Having quality, high-performance insulation is essential when you need to face up to difficult weather conditions in the mountains, and down fill, with its excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, is a useful material to turn to for this. The problem with it, however, is that it can be useless if it's not looked after properly.

That's where Nikwax Down Wash Direct comes in.

Now, we know it can be hard to get hyped on a cleaning product. Nobody likes doing the dishes. And not many people actually like doing laundry either. It’s arguably the worst part of any adventure. Barring one other part, of course. The part when you get out in the wild, your down jacket or sleeping bag fails to perform its duties and you get cold, wet or both.

“They’ve got a detergent or treatment to extend the life and enhance the performance of just about every item of your outdoor wear, from boots to baselayers."

Nikwax Down Direct is a way of cleaning your down kit safely and efficiently in just one single step. What's crucial is that it's able prevent down from clumping together after it's been washed, so when you next need your sleeping bag or down jacket on the hill, its insulation will still be lively and effective.

It's secondary benefit is that it can help to restore the water-repellent coating on outer fabrics on a down sleeping bag or jacket by washing away the stuff that tends to prevent it from working – things like dirt, gravel and natural oils.

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And it does all of this without using chemicals that are harmful to you, the jacket/sleeping bag, or even the environment.

It’s the same story with the rest of Nikwax’s range of cleaning and protection products. They’ve got a detergent or treatment to extend the life and enhance the performance of just about every item of your outdoor wear, from boots to baselayers, and each one is guaranteed to be 100 per cent free of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) – an environmentally hazardous chemical used all too often in water repellent treatments.

Nikwax’s eco credentials span even further as well. They don’t test any of their formulas on animals, they use no propellant gases or persistent chemicals, and in early 2017 they announced that they'd managed to offset any greenhouse gas emissions over their 40-years of operation through the protection and restoration of carbon-rich wildlife habitats.

Nikwax Down Wash Direct (300ml)

Price: £4-7
Weight: 225g
More info: nikwax.com