Baffles come in two sizes – wide and narrow.
Wide baffles are the warmest option as they contain more grams of down or insulation and can be constructed. There are fewer seams where body heat can escape. However, they can feel heavier and do not layer well or compress.
Narrow baffles work well underneath a waterproof in cold and wet conditions. They also compress down small enough to fit easily in your pack, ready to pull out when you stop moving. They are also better for being more active.
When do I need a down jacket?
Down jackets provide a light layer of warm insulation, ideal for low-intensity activities in cold weather, such as dog walking.
If you’re very active when exploring the great outdoors, a down jacket can make you feel overheated – and quickly. This is why you may prefer to wear multiple layers of fleece and other materials or synthetic insulation. These are more versatile and breathable.
How should an insulated jacket fit?
A down or insulated jacket shouldn’t be too fitted or too loose. This allows for adding layers underneath but not so loose as cold air could get in through the hem and arms. You may have drawcords to help with this.
Down jackets tend to run small, so remember that you need a bit of room to allow you to move about.
How warm are down jackets?
How warm a down jacket is will be determined by its “fill power”. The fill power measures the loft or fluffiness of the down and its insulating abilities. The higher the fill power, the more air pockets there are in the down and the more insulating it will be.
Fill power can range from 400 to 900, but most down jacket ratings will fall between 600 and 800.
How tough are down jackets?
Down jackets are designed to be as light as possible with thin fabrics and are also often windproof. However, it’s worth noting that down jackets aren’t indestructible!
Down jackets tend to be worn as a mid-layer because they aren’t made to be as durable as outer jackets. For example, down jackets can be torn on branches. Ideally, you should wear a down jacket underneath a rain jacket or be mindful when exploring the great outdoors.