Women's down jackets
How to choose your women down jacket?
The first thing you should look at are obviously the technical features of your down jacket.
What insulating material is the best?
This is what will bring you warmth and protect you from the cold. It can be either natural (down or feathers) or synthetic.
If down and feathers are lighter, more insulating and more compressible, they will also be more expensive, more fragile and harder to take care of since they don't really like water. Pullin made the choice of only proposing down jackets made of real down and feathers.
For its part, synthetic insulating will be less costly, easier to maintain and stay warm even when wet. However, it will also be heavier and more voluminous than the real stuff. Different synthetic insulating materials are available: Primaloft is the most common one, its ecologic version made of recycled bottles is notably used in Picture down jackets. Some brands even combine the advantages of different insulating materials to give you even more warmth such as Roxy with the Warmflight, with the 3M Thinsulfate or Picture with the DuPont Sorona if you are looking for an eco-friendly alternative.
What are the necessary water repellency, impermeability and breathability for your down jacket?
Most down jackets come with a Durable Water Repellent treatment that makes water slide off the surface of the fabric. Top-of-the-range jackets can also be impermeable, that is to say that they prevent water from getting inside the clothing. One last point to take into consideration, breathability: it should be quite hard to find a jacket that let air go through without letting water go in but Millet managed it. By combining the Dry Microloft material with a Dryedge membrane, it will give you warmth, impermeability and breathability all in one. Breathable jackets are also available at Roxy with the DryFlight and at Picture with the Polartec.
What are the different coatings available?
The coating will protect the insulating of your jacket and define its lifespan. They are generally made of Nylon but it is possible to find more resistant products made with rip-stop fabric. Finally, some jackets are also windproof like the ones you'll find at Dynafit or Scott for example.
What are the other factors to take into account?
Before choosing your jacket, you should take a minute to think about the use you will make of it. That is to say, the temperatures you will be facing and the efforts you will make. The colder it is, the thicker and warmer your jacket needs to be. And the more intense your physical activity is, the lighter and more breathable it should be.
Accessoires can also influence your decision: without or without sleeves, with or without hood, reversible, zip pockets and storage pouch are all possibilities you should think about.
Lastly, the budget will also be a key element because as you might have guessed, the most performing and versatile jackets will often be the most expensive.