A down jacket is a must-have if you are a trekker, or hiker, living in a colder area, or participating in an adventurous activity involving colder regions. A down jacket is a type of quilted jacket or coat. In addition, they are also insulated, making them perfect for colder weather with items like goose or duck feathers.
When we go down into the deep analysis of how a down jacket works, we can confirm the reason behind the stellar insulation of a down jacket. And the reason is the bulk of the feathers create air pockets that keep warm air for a long time.
Down jackets have been keeping us warm since 1922 when a guy named George Finch wore some version of it for the first time. But down jackets now have a very long time, and so many varieties and types of them might confuse us while investing in one.
So, to make things easier for you, we have come up with the ultimate article you need to read before buying the best down jacket. Let’s go!
Which is better puffer or down jacket?
First, Let us clarify the differences between puffer and down jackets before we know which is better. They seem similar, have almost the same purpose, and look cool, so what could be some sturdy differences between them? Knowing the answer to this question is very important to know and purchase the best down jackets in your market and avoid confusing them with puffer jackets.
The main difference between a puffer and a down jacket is their fillers. You see, puffer jackets have synthetic fillers. So, they provide ample performance that a jacket should perform while also being easy on the pockets. They contain polyester sandwiched between two fabrics to give that insulating factor.
On the other hand, down jackets have feathers as their fillers. These feathers are either from geese or ducks. But they aren’t the actual feather but rather the soft fluffy layer beneath the feathers that provides warmth. Moisture-proof, breathable, lightweight, and warm feather insulation provide it all. However, they are more expensive.
So, to decide which is better, a puffer or a down jacket, let us look at some important points. If you are going on a trek for a long time, a down jacket would be the right choice because it is more compressible and lightweight than puffer jackets, reducing the bulk of your weight. However, if you rarely go on a trip where washing your jackets is often, then a puffer jacket would be more suitable.
A down jacket will be the right choice if you live in a cold, dry, and freezing climate. However, the rainy season calls for a puffer jacket instead of a down jacket. Also, money does play a significant role in choosing the right jacket. Furthermore, down jackets are more expensive than puffer jackets.
So, in conclusion, there isn’t a right answer in which one of these jackets is better but rather depends upon the climate, your daily requirements, and the budget you can spare while buying any of the jackets.
5 Best Down Jackets
What is the best down rating?
Best down jackets have the best down ratings. So, let us first know what a down rating is. Then, we can discuss the best ones for various scenarios and your needs for a down jacket.
Before we jump into the down rating, let us know what filing power is first. Fill power is the unit of measurement of the loftiness of any down product, like a down jacket. A fill power determines the quality of a down jacket. The loftiness of a down jacket is the highest when the fill power is maximum. Fill power is calculated by the cubic inches of down per ounce that create the maximum loft level.
So if the down rating is 800, one ounce of down can cover 800 cubic inches. The fill power rating will range from 300 to 900 and even above. But the most common down jackets usually have a down rating of 400 to 500. However, some say these kinds of jackets aren’t the best quality.
Furthermore, if you decide to buy the best down jacket, look for one with a rating of 550 or more. Five hundred fifty or more ratings will give you a more comfortable yet warm down jacket.
To make things easier to comprehend, let us present you a table showing the various down ratings and the quality of the down jacket with such ratings.
|Warmth of the Down Jacket
Why is my down jacket not warm enough?
There are many reasons why your down jacket needs to be warmer. Also, having this knowledge is important to choose the best down jacket.
The first reason could be the low down rating of your down jacket. To check that, look at the number associated with the word loft in your down jacket’s information. For a down jacket to be warm enough for you in comparatively chilly weather, its down rating must be more than 550 or even 600+. For example, if your down rating is 850, the down jacket’s fill power rating is higher, meaning more loftiness is on the jacket, meaning it is warmer.
But on the flip side, if the down rating of your jacket is 300, then its fill power rating will be less; hence the jacket won’t be warm enough for your liking.
Another factor determining the warmth of your down jacket is down weight. Often expressed in grams and ounces, down weight refers to the amount of down required to make the particular jacket.
When we think logically, the larger the weight of a down jacket, the more warm it will be. So, because of this logic, down jackets with lower down ratings but higher down weights may provide more warmth than those with higher down ratings. But, the level of insulation might be less. Additionally, if a jacket has a down rating of 800, but its down weight is too low, it is probably not providing sufficient warmth for you.
So, while choosing the best down jackets, look for one with a high down rating and down weight.
Are expensive down jackets worth it?
Okay, we get it; down jackets are expensive. But when we think about all the advantages of a down jacket, the price might be worth it. Trust us, we have invested in some seriously expensive down jackets and don’t regret it.
The down jacket’s price comes from the fine quality of the bird’s feather being used for its insulation. However, it is important to understand that these jackets last a lifetime and will support many chilly and uncanny weather conditions unless the weather is not wet.
Down jackets can be easily compressed, are extremely comfortable, lightweight, and a bonus puffy. They also come in various sizes, weights, and colors.
But remember to invest only in well-established down jackets that are certified. And trust us, it is worth it.
How long does a down jacket last?
Down jackets are almost immortal with the amount you pay and the amazing characteristics these jackets have. They help us keep warm during colder seasons and can be easily packed, lightweight, and completely insulates the one wearing them.
The longevity of a down depends upon various characteristics, and it is important to know to choose the best down jacket for yourselves and your friends. If you invest in a good quality down jacket, it will last years. But here are the factors that play an important role in determining the lifespan of a down jacket.
The Type Of Feather Used
Goose and duck are the feathers used for making down jackets. The down jackets made from goose feathers are more expensive than the ones made from ducks and last for a long time. Goose-down jackets last longer because they have a higher down rating or fill power. However, both jackets must be cared for properly to make them last longer.
The Type Of Weather
Wearing a high-quality down jacket in an extremely cold climate will degrade its quality and reduce lifespan. Also, since down jackets don’t do well in rainy seasons, their quality may reduce because of the rain. So, always wear an outer layer of the waterproof jacket while wearing a down jacket to increase its longevity.
The Type Of Overall Quality
Before putting your money on any down jacket, you find, try to go through every review about it. You are already making a big purchase, so researching the type of down jacket and how people perceive it matters. Also, you can learn ways to increase the lifespan of your jacket by learning about it.
The Way You Care For Your Jacket
Ensuring your down jacket is cleaned regularly, dried properly, and stored at a cool price will ensure that the jacket will be as good as new every time you wear it.
Accepting Your Down Jacket
We hate to break it down for you, but down jackets lose their insulating capacity by 5%per year depending on the quality of the jacket, how you use it, and the care and maintenance for it. So, always invest in good quality and take care of it properly; some jackets might even last you for a lifetime.
What is the best color for a down jacket?
Colors are important in our wardrobe, and down jackets are no less. Also, a general understanding of the color of the down jacket you should choose will help you select the best down jacket you can find. Sure, you can always go for any color you choose because it is your jacket, but wearing a down jacket in different scenarios often asks for a specific color palette.
There are so many neon and bright-colored down jacket options available. So, we suggest you wear more colorful colors like orange, red, pink, blue, and more because these are universal colors that will make you look stylish and go with any clothes you decide to wear. Also, they are easily spottable, especially during rescue operations.
If you are going to an extremely cold place, black down jackets would be great because they absorb more light and keep you warm too.
But if your heart wants a little deep yet colorful, colors like maroons, navy, royal blue, and army green will also look great.
Should a down jacket fit tight?
After knowing the various types and colors you can purchase for your next best down jacket, the next important thing is its fit. Whenever you wear and try -on your down jacket, it must fit you comfortably, like a good hug. But it must never constrict your movement or feel too tight. It should also not be too big. For example, it should take a short time to cover your palms.
So, always check the utility of your down jacket before buying it. Do some windmills with your down jacket to check your mobility and flexibility while wearing the jacket. Also, try to put your hands above your head to check the length of your jacket. If it rides up your stomach, the jacket is too small for you if you cannot do that.
Also, try hugging yourself after you put on a down jacket, and while you do that, if your shoulders feel tight, the jacket is too short for you.
Okay, if your down jacket passes all the tests and is neither too short nor too long, then that will be the best down jacket for you.
Should you hang a down jacket?
Taking care of your jacket will ensure that your jacket will always remain the best down jacket. You shouldn’t haphazardly put away your down jacket, especially when it’s wet. After you wash your down jacket, always hang your jacket for it to dry properly. Also, try turning your down jacket inside out before you hang it. Never store your down jacket wet because it might be infested with mildew.
Further, whenever you store your down jackets, always hang them rather than folding and compressing them. Depending upon the size of the jacket, the hanging size of your jacket will range anywhere from 5 centimeters to 15 centimeters. Also, use wooden or plastic hangers with a diameter of 1 centimeter to hang your down jacket properly.
So, this is all about choosing the best down jacket you can find.