When selecting a winter jacket among the vast selection available out there, sometimes a little guidance is well worth it. You’re no doubt looking for something warm (yet practical!) with a style that suits you.
Should you choose a down-filled coat or one made with synthetic materials? Here are a few things to consider to help you decide which one is right for you:
• Warmer than synthetic
• Highly compressible
• Durability that’s hard to beat if well maintained
• Longer dry time
• Not as warm when humid
• Requires more frequent maintenance
- Moisture resistant
- More economical
- Easier to maintain
- Less compressible than down
- Less durable
- Reduced comfort
When to choose down
In cold and dry places, between physical activities in cold temps, on your way to go winter camping, when waiting for the bus, or when walking around town or the countryside.
A down jacket is lightweight and compact. You can easily put it in your bag when you get too hot, or take it out to wear so that you don’t get cold after an outdoor activity.
When to choose synthetic
For jogging, snowshoeing or other moderate to high-intensity activities. Synthetic materials stay warm even when slightly compressed between your body and shell (outer layer).
How to keep your synthetic coat in good condition
Synthetic is easy to maintain—in hot or cold weather, lay it out in the sun for an hour and you’re done!
For down, wearing your coat helps dry it slowly but surely.
How to dry a wet down jacket or coat
Fill a water bottle with boiling water. Be careful not to burn yourself! Make sure the lid is closed tighly and roll it over your jacket. You’ll immediately see steam rising from the jacket. Do this for a few minutes. It also works on your down-filled sleeping bag!
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