Well not exactly but not far off, read on . . .
Rab has announced that it intends to use Hydrophobic down in some of its products and will release details in the New Year. I hate getting into the science of stuff but for those of us not in the know, when down gets wet it loses a heck of a lot of its insulating properties and takes ages to dry out. The results can naturally be anything from a chilly nights sleep to being downright dangerous.
Down is the king of insulators, it’s warmth to weight to ratio is unmatched by any synthetic products and its comfort is legendary. However, its major downfall has always been moisture. Get it wet and you’re in trouble. Berghaus and Sierra Designs, to name a couple are already using Hydrophobic Down in some of their products and although I have not yet even seen, let alone tested these products, if it lives up to the manufacturers promises it could make down the ultimate insulator and leave synthetics trailing a cloud of feathers, period.
Basically the down is treated with a water repellent chemical that, ok, doesn’t result in a waterproof down as such, but does improve its characteristics dramatically. Claims such as the treated down staying drier 5 -7 times longer, producing around 34% more loft when exposed to moisture and drying around 30% quicker than untreated down have all been laid down.
To boot, Rab claim their down will be traceable back to the farm where it was produced and will be ethically sourced, will not include down from live plucking and will be from sources maintaining good standards of welfare.
Come the New Year I hope to have a gear testing section up and running on the website and maybe I can get hold of one to test for you. In the meantime, I shall sleep soundly knowing that down hopefully just got a heck of a lot better.