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 winter jacket or one made with synthetic materials? Here are a few things to consider to help you decide which one is right for you.
Down-Filled Winter Jacket Features
• Warmer than synthetic
• Highly compressible
• Durability that’s hard to beat if well maintained
• Longer dry time
• Not as warm when humid
• Fragile so it requires more frequent maintenance
Synthetic Winter Jacket Features
- Moisture resistant
- More economical
- Easier to maintain
- Less compressible than down
- Less durable
- A little less comfortable
When should you choose a down-filled or synthetic winter jacket?
A down-filled winter jacket works well 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.
A synthetic winter jacket works well 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 winter jacket 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. To accelerate the process, fill a water bottle with boiling water. Be careful not to burn yourself! Make sure the lid is closed tightly 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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