Keeping warm doesn’t have to be complicated with down fill power.

As winter weather approaches for many people around the world, now is the time to start assessing your warmer travel apparel. You might find yourself exploring a frigid destination this winter and it is essential to have the right gear. Part of this winter attire evaluation includes getting educated on the right materials. There is a lot (literally) that goes into creating the warmest winter clothing, and some materials are more effective than others. One particular term to keep in mind is down fill power. This popular material is commonly used with down jackets, which are a particular type of winter coat.

If down fill power sounds to you like some kind of superhero ability, don’t be intimidated. It is simply a high-tech term for the quality of down filling. Essentially, if you want to keep warm, you'll want to look for clothing with excellent down fill power. Fortunately, this article is purposed to steer you in the right direction so you can know what you need.

Here is the ultimate guide to down fill power.

What is down fill power?

down fill power

Have you ever purchased a new bed and then gone shopping for some fresh sheets? If so, you have likely noticed a variance in thread count among different brands. This thread count acts as a scale, letting you know what kind of quality to expect. Generally, with this, the higher the thread count, the softer your sheets are going to be. Likewise, down fill power serves as a reliable measure for what to expect with your down clothing. Like sheets, the higher the number, the greater the down quality. Down fill power assesses the product’s loft, or quality. This loft indicates how much the down expands. When down reaches maximum expansion, it is then at its highest loft.

How do you measure down fill power?

So when you notice this unit of measurement, how exactly do you interpret it? The first thing to remember, is while down fill power helps to understand clothing warmth, it does not solely determine it. You might think that the higher the down fill power count, the warmer it is going to be automatically. This is not always the case. Down fill power does not measure how much down is inside a jacket or other clothing item. Rather, it determines the quality of this down by measuring its cylindrical size. This scale applies to apparel and winter gear, such as sleeping bags. The down fill scale ranges from 300-900+. Again, the higher the number, the better the down filling.

As you measure, don’t forget that the down fill power grading scale is different between the United States and Europe, due to the variance in the size of a cylinder. The U.S. cylinder is 241 millimeters, while Europe’s is 289 millimeters. It is not a significant difference, but is certainly something to consider.

What is the best down fill power?

down fill power

If you want specific numbers to keep an eye out for, this might be tricky. While down fill power determines the quality of the down, it does not measure how much the product actually contains. This is another thing to keep in mind while searching. The average down product rates between 400-500. If you want excellent down insulation, look for ratings over 500 for down jackets. Numbers higher than 550 are ideal if you want excellent down fill power. For sleeping bags, good maximum fill power is around 600-650. High quality is anything over 700.

How can I ensure quality down apparel?

Since your gear’s warmth has to do with more than just the down fill power, there are some other things to consider. As you embark on your search for the highest quality down fill products, look at other features such as the product’s shell material. Of course, each person’s needs are different when it comes to staying warm outside. Because of this, it is challenging to assign a specific degree of warmth to winter apparel. It really is case by case. However, it doesn’t hurt to check out the layers of your potential down jacket, as well as the quality of the material. All of these factor into its overall heat retention capabilities.

Step into winter confidently with the knowledge you need.

In summary, down fill power lets you know the quality to expect from the down filling inside your winter coat or sleeping bag. This is a good place to start as you search for the perfect down jacket you need. If the down itself is high-quality, then it is more reliable to test out in adverse weather conditions. Keep your eyes out for this scale as you shop for your winter gear like sleeping bags, jackets, and coats this season.

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