Have you decided to change your old winter coat or buy a new one to revamp your wardrobe? In order to help you make an informed choice, we offer you our tips for choosing a winter coat that suits your needs.

When choosing a winter coat, the first thing to look for is insulation. There are two types of insulation available on the market: natural and synthetic. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. So, you need to choose a jacket that suits your insulation needs.

Natural insulation:
Natural insulation keeps heat close to the body with feathers and down, either duck or goose. The fill factor is the filling capacity of the coat and is calculated in CuIn (the number of cubic inches of space that the down fills in very cold conditions). Another important element is the ratio of feather to down in the insulating blend (this ratio is often listed in the product description or on the label). A coat with a ratio of 95/5 will offer 95% down to 5% feather. Obviously, the higher the percentage of down, the better the insulation. However, the feather is necessary because it helps to even out the down in the coat.

anima-arctAnother important element is the size of the quilted squares and the amount of down that fills your fill. The larger the squares and the more compressed the fill, the warmer the coat will be. For example, a very warm coat will have a CuIn of 800.

The cons
Don't get wet with your coat, especially if it's not waterproof because you'll lose all the insulating properties of your coat. In wet or rainy temperatures, the down will tend to bunch up in the corners, negating the insulating effect of your coat.

spaceIsolant synthetic:
Synthetic insulation has several advantages. It offers the same level of warmth as natural insulation, but is more breathable. For November and early December temperatures, look at the number of grams of insulation in your coat's fill. For temperatures down to -5, you shouldn't take a coat with more than 80 grams of synthetic insulation. If the cold snatches at you and leaves you with icicles in your face, you can opt for a coat with a higher amount of insulation.

The cons
While it dries faster and doesn't lose its loft with moisture, synthetic insulation isn't as compressible as down. Hikers and serious adventurers who want to bring their coat in their pack may need more storage space if they don't want to carry their coat with them for an entire day.

The outer layer of the coat
But how do I ensure that the coating on my coat will repel rain and snow? Regardless of their insulation, not all winter coats are waterproof. To find out how waterproof your coat is, you'll need to check if it's laminated with a layer of DWR, a water repellent in which the coat's fibers are soaked and which prevents water from seeping in.

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Sportium tip: how to maintain your coat to ensure the durability of the insulation?

The durability of the insulation, whether it is natural or synthetic, depends on its maintenance. Insulated jackets should be washed at least once a month with specific products that will not damage the jacket and will not cancel out its thermal qualities.

For natural insulation: it is recommended to wash the coat and then place it in the dryer with tennis balls so that the down does not ball up and remains well distributed.

For synthetic insulation: simply wash the coat and place it in the dryer, and in 5 minute intervals, toss the coat around a bit to soften and decompress the insulation.
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