Sponsor Spotlight No.10 – Mountaineering Designs


I have always loved the mountains; running up them, walking over them, camping in them, reading, talking or dreaming about them, I have always loved the mountains.

When I first started mountaineering, when I was about 10 years old, my first ever sleeping bag was a £10 synthetic camouflage sleeping bag, out of the catalogue!
I loved it, but to be honest, for more serious stuff, it was a bit inadequate.
The first time I used a down sleeping bag, it was like a revelation. I rented a down sleeping bag for a Scottish Winter climbing trip; it kept me snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug.
So much warmth, yet a bag that packed so small. Simply amazing.

I saved up for my own bag and now have two good Rab sleeping bags, plus two toasty warm Alpkit duvet jackets.

I was up at Sandside a few weeks back, in a beautiful corner of the South Lakes. It is a place I have loved going to, ever since I was a child, with endless opportunities for running, biking, climbing, walking (and also birdwatching, if you are of the twitcher kind, the Kent Estuary and nearby Leighton Moss are two such hotspots).

By a chain of events, I ended up at Mountaineering Designs.
I needed our two down bags cleaning before the rally, its the kind of job one puts off and puts off. Put simply, it improves the performance of the equipment and increases its lifespan. Although one can do it oneself, there is not a lot of margin for error, getting it wrong can be a costly affair.
Jay at Alpkit.com told me about Mountaineering Designs. They sounded like a friendly professional company, so I got in touch.

A family based enterprise, based in the South Lakes, offering sterling Customer Service and friendly advice, with over 40 years of knowledge and experience. Regeneration specialists of down equipment.
Good quality down gear is not cheap, and it needs to be entrusted to the very best, if it is to continue to keep you warm and function for many years to come.

Mountaineering Designs offer a totally natural and environmental cleaning service to clean and remove odours, ground in dirt and stains without damaging any down, in fact, the down is revitalised and lofts back to its original standard.
PH neutral, a natural softener is incorporated to give soft and static free down equipment.
The natural detergent used is phosphate, formaldehyde and petrochemical free.

When I started cooking up the idea of our Mongol Rally, I made a small list of all the companies that I had used over the years, and wrote to them offering a link on our website, advertising space on our Micra, shameless plugging/social networking of their brand/service/products, in return for any gear/services that they could offer us for our trip (with full reviews/pics of any gear). Sponsorship is a two-way thing. Companies get constantly barraged by people asking for gear-for-nothing, for nothing-in-return! Although our crack at the Mongol Rally is not a blindfold ascent of Breathless, it is something a little bit different that may catch peoples eyes (as I am hoping that our increasingly pimped Silver Streak Rally Micra will do too!)

A good nights sleep is essential to performance. If we are grumpy/grouchy, the Mongol Rally could be a bit of a long slog. From a safety point of view, tiredness could be very dangerous indeed, when taking on some of the Worlds worst roads.

We are looking forward to sleeping in our rejuvenated sleeping bags and also to sing the praises of Dave and his team from the rooftops of UlaanBaatar, and everywhere else in between.

If you need to get any down gear cleaned before (or after) the Mongol Rally, or for any other of your outdoors adventures, you would be crazy not to check out their website.
Tell them I sent you :-)


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