Views: 218 Author: lydia Publish Time: 2023-09-27 Origin: Site
What are the advantages and disadvantages of down jackets? Are they watertight? Is down a moral material? What are the prices of down jackets?
Our guide examines the benefits and drawbacks of down coats, including price, ethics, waterproofing, and warmth.
Down jackets provide a thin layer of extremely warm insulation. They are great for low-intensity winter activities such as walking the dog, waiting on the bus, shopping at the market, or sitting in a chilly tractor cab.
When you increase the physical intensity of your activity, a down jacket may become excessively hot. Most professional hikers, for example, would likely choose to wear numerous layers of fleece and other materials because it is more versatile and simpler to adjust to changing situations. If they bring a down jacket, it will be to keep warm while they stop. Fortunately, they pack down small and take up minimal space in your pack.
Some down coats are significantly warmer than others. These are intended for extreme cold in the Alps or Scandinavia. A bigger jacket, such as Helly Hansen's Vanir Icefall Down Jacket, is a good example - but it's excellent if you spend long periods of time outdoors on frigid days, such as camping in the off-season, manning your stall at the farmers' market, or watching rugby. In general, the puffier jackets with larger price tags are warmer.
Precise measurements of insulating power are difficult to come by. Many manufacturers state the 'fill power' of their down coats. This indicates the down's quality, i.e. how fluffy it is and hence how effective it is at trapping warm air. However, it will not tell you how warm the jacket is because that is determined by the amount of down used in the filling. A jacket with a lesser fill power of 600 or so may be warmer than one with a fill power of 800, simply because it contains more down. Many manufacturers provide a list of technical characteristics for their jackets but do not include the amount of down.
A family walks their dog in a winter woodland.
Down coats are ideal for dog walkers.
Wet down does not provide adequate insulation. Some manufacturers now treat their down with a moisture-repellent coating – HydroDown is one example – and others swear by the water-repellent fabrics they employ; still, I wouldn't remain out in the rain in a down jacket if I could avoid it.
Down jackets frequently perform well as a midlayer in the damp British environment. Another reason to choose a thinner jacket than a big puffy one. You'll look less like the Michelin man once you've pulled a rain jacket over the top.
Most down jackets are made of superlight, superthin textiles to be as light as possible. These are frequently windproof, although they are easily torn on thorns. Another reason to use your down jacket as a midlayer beneath a heavier rain jacket. Another alternative is a thornproof insulated jacket, which is available from Barbour; Fjallraven makes down coats with their strong G1000 fabric.
Down hoods are incredibly warm and comfortable; you won't believe how cozy they are until you try one on. They are well worth the few extra pounds your jacket will cost. To be honest, they can make you look like a jerk at times, but who cares?
Down is expensive, therefore down coats are more expensive than fleeces, while some 'ultra light' down jackets are available for less than £70. Other manufacturers save costs by combining down with synthetic insulation, switching down for cheaper fleece panels in less exposed areas of the jacket, such as beneath the arms, or using less windproof fabrics.
Many producers pledge to use humanely harvested down, such as down and feathers gathered as a byproduct of the food business.
Nonetheless, debate over animal welfare issues remains. According to reports, some Asian vendors were still harvesting down from living animals. Traceability is currently being improved. While some brands, such as Patagonia, have a long history of taking care of this issue, others may only be now changing their stance on down, so if this is a topic that is important to you, it's worth verifying the company policy before you buy. Most manufacturers post information on their websites; if you can't find anything, your best bet is to call them and ask.
Are you looking for a down jacket for winter hikes or dog walks this year? We look at some of the greatest, as well as some additional tips on what to look for when making your decision.
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