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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How I measure insulated down jackets?

I've looked at a lot of down jackets here at Cold Thistle.  Synthetics I generally use the weight of the insulation, 60g per square meter as an example or 100g per square meter.

Down jackets I want to know a couple of things.

Construction?  Fully box baffled or sewn through.  There can be a lot of different combos along with that.  But that is the first.  What is the construction?

Second I want to know what the quality of the down used.  The fill rating?  750 cu inch per ounce or 800 fill or 1000 fill?

How much actual down fill, as in ounces used?  And the jacket's size.  Most importantly how that size fits me personally.

Three additional measurements matter to me.  Can a full size climbing helmet EASILY fit inside the hood?

Length of the jacket's back from shoulder seam, @ the base of the hood to the hem.

And finally the height of the insulation measured 1/2 way between the neck and the point of the shoulder with the jacket laid flat and completely zipped up.  It means little other than as a comparison of loft in the jacket one to another.   This number could easily be fudged to gain or loose insulation depending on your bias and sway the charts. ( even the pictures are difficutlt to read accuratly so I don't post them intentionally)  I know that and try to make a consistent and realistic measurement so that I show no favorites here.  It is also why I don't go smaller than 1/2 inch in differences.

Close up of the height of insulation at the shoulder.  This jacket actually has 3" of loft  Although the angle of the camera shows almost 3.5".  You have to be consistent on every measurement and honest when you post the numbers. 

Shoulder between point of shoulder and the hood on a jacket


Joseph Wright said...

What about compressibility? I would like to see the measurements when packed down. You see this on some sleeping bags but not on many jackets.

Dane said...

Generally the less over all weight, and the better the down the smaller the jacket will compress. I don't add that info because it normally takes me a few efforts to find the smallest stuff sack I can use comfortably with any given jacket. And it is almost never the sack they come with but smaller yet.

The same published info is not very accurate on sleeping bags at least from my experience.

What I may be willing to stuff a jacket or sleeping bag into you might think way too much effort. Even I think it is too much effort some times. That is why I don't normally publish specific "packed" info. It is too variable and too user/use specific imo.

Dane said...

Joseph, from your comments I was curious as to the size a Mirage would stuff. The Permafrost will be bigger stuffed of course because it is heavier and has more down. The Permafrost is suppose to compact to 6" x 10". Catalog says the Mirage will stuff to 5.3" x 9.3". The stuff sack that comes with the Mirage is 5.3" x 13". Using the same sack, I found compressing the Mirage to 5.3" x 7" easy.