Down product care: Maintaining your hiking gear

Down is delicate so treat it carefully

Down products are among the most delicate items in your pack. Over time, you come to appreciate their insulation and light weight. Unfortunately, the lofting ability and warmth of your products can be compromised over time as well. It is helpful to act before perspiration, food or dirt stains work their way through the synthetic material protecting the down. When cleaning down items you should be aware that down dries very slowly, so be prepared to wait.

Wash it

For cleaning, use front loading washing and drying machines (top-loading agitator machines can cause damage) or wash by hand. Close zippers and wash on the gentlest cycle. Specialised down washing agents like Grangers Down Wash are available.

Rinse it

Rinse repeatedly until all residue is gone.

Dry it

When drying, use a dryer large enough to allow the article to tumble freely, and set to the lowest heat. A couple of clean tennis balls can be added to break up the down clumps. The entire process may take a while, however air-drying takes even longer, and you run the risk of mildew. Make sure the item is completely dry before removing.

Contributed by: Mountain Designs

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