How to Choose the Best Canada Goose Down Jacket

canada goose clearance Temperatures are dipping below zero degrees which means we’re all reaching for our winter coats, and for some of us, that means a goose-filled down jacket.

The puffy coat is a favorite among Canadians because they protect us from the harsh winter climate thanks to its insulation, its lack of bulk and its general comfort canada goose bomber,black canada goose ,north face,canada goose jacket uk,canada goose sale uk,kids canada goose,canada goose london,canada goose outlet.

However, these jackets come at a huge cost to the animals themselves, according to Salon.

Canada Goose Black Friday The website claims that geese (and sometimes, but rarely, ducks) have the feathers plucked while they are still alive which causes them tremendous pain.

Salon author Marie Myung-Ok Lee writes moncler jacket,womens canada goose jacket,canada goose jacket sale,Canada Goose Black Friday,canada goose clearance,canada goose london,canada goose outlet:

“Down is often collected through a procedure called live plucking. Which is pretty much what it sounds like: A worker restrains the bird and rips out feathers by the handfuls, especially from the goose’s underbelly but sometimes also from the back. Often, pieces of skin come off as well, the birds scream in terror and struggle to get away. Sometimes they die from the trauma. Just Google “down cruelty” and you’ll find plenty of pictures of miserable, bald and dying geese straight from my nightmare. Animal rights groups contend that this practice encompasses 50-80 percent of all down.”
This means that the down coat you’re wearing while stomping through the slushy streets has most likely caused an animal to suffer. (Sorry for the downer.)

canada goose jacket sale Unfortunately, it’s hard to find retailers that sell ethically-sourced down coats. Even the North Face, which claims to produce humanely-sourced down (down that’s plucked from geese who have already been killed for meat), gets most of its feathers from a company that uses live-plucking suppliers, according to Jezebel.

So what’s one to do? If you want to buy an ethically conscious coat that will keep you warm, canada goose jacket,canada goose jackets,canada goose uk,moncler jacket,womens canada goose jacket,canada goose jacket sale,Canada Goose Black Friday,canada goose clearance, look for alternatives that have synthetic insulating fabrics.

womens canada goose jacket With snow falling in Florida and temperatures along the East Coast dipping well below zero, the need for a good winter jacket has never been greater. The warmth from your body wants to get out into the cold atmosphere—that’s just simple thermodynamics—but a good jacket can keep it from escaping, even when the temperatures hit “polar vortex” or “bomb cyclone” levels of frigidity.

moncler jacket At one point in humanity, animal furs and pelts were our best option—they’re great insulators and give that cool “north-of-the-wall” look. Now, we have more efficient methods for bottling in body heat, but that has made the process of buying a winter warmer confusing, filled with tons of inconsistent standards and industry-specific jargon. Here’s a guide to for finding the right jacket.

What to look for
While there are metrics you can use to guide your jacket purchase, there isn’t one perfect jacket to suit everyone’s needs. “Some people run hot and another run cold,” says Woody Blackford, vice president of global design for Columbia sportswear. “There are other factors, too, like how active you are. You need a different jacket to stand at the bus stop every day than you do to go out running.”

canada goose outlet Almost every winter jacket has three main components: an outer shell, insulating fill, and a lining. Here’s a breakdown of each piece.

Just about every piece of winter gear is designed to provide good insulation. The stuff you’ll find in jackets works pretty much the same way as the scratchy, pink fiberglass stuff lining the walls of your house: Individual threads or strands of material create tiny pockets that trap warm air. “You’re creating a microclimate around your body,” says Blackford.

canada goose london The most popular kind of fill for a winter jacket is still down, the fluffy layer of insulation harvested from the skin of fowl like ducks and geese. Companies often mix down with typical feathers to reduce costs. Down is an extremely efficient insulator that’s easy to compress and pack, which has made it the gold standard for jacket insulation for decades. The downside: it doesn’t do well when wet.

Here are the variables to consider when buying a down jacket:

kids canada goose Fill power This is one of the stats jacket companies love to brag about because it’s basically an indicator of the overall quality of the down fill. The number, which typically ranges from 300 to 900, directly represents the number of cubic centimeters one ounce of down will take up when compressed in a cylinder by a calibrated weight. Higher quality down won’t compress as much, which leaves more room for air pockets (remember: we like those) and more effective heat retention.

The U.S. and Europe use the same methodology for determining this number, but Europe uses a wider cylinder and a heavier weight. The combination of those variables means that, on paper, the numbers should come out about the same.

canada goose sale uk In addition to better heat retention, higher fill power also often translates into a more comfortable jacket. Once you get below the 500 range, the material can start to feel stiff or lumpy. Anything in the 800 or 900 range pushes into the premium category.

Fill weight Once you’ve determined what kind of down will go into a jacket, then you have to find out how much of it there is. Fill weight is simply the amount of down found in a jacket measured in ounces. Yes, ore down is better, assuming the fill power remains constant.

canada goose jacket uk So, just because a jacket has a high fill power rating, it can still have a very small amount of actual material between you and mother nature, which won’t keep you as warm. Similarly, you can have a heavy jacket with a lot of low-quality insulation inside and it won’t keep you as warm as a lighter jacket with better insulation.

north face Down to feather ratio Down specifically refers to the soft plume or clusters of material that reside right next to the bird’s skin. It’s different from feathers in that it’s much fluffier and doesn’t have hard stems that sometimes poke through the shell or lining of the jacket. A higher proportion of down clusters to feathers is ideal, but typically raises the price of the garment.

black canada goose A higher down mixture will often compress down more, which is important if you’re planning on packing the jacket on a trip. A good mix should be at least 70 percent down, but mixes over 80 percent are common for premium jackets.

The downsides of down
canada goose bomber Down comes from waterfowl, but oddly down jackets are nearly useless if they get wet. “Down was up when it’s wet,” says Blackford. “You lose all those holes that trap warm air, and you’re left with wet fiber next to your skin. It takes a long time to dry once you wet it out, too.”

It’s difficult to make a waterproof shell for down jackets because the garments need sewn-in pockets—called baffles—to keep all the down from slumping into the bottom of the jacket over time. Those seams create tiny areas without insulation or waterproofing. Manufacturers have started using heat-bonded or welded seams, but the methods still leave uninsulated areas that jettison warmth.

canada goose mens jacket High demand for down requires lots of birds, and the harvesting process isn’t always kind. Ideally, features would come from molting birds that are already losing their feathers, but manufacturers have been accused of “live plucking,” which is painful for the birds. Down is also largely a byproduct of the food industry, which means the plume may have been plucked from a goose that was force-fed and fattened to create Fois grass. Many of the major manufacturers including The North Face, Columbia, and Patagonia have made efforts in this arena.

Synthetic insulation
canada goose jackets The other option for jacket insulation is synthetic polyester. The individual fibers achieve the same purpose as down: creating tiny holes that trap warm air around your body.

Apocalypse Design, an Alaska-based outdoor gear company, makes custom coats and outerwear for truly brutal conditions, including Iditarod races. The company is based in Fairbanks, where temperatures of -40 degrees Fahrenheit are the norm in the winter. The company’s synthetically insulated Expedition parka is meant to withstand temperatures to -60 degrees for extended periods of time.

PrimaLoft (shown below) is one of the most common varieties of synthetic fill.

What Is Down?
goose coats The filling in a down jacket typically comes from geese or ducks. Goose and duck down are similar, but the down clusters found on geese are larger simply because geese are bigger birds. Down is the soft layer located under the bird’s feathers and it’s what they use to stay dry and warm. These down clusters are fluffy and will have several strands protruding in all directions.

canada goose coats According to The Ohio State University, the highest quality of down comes from geese living in cold climates. While down can range in color from gray to white, the color of the down has no impact on its insulating capabilities. Down is the warmest and lightest type of insulation for its weight.

Washing a Down Jacket
canada goose womens Washing your down jacket in a washing machine generally won’t damage the filling as long as it’s done properly. Only wash your down jacket as needed — no more than twice a year — to prevent the feathers from breaking. To wash your jacket, zip the zippers and secure any snaps or buttons. Turn the jacket inside out and put it in a front-loading washing machine.

moncler Wash the jacket in cold water on the gentle cycle with a small amount of gentle laundry detergent. Run the jacket through three rinse cycles altogether to ensure no soap residue is left in the down. For added protection, use a special soap made specifically for washing down-filled items.

Drying a Down Jacket
canada goose coat If down filling doesn’t dry completely, it may begin to clump or even produce a foul odor. Place your down jacket in the dryer to dry completely. Set the heat on the dryer to low and place three clean tennis balls inside with the jacket. The balls will help to redistribute the filling and prevent clumping. Also, add a couple of dry bath towels to the dryer to help absorb moisture during the drying process.

Run the jacket through a complete dry cycle on low heat. Take it out of the dryer and shake it out gently to move the filling around. Put the jacket back in the dryer and run it through at least one more dry cycle to ensure the filling is completely dry. Depending on the size of the jacket, several drying cycles may be necessary to completely dry the down filling. Remove the jacket and shake it out after each drying cycle to keep the filling from clumping.

Other Considerations
canada goose mens Avoid washing your down jacket in a top-loading washing machine. The agitator bar in the washer can easily damage the jacket. Instead, always use a front-loader, which doesn’t have an agitator, to protect the coat. Inspect the jacket thoroughly before placing it in the washer.

canada goose parka Take your jacket to a professional for cleaning if the exterior fabric is old, weak or deteriorated; otherwise, it may become damaged during the wash cycle. If you notice an odor coming from your down jacket after washing, don’t worry. This is typical with down filling when it becomes wet. Once the jacket is completely dry, the smell should be gone.
There are a lot of variables to consider when choosing a down jacket. In our detailed Best Down Jackets for Men review, we assessed each jacket based upon warmth, weight, water resistance, fit, compressibility, and features to help you find the best overall mid- and lightweight down jacket, as well as what are the best jackets for a variety of purposes. In this article, we go into greater detail about the materials used to make these jackets, as well as examine the trade-offs for different options that will help you choose the perfect jacket for your purposes.

What Is Down?
canada goose sale Down is the natural insulating layer found on geese and ducks that keeps their bodies warm even while swimming around in nearly freezing water? The down layer lies in between their skin and their oily layer of hollow outer feathers, which give them the ability to float and provides a waterproof membrane that protects the down. Down is typically white or grey, and an individual piece of down looks like a blob of tiny little fibers all somehow joined in the middle and radiating outward.

canada goose uk Not only is that what they look like, but that is pretty much exactly what they are. Lots of these little blobs all clustered together form millions of tiny air pockets, providing “loft,” which serves as an incredible insulator. The more inert air that can be trapped in between you and the cold outside air, the better you will be insulated from its chilling effects. Down is the best insulator on the planet in terms of warmth-to-weight ratio. It is also very resistant to the damage caused by compression, meaning you can stuff it in your pack time and again without compromising its ability to keep you warm.

canada goose jacket It is not exactly clear how long one can expect these coatings to continue to work, as DWR coatings on face fabrics inevitably wear off after a reasonable amount of use. At least one manufacturer’s marketing claims included the words “permanent” water resistance, although we find this a bit hard to believe. An even more important question might be: “Why don’t all of the down jackets in this review incorporate hydrophobic down?” Unfortunately, we can’t answer this question, and admit that it does seem odd that with this technology seemingly widespread at this time, only four of the top 10 jackets used it. Presumably, cost of development, as well as the cost of implementation, have something to do with this fact.

We will admit that we found it difficult to successfully test the claims made about hydrophobic down and its performance in a wet environment compared to regular down. We wore the hydrophobic down jackets into the shower for minutes at a time, getting them fully and completely soaked with water, and did indeed find that they seemed to lose little to no loft due to the soaking. This would suggest that the claims are mostly accurate. That said, some of the other jackets we doused fully in the shower performed equally well, as in, also lost little to no loft when wet, because the DWR coatings applied to the face fabrics were very effective at preventing water from being absorbed into the down (at least when they are fresh). The best that we can say is that we couldn’t disprove hydrophobic down as a potentially superior technology, and when considering whether to buy a jacket that uses it or not, there is really no reason not to get the hydrophobic down jacket canada goose uk,canada goose sale,canada goose parka,canada goose mens,canada goose coat,moncler,canada goose womens,canada goose coats,goose coats.

Welded or Bonded Baffles
Two of the jackets in this year’s review feature “welded” or “bonded” baffles, which are essentially the same thing, described with different verbiage. These jackets are the Columbia Outdry Ex Gold and the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Hooded. This construction technique fuses the inner and outer pieces of fabric together to create a baffle that holds the down using heat, chemicals, glue, or a combination of all three. (Honestly, we aren’t sure about the exact techniques used to achieve these effects, they aren’t disclosed, and are likely different and proprietary from company to company, and also depending on materials canada goose mens jacket,canada goose bomber,black canada goose ,north face,canada goose jacket uk,canada goose sale uk,kids canada goose,canada goose jacket.)

There is one major benefit to these techniques: since there are no holes in the outer fabric from sewing the baffles they are more wind impermeable and water resistant or proof. Other benefits touted by the companies but which are either negligible or unverifiable are: lower weight (the thread used to sew a jacket can’t weigh very much?), longer lifespan and durability (the jury is still out), and greater warmth retention (not verifiable). In regards to the last point that welded or bonded baffles are warmer than sewn-through baffles, we must point out that in both of the jackets that had welded baffles, the inner and out fabric still pinch together between baffles, creating an un-insulated dead space, just like sewn-through baffles canada goose sale,canada goose parka,canada goose mens,canada goose coat,moncler,canada goose womens,canada goose coats,goose coats,canada goose jackets,canada goose mens jacket.

Also, we noticed that the width of these dead spaces is actually quite a bit larger on the welded jackets than the sewn-through ones, and so we surmise that this method of construction may actually be less warm than sewn-through baffles, not the other way around. While there are many other factors at play, including type and quantity of insulation, as well as the properties of the face fabrics, we found that these two jackets were amongst the least warm of any we tested.