Dry Treated Down

Dry treated down.

In this article we use the words ‘loft’ and ‘lofting’ to describe downs ability to expand after compression, and ‘fill power’ to define this lofting quality: the higher number the better.

We have been in close contact with premium quality down for more than 15 years, from when 750 fill power was the top shelf standard to current claims of 900 and beyond. Hand filling every bag and garment with down gives one an instant tactile quality assurance.

This year Nunatak introduced chemically treated moisture resistant down (hereafter: dry-down) as an option for all products. While stamped as having the same 900 fill power rating as the regular down offering, our assessment reveal distinct qualities setting these two types apart.

The short hand conclusion: Dry-down may offer a defense against moisture, but lacks in initial lofting ability. Long term lofting may not ever catch up to that of comparably rated untreated down.

The points of our findings:

Yes, dry-down will ward off moisture. There’s a difference.

When wet it’s of limited use, just like regular down – but it appear to dry much faster. Maybe the dry-down treatment limit the depth of the moisture infiltration.

900 fill power is 900 fill power, right? Not. Dry-down, in the batches we have worked with, displays less initial lofting ability compared to regular down. Aggressive ‘fluffing up’ helps, but in our production process the end result is still inferior to regular down.

Because of this, Nunatak have decided to add an extra percentage of fill to dry-down products to achieve a given temperature rating.

Dry-down products from Nunatak will be heavier than stated in the specs, and will feel denser.

After storage dry-down will take longer to loft up. Shaking, patting, massaging may be necessary.

Remove your dry-down filled bag from its stuff sack as soon as the tent is up.

On the trail take all the usual steps to limitt your dry-down product’s exposure to moisture.

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Dirty Devil packraft loop

Quick overview:
Last weekend in Feb, 2016, with my son and his buddy. Three days.
Easy hike down to put in, with a spring nearby. Maybe 3 miles.
Water level 100-120 cfs. Lots of hunting for the deeper channels. Some wading. In and out of the boat a lot. Still fun.
Excellent hiking in No Man’s and Larry’s.
Set off most of a day for the Burr Point exit. Incredible hike. 7 miles.
Lacking two cars so we did a bike shuttle. 18 miles of easy riding, avoiding the highway.
The pics:
The boys waking up the Angel TH
Down to the river
Getting clear cold water in Angel Cove. Never mind the dead duck we fished out first
Launch
Early on day 1
No Man’s Canyon
No Man’s Canyon
Bottom of Larry’s. Another big canyon with excellent hiking and scenery
On the second day on the river we made to a camp at the mouth of Twin Corral, arriving as the sun set
The boys harvesting tamarisk for the campfire
Crossing the river from camp to the hike out
On the Great Alcove route up to Burr Pt
Quite a few miles of the trail follow this sloping  bench
At times it looks the route won’t make it
The little climbing step right before topping out at the point