Caring for your Down Jacket

Caring for your Down Jacket

  • 09 April 2019
  • |
  • First Ascent

Maintaining a down jacket is easy, despite popular belief. If done correctly, you'll increase the longevity of your jacket meaning you'll be protected against the elements for many more adventures. If your down jacket is not properly taken care of, it will begin to lose its loft, resulting in a decrease in its insulation properties. Washing and caring for your down jacket is a simple task, if the correct techniques and instructions are followed.

Washing your down jacket

Follow the below steps when cleaning your down jacket, to ensure it stays in 'adventure-ready' condition:

Pre-wash Instructions:
  • Remove all or any loose mud and dirt
  • Close main zipper and velcro
  • Close pocket zips and loosen all elastic tensioners

Hand Wash (Preferable Option):

  • Wash separately by hand in 40°C water
  • Use only down specific soap. Shop Nikwax Down Wash here
  • Rinse well with clean water

Machine Wash (Front-loader ONLY):

  • Remove all excess detergent
  • Machine to be placed on 40°C temperature and put on a gentle cycle with a slow spin
  • Place down jacket in a mesh washing bag or pillowcase.
  • Preferable to wash one jacket per cycle

Drying your down jacket

Drying Instructions:
  • Remove excess moisture by pressing gently with a clean towel
  • Place drying balls or use two clean tennis balls into the dryer, this will help to redistribute the loft and prevent clumping.
  • Place jacket in the tumble dryer on a low heat and secure all zips and closures
  • Tumble dry for up to 15 minutes at a time on low heat (please note this process can take up to 3 hours depending on the bulkiness of your jacket)
  • Turn garment periodically inside out throughout the dry cycle
  • Shake garment to loosen down clumps and to bring back the loft and shape of the jacket.
  • Treat the DWR coating on the jacket with Nikwax Spray On TX Direct after drying
No tumble dryer?
  • Dry out your jacket fully outdoors or in a warm room, rerfrain from placing in direct sunlight.
  • Once dry, simply shake out and pat the product to loosen clumps and return jacket to its original shape.

What not to do when cleaning your down jacket:

First Ascent - Product Care Do not dry clean First Ascent - Product Care Do not use fabric softener
First Ascent - Product Care Do not bleach First Ascent - Product Care Do not iron

Storing your down jacket

When packing your down jacket away for the summer season make sure that you follow the below steps, to keep your jacket looking new and fresh for the next winter season

  • Make sure your jacket is cleaned before storage (follow the above steps for cleaning)
  • Jacket to be stored uncompressed
  • Refrain from storing jacket in an area with high-humidity or where moisture can penetrate
  • Let your jacket hang free to air it out and breathe

Repairing holes in your down jacket

There's no reason to get of your down jacket after spotting a hole. We recommend patching the hole first, in fact, as soon as you spot it is the best time to whip out the repair kit. Most basic garment repair kits will include a small ptach of water-resistant adhesive fabric that you can cut to shape and press onto the outer material. This is a cost effective way of extending the lifetime of your down jacket. A good tip is to round the corners to make them less likely to catch and peel off. If you can push an escaping down feather back into the jacket, by all means, do! Be careful not to force it as this could expand the hole. It’s better to lose a down feather than to make the hole even bigger.

Follow the above care and storing instructions and your down jacket will be your best winter investment for many seasons to come.

Have any useful tips or hacks to share with us? Tag us on social @firstascentsa or write a review on our site to tell us what's worked for you. Got any cleaning related questions? Refer to our informative product care guide here.