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Anyone have experience with the Nikwax treatment on a down sleeping bag?  I'm thinking about getting down bag, but concerned with the "what if it gets wet" problem.  (I know the solution is "don't let it get wet" but I'm thinking along the lines of Be Prepared...)

Any thoughts pro/con?  For anyone who's used it how well does it work?  Can you see a difference in how a bag performs/feels/etc. before and after treatment?

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For a new down bag, you shouldn't need it.  The bag should already be "waterproof" enough as long as it is clean.  The outershell will already have the same "waterproofing" as you would get with a Nikwax treatment.

Keep in mind that when we talk about "water-proofing", we're really talking about protection against humidity and cold-weather condensation - not rain or puddles in the tent.

What damages the "waterproofing" the most is dirt - when the  sleeping bag gets dirty, washing it using the Nikwax cleaning product should be enough to bring back the "waterproofing" of the bag.  Only if the bag is really well-used (like say after a through-hike on the AT), should you need to go with the full Nikwax treatment.

I don't use it myself (mainly because I no longer use sleeping bags at all) but one of my friends does and swears by Nikwax - he believes it has extended the life of his down bag though he has never had to do the "full" treatment - he just washes the sleeping bag about once a year.

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I don’t see the need to waterproof it. Just buy a good quality bag so it’ll last a while. Mine costed around $100, but I’ve been using it for over 5 years and it’s still in perfect condition and doesn’t get wet from humidity or condensation. 

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I have had my down sleeping bag for right at 40 years had have not had any problems with the bag except have to make a repair on the zipper about 10 years ago.  Also I have never done any waterproofing to the bag.  And yes the bag has gotten wet due to a leaky tent during a rain monsoon.    Three inches of water inside a tent will do that.  Was not by tent but I will always remember that night.  Biggest thing is to take care of the bag. by cleaning it and when it does get wet to dry it out.   

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On 3/22/2018 at 6:53 AM, Chisos said:

Anyone have experience with the Nikwax treatment on a down sleeping bag?  I'm thinking about getting down bag, but concerned with the "what if it gets wet" problem.  (I know the solution is "don't let it get wet" but I'm thinking along the lines of Be Prepared...)

Any thoughts pro/con?  For anyone who's used it how well does it work?  Can you see a difference in how a bag performs/feels/etc. before and after treatment?

Were you refering to Nikwax Down Proof? or just Down Wash. The Down Proof adds water resitance to the down itself

 

Nikwax Down Proof™ has been specifically designed and optimised for down filled gear. It adds Durable Water Repellency (DWR), which protects against rain and condensation, improving the natural insulating properties of down.
 
Nikwax Down Proof™ prolongs the effective life of your down gear. It leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on individual down filaments and fabric fibres allowing moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability and optimising performance in cold and damp conditions.

Nikwax Down Proof™ is a safe, easy to use product for down filled gear. It is quick to apply in a washing machine and ensures that the treatment goes right through the item, treating both the outer fabric and the down fill. The DWR of Nikwax Down Proof™ develops on air drying. However, tumble drying is recommended to ensure that the down is dried thoroughly and as quickly as possible. Leaving down wet or damp can ruin it completely.

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31 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Were you refering to Nikwax Down Proof? or just Down Wash. The Down Proof adds water resitance to the down itself

 

Nikwax Down Proof™ has been specifically designed and optimised for down filled gear. It adds Durable Water Repellency (DWR), which protects against rain and condensation, improving the natural insulating properties of down.
 
Nikwax Down Proof™ prolongs the effective life of your down gear. It leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on individual down filaments and fabric fibres allowing moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability and optimising performance in cold and damp conditions.

Nikwax Down Proof™ is a safe, easy to use product for down filled gear. It is quick to apply in a washing machine and ensures that the treatment goes right through the item, treating both the outer fabric and the down fill. The DWR of Nikwax Down Proof™ develops on air drying. However, tumble drying is recommended to ensure that the down is dried thoroughly and as quickly as possible. Leaving down wet or damp can ruin it completely.

Mostly interested in the Down Proof, that treats the individual down fibers.  Just curious as to how well it works.

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I have read quite a few reviews on line but no good proof this help with water proofing down. Not unproven either so its worth a shot to try.

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I can't comment about the Nikwax stuff, but I'll add to the discussion with this....

I recently bought a quilt from UGQ. https://ugqoutdoor.com/

Just something to consider before you try treating down.  From their web site re. the down they use....

UltimaDOWN is not a hydrophobic treated down.  Although we have offered hydrophobic treated down in the past, we have weighed the benefits vs. drawbacks carefully, and have recently stopped offering WR down. The benefits, which are marginal at best in real world scenarios, are offset by lower loft, intra laundering clumping, and the need for more down to offset the lower lofting and possible clumping. Effective April 11, 2016, we will no longer use hydrophobic down in our products.

 

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I've read that on the UGQ Outdoor website.  I'm not an expert, but can see how the treated down might be more marketing than benefit.

Either way, you should not need to treat a brand new down bag.  I have a couple of down bags and love how light and compact they are.  It doesn't matter much if you're car camping, but does for backpacking.  I fortunately do not have experience with wet sleeping bags.

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