Why What's Inside Matters
Winter is coming.
Most people recognize this famous phrase from Game of Thrones, but it’s more than just a dramatic, metaphorical tagline – it’s also fact of life.
The heat waves across the country can be deceiving, but it’s only a matter of time before the nights grow longer and temperatures drop, leaving us little choice but to protect ourselves in thick winter clothing in preparation for battle against frigid temps.
Though most do not love the cold, it does make outdoor activities such as camping and hiking much more pleasant, not to mention the excitement building at the prospect of hitting the slopes.
You can be warm and enjoy the outdoors at the same time, even in sub-zero conditions, but you need to pay careful attention to what’s inside your sleeping bag, pants, jacket, gloves and boots. We’ve got you covered - below is our guide to different types of insulation so you can make the best decision for your winter gear purchases.
Down – For a long time, down was the only go-to insulator. Available in a number of fills, it performs well in cold and dry conditions – it’s lightweight for easy packing, retains loft (i.e. warmth) and is incredibly soft. However, it fails to maintain warmth when it’s wet or humid and is less durable than other insulations. Plus, it’s also non-hypoallergenic, difficult to clean and expensive. But in conditions where you need a high warmth-to-weight ratio (goose down being the highest) and moisture is not much of an issue, down is a good choice.
Bottom Line: Good insulator, but not if you are in damp conditions or have allergies. It’s also pricey if you’re on a budget.
Cut Staple – This can also be called “short staple” because the insulation is essentially short microfiber strands pieced together using various bonding techniques, rather than acting as one continuous piece of material. The fills are soft, however, it is not very durable and will not retain warmth over time. Given the nature of how it’s manufactured, the insulation pulls apart easily, necessitating excessive quilting to stabilize, thus resulting in cold spots.
Bottom Line: Cost effective, but will not last.
Continuous Filament – We’ll admit it; we’re partial to this insulation because we’re proud of our own product. Like cut staple, continuous filament is also synthetic, but while cut staple strands are only 2 inches in length, continuous filament relies on longer, continuous strands to create an interlocking layer of insulation that results in high durability and increased loft resilience. Longer strands also prevent migration away from pressure points like elbows and knees for increased thermal efficiency.
Climashield® insulation lasts throughout the life of the product, so you’ll find it on the inside of high end jackets and sleeping bags, as well as in cold weather gear for the US military. Additionally, our product performs in wet and humid conditions, while allowing for moisture and sweat to escape – perfect for active use.
Bottom Line: Maintains warmth throughout the life of the product and highly breathable.
Every type of insulation, be it synthetic or down, has its own advantages and disadvantages. Finding what will work best for you depends on a number of factors, including temperature, conditions, budget and activity level. At Climashield®, we’re committed to ensuring our customers get the most out of their gear, and we hope our quick insight has given you a better sense of what to look for prior to your next adventure.