or a untreated 850 fp down to hydrophobic 850 or + fp down comparison. As far as I know the EE Rev is currently offered only in 850, 900, 950 ALL Down Tek. But EE may offer a custom untreated down option? EE offers 950 fp Down Tek which lessens the rate of performance decline due to moisture/loft collapse compared to untreated 950 fp down. That decrease in the rate of performance loss can be a game changer in some situations. So, to answer the OP's inquiry, "I am inclined to go with the 850 as it still is slightly under a pound, but are their other reasons to go with the 950 other than weight?" it depends on what's being compared. I don't like with the higher fp's some manufacturers's resort to underfilling baffles, compartments, etc. I don't observe EE or Katabatibc doing that though. Chime in JB but in a 40* rated down quilt( a warm season quilt) doesn't that play into some fp lofting characteristics in some quilt design?

As Tyler says:

DownTek (https://vimeo.com/34761492) is a water-repellent coating that is added to goose or duck down. It helps the down resist moisture longer, and dry out more quickly if it does get wet. It is not fully water-proof, so normal precautions should be taken to keep your gear dry (such as a trash compactor bag for use as a pack liner, and/or the included waterproof stuff sack), but as an added layer of protection DownTek can give you more time to react to bad weather, pack or shelter failures, etc. You can read about one test of DownTek's water repellency here (http://indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com/we-tested-waterproof-down-by-jumping-in-a-frozen-lake-1694953456).

My general experience; from building, designing, and using bags...
The math to calculate fill in a down piece is mainly simple and straightforward; but 4 parts math, one part guess and one part art.
The simple part is that all you are really doing is calculating the cubic inches of what is being filled and dividing it by the fill power (in cubic inches) of what you're filling it with.
There are some European countries who remain skeptical of fills past 850. The thing to consider that informs my opinion on this is how that fill power rating is obtained- not necessarily that anyone is underfilling or cheating the system to get the right weight.
Down is "conditioned" for the tests. It is fluffed, dried, cleaned, primed and rested for 24 hours in lab conditions.
On one hand... this does give us a relatively consistent baseline to compare fills. It's a repeatable test and is reliable in my opinion to obtain that fill rating.
So in theory; one simply applies the math to your project. The formula is generally- Cubic inches of fill needed/CU inches of fill used= how many ounces of down to use. To this number roughly 30% additional is added.
That's the math; though as down is a baffled construction product, each baffle must be calculated and that can be harder than it seems as well in a complicated shape like a mummy bag.
A Karo Step quilt like EE makes is as close to a basic rectangle as you can get; so calculation of area to fill is simpler as you realistically have only one chamber to fill.

On the other hand... we don't use the gear in lab conditions. So the bag maker must then apply the guessing and art to the final product to deliver a bag that works.
For any here who have done estimating or costing... 30% is a pretty big fudge factor to slap on such an expensive product. To an extent you could look at that as the difference between the lab and real life.
But that is the guess part. Nobody actually knows what that number is nor could they.
If the OP means 850 Down Tek compared to 950 Down Tek I'd assume the main difference is, as the OP suggests, less wt?

Finally we come to the art...
A company like Western Mountaineering has developed their craft over decades and thousands of bags... or more importantly- thousands of nights in the field as well as returns that told them their failures. They may choose to toss the math out the window and insulate some baffles higher than 130%, they may choose to reject trends like water resistant down, they may not buy into higher fill powers either.

The point being-
The math says that I can simply use less down by weight with a 950 FP vs an 850 FP.
All these numbers still mean it's only an ounce of down. So you only have one ounce of "stuff" you just stretch that stuff thinner and thinner and further and further. At some point, it's my opinion that you've gone too far. If you hold a 800 fill cluster and a 900 fill cluster in your hand you can see this visibly. If you exhale too hard or turn too fast one may drift away; you may note that there is so little structure that the clusters may collapse under their own weight, or have their stuff spread so thin that re-lofting is difficult. You may even note that the simple weight of a cluster on top is too much weight for the cluster on bottom to support. And that even with the wispiest of shells that the fill just doesn't have enough "umph" left in itself to overcome the weight of the shell itself holding the down in.

So (my personal opinion) is that 850 fill is about where that line is... where you've spread your stuff too thin, where it requires too much time to recover, where the clusters themselves are a bit too flimsy or delicate to support themselves. Where the slightest whiff of moisture may be enough to bog them down.

That I could build and fill two identical shells with the same cubic inches of fill each and find that indeed; fresh out of the dryer the 950 fill would look more impressive, be warmer, and lighter.
But even simply packed in a stuff sack overnight and given an hour to reloft... I see little difference. And on even a weekend trip I may find I like the 850 fill bag better in real life. Now I could go back and add a bit more 950 fill and achieve the same result... but at what cost and for what gain as the only reason to go with the 950 is weight... as I add more weight and cost am I getting anywhere?

As a minor aside; if you look to clothing you will find that it is rare to see fills above 750 used in jackets... the principal is the same. When you push the fill there, it isn't robust enough to take it. And the actual volume of fill used rarely justifies pushing it for little or no savings in weight. And to answer your other question- in low loft applications (like a 40* bag) you may have clusters that are 1" in diameter... So if you have one inch of loft, and a fill that lofts to 1" thick... it's like landscaping materials at that point. if you want a thin layer you need to use pea-gravel (600-700 fill) so the pebbles can uniformly cover the ground... otherwise there is too much deadspace in between and your chosen material. To get good coverage with high loft clusters... you need to be a few inches deep for them to properly fill the space. That is why 40-50* down bags or SUL down clothing are hard to make and often inefficient... when you only have an inch of loft but 3/4" diameter materials... it will seem underfilled simply because you can only fill one layer deep or because the material has no room to freely loft and move.

And if you remove a few clusters that don't pop back to life ideally when you only have one single layer of them; you can literally see the holes in some of our newer SUL translucent shell materials. How many (non-western state) users of some of the hyperlight down shells have felt they were simply wearing a windshell by day three of a trip... and stopped carrying that gear as a result in favor of a synthetic or different base layers. Or ditched the jacket for a vest because the chamber sizes in a vest are typically sized better.

So the art is in predicting and verifying how it all actually holds up in the real world where it is used; not just on the spec sheet.
That's not to say a better artist than I couldn't use 950 fills well, it's more to say that unless you were using that art in ideal conditions on a frequent basis I have a hard time accepting that their art would be appreciated.
Or that the artists talents would be wasted by simply tossing in some extra to prevent a return... if customers insist on 950 fill, not much they can do but find a way to sell it and do their best to minimize any returns or complaints.

There is an argument to be made for SUL gear being babied... that a good daily sunning, packing in a drysack, and fluffing then resting for a good hour will improve any bag.
But I would also argue that most who intend to take advantage of SUL gear will have a SUL style... not just a spreadsheet base weight.
So that user is more likely to walk a bit after dinner; not set up camp and fluff their gear in their enclosed shelter for a few hours as a more industry typical user might.
They will likely not spend more than a half hour readying camp and are likely to crawl in their bag rather quickly after releasing it from it's container.
They will probably compact the bag fairly tight at some points in the trip... and it will likely spend more time in it's container than other users bags.
They will probably be out for multiple days, probably won't launder the bag, will probably climb in with some damp clothing, will likely wear layers of other gear inside the bag.
They will likely find their 950 fill blistering edge of spec limit bag is listless, develops some cold spots, or simply doesn't quite work as well as they hoped.

In short; the "cutting edge" customer whom this fill is intended for is about the worst possible customer for it.

My opinion only... as we are in the guesswork and the art here... not the math.
But if you imagine more accurately the end user, if the end user more honestly accesses their use and habits; and we both balance them against the truth of the field...
I think that we'd likely compromise on the fill and meet someplace around the 800-850 mark as the little extra robustness of the material itself vs a 900 fill is a "feature" on the spec sheet that has more value than the ounce or less saved.

It's a bit like Cuben in my opinion... You can buy a .33 oz CF shelter from Z-packs, but even they tell you not to. You can build a .5 oz CF tarp... but most of us would find the P.I.A factor required to keep it working and safe from harm wasn't worth it vs the .78. I remember Malto telling me about his .50 CF pants experiments simply falling apart from walking in them versus a .67 oz nylon windpant which holds up fine. And with coated nylons and poly fabrics coming out under an ounce at a third of the price... the circle is complete in my opinion with the cuben experiment. We found the edge and circled back, pushing all the products forward along the way.

I am a huge fan of finding the absolute minimum bleeding edge of what it possible, then taking one or two steps back. That's the core of SUL philosophy IMO.
I design stuff for FKT's, for limits, for impossible... then scale back just enough to not cross the line but in the process find that I have pushed it just enough after all across the board.
A jump off the cliff XUL piece of sleeping gear can still be 11 oz for a FKT attempt... but it can also then take a 2 ounce step back and work for SUL, or take another step back and work well for most any backpacker but be better than what came before because of the lessons learned from the leap off the edge. We should find out what can be done and where the edge is so we can dance on it if we choose... and to inform us what decent distance to stay back from it for others who don't need to go that far. Just because it can be done, doesn't mean we should.




My thoughts on the treated down are similar- but no need to have that discussion as it's mainly a harmless choice unless you get a sticky batch... which is a problem that has gotten better apparently.

Venchka
11-09-2016, 17:55
Sometimes being a fossil has it's benefits.
Our home is full of down. Pillows, Quilts bought in Hungary, vests, an expedition parka and 2 Western Mountaineering sleeping bags. My granddaughter has my original REI down sleeping bag.
In my opinion, the best down of the whole lot is the 550 down in the 1974 REI bag, Camp 7 of Boulder vest and the 700+ down in the 1994 WM Antelope bag. In all 3 cases the down lofts on it's own and stays lofted in use.
Another fact: according to the 1994 Western Mountaineering catalog and the online specs today their bags had the same amount of 700+ fill in 1994 as 850+ fill today. Makes you wonder right? Sometime between the 1994 catalogue and today the test procedure was changed. Not for the better in my opinion.
Wayne


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Venchka
11-09-2016, 18:22
Clarification. WM is filling their bags with the same weight of down today as they did in 1994.
Wayne


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Dogwood
11-10-2016, 17:51
That was a lot of chiming. :D

SkeeterPee
11-10-2016, 23:22
Thanks for all the info.

Regarding feet and head. I have notice waking up with cold feet at lower temperature of my bag. The EE booties have 3 levels of fill and different temperature ratings. I would think the booties are supplementing your bag, so do you really need the 4 or 6 oz fill to wear inside your bag? Or are those more if you want to sit around camp?

And does a thin balaclava, fleece had and half buff seem workable for sleeping. in a sing test in single digits. it seemed keeping everything in place was key to the head warm.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 00:38
EE's booties which are really socks are not meant to be worn outside of your shelter. You don't walk around camp in them. My question is, 'do you need synthetic insulation APEX(Climashield)socks? Or, could you use down, possibly a hydrophobic down sock, possibly only using an over bootie to walk around camp on special occasions like if it's wet?

SkeeterPee
11-11-2016, 01:25
I don't know the answer to that question. I was just thinking of booties, but don't know of the benefit of down vs synthetic for this application. But it seems like there are different levels of fill for down and sysnthetic. Would you want a 2, 4, or 6 oz fill for something I would think would likely be worn inside your bag?

Are some brands of booties preferred more than others?

undercling_mike
11-11-2016, 02:22
I just wanted to comment on the high fill power downs, I've recently made a few quilts with 950 fill HyperDRY goose down along with quite a few others filled with 850 and 800 fill goose and duck down from a few different sources, hydrophobic treated and not. Having rerad a few negative comments about the 950 fill I wasn't sure what to expect but I've been more impressed than I thought I would, the loft seems quite robust and it lofts up at least as well and as quickly as an equivalent fill volume of the other downs. This is in Sydney, Australia, which is quite humid at this time of year.

Just sharing my experience. Is the 950 worth it? It depends. I think it is an upgrade and makes a nice premium product but the difference is small so the choice is going to come down to individual priorities as usual.

On the topic of fill power testing it seems that the numbers are higher than they used to be, I doubt this is because the birds are better at producing down, perhaps we are a little better at sorting it but probably most of the difference is the testing methods. My only hope is that the numbers we see today are consistent so we can compare different sources of down available today, even if the numbers are different from 20 years ago. Experience can then tell us how to determine fill amounts for a desired warmth in a quilt, sleeping bag or garment.

Just Bill
11-11-2016, 10:26
I just wanted to comment on the high fill power downs, I've recently made a few quilts with 950 fill HyperDRY goose down along with quite a few others filled with 850 and 800 fill goose and duck down from a few different sources, hydrophobic treated and not. Having rerad a few negative comments about the 950 fill I wasn't sure what to expect but I've been more impressed than I thought I would, the loft seems quite robust and it lofts up at least as well and as quickly as an equivalent fill volume of the other downs. This is in Sydney, Australia, which is quite humid at this time of year.

Just sharing my experience. Is the 950 worth it? It depends. I think it is an upgrade and makes a nice premium product but the difference is small so the choice is going to come down to individual priorities as usual.

On the topic of fill power testing it seems that the numbers are higher than they used to be, I doubt this is because the birds are better at producing down, perhaps we are a little better at sorting it but probably most of the difference is the testing methods. My only hope is that the numbers we see today are consistent so we can compare different sources of down available today, even if the numbers are different from 20 years ago. Experience can then tell us how to determine fill amounts for a desired warmth in a quilt, sleeping bag or garment.


:welcome

Glad you're finding good results...

To be fair: my experiments were mainly a few years back during the down shortage (from bird flu) that drove costs of down higher... and I personally got a bad batch or two of the coated down (very clumpy, even visibly).
If the coated downs are done right there should be no appreciable downside... it's just debatable if there is an upside.

On higher fills and different tests:
My understanding is a bit of both. We are better at sorting, and we are dealing with more volume as the outdoors industry has grown. Just simple numbers I suppose if the crazy fill powers are 1-2% of general down... if we go through more of it we'll have more of each fill.
There are others who argue that the marketing/consumer demand for the higher fills has caused some adjustments to the testing to meet demand as well. And as Wayne points out above... maybe nothing has changed but the marketing really. I'm old enough to remember when 700+ was the cutting edge rating (much like now, they didn't dare claim 750 even if they had it... which is what we recently said about 950 or even 1000 FP)

I'm with you though- so long as the test is apples to apples (even if it's flawed) we can at least select a consistent product and base our choices on experience with that product.

What I would say... in making your own gear, it is easier to dribble in a bit more as I often do. When a generous pinch 'fer good measure' weighs a gram or two it's easy to go better safe than sorry. For personal gear or one-off bags... if you're 8 baffle quilt goes 8-16g over your theoretical numbers well... it's still a pretty durn nice piece of gear that you can take pride in. It was really only when I got a bit better at more accurately predicting the shell weights and finished weights; as well as the baffle sizes that I was able to zero in on the grams per baffle a bit better and then try to stick to it. Also I spent some time on a "race to the bottom" trying to get perfectly filled baffles.

Point being, in my experience at least, when I tried to "perfectly" fill a baffle I started adjusting the overfill numbers (not overstuff)... If we calculate exactly what we need why do put 30% waste on top of it? It was as I pushed to lower and lower with that number that I saw some issues with fills above 850. I could get 800 to work at about 20% overfill, 850 at 25% but never 950 that low (especially by day two or three).
When you're in the 900+ fills, that gram or two pinch per baffle may add up to an extra 5% pretty easily...

So I found that if I was pushing to 35-40% overfill ranges to achieve good results... that was fine if I was making one bag once. Not so good if I was trying to make the absolute lightest bag that functioned.
At worst I found myself breaking even on weight (and at the time) getting killed on cost just to say I was using 900+ fills. So at some point I feel I found "bottom" and the 900 FP wasn't giving me an advantage when I looked harder at each gram of fill per baffle.

The other thing nobody can really say... is how those wispy clusters will hold up over the long term. Can you say that a 950 fill will last 300-400 nights like you can with 800 fills? Very hard to say.

All that said... mainly what has shaped my opinion overall is that we are literally counting grams and slim changes. Those pushing specs will always push specs (and likely don't want an opinion or recommendation)
Those looking to buy a decent piece of gear at a decent price... 800-850 is plenty. It's a good balance between cost, weight, packed size and performance and still a very high end product. It's a safe number without being too safe.

Just Bill
11-11-2016, 10:45
EE's booties which are really socks are not meant to be worn outside of your shelter. You don't walk around camp in them. My question is, 'do you need synthetic insulation APEX(Climashield)socks? Or, could you use down, possibly a hydrophobic down sock, possibly only using an over bootie to walk around camp on special occasions like if it's wet?


I don't know the answer to that question. I was just thinking of booties, but don't know of the benefit of down vs synthetic for this application. But it seems like there are different levels of fill for down and sysnthetic. Would you want a 2, 4, or 6 oz fill for something I would think would likely be worn inside your bag?

Are some brands of booties preferred more than others?

Hands, feet, and head... all places I'd choose synthetics over down.

For a bootie.. I may even side with Apex over Primaloft Gold. It's pretty stiff and generally what's happening (with down) is that it is shifting around or away from either pointy toes or tossing and turning side sleepers. So a stiff insulation like Apex will be less likely to crush out under gravity... and a bootie won't shift off your feet.

The only Booties I've personally used were the older TNF or Sierra designs styles that had cordura soles (and usually a 1/4" CCF insole we added) for winter camping. Sometimes I wore them in my bag but mainly I wore them to camp.

Personally I'm a bigger fan of putting a down vest (inside or outside) over my feet if they are feeling cold... but that said, my true winter gear is typically a good mummy bag with a properly shaped footbox.
I do tend to sleep in my socks... if nothing else to help dry them out.

So as Dogwood is musing... depends what you want them for.
EE basically is selling "sleep socks" and I guess all I could say is that at 2.8 oz for the heaviest pair... might as well trust their rating recommendations.
An overbooty is an option to insulate your shoes for camp, where a decent camp booty can still be a handy thing to have for winter camping if you don't plan on sitting in your tent/sleep gear all night.

If you are specifically a cold back sleeper- a small chunk of CCF foam can be placed in your sleep socks (get a big pair of cheap wool socks) and put a small disk in the heel and a small one in the toes. This gives you an uncrushable insulation at your heel as well as the same at the toe which is also doing double duty of spreading the load of your pointy toes on the down. If you happen to carry a sit pad- you can accomplish much the same by putting the pad above your feet.

The old hot water bottle (or two) works well too. Putting it right at your crotch between your thighs will keep it hot longer and warm the two main arteries flowing to your feet. A decent trick is to put it in the foot box (assuming you boiled it) just before bed to preheat the foot end. As it cools enough to safely be placed on your thigh then you slide it up with your feet and stow it there for the evening.

You're probably going to have to sleep with your water if it's cold enough... and you're probably boiling water when melting snow... so that's always been the best solution in my opinion. But depends on your style.
If you're drycamping/thru hiker style then insulation choices may be the better option and will weigh less than a Nalgene bottle too.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 11:41
I just wanted to comment on the high fill power downs, I've recently made a few quilts with 950 fill HyperDRY goose down along with quite a few others filled with 850 and 800 fill goose and duck down from a few different sources, hydrophobic treated and not. Having rerad a few negative comments about the 950 fill I wasn't sure what to expect but I've been more impressed than I thought I would, the loft seems quite robust and it lofts up at least as well and as quickly as an equivalent fill volume of the other downs. This is in Sydney, Australia, which is quite humid at this time of year.

Just sharing my experience. Is the 950 worth it? It depends. I think it is an upgrade and makes a nice premium product but the difference is small so the choice is going to come down to individual priorities as usual.

On the topic of fill power testing it seems that the numbers are higher than they used to be, I doubt this is because the birds are better at producing down, perhaps we are a little better at sorting it but probably most of the difference is the testing methods. My only hope is that the numbers we see today are consistent so we can compare different sources of down available today, even if the numbers are different from 20 years ago. Experience can then tell us how to determine fill amounts for a desired warmth in a quilt, sleeping bag or garment.

I understand the concerns of comparing "lab conditioned" - in the lab - down in the highest fp's(800, 850, 900, 950, and 1000) using UNTREATED down test results with real world in the field expectations. A lot has been made of that on gear wonk sites like BPL. What I don't see are as many comparisons of 800-850 fp HYDROPHOBIC(Down Tek, Hyper Dry) to 900, 950, and 1000 fp HYDROPHOBIC downs. I don't as yet have a 1000 fp Hyper Dry down piece but that's what I want to demo. It's significantly pertinent to the OP's question because the EE Rev is offered in 850 Down Tek, 900 Down Tek, and 950 DOWN TEK(hydrophobic down). The distinction has to made that the OP is comparing fp of HYDROPHOBIC DOWNS.

Another thing that can be seen in the higher fp's due to the cluster structures is the slight increase in compressibility.

Does all this make world changing trip tipping point differences to most backpackers....probably not. But we're dealing with some outdoors consumers, like ULers, SULers, gear junkies, science/engineering types, etc., that are already accustomed to pushing envelopes so the market answers.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 11:59
On winter backpacking trips I have to protect my extremities including my feet even more so than most because of several occasions experiencing frost nip from previous winter hunting, fishing, and snow sport activities and because venemous spider bites that attacked my joints especially fingers. I still go UL in winter employing UL winter kits and techniques. Ben from Goose Feet https://goosefeetgear.com/products/1-down-socks made 850 fp untreated down socks in a 10d DWRed nylon that I've cherished for feet specific warmth in the UL wt of sub 3 oz(pr) XL socks. Since I don't walk around camp much wearing them used in my sleeping bag/quilt they loft as well today as they did in 08 when Ben made them. Now, he offers more durable deniers, better DWRs, and 850 Down Tek(hydrophobic down).

To each his own but a better use of warmth and wt for a down jacket or vest is by wearing it to warm the core(torso area) than feet.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 12:05
I never put my down socks on in camp when my feet are wet. If feet are wet I let them dry first. Good idea, in dry weather, to take that down sleeping bag/quilt, down suit, and down socks out of storage in your pack first thing getting into a camp site to allow for lofting. I massage the loft back into all this gear regularly before using and aim to keep it all dry when in the pack.

Venchka
11-11-2016, 12:52
Loft keeps you warm.
Case in point:
REI Summerlite. 20 ounces of 550 cu. in. goose down. 3" top loft. No temperature rating from REI. Personally tested well below freezing.
WM Versalite. 20 ounces of 850+ cu. in. goose down. 3" top loft. WM rated for 10 degrees F.
Be warm Y'all!
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Just Bill
11-11-2016, 13:19
Per the claims being made:
Fill power is fill power... and the measurement is made after application of any treatments. So 900 is still 900; ie- coated or not the finished FP is the same.

What is not clear is if say... it was 925 untreated to achieve a 900 treated rating. There has been speculation; which makes good sense that this is the case. The treatment must have some weight so even if it a gram per ounce you'd need to start with a lighter raw material to achieve the same finished weight. Much the same way in that a treated fabric will always weigh more than it's base fabric. (Like 1.1 sil-nylon actually weighing 1.4 oz finished.)

In the case of the OP's question... only treated down is offered so he's still just making an apples to apples comparison on using a higher FP to achieve a lower weight and balancing against cost.
So to answer his question (at least my answer) I don't feel the extra cost is worth the minimal or even no gain in actual performance.

To answer your question:
If only chasing grams... it would make sense to use an untreated down as you've added some weight (even if marginal) to add the treatment. You have diluted the pure clusters of a 950+ fill by adding the weight of the treatment in much the same way adding a few lesser quality (800 say) clusters would lower the overall FP. At it's core; regardless of test the number simply states cubic inches per ounce. To achieve the highest possible rating with one ounce of "stuff" you'd want the purest, highest quality "stuff".

However the question then circles back to my point and yours...
If the treatment does actually improve the down's ability to prevent any "poop out" when you've left the sterile conditions of the lab by increasing resistance to humidity; does the treated down then perform closer to ideal in real life than it's untreated counterpart?

I have yet to see a manufacturer make that claim. Only the (mildly silly) shake test claims such as you have posted above. Basically that when violently wet out; that the treated down does not "dissolve" and collapse. If you watch the video again, you will note that both samples float with the water added. It takes 2 minutes of shaking (which is what... you falling into a river and violently thrashing until you've completely wet out your gear?) until the regular down fails.

What would be a useful test would be to introduce humidity into the fills over a 24 hour period and then measure the fill power in the same lab conditions. To introduce that single variable as that is the real life scenario that would affect my choice.

So if after 24 hours (or ideally 72 hours with a few compression and loft cycles) the treated down could demonstrably show an ability to out perform the untreated sample then you'd have something.

To me, that is the crux of the treated debate:
First, that it does no harm. Perhaps DownTek is superior to it's competition and/or coating processes have generally improved some; but we have discussed before that there are trusted vendors who either never bought into the concept or got on board when it came out and have since removed it from their line-up. You had everything from outright disbelief, patient skeptics, those waiting for second or third generation efforts to adopters who had complaints or returns and gave up.

So; while I couldn't prove it- it seems reasonable to me that you had to start with an even higher FP product prior to treatment to achieve the same finished FP... so in my mind it does do harm from a gram weenie perspective even if all other performance, loft, clumping, etc was equal when it's all said and done.

Second- that it demonstrates a real life benefit. Again... if in real life you could demonstrate that on day 3 in field conditions that the treated product did better... you'd have something.
Let's say it was 925 fill to achieve 900 FP finished. You'd have to actually compare the raw stock to the treated stock- not 900 vs 900.
Now if you could demonstrate that after humidity and compression cycling that there was a clear winner...

Well that was also my original premise when I tested this stuff; I thought it would beat humidity creep and keep me out of the Laundromat for a week.
Unfortunately (blame a bad batch of sticky material if you like) that wasn't my finding.
Maybe I wouldn't go so far as to call it a gimmick... but I'm leaning more towards WPB type claims... works in the lab or within limited scenario's in real life.

I could be wrong, I don't follow this material very much. Maybe Peter at EE or somebody might chime in.
I suppose, the fact that EE has stuck with the treated product is some measure of confidence that a quality vendor is finding success with at least one brand/source of that material. Or at the very least it does in fact do no harm.

Though I haven't had time; I do have a 2 kg sample of the PLG Down blend and feel that product may be the better solution to beat moisture creep (with some minimal sunning/airing out).
But that's a feeling only and I doubt I'd have much to say for a year or more on it.
On the flipside... there are very few of us who take weeklong trips in winter. And most of us (myself included) take a more Tipi Walter oriented approach when we do and implement down care procedures of some type as well as sunning or fire drying along the way.

So to me... when you are talking a 40* bag (non-critical temp) that weighs well under a pound at 800/850 fill and you're talking .5-1 ounces for 15-20% increases in cost...not a fan.
To be fair- I'd be more inclined to rely on a comparable synthetic and call it good enough and eliminate the moisture debate completely, especially when I can match that down bag for $160 bucks.
And really- you'd save more weight either way if you tightened up your quilt size and got it just right instead of sizing up for a little slop. :D

To anticipate your question as well: When you're talking 1.5" of loft to achieve a 40* bag... I still feel very strongly that a 1000FP cluster is simply too big to fill that space well. You're back to the 1" stone when you should use pea gravel argument regardless of treatment. You still need a .67 oz shell to contain it. (36"x36"x1.5"=1944 CuIn /1000 FP means 1.94 oz x 1.3= 2.53 oz per sq yard of down) That down still needs to fight gravity and have enough structure to hold up the shell (in each direction technically) and at 1.5" you at best are two clusters deep in those crazy high fills. So to me... unless you're talking 2" of loft or more... you shouldn't be talking about anything bigger than 850 fill. Again.. the bed material in a landscaping project is still the best example I can think of to demonstrate the concept... or simply looking at a light colored hyperlight down piece of gear where you can physically see the down clusters in action. And still... the baffles have weight, and should be closer than the standard 5" at those lower loft bags (which they rarely are)

If you are talking a winter wonder bag where synthetics no longer make sense on the scale or in packed size then I'm interested in talking down more seriously. Until you hit those volumes of down beyond 2" think then the scales aren't tipping enough to interest me much; and you are in critical temps where loss of performance is noticeable and critical. Plus you have to be out more than 48 hours or so... which so few of us truly are.

And if you're talking using this down vs say a VBL... down is much lighter if treated down could hold up.

Though as Another Kevin succinctly pointed out to me:
Even if synthetic is warm when wet or unaffected by moisture... if you are talking truly cold weather then at some point nothing is immune to frozen moisture.
So even if treated down could solve that problem above freezing, it doesn't really apply below freezing on the outermost layers.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 16:37
Thread drift ahead.

Per the claims being made:
Fill power is fill power... and the measurement is made after application of any treatments. So 900 is still 900; ie- coated or not the finished FP is the same.

YES no-one is making a claim otherwise.

What is not clear is if say... it was 925 untreated to achieve a 900 treated rating. There has been speculation; which makes good sense that this is the case. The treatment must have some weight so even if it a gram per ounce you'd need to start with a lighter raw material to achieve the same finished weight. Much the same way in that a treated fabric will always weigh more than it's base fabric. (Like 1.1 sil-nylon actually weighing 1.4 oz finished.)

The wt of the nano particle applications in hydrophobic down is negligent as data has demonstrated...even to gram weenies and engineering types. They would be the first to note a wt discrepancy between hydrophobic and non hydrophobic(treated)down.

In the case of the OP's question... only treated down is offered so he's still just making an apples to apples comparison on using a higher FP to achieve a lower weight and balancing against cost.

YES but there were assumptions(misassumptions?) originally being made that apply to a EE Rev quilt purchase.

So to answer his question (at least my answer) I don't feel the extra cost is worth the minimal or even no gain in actual performance.

That's the "is the consumer cost worth it" question to be answered. AND, it can only be accurately answered depending on your hiking situation(s). The gain, potential, perceived, actual, or otherwise, in performance for the cost doesn't always stop people from making costly gear purchases. Hmm? I feel surrounded by costly gear every time I meet people in the outdoors, MANY of whom don't experience those performance gains based on their usage despite the marketing claims actually capable of being delivered in real life in the field.

To answer your question:
If only chasing grams... it would make sense to use an untreated down as you've added some weight (even if marginal) to add the treatment. You have diluted the pure clusters of a 950+ fill by adding the weight of the treatment in much the same way adding a few lesser quality (800 say) clusters would lower the overall FP. At it's core; regardless of test the number simply states cubic inches per ounce. To achieve the highest possible rating with one ounce of "stuff" you'd want the purest, highest quality "stuff".

AGAIN, the treated down specs of Down Tek and Hyper Down don't suggest any significantly measurably wt increase.

However the question then circles back to my point and yours...
If the treatment does actually improve the down's ability to prevent any "poop out" when you've left the sterile conditions of the lab by increasing resistance to humidity; does the treated down then perform closer to ideal in real life than it's untreated counterpart?

Closer to ideal entails knowing conditions and situations to make judgments of what that is. Laboratory testing of down is just a STARTING POINT OF REFERENCE so we can compare and understand equally. It is just that - testing under lab conditions - which don't always mimic in the field conditions. So many things affect down performance in real world use such as character of fabric shells, humidity, design, user abilities to acknowledge and adjust, etc. Down does not exist in a clear tube in the field! Down is inclosed in some type of fabric. These fabrics have different characteristics. Usage experience runs a wildly wide range. Trying to discuss wetting out or lofting by ignoring these critical factors is having a dubiously narrow and potentially problematic analysis. It's shown here: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/103900/
I have yet to see a manufacturer make that claim. Only the (mildly silly) shake test claims such as you have posted above. Basically that when violently wet out; that the treated down does not "dissolve" and collapse. If you watch the video again, you will note that both samples float with the water added. It takes 2 minutes of shaking (which is what... you falling into a river and violently thrashing until you've completely wet out your gear?) until the regular down fails.

The scenario of 'violently wetting out' is not a typical backpacking experience! It is an extreme scenario. It has been a fear mongering marketing/selling strategy OVER employed by synthetic insulation purveyors. That IS NOT to suggest synthetic insulation doesn't have its place! Down being waterproof by treating it to be hydrophobic is not being claimed by the rational true to the technology and consumer transparent manufacturers.

Here is what is ACCURATELY claimed by reputable sources such as Enlightened Equipment and Katabatibc:

Enlightened Equipment:

What is DownTek™ down?
DownTek (https://vimeo.com/34761492)™ is a water-repellent coating that is added to goose or duck down. It helps the down resist moisture longer, and dry out more quickly if it does get wet. It is not fully water-proof, so normal precautions should be taken to keep your gear dry (such as a trash compactor bag for use as a pack liner, and/or the included waterproof stuff sack), but as an added layer of protection DownTek can give you more time to react to bad weather, pack or shelter failures, etc. You can read about one test of DownTek's water repellency here (http://indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com/we-tested-waterproof-down-by-jumping-in-a-frozen-lake-1694953456).

Katabatic:

DOWN

Do you recommend the 900 fill power down or the 850 Water Resistant down?
The water resistant down can be useful for people who
• Do a lot of camping in damp/rainy climates.
• Spend a lot of consecutive nights in cold temperatures where the dew point of their perspiration may be reached inside the insulation. In other words, the vapor from your body condenses to liquid as it is moving from the inside of the quilt, and then cannot pass through the shell fabric of the bag. Typically, this is not an issue above freezing, and generally not a concern unless you’ve been out for 4-5 nights without a chance to dry your bag.
What is the benefit of the 850 Water Resistant down?
If it gets damp, the water resistant down will be able to maintain loft easier compared to the non-treated down. Please keep in mind that this down is not water-proof or comparable to synthetic insulation. If it gets soaked, the down will not loft properly or insulate until dry.

EE and Katabatic rationally nailed it without hyped marketing claims backed by some testing. Implying performance claims beyond these positives is problematic to out right being deceptive.

What would be a useful test would be to introduce humidity into the fills over a 24 hour period and then measure the fill power in the same lab conditions. To introduce that single variable as that is the real life scenario that would affect my choice.

So if after 24 hours (or ideally 72 hours with a few compression and loft cycles) the treated down could demonstrably show an ability to out perform the untreated sample then you'd have something.

To me, that is the crux of the treated debate:
First, that it does no harm. Perhaps DownTek is superior to it's competition and/or coating processes have generally improved some; but we have discussed before that there are trusted vendors who either never bought into the concept or got on board when it came out and have since removed it from their line-up. You had everything from outright disbelief, patient skeptics, those waiting for second or third generation efforts to adopters who had complaints or returns and gave up.


Yes, making down hydrophobic we(I) haven't seen oodles of long term performance data. However, and although I concede some marketing speak is occurring, Allied Feather, the creator of hydrophobic Hyper Dry does contend the texture of the fill is NOT compromised using their technology. FWIW, Allied Feather IMHO seem like MOSTLY straight shooters if that's whom you're referring to by shake tests.

YES, but everyone does NOT come from the same design perspective obvious in their choices of construction materials. Some like Western Mountaineering come from a different design perspective having not a immediate conclusive thumbs up or thumbs down on using hydrophobic down. BUT, WM's approach in their designs and use of treated down shouldn't be taken as an indictment against treated down....which some are doing. ZPacks, who once offered the hydrophobic down option, has shown confidence in their targeted market's ability in knowing their own individual user scenarios and their ability to adjust gear and usage as needed. ZP also demonstrates confidence in it's design choice of Ventum fabrics namely it's high quality C6 DWR, vapor transfer, and breathability. I assume WM also has much confidence in their sleeping bag designer's choices of shell fabrics as well.

So; while I couldn't prove it- it seems reasonable to me that you had to start with an even higher FP product prior to treatment to achieve the same finished FP... so in my mind it does do harm from a gram weenie perspective even if all other performance, loft, clumping, etc was equal when it's all said and done.


HMM Interesting point.

Second- that it demonstrates a real life benefit. Again... if in real life you could demonstrate that on day 3 in field conditions that the treated product did better... you'd have something.
Let's say it was 925 fill to achieve 900 FP finished. You'd have to actually compare the raw stock to the treated stock- not 900 vs 900.

The testing and claims of hydrophobic down, AS RELATED ABOVE BY Enlightened Equipment and KATABATIC, have shown to be fairly accurate in the field. If you can relate any unproven claims as advertised by either of these manufacturers please share it.

Now if you could demonstrate that after humidity and compression cycling that there was a clear winner...

Well that was also my original premise when I tested this stuff; I thought it would beat humidity creep and keep me out of the Laundromat for a week.
Unfortunately (blame a bad batch of sticky material if you like) that wasn't my finding.
Maybe I wouldn't go so far as to call it a gimmick... but I'm leaning more towards WPB type claims... works in the lab or within limited scenario's in real life.

I could be wrong, I don't follow this material very much. Maybe Peter at EE or somebody might chime in.
I suppose, the fact that EE has stuck with the treated product is some measure of confidence that a quality vendor is finding success with at least one brand/source of that material. Or at the very least it does in fact do no harm.

I also assume so. Again EE's shell fabrics, overall design, and targeted markets play roles. Just like WM, ZP, Montbell, Katabatic, Feathered Friends, Marmot, and possibly Valandre and other down gear manufacturers of IMO some reliable reputation.

Though I haven't had time; I do have a 2 kg sample of the PLG Down blend and feel that product may be the better solution to beat moisture creep (with some minimal sunning/airing out).
But that's a feeling only and I doubt I'd have much to say for a year or more on it.
On the flipside... there are very few of us who take weeklong trips in winter. And most of us (myself included) take a more Tipi Walter oriented approach when we do and implement down care procedures of some type as well as sunning or fire drying along the way.

So to me... when you are talking a 40* bag (non-critical temp) that weighs well under a pound at 800/850 fill and you're talking .5-1 ounces for 15-20% increases in cost...not a fan.
To be fair- I'd be more inclined to rely on a comparable synthetic and call it good enough and eliminate the moisture debate completely, especially when I can match that down bag for $160 bucks.
And really- you'd save more weight either way if you tightened up your quilt size and got it just right instead of sizing up for a little slop. :D

To anticipate your question as well: When you're talking 1.5" of loft to achieve a 40* bag... I still feel very strongly that a 1000FP cluster is simply too big to fill that space well. You're back to the 1" stone when you should use pea gravel argument regardless of treatment. You still need a .67 oz shell to contain it. (36"x36"x1.5"=1944 CuIn /1000 FP means 1.94 oz x 1.3= 2.53 oz per sq yard of down) That down still needs to fight gravity and have enough structure to hold up the shell (in each direction technically) and at 1.5" you at best are two clusters deep in those crazy high fills. So to me... unless you're talking 2" of loft or more... you shouldn't be talking about anything bigger than 850 fill. Again.. the bed material in a landscaping project is still the best example I can think of to demonstrate the concept... or simply looking at a light colored hyperlight down piece of gear where you can physically see the down clusters in action. And still... the baffles have weight, and should be closer than the standard 5" at those lower loft bags (which they rarely are)

If you are talking a winter wonder bag where synthetics no longer make sense on the scale or in packed size then I'm interested in talking down more seriously. Until you hit those volumes of down beyond 2" think then the scales aren't tipping enough to interest me much; and you are in critical temps where loss of performance is noticeable and critical. Plus you have to be out more than 48 hours or so... which so few of us truly are.

And if you're talking using this down vs say a VBL... down is much lighter if treated down could hold up.

Though as Another Kevin succinctly pointed out to me:
Even if synthetic is warm when wet or unaffected by moisture... if you are talking truly cold weather then at some point nothing is immune to frozen moisture.
So even if treated down could solve that problem above freezing, it doesn't really apply below freezing on the outermost layers.

The LOL idea that synthetics are warm when wet is absolutely not true as Andrew Skurka says here, "In specific regard to the issue of moisture sensitivity, I want to point out that synthetic insulations are absolutely not “warm when wet” like is often claimed." Drenching an unprotected synthetic sleeping bag or when wearing a vest or jacket when taking the extreme scenario of taking a fall into a river is NOT a warm affair. Been there dun that. NO way!

http://andrewskurka.com/2015/backpacking-clothing-stop-insulated-jacket-pants/

Just Bill
11-11-2016, 18:18
In red below


Thread drift ahead.

Yar.


What is not clear is if say... it was 925 untreated to achieve a 900 treated rating. There has been speculation; which makes good sense that this is the case. The treatment must have some weight so even if it a gram per ounce you'd need to start with a lighter raw material to achieve the same finished weight. Much the same way in that a treated fabric will always weigh more than it's base fabric. (Like 1.1 sil-nylon actually weighing 1.4 oz finished.)

The wt of the nano particle applications in hydrophobic down is negligent as data has demonstrated...even to gram weenies and engineering types. They would be the first to note a wt discrepancy between hydrophobic and non hydrophobic(treated)down.

Guess we need Kevin or Odd Man Out. Looking specifically (been a few years for me) at DownTek- http://www.down-tek.com/ (http://www.down-tek.com/)
"Our proprietary, cationic treatment creates surface tension on the down cluster. When molecules of moisture encounter DownTek™, the moisture is forced to collect into a sphere shape and roll off the down cluster rather than adhering to and soaking into it."

I don't know what that means honestly. I've heard it from Ion Exchange and Flocculent use in water treatment but don't know how it applies here. If the down is just dunked in a chemical bath that alters the charge... then I could understand how it could be called a treatment and not an application. Though that doesn't explain the DWR claims or stickiness (unless the charges were too high and the down was attracted to itself?

They are making the following claims:

DownTek™ retains same fill power as untreated down
Water repellent treatment adds no measurable weight
Products with DownTek™ remain drier and lightweight longer
Absorbs 30% less water than untreated down
Dries 60% faster than untreated down
Retains significantly more loft than untreated down after exposure to moisture

Of some minor trouble- they have recently launched a zero PFC version... so not sure how environmentally friendly it's been thus far. (not that many outdoor materials are trouble makers as well)
http://www.down-tek.com/zeropfc.php
"DownTek™ ZeroPFC™ is fluorocarbon-free water repellent down that uses DWR technology inspired by nature. DownTek™ ZeroPFC™ stays dry 10x longer than untreated down, meaning those who wear it stay warmer and drier."

So now we are back to DWR (a coating) not a cationic treatment?
"DownTek™ ZeroPFC™ uses the same proprietary application process as DownTek™ Water Repellent Down, which employs the use of nano-level lipids (one billionth of a meter) instead of a bath process – meaning no by-products in our water-recovery systems."

"DownTek™ Zero PFC™ was born from a commitment to providing our customers with the very best in performance down while keeping in mind the impact we have on the environment. DownTek™ ZeroPFC™ is a perfluorocarbon-free water repellent down that uses an innovative, nature-inspired approach to achieving water repellency. Instead of perfluorocarbons, DownTek™ ZeroPFC™ uses lipids - an idea derived from nature - to coat the down and render it highly water-repellent."

This seems to make less sense to me, though it is literally the next section on the page under "environment." So cationic treatments, DWR and nano-level lipids?
So do we have a fat of some kind bonded to the down now? Is it a charged state to bond the fat? Then the fat that repels? are basically just using a billion chemicals to replace the natural oils we've removed in washing the down?

Time for AK or OMO.

http://www.down-tek.com/zeropfc/ So go here and hit Performance... you'll see the chart showing the results of the wet out test in minutes. This appears to be just a drop (no shake test).
They are roughly showing:
1000+ minutes for regular downtek
300 minutes for zero PFC downtek
20? minutes for regular down.

So full saturation down in the "nude" holds up for 20 minutes if you just drop it in water? All this seems to be showing is saturation in physical water.
I don't see anything related to water vapor but perhaps one does inform the other and my carpenter chemistry just isn't getting it?


So to answer his question (at least my answer) I don't feel the extra cost is worth the minimal or even no gain in actual performance.

That's the "is the consumer cost worth it" question to be answered. AND, it can only be accurately answered depending on your hiking situation(s). The gain, potential, perceived, actual, or otherwise, in performance for the cost doesn't always stop people from making costly gear purchases. Hmm? I feel surrounded by costly gear every time I meet people in the outdoors, MANY of whom don't experience those performance gains based on their usage despite the marketing claims actually capable of being delivered in real life in the field.
You lost me a bit- We were talking total apples to apples. A single EE bag, offered in a single fill (treated down) and if it was worth the money... or specifically if there was any benefit BEYOND the minor weight savings to using the higher fill power.

Since we're only asking about FP at that point (not treated or not) in a 40* bag specifically; my answer is the same... I can't think of a scenario where I'd say it's worth it. I outlined below (due to cluster size) why I don't think ultra high fill power down in low loft bags (2" or under) make sense to me.


AGAIN, the treated down specs of Down Tek and Hyper Down don't suggest any significantly measurably wt increase.
Guess the claims above seem to agree-

However the question then circles back to my point and yours...
If the treatment does actually improve the down's ability to prevent any "poop out" when you've left the sterile conditions of the lab by increasing resistance to humidity; does the treated down then perform closer to ideal in real life than it's untreated counterpart?

Closer to ideal entails knowing conditions and situations to make judgments of what that is. Laboratory testing of down is just a STARTING POINT OF REFERENCE so we can compare and understand equally. It is just that - testing under lab conditions - which don't always mimic in the field conditions. So many things affect down performance in real world use such as character of fabric shells, humidity, design, user abilities to acknowledge and adjust, etc. Down does not exist in a clear tube in the field! Down is inclosed in some type of fabric. These fabrics have different characteristics. Usage experience runs a wildly wide range. Trying to discuss wetting out or lofting by ignoring these critical factors is having a dubiously narrow and potentially problematic analysis. It's shown here: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/103900/

Not sure where you are going with that link? Wrong one?
If you would like to talk environmental exposure in the form of physical water... shells make a difference. If you assume though that a user can keep the bag dry then I believe we are back to just the fill.
Specifically then we are talking vapor (not liquid) in the form of humidity or body transpiration. All shell materials are breathable to some extent... you could potentially make the argument that a WPB shelled alpine bag might even trap more body vapor INSIDE the shell.

Guess all I'm getting at... assuming a skilled user capable of keeping actual liquid water away... what does it do for water vapor?
I'm not sure I see that clearly... in the claims or in others reporting back. Are there glowing reviews of users (like a Trauma or Pepper/Skurka style deep winter trip) that found great gains or used the product?
Otherwise seems the field reports thus far have been "no harm no foul" or... "I didn't like it."

Again- I personally wrote it off for now- so if there are developments or progress... I'm mainly speaking off the cuff not digging through a binder of recent research.
I have yet to see a manufacturer make that claim. Only the (mildly silly) shake test claims such as you have posted above. Basically that when violently wet out; that the treated down does not "dissolve" and collapse. If you watch the video again, you will note that both samples float with the water added. It takes 2 minutes of shaking (which is what... you falling into a river and violently thrashing until you've completely wet out your gear?) until the regular down fails.

The scenario of 'violently wetting out' is not a typical backpacking experience! It is an extreme scenario. It has been a fear mongering marketing/selling strategy OVER employed by synthetic insulation purveyors. That IS NOT to suggest synthetic insulation doesn't have its place! Down being waterproof by treating it to be hydrophobic is not being claimed by the rational true to the technology and consumer transparent manufacturers.

Here is what is ACCURATELY claimed by reputable sources such as Enlightened Equipment and Katabatibc:

Enlightened Equipment:

What is DownTek™ down?
DownTek (https://vimeo.com/34761492)™ is a water-repellent coating that is added to goose or duck down. It helps the down resist moisture longer, and dry out more quickly if it does get wet. It is not fully water-proof, so normal precautions should be taken to keep your gear dry (such as a trash compactor bag for use as a pack liner, and/or the included waterproof stuff sack), but as an added layer of protection DownTek can give you more time to react to bad weather, pack or shelter failures, etc. You can read about one test of DownTek's water repellency here (http://indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com/we-tested-waterproof-down-by-jumping-in-a-frozen-lake-1694953456).

Katabatic:

DOWN

Do you recommend the 900 fill power down or the 850 Water Resistant down?
The water resistant down can be useful for people who
• Do a lot of camping in damp/rainy climates.
• Spend a lot of consecutive nights in cold temperatures where the dew point of their perspiration may be reached inside the insulation. In other words, the vapor from your body condenses to liquid as it is moving from the inside of the quilt, and then cannot pass through the shell fabric of the bag. Typically, this is not an issue above freezing, and generally not a concern unless you’ve been out for 4-5 nights without a chance to dry your bag.
What is the benefit of the 850 Water Resistant down?
If it gets damp, the water resistant down will be able to maintain loft easier compared to the non-treated down. Please keep in mind that this down is not water-proof or comparable to synthetic insulation. If it gets soaked, the down will not loft properly or insulate until dry.

EE and Katabatic rationally nailed it without hyped marketing claims backed by some testing. Implying performance claims beyond these positives is problematic to out right being deceptive.
I don't disagree... but these seem to be mainly repeats of the manufacturers claims and some decent common sense.
If we've reached the point of no harm being done by the treatment... fine...

I haven't been watching... but is anyone credible with several seasons of winter use coming out with field reports that moisture vapor buildup has been reduced? That they ditched a VBL and the down still held up?
Anyone saying that they found they could get another day or two out on in the field from their treated bags without feeling the effects of humidity creep?
Those are the things I haven't seen claimed. I have seen lots of folks love EE and Katabatic Bags... but the same could be said of WM and Z-packs too... I don't recall anyone roaring when z-packs switched back or that people were intentionally switching to treated down coming back with glowing reviews.

The main thing I've heard have been complaints (admittedly a few years old) to basically... "It's free now, so why not?".
I'm not being argumentative, I honestly don't know where things stand today... though I know what I'd want to see to give me a compelling reason to jump on it.

If it helped 900+ fills hold up in lofts greater than 2" then there is some noticeable weight savings worth talking about.

Treated or not, I disagree with 850+ fills in bags with less than 2" of fill. Basically the break between 30* (1.8") and 40*(1.5")
If the treated down lets you push one category lower in my thinking... say to the 1.8" loft range... you're still talking 20g or less on an average sized bag.

One ounce of 900 FP down at 1" thick would cover 900 SQ in. Bumping to 950 fill in the same area brings you up to 1.055" Or
flip that and put 950 in there to achieve 1" loft and you need .947 oz. or you save 1.5g in this .69 yard area.
If you extrapolate the down chart (from memory so if its off a smidge)... it's .03" per degree of loft. So that's a 1.8* difference.

Now that tells you two things (IMO). The difference is marginal by weight. The difference is marginal by loft.
The 950 fill would need to fall down 5.5% in performance to see a 1.8* difference in a perfectly filled baffle.

So either way... we are talking numbers only you and I MIGHT care about... but really we are talking FKT numbers worth of difference.
Your average SUL customer even will likely err 5-10* warmer or even a size bigger than they need and likely it won't cost them more than an ounce or so... which is still lighter than any insurance you could get elsewhere.

The LOL idea that synthetics are warm when wet is absolutely not true as Andrew Skurka says here, "In specific regard to the issue of moisture sensitivity, I want to point out that synthetic insulations are absolutely not “warm when wet” like is often claimed." Drenching an unprotected synthetic sleeping bag or when wearing a vest or jacket when taking the extreme scenario of taking a fall into a river is NOT a warm affair. Been there dun that. NO way!

http://andrewskurka.com/2015/backpacking-clothing-stop-insulated-jacket-pants/

I'd generally agree with Andy... though my opinions changed with Primaloft Gold. It ain't perfect, but it's close. I've gone to bed three times now with saturated bags (even a saturated UQ and TQ) in 40-50* temps and woke up dry.
No it's not pleasant- the idea is that you don't die- not have a good time.
For the record- that was my test rig in the backyard where I left the gear up several times with different tarps that were un-staked or experiments... so from time to time they didn't work out and I would come home from work and find 6" of standing water in the hammock. (the stakeless tarp design only works when you are in the hammock- otherwise I didn't have enough tension on the tarp to shed all the rain with out the user in it.) A few times the TQ would get blown out and end up on the ground in the rain all day long. Since it was just my backyard... I said screw it... could always go back inside if I liked. Even in the 40's... I went to bed and woke up dry.

Also- If you have to violently shake down to get it too wet out.
What do you think it takes to wet out a PLG covered in two layers of DWR coated nylon :D

No matter how you shake it (get it)- wetting out your sleeping gear to the point of un-usability is not high on the list of realistic scenario's. A jacket... maybe.

Humidity creep over a week trip... distinct possibility in most place most times of the year. That's the claim I want to see backed up.

undercling_mike
11-11-2016, 21:11
:welcome



Cheers!




Does all this make world changing trip tipping point differences to most backpackers....probably not. But we're dealing with some outdoors consumers, like ULers, SULers, gear junkies, science/engineering types, etc., that are already accustomed to pushing envelopes so the market answers.

I certainly agree with you here and as with most things there are diminishing returns on a cost to performance basis as you push towards the highest end but as you say some poeple like to push the envelope or have the ultrapremium product. Pushing the envelope is a great way to learn as well as to develop and refine new ideas and designs, which can be very rewarding in and of itself.


Just to add a bit more to the discussion about the hydrophobic down there's some interesting comments in this BPL thread (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/91288/) including by an employee of Allied Feather and Down. Obviously take the comments somewhat as marketing but it's interesting nonetheless.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 22:26
What we need is a Just Bill and Dogwood max word Post Quick Reply button. ;)

If we sat down to a few micros and intended short discussion we go through a 12 pack and be late for work the next day before finishing.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 23:28
Cheers!

I certainly agree with you here and as with most things there are diminishing returns on a cost to performance basis as you push towards the highest end but as you say some poeple like to push the envelope or have the ultrapremium product. Pushing the envelope is a great way to learn as well as to develop and refine new ideas and designs, which can be very rewarding in and of itself.


Just to add a bit more to the discussion about the hydrophobic down there's some interesting comments in this BPL thread (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/91288/) including by an employee of Allied Feather and Down. Obviously take the comments somewhat as marketing but it's interesting nonetheless.

Remember that BPL thread as if it was yesterday. I followed it closely. I'm glad you shared it. The comments on that thread as well as comments on other threads directly involving Enlightened Equipment and Allied Feather technical advisors and designers on BPL plus personal technical correspondence with Katabatic as well as Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends, Marmot, Zpacks, and Valandre weighed heavily in my honest as I can be answers above and led me to eventually purchase 850 Hyper Dry and 900 Hyper Dry down quilts and sleeping bags as well as Down Tek apparel pieces for some of my particular trail and outdoor situations.

Dogwood
11-11-2016, 23:30
Too much to currently technically digest JB. You offered much. I will respect your earnest effort by giving it the greater consideration you rightly deserve.

rocketsocks
11-12-2016, 01:43
What we need is a Just Bill and Dogwood max word Post Quick Reply button. ;)

If we sat down to a few micros and intended short discussion we go through a 12 pack and be late for work the next day before finishing.Im working on developing a program that searches for key words, but I'm having some patent issues, seems someone beat me to it. :D

jeffmeh
11-12-2016, 08:40
What we need is a Just Bill and Dogwood max word Post Quick Reply button. ;)

If we sat down to a few micros and intended short discussion we go through a 12 pack and be late for work the next day before finishing.

Each of you is providing some great information. I do humbly and respectfully suggest that each of you could improve your signal-to-noise ratio. "Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short." -- Thoreau

;)

Just Bill
11-12-2016, 10:32
Cheers!

Just to add a bit more to the discussion about the hydrophobic down there's some interesting comments in this BPL thread (https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/91288/) including by an employee of Allied Feather and Down. Obviously take the comments somewhat as marketing but it's interesting nonetheless.


Each of you is providing some great information. I do humbly and respectfully suggest that each of you could improve your signal-to-noise ratio. "Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short." -- Thoreau

;)

Yar- I have a hard time reaching the scenic views without a good bit of amblin' along the way.

Anywho- wagon circling time. Very productive now and such now we got some reminders...

That BPL thread (like many there) was helpful and quite promising then promptly dropped dead once it got our hopes up. That said: Ill bring some of it over worth noting.

Also worth noting in other ironic news... "Whitenoise" is the name of the poster asking these questions of the rep from Allied Down. I will chop out the TA;DR parts and highlight what I care about.


2. I've heard from some of the quilt manufacturers that the treated down feels more "clumpy" compared to 850+ fill down. Any comments on that, and whether or not that gets worse?

4. How does your new HyperDry process/technology compare to competitors such as DownTek, DriDown, Encapsil (Patagonia), etc? Anything other than just marketing talk?
Some very pertinent questions I have regarding any in-house or independent testing of your treated down:

6. Have you performed any tests for evaporated moisture (as opposed to liquid water in a cylinder for the shake test)? Water in a gaseous state seems to be of most interest, rather than liquid water, since the primary culprit of wetting the down in my area is humidity, perspiration, and wet clothes inside a bag.

Answers-


2. This might sound a little more "market-y" so forgive me, but having been pioneers in the WR down we have gone through a lot of R&D to make sure it does NOT feel clumpy. It's easy to throw a bunch of down in a bath of nasty PFOS / PFOA- filled chemistry and get something that will resist water. That has never been our approach. We have always been known in the industry for the quality and cleanliness of our down and with our down technologies, it is always about improving upon it. And if you lose the "feel" of down, I don't know how much a treatment is worth. It's a tightrope act between enough water resistance and retaining the qualities of down.


4. This relates to number2 – we have been doing this for a while with a lot of brands (who all seem to have their own set of requirements, testing parameters, etc). Comparing HyperDRY to some of those mentioned is tricky because we have actually developed a lot of these WR technologies on the market. HyperDRY is Allied using everything we have learned from working with these brands and developing what we think is the best set of criteria. We have tried to take the best of everything we have done and learned, created new methods that reduce waste, create even thinner yet effective coatings, etc. One important thing we have seen and worked hard for is consistency throughout a range of fill powers. A lot of "others" WR downs perform admirably at high fill powers, but lack significantly at lower ones. One of our goals was to develop HyperDRY with lower fill powers in mind so it doesn't always have to be 800+ to really see results. As a side, this is also important for the bedding industry allowing for use in a down comforter that cleans easier.


5. This one is a little more tricky. A lot of this is obviously proprietary and trade secret regarding the chemistry. What we have been working on is a traceability system, however, that allows the consumer to input a down lot number that would be printed on a hang tag or in the product to view the down's source and all relevant IDFL test results – verified fill power, cleanliness, contents, etc. (trackmydown.com) Depending on the brand, it could also include treatment specific test results – i.e. PFOA / PFOS.


6. We work very closely with IDFL and even helped develop that shake test. It's admittedly not the best, but it performs a service. What you are talking about is something we have been working with them on – it's a lot more complicated and goes beyond my area of expertise to really comment too much on the whys and hows.

AND A FOLLOW UP-
Allied: I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Many on this forum are particularly interested in data for #6 — whether or not the down is similarly unaffected by evaporated moisture (sweat, humidity, etc). If you could share any objective testing that you guys have done in the near future — aside from the shake test — we would all gladly await those results.


SO TO CIRCLE THE WAGONS:

It seems we may have gotten some info back on the first question- Does it do no harm?
In the case of Allied Feather's Hyper Dry Product it seems that they may have/probably have developed a successful formulation to solve any clumping issues.

That said; I bought my treated down from down linens (2lb of 850) after reading this thread-https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/95731/
However; that was two-three years now and it's possible this was simply a bad batch or not the final formulation/application achieved as we have two vendors (EE and Katabatic) that are well known and obviously go through way more down than I. Even if they occasionally get a bad batch... the return/rejection ratio hasn't been high enough for them to pull the plug on their supplier as others have.

So it seems reasonable to conclude: HyperDry treatments from allied feather do not harm the down in any way. We can't say about the environmental concerns from the process or if other vendors/suppliers for treated downs are good. Not that this one response does it... but that this response seems reasonable in light of trusted vendors with happy customers who use the gear in conditions similar to us relying on this supplier.

Now in answer to my question/concern regarding 900+ fills in general; I am much more excited not by the WR claims but this claim in an answer earlier in the thread-

"Regarding the fill power, we have actually found and developed HyperDRY to assist in the loft. In down, both size AND STRENGTH help to determine the lofting ability (fill power). The HyperDRY treatment has been developed to increase the strength of the cluster slightly while not diminishing the resiliency. After all, if we are going to treat down, it has to be better in all aspects. Typically, your 850 fill power HyperDRY will have a fill power that has tested much higher than that (we tend to use, and suggest our partners use, the fill power of the pre-treated down). As an example, we recently had a 960 fill power down that tested over 1100 after one of our treatments that included HyperDRY (it was the highest verified fill power the independent lab had ever seen).


The only compromise to this is a nominal increase in weight (and nominal meaning almost non-existent)."

The second basic argument I made in this thread;

That 850+ downs are too flimsy/whispy/weak to be used in lower loft applications and the benefits were debatable even in lofts beyond 2". That down is stretched too thin to be useful in the real world.

Now if the marketing claim is to be believed... The highlighted text in the quote above says to me... Even if the treatment has no other measureable benefit regarding WR that strengthening and making useful a 900+ cluster in the real world may make it worth it.

So in your highest fill applications where you want the best possible weight to warmth ratio then the AF Hyperdry 900+ fills would be superior to untreated down.

NOW... that is a mildly reasonable claim for me to swallow as it makes some sense to me in the real world (even if the chemistry doesn't) and EE and Katabatic provide these fills to demanding customers who have not reported fall down problems in the field with these super high FP downs.

What was not answered-
The humidity question. Which while other marketing info appeared readily at hand... this was an elusive question indeed and also at the heart of my 850+ fill complaints.

As I said- unless you literally put your down in a plastic bag it will be exposed to water in vapor form no matter how careful you are. It has to be; if you've seen Cuben UQ's made you will note that they need to have breathable end panels so you can actually pack them. Down only works by lofting and "sucking in" air to keep warm. When you unpack it- it inhales, when you pack it exhale. When you sleep in it you transpire moisture into and through it.

A VBL will eliminate most of your contributions.
A quilt will reduce or eliminate you breathing in it.
Being in a dry climate will reduce ambient air humidity and increase/ease drying.

But that's all we can do about those issues... but on the other hand if the treatment does maintain the structure of 850+ fills... that alone may allow enough circulation for moisture to continue migrating out of the bag quicker if it isn't tangling with the down or the down isn't falling down with just a bit of moisture exposure at it's very ends and tips.

SO>>>

For MYOG-
Guess I'd say- it's worth a shot again given the following-
You check the batch you receive for any clumping.
You stick with Allied Feather HyperDry.
Currently available at a few places like RipstopbytheRoll and Down Linens.
(cheaper at RBTR unless you wait for the once a year DL sale)
Though seems only Down Linens goes to 950.
http://www.downlinens.com/products/premium-washed-down

For everyone else-
I'd still say buy based upon the vendor's rep and customer feedback from the field. But in the case of EE or Katabatic- they are good vendors so if you like the product overall- the treated down shouldn't be a concern... though still hesitant to call it a plus.

In lofts below 2"... unless you are going for the blistering cutting edge in weight- I'd still stick with 850 FP. The weight savings isn't that high and the products are already light enough really.

Sides... if you're really looking to cut weight at bags in that range you will do far more carefully sizing your choices than you would on materials. Going wide or long instead of regular "just in case" will cost you more in weight than the fill. If you're not sure... size up... but if you're pushing grams then don't oversize your stuff.

Dogwood
11-12-2016, 12:28
I am thinking of getting this 40F quilt for summer use, but to also combine with a 20F down bag for winter use. Will this work as well as their chart shows. I.E you get about -10F with that combination?

Also, I am looking at a one ounce difference between 850 flil and 950 fill which is $50 more. is that an expensive 1 oz? I am inclined to go with the 850 as it still is slightly under a pound, but are their other reasons to go with the 950 other than weight.

Thoughts on these choices and whether this will server as a winter and summer set up.

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation/

Back on topic.

Concisely, choosing the 950 treated over the 850 treated option is primarily a wt savings. In the 40* EE Rev in reg length reg width the savings are .81 oz for a $40 up charge.

Speaking as one who computes the cost/oz saved compared to some other option, prior to all my gear purchases, spending $50 to save 1 oz on gear is definitely not unheard of and in some comparisons of other UL and SUL pieces is rather in the middle or lower range of cost/oz saved choice comparisons. In terms of gear wt alone, I've observed gear junkies paying $100/oz and more to save each oz. Some of us would be astonished to learn the dollar cost saved per oz of the supposed latest greatest lightest wt gear option compared to a marginally(less than 15%) "weightier" option.

I personally find it a slippery slope of UL narrowmlndness opting for lower wt gear based on it being a lower wt ALONE or outside a larger context of considerations. I choose gear options with wt being only one of my Top 5 priorities as an advanced ULer budding SULer on occasion. However, with your scenario discussed, it seems, at least to the best of my knowledge, to mostly be about saving a little bit of wt, about or less than 1 oz.

Dogwood
11-12-2016, 12:39
I am thinking of getting this 40F quilt for summer use, but to also combine with a 20F down bag for winter use. Will this work as well as their chart shows. I.E you get about -10F with that combination?

Thoughts on these choices and whether this will server as a winter and summer set up.

http://www.enlightenedequipment.com/revelation/

That sounds like a workable approach for your goals.

I would consider some quilt stacking guidelines. Others with more knowledge and experience taking that approach than myself should be allowed to assist further with that.

SkeeterPee
11-12-2016, 17:24
I sent EE an email on their thoughts of stacking my bag with a quilt. But it does seem like it should work.

for my other question about booties, I think I have decided not to get any and instead bring a down vest. It will give me another option for jacket to avoid sweating, and I can use it in the foot box to keep feet warm if needed. Thanks to you and JB for these ideas.