The Ultimate Duck Down Jacket Guide
Duck Down jackets and coats have been trending for years and years. Each season, we see beautiful puffer jackets make a splash from the streets to the slops. New necklines, patterns, finishes & features, you name it there is a down jacket for it! On top of the changing yearly styles, the technology of the fabrics & fillers are constantly changing too, consistently improving. Thats a lot to keep up with for a lil’ ol jacket that rolls into a bag, right? Well, look no further. Here are the answers to all the questions you may have about Duck Down Jackets.
Firstly, what is a down jacket?
A down jacket consists of an inner & an outer. The inner is duck down or geese feathers that are perfectly engineered to insulate heat while being soft & quite literally, light as a feather! The secret to this insulation is ‘loft’. This might sound a little technical, but all it really means is that there are hundreds of little air pockets that trap & retain warm air, keeping you warm. Pretty cool right?
What's the difference between down & synthetic insulated puffer jackets?
Synthetic insulation, such as polyester and nylon are cheaper & easier to clean than down however it is also a lot heavier & not nearly as compressible! Down is often more expensive, but it has a far superior warmth to weight ratio & has a wider warmth comfort ratio, helping regulate your heat.
When looking for a down jacket, keep an eye out for a RDS tag. RDS stands for Responsible Down Standard which ensures down is sourced ethically without any unnecessary harm to animals.
Loose, Tight or just right?
Down jackets should not be too tight or too loose. If too loose, cold air can get through and impact heat insulation. If too tight, you will be uncomfortable & not have enough room of light layers. The best is to have a jacket that allows for movement and room for thin layers. Down is natures best insulator, so the jackets might feel light but trust us, they will definitely keep you warm! There is no longer a need to look like a sack of potatoes in winter with bulk jackets!
What's with all the jargon?
Something that's not in short supply when it comes to down jackets is jargon! It is so easy to get lost trying to decipher fill weights, ratios, fill powers, loft & more! Phew.
To get the gist of all of this, you can have a look here for all the nitty gritty details. However, 2 of the most important features to understand are fill-power & fill ratio.
Fill power is a measure of the loft of the down which is what gives down its insulating properties. Fill power is the term used to describe the loft of the down, which is determined by measuring how many cubic cm's of space down occupies at its highest level of loft. So the higher the fill power, the higher the quality of the down & the more suited the jacket will be for very cold temperatures. Fill powers range from about 300 - 900 cm³/g.
Fill ratio on the other hand refers to the down to feather ratio in the jacket. When you see fill ratios of 90/10 that will mean the fill of the jacket is 90% down and 10% feathers. The higher ratio of down to feathers indicates a higher down jacket quality.Keen to see a bit more? Have a look here.