Help needed - Mystery of disappearing down

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 scoth 18 Aug 2021

I have a Macpac 700 sleeping bag and been using it  for 6 years and it's been brilliant and still in good condition, with plenty of loft. Following guidance I decided to wash it last week to hopefully extend it's life.

I followed all the instructions using Graingers down wash (hand washed) and then took it to a local laundrette and used one of the big tumber dryers on low heat complete with the balls.

The bag is now fully dry and the loft has returned. However two compartments along the chest appear to have little of no down in them. I've tried shaking the bag from the foot (after researching online) to redistribute the down, but it appears these compartments, as with all of them, are sealed.

So has anyone on here experienced this before? There are no holes in the bag, so I can't understand where the down has gone. Unless the compartments were relatively empty before and I just hadn't noticed, but I would have thought the chest is where you would want plenty of insulation.

Given the missing down I'm sure the bag will not perform as well as it has done before the wash.

So any help to solve this mystery and help return the missing down would be appreciated!

Post edited at 09:29
 VictorM 18 Aug 2021
In reply to scoth:

If the down is still in the compartment it should be lumpy in a particular area. Otherwise I would have no idea. 

 Andy Gamisou 18 Aug 2021
In reply to scoth:

Had same problem with my wife's down jacket NF nuptse belay jacket.  Washed it several times fine.  Then one time, washed in same way and had same effect as you report.  By the time of last wash it was 15 years old so wonder if that's some factor.  It did seem to partially sort itself out, though there's still some "missing" from one of the arms.

Side note: she also has a lighter weight NF fleece belay jacket that's around 20 years old, and been used sh!tloads yet is in still great nick.  Which is odd really - as it's NF it should have disintegrated at least 18 years ago according to UKCers.  Unless it's just some sort of reverse snobbery going on?  No that couldn't be true

 ScraggyGoat 18 Aug 2021
In reply to scoth:

Probably a part broken or detached baffle, my RAB bag suffered from these from the start, but they never made good.

Try and feel through the face fabric round each of  the interior baffles in these compartments. Gently pulling on the baffle to check if it’s still attached top, bottom and side.  Once you have found the gap you will know which compartment now has the missing down. On my bag it’s the side baffles partly gone so with gravity the down migrates to the underside and just shaking from the foot won’t move any of it back.

Then you have to encourage it to go where it should be…..easier said than done.

 Martin Hore 18 Aug 2021
In reply to scoth:

Too late for you, I'm afraid, but my approach has always been never to wash down sleeping bags. My current Mountain Equipment Redline was bought in 1984 (!) I've used it reasonably regularly ever since - perhaps 15 - 20 nights a year - always with a silk or cotton liner of course, which have been washed after each use and replaced as necessary. 

The bag itself is still going strong with little sign of loss or compression of down. I should probably say, though, that when I use it I'm normally sleeping on my own........


In reply to scoth:

Same as ScraggyGoat.
Not a sleeping bag, but I had that with a duvet several years ago. I was feeling the cold after a few months of use so checked and found a few compartments were near empty. All compartments were stitched through and stitching perfect and intact.

Anyway, long story short, it finally turned out that although the stitching was intact, there were very very small gaps, originally for filling, between the compartments that hadn’t been closed after filling. Impossible to see externally or tell by a casual feel. The stitching had to be “pulled apart” millimetre by millimetre to reveal the tiny gaps. The filling had it transpired transferred to adjoining compartments through use.

The retailer was excellent and refunded.

 scoth 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

Thanks for all the helpful replies. Sounds like a detached internal baffle then. I will try and locate and start the redistribution mission !

 Stichtplate 18 Aug 2021
In reply to scoth:

> So any help to solve this mystery and help return the missing down would be appreciated!

It's no mystery, it's f*cking angels. They're forever nicking peoples down to leave God botherers little "messages" of comfort (the recipients are usually overweight Americans for some reason). I reckon they should stop pissing about and just WhatsApp the fat f*cks with some dietary advice along with the spiritual support.

As to getting the stuff returned, I suppose you could pray for it? but be prepared for getting it in monthly instalments of single feathers (at least that's what I've been getting).

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