With nothing on the horizon at the moment, I thought it would be a good idea to undertake some gear maintenance.
I haven’t used my 3rd Element Jacket recently, but I’m thinking of using it for the Challenge. I like the flexibility of being able to use it as a gilet. It’s also great for showery weather as a very water resistant soft shell. Being able to use it as a gilet means I can use a hard shell over it (probably my OMM Cypher). This gives me more options to cope with variable weather.
However, the velcro that secures the chest pocket flaps has come loose. Rather than repair it myself, I contacted Paramo. Not only will they repair it for free, they will also clean it for no charge. Whatever you might think about Paramo, you can’t fault their customer service. So today, I’ve posted it to Paramo.
The second bit of gear that needs attention is my Alpkit Pipedream 400 sleeping bag. I know some people have had poor experiences of Pipedreams, but mine has been quite superb. The down seems to be remarkably high quality and the loft excellent, although not quite up to Western Mountaineering or Rab levels.
Inevitably, sleeping bags get a bit dirty and acquire a bit of a smell. So I’ve sent my Pipedream off to be cleaned by Elite Cleaning Services in Rotherham. They are recommended by Rab, which gives me a good level of comfort that they will do a good job.
I had been mulling whether to replace my sleeping bags with a couple of hydrophobic down bags when they are available (one for summer and a three season one). However, Elite Cleaning uses a Granger’s wash in proofing on the final rinse.
I’ll give it a splash test, but I suspect that I won’t bother with new sleeping bags. If Elite do a good job, I’ll use them to clean my other bags. I know some people wash their sleeping bags at home, but a sleeping bag is too large for our washing machine and tumble drier.
Also box walls are more delicate than the stitch through walls of a down jacket like the PHD Minimus, so I prefer to use experts with the right equipment. I will report back when the Pipedream returns.
Disclosure: I have no relationship, financial or otherwise with Elite Cleaning Services or Paramo