Down jackets have always been extremely popular. With a solid reputation for being warm, durable, and lightweight, it’s no wonder so many people choose down jackets over the other options on the market today. However, choosing a down jacket isn’t as simple as walking into your local department store and picking one up. Read on below for some tips on how to choose the right down for you.
While this may sound weird, the fill power of the jacket is very important when it comes to choosing the proper fit. Fill power is what tells you how fluffy the jacket is. This is only judged after the jacket is filled and the higher the number the better for you. You want to look for a jacket with a fill power of between 550 and 750, with 750 being excellent. According to Outdoor Gear Lab's Curtis Butterfield, if the fill power falls below 550, it’s best to keep searching.
The weight of the jacket you need is according to what you will be using the jacket for. For example, if you are going on a long hike or doing some winter sports like skiing, a lighter weight is going to be better for you, as you don’t want the jacket to weigh you down. If you are just going to be wearing the jacket for general use like checking out Christmas markets, however, a bulkier jacket will do the trick. The bulkier ones are also great for travel as they make great pillows on airplanes! Remember, lightweight for speed and heavier weight just for general use and you will be good to go when choosing the right jacket for your needs.
Down jackets are usually made of one of two materials, polyester and nylon. This is because these materials can withstand winds and harsh weather the best. When searching for the perfect jacket, remember to check the material to see if any down is poking through, which means the material is probably not strong enough to support the filling and you will be replacing your jacket long before you intended too. However, some initial poke through is expected with wear.
There is controversy over the different designs when it comes to down jackets. Some people feel that jackets with large pockets are great, while others feel that the pockets cause the down to bunch up, thereby letting cold air into the wearer. Which form of design you choose is completely up to you, but doing your research will take you a long way. One thing to remember is that down is made differently for men and women. Don’t try to buy a men’s down for a woman, there is no way it will fit right.
One thing to consider when shopping for your new jacket is getting the proper fit and size. For most people, this is as simple as the size top or jacket that you normally wear. However, if you are the type of person that builds up muscle quickly from things like lifting weights or working out on gym equipment like rowing machines, then you'll want to make sure that you get something that it not too tight across the back. You can test this by putting on the jacket, zipping it up and trying to cross your arms in the air at chest level. If it feels strained or tight in the mid-back area then go up a size or change models.
These are just a few tips to help you find the right down jacket to keep you warm in the harsh conditions the winter months bring. From checking the construction of the jacket to choosing the correct fill power, down jackets are popular for a reason and if you want to stay warm this winter, are the perfect way to go. Not only are they warm but they are stylish as well, so you have nothing to lose.