Crystal Down - Masterpieces of Nature
A human being in a down sleeping bag is half a human, half a goose. If he would be goose completely, he would never feel cold. Unscrupolous scientists are said to have once geese penned up in a cooling chamger. They decreased air temperature to minus 110 degrees. When they unlocked the door again, the flock of birds shambled towards them in a good health and mood. A polar bear would not have survived that.
Nevertheless, very few people want to change with a waterfowl. Most of them fear their intelligence which helps them e.g. to build cooling chambers in order to explore why geese and ducks do not freeze and be amazed: The feathers isolate perfectly. From the energetic point of view, geese and ducks are the most efficient power-heat coupling power plants of all times.
Feathers and downs collect the waste heat of the body and therewith heat it from the outside. Thus, the organism requires less fuel to regulate its internal temperature to 37 degrees. The better the insulation, the more energetic the body. For at least 2000 years, shivering people therefore have been trying to copy the goose principle– with changing success.
Gentle and hard to beat
If we could sew a decent cover of feathers – we would do it. But the long quills prove too bulky. The downs, however, warming the goose at the breast and the stomach, are a stroke of luck: Evolution has put forth an inimitably cuddly fluff, coping with the toughest rumpling, compressing and stuffing efforts of packing humans.
From a tiny core, millions of super-soft so-called filaments of the horn substance keratin grow radially. Each of these filaments is provided with innumerable branches with thousands of hardly visible barbs. When many downs get together, they cling to each other with their small hooks, forming many, many little heat-storing air chambers. A natural system that is lighter, more flexible and better isolated than everything ever puzzled out by humans.
The lofter, the softer
They are static masterpieces. Downs have a bulking power, also called fillpower or loft that can cope with slight pressure, but willingly knuckles under higher pressure. With their filigree, curved struttings they look like tiny cathedrals. However, while the real ones of stone are ruined once experiencing a crash, the natural ones of keratin straighten up again and again. The overall filling of a Passion One sleeping bag would fit into 60 thimbles. If one would pluck out the approx. 60000 downs again, they would stand up in their full glory again.
Loft is measured by laboratories which are under control of the International Down and Feather Laboratory (IDFL) in Salt Lake City, USA. An Unze (30 grams) of downs is given in a flask, they are loaded with a standard weight and the volume maintained by the downs under this pressure is measured in cubic inch. The higher the volume, the higher the loft and the quality. Yeti-downs achieve the highest possible bulking power of 900 cubic inch. In recognition of its large, organically grown power and beauty they are called „Crystal Downs“.
Yeti Ethical Code:
from the egg to Crystal Down
The origin of the downs is important to us true to the philosophy:
Whoever encourages humans to get to know the miracles of the world should appreciate and protect them. As the first outdoor company of the world, Yeti has just developed a coding system making the way from the egg via breeding up the the Crystal Down transparent. We can already provide 80 per cent of our products with this code – shortly, all of them will have it.
These downs originate from geese and ducks growing up on European pastures, species-appropriate and loose. The animals are raised for meat production and plucked only after their death. We cooperate with farmers having comitted by contract not to pluck these animals in living condition. Yeti proscribes this method which is painful since it is rarely carried out exactly at moult time.
The Yeti Ethical Code documents loft, region and slaughter operation, bird race and mixing ratio. 800RP1PWKG955 for example means: Down with minimum 800 cubic inch from the Pomerania region, farm operation 1 from a Polish White Koluda Goose, filling consists of 95 per cent downs, five per cent feathers according DIN-EN 12934
The mixing ratio of down and feather proportion is stated in weight per cents; the differentiation by volume as applied in the past is confusing and is hardly used. A waistcoat with a filling of 100 grams in a “95/5“-mixture contains 95 grams downs and five grams little feathers. And to be very precise: Since one down weighs approximately two tousandths grams, it is hidden under the waistcoat together with
Refinement of the plucked raw downs is done by a family business in Germany with the experience of four generations in dealing with feathering. Here the fluffs are washed with well water, then heated up to kill probable germs, finally sorted until there remains just a small proportion of tiny feathers.
A healthy, grown up goose supplies mature, high-quality down fluffies. The larger they are, the more enormous the bulking power and the space for the isolating air cushion. The measures of a Crystal Down 900+ for example are two centimetres from the core to the outer end, and around four centimetres in diameter. Unripe downs on the other
hand, gained during the moult of young animals, are smaller and sharpener and are likely to drill through the outer cover. Another reason why we do not like to have them.
Even ripe downs may sometimes take a look-see through the cover. Since we attach great importance to breathable tissues providing for comfortable sleep and increasing the durability of the downs, we cannot exclude this. Please don‘t panic, should some cheekily downs dare to look out! In order to avoid the place of outlet becoming larger, you should not pull out the runaway. Press it, or – even better – pull it back into the cover from the interior and smooth over that area with your fingernail. This will stop further downs coming out. Nature is not completely controllable. Very well!
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