Bregenz, Austria – If you’re planning on spending time in the great outdoors this winter, you know that down jackets and sleeping bags are two of the most essential pieces of equipment to keep you warm.
Are you looking for a jacket or sleeping bag to keep you warm without the weight of heavy insulation? Look no further than down and feather products. From stylish jackets for daily commuting to professional grade sleeping bags for serious camping adventures, down and feather products fit almost any use.
To top it all off, down products are durable and can last years when used and taken care of properly. Before you buy, think about how you plan on using your product, as this might change your purchasing criteria. To help you out, The International Down and Feather Bureau (IDFB) has put together a list of things to look for when purchasing outdoor gear.
Fill power is the amount of down in the jacket or sleeping bag. Generally, the higher the fill power the greater the amount of warmth or puffiness per ounce (or other unit of measurement). Down with higher fill-power numbers include fewer feathers and use bigger, more mature down clusters. Larger down clusters are more durable and can better withstand repeated compressing.
The ratio of down to feather will help you understand how soft your product will be. As feathers are a bit more course than down clusters, this may affect the softness of your apparel or sleeping gear. The higher the percentage of down, the softer your sleeping bag or jacket will be.
The intended use of a product can be a large factor when determining what shell to purchase. Nylon is the most common material used in down apparel, and the shell of sleeping bags often varies depending on the maker. Some jackets have a softer material on the inside shell or liner. As down does not perform well in wet conditions (it can loss it loft and some of its warmth-retaining abilities), you may think to look for a jacket or sleeping bag with a water resistant outer shell.
Choosing the right gear for outdoor use is an important process, so be sure to carefully consider all aspects of the purchase.