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Old 01-15-2009, 04:58 PM
 
7 posts, read 92,210 times
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I have a Columbia coat that I've had for 4 yrs. It doesn't seem as warm as when I first got it, however, it doesn't APPEAR to be degenerating. Is it my imagination or is this thing wearing out as far as it's ability to keep me warm? What do you think?
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
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That's a new one to me - think it might have anything to do with the fact that you are older and maybe feeling the cold more
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Old 01-15-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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Coats may lose their insulation properties with time. Washing, dry cleaning and even regular use can cause this effect. Same goes for water repellent raincoats and boots.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Yes, they can lose insulation over time depending on the type of insulation and how you care for it. I used to sell outdoor gear/winter coats and customers would usually be surprised by this.

Is the fill in your coat synthetic (usually a type of polyester) or down (feathers)?

All synthetic fill will slowly degrade over time and lose some of its insulating properties. The fibers are designed to trap air (mimicking goose down) and as years go by they compress and become less elastic. Regardless of the care you take this will happen with synthetics. It can happen more rapidly if it was cheap to begin with (Columbia is usually a medium quality, neither low nor high end) or if the coat spends a lot of time being squished (like put in a stuff sack, in a vacuum bag).

Goose down will retain its insulation if cared for properly. How you wash down coats is really important. Normal detergents have oils that adhere to the feathers, making them less fluffy and warm. Dreft is a good soap to use, or use a special down soap. Dry cleaning will also ruin the feathers. Like synthetics, down coats and bags shouldn't be kept compressed for very long or they will also lose their loft.

So, it's very possible your coat is losing some of its warmth. If you are the type to want to keep a jacket for a long time, I would suggest a lightweight down coat (often called a down sweater) and layer a shell over it. The down will last forever if cared for.

As another poster said, water repellent items will become less repellent over time. If a coat/boots have a waterproof membrane like Gortex it will last a long long time. However, you may notice that water isn't beading up on the outside and it feels sweatier. Using a spray on/wash in re-waterproofing will help the water to bead up; this frees up the Gortex pores so it will be more breathable.

That was your gear-geek lesson for the day, hope that helps!
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
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DNaomi,

Thanks for all that! Great post!

Can you recommend a good quality winter coat?

Thanks,

Woofers
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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Patagonia is a renowned coatmaker.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/fashi...ml#post6838590
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberon_1 View Post
Patagonia is a renowned coatmaker.
thanks! I'll check it out!
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:38 AM
 
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My goose down coat has begun to lose feathers. How do I stop this?
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyelfmomma View Post
My goose down coat has begun to lose feathers. How do I stop this?
Is it losing feathers through the seams or through the fabric? If it's through the seams, you could take it in to have them resewn/reinforced. If it's through the fabric, there's not much you can do. When you see a feather poke through DO NOT PULL IT OUT. This makes the little holes bigger and more feathers will be lost. Instead, grab the back of the fabric and try to work it back inside the coat. This will keep holes from getting bigger.

Remember, all down coats will lose some feathers. Usually, it's either cheaply made coats or expensive ones that are meant to be ultra-lightweight (like Patagonia's down sweater). If it's a good outdoor brand (Marmot, Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, etc.) it may be under warranty still.
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