Mens Down & Insulated Jackets

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FAQ

What is the purpose of a down jacket?

Cold weather camping, shivering belay duty, ice climbing, winter bouldering, mountaineering and ski touring, down jackets are the obvious go-to option for lightweight warmth.

Synthetic insulation may outperform down in wet weather, but down still comes in first in cold, dry environments.

How to choose a good down jacket?

The best way to select a down jacket is to consider what you intend to use it for:

  • Alpine Climbing – A midweight down jacket is ideal for use as a midlayer under a hardshell on very cold days or throw it on top of everything at the belay.
  • Rock Climbing – Big down jackets are the ideal belay jacket on colder days.
  • Alpine Mountaineering/ Winter/ Ice – Wearing a down jacket under a hardshell is a lightweight, comfortable option to keep your body and hands warm.
  • Ski Touring – Although too warm for skinning, lightweight down jackets make the perfect midlayer for the descent.
  • Alpine Trekking/ Speed Hiking – Lightweight down jackets are the perfect lightweight insulation solution during breaks on cold, dry days and pack down small.

What is good fill power for a down jacket?

Fill power is the main way to determine the quality of down. It ranges from about 550 to 900 for high-altitude mountaineering. Fill power is the volume (=loft) in cubic inches that one ounce of the down produces. The higher the fill power, the warmer the down for its weight.

You’ll also see a down-to-feather ratio displayed. This shows the ratio of down to feather. A 90/10 ratio means that the product is 90% down and 10% feather. The higher the down percentage, the warmer the jacket will be.

Down jackets almost always weigh less and compress more than synthetic insulation jackets.

You’ll also see a down-to-feather ratio displayed. This shows the ratio of down to feather. A 90/10 ratio means that the product is 90% down and 10% feather. The higher the down percentage, the warmer the jacket will be.

How do you know how warm a down jacket is?

Check the weight and fill power. For example, our Ortles Medium Down Men’s Jacket weighs around 570 grams and has a 750 cuin 90/10 fill, while our Ortles Heavy Powertex Down Jacket weighs 905 grams and has the same fill power. It’s easy to see which is going to be warmest.

Note that if two jackets have the same weight of down, but a different fill power, the one with higher fill power will be warmer.

What else should I look for in a down jacket?

  • Traceable certified down
    SALEWA® only uses traceable Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified down. The standard ensures that our down and feathers only come from ducks and geese that are well treated with high animal welfare standards.
  • Fabrics
    Down jackets generally use very lightweight outer fabrics. If durability is high on your wish list, consider a jacket with a heavier (higher denier) shell fabric.
  • Features
    Handwarmer pockets are just amazing. Make sure you can still use them with a backpack waistbelt or harness on. A good hood is also a major bonus, especially one that will fit over your helmet.

How do I know what size down jacket to buy?

It really depends on whether you plan to wear it over or under your outer layer. If it's intended as an outer belay jacket, then size up.

What is the difference between duck down and goose down?

Goose and duck down are exceptionally similar in insulation performance. They share essentially the same structure. Both types of down maintain their loft and warmth for many years.

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