There are many reasons why people choose a down filled jacket: it has a superior warmth-to-weight ratio, it is highly compressible, it has excellent heat retention and with proper care it can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, down has a weakness: moisture will cause it to lose its loft and all of its insulating properties leaving you feeling cold and wet. Drying down takes a lot of time and effort and when done incorrectly it can become damaged.
Synthetic insulation is cheaper and will keep you warm even when it is wet. For this reason, particularly in damp climates such as the UK, many people find synthetic insulation more reliable and easier to look after. However, synthetic insulation has weaknesses too: It doesn’t retain heat as well as down, it tends to be heavier, therefore it will be less packable, and finally it has a shorter life span.
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