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Thread: Leaving down jackets/sleeping bags compressed

  1. #1
    Ultra King Beth's Avatar
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    Instructions for down jackets and bags say store uncompressed/unstuffed. That's fine. How long can I leave a down sleeping bag scrunched up in a stuff sack for before it'll do permanent damage? is a week okay?

  2. #2
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Practically indefinitely should okay, as long as it is completely dry when stored.

    In practice it's best to air completely, and if you store it loose it airs it and stores it at the same time.

    If you pack it away a bit smelly, maybe a little damp, air it to dry it ASAP. I'd be surprised if a week did it any real harm, but the sooner it can be aired the less chance of a problem. If it's a bit smelly after a good air, off to Franklins with it!

    On the one hand down is fragile stuff and you do need to take care of it. On the other hand, it's a lot tougher and less prone to becoming useless than a lot of people seem to give it credit for.

    Pete.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Mikel el Bastardo's Avatar
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    Depends what you mean by compressed Beth. I never use compression sacks with any down gear.Ithink you can damage it permanently with one over compression.Down gear goes into my sack in a large stuff sack, and the weight of other gear squashes it down.Remember your sleeping bag will have been compressed somewhat when it was posted to you. Try to pack it as loosely as possible.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Beth's Avatar
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    Maybe compressed is the wrong word, but it was close enough . I've stuffed it in a exped drybag and it will be handy to leave it in there during next week. Same goes for my down jacket; I may use it next week but I'm more likely to take my Torres gilet for the day walks. Leaving the DJ back at the lodge.

  5. #5
    Mini Goon
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    My practically unworn down vest by a well respected manufacturer is certainly looking rather permanently flat after its first two week stint in the bottom of my pack. It never really regained it's Mitchelin Man look after the first time I tested it out sleeping in it some time ago though.

  6. #6
    Goon Shed Dweller's Avatar
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    What constitutes over compression? Why do respected (let's ignore the customer service) companies like PHD supply compression stuff sacks with all their sleeping bags if this could damage the down. Are the bags supplied ok to compress the sleeping bag into, but if you use say, a bag with compression straps and compress further than that, then the damage could occur?

    Does that make sense?

    As an aside, my Alpkit filo always seems to regain it's loft no matter how badly I've abused it.

  7. #7
    ‹bermensch Benco's Avatar
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    I've heard its supposed to be more of a problem with synthetic insulation rather than down.

  8. #8
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Beth, if it went in clean and dry then it's no worries however long you leave it. Down gear is stored at factories, warehouses an dshops in compression bags before you get it.

    See, for example, this comment by Chris Townsend:

    I've seen a down bag that was put in a vacuum sealed bag. It did feel
    like a rock. But when taken out - after months of storage - and shaken
    it lofted okay and thedown seemed undamaged.


    I've used compression stuffsacs and they've not apparently harmed the bag. ME seem to ship them as standard these days. If I take out down gear clean and dry in its stuffsack but I don't use it I just store it packed. It can stay that way for weeks, maybe months, and doesn't seem any the worse for it (but if I use it at all I always store it loose, so I know it's thoroughly dry and aired).

    Pete.

  9. #9
    Ultra King Mikel el Bastardo's Avatar
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    Yeah, synthetics can lose up to 50% of their loft in a couple of years, from what i've read.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Benco's Avatar
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    Not much hope for my poor old Ajungilak Compact then.

  11. #11
    Goon Shed Dweller's Avatar
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    I've got a really old snugpac synthetic bag. About 15 years old I think. It's always been stored in it's compression sack. The loft is now non existent, but it's still comfortably heavy, I use it at music festivals and other messy nights out.

    It's still retained much of it's warmth. There's no question it's been damaged but it's still useable.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch Benco's Avatar
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    There is that, my old sleeping bag certainly still has some loft but probably not now a great performer for a 1.7 kg bag. As with your snugpack its still pretty warmand on the bright side maybe its time I had a new down bag anyway

  13. #13
    Ultra King Mikel el Bastardo's Avatar
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    Gear that never gets damaged is bad gear. You need a reason to buy new stuff!

  14. #14
    ‹bermensch John Burley's Avatar
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    I can give a purely anecdotal example.

    My dad usually looks to me for advice on buying his kit. About 15 years ago, we both bought nearly identical Rab Glacier Active down jackets - he bought his about six months before I could save up my pocket money to follow suit.

    Despite some evidence that the quality of my jacket was a little inferior to his at the outset (Rab seemed to be going through a bit of a rough patch back then) their function was pretty much identical at the beginning.

    My father, however, doesn't backpack and he doesn't camp. He feels the cold much more than I do so he used his Rab very regularly, but almost never stuffed it in its bag. The worst it got was a bit squished into his winter daypack.

    Mine, on the other hand, got much more challenging treatment - regularly stuffed and unstuffed whilst being used in my travel sleep system; often being jammed into my"raver's grabbag" when I was dancing my way around the home counties in the late 90'sandseeing a bit of real mountain action inmeantime.

    The result : his jacket is at least 90% as good as the day he bought it. Mine is probably less than 50% and has been retired to awardrobe at my in-laws for use in clearing theirCanadian driveway in winter!

    The moral of the story: the less you abuse it, the longer it lasts! What a surprise!

    In the case you have given, I agree with Peter that it should befine as long as it is dry. But I am sure that compression/relaxationcycling on downMUST have adetrimental effect in the long run andthe less often you do it, the better.It is probably (in my own humble, non professional opinion) better to leave adown product stuffed for a week than to compress it, unstuff it and recompress it again for the return journey.Pure guesswork but it seems logical to me.

    John

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Benco's Avatar
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    LOL Mike


  16. #16
    ‹bermensch John Burley's Avatar
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    Mike,

    you show no signs of needing a reason to buy new kit

  17. #17
    Ultra King Mikel el Bastardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Burley View Post

    Mike,

    you show no signs of needing a reason to buy new kit
    I am toying with the idea of a new winter mountaineering sack.

  18. #18
    ‹bermensch John Burley's Avatar
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    presumably because you see the forthcoming "new winter" ?

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch Ray !!!!!'s Avatar
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    right i'm fecking confused here!(dont take much ) are you saying pete that all the info on storing down products uncompressed on the net is cobblers and that its perfectly ok to leave my new down bag in its compression bag and it will be ok?

  20. #20
    ‹bermensch Benco's Avatar
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    Better safe than sorry, Pete said its fine to leave down products compressed as long asthey're completely dry, any damp andthe downwill get damaged. If its lofted it'll be still dry out anyway. I guessitsmanufacturers covering themselves (not unreasonable really), that could be what the adviceto store them compressed is down to(Boom Boom)

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