Are you looking for a goose down jacket for this winter, but you don’t know how to choose it? How to define the quality of goose down? Which down jacket is suitable for hiking? For a high mountain climbing expedition? For mountaineering?
Thanks to this article, you will understand why to choose natural goose down , made in an eco-responsible way. In order to make the most informed choice, it is also necessary to decipher the technical jargon related to down quality . Finally, we offer a selection of eco-responsible goose down jackets and parkas, adapted to different activities .
Why choose goose down over synthetic materials?
Did you know that geese migrate and reach extreme altitudes (10,000 meters) where temperatures are often around -50°? Goose down is therefore a natural protection , perfect to protect yourself from the cold. Down is twice as insulating as the best synthetic insulation!
In addition, it is extremely compressible and lightweight. This natural material appealed to us because it has the best insulation/weight ratio on the down jacket market.
we adopted goose down jackets because they are
The manufacturers of snow hiking clothing referenced on our site are particularly oriented towards eco-responsible production and repair services . This equipment is thus sustainable, natural and eco-designed: the values of Living in nature!
How to define the quality of a goose down jacket?
When the time comes to choose, it is easy to come up against barbaric technical notions . And if you’re not familiar with these terms, it’s easy to get lost… Here are point by point the essential concepts to understand in order to make the most informed choice.
Goose or duck feathers have a high swelling power (referred to as “Fill Power”) which allows you to create significant warmth (some duvets allow a comfort temperature (H4 anchor) of -30°C!).
The Fill Power (FP) is calculated in cuin (Cubic Inch), it defines the capacity of the down to be compressed and its swelling power . The higher the cuin, the more the down is able to store air and therefore keep warm.
Be careful, however, there are two standards: the US standard (American) and the EU standard (European). The US standard is less demanding than the EU standard, so 700 US cuin corresponds approximately to 600 EU cuin.
The filling of a down jacket is actually made of down and feathers . The feathers make it possible to standardize the down in the compartments and thus to hold it in place, to “fix” it. Thus, the proportion of down / feathers is expressed as 80/20 for 80% down and 20% feathers. The higher the percentage of down, the warmer and more insulating the garment will be (95/5 corresponds to one of the best proportions on the market).
The more down, the more air, the more your body heat will stay inside and the less the outside cold will penetrate. As simple as that!
The comfort temperature
goose down jacketThis is the temperature to be relied on when choosing your winter jacket. This is the temperature at which you will not be cold by remaining still, in a relaxed position.
However, it should be borne in mind that the feeling of cold depends on the sensitivity of each person, so these data are indicative. If you are of a chilly nature, always provide a margin of comfort!
The importance of compartments and their positions
Down jackets and jackets made of natural down are made up of compartments, which trap the down. Thus, the more compartments there are, the less the feathers move, the greater their insulating power.
However, it is up to each brand to define whether it is more advantageous to optimize the number of compartments making up the down jacket, or to increase the quality or quantity of down.
Water repellent or waterproof
The fabric generally used to maintain the down is nylon, because it is very resistant and light. This is often water-repellent, and sometimes waterproof. What is the difference ?
This is why the majority of down jackets are made from a water-repellent fabric . That is to say that the water, in small quantities, does not penetrate the garment and flows out. A waterproof down jacket , on the other hand, is designed to withstand severe weather. However, keep in mind that a waterproof down jacket is often heavier and less breathable.
Choose the down jacket that suits your needs
You will therefore have understood: it is impossible to define THE best down jacket. However, whether you are looking for a light down jacket for men, or an ultra warm down jacket for women, rest assured: it exists!
Are you looking for a down jacket for mountaineering? Adapted to extreme cold?
During excursions in the high mountains, climbing in freezing temperatures, it is better to favor a significant filling of goose down (minimum 300 grams of down for a size M jacket). Also, the swelling power should be at least 800 cuin EU in order to keep a garment insulating from extreme cold.