Down Jackets & Warmth
No matter where you live, or what your winter's like - we have the perfect jacket to help keep you warm and protected! While we have many options, there are several key features you'll want to pay attention to.
Down Fill Power
Down are the feathers from the underside of a duck or goose. While most people think of the firm hard feathers from the top of birds, down is the soft fluffy underside. Down is amazing for heat retention, due to the round fluffy design of the feather. This 'fluffiness' creates small air pockets that help retain heat.
Fill Power determines the quality of the down feathers used in the jacket. As the fill-power rating increases, so does the lifetime and warmth-to-weight ratio.
When in search for the perfect jacket the Fill Weight of the jacket is also an important measurement. More insulation can trap more warmth. Considering Fill Weight and Fill Power together can give you a better sense of jacket warmth.
An example of this is our Ghost Whisperer jacket, a jacket known for being incredibly lightweight and using high fill power down. While it has a high fill power, it has a lower fill weight. On the other hand, our Bulo Point jacket has 700-fill but a hefty fill weight and other technology that add to it's warmth.
Weather conditions are another important factor to consider when purchasing a down jacket. Down jackets do not perform well in wet conditions as the feather clump and do not trap heat.
How do you obtain down?
At Columbia, we value ethical, sustainable manufacturing practices and are committed to assuring that the partners with whom we do business share and practice these values.
The Columbia brand is strongly opposed to inhumane down-sourcing practices, specifically any use of live-plucking techniques and/or force-feeding methods used to produce foie gras.
The down we source and use is collected in an ethical and responsible manner, allowing us to be Responsible Down Source Certified.
What do you mean by 'quality of the down'?
The quality of the down is determined by how 'lofty' or 'fluffy' the down is. The more loft means the more air space to retain heat. The higher quality of down, also means that less down is required to retain heat.
Do you list fill power on your products?
Yes! You can typically find the fill power on either the Details or Fabric section on our product pages. Below are two examples of where you can find the down fill.
While natural down is great for warmth and compression, natural down can fall short when it becomes wet. If your jacket is not waterproof, the rain/snow will turn your natural down jacket into a heavy wet sack of feathers.
TurboDown™ is our combination of both synthetic and natural down. Adding a blend of synthetic down basically puts our down jackets "on steroids". Synthetic down is waterproof, allowing you to keep both warm and dry.
Baffles are the small pockets, typically sewn into the jacket. Baffles are used to help prevent the down from moving or shifting around inside the jacket.
The only downside of baffles is that they tend to create cold spots on the jacket. Areas where wind and water can enter the jacket, and where you can lose heat from the jacket.
Great news - Columbia has two great technologies that take baffles to the next level!
Heat Seal solves the problems of traditional baffles! Our thermal-bonding technique creates stitch-free baffles. Here are some of the key benefits of Heat Seal™:
- Better heat retention than stitched baffles.
- Reduces wind & water penetration.
TurboDown™ Wave is a step up from our Heat Seal™ technology.
TurboDown™ Wave is our award-winning 'wave' construction that eliminates cold spots. This is essentially two layers of down, with both layers thermal bonded with our Heat Seal™ technology.
This is another key feature to look for when shopping for jackets. We have two great technologies that offer reflective lining within our jackets.
Omni-Heat™ Thermal Reflective
This technology is best for prolonged exposure to cold, and any activity requiring lightweight warmth.
This feature lines our jackets with little silver dots that reflect body heat to improve heat retention.
Omni-Heat™ 3D is a step up from our traditional Omni-Heat™.
Omni-Heat™ 3D provides a new pattern of silver reflectors, focusing on expanded coverage for better heat retention. We also have added small soft fiber pods, making this more of a fuzzy-feeling liner.
Here are a few benefits of Omni-Heat™ 3D:
- Expanded coverage of the silver reflective lining, leading to enhanced heat retention.
- Small fiber pods help create an air gap between the jacket and your body for more insulation.
- Highly breathable, allowing both moisture and excess heat to escape.
Omni-Heat™ Helix takes on a slightly different approach providing warmth using lighter layers.
Omni-Heat™ Helix is the ideal choice for fast-paced activities in cold weather with its high-efficiency insulation which is perfect for layering.
The technologies and benefits can vary from jacket to jacket. Stacking any of the technologies listed above will help lead you to a warmer jacket, built to keep you outside longer.
If this article didn't help - please contact us with the information at the bottom of this page! Our experienced customer service team is ready to help you find the ultimate jacket to keep you warm. You can also try our online Jacket Finder!