When down gets wet, it will lose most of its insulation properties but this is where Hydrophobic down comes in - this is a relatively new concept and the purpose is to solve the main drawback of 'regular' down, which is it's lack of effectiveness when wet.

Hydrophobic down has been treated with a durable water repellent that enables the down to dry quicker and resist water for longer, meaning it will perform better in damp conditions. This makes down jackets that utilise hydrophobic down more versatile, as they can be used in cold, damp conditions without being damaged, which is great for the British climate.

Jackets using hydrophobic down tend to be slightly more expensive, as it is another process and expense for the manufacturer. Whether or not you need hydrophobic down depends on personal preference and whether you feel this is a feature you need, although more and more manufacturers are using hydrophobic down in their products.

Advantages over regular down:

  • Absorbs less water/repels water for longer
  • Dries quicker
  • Retains loft when damp, keeping you warm

Below is a list of the brands we stock that utilise hydrophobic down:

RABRab down products now all exclusively use Fluorocarbon free, Nikwax Hydrophobic down. This is the latest incarnation and development in down technology and once again Rab are at the forefront of this development. We have worked closely with our down suppliers to develop Hydrophobic treatments that are uniquely mixed for each down type and fill. The Hydrophobic treatment is there to provide an extra piece of mind when in extreme conditions, providing added protection in wet conditions.

Q.Shield hydrophobic down is giant leap forward in down performance. We infuse down fibres with a permanent water repellency that helps maintain insulating performance even when exposed to moisture.

MARMOTThe Marmot Down Defender treatment coats individual plumes of the down clusters with a DWR (durable water repellent) at the molecular level. It puts a hydrophobic layer on each individual plume of the cluster.This treatment is done during the down cleaning process. This specially treated highly water-resistant down offers an extra level of moisture protection for down garments and sleeping bags exposed to wet environments.

DownTek™ water-repellent down shields your insulation layers from all things wet. Our proprietary, cationic treatment creates surface tension on the down cluster. When molecules of moisture encounter DownTek™, the moisture is forced to collect into a sphere shape and roll off the down cluster rather than adhering to and soaking into it.


Pioneered by Berghaus, Hydrodown™ is a revolutionary new take on nature’s greatest insulator. By treating goose down with a durable water repellent (DWR), we’ve created a material that resists rain longer, dries quicker, and retains its insulation even when it’s damp. And just like untreated down, it has amazing warmth-to weight ratio which no synthetic alternative has come close to matching.