General Question

emilyrose's avatar

Down vs. synthetic fill for jackets?

Asked by emilyrose (2255 points ) July 22nd, 2008

With summer in San Francisco approaching it’s been freezing! I want a hooded down jacket. Any thoughts on if the synthetic fill is just as warm?

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5 Answers

rockstar's avatar

Synthetic should be just as warm as a down filled. The main difference is down filled items are lighter than synthetic, but if the feathers get wet then it will not hold heat in as well until it is dried. I have heard they can be hard to dry also.

marinelife's avatar

Per Sierra Trading Post, who also have a great pros and cons checklist that might help you decide:

“Down is warmer than synthetic insulation ounce for ounce. No manmade fiber matches down in its warmth-to-weight ratio.”

b's avatar

Down is warmer and more compact able than synthetic, but will not keep you warm if it gets wet. Both will do a good job for what you want, it really depends on how well the jacket keeps out the wind, especially in SF!

robhaya's avatar

I highly recommend that you get a jacket with Primaloft, which is a synthetic down that dries very quickly, lightweight, and very warm. The North Face makes a really good hooded jacket called the “The Redpoint Optimus”. I have the non-hooded version of the “Redpoint” and it keeps me very warm on cold days in Chicago.

Good Luck
R

cyrusbond's avatar

Down is more expensive…but definatly better. Keeps you warmer, compresses better, and its longevity is greater than synthetic. However, the overall choice comes down to where you’ll be using it. Patagonia? Down. Seattle? Synthetic.

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