Frequently Asked QuestionsPhoto: Hans Kristian Krogh-Hanssen
Here you will find answers to the most common questions we receive about products, terms of purchase and social responsibility.
Questions relating to products, maintenance, washing and warranty.
MODELS AND SIZES:
- Are there any products that are looser than others?
Yes, there are models that are both tighter and looser than the 'standard'.When this is the case, we specify this in the description of the product.
- Are there pants with a longer/shorter pant length than others?
Yes, some pant models come with both short (-5 cm) and long (+7 cm) legs in addition to the standard pant length. When this is the case, we specify this in the description of the product. Our web shop also offers the option of filtering pants according to your desired pant length; short, long, or standard.
- Are there products that come in large sizes?
Jackets: We have several models in our range that go up to XXXL for men and XXL for women. Some women's jackets are not so tight in the waist and therefore appear to be more spacious than most other women's jackets in the range. Pants: We have several models in our range that go up to XXXL for men and XXL for women. In addition, we have some pant models that come with a standard, long (+7 cm), and short (-5 cm) pant length. Women can also take advantage of the option of using our men's models. Men's models are straighter and in many cases turn out to be a better fit for tall women than the standard women's models.
- Are there jackets that are longer than others?
Yes, there are jackets that are longer than others. When this is the case, we specify this in the description of the product.
- What is the advantage of down?
Down is unique. Down provides the best insulation in relation to its own weight. It is also breathable. It is very light and compresses into a small volume for packing purposes.
Down has a very high insulation value in relation to its weight, as well as high compressibility.
- What is fill power?
The insulating property of down in relation to its weight is directly related to its loft, which again depends on its ability to expand after being packed in a compressed state. This expansion or fill power is most often stated as a figure (cuin = cubic inches per ounce). The higher this figure, the better. Downs that insulate better than the best synthetic fibers generally have a fill power of 500 cuin or more.
- How is fill power measured?
The method we use for testing fill power is: IDFB/Lorch Cylinder (in³/30g), steam IDFB-10-B. The test is conducted by placing down into a glass cylinder with a loose lid on top. The lid presses the mixture together, and when the lid remains still the cylinder indicates the volume taken up by the down mixture.
- What is a down mixture?
Down mixtures are stated as the percentage of down in relation to feathers. A 90/10 mixture contains 90% down and 10% feathers. To achieve maximum heat insulation per weight unit (e.g., in expedition products), we use a higher down mixture of 95/5.
- How should I store my down jacket?
When they are not used, down jackets should be stored hanging rather than in packing bags or compressed under other clothes or equipment over a long period of time.
- Are down jackets watertight?
In general, all of our down jackets are made in water-repellent or watertight fabric.Hence down jackets without taped seams are not 100% watertight.
- What is Dermizax®?
Dermizax® is a waterproof, windproof, and breathable membrane that has been specially developed to provide protection against all kinds of weather while remaining as comfortable as possible. Dermizax® membrane is a hydrophilic material that utilizes moving molecules, as opposed to most other membranes, which have micropores.
- What are the differences between different Dermizax® membranes?
The greatest difference between Dermizax® and Dermizax® NX is that the wicking ability of the NX membrane is twice as high (30,000-50,000 g/m2 per 24 hours for 2 layers), yet it nevertheless still maintains the high water-tightness the Dermizax® membrane is known for (minimum 20 meters). You can read more about our different membranes and materials here.
- What is Bergans Element®?
Bergans Element® is Bergans' own membrane and is available in two types. Bergans Element® and Bergans Element® Active are waterproof, windproof, and breathable high-quality membranes.
Bergans Element® withstands a water column of at least 5,000 mm and has a wicking ability of at least 5,000 g/m2/24h.Garments featuring a Bergans Element® membrane are intended for moderate activity in tough weather conditions. Bergans Element® Active withstands a water column of at least 10,000 mm and has a wicking ability of at least 10,000 g/m2/24h.Garments featuring a Bergans Element® Active membrane have been developed for moderate to high-intensity activity in extreme weather conditions.
- What is the difference between Bergans Element® and Dermizax®?
Both products with Bergans Element® and Dermizax®are waterproof, windproof, and have a high wicking ability.However, Bergans Element® has lower breathability and water resistance than Dermizax®. You can read more about our different membranes and materials here.
- What is a water column?
The waterproofing, or water resistance, of a textile or membrane is measured by the height of water which can be suspended above the fabric before it seeps through. In other words, it is the material’s resistance to water pressure. The degree of waterproofing is stated as the height in millimeters of the suspended water column at the moment when the water penetrates the garment.
Bergans rates 5,000 mm as the lower limit for a garment to be termed waterproof. However, all things are relative in waterproofing, since it also depends on how much wear and tear the garment is subjected to. The higher the water column above 5,000 mm, the greater the impact the garment will stand up to before the water seeps in.
- What does breathability/wicking ability mean?
This is the membrane's ability to absorb condensation/water molecules and transport them to the outer fabric.In vapor form, water exists in the form of individual molecules, which are much smaller than water drops. This allows moisture to escape out, while preventing water drops from penetrating into the garment. The membrane must be warm to prevent the water vapors from condensing and coalescing into water drops.This does NOT mean that you need to have a lot of clothes on under a garment with a membrane as you will not warm up the membrane this way.It is also important to have a layer right next to the skin that wicks moisture away from the body.
- How is breathability measured?
This is carried out in a laboratory.Values are stated in g/m²/24h. This means that a square meter of fabric is capable of transporting x number of grams of water vapor per 24 hours.If a membrane has a breathability of 20,000 g/m²/24h, then it will let off more moisture than 10,000 g/m²/24h. This depends on the outer fabric, what kind of clothes you have underneath, the temperature, the structure of the garment, and what kind of activity you are engaged in.
- The fur collar won't attach to the jacket.
There is a thin layer of protective fabric on the fur collar's Velcro. You have to remove the strip to be able to attach the fur collar to the jacket.
MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE
- The product is defective/deficient/damaged - what do I do?
Regardless of what is wrong with the product; defect, deficiency, damage etc., you must return the product to the store it was purchased from.
- There is down falling out of my jacket, what do I do?
It is not abnormal for a down garment to leak a little down. There is down in the seams when the jacket is new, so it may leak a bit in the beginning, but this should gradually abate over time. If a feather comes out through the fabric, you should push it back in rather than pulling it out. This prevents you from creating holes where more down can come through.
- What do I do if my down jacket has got a tear / a hole?
Every new jacket includes a small repair patch with instructions so you can patch the hole / tear yourself. If the patch is missing, send us an e-mail with name / number on the jacket and color, and we will send you a repair patch.
- Will dark down be visible through the fabric?
Yes, the down will be visible through the fabric in certain colors. This is because there will be the odd down that is darker in color. As we use particularly thin and lightweight fabrics to make the jacket as comfortable and lightweight as possible, the fabric will be slightly transparent. Thus, the darker down will be slightly visible through the fabric. The main focus has been the functionality of the jacket.
Down is a natural material and there will always be variations in its color, even with high quality white down.
- How do I wash my down jacket?
Close all zippers and turn the garment inside out before putting it into the washing machine.Use Milo wool detergent or another down detergent.Use 1/3 of the normal amount of detergent and wash at 30 degrees on a gentle cycle.Rinse at least 5 times to remove all residue of the detergent. This will prevent the down from forming clumps.Spin for approx. 30 seconds and then tumble dry at a maximum temperature of 60 degrees.Put 4 or 5 tennis balls inside the dryer drum to break up the down.It is important that the jacket does not remain in water for an extended period.If you have a condenser dryer, it is important that you empty the container of water before you initiate the drying cycle.This ensures faster drying of the jacket.
- The down clumps together even though I did use tennis balls; what do I do?
Rinse the jacket thoroughly again.Soap residue makes down clump together.
- My product is leaking. What do I do?
If you think that there is a defect in the product, see the headings under MAINTENANCE AND SERVICE.
Be aware of the fact that when you wear a shell jacket or pants during high levels of activity in cold weather, you may experience condensation forming on the inside of the garment. When heat meets a cold surface, the effect is basically the same as when you breathe on a cold window. Condensation may form both on the surface of or inside the fabric and will affect the wicking of moisture.
However, after using a garment and washing it in a washing machine several times, the fabric's water repellency may be impaired. It pays to re-impregnate the outer fabric with impregnation designed for breathable synthetic materials, to ensure that the garment surface repels water more quickly and that it maintains its good breathability. For garments with a membrane, we recommend that you use an impregnation spray rather than wash-in impregnation.Wash-in impregnation seals the fabric on both sides, which may cause the membrane to lose some of its functionality.
- Must shell products be impregnated? How can I impregnate my shell product?
(Dermizax®, Entrant, and Bergans Element)
All shell fabrics have a waterproof membrane on the inside – this is what makes the fabric waterproof.The outer side of the fabric has been given a water-repellent treatment so that water bounces off and does not penetrate into the outer fabric.
However, after using a garment and washing it in a washing machine several times, the fabric's water repellency may be impaired. If the outer fabric absorbs water and gets wet, the jacket may appear cold. This also makes it easier for water to condense.
It pays to re-impregnate the outer fabric with impregnation designed for breathable synthetic materials, to ensure that the garment surface repels water more quickly and that it maintains its good breathability. For garments with a membrane, we recommend that you use an impregnation spray rather than wash-in impregnation. Wash-in impregnation seals the fabric on both sides, which may cause the membrane to lose some of its functionality.
How should shell products be washed? (Dermizax®, Entrant, and Bergans Element)
Close all zippers and turn the garment inside out before putting it into the washing machine. When you wash shell products, we recommend an extra rinse cycle to ensure the removal of all soap residue. Do not use fabric softener! Do not twist or spin the garments! Drip-dry only.
Unlike all other materials, Dermizax®fabric preserves its properties even when dirty and after contact with salt water.The reason is that Dermizax® does not have pores that can be clogged. The high quality of the membrane thereby endures even after innumerable washes with regular washing powder.
Read more about impregnation under How can I impregnate my shell product? (Dermizax®, Entrant, and Bergans Element)
- Can I wash my rucksack?
Your rucksack is machine-washable. Set the washing machine to 40 °C, gentle cycle. Use Milo wool detergent or a similar detergent without enzymes. Do not spin. Remove the aluminum rails, if any, attach the clips to each other, and tighten the straps a bit before washing. If the rucksack is large, you can also wash it in a basin or a bathtub. Reinsert the aluminum rails while the rucksack is still wet. Drip-dry after washing.
- How do I wash my Bergans tent?
Bergans tents are washable. Wash by hand in a large tub using water at a maximum temperature of 30°C. Detergents should be avoided unless the tent is very dirty. If it is necessary to use detergents,
the mildest type should be used. Enzyme-based agents may harm the coating and should be avoided.
- What do I do if I have ski wax stain on my jacket?
Ski wax stains on jackets can be removed with a citrus-based wax remover.
- My product has a defective zipper. What do I do?
If you have a jacket with a 2-way zipper, check that both zipper pulls are all the way down the zipper before you try to close it.If it still won't close, get in touch with your dealer.If the product has been purchased in our web shop, follow the return instructions there. Be aware that the new zipper may have a different color if the product is an old model.In this case, we will choose the nearest color, or black. Remember that the product must be newly washed/clean before shipping.
- Can I use shell jackets from the summer and winter collections all year round and what is the difference between them?
Our shell jackets are waterproof, windproof, and breathable. They can therefore be used all year round, regardless of the season.The difference is that our winter jackets have a somewhat thicker outer fabric, are more spacious (to provide room for a midlayer), and have ski details.
Moisture/condensation in jacket or pants?
When you wear a shell jacket or pants during high levels of activity in cold weather, you may experience condensation forming on the inside of the garment. Condensation may form both on the surface of or inside the fabric and will affect the wicking of moisture. It is important to consider what you wear underneath the garment.We recommend 100% Merino wool, synthetic fibers, or a mixture of the two as an innermost layer.
The amount of heat or sweat produced varies with each individual person.This is why it is important to remember to use the ventilation zipper if your garment is fitted with one.
Moisture/condensation inside an insulated jacket or pants?
When you wear an insulated jacket or pants during high levels of activity in cold weather, you may experience condensation forming on the inside of the garment. Condensation may form both on the surface of or inside the fabric and will affect the wicking of moisture. The membrane in the garment will not breathe at low temperatures. Since the garment is lined, it will take a long time before the heat reaches all the way to the outermost layer, and this will normally not happen when the temperature is lower than approx. –5 °C (the exact temperature varies depending on person and activity).
- How do I find product specifications for a product?
In the web shop, there is a tab with product information for each individual product.
Questions relating to the environment, production and commitment.
Bergans and PFOA
What is perfluorooctanoic acid?
PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) is one of the chemicals that form the family of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated organic compounds. Our industry uses PFOA for giving textile surfaces lasting dirt and water-repellency. The treatment's designation is Durable Water Repellent finish (DWR), and it makes the water bounce off the textile instead of penetrating inside and making it wet. This treatment has been a key and effective element in the treatment of waterproof fabrics for more than 30 years. PFOA is also used in a number of other products, for example as a coating on frying pans as well as in paints, curtains, food packaging, and electronic products.
Is PFOA hazardous?
Skin contact with products containing PFOA has not been proven to exert any negative effect on human health. The amount of these substances in textiles is extremely small anyway, and there is therefore no risk in using clothing treated with PFOA. On the other hand, PFOA is used in many different products and is a substance that decomposes extremely slowly over time. As a result, the substance accumulates in the environment and may end up in the human body through contaminated air and water. The health authorities have proven the potential negative effects of PFOA on human health, which is why we want to take own responsibility by phasing the substance out of our products.
PFOA legal requirements
The Norwegian authorities have decided to ban the import and sales of textiles containing more than 1 μg/m2 of PFOA from June 1, 2014. The EU is expected to impose a similar ban, but no time frame has yet been set for its implementation.
- What does Bergans do?
We have long been working on phasing out PFOA and are therefore giving our full support to this ban. We have switched over to a different treatment that makes fabrics water and dirt-repellent without resorting to PFOA. The transition has been anything but quick. As a part of the process, we have tested all of our products – both at external, independent laboratories and in practical use under all weather conditions in order to ensure that they meet both the requirements of the law and our own and our customers' quality and functionality requirements.
- Does Bergans think about the environment when it chooses materials for its products?
We believe that, in choosing the right materials, we can make a difference from the very start. We use organic cotton and recycled materials wherever possible, or materials that can be easily recycled in the future. A lot of exciting research is being undertaken into new, innovative materials and we are always on the lookout for new and interesting materials that are less harmful to the environment.
- Does Bergans think about animal welfare when it manufactures its products?
Animal welfare is one of the issues we have incorporated into our ethical guidelines. We currently have several focus areas. Mulesing in relation to wool, plucking live geese for their down, genuine leather and whether this should be a byproduct of food production – and, we only use synthetic fur.
- Does Bergans use down from live animals?
None of our down has been plucked from live geese or geese exposed to forced feeding, and we strongly disassociate ourselves from such methods. We have written agreements with our suppliers/producers where they give their guarantee that our guidelines have been followed.This is something we also follow up on very carefully during factory visits.
Ever since we began producing down sleeping bags and down jackets, we have specified to our producers that all down used by them for our products must be a biproduct of the food industry.You can read more about this under Corporate Social Responsibility, Material Selections and our Code of Conduct. In addition, all of our deliveries of down are tested at the IDFL (International Down & Feather Laboratory) prior to production to guarantee the good quality and purity of the down.
- Does Bergans use fur?
We use only "artificial fur".This is a fur-like material made from synthetic fibers that does not originate from animals.
- What is Bergans' stance on mulesing and animal protection?
We do not accept mulesing.We use only suppliers who give us certificates that their Merino wool does not come from sheep exposed to mulesing.
- What is Bergans' stance on ethical trade?
Bergans has been a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative Norway (IEH) since 2009. By becoming members, we have pledged and committed ourselves to working in strict compliance with the IEH's ethical guidelines for purchasing and to making improvements when it comes to human rights, employment rights, development, and the environment in our own supplier chain.
- What does Bergans do to ensure that its ethical guidelines are observed?
We acknowledge that it can be difficult for suppliers to fulfill all our requirements right away. Our most important strategy is to facilitate a transparent two-way communication, which we supplement with visits and inspections at factories. We have employees in both Hong Kong and at our head office in Norway who visit factories and implement action plans for improvement when this is necessary. We focus on what needs to be improved and support our suppliers in the short and long-term process. Our membership of the IEH provides us with support and resources to use in this work.
- How does Bergans demonstrate corporate social responsibility?
As a major supplier of outdoor equipment and leisure clothing, Bergans is committed to protecting the environment. We are conscious of our corporate social responsibility and aware that everything we do affects the environment. We work actively with challenges regarding ethics, the environment, and corporate social responsibility, both within and outside the company. The purpose of this work is to ensure that Bergans protects natural resources and contributes to sustainable development. In design and development, our focus lies on selecting materials that reduce the environmental impact of our products.In addition, we place strict requirements on the chemical content of these materials and work together with our suppliers to find good solutions that minimize the use of chemicals. We perform on-site environmental and health and safety inspections of our suppliers, and implement improvement measures to ensure that they maintain good conditions and live up to our requirements. Yet another element of our responsibility is our focus on energy efficiency, waste management, transportation, and logistics improvements, all of which are aimed at reducing emissions and our overall environmental impact.
- Are workers who manufacture Bergans' products guaranteed a living wage?
We require the minimum wage to correspond with the statutory minimum wage or, if it is higher, the normal wage for industrial workers in the country of production. Wages must be high enough to cover the basic needs. All workers must receive a contract of employment detailing pay and working conditions, and are also entitled to benefits such as paid vacations, sickness pay and maternity leave, to be covered by the manufacturer. All our manufacturers must observe the prevailing laws and regulations. Living wages are a difficult topic and we have been unable to identify a simple strategy to define a proper living wage for all countries and ensure that all workers receive wages in accordance with this. As with all social responsibility, wages are a constantly recurring topic that we work on continuously.
- Are children involved in the manufacturing of Bergans' products?
We comply with the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child and do not permit children under the age of 15 to work.
- Does Bergans operate in countries in which human rights and the environment are not adequately protected?
In some countries in which we operate, we have noted that human rights and the environment have not been properly protected. We believe that with our experience and our leverage we can contribute to a positive development through close collaboration with our suppliers. After the trade boycott of Myanmar was lifted, following careful consideration, we decided to start production and guidance of suppliers in this country. We always perform a risk analysis of the countries in which we operate.
- Where are Bergans' products made?
Mainly in the Far East – China and Vietnam – but also in Indonesia, Turkey and Norway. Some of the fabric manufacturers are based in Japan and Korea. We have recently started production in Myanmar in collaboration with one of our key suppliers. A list of suppliers may be found here.
- Which regulations must be observed by factories that manufacture for Bergans?
Bergans’ ethical guidelines are based on international conventions adopted by the UN and the International Labor Organization (ILO). These guidelines form the basis of all partnerships we enter into. They outline our standards for business management, including requirements for social issues, environmental considerations and animal welfare. As a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative Norway (IEH) we work towards implementing strict principles in the supplier chain. See www.ieh.no.
- How close is the contact between Bergans and its manufacturers?
Our design and product development team and our quality control team maintain frequent contact with all our key suppliers. We attempt to integrate social and environmental issues in all of these dialogs and our goal is to build long-term supplier partnerships in order to achieve the most optimum level of continuity in the improvement work. Some suppliers have collaborated with us for over 20 years.
- Does Bergans take social criteria into consideration when selecting new factories?
When we are choosing a new supplier, we will present the requirements laid down in our ethical guidelines and we will also visit the supplier in order to inspect the premises. The aim is to establish an open and constructive dialog on social issues and the environment. Some suppliers will have to implement changes and make improvements, thus good communication and the ability and willingness to improve is a condition of future cooperation. If none of these factors are present, we will not enter into a partnership with the factory.
- Does Bergans use nano technology in any of its products?
In brief, nano technology is the manipulation of matter at an atomic and molecular level in order to produce new materials and properties. Like all other new technologies, this raises many questions, including those of toxicity and potential harm to the environment. Bergans does not currently use products derived from nano technology. We made this decision because, thus far, there has been minimal research into how this technology may affect people and the environment.
- Why did Bergans choose to become a bluesign® system partner?
We became a bluesign® system partner in 2012/2013. This is because we regard the bluesign® system and the bluesign® standard as being one of the most stringent environmental standards in our industry today. The system ensures that only controlled chemicals are permitted to be used in the production process. The system also reduces resource use and emission/discharge from the production process. As a bluesign® system partner we work towards implementing this in our supplier chain. Specifically, we encourage our suppliers to apply for approval and we also focus on purchasing bluesign® approved fabrics. You can read more about bluesign® on the bluesign® website: www.bluesign.com
- Do Bergans' products contain hazardous chemicals?
We make high performance technical products. In order to achieve the desired product characteristics, we depend on using chemicals. The products need to be water repellent, windproof and perspiration wicking, as well as comfortable, lightweight and robust. The goal is to ensure that none of our products contain substances that could be harmful to employees, customers or the environment. We have a list of substances that must not be used (a so-called Restricted Substances List or RSL), and this list is distributed to all of our suppliers. The list has been prepared by experts at bluesign® and is in accordance with new research and EU requirements. The collaboration with the bluesign® partnership constitutes the core of our chemical management program. We perform random product testing in order to verify that all requirements have been fulfilled.
- What does Bergans do about the use of chemicals in its products?
We have drawn up a list of chemicals (Restricted Substances List)which specifies the chemicals which may not be used in our products.This list has been communicated to our suppliers.We give a high priority to the follow-up of the RCL list.
- Do Bergans’ products satisfy theREACHrequirements?
All our suppliers must sign a checklist of chemicals they are not permitted to use. This means that they must guarantee that their materials are in accordance with the European REACH regulation and theSVHClist. This is also subject to scrutiny when we perform spot checks.
- Do Bergans’ products contain PFCs?
There has been a lot of focus on the use of so-called perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in shell clothing. Thus far we have been unable to identify a completely PFC-free alternative that meets our performance requirements. We collaborate with our suppliers, bluesign® and other players in the outdoor pursuits industry to develop or invent new technology that can enable PFC-free products. We have switched from using so-called C8 to C6 chemicals in order to eliminate all PFOA and PFOS compounds.-