Buying a Green Down Jacket

When it comes to staying warm in the winter, a good down jacket is hard to beat.down jacket This insulating layer is typically filled with goose or duck down, which traps body heat and prevents it from diffusing into the cold air around you. Alternatively, some jackets use synthetic insulation. While it doesn’t trap as much heat as feather down, it is generally warmer and dries faster than down—and can offer protection in wet weather as well.

Choosing the right jacket for you depends on your needs.down jacket If you’re planning on hiking and camping in the mountains, a lightweight down jacket will likely suffice. If you want to venture further into backcountry terrain, a midweight or heavyweight down parka might be better.

The warmth of a down jacket is determined by its fill power—a number that measures how many cubic inches an ounce of down takes up.down jacket The higher the fill power, the more warmth the jacket will provide. In addition to fill power, you should also look at the jacket’s shell denier, which determines how durable and waterproof it is.

While some people still prefer down for its warmth-to-weight ratio, it’s worth noting that it leaves a larger environmental footprint than synthetic insulation.down jacket The production of down requires cruel live plucking and force-feeding of geese in Hungary (and sometimes China). While there are some alternatives to this practice—like using white goose down—this option doesn’t eliminate the ethical concerns associated with the industry.

For this reason, some outdoor gear manufacturers are experimenting with alternative insulators.down jacket One such material is recycled polyester. It’s a great eco-friendly choice because it’s made from recycled plastic bottles and can be recycled again and again, but it doesn’t hold up as well against moisture as down does, so it’s not ideal for wet weather.

The North Face, for example, uses recycled polyester in some of its products and has worked on a process that makes the down in its jackets hydrophobic, meaning it resists water. This doesn’t completely eliminate the issue, however, since the polyester will eventually break down and need to be recycled, so it’s important to take the full lifecycle of your jacket into account when making a purchasing decision.

Other green options for a down jacket include the Rab Microlight Alpine, which uses high-quality, responsibly sourced down and a durable and water resistant shell. We also love the Cotopaxi Fuego, which combines premium 800-fill down with a flexible and versatile 20-denier shell. The Utah-based brand is a B Corp, which means that it has a commitment to social and environmental responsibility.


Green is the new colour. Gear up and begin your flow with the new green journey.