Sierra Designs DriDown Insulation Inovation

New water protection for Down Fill sleeping bags and apparel

Sierra Designs launches new down-fill technology in DriDown™ with five sleeping bags at the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show in Salt Lake City, UT January 18-22.

It’s cutting edge, and a vast improvement over regular down, DriDown™ features a molecular level polymer applied to individual down plumes during the down finishing process.

DriDown™ is a proprietary application method developed by Sierra Designs that ensures a hydrophobic finish.  As a result, DriDown™ stays dry seven times longer in the presence of rain, melting snow, or spills, maintains 98% loft after a night in a high humidity environment, and dries 33% faster when it does get wet for a dryer, warmer, more comfortable night’s sleep.

“Our inspiration for DriDown™ came from the need for higher performance down insulation,” said Sue Timbo, Sierra Designs marketing director.  “Due to its warmth to weight ratio, down is indisputably the best performing insulation available.  Its only downside is a loss of thermal efficiency as it becomes wet.  DriDown™ tolerates moisture far better than untreated down, improving the performance of down sleeping bags so everyone from pro athletes to family campers will sleep dryer, warmer, and more comfortably.”

Staying dry longer, lofting better, and drying faster, DriDown™ sleeping bags represent the evolution of down insulation technology, outperforming regular down sleeping bags in any given environment from arid deserts to humid costal locals to icy polar environments.  Sierra Designs is introducing five new sleeping bag styles, covering a wide range of backcountry conditions.

Sierra Designs’ DriDown™ sleeping bags include the Zissou 0 HI (3 lb, 1 oz; $299), Zissou 15 (2 lb, 11 oz; $259), Zissou 30 LITE (2 lb, 1 oz; $199), Eleanor 20 HI women’s (3 lb, 0 oz; $299) and Eleanor 30 LITE women’s (2 lb, 9 oz; $259).  All five bags feature 600 fill DriDown™, polyester ripstop shells, and polyester liners for an outstanding blend of performance, warmth, compressibility, and light weight.

DriDown™ sleeping bag retail availability is scheduled for June 1 exclusively through REI stores, Sierra Designs’

DriDown apparel debuts in August 2012. Women's Tov shown here.
DriDown apparel debuts in August 2012. Women’s Tov shown here.

first-to-market partner.  Look for Sierra Designs DriDown™ sleeping bags at other specialty outdoor retailers mid-July with DriDown™ apparel debuting in August 2012.

Sierra Designs DriDown™ FAQ sheet:


1.   What is DriDown™ by Sierra Designs and how does it work?

–          DriDown™ is natural down treated with a molecular level polymer applied using Sierra Designs’ proprietary method, creating a hydrophobic finish on individual down plumes.  This polymer enhances the down’s durability and structure.  DriDown™ stays dry longer, lofts better, and dries faster than regular down.

–          When wet, regular down plumes collapse, reducing loft and insulating efficiency.  DriDown™’s water tolerance far exceeds that of regular down, staying dry 7-times longer* in the presence of natural body moisture, humidity, rain and snow, offering superior loft and thermal efficiency for a warmer, more comfortable night’s sleep.

2.   Is DriDown™ waterproof?  Does is use a waterproof/breathable membrane?

–          The goal was not to create waterproof down, but rather down that would tolerate the presence of moisture, allowing it to outperform regular down in every weather condition.

–          Waterproof/breathable membranes are great for keeping moisture out, but they also keep a lot of body moisture in, reducing loft and warmth.  DriDown™ sleeping bags allow internal moisture to escape far more effectively, enhancing loft and warmth retention to outperform down bags with membranes.

–          DriDown™’s polymer coating helps keep external moisture from soaking into the insulation, staying dry 7-times longer than regular down.

3.   What are the advantages of DriDown™?

–          As regular down gets wet, it loses loft and therefore loses its ability to insulate.  DriDown™ helps eliminate this problem.  DriDown™ is the evolution of down insulation.

o   DriDown™ stays dry 7-times longer than regular down.*

o   DriDown™ retains 98% loft which can equate to a 15° temperature advantage.

o   DriDown™ dries 33% faster than regular down.

4.   Where did the inspiration come from?

–          DriDown™ was inspired by Sierra Designs’ commitment to innovation.  For its weight, down is indisputably the best performing insulation available… lighter, warmer, more compressible, and more durable than synthetic insulations.  Its only downside is a loss of thermal efficiency as it becomes wet.   Constantly looking for ways to improve the outdoor experience, Sierra Designs created DriDown™ to advance the benefits of regular down, enhancing its performance in a wider range of conditions and allowing anyone from pro athletes to family campers to stay warmer, dryer, and sleep more comfortably.


5.   How do you know it works so well?

–          We use ASTM-certified lofting tests, environmental chambers to simulate humid conditions, and tests to determine drying times.  Sierra Designs has also developed proprietary testing to evaluate DriDown™ performance in extreme conditions.  Field testing confirms it outperforms regular down in every situation.

6.   What is the down treated with?

–          DriDown™ uses a molecular level polymer coating applied through a proprietary method during the down finishing process to create a hydrophobic finish on individual down plumes. This polymer finish maintains down integrity and increases durability without adding additional discernable weight.

7.   Has this technology been used before?

–          Sierra Designs has developed a proprietary and exclusive process to adapt this tried and true technology specifically for use in outdoor products.  Staying true to a long history of ingenious solutions to backcountry challenges, DriDown™ by Sierra Designs represents the evolution of down insulation technology, giving the outdoor world the best-performing insulation yet.


* Results based on scientific laboratory bulk water absorption testing developed by Sierra Designs.

One thought on “Sierra Designs DriDown Insulation Inovation

  1. This should be awesome for expedition use where you can’t really promise you’re able to protect your down from wetness. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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