What’s up with down? Here’s a look at nature’s original insulator
and its synthetic look-alikes.
When it comes to puffy winter jackets, imitation is not only the sincerest form of flattery, it’s also the solution to a lot of problems. Goose down—the original puffy stuffing—is a natural insulator: It’s extremely warm, it compresses and rebounds easily, and it’s durable. But it has its shortcomings, too, the most notable being that it loses its loft, and therefore its insulation capabilities, when it gets wet.