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What is Primaloft: everything you need to know about this technology

PrimaLoft is a highly compressible synthetic insulation technology found in many technical garments today. Comparable to natural down insulation for its thermal properties, it stands out for its water resistance: it retains warmth even when wet. Made of ultra-fine microfibres, PrimaLoft creates air pockets that retain heat. These fibres are treated to be hydrophobic, ensuring quick drying and efficient moisture evacuation. Unlike down, PrimaLoft is durable, maintaining its insulating power after many washes. It has become a preferred choice for outdoor equipment manufacturers.

What Makes Up PrimaLoft Technology: The Origins

This is a synthetic insulation technology invented in the 1980s. Initially, it was developed to meet the American military's demand for a material capable of retaining body heat even in extreme conditions. Its effectiveness and versatility quickly led to its adoption in the sportswear and outdoor clothing industry. PrimaLoft technology represents a major innovation in the field of synthetic insulation.

The goal was to create an alternative to bird down that could maintain its insulating capabilities even in wet environments.

The innovation lies in the use of ultra-fine microfibres that trap air to retain heat, while offering superior water resistance and great lightness. These fibres are among the finest on the market, giving them exceptional insulating capacity.

Beyond these benefits, this technology is also valued for its good breathability, making garments comfortable during intense activities.

PrimaLoft: An Alternative to Down

PrimaLoft is often considered an alternative to down for those seeking lightness and thermal insulation because it combines the advantages of natural feathers and synthetic materials. It is notably used to design insulating garments for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Indeed, it offers good insulation even when temperatures drop, while remaining lightweight. In addition to these properties, PrimaLoft stands out for its packability.

An Environmentally Friendlier Production

A Large Part of Production Uses 50% Recycled Materials

Since 2015, the company has set a goal to use 50% recycled materials in 90% of its production. This goal has been achieved since 2020, with hundreds of millions of plastic bottles being transformed into PrimaLoft fibres.

PrimaLoft P.U.R.E

PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. represents a significant step forward in PrimaLoft's commitment to environmental sustainability. The acronym P.U.R.E. stands for ‘Produced Using Reduced Emissions’. This innovative technology aims to reduce the carbon footprint during the production of the material. By using a manufacturing process without hot air, PrimaLoft P.U.R.E. manages to significantly lower carbon emissions, thus offering a more environmentally friendly option without compromising the performance or quality of the product.

The Different PrimaLoft Insulations

Primaloft comes in several versions: PrimaLoft Gold, Silver, and Black, to meet a variety of needs. They are designed to address different insulation requirements. Innovations continue with, for example, PrimaLoft Gold BIO, a biodegradable and recycled version.

The Classics from PrimaLoft: Gold, Silver, Black

  • PrimaLoft Black is designed to provide reliable warmth at a more affordable price. Although it is less efficient than the other two ranges in terms of packability and water resistance, it remains a solid option for those looking for efficient insulation and great value for money.
  • PrimaLoft Silver offers an optimal balance between warmth, softness, and durability. Less compressible than Gold, it is still a preferred option for a variety of outdoor activities, ensuring consistent performance.
  • PrimaLoft Gold offers the highest level of performance, providing unmatched warmth, maximum compressibility, and exceptional water resistance. It is designed for those seeking the best insulation, whether for high-altitude mountain expeditions or activities in extremely cold weather.

It is worth noting that all these ranges are characterised by their breathability, compressibility, comfort, and water resistance, to varying degrees.

PrimaLoft BIO: A Biodegradable Synthetic Material

PrimaLoft BIO represents a significant innovation in the synthetic insulation industry. It is the first biodegradable synthetic insulating material, made from fully recycled fibres.

Developed after four years of research, this material has the unique feature of almost entirely biodegrading in one year under accelerated test conditions. This is a technological feat when you consider that standard polyester remains almost entirely intact under the same conditions.

In addition to its biodegradable nature, PrimaLoft BIO also offers high performance. It ensures excellent thermal insulation, while being lightweight and compressible. Additionally, it retains its properties even in the presence of moisture.

This insulating fabric represents a concrete response to current environmental concerns, limiting waste accumulation in landfills and oceans. Thus, it illustrates Primaloft's commitment to sustainable development.

PrimaLoft Active: Ultra Breathable

PrimaLoft Active is an innovation specifically designed to meet the needs of enthusiasts of intense and dynamic outdoor activities. This synthetic insulation technology is optimised to ensure excellent breathability, thus allowing for rapid moisture wicking produced during exercise. It is developed to be integrated into garments that require increased stretch and mobility, without compromising on warmth.

PrimaLoft ThermoPlume

PrimaLoft ThermoPlume is Primaloft's innovative answer to the demand for a synthetic alternative to natural down. This insulation technology closely mirrors the structure and feel of down, while offering the benefits of a synthetic fibre. ThermoPlume flakes mimic down in terms of loft, warmth, and softness, but, unlike down, they retain their insulating properties even when wet. This means that even in damp conditions, ThermoPlume provides consistent and reliable warmth. The fibres are made from fully recycled materials.

PrimaLoft for Footwear

PrimaLoft for Footwear brings a revolution in the footwear field, offering a high-performance insulation solution tailored to the specific needs of feet. Designed to ensure warmth, comfort, and protection in various weather conditions, this synthetic insulation technology is optimised for hiking shoes and boots, winter sports footwear, and everyday shoes. Thanks to its ultra-fine microfibres, PrimaLoft for Footwear offers excellent thermal retention while allowing feet to breathe, thus preventing overheating or excessive moisture.

Some Examples of PrimaLoft Use

Down Jackets with PrimaLoft: Light weight and Thermal Insulation

A down jacket with PrimaLoft is a preferred choice for those seeking efficient thermal insulation without sacrificing lightness. Thanks to the ultra-fine synthetic fibres, these down jackets offer superior warmth, while being featherlight and compact. They are ideal for outdoor activities, providing protection against the cold while being easy to carry.

Jackets with PrimaLoft: Protection Against Cold and Moisture

A jacket with PrimaLoft is a significant ally against cold and moisture. It guarantees optimal retention of body heat, even in adverse weather conditions. Its water-resistant capability makes it a wise choice for outdoor activities in wet conditions.

Gloves with PrimaLoft: Comfort and Insulation for the Hands

Gloves with PrimaLoft ensure effective thermal insulation to keep your hands warm during your outdoor winter activities. PrimaLoft technology is known for its lightness and ability to retain warmth, even in wet conditions. Furthermore, PrimaLoft gloves are designed to be both warm and breathable, which ensures great comfort.

PrimaLoft in Sports Equipment

PrimaLoft finds a prime spot in sports equipment thanks to its remarkable insulation properties. Used in outdoor clothing for sports such as hiking, mountaineering, or skiing, it guarantees optimal warmth even in wet conditions. It is notably found in garments from renowned brands such as Salomon, Rossignol, Millet, Patagonia, and many others.

PrimaLoft Silver insulation, a particularly high-performance version, is especially popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts for its versatility and strength. It offers remarkable warmth while being durable and moisture-resistant.

Additionally, PrimaLoft is appreciated for its light weight and quick-drying capability, making it ideal for sports equipment. It also stands out for its ease of storage and breathability, essential characteristics for the comfort of athletes.

Using PrimaLoft in Ski Clothing

PrimaLoft is widely used in the making of ski clothing for its exceptional thermal insulation qualities. It offers warmth comparable to down, while performing better in wet conditions. Indeed, PrimaLoft maintains its insulating properties even when wet, making it an ideal option for winter sports.

It is found in jackets, trousers, but also gloves and ski boot liners. Ski clothing equipped with PrimaLoft Silver technology is particularly appreciated for its ability to absorb moisture while remaining breathable and flexible, thus ensuring optimal comfort.

Another advantage of PrimaLoft in ski clothing is its lightness and packability. These characteristics allow for easy storage, practical for skiing which often requires layering of clothing.

PrimaLoft and Gore-Tex: A High-Performance Combination

The combination of Gore-Tex and PrimaLoft in sports equipment offers a high-performance duo. Gore-Tex, known for its ability to provide waterproofness without compromising breathability, keeps the athlete dry, even in extreme conditions. On the other hand, PrimaLoft ensures effective thermal insulation, resistant to moisture.

The garments designed in this way offer a perfect balance between protection against the elements and thermal insulation, all while being light and compressible.

This combination is particularly appreciated in the field of winter sports, where equipment must face often harsh weather conditions. In addition, the durability and resilience of these two technologies ensure a long lifespan for the equipment, even in intensive use.

How to Care for PrimaLoft Products

To care for PrimaLoft products, certain precautions are necessary. Above all, carefully read the washing instructions on the garment’s label. Using a mild liquid detergent or one specific for sports apparel is recommended to preserve the fabric's breathability.

It is generally advised to wash PrimaLoft products at a low temperature (30°C), which is sufficient for most garments and helps save energy.

For drying, two options are possible: let the garment air dry or use a tumble dryer with a very gentle cycle. In any case, avoid drying your garment directly on a radiator.

Finally, careful storage of your PrimaLoft garments will help prolong their life. Properly storing them prevents damage.

Rossignol, Patagonia, Burton... Which Brands Use PrimaLoft?

PrimaLoft technology has been adopted by multiple prestigious sports equipment brands, such as Rossignol, Picture, Patagonia, and Burton, to name just a few. This collaboration with over 900 textile brands worldwide confirms the quality and performance of PrimaLoft.