Yesterday we reported on Sierra Designs and its water-resistant down sleeping bags and puffy jackets. Today, another contender, Brooks Range Mountaineering Equipment, introduces a water-resistant down technology in a puffy parka stuffed with feathers.
Goose and duck down is a great insulator, but it flattens and loses all its heat-keeping juju when wet. The new jacket from Brooks Range, called the Mojave, is advertised as the “first jacket to use the water-resistant down technology” of this type.
The company calls the magic stuff DownTec, which is a treatment that makes the down “impenetrable” to moisture, the company says. It explains that a “micro-thin nano polymer” is applied to the down to make it water repellent.
Puffiness comes from light and airy 800-fill down. The Majoave jacket has a shell of thin Pertex Quantum, a fabric we at GearJunkie have tested and love for its ultra-thin but durable nature. The jacket, debuting at the Outdoor Retailer trade show this week, will ship to stores in mid-2012 for $299.
Brooks Range is marketing its DownTec treatment as a panacea for outdoors types worried about wet down. It writes that the down will maintain its loft and insulation value in “the wettest of conditions.” For now, we’ll have to take the company’s word.
When test products become available, it will be fun to see if DownTec, as well as Sierra Designs’ similar DriDown, holds up to rain, sleet and other water-based calamities that historically have wrecked down’s ability to keep lofty and warm when the weather turns ill.
—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.