Super warm Down Filled Parkas!
I was having a good chat the other day about down parkas; there is so much going on with The North Face down parkas that I thought I should share.
Good Down vs. Bad Down
The fill powers and labels on the down jackets are pretty crazy. “May contain…” is never a great way to tell you what the fill is on a jacket. Good down or the best down comes from Hungary, it’s a by product of the existing food industry there so we are not live plucking or killing birds for North Face down products. Good down is still hand sorted and separated into qualities, or plume size. 550 fill to 650 fill is a great down fill for Parkas with heavier face fabrics, or waterproof exteriors so the fill doesn’t compress under the weight. 750-850 fill is awesome in lighter weight but sometimes warmer down garments. The real trick here is that the higher down number is not always the best number. Good down is limited, which is why some companies need to add fillers to get the plump look of the garment, hence “May contain…” Some companies add in Duck Down, and duck down works fine in the short run, but it generally has more oils then goose down so beware in a few years when a strange scent starts to quaff from your jacket. The warmth comes from the plume of the down, so the better the down quality, the warmer the jacket.
Wash & Care of the Down Jacket
Huge buyer beware here. All North Face jackets are machine washable and dryer safe. Beware the Dry Clean Only. It costs more, it doesn’t maintain the plume of the down, and you can be SOL if they damage your jacket. Wash your North Face down jacket with Nikwax Down Direct. It keeps your jacket looking shiny and new, and maintains the loftiness of the jacket, which means a warmer jacket for the life of the garment. If you are reading this and say to your self “My down isn’t as warm as it used to be”, WASH IT! NOTE* If your jacket has fur please remove it before washing. It is faux fur and won’t do well in the wash or dryer.
Fit, Function, & Fashion
The hardcore outdoor purists can’t argue the benefit of a good fit. It’s the difference between a jacket insulted you and keeping you warm vs. a jacket that you are constantly trying to heat up the cold spots. Big house with lots of empty space, the furnace runs more, proper snugly fitted down parka, super efficient. When we are buying a jacket for warmth, a brand with lots of choice is key. No to brag but The North Face has 3 awesome super warm parkas for women, The Arctic, The Tremaya, and The Shavana. The beauty here (literal) is that one of the 3 is going to fit you just awesome! Most brands don’t have the choice so you compromise on fit/and or warmth.
Still may have to layer
Born & raised in the prairies I am a seasoned veteran of the cold. But some folks may still need an extra layer to get them through the minus 40 January weather. The North Face parkas are built to be super warm but if you are “always cold” layer a ThermoBall Jacket under that down parka and you will be pleasantly surprised how much warmer you will feel. Layering with fleece or a sweater works too but can feel a little tighter and bulky.
The North Face uses RDS Down.
The Responsible Down Standard is an independent, voluntary global standard, which means that companies can choose to certify their products to the RDS, even if there is no legislation requiring them to do so. The RDS was developed and revised over three years, with the input of animal welfare groups, industry experts, brands and retailers. The standard recognizes the best practices in animal welfare, and excludes those that violate the animal’s well being. For more information on RDS Down check out http://responsibledown.org
Real fur vs. Faux Fur
The North Face proudly uses Faux Fur on all of their jackets. Customers that love real fur are welcome to take their hood to a furrier and have some real fur put on their jacket. As long as it doesn’t alter the hood warranty of the jacket will be intact.
The North Face has the best warranty in the industry. If you have any issues with your parka or any North Face jacket, come see us or call North Face and you will be looked after.