What’s the difference between 850, 900, and 950 fill-power down?
Fill-power is a way of measuring how much space a given down type can fill. For example, 850fp down will loft up to fill 850 cubic inches with 1 ounce of down, whereas 950fp can fill 950 cubic inches per ounce. Since insulation works by trapping microscopic air pockets, a higher fill power can trap more air pockets per ounce. For use in a quilt, this means that fewer ounces of down can be used to provide the same insulation by moving to a higher fill-power. A 20°F rating is always 20°F, but by moving to 900, or 950fp, less down (by weight, not volume) is used to achieve that insulation rating. Enlightened Equipment uses Gray Duck Down (GDD) for our 850fp option, and Gray Goose Down (GGD) for our 900 and 950fp options. Other than the fill-power, there is no performance difference between types.
What is DownTek™ down?
DownTek™ is a water-repellent coating that is added to goose or duck down. It helps the down resist moisture longer, and dry out more quickly if it does get wet. It is not fully water-proof, so normal precautions should be taken to keep your gear dry (such as a trash compactor bag for use as a pack liner, and/or the included waterproof stuff sack), but as an added layer of protection DownTek can give you more time to react to bad weather, pack or shelter failures, etc. You can read about one test of DownTek's water repellency here.
Where does your down come from, and is it collected humanely and ethically?
All of our down is sourced from Europe. It is a side-product from the meat industry, and third-party audits verify that none of the down in the supply chain is acquired through live plucking, force-feeding, etc.
What is the benefit of Climashield Apex synthetic insulation?
Synthetic insulation has some tradeoffs with down that may or may not make it more suitable for you. While it's less compressible and somewhat heavier when used for larger items like quilts, its excellent all-weather performance, faster drying, easier cleaning, and overall lower cost can make it a great choice for many issues, especially for warm-weather quilts. CLIMASHIELD insulation is much better than down for items that will be exposed to high amounts of sweat and body oils. Down will collect this oil and need frequent washings to function correctly where synthetics are easy to wash and much more resistant to body oils making them a much smarter choice for insulated socks, balaclavas and mittens. Choose gear that is made to work with your body, not against it.
In using Climashield Apex for quilts, we use the following weights of insulation per temperature rating:
50°F - 2.1 oz/sqyd
40°F - 4 oz/sqyd
30°F - 6 oz/sqyd
20°F - 8 oz/sqyd
What’s the difference between the 10D and 20D fabric?
Both fabrics have a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment and have a great feel and low weight. The 10D fabric favors minimal weight and maximum breathability as its highest priorities, whereas the 20D offers somewhat higher durability and water resistance at the cost of a bit more weight. In most cases with careful use the 10D fabric will be your best option, though if you tend to be somewhat more exposed to the elements in your camping style, the 20D will offer some added protection. Both 10D and 20D fabric options should be treated with care.
Phantom 10d - ultralight Phantom 10D nylon is the perfect choice for the smoothest feel, lightest weight, and excellent breathability.
Phantom 20d - This ripstop nylon is the most durable fabric that we offer. It has a DWR treatment applied to the face that will resist water, keeping your quilt drier.
Why can’t I use 20D fabric on both the inside and outside of my quilt?
While it’s tougher and more water resistant than our standard 10D fabric options, our 20D fabric also doesn’t breath as well. When using two layers of it, this restriction can make your quilt more clammy, and makes packing the quilt more frustrating since air can’t escape quickly enough to easily compress the quilt to a smaller size.
What are the Weather Resistant Stripes?
If you’re frequently dealing with condensation on your tent walls and from your breath, the 20D weather resistant stripes can offer some additional moisture resistance at the head and foot of the quilt (as compared to the 10D fabric). This combined with a 10D selection for the shell adds approximately 1 oz of weight vs 2 oz for selecting 20D fabric for the whole shell of the quilt.
What are baffles, and why do they matter?
Baffles are mesh walls used on the interior of quilts and down garments that serve to keep the down from shifting and falling. While some other companies use the simpler “sewn-through” construction, the use of baffles gives the down the vertical height needed to allow it to loft up and trap the microscopic air pockets, allowing it to provide full insulation. This prevents cold spots forming where the inner and outer fabric are sewn together.
What’s special about EE’s “Shiftless Baffles?”
Our unique Shiftless baffle design combines the strengths of both horizontal and vertical baffles that are typically found in other quilts and sleeping bags. The vertical baffles along the length of the quilt prevents down falling to the sides (a problem especially for side sleepers), but by turning the baffles horizontally at the feet, the down is given a much smaller area in which it can move and keeps the footbox fully lofted and reduces the amount of down that can shift away from the feet during packing and unpacking your quilt..
Why do you offer the Hoodlum sleeping booties with synthetic insulation, vs. down booties or down hoods which are more common in ultralight applications?
We think that there are several weaknesses in using down for products like headwear, booties/camp socks, and mittens. Down is more susceptible to losing loft due to the oils and sweat produced naturally by your body. Since your hands, head, and feet tend to produce the most oils and sweat, products used there will likely also require more frequent washing, which is also more time consuming for down than for synthetic insulations. To top it off, in very low-volume applications such as these, synthetic insulation can offer lighter weights and lower costs to provide the same insulating ability.
Do you overstuff?
There are 2 reasons to overstuff. The first is because the quilt is not warm enough. However, unlike other companies, we offer temperature ratings every 10°, so if you are looking for a warmer item we recommend going to the next temperature rating. The second reason is to keep down from shifting as much: with our shiftless baffles this is less of a problem as we have vertical baffles along the body which help keep down from shifting, which ultimately keeps you warmer. With this said, we do put a 5% overstuff in all our quilts. We don't offer the traditional overstuff option as it is not needed in our quilts, though if you would like we are still willing to use smaller baffles on warmer quilts to give a feeling of overstuff and give you maximum loft (ie: using 30° baffles while filling the quilt to a 20° rating). We can only add down to take the item to the next temperature rating, any more than this an you risk damaging the baffles internally.