Rab Hydrophobic Down – Our Thoughts
If you had asked me a few years years ago, what the major flaw of down was I would have said moisture. If down gets wet, you’re pretty much stuffed. It takes an age to clean and dry again as well as it loses its lofting ability. Every year, we would have a customer who came into the shop who had got their down jacket soaked through, and after a couple of hours of tumble-drying, it was still as flat as a pancake. It really is the Achilles heel of down.
This winter, Rab have applied a treatment to all of their down clothing – the down has become hydrophobic; ensuring that the down absorbs substantially less water, so retaining more loft and warmth.It also speeds up drying times when damp and will withstand repeated washing. This is applied at the washing/cleaning stage of the down preparation, meaning that it far more effective than aftermarket products available.
Another major benefit of hydrophobic down is that any oils or sweat from your body are now far less likely to penetrate the down itself. It will stay cleaner for longer – and that it definitely a good thing.
I have tested my Infinity Endurance Jacket a little in damp conditions, and it is difficult to see how well it really performs with soaking it. In reality, I’d still keep my down jacket inside if it was raining, but I got caught out in a shower, it’s a little more reassuring knowing that you’ve got a bit more protection.
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