Caring For Your New Down Filled Garment Or Sleeping Bag  


1. Only use commercial washer and dryers. The reason for this is that most household washers have agitators (pinnacle of plastic that sticks up inside the washing machine) that twist and turn as the machine does it's job; these household washers will rip a down sleeping bag to shreds. Also, the common household dryer is far too small and can melt your gear.

2. Only use "down soap." This can be purchased at just about any outdoor retail shop.

3. Prepare the garment by trying to get off all loose dirt, dust, debris, etc.

4. Once at the Laundromat, place the garment inside a large washing machine and start the machine on gentle cycle, warm water. Double rinse or until clear water drains from item.

5. Only use about 2/3 the amount of soap that the down-soap-bottle manufacturer suggests, for most down garment manufacturers use somewhat bad down (600-700+ fill), whereas Nunatak only uses the best 800+ fill that can be found, which also means that much less soap is needed when washing the garment or sleeping bag.

**Once the item is done with the washing cycle it is important to follow the remaining steps very carefully. **

6. The item will look quite strange once out of the washing machine and through the spin cycle. The down will naturally be all clumped together and water-logged; this is normal, don't freak out. It IS important though, that from now until the item is dry you take very CAREFUL steps in the process of drying.

7. Before putting the item in the dryer, place in on a flat and clean surface. Take a clean towel and press it against the down jacket to try and soak any excess water out of the down clumps. (Don't press really hard though, just medium resistance) This allows the down to squeeze out any excess water before the drying process begins. Do this for about 10 minutes on a full sized sleeping bag.

8. Take the item over to the LARGE COMMERCIAL TUMBLE DRYER and place inside. Dryer HEAT OUTPUT VARIES GREATLY from machine to machine. Medium heat is usually sufficient, but use your best judgment. Let it run for5-10 minutes and pull the item out to check the temp and begin step 9/10.

9. Now that the item has had some time, you want to hand separate the clumps of 800+ fill down, both by patting and gently pulling clumps apart.

10. Return to the dryer for another 15 minute or so spin. Repeat ad infinitum. Get that bag warm and repeat step8/ 9/10. You might need to do this many times, so really try to get the down in a uniform clump size, so that you can maximize drying surface area. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DON'T TRY TO USE OBJECTS TO SHORTCUT THE WORK; THE SHOE OR TENNIS BALL MAY TEAR OR DAMAGE THE DOWN GARMENT /SLEEPING BAG.



800+ fill white goose down is great stuff. Treat it well and it will last a lifetime.

Loft is lost for 2 reasons: Item was improperly stored, or item is dirty in need of cleaning. If you can smell your down, it's time to head off to the laundry. See above.
Generally, compression is NOT a good thing for down, especially over the long term. Stuffing it for backpacking every day and unstuffing it at night is not a problem, nor are compression sacks. You can use them, but you won't NEED a compression sack with our 800+ down, unlike bulky synthetics.
For storage there's a number of good options: Place the down filled item in a large storage bag; hang it up; leave it out and show it off to your friends; or toss it loosely into a well ventilated closet.
Avoid piling things on top of it. Essentially make sure that the item is well lofted and not crushed.
The longer the individual down is compressed, the more likely it is to retain that shape in memory. Think of a snowflake; very delicate, with many different micro branches, which create space around the central core. Same with Down. If you crush the various arms/branches of this delicate wonder of nature, you will lose loft and warmth. This is what creates a 'flat' sleeping bag or jacket.

Lastly, it's always best to stuff the bag instead of rolling it, so wear and tear is random.

Now go hike!


Nunatak is dedicated to custom design and manufacture of quality back country sleeping bags and garments
utilizing 800+ goose down and sophisticated fabrics.

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