While the Down Wash is essential, you’ve got to think whether buying the Nikwax Down Proof as well is worth it. We’ve had it drummed into us that we should keep down dry and that you shouldn’t put it in a situation where you’ll need such an indulgence. So do you really need to waterproof your down?

In a nutshell. Yes.

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Our sport is by it’s very nature unpredictable. That’s part of the fun. If we didn’t get those little incidents on our trips then what ever would we talk about later? I still remember extracting my sleeping bag from the bowels of my pack on the first day of a six day trip. I could smell cherry bakewells. Probably craving for carbs I thought, it had been a long and tough day.

Alas! No. It turned out that the Amaretto that I’d brought as a bit of a tipple had opened up and most of my gear, including my sleeping bag, was covered in this sickly smelling sticky mess.

Fortunately, even after I’d gone, “Oh dearie me, look at the mess”, with a few expletives inserted to punctuate every word or two. And then a few more to punctuate the expletives. Only after that was I able to survey the damage and start cleaning up. The pertex on the bag being slightly water resistant, and presumably amaretto-proof to boot, had prevented the down from getting wet. Anything on there dried off and the bag was good for the five nights of that trip.

Point being, you never know what you’ll get yourself into. If you’ll get the foot of your bag damp from condensation on the wall of your tent, or against the wall of a snow hole. You might even be unlucky enough to lose your tipple. This product won’t help you with that (it doesn’t smell good, and I presume it would taste even worse), but it will make your bag resistant to any moisture you may expose it to.

The only down side (sorry…) is the price. Yet at £7, you only need a bottle every couple of years, and you can get that down jacket proofed while you’re at it. I suspect as well that this stuff is similar to the TX Direct wash in proofer, but I for one am not going to take that risk with my down kit for the sake of a few quid. If you own a sleeping bag and a couple of jackets, then that’s about all you’ll get out of a bottle anyway.

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