/ help please -Sleeping bag lost its puff :(

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The Potato - on 08 Jul 2014
MH lightweight down sleeping bag got damp on a recent trip, now the down in some bits has clumped. Ive tried tumble drier on cool with balls but its not done much for the clumps.
Any suggestions asap please!?
Mark Kemball - on 08 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

Why cool? It's been a long time since I cleaned any down, but I used to use the normal settings on a tumble drier. You could put in those "Tumble Drier Balls" or you could try using a launderette tumble drier (much larger, easier for the down to loft up).
IPPurewater on 08 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

Assuming it is now dry, break up the clumps by hand and give the bag a good shake afterwards followed perhaps another session in the tumble drier.
Mr Fuller on 08 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

You haven't permanently damaged the down so more of the same required - more heat, more breaking up, more agitation. I thin the tennis balls thing is rubbish, you need to do it by hand or with a bat or similar. As for tumble drier temperature, don't go really hot as you risk damaging the face fabrics but the down will survive 80 degrees for a fair while.
The Potato - on 08 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

Thanks Id tried breaking them up by hand too but that didnt do much, Ive washed it on a 30 cycle and no spin then tumbled it again and it seems a bit better. So more of the same it is!
Timmd on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:
Mountaineering Designs will top up your bag for you, if the rating is a cold one and your survival (as opposed to your comfort) might depend on keeping warm enough.
Post edited at 19:27
Alpjay - on 15 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

Everyone seems to have said it already - but it is just about agitating the down and breaking the clumps up. We recommend using a large tumble drier, on the lowest heat setting - do it for 5 mins, take it out and give it a good shake and if there are any noticeable clumps break them up by massaging the down. Stick it in again and do the same until it is how you want it.

If the bag get's warm just wait for it to cool down, the drier is more likely to hurt the outer fabric than the down. Down does like some moisture though, which is why the american 900 power down is lightly steamed before being tested for fill power etc. so after half an hour of drying and shaking, let the bag loft and leave it to settle.

Check out our cleaning guide for more information -
captain paranoia - on 15 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

If the down has dried into clumps, I think any mechanical attempts to break up the clumps are likely to fracture the delicate down clusters (depending on how tightly-packed the clumps are).

I wonder if a proper wash and immediate drying cycle might be a safer way to break up the clumps?
Rigid Raider - on 16 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

Dry warm air is what it needs, with plenty of agitation.

Recently I dug my 40 year old down Point Five Zero bag (an 18th birthday present from my parents) out of the attic where it has been scrunched up in its stuff sack in damp conditions for years. I thought I would try it out camping for the TDF in anticipation for a C2C camping trip in August. I used that bag extensively in my younger years, even over a period of six moths when I lived in an unheated bedsit. About 16 years ago I washed it with down wash, managed to get it saturated, left it to soak, left it to drain, realised it wasn't draining at all but was growing bacteria and going smelly so in a do or die attempt, threw it in the spin dryer then hung it out in the sun. To my utter amazement it puffed up good as new and clean and shiny.

So when I dug it out again a couple of weeks ago I really wasn't expecting much; the poor old bag had been so neglected and abused over its 40 year life that I expected the down to be clumped up in lumps and beyond recovery. Yet it amazed me again; within ten minutes in the warm sun and with plenty of flapping it was puffed up and turgid like a new bag. I took it to Yorkshire and had two very warm, comfortable nights in my good old bag, the best present anybody ever bought me.

Babika - on 16 Jul 2014
In reply to Rigid Raider:

What a great story!

I have a 32 year old Redline Extreme with a similar pedigree which my son uses.
I think it must be time for its 16 year wash.....
The Potato - on 16 Jul 2014
In reply to ow arm:

Glad I started this thread now, thanks for the tales.
Im going to send it to have some more stuff stuffed in to it, its getting a bit thin in a few areas despite regaining its puff,

These modern fancy ultralight down bags grr.
Still my main bag Gelert cheetah down 1600 is another tough candidate like yours and should last forever despite never being washed...

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