Future Gear: Waterproof Down
One of the biggest stories in outdoor gear over the past year has been the development of hydrophobic down that won't lose its loft when the sleeping bag or garment gets wet. The duck or goose down feathers are treated by the cluster with a thin polymer that makes them water-repellent. Sierra Designs kicked off the craze with its DriDown bags and apparel, and this year top competitor DownTek is partnering with more than a dozen brands to incorporate its version into their apparel and The North Face is releasing its own proprietary Pro Down.
But Outdoor Research is pursuing a totally different tack with its brand-new Floodlight, which is an 800-fill down down jacket with a Pertex Shield shell that's bonded rather than stitched, making it fully waterproof and eliminating cold spots.