Down Jacket v/s Padded Jacket: Which is better for trekkers?

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Hey guys!! Today I’m talking about a Down jacket v/s Padded jacket. And by the end of this blog, I’ll tell you which one’s better for trekkers.

Trekkers are confused about what layers they should buy when they should wear them, how much should they invest in them. So, today I am addressing one such concern, which is should trekkers invest in down jackets or padded jackets. So, I will be covering these five points: warmth, weight, compactness, water resistance, maintenance, and cost.

1) Warmth, Down Jacket v/s Padded Jacket

So, first, let’s learn what exactly these jackets are. Now, down jackets are basically jacketing that are filled with the down feathers of ducks or geese. It’s actually not feathers, it’s the plumage of the ducks from the underside of the wings. They’re a bunch of feathers actually and this is stuffed into a jacket. The air pockets in the feathers, trap the body warmth from your own body and keep you warm.

So they’re great insulators and they’re very naturally available material. When it comes to warmth, down jackets are definitely a lot warmer than padded jackets but padded jackets by themselves are fairly warm. They can actually withstand temperatures up to minus five degrees with your layers of course.

Having said that, if you compare the warmth to weight ratio, then down jackets, definitely win. Because if you have to attain the same warmth as a down jacket, the padded jacket tends to weigh a lot more.

2) Weight

So, that brings us to the weight of the jackets. So, down jackets, our go-to jackets here. Why? Because down jackets are as light as feathers. Well, It is extremely light because it is made of feathers. So, they scored high on compactness as well.

When it comes to weight, padded jackets tend to be slightly heavier than down jackets, because they have all these added frills, they have hoods and some of them are coated with water-resistant material, so that tends to make the jackets heavier. There are certain exceptions like this that make the jackets much lighter, much easier to use.

That’s down jackets, two points and padded jackets, none.

3) Water Resistance, Down Jacket v/s Padded Jacket

So, let’s talk about water resistance now. Talk about waterproofing, because everybody knows that is the biggest weakness of down jackets. They do not keep you warm if they get wet and they take a long time to dry up once they are wet.

Water-resistance is a plus point for padded jackets when compared to down jackets because most jackets are coated with at least a little bit of waterproofing material which means that they can withstand slight rain, slight snow, at least for half an hour, one hour.

4) Maintenance

So, we will talk about the maintenance of these jackets. Down jackets are not so easy to maintain when you’re wearing them or after you use them. When you’re wearing them, you have to be careful? You cannot use them roughly because they are light delicate materials and after using them you have to make sure that you don’t just toss, them into your washing machine along with the other clothes.

You cannot use your normal detergent on them and you usually have to put a tennis ball into the washing machine, to kind of maintain the fluffiness of the jacket. What tends to happen is, since it’s made of feathers, they tend to bunch up in a corner, and that kind of reduces the effectiveness of the jacket.

Most of the jackets you can actually toss into a washing machine but there is a range of jackets in the market so you kind of has to it can choose a kind of padded jacket that you want to use depending on how you are likely to use it. So, padded jackets are definitely a lot easier to maintain so that makes it 2 all. We’re getting close.

5) Cost, Down Jacket v/s Padded Jacket

So, let’s talk about the costs. When it comes to cost, down jackets are slightly more expensive simply because of the comfort they offer and they are warmer, they are lighter, so they’re very comfortable on a high-altitude trek. They are usually in the range of around 5,000 to 6,000. You do get more expensive ones, with higher fill power so they’ll keep you extra warm.

So, you can decide based on your budget. When it comes to the cost, padded jackets are a lot less expensive than down jackets simply because of the material. So, you do get jackets, right starting from around 2000, the average price would be around 2,500-3,000, it does you get a range of jackets as well, you just have to buy depending on what your requirements are.

But compared to down jackets they’re a lot less expensive and even maintenance is less expensive than a down jacket. Which makes it three points for the padded jacket and two points for the down jacket.

So, let’s come to a final verdict then. Well, the conclusion is that for treks, a padded jacket might be better. But I would still suggest going by what your requirements are. If you’re going on Himalayan treks occasionally, maybe once-twice a year you’re spending maybe one week over there then it definitely makes sense to invest in a padded jacket, simply because you have the flexibility to use it, elsewhere too. So, we hope this video has helped you decide on what you want to buy. If you have any doubts just drop in a comment, will help you out.

Stay warm and stay happy, Keep Travelling!

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