Thursday, August 1, 2019
In 1979, New Zealand’s population stood at a mere 3.1 million, the mighty Commodore was the car of choice and New Zealanders were first introduced to Domex sleeping bags.
Based on Auckland’s North Shore, Domex’s philosophy right from the start was simple - ‘produce a top quality product that the customer wants and will recommend to others’.
A lot has changed over the past 40 years, including Tight Lines Ltd buying the brand in 2012, but the basic philosophy still remains the same. Domex remains proudly kiwi owned and we still take pride in producing sleeping bags designed by New Zealanders for New Zealand conditions.
Designed by kiwis to suit NZ conditions
In the beginning, Domex realised that New Zealand’s unique climate requires a diverse range of sleeping bags to meet many conditions. After all, there are not many countries where in the course of one day, you can experience warm, sub–tropical weather, while not far away there are sub–zero conditions in alpine areas.
Among Domex’s achievements, they were instrumental in the evolution of synthetic fibre in sleeping bags, and registered trademarks on two fibres: Spiro Loft ™ – a 7 denier hollow fibre and Microcel 3D™ – a non–allergenic micro fibre.
Domex’s aim in developing these fibres was to develop synthetic sleeping bags that rivalled down bags in the areas of weight and volume but would still give reasonable levels of insulation when wet – an area where down bags traditionally struggle.
For many years, Domex sleeping bags were proudly kiwi-made. Domex was one of the last sleeping bag manufacturers still operating in New Zealand, but in May 2007, the decision was made that in order to keep Domex prices competitive, production needed to move offshore. Thanks to leading edge technology, ongoing research and high standards of quality control, Domex still maintained its reputation as a quality brand producing quality products.
New direction for the brand
Another major change happened in 2012, when Tight Lines acquired the Domex brand.
“We wanted to add high quality sleeping bags to our range of outdoor products for some time but the overseas brands we looked at did not cover the full range of New Zealand conditions” says Nikki Goodall, General Manager of Tight Lines.
“We were thrilled when the Domex brand became available, because we knew that Domex have sleeping bags that are designed specifically to cover the full spectrum of New Zealand conditions.”
Halo series and Beyond
We’re proud to say that after 40 years, Domex is still producing bags designed by New Zealanders for NZ conditions “When we bought the Domex brand, one of the key things we wanted to do was continue to innovate and move the Domex brand with the times.”
A key part of developing new products was establishing brand partnerships with key influencers in the outdoor industry and developing new products with them. An example of this is the Halo series which was developed in partnership with Greg and Willie Duley from New Zealand Hunter Adventures.
“It’s almost come full circle – in the early days Domex focused on trying to build a synthetic bag that had the lightweight properties of down but the benefit of synthetic fibres that still performed when wet.
“Now the flagship Domex sleeping bags are the Halo down bags that incorporate Nikwax hydrophobic down, which gives them the key benefits of a synthetic bag by retaining warmth even when the bag is damp.”
“We’ve solved the problem Domex initially tried to solve in a completely different way, an example of the kiwi ingenuity that has always been at the heart of the Domex brand. And we hope always will be."
For a full range of Domex bags visit https://www.tightlines.co.nz/Domex