What’s a Down Jacket?
‘Down’ means the softest feathers taken from the breasts and wings of the duck or goose. It is a material that provides insulation and keeps heat inside the jacket. A ‘Down Jacket’ is a winter jacket filled with those soft feathers of duck or goose. Today, most down jackets in the market are not made with pure down but, mixed feathers from less soft parts of the bird or poly fills.
My lifestyle and usage
Before purchasing a down jacket, it is important you select the right type that aligns
with your lifestyle and needs. If you spend most of your time in the mountains, your usage will be very different people that live in the city. City dwellers that are fashion conscious will greatly consider the overall look and design before making the purchase.
Down jackets these days can be divided into two large categories:
Historically, down jackets were known for functional use in high performance outdoor activities. The manufacturer of this type of down jacket focuses on developing products with high fill power to offer better insulation. Fill power is the number (cubic inches per ounce of down fill) that indicates the fluffiness of the jacket. A larger fill number represents better insulation. This is often important for
- True functional
- Sporty fashion
consumers looking for true functional down jackets for sports and outdoor use.
The other vast category, that’s growing more and more, is the sporty fashion
down jacket. Almost all mass production and fast fashion companies offer different styles in the fashion down jacket category. One of the catches with buying this type of down jacket is finding the right value for the price. Frequently, jackets that are offered at a very inexpensive price are also made with very inexpensive
materials. It is risky to purchase a very inexpensive down jacket because even
though it may still have the appearance you want, there is a high chance it may not be made with real down. In this case, the jacket may end up being very heavy without providing warmth. It is common to see more casual fabrics, such as cotton or even suede, often used for fashion down jackets on the market today. Those options are great for people who do not want the traditional
puffy nylon jacket with shine. Fashion conscious people tend to prefer having a touch of fashion added to the classic down jacket. Due to the need for more fashionable outerwear, more brands are now focused on providing more flattering and fashionable silhouettes. Another detail that differentiates a good quality down jacket from one of lesser quality is the type of fur used at the hood. Some jackets use faux fur vs. real fur and often, the choice of fur shows a significant difference in the value of a down jacket. With real fur,
you are offered a more luxurious and voluminous look that will last you a long time.
What features do I care about?
Many down jackets come with different features that should be considered.
For some buyers, jacket length can make a big difference in how flattering the silhouette will be on body. The chance to change the silhouette with a belt or waist cinch allows you to have a more feminine or loose look. Hoods are important for function but it is great to have the option to remove the hood on milder days.