What makes your products superior to others on the market?
Our design philosophy is simple: Take the best down-proof raw materials available, sew the most effective outer shell together and fill it with the best down we can get our hands on. Elegantly simple and purely functional. There are many good brands on the market today that produce quality products however there are a few things that separate us from the rest:
•Small batch production allows us to inspect all of our raw materials as they come through our doors and every finished product on the way to our customers
•The design you buy today is typically the same design that has seen dozens of summits on Everest, thousands of miles on the AT and PCT, and an endless number of nights in the coldest and harshest places on earth. We don't change our designs every year because we don't need to. We've always designed based on function rather than marketing and trends, and the people who use our products wouldn't have it any other way.
Down vs. Synthetic Insulation
At first glance Synthetic filled sleeping bags, jackets and bedding appear to offer substantial savings over down. However, the longevity of down and the quality of comfort far outweigh the benefits of synthetics. It's not uncommon for us to see 13-15 year old down bags coming back to us simply to be washed. Compare that with having to purchase 3-4 synthetic bags in the same amount of time and the savings become apparent (not to mention 3 less sleeping bags in a landfill somewhere).
Additionally, down breathes far more effectively than synthetics. It is up to four times as thermally efficient as synthetics and up to ten times more durable. Down is also far more earth friendly; synthetic insulation is a petroleum product. Synthetics will not retain its loft as long as down, they are not biodegradable and represent a non-renewable resource. Down is fully renewable, biodegradable, and a natural by-product of the poultry food industry. No animals are destroyed solely for their down.
What is the difference between duck down and goose down?
With a microscope you can see tiny barbs on the smallest fibers of duck down, but not on goose down. These barbs make duck down cling together. From this you might conclude that duck down is superior, and in fact the most prized down in the world, Eider down, clings together as if it were one piece. In the commercial world, however, duck are almost never mature by the time their down is collected. Most comes from restaurant ducklings that never are over six weeks old. The down is more like fuzz than mature down. The way mature duck down clings together presents a problem for the down processors when they separate the down from the feathers - one of the many reasons we use goose down exclusively.
Is your goose down ethically sourced?
One of the most important aspects of our manufacturing is where our down comes from. We have critical standards for the sourcing of our down. We source down that is never live-plucked. Furthermore, we choose down from geese that are raised with rigid humane standards - including, but not limited to, geese that are never force fed nor raised in cages. In Spring 2015, we will be introducing down that is certified under the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). More info on the RDS can be found here
How long will it take to make my sleeping bag, jacket or comforter?
This is highly dependent on what the product is. When ordering online, products listed as "In Stock" typically ship within 1 business day. If a product is listed as "On Backorder" or has another time frame listed, then that can vary anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks - it just depends on the product.
For bedding, we are able to ship most items in a matter of a a couple of business days - Just one of the virtues of producing the products here in Seattle! Custom garments & sleeping bags can take upwards of 4 to 6 weeks, so please plan accordingly! For more information on what expected shipping durations mean, please see our shipping information page
How is fill power measured?
The standard method for testing fill is to put one ounce of down in a standardized testing cylinder and compress it with a standardized piston that fits loosely inside the cylinder. The volume occupied by this partially compressed down is the fill power measurement. To be tested properly the down must be prepared according to a set procedure, and at a defined range of temperature and humidity. A number of tests must be made with down collected from several places in each batch, and the measurements averaged. The most reliable tests are done by certified testing labs. A processor or manufacturer's test cannot be considered accurate without lab confirmation. For more information on our down, click here
Are fill power numbers a legal description?
The fill power testing standard has no legal standing. It is an informal agreement among processors, manufacturers, and retailers. Because there is no enforcement, it is wise to look for certification from an independent testing lab. Beyond that, the reputation of the Manufacturer is your only assurance that advertised fill powers are accurate.
What about water resistant down?
Our main philosophy that applies to design also applies to our materials. Treated down that reduces water saturation is currently a buzz topic, and we are investigating and testing the technology. Before jumping in, we have major questions, namely: does treatment negatively impact the longevity of the down? Does the treatment wear off with considerable use? How much water does it take to null any gain from treatment? We've been producing down gear in the rainy Pacific Northwest for 40+ years. We explore and utilize new technologies we find beneficial for you, so in the meantime, we will use the best fabrics on the market to help prevent water from even reaching the down insulation.
Do you carry other brands?
Absolutely! We've maintained a flagship store in Seattle since 1979. In addition to carrying the many great Feathered Friends products, we carry leading brands in the mountaineering, backpacking, and outdoor world, including: Arc'Teryx, Black Diamond, Cascade Designs, Mammut, Patagonia, Mountain Equipment, Hilleberg, Outdoor Research, Ibex, Osprey, Figure Four, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Salewa, Lowa, Deuter, Petzl, Metolius, and many more! Many of these brands will be offered on our site in the future. Feel free to give us a call if there is something that you are looking for.
I'm a 5'3" woman. Do I need a small or medium sleeping bag?
This question also applies to anyone right on the fence between a regular and long bag in the unisex models. To answer the question: it depends. Our listed recommended heights are based on a person being able to lay in one of our bags with their feet hovering just short of touching the bottom of the bag. If you're much taller you run the risk of compressing the foot box and compromising warmth. If you need space at the bottom of your bag to store extra clothes, or if you just want extra room down there, size up.
I'm 6'8" tall - can you make an extra long sleeping bag?
We can make sleeping bags that are different lengths than our normal models. Please keep in mind, a custom length sleeping bag is normally made from scratch, typically taking 4 to 6 weeks to complete. We work in 6 inch increments, so we cannot, for instance, make a sleeping bag that is 5' 10" long. Most custom length fees range from $15 to $35 per sleeping bag, depending on the model. Call our Seattle store at (206) 292-2210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
What side is the zipper on?
For the unisex bags: on the left side. For "women's" sleeping bags: on the right.
Why do you have different sleeping bags for the same temperature rating?
Having the best down filled inside the best shell is only part of the equation towards getting an ideal bag. Sleeping inside a bag that fits YOU is the final step. Some people wake up in the exact same position they fell asleep in, while others will toss and turn all night long. Additionally, some people are built like marathoners, while others are built like football linebackers. The trick is to get a bag that eliminates as much dead air space inside your bag as possible while still being comfortable enough to sleep in. If you can find that happy medium, you'll have the most efficient bag. Therefore, we make different shapes of sleeping bags to help fit you. For more information, see our section on Choosing a Sleeping Bag
Will I be comfortable in a 20 degree bag if the temperature gets down to 20 degrees?
That depends. Sleeping bag ratings are not an exact science and should be used as a guideline. Since warmth during sleep depends on a number of factors including type of sleeping pad(s), health, altitude, level of hydration, rate of metabolism and perception (to name just a few) we can't accurately determine how comfortable you will be at any given temperature. We typically don't recommend getting a sleeping bag that is rated to the coldest temperature you'll experience, unless you are prepared to layer up. A conservative recommendation would be getting a bag that is anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees colder than the lowest temperature you expect to be in, in this case a 10 or 0 degree bag.
Is overfill an option?
Overfilling a product is an option only for products that are not yet completed. It is $16 per ounce for 850+ fill power down, and $17.50 per ounce for 900+ fill power down. Selecting overfill is not currently an option online. We want to make sure you are getting the product that you want, so if you are interested in having a sleeping bag, garment, or bedding made with some extra down, please call our Seattle store at (206) 292-2210 or email email@example.com for more information.
Can you make a custom sleeping bag?
We can certainly make custom sleeping bags. It is quite rare that somebody actually needs a custom sleeping bag, so we strongly encourage you to try out some of our standard models. Custom sleeping bags are made from scratch and take 4 to 6 weeks to complete. Adjustments to width are extremely time intensive and can easily add several hundred dollars to the cost of a sleeping bag. Other custom fees may apply. Custom bags are not returnable. Call our Seattle store at (206) 292-2210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
How can I figure out if it will fit?
All garments have a tab "Size Chart" where you can see which size should fit you best, based on your measurements. For many of our lightweight and midweight garments, we recommend sizing up if you are in doubt
Can you make a custom jacket?
We have the ability to make custom versions of some of our garments. We strongly encourage you to try on stock models before proceeding with any custom garment order. Please keep in mind custom garments, even with something as simple as a jacket with a shorter sleeve, are made from scratch and can take 4 to 6 weeks to produce. Custom fees apply. Custom garments are not returnable. Call our Seattle store at (206) 292-2210 or email email@example.com for more information
What is the difference between 'Cascade' series and 'Anniversary' series?
Our 'Cascade' series pillow and comforters are filled with 700+ fill power white goose down. This provides an excellent bedding product. Our 'Anniversary' series bedding uses premium 850+ fill power Hungarian white goose down.
What is the difference between "Baffled Box" and "Bavarian" comforters?
Baffled Box comforters have vertical walls along the seam lines. This allows the down to loft more evenly throughout the chambers, maximizing the heat retention. Bavarian comforter are sewn-through at the seam lines. These comforters prevent down from shifting from one chamber to another.
Is higher thread count better?
Not necessarily. Higher thread count fabrics have smaller yarns, so they are generally lighter and softer. On the other hand, smaller threads are weaker. Higher thread count fabrics can be far less durable than lower thread count fabrics. Some of the most durable downproof fabric made is a 227 count Egyptian cotton from Germany. The quality and type of yarn is just as important as thread count.
Does higher thread count mean that fabric is more downproof?
A thread count of at least 220 is necessary to make a downproof fabric that is not excessively stiff and heavy. Using smaller yarns leaves more space in the weave, and raising the thread count does not always compensate fully. Even spacing is also important; otherwise down can leak through the less densely packed area. Weaves that have the same warp count as weft count are more stable than fabrics that have a much higher count in one direction than the other. Cambric weaves alternately pass the weft yarns one over the warp and one under. Cambric is inherently more stable than twill and sateen weaves which pass two over one or three over one. We have noted that many of the damask look twills from the orient are quite leaky in spite of a high thread count. That is not to say that twill and sateen weaves cannot be downproof. The weaving pattern allows a higher thread count, and if the yarns are tightly packed, twills and sateen weaves make some of the finest downproof fabrics.
Why are there so many stitching styles for down comforters?
The stitching arrangement should match the amount of down fill. That accounts for having both sewn through and baffled styles, and for the different size chambers. Some people like to move the down around to adjust the warmth, and some people like it to stay put. In additional to these functional reasons, there are personal preferences in the appearance of the comforter. Remember that the comforter will probably be covered before you let aesthetic considerations override practicality.
Most manufacturers will not tell you the primary consideration from their point of view, which is ease of fabrication. Manufacturers tend to like the open styles that allow them to fill the quilt by blowing the down in all at one time. These open styles were designed for comforters that are thick and not much larger than the mattress. Because the down tends to fall off the edge of the bed, the "framed" styles were invented. Most of these comforters are somewhat underfilled, and shifting is a constant problem.
Do I have to use a cover with my down comforter?
Your comforter will last longer if you use a cover, and making the bed will be a snap, but many people like the look of a down comforter without a cover. You can take your choice; wear out the shell of the comforter or wear out a removable cover. You can replace the cover, or we can remake the comforter by putting the down into a new shell. You might think twice about using a comforter without a cover if you have children or pets that jump on the comforter. A limited amount of cleaning will not hurt a down comforter, but excessive cleaning will.
What is the best way to properly wash my comforter or pillow?
Improper cleaning can easily ruin your investment by excessively stripping the down of its natural oils. Feathered friends offer an expert washing service for your Feathered Friends products. With the right equipment and plenty of time to spare, you can wash your bedding on your own. For details, see our page on Care and Washing
What if I am allergic to down bedding and pillows?
The down that we use is allergy and asthma free. Our supplier obtained the world's first certification for down from Airmid, a medical research company based in Ireland. Airmid team up with asthma and allergy associations around the world to test products and components and certify them based on their being allergy free (a much higher standard than hypo-allergenic) and asthma friendly. Over time, all bedding can accumulate dust and other particulates that are often the cause of allergic reactions.
What types of shipping do you offer?
We offer shipping from both the United Parcel Service (UPS) and the United States Postal Service (USPS). Durations and costs vary depending on the service. For more information, see our Shipping Info page.
How long will it take for my order to ship?
That depends. For items that are in-stock, we strive to ship orders within 1 business day. However, if we need to finish or build an item, then it may take longer. Items requiring more time have stated Product Availability on the product page. This may affect the duration it takes to ship your entire order. If you have any questions regarding the shipping timeline for a particular item, please feel free to Contact Us. For explanations on Product Availability and Shipping Services, please see our Shipping Info page.
I need my gear before a trip! What can I do?
We want you to enjoy your gear as soon as possible! We strongly encourage you to order as far ahead of time as possible. If you are under a tighter deadline, leave us a note at the end of the checkout process. If you are concerned about receiving your order in time, please Contact Us ahead of time and we'll make sure everything will work out.
Still have a question about Feathered Friends? Do not hesitate to ask us! Call our Seattle store at (206) 292-2210 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information