There are two key categories of insulation materials — down and synthetic.
✔️Down is a natural, lightweight, comfortable material with perfect insulation properties that has been relied upon in the industry for years, despite its high cost, difficult care and lack of moist resistance.
A good quality down jacket must contain no less than 60% of down and 40% of feather, however, the best ratio is considered to be 90% down and 10% feather. If the ratio is 50/50, such jacket won’t save you in sub-zero temperature.
White goose down is considered to be the best quality.
Some suppliers will chose gray down in order to save cost, and although it won’t affect insulating properties too much, such jacket will be considered less “noble”. Poor quality suppliers will use hen down which is low in insulating properties and durability.
✔️ Synthetic insulation offers an alternative to down and stands out in high performance clothing for various climate needs, for instance, when protection from humidity is required.
Synthetic coats are rated by grams of insulation. A very light coat would be 60 grams, which is suitable for middle spring or fall, while a winter coat should be no less than 150-200 grams.
There is a great range of branded technologies of insulation, with rapid innovation and with nano-technology applied. Main benefits of synthetics are that they perform when damp, dry fast and are usually more moderately priced than down.