How to choose the right down jacket?

Whether you use it for skiing, hiking or even just to get to work, a man’s down jacket is an investment you will necessarily think of. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are different types of clothing of this kind. This guide will help you choose the ideal anorak.

Type of filling of the down jacket: synthetic Vs down

When choosing a down jacket for men, the most important consideration is to choose between down or synthetic insulation. As both types have their advantages and disadvantages, the conditions under which you wear your jacket determine the material that suits you best. The first – down insulation – is the warmest form of insulation, while remaining very light and compact. This is the best option in cold, dry weather. In a humid climate, they are clothes that saturate very easily and flatten when wet, making them unable to insulate. Sometimes it takes a whole day for them to dry.

The synthetic insulated down jacket is made of polyester, made of filaments to create air pockets between the fibres. Although it is not as hot or compressible as down, synthetic material is a much better choice for wet conditions. It lasts longer in water, which makes it more reliable when you go out with it. For this reason, it also dries faster and is easier to maintain. Synthetic insulation is also cheaper than down. As a general rule, insulation from 50 g to 100 g is a good choice for spring or autumn, or as a technical intermediate layer, while the men’s down jacket with insulation from 100 to 200 g is ideal for colder conditions.

The inflating capacity or « fill power ».

The filling power is a measure of the insulating properties of the feathers. The higher the value, the more air pockets there are in the filling and the more insulating the man jacket will be for its weight. This criterion is evaluated under laboratory conditions and is measured in cubic inches per ounce (cuin). The test consists of compressing the material by a weight in a glass cylinder. Its ability to bounce and « clogging » give its filling power.

This value is also an indication of quality: the higher it is, the higher the filling power is. Because less down is required to provide the same amount of heat, sleeveless down jackets with higher filling power tend to be lighter and more compressible. The filling power varies from 400 to 900. For a quality jacket, the values are generally between 600 and 800.

Choose the down jacket style that suits you

Style is obviously a personal preference, but there is often a compromise with functionality. Make sure that the clothes you choose are warm enough for the conditions in which you will wear them. From there, you can choose the style and cut you prefer. A longer cut down jacket is handy to keep you warm, but a coat that reaches mid-thigh will protect the bottom of the suit you could wear inside.

On the colour side, you must be able to balance your needs. If you wear your jacket in the countryside, the bright colours are ideal. But if you wear it mainly to keep warm, over street clothes, a black or grey man’s down jacket looks a little more natural with leather shoes and wool or cotton pants.

A down coat should not be too fair or too wide. You must allow clothes (sweaters, sweet) to be added underneath, but make sure you do not have too much space, as you may catch cold due to air penetration in the arms and hems. Thick jackets tend to weigh more than ordinary waterproof models or coats made of wool.

Pocket down jackets: for a practical side

The front pockets of a men’s down jacket are designed to keep hands warm. Some have a zipper, which is convenient for storing your small valuables when you are on the move. An important aspect to consider is whether the pockets are properly placed: if they are too high, they become unusable when you carry a backpack. Most jackets have chest pockets, others do not. They are ideal for storing objects such as a smartphone, sunglasses or hand balm within reach. The internal pockets are generally better insulated, which helps to preserve a phone’s battery in cold weather. while the external pockets are undoubtedly easier to access. The first are large zipper less pockets inside the coat with an upper opening. They are perfect for storing hats, gloves, hot water bottles, or even climbing shoes.

A down jacket adapted to each use

If the main reason for buying a men’s down jacket is simply to keep you warm while you go about your daily business in winter, then you are probably like most people. In this case, weight and compressibility are probably much less important in your choice than heat, fit and style. This type of jacket is usually worn over the classic clothes we wear all day long. It is therefore important that the down coat is large enough to provide an additional outer layer. When it comes to style, it is better to avoid overly technical clothes and focus instead on what corresponds to your usual wardrobe.

Some people work outdoors in winter in very extreme environments and need extra clothing to stay warm. Of course, you can manage with different inexpensive solutions, but depending on your work, a high quality down jacket could offer you more comfort. However, this is another circumstance in which synthetic insulation over it is recommended, due to its increased durability if you tear the jacket. If you have to wear them for work, they will certainly protect you from tears and scratches. Any selection of medium weight models would work well in these circumstances.

For specific activities such as mountain climbing or skiing, it is better to choose a very warm and well insulated jacket with a high filling power. Choose the advantage of synthetic insulation in areas most likely to be filled with moisture. To avoid draughts, make sure your parka has elasticated sleeves, a zipper and drawstrings on the hem and hood, and an internal storage bag.

Whether you’re looking for the most elegant, lightweight, or best value for money, this guide has gathered some key tips and features about parkas to help you make an informed choice.