When the weather outside hits below freezing, it’s time to bundle up and keep warm. However, it is not possible to stay indoors the whole winter, so you really need to invest in a good winter coat. A classic and very smart choice is the down jacket. They are very popular because they are simply one of the best against the cold.
Why is it preferable to a woolen one? A nice wool jacket is quite effective as well at very low temperatures but is not very good against snow, rain or sleet. On the other hand, a long down coat is normally made of more water-resistant materials outside like nylon or polyester, which makes them ideal not just against water, but they keep the wind away as well. They are also much lighter than those made of wool.
A good down jacket is filled with soft feathers from ducks or geese, which insulate you from the low temperatures. In the past, they are normally very thick to make sure they provide enough warmth. However, nowadays you can buy a thinner packable down jacket, which has other materials on it.
With cheaper but more inferior versions easily available out there, it is easy to be fooled. Since you will be using it for years, make sure to find the high-quality ones.
The first thing you should look at in differentiating the good from the bad ones is to look at the fill power. It tells you what is actually in the stuffing. Something over 550 is a worthy buy. At the same time, look at the percentage of the down versus the feathers, presented as 80/20, for example. The higher the first number, the better, because it means there is more down than feathers.
Second, check the weight. Heavier ones might be warmer, but not as comfortable for hours of wear. In general, ones with higher fill powers tend to be lightest.
Third, it is important to look at the condition of the jacket, that it does not have any feathers poking out of it. This shows good quality as well.
Last is to check out the extras. Pockets are, of course, very useful for storing things and at the same time, keeping your hands warm or at least protected from the elements. A hood is also a good idea to be able to protect your head and neck as well.
These are only some of the first things to look at when shopping for a down jacket. With the many choices in our store, you can use this guide to help you make your decision.