Skip to Content

What Should I Look for When Buying a Down Jacket?

Multi colors of down jackets on the hangers at the store for sale.

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new down jacket. You might be wondering what to look for in terms of features. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Are down jackets breathable? This is a common question when it comes to choosing the right winter gear. Down jackets are made with either natural down feathers or synthetic materials.

Down is a great insulator because it traps heat well and is very lightweight. Synthetic insulation is cheaper but not as good at trapping heat. Down jackets are typically more breathable than other types of jackets, making them a good choice for winter activities like skiing or snowboarding.

They also provide good insulation, keeping you warm even in cold weather conditions. So if you’re looking for a jacket that will keep you warm and comfortable on your next winter adventure, a down jacket is a good option to consider. Let’s get into an in-depth look at the features of a good quality down jacket.

Features of an insulated Jacket

Blue warm insulated jacket.

Down

Down is a natural insulation made from the feathers of ducks or geese. It’s lightweight and compressible, making it ideal for use in jackets and other outerwear. Down is also a good choice for people who are allergic to synthetic materials.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation is made from man-made materials such as polyester. It’s a good choice for people who are looking for an affordable option that still provides good insulation. Synthetic insulation is also less likely to cause allergies than down.

Fill power

Fill power is a measure of how much space one ounce of down will occupy when it’s fully fluffed up. The higher the fill power, the more loft the down will have, and the better it will insulate. Down jackets with a high fill power are more expensive, but they are worth it for their warmth.

See also  The Different Types of Rain Jackets Available for Skiing and Snowboarding

Down jackets typically have a fill power of 550 or more.

Fill weight

Fill weight is the amount of down in the jacket, measured in ounces. The higher the fill weight, the warmer the jacket will be. When choosing a down jacket, look for one with a high fill power and a high fill weight.

This will ensure that you’re getting a warm, well-insulated jacket.

Shell and lining

The shell is the outer layer of the jacket that’s exposed to the elements. It should be made from a durable material that can withstand wear and tear. The lining is the inner layer of the jacket that’s next to your skin. It should be made from a soft material that’s comfortable to wear.

Closure

Most down jackets have a zipper closure, but some also have snaps or Velcro. Choose a closure that’s easy to use and that will keep the jacket secure in windy conditions.

Hood

Some down jackets come with a hood, while others do not. If you’ll be wearing the jacket in cold weather, choose one with a hood to keep your head and neck warm.

Pockets

Down jackets typically have two types of pockets: handwarmer pockets and interior pockets. Handwarmer pockets are located on the outside of the jacket and are great for storing items like your phone or keys. Interior pockets are located on the inside of the jacket and are ideal for carrying smaller items like lip balm or tissues.

Cuffs

Down jackets often have adjustable cuffs that help seal out the cold. Choose a jacket with cuffs that are easy to adjust and that will stay in place when you’re active.

How to tell if a jacket is waterproof or water-resistant

Water drops pattern over a water proof jacket.

If you’ll be wearing your down jacket in wet conditions, you’ll want to choose one that’s either waterproof or water-resistant. Waterproof jackets are completely impervious to water, while water-resistant jackets provide some protection from the elements. To determine if a jacket is waterproof or water-resistant, look for a label or tag that indicates the level of protection.

See also  Down Jacket Fill Weight Explained in Detail

For example, a jacket may be labeled “waterproof” or “water-resistant up to 10,000mm.” Down jackets are usually water-resistant but not waterproof.

Why down jackets are more expensive than synthetics but worth it in the end

Girl in pink short down jacket posing in the park.

If you’re looking for a warm, well-insulated jacket, you’ll likely have to pay more for a down jacket than you would for a synthetic one. This is because down is a natural insulation that’s more effective than synthetic materials. Down is also more compressible and lightweight, making it ideal for use in jackets and other outerwear.

In the end, down jackets are worth the extra cost because they’ll keep you warmer and more comfortable on your next winter adventure. Choose a down jacket with a high fill power and fill weight to ensure that you’re getting a quality product. Also, be sure to choose a waterproof or water-resistant jacket if you’ll be wearing it in wet conditions.

How to properly care for your down jacket

Round down jacket on a brown blanket.

Once you’ve invested in a down jacket, you’ll want to take care of it so that it lasts for years to come. Here are some tips on how to properly care for your down jacket:

Store your down jacket in a cool, dry place when you’re not using it. Wash your down jacket regularly using a gentle detergent. Do not put your down jacket in the dryer – instead, air dry it or hang it to dry.

If your down jacket gets wet, let it air dry before storing it. Use a down-specific soap when washing your jacket to maintain its loft.Caring for your down jacket is important to extend its lifespan.

You should wash it in a front-loading washer on the gentle cycle with a mild detergent. You should also dry it on low heat or air dry it. If your jacket gets wet, you should hang it up to dry as soon as possible.

See also  What is a Windbreaker and Why is it Called That?

By following these tips, you can ensure that your down jacket will stay in good condition for years to come.

Bottom line

When choosing a down jacket, look for one that’s made from high-quality materials, and that has all the features you need to stay warm and comfortable in cold weather conditions. Be sure to also choose a jacket that’s waterproof or water-resistant if you’ll be wearing it in wet conditions. And finally, remember to take care of your down jacket by washing it regularly and storing it in a cool, dry place.

Concluding Tips

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when shopping for a down jacket:

Choose a down jacket with a high fill power. Fill power is a measure of the amount of loft in the down, and it ranges from 400 to 1,000. The higher the fill power, the warmer the jacket will be.

Down jackets with a higher fill weight are also warmer. Fill weight is the amount of down in the jacket, and it’s measured in ounces. For example, a jacket with a fill weight of 16 ounces will be much warmer than one with a fill weight of 10 ounces.

If you’ll be wearing your down jacket in wet conditions, choose one that’s waterproof or water-resistant.  Be sure to properly care for your down jacket to extend its lifespan. Wash it in a front-loading washer on the gentle cycle with a mild detergent.

You should also dry it on low heat or air dry it. If your jacket gets wet, you should hang it up to dry as soon as possible. By following these tips, you can be sure that you’re choosing the best down jacket for your needs.

With proper care, your down jacket will last for many years.