Proper Care of your Down Sleeping Bag
Quality Gear Care: Down sleeping bag.
Busy making the most out of the exceptional snow this season? Those who also seek backcountry adventures in the warmer months can gradually get their gear into top shape starting now. Inspecting your sleeping bag and cleaning as needed can improve performance, particularly with down products.
Staff reached out to RAB, who makes a line of top-tier sleeping bags that are being featured at JDHCO this spring. Investment in a quality bag warrants a thoughtful care program. RAB advises that down products can be cleaned “at home” if done properly. We suggest that it’s best done with a couple of trusted friends who are committed to doing it right, sharing the responsibility for an active drying process that can take 6-8 hours.
RAB recommends: Hand or machine wash on a gentle 40º cycle with Nikwax Down Wash Direct - not a detergent. Rinse until there is no soap residue present within the bag. Tumble dry immediately after washing in a commercial dryer on a cool setting. Remove your bag from the dryer every hour, gently moving the down within the baffles to restore loft. RAB cautions against the temptation to shorten the drying process. Although the outer fabric may feel dry and warm to the touch, inside the baffling down can still be clumped because of moisture. Remember that proper storage and care will improve the longevity and performance of your quality gear. A little investment of time now can have you ready for the hills!
Cautionary note: If you plan to send your down bag to a commercial cleaner, make absolutely certain that they use a down-specific cleaning product. Many large commercial machines are made to automatically inject detergent products into the wash cycle, leaving no option to use a suitable cleaning solution like Nikwax Down Wash Direct.
- Pamela Carter
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