When it comes to insulating qualities, nothing can outclass down as padding. Down offers unbeatable heat in relation to its weight and is fluffy, comfortable and easy to compress. Down is therefore the obvious choice for expeditions or treks in extremely cold temperatures and at high altitudes. It is also the best option on really cold days for activities that are more sedentary, such as ice fishing or dog sledding.
Fjällräven has been working with down insulation for more than 40 years and we exclusively use down of the highest quality. When experienced adventurers told our founder, Åke Nordin, that their warm garments did not keep them warm enough, he made a decision. No one should ever again have to freeze while out in nature. This decision resulted in the launch in 1974 of the now classic Expedition Down Jacket, and since then our down jackets have become much appreciated across the world.
High down quality and smart constructions are just two of the reasons why our down jackets are so popular. One of the technical terms you may come into contact with is CUIN (sometimes also called fill power). This is a measurement that indicates how fluffy the down is. You may also hear the terms loft and insulation, which refer to the thickness of the layer of air created by the padding and, respectively, the warming properties of the insulation. The thicker the loft, the better the insulation. The loft is determined by the blend of down and feathers. For maximum insulation, you should choose a down jacket with a high CUIN and a good mix of down and feathers.
CUIN stands for cubic inches per once and indicates how much volume (cubic inches) is filled by one ounce (27.3 grams) of down. For simplicity sake, we can say that the higher the CUIN value of a jacket, the better it insulates (assuming everything else equal).
Down binds more air than feathers and also offers better insulation. This means that the higher the percentage of down in a jacket, the better the insulation compared to a jacket of the same weight. If you see information such as “90/10”, this means that for every 100 grams of padding in your jacket, 90 grams are down.
Our down jackets are not popular and warm just because of their high-class down and high down ratio; they have large, roomy hoods with a drawstring opening that leaves only the eyes visible when pulled tight in really cold weather. Many also have detachable synthetic fur trim for protection from the snow. Protective flaps at the zipper stop drafts and push buttons add extra security (a broken zipper in the winter mountains could be a major problem). But the flaps also offer flexibility - by closing the jacket using only the buttons, moisture and heat can be released.
We often add extra hand-warming pockets behind the regular pockets and the shoulders are filled with extra padding to ensure that they maintain their warmth and shape even when carrying a backpack or heavy items in the pockets.
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