Frequently Asked Questions

Special COVID-19 FAQ

Are you taking orders?

Yes, we are! However, due to the lasting impacts of COVID-19 and high order volume, many of our items may be temporarily unavailable or may take additional time to complete and ship out. 

Is your Seattle store still open?

Yes, our Seattle store is open for in-store shopping and curbside pickup.

Hours:  
Mon - Fri: 11am - 7pm
Saturday: 11am - 6pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm

 

Can I still make returns or exchanges?

Yes, you can still return items. It may take longer than normal to issue any refunds.
 

Are you still doing washes and repairs?

Repairs are still being accepted but are taking 3-4 months to complete. Please don't send repairs that require a quicker turnaround. We are no longer offering a wash service.  Please visit our Washing & Care page for more info. Thanks for your understanding.


Are you still offering rentals?

Yes we are! We are taking extra precautions with rentals, so some items may not be available. Please contact us for any rental needs!

 

GENERAL


Is your down ethically sourced?

Down is at the heart of everything we make at Feathered Friends, and where that down comes from is one of the most important aspects of our manufacturing. We source down that is never live-plucked, from geese that are raised under strict humane standards. All of our down is a by-product of the meat industry, from Eastern European geese that have never been force-fed or raised in cages. As of Spring 2015, all of our down is also certified under the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). For more information about the RDS and our sourcing, check out the page all about our down.


Are down and feathers the same thing? Do you use feathers?

Geese -- and all birds -- have both down plumes and proper feathers, each of which serve distinct purposes. Down plumes are extremely light, three-dimensional structures (they look a bit like spiders) that insulate by trapping warm air between long filaments that extend in every direction. Down compresses easily, lofts back up quickly, and doesn’t contain any quill. Feathers, on the other hand, are two-dimensional structures that radiate from a tubular quill shaft, designed to help birds shed water and deflect air currents. Because the warmth-to-weight ratio is so much higher for down, we strive to use as much down plume as possible, and never blend or dilute the down we use. Our down routinely tests at over 90% down cluster, some of the purest on the market.


I am allergic to down. Can I use your products?

Our down is certified hypoallergenic across all fill powers and all products. The down we source was also the world’s first to obtain certification by Airmid Healthgroup, a medical research company based in Ireland that partners with allergy and asthma associations around the world to test products and components and certify them as allergy and asthma friendly, a much higher standard than hypoallergenic. Even so, you’ll need to be vigilant about cleaning the dust and other particulates that accumulate in down products over time to avoid any possibility of allergic reaction. While all of our fabrics are down-proof, if you have an extreme sensitivity to the natural oils that coat goose down, you may need to avoid our products.


What is fill power and how is it measured?

Fill power refers to the size of a down cluster, and is a reliable predictor of how well the down will insulate relative to its weight. Larger down cluster (higher fill power) will trap more warm air than an equal weight of smaller down cluster, which makes high fill power down a prime material for ultralight sleeping bags and airy comforters.


The method for assessing down fill power involves compressing one ounce of down at a set temperature and humidity in a standardized testing cylinder with a piston set at a standard pressure. The volume (in cubic inches) occupied by the semi-compressed down determines the fill power measurement for that batch. Fill power values range from 500 (usually duck or young goose down) to 950 (mature goose down), and typically rise in price exponentially along that scale. Reliable measurements of down fill power are conducted by certified testing labs and reported by manufacturers. For more information, check out the page all about our down.


Are fill power numbers a legal description?

The fill power testing standard is an informal agreement among processors, manufacturers, and retailers and has no legal standing. Because there is no enforcement of fill power claims, look for certification by an independent testing lab to ensure that the reported fill power is accurate.


Are products with the same fill power down equivalent?

Short answer: no. While fill power is a great metric for comparing down products, it doesn’t tell the full story. In addition to fill power, you’ll need to look at the composition of the down (the ratio of down cluster or down plumage to feathers or quills) and fill weight (how much down, by weight, is physically added to a particular product). Higher quality products will contain down with a higher ratio of down to feathers, and warmer products will contain more down.


Can I wash my down?

Yes! You can -- and should -- wash your down items on a regular basis. With a little know-how and some down-specific soap, you can wash your gear and bedding yourself! Before you attempt to wash your items for the first time, read over our washing & care guide, and feel free to contact us with any issues or concerns.


Do you carry other brands?

Yes! We’ve maintained a Seattle store since 1979. In addition to the many great Feathered Friends products, we carry leading brands in the mountaineering, backpacking, and outdoor fields, including: Arc’Teryx, Black Diamond, Mammut, Smartwool, Montbell, Patagonia, Hilleberg, Outdoor Research, Forty Below, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Therm-a-Rest, MSR, Nemo, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Salewa, Petzl, Sterling, Edelrid, and so much more! We also have a selection of limited run and hard-to-find local guidebooks. Feel free to contact us with specific product inquiries.


Is my information secure?

Absolutely. We do not store any of your credit card information, whether you order from us online or over the phone. Our entire site is SSL secured, and our payment gateways are manged by Shopify Payments and PayPal.

View our entire Privacy Policy here


How long will it take to get my sleeping bag, jacket, or comforter?

It depends! We are still a relatively small, family-owned business, so the majority of our stock remains in a partial state of production until it is ordered. Depending on where your item is in the process of being made, it can be as little as the time it takes to ship (if the item is completely finished). Most products will ship within 72 hours. However, this does not include holidays and weekends. Feel free to contact us if you want to know when an item can ship.


Do you ship internationally?

Absolutely! We ship to most countries worldwide via the United States Postal Service and UPS International. For more information on international shipping, visit our shipping page.


Do you offer military discounts?

We are not currently able to offer any military or government discounts.

 

Do you charge sales tax?

Feathered Friends collects sales tax for orders shipping to Washington State, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia. Tax laws change so we may be required to collect tax from other states as well. The specific tax rate is dependent on the destination. 


SLEEPING BAGS & GARMENTS


Do you use water-resistant down?

Treated down (“dry down”) is a technology that was developed to decrease drying time for hotel comforters in commercial dryers, and we very purposefully do not use it in any of our products. Besides decreasing the longevity of the high-quality down we use by stripping the down of its natural oils, we’ve also seen little real-world benefit to the use of durable water repellency (DWR) directly on the down plume. Wet down clusters do not insulate, regardless of any coating applied to keep them dry, and we’ve found that body heat or ambient air flow -- rather than a dryer-- isn’t sufficient to make dry down an effective tool in keeping you dry, and therefore warm. Treated down is also more prone to clumping than untreated down, which makes it tricky to keep properly lofted within a garment or sleeping bag. The bottom line: untreated down will last longer and perform better than treated down, a view shared by some of the field’s leading manufacturers. Because of this, it’s important to keep your down sleeping bags and garments as dry as possible, which is why all of our sleeping bags and garments use a water-repellent or waterproof fabric.


What is the difference between YF and UL?

Sleeping bags in the 10°F to 40°F range are offered in both YFuse (YF) and Ultralight (UL) models. Both will resist light condensation, and both make an excellent choice for 3-season sleeping bags. When it comes to choosing between them, the primary consideration is weight: YF bags weigh an average of 3 oz more than their UL counterparts because the YF fabric is twice as thick (20D for YF, 10D for UL), and therefore more abrasion-resistant. The fill power of YF bags is also slightly lower (900+ fill power for YF, 950+ fill power for UL), which means that UL bags are just slightly warmer than their YF equivalent. If fabric feel is also a consideration, YFuse fabric is a little softer to the touch than the Ultralight fabric. For more detailed specifications on all of our fabrics, check out our fabrics page.


What side is the zipper on?

Our men’s/unisex cut bags have the zipper on the left side, and our women’s cut bags have the zipper on the right. For a bag like the Flicker, the zipper is on whichever side you want it to be on -- or even in the middle! Other hoodless bags like the Condor or the Penguin can be used with the zipper on either the left or right side; if you’d like to zip on an optional hood, it can be zipped to the bottom of the bag in either configuration.


Will I be comfortable in a 20°F sleeping bag at 20°F?

It depends! Temperature ratings are extremely subjective, so be sure to consider your individual needs when determining which sleeping bag is most appropriate for you. In addition to that temperature rating, look at the fill quality, fill weight, fabric, and bag shape, then consider your own metabolism, sleep system, and even willingness to be uncomfortable. While our temperature ratings are fairly conservative, they may not apply to every experience. Our page on choosing a sleeping bag has some great information on all of the factors that impact your warmth, which can help you plan for success in staying warm outdoors. We generally recommend that you get a sleeping bag rated to 10 to 20 degrees colder than the coldest temperatures you expect to encounter, so if you think you’ll regularly be camping in 20°, go for a 10° or 0° bag. Be self-aware, and choose wisely!


How do you rate your sleeping bags?

During the design process, our bags are all field tested for warmth, fit, durability, and usage before they are finalized, but it’s important to note that determining a sleeping bag’s temperature rating is not an exact science. We do not use EN standard ratings. While we’ve tried testing our bags against the EN rating systems in the past, the test is expensive to perform and doesn’t provide crucial real-world metrics. We have over 45 years of experience building, testing, and rating bags, and rely heavily on the decades of feedback we have from users, guides, and employees, from hiking in the Northern Cascades to alpine ascents in the Himalayas. That said, when we compare the specs of our bags (loft, down quality, construction, etc.) against the bags of competitors who did EN test and our bags exceed theirs in every measure, we feel pretty confident in labeling our bags at the same temperature rating.


What sleep solutions do you have for couples?

We’re called Feathered Friends for a reason! No matter who you are, we have a couple’s solution for you. The most efficient (and comfortable) way to share warmth is always to use a sleep system designed to accommodate two people. If you’d prefer a little more space and luxury, we offer both a rectangular (the Condor) and a semi-rectangular (the Penguin) sleeping bag, each of which can be used alone, or zipped into a corresponding groundsheet with sleeves to keep two standard sleeping pads in place and two zip-on hoods to form a two-person sleep system. We also offer a hybrid sleeping bag/quilt called the Flicker, which can be fully zipped into another Flicker to create an enclosed version of the quilt that will accommodate two people. If weight is your primary concern, the highly specialized Spoonbill makes for an efficient fast-and-light setup and is the preferred choice for alpine adventures.


In an emergency, two mummy-style sleeping bags can be zipped together to conserve warmth, but the resulting system is rarely heat efficient -- and even more rarely comfortable. If you have experience zipping two mummy bags together and would like to ensure that your and your partner’s bags will zip together, just be sure that one carries a left-hand side zipper (standard on all men’s/unisex bags), and the other carries a right-hand side zipper (standard on all women-specific bags); zipper gauge is universal across all models except the Flicker series, which uses a smaller zip.


I’m between sleeping bag sizes. Should I get a Small or Medium / Regular or Long?

If you’re on the line between sizes, you have the option of either length. Which length you choose will depend on how much space you like in a sleeping bag, as well as whether you’ll need to store extra gear in your sleeping bag. If you are 5’3” or 6’, you will fit comfortably in the bag designed for your height (in this case, the Small or Regular), but if you'd like a little extra room -- particularly if you are looking at a winter or expedition sleeping bag -- a longer bag will give you an extra 6" to stow fuel, electronics, water, clothing, boot liners, and any other temperature-sensitive items. If you're looking at a 3-season or summer bag and would like a snugger, more thermally efficient fit, go with the shorter length. If you are taller than the stated bag length, we recommend going with the longer size.


Can you make an extra-long or extra-short sleeping bag?

If you are over 6’6” or under 5’3”, we are usually able to accommodate requests for special lengths, depending on the time of year. We work in 6” increments, so the corresponding custom length bags will measure 7’ or 4’9”, respectively -- we cannot, for instance, make a 5’10” bag. Keep in mind that custom-length bags must be cut from scratch and typically take up to 10 weeks to produce and may not be available in peak seasons. Contact us for more detailed information.


Can you make a custom jacket or sleeping bag?

We do not currently offer any customizations on our jackets or sleeping bags. If you have a special consideration, please contact us.


Do you offer overfill?

Our sleeping bag lineup is carefully designed to cover a full range of temperatures, but there are occasions where a little extra down is warranted. We can add up to 4 oz of overfill to many of our sleeping bags before they are finished, at the cost of the extra down ($20/oz for 900+, $22/oz for 950+). We DO NOT offer overfill on our -40° Snow Goose and -60° Snowy Owl sleeping bags. Keep in mind that any overfill in a sleeping bag is non-refundable in the event that you need to return the bag.


Adding extra down to a sleeping bag is not an option currently available through our online ordering system, so please contact us if you need to place an order with extra down fill.


What size compression sack should I use for my sleeping bag?

All Feathered Friends sleeping bags come with a large cotton sack for storage, as well as a small stuff sack for stowing your sleeping bag compressed, but if you want to compress your bag even more, you’ll need to purchase a compression sack. For optimal compression, aim for a compression sack size similar in volume to the stuff sack we provide for that bag (you can find your specific bag’s volume under the “packed size” listing on its information page). An Egret, for example, has a packed size of 9L, so you’d want to choose a 10L compression sack.

 

I have or was looking at a Merlin, Osprey, Kestrel, or Grouse sleeping bag. Where did they go?

We make a lot of sleeping bags. And they all have bird names. With so many sleeping bags, the names can get a bit confusing. We still have the Merlin, Osprey, Kestrel and Grouse, but they have been renamed.

  • The Merlin was always the 30 degree version of the Hummingbird 20, so we combined them to the Hummingbird 20/30

  • Likewise, the Osprey was the 30 degree version of the Swallow 20, so they are also combined into the Swallow 20/30

  • If you're sensing a pattern, you're totally right. The Kestrel was the 30 degree version of the Swift 20, so they are combined into the Swift 20/30

  • And finally, the Grouse was the 30 degree version of the Egret 20. They are combined into the Egret 20/30

My zipper is stuck! What should I do?
Two-way zippers (such as those we use on our expedition-weight parkas, down pants, and on virtually all of our sleeping bags) can be difficult to get used to, especially when they are new. In order to keep them from getting stuck, make a habit of pulling the tongue of the zipper track (the side without a slider) into both sliders as far as possible, until the metal end is completely inserted into the second slider. Bring the two zipper sides together upstream of the slider and gently guide the main slider up, keeping any fabric out of the zipper track. If the zipper seems a little sticky, try applying a zipper lubricant (or even a little chapstick) along the zipper track to ease the slider along. Over time, the zipper will wear in and move along the track more easily.


If your zipper is already stuck, don’t try to force it further. Back the zipper out as gently as possible and carefully tug out any snagged fabric until the zipper is fully disengaged, then rezip as above. Remember to fully zip the garment or bag together before engaging the second slider, or else the fully-functional zipper will appear to separate.


My jacket has a hole in it! What should I do?

Don’t panic! As you use your gear, it will accumulate damage, from sitting by the fire, snagging a branch, coming into contact with crampons, or just everyday life. The good news: among the outdoor community, patches are a mark of experience and a badge of honor. While you have a wide range of options for patching your jacket or sleeping bag, we recommend using a repair tape (such as Tenacious Tape from Gear Aid). Salvage as much down as possible and carefully tuck it out of the way of the patch site, then cut and apply a section of repair tape (be sure to round the corners of the patch and to avoid stressing the repair site for ~24 hrs). If you think the damage is too extensive, if you have lost significant down, or if you would prefer a like-new finish, contact us about repairing your item. 


I have a feather poking out!

DON’T PULL THE FEATHER OUT. While we use >90% down clusters, which have no pointy ends and cannot penetrate fabric, the occasional feather does work its way through fabric or a seam, almost invariably quill end first. If you attempt to pull the feather out, the hole created by that quill will widen and damage your item. Instead, carefully pull the feather back into your item by grasping it from the opposite side of the fabric. Once the feather is back in, massage the area to reposition the quill end of the feather and reseal any puncture in the fabric.


Are your garments temperature rated?

We do not provide temperature ratings for our garments. Even sleeping bags (which enclose your entire body) are difficult to standardize, given the huge range of differences between individual users, so it’s tricky to even hazard a guess on the temperature limits of our garments (which depend on an even greater set of variables). Each garment page provides detailed specifications and suggested usages for that item, so use those as a guide when selecting which garment is appropriate for your circumstances. You should also be able to compare warmth levels between garments based on the difference between down fill weight. If you’re still struggling to choose a garment, contact us.


I need a parka or sleeping bag for an upcoming expedition. How far in advance do I need to order?

Depending on the time of year, our production is focused on season-specific styles of garments and sleeping bags, which are cut in limited runs that are often sold before they are finished. Please be proactive when ordering and contact us about availability as soon as you know what you need. Heavier garments and bags, such as down suits, parkas, and expedition-weight sleeping bags, can take up to 8 weeks to produce after they are ordered, so please plan appropriately and be willing to be flexible in terms of color availability.


Do you offer washes/repairs?

We do repairs to Feathered Friends products but no longer offer a wash service. If you have significant damage to your items, you can send them to us along with a completed warranty/repair form (please note that we do not accept any other brands). We are required by law to wash all items before beginning repair work, so be aware that you will be charged a wash fee ($15 for garments, $20 for sleeping bags) in addition to any repair fees. Repair charges are $60/hr, rounded up to the nearest half hour. If you’d rather not wash your Feathered Friends items yourself, we recommend Rainy Pass Repair in Seattle, or taking the wash instructions to your local cleaner.


Please thoroughly read our warranty and repair policy, and contact us for a return authorization (RA) prior to sending your item in for repair. Because we are focused on manufacturing, there may be periods during which we are not accepting repairs, or when repairs are taking longer than usual (up to 4 months).


DOWN BEDDING


What is the difference between the 700+ Fill Power Comforters and 850+ Fill Power Comforters?

All of our down bedding -- both comforters and pillows -- is offered with either 700+ Fill Power Down or 850+ Fill Power Down. Both are over 90% white goose down sourced from Eastern Europe and certified under the Responsible Down Standard. Both are excellent, but for people looking for the absolute best, 850+ fill power is the way to go. If you’re struggling to choose between them, remember that larger down plumes (those higher fill power numbers) retain more heat than smaller plumes, so 850+ fill power down will provide a little extra warmth compared to the 700+ fill power. 

If you like a tad bit less warmth to your comforter or are looking for a more affordable option for all-around use, choose a 700+ fill power comforter. If you want the ultimate in quality, luxury, and warmth, 850+ is the series for you. 

You can learn more about down fill power and fill weight on our down page, and more about how we construct our comforters on our down comforter guide.


Do I need a Medium or a Light comforter? 

If you’re stuck between ordering a Medium weight or a Light weight comforter, you’re not alone! You’ll need to think about a number of factors, including how warm you sleep (and your sleeping partner, if you have one -- pets count, too!), how warm you keep your bedroom, and whether you’d like to use your comforter just in the winter or all year-round. If you’re in a temperate state like Washington, Oregon, or California, or in the Deep South, especially Texas or Florida, you’ll want to think about the Light weight. You might also consider the Light if you keep your bedroom warm (at or above 65°) or sleep warm, or if you plan on using your comforter as a year-round component of your sleep system. If you know that you run a little colder or need to use your comforter in some colder temperatures, go for the Medium. Looking for something for even warmer environments, check out our Summer-Weight Bavarian comforter. Whatever you decide, we have a 30-day return policy to make sure that the comforter you order is the right weight for you.


What is the difference between Baffled Box and Bavarian comforters?

The difference is all in the construction: Baffled box comforters have vertical baffle walls along the seam lines, creating a “box” of down in each chamber. This allows the down to loft more even throughout the chambers, maximizing heat retention and creating a flat finish. Bavarian comforters are sewn through both layers of fabric at the seam lines, preventing any down from shifting between chambers and creating a more quilted look. For more information about comforter construction and the benefits of each style, check out our down comforter guide.


Do I need to use a duvet cover for my comforter?

Your comforter will last longer if you use a cover, but many people like the look of a down comforter without a cover. The duvet cover does tend to even out any potential cold spots along seam lines and extend the life of the comforter shell fabric, but it’s not an essential item. Just keep in mind that if you know you’re going to need to wash your bedding frequently (if, for example, you have pets or young children), it’s better (and easier) to wash a cover than a comforter.


Does my duvet cover need to exactly fit the dimensions of your comforters?

In short: no. If you’re looking at a duvet cover that isn’t a Feathered Friends cover, it may be a couple inches shorter or longer in either direction than the dimensions we provide for our comforters, and that’s just fine. We cut our comforters just a bit larger than the standard size (and our duvet covers to match), but don’t worry! Our comforters will still fit a standard size duvet cover. Just remember that the smaller the duvet cover you use, the puffier your comforter will appear!


My comforter shifts inside of its cover. What can I do?

We’ve got you covered (literally)! Our comforters have loops sewn into each corner that are compatible with any duvet cover (including our cotton duvet cover) that has ties. Simply run the ties through the comforter loops, tie a bow, and enjoy a securely fastened comforter/duvet cover system!



BILLING


Will I be charged now or when the item ships?

Feathered Friends is a small, family-operated business, which means that in order to stay ahead of orders, almost all of our manufacturing remains in a state of partial production until it is ordered. Generally, when you place an order online, you are physically assigned a specific item (sometimes the last of its kind for the current run!) that is put in line to be finished, which is what that lead time is all about. In order to secure you that item and finish it, we do require that you pay for it in advance, so you should see a charge go through within 1-2 business days of your ordering.


My card has been charged twice!

If you’re checking your bank statement within a few days of having completed your purchase and you see two charges, you’re likely seeing both the actual charge for your item(s), plus the pre-authorization charge levied by your bank before a purchase is authorized (usually to ensure that you have the funds to complete a purchase before payment is transmitted to a vendor). Pre-authorization charges remain pending for 1-2 business days, then drop off from your balance. If you’ve attempted to purchase an item on our website multiple times and encountered an error (such as AVS mismatch), you will have a pre-authorization charge levied for each attempt. If a charge remains for more than a few days, or if you are having trouble ordering online, please contact us.


How do I change/cancel my order?

We understand that sometimes, circumstances change. Maybe you’ve just come back from a meditation retreat and realized that you’ve ordered a sleeping bag you don’t need (true story), or failed to notice that you selected an Arctic comforter for summertime in your New York apartment (also true). If you need to make changes to or cancel your order, please contact us as soon as possible, and we will do our best to accommodate your request. If your order has already shipped, your cancellation becomes a return, and you are liable for any shipping charges required to return the item to us.


RETURNS


When can I expect my refund to be processed?

Please allow 1-2 business days from the time your return arrives in our Seattle store for your refund to be processed. Be sure to hang onto the tracking number you receive at the time you ship your return in order to confirm that the item arrived safely, or to file a claim in the case of a lost package.


Do you provide return shipping labels?

We do not provide return shipping labels for standard returns. Please use whichever shipping method is most convenient for you, as long as that service provides a tracking number. Follow the directions found on our Returns & Exchanges page to start a return. 


It’s been more than 30 days since I received my item. Can I still return it?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to accommodate requests for returns on items outside of our 30-day, new condition return policy. This also applies to custom items, used items, and all technical climbing gear purchased online or in our Seattle store.