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INSULATION

Keeping you warm and comfortable in hostile conditions is at the root of our brand. So, how do we do it? What do we use? How does it work and why should you pay attention to the insulation in your gear?

INSULATION

Keeping you warm and comfortable in hostile conditions is at the root of our brand. So, how do we do it? What do we use? How does it work and why should you pay attention to the insulation in your gear?

What is insulation and how does it work?

We use two kinds of materials in our gear to insulate you from the cold: Down from ducks or geese, and synthetic man-made fibres.

They both work in the same way by trapping air within their structures. The down or synthetic fibres themselves don’t actually keep you warm, it’s all about their ability to effectively trap air and keep it stable.

You will find air acting as an insulator in all sorts of places... In the walls of your home, in your mattress, or even your on-the-go coffee cup. Insulated gear usually uses either down or synthetic insulation, although some products may use both of them in their construction.

Down & Synthetic

Insulated gear uses either down or synthetic insulation, although some use both in their design.

Learn About Down
Learn About Synthetic

Get Down with Down

Down are the fluffy clusters that are found underneath the tougher outer feathers of ducks and geese. If it’s good enough to keep them warm, then it’s good enough for us.

When people talk about down, they may often refer to it as feathers. However, feathers are only a very small proportion of the insulation. We use far more down than feather in our gear. 

What’s so great about down?

Down is made of very fine fibres that provide the lightest and most efficient means of trapping and holding air in position.

This trapped air provides an incredibly efficient thermal barrier. Its performance is unrivalled by any other natural or synthetic equivalent. Individual down clusters expand (or loft) to fill an area that is vast relative to their size. The down’s volume is then made almost entirely of trapped air, so any down filled gear remains incredibly lightweight and compressible.

Down Cluster Ratio

This is the amount of feather and down mix that is found in your down clothing.

The higher the ratio, the more down the item contains.

For our duck down gear, we have a cluster ratio of 80:20, where there is a maximum of 20% feather content. For our goose down items this ratio changes to 90:10, where the minimum down content is 90%.

The higher the percentage of down, the better warmth for weight.

Get Down With Down

Fill Power Explained

What is hydrophobic down?

Get Down With Down

Fill Power Explained

What is hydrophobic down?

Responsible Down Standard

The Responsible Down Standard independently certifies down against animal welfare requirements and tracks it from the source to the final product. RDS is an independent, voluntary global standard that companies can choose to certify their products to.  

All our virgin down is certified to the Responsible Down Standard. 

The Synthetic Specifics

Synthetic insulation is completely man-made. It is usually created from polyester to form either sheets of wadding or lofted (blown) structures that behave very similarly to down.

Different sized filaments are intertwined with each other to create air pockets that insulate you from the cold.

What’s so great about synthetic insulation?

Synthetic insulation is strong and resilient. It’s lightweight, fast drying, and remains effective in damp conditions. Synthetic sheet insulation can be especially useful for gear used in stop-start activities or fast-moving ascents because it can be used with highly breathable fabrics. It’s designed to respond to your output, insulating or breathing as to regulatte your temperature across a wide range of conditions.

How is synthetic insulation made?

In general, sheet insulation is a non-woven material. It is produced using polyester fibres, which are interlaced to form a 3D web-like structure. This structure is held in place by binder fibres which are heat activated (melted) so that they bond at points where the fibres cross to hold them in place.

Explore Primaloft

We use a wide variety of different types of Primaloft insulation in our products. From sheet, to blown and from 100% post-consumer recycled to those that use NASA level technology embedded into their fibres.

Each type of Primaloft is specifically selected to compliment the garment and enhance the user’s overall experience.  Check out all the types we use in this video:

Down Vs Synthetic

Although both down and synthetic insulation share many of the same properties, there are certain situations where one trumps the other.

Your choice will depend on the location, activities, and conditions you expect to encounter.

How to Build a Down Jacket

Down garments are usually constructed using a series of baffles. Baffles are individual chambers which hold the down in place, ensuring an even distribution of insulation and minimising cold spots. It is these baffles that give many down jackets their distinctive quilt-like appearance.

We use two types of baffle in the construction of our down jackets: stitch-through and box-wall.