30 years of down
Down is a natural product which requires knowledge throughout the entire value chain from the egg to the finished down product. Yeti has built its expertise in down over 30 years of producing down sleeping bags for expeditions exploring the coldest areas of the world. Therefore all Yeti products are filled with Crystal Down – a selection of the absolute finest and most voluminous European down.
Down are static masterpieces consisting of thousands and thousands of super-soft, keratin filaments, which grow radially outwards from a tiny center. Each of these filaments contains innumerable tiny, branch-like fibres with nearly invisible hooks. When the down are packed together, they attach themselves to each other and build thousands of tiny, warmth-retaining air chambers. This natural solution is lighter, more flexible and better insulated than anything that mankind has ever developed…
Down are highly packable as they resist a small amount of pressure but gives in under stronger pressure – they resemble miniscule cathedrals with their filigreed, curved crossbeams. After a single impact, the real stone crossbeams of a cathedral would be ruined forever, but those made of keratin can withstand any impact and always return to their initial form.
Many people do not fully understand what down is, and it is a common misunderstanding, that down and feather are the same thing. IT IS NOT! Feathers have a shaft through the middle, contrary to down that have a soft core with a loose structure that traps air. Down are lighter, softer and naturally insulating.
When dealing with down there is a clear connection between price and quality – and the two main ways of finding out is the fill power and the mixing ratio. The down from Yeti has a high score on both and in recognition of their large, organically grown power and beauty they are called Crystal Down.
Is also named loft* or bulking power and is enabled by the natural elasticity of the keratin inside the down. It is measured by putting an ounce (= 28 grams) of down in a standardised flask and loading it with a standard weight. The volume that the down retains under this weight is the fill power in cubic inches (cuin). The higher the fill power, the better the insulation.
* Loft is measured by laboratories under the supervision of the International Down and Feather Laboratory (IDFL) in Salt Lake City, USA.
Describes the mixing ratio of down and other elements like feathers in percent of the total weight – and the higher the proportion of down, the lighter and warmer it is. However a 100% down proportion is practically impossible, but 95% is possible. In a 95/5 mixing ratio a total filling weight of 100 grams contains 95 grams of down and 5 grams of feathers.
Because down has a tendency to collapse when wet down fanatics sometimes becomes slightly frustrated under very humid conditions. But not anymore. Through sophisticated technology it’s now possible to prevent the down from absorbing water – we call it Crystal Down Dry. Today all Fusion sleeping bags are filled with Crystal Down Dry.
Animal welfare is a key element for Yeti and the code of conduct is clear and monitored – and we only use down deriving as a by-product from meat production. Yeti down comes from free-range birds with access to healthy food, water, light and shelter. The flock density, handling, and transportation are regulated. Yeti does not allow live plucking, force-feeding, or steel wire cages.
Yeti only uses European down, mainly from Poland and Germany. The Yeti code of conduct is based on the EDFA Down Codex and traceability (European Down & Feather Association). This is the only standard which also includes monitoring of actual down standard. The EDFA Down Codex is monitored and controlled by third party (IDFL – International Down & Feather Laboratories).
Each Yeti product is marked with a special code that reveals the down quality and the origin of the down, so the code 800RP1PWKG955 means:
800 is the fill power – here 800+
R is the region
P is the country of origin – here Poland
1 is the slaughterhouse id – here no. 1
PWKG is the bird code – here Polish White Gludzka Goose
955 is the mixing ratio – here 95/5