Down vs. Primaloft

The outerwear chronicles: down insulation vs. PrimaLoft insulation

When it comes to men's outerwear, there's one choice everyone wonders about: should they choose down insulation or synthetic (i.e. PrimaLoft)? What's the difference in warmth? In performance? In price?

Let's get down to it

That's a lot of questions, isn't it? No wonder it can be confusing. So let's start out with a simple query: "What's up with down?"

Which reminds me of the joke 4-year-old Sam told me: "How do you get down from an elephant? Use a ladder." I think he meant to say, "You don't get down from an elephant; you get down from a duck."

And while it's true Sam has a lot to learn about humor (the secret is timing and you either have it or you don't) the point that he didn't make is this: duck down and goose down are great natural insulators. They trap and hold body heat so birds stay warm in winter without wearing clothes. The exception is Donald Duck, who wears a shirt but not pants even in the summer.

Ok, let's really get down to it

From men's down coats to kids' sleeping bags, robes to comforters, down is a great choice for warmth. Need more proof? Down-filled coats have climbed to the top of Mount Everest (not by themselves, but with people inside of them), so you know they keep you warm.

So clearly, one great way to stay warm: Get down!

But wait…there's more

However, there's a down alternative that was originally developed for use by the U.S. military: PrimaLoft®. (featured in all of our men's down alternative coats)

The Army loved the warmth down provided and wanted an insulator with similar properties – but superior warmth when wet. Why was the Army getting wet you may ask? Wouldn't that be the Navy's job? Or maybe even the Marines? Who can say?

But the result of their request a was whole lotta research and development that created PrimaLoft, a synthetic that provides warmth and weighs little; but unlike natural down, it resists moisture to keep you warm when it's wet.

So when weighing the pros and cons of down and PrimaLoft, the biggest question you need to ponder is a simple one: how do you pronounce PrimaLoft?

Pree-mah-lawft? Or Pry-mah-lawft? Or maybe it's Pree-May-Looft? How about Pri-muh-Loaf-tee?

We may never know the answer.

But one thing we do know is this: down is a great insulator. So is PrimaLoft. Both perform well. Bottom line: the choice is yours!

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