Down jackets keep you toasty, warm and dry outside. The first down jacket was made by George Finch for the 1922 Everest Expedition. Reportedly it was mocked at first but won great respect for its performance in mountain conditions.
Since 1922 they have become ubiquitous in the outdoors and a puffer down jacket has become a fashion statement.
In recent years breakthroughs in man-made fibres mean some synthetic insulation now rival down in terms of performance.
In this article we look at types of down and synthetic insulation and also the features to look out for in an insulated jacket. Have a read of our buyer’s guide to help you decide what insulation you need.
What is a down jacket?
Down jackets are jackets that are filled with the light fluffy feathers found under the breast and underbelly feathers of ducks and geese.
They are so warm because they trap warm body air and hold it close to our skin. And because the feathers are so small and airy jackets made from down are lightweight and can be packed incredibly small. This makes them incredibly effective mountain clothing as you can pack it small in your backpack.