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Down Guide

Down Composite Mapping

Down Composite Mapping places synthetic insulation in high moisture areas: hood, collar, hemlines and cuffs. Moisture is not prone to compacting and remains warm when wet.

The core of the garment and the sleeves, where warmth is most needed, are filled with 100% down.

Down   Coreloft™
down hood

Synthetic insulation strategically placed in the hood resists moisture where precipitation lands

cuffs shoulders

High wear areas like shoulders and cuffs are insulated with Coreloft.

side insulation

Synthetic insulation is mapped to areas prone to moisture while the core is warmed by 100% down.

Down Contour Construction

For cold, wet weather comfort, the ultimate solution is a waterproof/breathable shell insulated with down. This is why Arc'teryx developed Down Contour Construction, a patent-pending down and synthetic liner placed inside a GORE-TEX® shell.

Synthetic insulation sits next to all areas of the GORE-TEX® shell, to protect the down from any condensation. Using the principles of Down Composite Mapping, down filled baffles throughout the core and sleeves contour against the body, delivering premium warmth, keeping the down in place and eliminating negative air spaces that can result in a loss of heat.

All of our down insulated GORE-TEX® products utilize DCC construction.

What is Down?

Down is the soft under plumage (a layer underneath the feathers) found on the underbelly of waterfowl. This plumage insulates the bird and keeps it warm and dry.

What is the difference between down and feather?

Down is a cluster that is soft and fluffy and will have many filaments growing in all directions. Feathers have hard quills, while down does not. Down is warmer, fuller and more resilient than feathers.

Down ClusterDown Cluster showing filaments

What is fill power?

Fill power is a measure of the loft or volume of the down and its ability to regain its volume after being compressed. The higher the fill power the greater the loft, the better the quality and the more efficient (warmth vs. weight) the down will be. Technically, it is the volume (number of cubic inches) that 1 oz of down will fill under specific laboratory conditions.

Down Fill Power

Photo credit: Allied Feather & Down

Does colour of down (grey or white) have any relation to warmth or quality?

Colour of down does not have any relation to warmth or overall quality. It simply refers to the colour of the bird that the down comes from. Colour is affected by the age, species and size of the bird. White down is prized because grey down can easily be seen through light coloured fabrics. White geese are also rarer which can cause the cost of white down to be higher.

Is there a benefit to duck down or goose down?

No, both duck and goose of the same fill quality provide the same amount of warmth. However, because geese are larger than ducks, goose down clusters tend to be larger than duck down. For this reason, it is less common to get higher fill power duck down, so most high fill power down products use goose down.

I thought that my jacket used down clusters, why do I see feathers?

With all down products there are a certain number of feathers that will make their way into a down garment. All of Arc'teryx down products are certified to be a minimum of 90% down to 10% feather or are 90/10.

My jacket has down coming out of it, what should I do?

A small amount of down escaping through the fabric or through any seam line is expected and common in any down garment. Down is exceptionally fine and can work itself through small openings. You may find small, fine down pieces coming through the seam line. This can be more apparent on darker coloured garments. You can also have single down pieces or feathers coming through the face or liner. This is to be expected.

If you do see some down or a feather poking through the fabric do NOT pull it through the fabric. Try to pull the down or feather back inside the jacket and then gently rub the area between your fingers. Pulling the cluster through the jacket may cause an even bigger hole to develop as it may pull larger quantities of down through. Gently rubbing the area where the down or feather was poking through will move the fabric strands back together, helping to seal up the small hole that may have developed.

However, if you have excessive down loss there may be an issue.

Learn how to Care for your Down Garments

Can I wash my down jacket and how?

Yes, please do! When your jacket starts to accumulate too many oils or dirt or when it starts to lose its loft, it's time to wash the jacket.

Cerium LT and Thorium AR, Macai, Andessa, Therme, Patera:
When down garments lose their loft or when they have a build-up of dirt or oils the effectiveness of down is reduced and it is recommended that these garments be washed. It's important to clean your down garments occasionally to maintain their loft and promote longevity; however, it is best to do it as sparingly as possible. We strongly recommend a front load washer for this; however, if you have a washing machine with an agitator (top loader), it is recommended that you wash the garment inside a mesh bag to help protect it.

We recommend using a down specific detergent such as Granger's Down Cleaner. Use warm water (neither hot nor cold) on permanent press or gentle cycle, to reduce agitation, and rinse thoroughly. We suggest using two rinse cycles to be sure that all of the cleaner has been removed. It's a good idea to remove excess moisture before drying by laying the garment on a flat surface and gently pressing with a clean towel. After doing this, dry the down garment on low heat (permanent press cycle) with two clean tennis balls or "sock balls" to help break up any clumps that have formed in the down. It may take upwards of 3 hours for down garments to dry fully, but a garment will not be at its full loft/warmth until it is. Once dry, remove the garment from the dryer immediately and store unstuffed, in a dry place.

For down jackets with GORE-TEX® fabrics, it is also recommended to reapply a DWR treatment when it is no longer shedding water like it used to. We recommend using Grangers® XT Waterproofer spray, Fibertec Blue Guard Spray-On and ReviveX® Spray-On Water Repellent because their technologies complement the garment's original DWR. After washing close all zippers, hang the wet garment on a hanger and spray DWR evenly onto the wet face fabric of the garment. Next, place the garment in a tumble drier on a medium heat setting (40°C) for 40 to 50 minutes. We do not recommend using a wash-in DWR.

NOTE: the Macai and Andessa CANNOT be dry-cleaned.

What do I do if I get my jacket wet?

During normal every day activities it is common for jackets to get wet. If this happens, place your jacket under medium heat in the tumble dryer with dryer balls or clean tennis balls. It is important to make sure that your down garment is dry before storing.

How do I store my jacket for extended periods of time?

It is best to not store your down jacket for long periods of time in a stuff sack or compression sack. Ideally, down should be stored in an air permeable bag that is large enough to allow the jacket to loft. A pillow case or large mesh bag works well. It is then best to keep it in a warm (not hot), dry place.

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