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  • very small sample of down is separated into categories such as down down fibre downy feathers feathers etc etc Each category is then accurately weighed we used to work with scales accurate to one thousandth of a gram and the down content then stated as percentages 90 10 80 20 etc As a higher first figure means a higher down content this test is often quoted as another promotional statement about down quality even 100 has been claimed Unfortunately that is often the main value of the test a promotional statement because there is no single international standard by which these figures are produced and the degree of possible variation makes them virtually meaningless As an example you would be wrong in assuming that a 90 10 down always contains 90 down In the first place what classification of the word down is being used how much does it include of the middle categories between pure down and pure feather There are guidelines but no accepted worldwide standard and differences in classification exist And secondly measuring down content is a long tiresome business only applied to the tiniest fraction of the down being processed it gives a rough guide only and the figures are unlikely to be checked In the end the only way for a manufacturer to be sure of what he is saying is to do picking tests himself and even then he is likely to be spending a lot of time in testing 001 one part per 100 thousand of what he uses Overall it is better to treat down feather figures as comparatively unimportant An experienced manufacturer can tell immediately if there is any increase in the feather content of a down and it will also show up adversely in fillpower testing After all if extra

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/testing-down-quality-down-feather-percentage (2016-02-10)
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  • line e g if you are out in prolonged heavy rain or sleeping in a puddle For clothing the simplest solution is to put on shell kit over the top Bags can also be made with complete taped outer shells we offer this option which will be proof against nearly all situations but the weight penalty of an extra skin is considerable Proofed down The only remaining alternative is to waterproof the down itself Methods for doing this have been around for many years all making substantial claims about improved performance in wet conditions We have tested this kind of material ourselves at regular intervals for 3 simple criteria Does the proofed down wet out more slowly Does it absorb less water when fully wet weight gain Does it dry more quickly left to dry without applied heat as in a true field situation Right up to the present we found no meaningful difference in these tests between treated and ordinary untreated down while in some instances the proofing actually reduced the loft of the down when dry However new processes keep coming up claiming better results so we have kept testing Most of what is currently being supplied 2014 is still disappointing The sole exception is a process which seems to have speeded up the drying time but has also reduced the loft of the dry down so the balance of gain loss is not promising at this stage but we will keep searching It looks at this stage as though proofed down still has a long way to go before it approaches the wet performance of the best synthetics such as Primaloft Gold Long term Fillpower The fillpower test gives a measure of the loft of the down tested at that moment nearly always new down It gives no indication of how long any particular down will hold that performance or of how quickly it will deteriorate The only method of assessing long term performance lies in the experience and skill of both supplier and manufacturer As before processing can affect the future life of the down as much as the raw material itself and experienced eyes know what to look for in a new down The criteria which ensure longevity differ a little from those which produce good results in the first fillpower test For example cluster size I have seen downs composed of small clusters which only afforded average to good results when new still giving undiminished performance after more than twenty years of regular use several washes and continual stuff sac storage while other downs with larger clusters have deteriorated much more quickly However these are not scientific tests no two bags get identical usage over a period of years and deliberately storing bags under compression bears no resemblance to the hard treatment of real use Overall this may appear a discouraging point you can buy a bag with good down in it but with no guarantee of how long it will last That is

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/down-gear-in-use (2016-02-10)
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  • soap product These are not easy to find now so you may need to buy something designed for the job from an outdoor shop if you do the package will carry its own instructions so you can follow them or carry on as below Set the washing machine for delicate or wool or the equivalent low temperature wash usually 30 degrees Use a side loading machine After it has gone through the spin cycle most of the water will be out But it will still need drying A spell in a tumble dryer will help lowest heat setting hot spots may melt the shell fabric After that air it in a warm place and give it a shake from time to time until you are satisfied that it is completely dry Sleeping Bags Use a pure soap product as in 1 above Part fill your bath with warm water hand heat Mix in the soap Put in the bag and submerge it this can be made easier by having the bag in its mesh storage sac until it is wet through then drawing it out gently in the water do not lift Note if the bag is made with a water resistant outer such as Drishell or Ultrashell it is much easier to wash it inside out Move the bag about in the water and squeeze it gently to work the soap right through it Do not pick it up or the weight of the waterlogged down may damage the baffles Leave it for 30 40 minutes Repeat step 3 then pull out the plug and let all the water out Without lifting the bag squeeze the water out by rolling it up gently Refill the bath with warm water and move the bag about to rinse the soap out Drain and squeeze out as before Rinse again You may have to do this a few times before you get all the soap out Drying If you can put the bag through the final spin cycle on a washing machine it will give you a good start if not let it drip for a while After that a tumble dryer on the lowest heat setting hot spots can melt the shell fabric will remove even more moisture In the end even if the bag feels dry on the outside you will almost certainly have to keep it somewhere warm and airy for a while days while the last of the moisture comes out of the down Give it a shake from time to time during this last stage to loosen the down clumps Persist until you feel that the down is truly fluffy and free moving again Allowed to dry naturally hanging in a warm and airey home it can take a week to 10 days to dry a light weight bag completely and a full two weeks for an expedition bag Again if the outer is a water resistant fabric such as Drishell or Ultrashell the bag will dry

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/cleaning-down-sleeping-bags-and-clothing (2016-02-10)
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  • loft much longer than a synthetic wadding two to three times as long Down The Con s Wetting Down is a very poor performer once wet and it takes a lot of drying So called waterproof downs have improved the situation but they will still end up soaked whereas synthetics such as Primaloft simply do not absorb water Cost Down is initially more expensive than synthetics but the reverse is true over an extended period see Resilience above Synthetics The Pros Damp Synthetics still offer some insulation when wet up to 50 of their dry performance and they dry quickly Cost They are cheaper to buy And if either low usage or regular replacement are expected their comparatively quick loss of loft is not so important Care Care of synthetics is usually simpler and quicker than with down Synthetics The Con s Bulk Weight To provide the required warmth in extremely cold conditions synthetic filled gear tends to be bulky and clumsy e g polar and high altitude gear For less cold enviroments e g the Alps British winter the same comments apply to synthetic sleeping bags but synthetic filled clothing can be very effective though it cannot compete with down in the pure ultralight stakes Life In the long term synthetic waddings lose their loft and their performance much sooner than down Conclusion There are several minor issues ignored in this outline such as what quality of down what type of wadding etc But after more than 40 years of experience and research we find the main points above hold as true today as they did at the start As a simple rule of thumb go for synthetic insulation if there s a serious danger of getting the equipment wet if the gear is for limited use and the

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/down-and-synthetic-insulation-compared (2016-02-10)
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  • Delivery Custom Made Guarantee and returns Race Calendar Technical Briefings Links Customer Loyalty Scheme Contact Us Cart Contents 0 My Account 3 View Compare List PHD History Hand Made PHD Inside our factory Race Calendar Technical Briefings Sleeping Bag Construction Good design tends to look simple although the concepts and their execution may be anything but For example all PHD s Ultralight bags including the Minimus bag use a walled construction rather than the easier stitch through just to give that little bit of extra insulation at each box line Our Hispar bags have the same straight wall baffles as the Ultralights It is the lightest possible box wall system ideal when saving weight is the main objective The Baltoro Diamir and Xero ranges have a trapezoid baffle system more complex in manufacture than most systems but affording the best combination of excellent down control and light overall baffle weight These are not the cheapest ways to construct bags but when we have searched out the very best materials for PHD products we take good care to maximise performance at make up too Nothing else makes sense 3 View Compare List PHD History Hand Made PHD Inside our factory Race

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/sleeping-bag-construction (2016-02-10)
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  • expect just as you do with your sleeping bag please don t ask us we don t sell ground mats and there is plenty of information available Clothing Liners Liners will add to the warmth of your bag and help to keep it clean by protecting it from the invisible sweat and oils which come off your body Clothing can serve the same purpose with the huge advantage for the weight conscious that you are not adding extra weight to your load you re already wearing your ordinary clothes and if you re prepared to put on all your spares in cold conditions you can increase the capabilities of your bag Thermals or underwear are the standard minimum we advise even for the lighter bags Above that you can plan it to suit yourself right up to wearing down gear inside your bag make sure you have the width you need Thermals or underwear are the standard minimum we advise even for the lighter bags But you can go a lot further and extend the performance of the bag far beyond its normal limits by wearing down clothing inside or using PHD s Filler bag Head Feet Further to the comments above it is worth adding extra warmth to head and feet if you are pushing the limits of your bag particularly if you know you are liable to cold feet Socks and a wool hat will normally do while down boots bring a new level of comfort in really cold conditions Start warm Make sure you re warm when you get into your bag Common advice and worth following when it s possible Of course sometimes it isn t times when your sleeping bag is your only chance of warming up Then you just have to pile in and

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/getting-the-most-from-your-sleeping-bag (2016-02-10)
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  • outer with taped seams It is made as a complete extra shell on the bag approx 88g sm Zips For lightweight enthusiasts a zip is often unnecessary extra weight and cost For most other purposes a zip adds considerable versatility to a bag Even a short zip allows ventilation in warm weather and makes getting in and out much easier And full length zips have the added advantage that bags can be zipped together to make doubles or completely unzipped to act more like a blanket We offer short zips long zips or no zip at all Zips can be placed on the left right or centre We also offer a foot zip option This lightweight zip is inserted in the side seam at the foot end of the bag to allow extra ventilation There is also a specialist zip option available a short zip with a gusset This is a fail safe design used on PHD s Xero expedition bags The short zip is backed by a down filled gusset so that when the zip is opened the bag expands instead of opening right up Not good for ventilation but extra security in extreme situations in case of zip failure Draft Tubes You can opt for double or single draft tubes the long down filled sausages behind the zip to keep the cold out Double draft tubes are more secure when you move around inside the bag and are recommended for serious use although single tubes are of course lighter Design Your Own Sleeping Bag now Mummy hood A mummy hood comes in close and snug around the head a useful feature at low temperatures It is standard on all PHD s hi tech bags except the lightweight range which have an open hood You can add a mummy hood to our lightweight bags but if you do you ll also need to choose a zip otherwise it is impossible to get in and out of the close fitting opening Collar A collar which closes over the shoulders inside the bag and cuts out unwanted drafts is standard on most PHD bags The lighter bags in the ultralight range do not have one in the interests of saving weight You can add a collar to our lightweight bags using the Design Your Own site Inner panels We can add proofed Drishell panels to inside of the hood or foot areas of your customized bag to help keep the down dry In very cold temperatures your breath can cause ice to form around the face opening which may soak into the down as it melts When wet natural down looses many of its insulating properties so keeping it dry is of paramount importance On a long trip this can be serious enough that more specialist defenses are needed But for a shorter duration e g a single ascent these face panels can make a considerable difference The panels at the foot are simply to protect the down if you get

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/designing-your-own-sleeping-bag-with-PHD (2016-02-10)
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  • and returns Race Calendar Technical Briefings Links Customer Loyalty Scheme Contact Us Cart Contents 0 My Account 3 View Compare List PHD History Hand Made PHD Inside our factory Race Calendar Technical Briefings Vapour Barrier Liners One of the well known dangers which comes with time spent in extreme cold can be moisture coming off the body and getting trapped in the insulation of your clothing or sleeping bag And it s not just when you re sweating Insensible perspiration is always coming off the skin and in time amounts to a considerable volume of water The resulting damp insulation is much less efficient and makes you feel cold when the moisture starts to evaporate But worse than this the freeze point is often in the middle of the insulation and the build up of ice progressively reduces warmth and adds weight These days polar explorers and high altitude mountaineers often use VBL s Vapour Barrier Liners inside their sleeping bags to minimise this problem A non breathable layer on the inside of the main insulation traps the escaping moisture so that the insulation stays dry and ice free The downside to VBL s is that they can feel clammy But if used with wicking thermal underwear inside the discomfort is slight and more than outweighed by the increase in overall warmth and efficiency As well as our VBL bag most PHD insulated products can be fitted with VBL inners if required This added extra is worth considering if you are going to spend several days or weeks in extreme cold away from a base where your gear can be adequately dried out Please note Our VBL socks have been withdrawn until we can find the right lightweight fabric for the job 3 View Compare List PHD History Hand Made

    Original URL path: http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/vapour-barrier-liners-vbl (2016-02-10)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-22