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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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Old 22 Dec 2021
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Storage down jacket and sleeping bag during trip


I will take my down jacket and down sleeping bag with me on my motorcycle on a long journey. Most of the time I will not use it and it would be easy to just keep them in a small bag, but I know that that is not good for down and the jacket and sleeping bag were quite expensive.

My question is: How often should I take the down jacket and sleeping bag out of the very small bags so that I don't ruin the down?

Thanks for your reactions!
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Old 22 Dec 2021
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I occasionally leave mine packed for a few weeks at a time when travelling and shake them out occasionally, I don't use a compression sack for the sleeping bag though, it is 25 years old and still in good condition.
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Old 22 Dec 2021
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I packed my down jacket and sleeping bag in a compression sack while traveling for over a year, living on the road. No harm done as far as I can tell. At home I keep the bag in a loose fitting storage sack, and the jacket hung in the closet. Jacket is 800 fill, bag 600. Just upgraded to an 800 fill down quilt which packs plenty small in standard stuff sack (not compression). If I can’t leave it stuffed for months at a time while on the road, it is useless to me, so that’s what I plan to do.

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Old 22 Dec 2021
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My experience of both down bags and down jackets is that the bags they're supplied with are too small. They only just fit with a load of shoving and squeezing and I'm sure that damages the seams if done regularly. I leave the bags / jackets unpacked when at home and have bought some (slightly) larger bags to keep them in when on the road. They're under less stress and so am I as it doesn't take an hour to put them away after use.
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Old 23 Dec 2021
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High quality down is more likely to be ruined if it gets wet, then compressed. Dry compression for long periods isn't ideal, but can be fine (although note: "high quality down").

What cured me of hauling down gear around was the difficult of keeping it dry or of drying it out once it got wet. Shell fabrics have improved, making it less likely to get wet, but I get everything else thoroughly soaked from time to time while traveling, so I assume I'd still do the same to down-filled gear.

YMMV, but if it gets wet be sure to find a way to get it dry in a hurry.
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Old 23 Dec 2021
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Markharf's experience equals mine, I had an expensive down sleeping bag which survived many years of being packed away for 9 months or more at a time without problems but each time it got wet it's capability to re-fluff-up reduced noticeably.

After 10 years it was like using a normal cheap sleeping bag, and my mother killed it by putting it in the washing machine, lol
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Old 23 Dec 2021
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If you use a compression bag never fold your bag or jacket, just stuff it in to avoid fracturing the downs.

If you carry your down bag and down jacket in a compression bag, you need to shake it up time by time to help the clumped downs to get fluffy again. Best way to do this is to let it lay in the sun for heating up. Than shake it several times from different angels again and again; this will take some time.

If your bag or jacket got wet and you had no chance to dry it in the sun or to use a dryer than it is better to wash it before you start reactivating the downs.

If you don`t have a special detergent for downs available on the road, you can use/buy a detergent made for wool. Downs are chemically the same as wool. They consist of keratin and you have to use a non degreasing detergent to avoid destroying the feather structure of the downs. Do not use mild hair shampoo because it contains allways a degreasing detergent!

Best way to wash a down bag or jacket is a washing maschine with a big drum(=/>6kg). Use a light wash or wool washing program with 30°C. Use the lowest possible spin cycle and add a seperate rinse cycle after main wash.

Use a dryer and put 3-4 tennis balls into it. The "boxing" tennis balls will help to fluffy the downs again.

I am using these methods for more than 30 years now and by my experience I know that it extends the life cycle of my jackets and bags. At home I stock jackets hanging and bags in a bed box lying on top so it doesn`t get compressed. While traveling I use compression bags which are bigger than the ones which comes with the bag/jacket. In my opinion they are much too small because every manufacturer argues with the packing dimensions...
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