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  1. #1
    Senior Member MuleyFever's Avatar
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    What is the life of a down bag?

    I am wondering how many years you should get out of a down bag at its temp rating? I have a 6 year old Montbell that just doesn't seam as warm as it once was. I figure after each use there are feathers that come out and general compression of the down so it must lose some insulation factor.

  2. #2
    Senior Member colonel00's Avatar
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    Perception of warmth is so hard to judge as there are so many variables at play in each situation of use. Not to mention, as years go by, we tend to age (weird how that happens) and often find similar temperatures colder than before. Also, it could depend on how much usage, compression, moisture, etc the bag/quilt is exposed to in a given time.

    I don't disagree that there must be some sort of degradation over time but I don't know how you can put a lifespan on anything, bag, boots, tent, etc. etc. etc. without controlling all of the other variables in play.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MuleyFever's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm not getting older

    That's actually a valid point.

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    Senior Member Felix40's Avatar
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    Have you tried washing it? That would be a good place to start. My understanding is that down lasts a lot longer than synthetic.

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    Senior Member MuleyFever's Avatar
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    I have washed it twice. One myself and once professionally, this summer.

    A quick Google search tells me I'm not just getting old.
    Do Sleeping Bags Expire? | Outside Online

  6. #6
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    I bought my Montebello in 2010 and it has been well-used for more than hunting. I did a really good washing this summer and it did help but this bag is done.
    There's just parts of it I can't get the loft back.
    New bag next year.

  7. #7
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    What is the life of a down bag?

    Are you storing it compressed? If so, don't. I have a TNF bag that is 17 yo and is still super warm and hasn't seemed to loose any loft. I hang it by one of the loops at the foot of the bag in a closet. I also make sure when I do take it out of it's compression sack, to thoroughly fluff it before climbing in.

  8. #8
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    I have a Marmot gore dryloft -20 bag I bought circa 1996 and i really can't tell the difference over when it was new. I store it uncompressed.


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Where's Bruce?'s Avatar
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    Left hanging (uncompressed) and assuming you care for it properly (place it in the sun in the mornings to dry out any moisture) I am getting 15+ hard yrs out of my quilts.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuleyFever View Post
    I am wondering how many years you should get out of a down bag at its temp rating? I have a 6 year old Montbell that just doesn't seam as warm as it once was. I figure after each use there are feathers that come out and general compression of the down so it must lose some insulation factor.
    They definitely wear out. I have a Kelty 40 degree bag that I have used the hell out off. I used it nearly every day for two summers when I guided canoe trips in the bwca. Plus a lot of other trips for over the years. I think it is about 8 or 10 years of fairly heavy use. I didn't always have the option of storing it uncompressed either.

    I now pack a really lightweight sea to summit liner as it has lost some down and the insulation has shifted some over the years.

    One tip is that when you wash it wash it is to put a couple tennis balls in the dryer when you put it on tumble. The tennis balls make a hell of a racket( no pun intended) but help the down down from clumping to much.


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