In 2019, Enlightened Equipment made a significant change to their down quilts and sleeping bags by implementing a 30% overstuff. We’ll go more into overstuffing, its impact on the gear's performance, and the advantages it offers, as well as why more overstuff is not necessarily better.
What is Overstuffing?
Overstuffing, as the name suggests, involves adding extra down filling beyond what is technically necessary for a specific temperature rating. Contrary to common belief, overstuffing does not significantly increase the warmth of a quilt or sleeping bag. The insulation in down products is primarily provided by the loft height trapped air pockets within the down clusters, not the density of the down itself. Consequently, the temperature rating remains largely unaffected by overstuffing. Instead, this technique ensures that the down clusters are densely packed within the baffles, minimizing the possibility of down migration and the need for frequent redistribution.
Why Choose to Overstuff
There are some benefits to overstuffing. First, it enhances the resilience of the gear's loft, allowing the quilt or sleeping bag to maintain its loftiness even when subjected to external factors such as dirt, compression, or moisture. Second, overstuffing reduces down migration, ensuring consistent warmth. This provides the most consistent user experience in a wide variety of conditions.
Does Overstuffing Affect Temperature Ratings?
It's important to note that overstuffing is not an attempt to change the temperature ratings of the products. Prior to the 30% overstuffing, Enlightened Equipment's quilts underwent rigorous testing at Kansas State University, conforming to EN 13537 standards. These tests confirmed that the temperature ratings aligned with industry standards and provided accurate guidelines for outdoor enthusiasts. The increase in fill weight does not affect the temperature ratings; instead, it enhances the performance and longevity of the gear across a variety of conditions.
Enlightened Equipment's decision to introduce a 30% overstuff for their down quilts and sleeping bags is focused on the consistency and longevity of the product. By improving loft resilience and reducing down migration this allows our quilts and sleeping bags to perform optimally in more situations for longer.