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down jackets

Down Jacket 101

Your puffy keeps you warm, dry, and looking fantastic all winter long. Return the favor and give it some hard-earned TLC.

They get dirty, spilled on, bled on, ripped, stinky, crushed and sat on, so it’s no surprise that down puffies are a classic favorite.

That’s why SKI caught up with a handful of experts to find out how to make sure your puffy keeps giving.

Øyvind Vedvik: outdoor category manager, Helly Hansen

Erin Menor: senior quality engineer, Eddie Bauer

Rick Griffin: quality director, The North Face

The Lowdown on Hydrophobic Insulation

The Lowdown on Hydrophobic Insulation
SD Main
Getting deeper with DownTek, Patagonia, Sierra Designs and Westcomb on the ins and outs of water-repellant down.

Many brands are incorporating hydrophobic down, and each claims theirs is better than the competition, but where the insulation differs most is in the initial processing.

Sierra Designs, for one, decided to develop its own water-shedding insulation technique. Its DriDown is a DWR-like treated down that makes it water-resistant much like the type of finish used on a jacket. The molecular finish is applied during the cleaning and drying processes.

Where Down Insulation Comes From

Where Down Insulation Comes From
Down Main
Some top brands divulge the sources.

In the ever-changing ski industry, it can be hard to stay updated on the latest trends and technologies. While down has been used for hundreds of years as a legit insulation, brands are still jumping into the space—from large companies like Arc’teryx to department store brands.

From fill power to feather treatments, here is the breakdown from some of the most prominent brands using down:

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