Expedition Tales

  • A New Roost: Feathered Friends Is Moving


    This summer, after more than twenty years in our current storefront, Feathered Friends will be moving. In early July, we’ll be opening doors at our new location, just one block north, at 263 Yale Ave N.

    The building that our storefront has occupied for the last couple decades has a storied history; it was originally built in 1917, and in 1927 was remodeled in the Spanish Revival style. It’s one of only a few examples of that style that have been built in Seattle, and at one point it was considered for the National Register of Historic Places. Long before we settled here, it was also home to Russian artist Nicolai Kuvshinoff, some of whose pieces are held in the permanent collection of the Seattle Art Museum. Our landlord is selling the building, and after we leave the new owners will demolish the building and put up a hotel on the land.

    While we’re sorry to see the space go, we’re glad to be able to stay in the Cascade neighborhood, where we’ve long felt welcomed by the community. We’re working with a local Bainbridge Island firm, Blackmouth Design, to create a new home that better features our products and incorporates local materials and work from Pacific Northwest artists. The new place will also have parking—a downtown rarity.

    Our new store may look more polished, but the heart and soul of Feathered Friends isn’t changing. We’re bringing the old-school ethos—and the screen and projector that we’ll use to keep hosting movie nights and slideshows. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Seattle community for your support through the years, and to everyone who’s stopped in during their travels to visit our home. We hope to see you down the block.

  • Introducing Y Fuse, Our Newest Shell Fabric


    This month, we’re introducing Pertex Y Fuse, the newest outer shell fabric for our 3-season sleeping bags. Y Fuse will replace the Nano fabric, which will be phased out. We’re making the switch because of recent improvements in fabric technology: the Y Fuse fabric uses yarns with unique Y-shaped filaments that create a tightly interlocking structure.

    Image: Pertex Image: Pertex

    This structure makes for a highly stable fabric with increased downproofing and water beading properties. We’ve put it to the test, both on the design floor and on the trail, and love the added durability of Y Fuse. It’s designed to handle years of wear and multiple washes, and comes with some added softness too.

    The Y Fuse is a 20 denier fabric, the same as the Nano fabric we used previously, but is slightly lighter weight. We still recommend that those looking for the lightest, loftiest sleeping bags check out our UL line, which features 10 denier Pertex Endurance fabric and 950+ fill down, but the Y Fuse bags will shave a few grams from the Nano generation’s weight. Great for all-around use and made to last, the Y Fuse fabric adds a fresh set of features to some of our best-loved bags.

    Which sleeping bags will be offered in the Y Fuse fabric?

    Sleeping bags we currently make in the Nano fabric will be offered in Y Fuse. This includes the following models: Flicker, Hummingbird, Swallow, Swift, Osprey, Merlin, Kestrel, Lark, Raven, Grouse, Egret, Petrel, Puffin, Penguin, and Condor.

    We’ll be phasing the fabric into our line throughout the summer, so if your model of choice isn’t available in Y Fuse yet, it will be soon!

    Will anything else change about the 3-season sleeping bags?

    In addition to new shell fabric, the Y Fuse bags will feature a new 20D nylon lining that is softer and lighter than the previous lining. We will continue to use high quality European 900+ fill down in all sleeping bags with the Y Fuse fabric, and the design and sizing of the bags will remain the same.

    What colors will the Y Fuse come in?

    We’ll make Y Fuse bags in four classic colors: Iris, Fir, Cardinal, and Marine. We’ll offer each sleeping bag in 1-3 of these color options.

    Where can I see the technical specs for the Y Fuse fabric?

    You can find more information on our fabrics page.

    Want to know which Y Fuse bags are currently available?

    You can find the latest bags on our Y Fuse page.

    Have another question?  Send us an email at customerservice@featheredfriends.com.

  • Loneliness, Warmth, and Finding Home in South Dakota’s Black Hills

    Guest post by Korrin L. Bishop. 

    korrin-bishop-feathered-friends-sleeping-bag Photo: Stephanie Rockwood

    A -10 degree night is the kind of cold that settles deep into your bones and finds a way to creep into your heart. A chill in the heart serves to over-activate the brain, and left unchecked, can spiral into loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Luckily, the antidote is fairly simple—warmth.

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  • Climbing at the Edge of Nowhere

    This post is one of a series highlighting the outdoors experience of Feathered Friends employees. Written by Mandy Godwin. 

    DSC_0103-2 Mike Burns with photo slides.

    The first I learn about his Aconcagua trip, Mike Burns is standing behind the desk at the Feathered Friends flagship Seattle store and holding a sheet of photo slides up to the light. He passes me the loupe, and holding the lens to the page, I see with incredible lucidity an image of him twenty years younger, wearing bright primary colors at high altitude in South America.

    Those who meet Mike in the store could be forgiven for not immediately guessing his mountaineering background. Despite his extensive climbing resume, Mike isn’t the type to hold forth on the gravity of his accomplishments, and is much more likely to be found mid-deadpan, his quick grin hinting at a tendency to treat life as one long-running private joke just waiting to be shared.

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  • One Season, 28 Volcanoes: Two Women Take on the Cascades

    This post is one of a series that takes a closer look at the lives of Feathered Friends Ambassadors. Written by Mandy Godwin.

    Kate and Madeline together in the mountains. Kate Carothers and Madeline Dunn.

    Madeline Dunn picks up the phone a few minutes after getting off a plane in Utah. She’s just flown in to meet Kate Carothers, her friend and 2018 Volcano Project climbing partner, in the Wasatch Mountains for a day of spontaneous training. After an entire season of living in different states, planning together but training separately, today marks their first day back in the mountains together—a milestone in the preparation for this summer’s ambitious ski mountaineering project.

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