Women's down jackets

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WOMEN'S DOWN JACKETS BUYING GUIDE

We help you choose down jackets for your different activities this winter.
The down jacket is an essential element to insulate you from the cold even during your intense activities. The key is to choose THE right down jacket that fits your needs. Indeed, you will find on AlpinStore a wide range of down jackets for women with different weights, combination of materials to best suit your sport. You will find different cuts: sleeveless down jackets, long down jackets, down jackets with hood, without hood, short down jackets lifestyle ... etc

In the city as in the mountains, the down jacket is the essential product in your wardrobe for the winter. We advise you to choose the down jacket that suits you, feminine, technical and insulating to face the winter.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOWN JACKET FOR WOMEN

Warmth: the1st criterion for buying a down jacket

Insulation is certainly the most important criterion in your purchase. What to choose between a down jacket with natural insulation and a synthetic insulation?
Indeed you will find 2 main families of insulation: down down jackets and synthetic. There are some down jackets where we find a mixture of both.

1. Down jackets: the warmest down jackets

Down is a natural material from duck or goose. Down has a much higher insulating and compressive power than synthetic. The insulation of down is related to its swelling power. The more air down inflates, the warmer it will be. This loft is measured in cuin (cubic inch) or fil power. The higher the cuin, the warmer it will be.
  • Between 400 and 500 cuin: medium quality down
  • Between 600 and 700: good quality down
  • Over 800: very good quality down

To compare two down comforters, simply multiply the cuin by the amount of down (not the weight of the down jacket).

  • Down jacket 1 : 600 cuin x 200 grams of down = 120 000
  • Down jacket 2 : 800 cuin x 150 grams of down = 120 000

In both cases, the down jackets are as warm as each other, but the second one is lighter and more compressible. We talk about warmth index in the tests of down jackets and sleeping bags. Obviously, the better the feather, the more expensive the down jacket.

There are 3 categories of down jackets:

  • 90 to 150g of down: micro down jacket for temperatures around 0°C
  • 200 to 300g of down: winter down jacket and high altitude down jacket, for negative temperatures
  • 400 to 500g of down: expedition down jacket for extreme cold

Another point to keep in mind is the down/feather ratio. If the feather is essential to stabilize the down, the more down there is, the warmer and more compressible the down jacket will be, but it will be more sensitive to humidity. Ratios generally vary from 85/15, up to 95/5 for top-of-the-line products, i.e. 95% down and 5% feather.

Moisture being the main enemy of down, more and more down jackets are treated to be hydrophobic.

2. The most insulating synthetic down jackets in wet weather

The competition is serious among manufacturers of synthetic insulation. All of them have their own technologies and innovations, and all of them claim to have unequalled properties. However, there are manufacturers of great renown in synthetic insulation such as Primaloft or Polartec (made from recycled plastic bottles)

  • PrimaLoft One: the warmest, lightest and most compact, but expensive
  • PrimaLoft Sport: a little less warm, but more economical, good value for money
  • PrimaLoft Eco: less warm than the One and Sport, but ecological, made of 100% recycled bottles
  • Polartec Alpha: less warm than PrimaLoft One and Sport, but more breathable, very compressible
  • Wadding: generic insulation used for low/mid-range clothing, stays warmer than a fleece
Synthetic insulation is made of polyester filaments that mimic the loft of down. It would be simplistic to say that synthetic is worse than down. Less compressible than down, synthetic keeps its thermal properties even in wet weather! Synthetic is less fragile, less afraid of water and above all, it is much more economical. It just has different properties.

The density of the synthetic filling is measured in gr/m². The higher the weight, the better the insulation.

COMPARISON TABLE BETWEEN DOWN AND SYNTHETIC DOWN JACKETS

Advantages

Disadvantages

Down

High warmth to weight ratio

Very compressible

Very light

Comfortable, cozy

Longer life than synthetic

More breathable than synthetic

High price (depending on the quality of the down)

Loses its insulating capacity when wet, and dries with difficulty

More expensive than synthetic

Feather leaks when the outer fabric is torn

Is taken from animals - prefer labelled down

Synthetic

More economical

Retains some of its insulating qualities even when wet

Dries more quickly

In case of tear, the filling remains

Easier to care for and wash than down jackets.

Lower warmth to weight ratio

Not as compressible

Not as durable

Less breathable than down (except for certain types of synthetic)

The choice of outer fabric:

The outer fabric is also important in the choice of your down jacket, for its lightness and compression but also for its properties (waterproofing - breathability - windproofing). The thinner the fabric, the lighter and more compressible the down jacket will be, but it will be more fragile. If a tear in the fabric on a synthetic down jacket is not catastrophic, on a down jacket, it is the loss of feather assured.

Most down jackets are windproof and water repellent, but are not totally waterproof. A few down jackets are, as this affects breathability, compression and price. You can find the ultra warm down jackets from RAB, the quality of the columbia down jacketsor even Karpos hybrid down jackets for ski touring.

A little tip: an outer fabric in "Pertex Quantum" is a guarantee of quality!

ECO-FRIENDLY DOWN JACKETS FOR WOMEN

For a few years now, down has been the subject of much controversy. Manufacturers have understood that many consumers are concerned about their environmental impact when buying a down jacket. Indeed it was questioned the mistreatment of animals but also on the respect of the working conditions of the staff in the factories of production of down. The manufacturers have understood this, and try to propose solutions, more respectful of the environment, animals but also human.

This is why the RDS (Responsible Down Standard) label was created. It certifies that the feathers used to make a jacket are from animals that have been raised in a healthy way and without unnecessary suffering. down jacket for women eco responsible is from animals that are raised in a healthy way and without unnecessary suffering. It is thus synonymous with sustainability and respect for the environment, a quality increasingly appreciated by consumers.

Now you have all the weapons in hand to choose the most suitable down jacket!

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR DOWN JACKET

You have finally invested in the down jacket of your dreams and you want to maintain it as well as possible so that it lasts as long as possible. Not easy to maintain a down jacket. Do not hesitate to wash your down once a year. This will reactivate the loft and waterproofing of your down jacket. Alpinstore gives you some advice.

  • Tip 1: To make it last as long as possible, take care of it every day! To begin with, clean it lightly with a washcloth slightly soaked in soapy or clear water, so as not to wet the down inside.
  • Advice n°2: read the label of the down jacket ! Indeed, it is recommended to follow the advice given by the supplier on the down jacket's label. Be careful, some down jackets cannot be machine washed.
  • To take note of the washing advice on the label and to respect it will ensure a longer life for your down jacket.
  • Tip 3: use appropriate products and avoid fabric softener! Green cleaning products from the brand Granger
  • Tip 4: Use dryer balls or simply tennis balls during the machine program as well as for drying. Perfect for keeping the down's lofty quality, the balls stir up the down so that it doesn't clump together in the corners of the down jacket.
  • Discover at Alpinstore the special down jacket washing kit with a washing powder for down with 3 drying balls.
  • Tip 5: If you are afraid to wash your down jacket, you can always use a dry cleaner.

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