Nikwax Hydrophobic Down is now at least 15 times less water absorbent than standard washed down
Nikwax Hydrophobic Down™, which is being built into sleeping bags and garments and taken up by manufacturers worldwide, is raising its minimum standards for water resistance.
Nikwax Hydrophobic Down is much more resistant to wet conditions than untreated down. Untreated down quickly loses its fill power and insulating properties in damp conditions, whereas Nikwax Hydrophobic Down can maintain its loft, and fill power, even when the outer fabric is saturated.
Previously Nikwax was able to claim that Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD) would perform up to 10 times better than untreated washed down. Now Nikwax has raised its minimum absorbency standard to 15 times, with tests demonstrating it can reduce water absorbency by up to 26 times! It has also set a minimum standard of 150 minutes on the industry IDFB 18A Down Shake Test (Down and feather are placed with water in a one litre container and shaken until all of the down and feathers are water saturated. The test results are minutes of shaking until failure). Untreated down averages 22 minutes of shaking until failure.
An example of a sleeping bag filled with the most up to date Nikwax Hydrophobic Down was recently floated across a lake in the UK, carrying Luis Brown, son of the Nikwax founder, and witnessed by the international outdoor press.
Nick Brown, CEO and founder of Nikwax said, “We have worked hard this year to establish how to continually improve the performance and reliability of Nikwax Hydrophobic Down. As we increase our production we can raise our minimum standards. So whilst we have set the minimum at 150 minutes on the industry shake test, for now, you can expect that to rise to 200 and then 300 in the near future. At this level a Nikwax Hydrophobic Down jacket will resist several hours of rainfall.”
Nikwax has pioneered the move away from polluting PFC water-repellents and has demonstrated that high performance waterproofing can be achieved with minimum environmental effect.