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Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?

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avatar Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 09:49AM
About how often do you wash your down sleeping bag (if ever)? A friend told me he just airs his out and has never washed it. Probably best to wash it the least amount of times possible?
avatar Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 10:32AM
Wear full length sleepies and the bag won't get gamy. Full length silk top and bottom works well in the summer.

I have washed one a few times. I put a very small amount of Woolite in the bathtub with a few inches of warm water. I smush the bag a few times, let it sit for about half an hour, drain the water, press the bag to get as much soapy water out as possible, rinse and drain two or three times, really press the last of the water out, carefully wad the bag up so as to not load the stitches with the weight of the wet down, put it in a top loading washer all nice and positioned so it doesn't get stressed with the spin cycle, spin it, and transfer it to the dryer.

Dry it on delicate removing it about every 5 minutes to reposition it. This can take well more than an hour. The bag is dry when the down is no longer in little wads in the chambers.

or,

Take it to a dry cleaner that knows what they are doing.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2013 02:10PM by mrcondron.
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 03:49PM
Quote
mrcondron
Wear full length sleepies and the bag won't get gamy. Full length silk top and bottom works well in the summer.

A variation on that theme is to use a silk liner bag. We have done that for years and have never needed to wash our down bags.

In our experience, silk liners add quite a few degrees to the rating of your bag. Our Marmot Hydrogens (nominal 30F) combined with Cocoon silk liners have been OK in temperatures as low as 25F when augmented with socks and light clothing. You can get fleecy liners that extend the rating of a lightweight bag even further. It's good to have a flexible system on multi-night trips where the temperatures can easily vary 30 degrees from one night to the next.

Other advantages of silk liners:

* You can air them out throughly every day.

* You can wash them after every trip.

* You can use them on their own on hot nights.

The disadvantage is that it's possible to get wound up in them if you are not used to them.
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 01:53PM
Never dry clean a down bag.
However, after asking at your best local gear store where they take their "loaner" bags to be washed...go there.
Coincidentally, In Mammoth Lakes, I figured my WM Badger needed its 5-year cleaning, just last week.
Asked at Mammoth Mountaineering where they send their sleeping bags...
$25 quoted...Also asked about soap -They said they do this lots and provide the down soap too -
I pick it up Monday.
avatar Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 03:22PM
My often-used 20 degree down bag - I take it to a neighborhood laundromat (because I don't (yet) have a front-loading washer) once a year. My considerably less often used 0 degree bag - less often. In both cases I just use Nikwax Down Wash.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2013 03:23PM by ttilley.
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 03:42PM
+1 on Nikwax Down Wash and hang to dry.
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 22, 2013 09:40PM
Quote
ttilley
My often-used 20 degree down bag - I take it to a neighborhood laundromat (because I don't (yet) have a front-loading washer) once a year. My considerably less often used 0 degree bag - less often. In both cases I just use Nikwax Down Wash.

+1. Dry on no/very low heat (for a really looooong time). Tossing in a tennis ball or two later in the drying cycle can help break up any remaining clumps.
avatar Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 03:57PM
This is all great information. Thanks everyone. Much appreciated.
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 21, 2013 07:36PM
As others have said:
Once per year, at most
Nikwax down wash
Commercial washer / dryer

To that I would add:
dry it really, really well, several hours in the dryer, when you (finally) take it out of the dryer you will have a bag that is far puffier then you remember
also make sure you air the bag out well after each trip, make sure it is completely dry by letting it sit out in the sun for a few hours before you store it away,
in fact if you have the opportunity during a trip it is not a bad idea to let it air out in the sun then as well.
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 22, 2013 05:53PM
Quote
KatyAnderson
let it sit out in the sun for a few hours

The UV in sunlight is harmful to sleeping bag fabric (all fabrics, in fact, given enough time). It will degrade the DWR properties of the shell. It's better to air the bag in a shaded spot.
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 23, 2013 07:57AM
good point, thanks for the reminder
avatar Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 22, 2013 06:28AM
Be careful with it when it's wet, support it completely from underneath as you move it to dry. If you let any part of it hang down while wet the weight could tear up the internal baffles.
avatar Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 24, 2013 02:12PM
i own a Wiggy. ... and they encourage you to wash and dry them.

i've owned mine for a few years (mainly snow camping) and love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmy2WcfB4Ko&list=PL7FD059D09DECD0B1
Re: Washing Down Sleeping Bags?
September 24, 2013 09:41PM
Wiggy?
Two comments:
Not a down bag...(as in Washing Down Sleeping bags?)
Too heavy for backpacking.
...smacks of troll droppings.
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