Crux - Polish goose down
Crux down products are filled with goose down which comes from a single supplier in Poland, namely a vertical, fully-integrated producer of goose meat, for whom down is a valuable by-product. Crux use only Polish goose down because they can guarantee the integrity of the means of its collection, and the quality of the fill power.
The down is ethically collected (i.e. after the birds are killed) and there is no forced feeding.
Poland bans both live-plucking and force-feeding practices, the two main areas of ethical concerns. Our supplier is a producer of goose-meat, their major export market being Germany. They have a vertical operation, which means they have complete control over the breeding, raising and killing processes of geese. Down is a very valuable by-product of their business.
Crux uses four qualities of down: 750, 800, 850 and 900 fillpower.
Why Crux does not use “water-resistant” down? Crux claims: "Not only is this environmentally suspect (in most cases) and of only shortterm effectiveness (in other cases), but we also believe that it misleads consumers. To stay warm, you need to stay dry. Which is why keeping water away from the Polish goose down in our sleeping bags and down clothing remains paramount in Crux design philosophy."
Down comes from domestic birds (wild birds have down too, of course, but this is far more difficult to collect!). Domestic birds - chicken, turkeys, ducks, geese - are available all around the world, and the collection of down is practiced everywhere. To obtain a fill power of 500 or above, it is widely acknowledged that the best source of down is waterfowl - ducks or geese.
The common view is that goose down is best. In fact, at the lower end of the fill-power spectrum, e.g. at 600 FP, there is no difference between duck down and goose down. A duck down with a fill power above 750 is rare, however, and it is here that goose down truly comes into its own. For high-performance sleeping bags with fill powers greater than 750, the source of down will inevitably be geese.
Fill power can be highly variable even in the case of goose down, however. Environment and the age of the bird are two major determining factors in this respect. It is widely believed that the colder the climate, the better the quality of the down. This may be true, but it remains to be definitively proven and it certainly does not mean that high-quality down is not available from warmer climates - because it is.
The age of the bird is very important. Since down collection is usually a by-product of the meat industry, most down comes from (increasingly) young birds. However, the very best down - i.e. with a fill power of 750 or more - comes from mature birds, which have larger down clusters and more of them. Poland is recognised as the source of the best goose down in the world.
Down “quality” is often additionally expressed by the ratio of down to small feather, written as 90/10, 95/5 etc. This is of no relevance. If a fill power of 800 is quoted, then the actual mix of down to small feather is not only unimportant, but it stands to reason that the ratio is more likely to be 95/5 than 85/15.