Just bought a Kathmandu 550 duck down jacket, and I'm noticing that the feathers seem to be poking out pretty regularly. I know that with down garments, feather loss is normal, and indeed kathmandus website says feather loss is normal for up to 8 months after purchase, but how much is too much? There have been a few rather large feathers poking out from the material, and there is quite a few small ones visible from between the seams. Not to mention there are loose threads poking out from random places. Call me nitpicker, but I don't remember so much feather loss at all with my previous down jacket (a North face one). Should I, or can I, still return it? Its only been a week and a half since I bought it at the store.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Is Kathmandu the brand? I have two TNF down jackets-a Nuptse and a Baltoro (now called the Himalayan, it's in my picture). I rarely see any feathers poking out of either one. I have a lightweight Eddie Bauer down vest and have never seen any feathers sticking out of it. I also have two down bags, and same thing, a rare feather now and then, but nothing serious. I believe the reason is fairly simple - down is not feathers. Down does not have the long quills that will poke through the material or seams like feathers do. Higher end jackets and bags may have some feathers, but not nearly the amount of cheaper products. Really high end gear probably has no feathers at all. If the jacket is starting to come apart already, take it back and look for another brand.
BTW, I bought my Nuptse at a TNF outlet store, the Baltoro on eBay, the vest from another website's buy/sell forum and one of my bags from Craigslist, all for far less than retail (about 50% or less). I also picked up a brand new Marmot ski parka for 20% of retail in a second hand shop selling wardrobe from films and tv shows. My point is that if you look around, know what you are looking at and are patient, you can find quality clothes and gear without spending a fortune.
Edited by TomD (06/14/1402:34 AM)
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
Loc: Portland, OR
550 duck down jacket
This seems to hint at the source of the problem. A 550-fill quality of down will necessarily be coarser than higher grades of down. Coarser down will include more feathers with quills. Quills are far more prone to pierce the shell and work their way out.
Apparently, the recent demand for high quality goose down has created a shortage and some companies are substituting cheaper grades, including duck down and lower fill-numbered grades of down, as a way to keep production costs down. Sadly, the quality also suffers. Your jacket appears to be one of these.