Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my order take? | Can I customise your designs, or design my own jacket or sleeping bag from scratch? | Do you offer any discount? | Can I return it if it doesn't fit? | How do I measure myself for PHD clothing/sleeping bags? | What is a 'TOT' and how does it compare to the EN ratings? | I'm a cold sleeper, do I need to choose a warmer bag | How do I care for and clean my down jacket and sleeping bag? | Do you use hydrophobic down? | What fill weight of down is in your products? | Can I visit you for a fitting or to collect my order?
We aim to make everything as quickly as we can! Everything is made to order though, so exact timings will vary. As a guide:
- Standard orders take around 20 WORKING days to make, ready for dispatch. This includes most of the sale items too.
- Items in the limited Ready Made range are dispatched within 5 days.
- Custom made items – including Design Your Own Sleeping Bags and Jackets – take around 45 days.
Demand is often high so in some cases it may take longer. If you have a deadline or departure date though, please do contact us: we always do our best to accommodate.
We can often make sizing alterations – and in some cases make minor changes to features or fabrics – on most of the products on our main site too. Give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll discuss what you need.
We should point out though that we can’t make completely bespoke items: it’s just too costly and time consuming to create new patterns and develop new products from scratch.
Yes: we run a Customer Loyalty Scheme through our main website. Once you’ve spent £500 on products online, you qualify for a 10% discount on full-price purchases through the main website for the remainder of that year and the whole of the next year.
Absolutely. We’re happy to advise on sizing, but we realise that sometimes the fit won’t be quite what you’re looking for. All of our standard products – including Sale and Bargain Box items – can be returned within 30 days of delivery for an exchange or full refund (just make sure they’re unused and in their original packaging).
You’ll find a breakdown of measurements and sizing on each product page: look for the Sizing tab in the product description. The body measurements we use are shown in this diagram.
When we talk about chest size, what we need is the widest part of your torso. This is usually the chest as measured on the diagram, but of course, people come in all shapes and sizes!
More detail about exactly how and where to measure can be found in our general Sizing Guide.
The TOT is the Typical Operating Temperature: the minimum temperature at which you should be able to get a night’s sleep under normal circumstances. It’s arrived at through a combination of real-world field tests – Peter Hutchinson has been gathering usage data since 1962 – and calculations based on the insulating properties of the bag’s materials and design. Of course, ‘normal’ and ‘typical’ are very subjective terms, so a temperature rating can only ever be a guide; we’re more than happy to advise if you need help choosing the right bag.
There is no exact comparison between a TOT and the EN13537 figures you may see on some other bags: EN figures are based on laboratory tests done with a plastic mannequin, and they don’t cover bags rated below -25c.
TOT ratings for clothing are even more subjective that these for sleeping bags: the weather and your activity levels have a huge effect on how cold you actually feel. Essentially, the TOT is the minimum temperature for which an item is likely to be suitable, when used for low to moderate activity and short static periods. If you’re standing around for hours then you’ll feel colder and need to consider a lower TOT; if you’re expending a lot of energy you’ll feel much hotter.
So, while clothing TOTs can only ever be a rough guide, they’re nevertheless a good starting point and they allow useful comparison between our different garments.
The Typical Operating Temperature you’ll see on each bag is a useful starting point, but remember that’s Typical: if you know you tend to feel the cold then you’ll probably need to look at something rated for lower temperatures. Feel free to get in touch and we’ll discuss what you need.
Down gear has a bit of an unfair reputation for being difficult to look after, but it’s not that scary! Keep it loose rather than compressed when it’s not in use, and if it gets wet, make sure it’s dried very thoroughly: damp clumps of down won’t trap any warm air, and will eventually decay.
Like all your equipment, it needs to be kept clean, and once again, the key is making sure you dry it thoroughly. This is where professional cleaning services often have the advantage, but it can certainly be done at home with a little care. For more details on cleaning (and cleaners) take a look at our Down Cleaning Guide.
We are currently monitoring the development of hydrophobic downs, in which DWR (Durable Water Repellent) chemical treatments are used as a coating. The idea is that the treatment both slows down water absorption and stiffens the tendrils of the down cluster to increase fill power. However, the longevity of treated down and the speed of deterioration of fill power is a concern to us.
High quality, well processed natural downs are actually already very hydrophobic. In addition, we make many of our products in water resistant fabrics to protect the down from condensation found in tents and snow holes. And where necessary, to protect even further, we offer fully taped waterproof shells.
For a variety of reasons, we don't give information on the fill weights of our down. For ease of comparison and to indicate suitable use, we give a TOT rating (Typical Operating Temperature) for all our sleeping bags and clothing.
We put a lot of effort into monitoring the quantity and quality of our down – we are (as far as we know!) the only company in UK with a Lorch machine for testing fillpower – and every piece of kit we make is hand-filled. However, different types of fabric and construction techniques also have a big influence on the way the down is able to ‘loft’ (the way it expands to create an insulating chamber of warm air) so the bare statistics can be misleading and we don't quote them.
We do manufacture everything in the UK, but unfortunately our workshop is very much an industrial space and as such really isn’t suitable for visits. If there are any details you want to discuss though, we’re more than happy to do so by phone or email.