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How Do I Choose the Best Goose Jacket?

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  • Written By: Marty Paule
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Thanks to its superior insulation abilities, the goose jacket, or goose down jacket, is ideal for wear in very cold, dry climates. In choosing the right goose jacket, consider your budget and the weather in which you plan to wear the jacket, as well as the quality of the goose down filling it contains and the jacket's design. Purchasing a separate synthetic fabric shell or a jacket that comes with a built-in waterproof outer layer can also help to protect the down from precipitation. Reading consumer reviews on the Internet can also help you to narrow your choices.

While goose down is known to have excellent insulation properties, not all down is the same. A better-quality goose jacket is made with goose down plumules, which are made up of fluffy clusters and feathers that trap air to preserve warmth. Lower-quality down jackets often have a higher preponderance of feathers and less down, reducing the filling's insulating properties and ability to compress into a very small volume, which is important when backpacking. Manufacturers specify the insulating capability of down by using a numerical fill-power rating. The ratings range from 450 to 900, with higher numbers indicating better-quality down filling.

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If you plan to wear your new goose jacket in wet conditions, be aware that down loses its insulating ability if it becomes wet and takes a very long time to dry. Some goose down jackets have outer layers of synthetic, water-resistant materials and insulation that shield the interior natural down from becoming wet. Another alternative for keeping a goose jacket dry is to purchase a separate synthetic rain shell that can be worn over it.

Apart from the goose down jacket's insulating properties, consider the design. Be sure that it has sufficient pockets and flaps, zippers, and adjustment points to offer the storage, warmth, and the fit that you want. If you'll be doing strenuous physical work such as mountaineering, skiing, or backpacking, confirm that the fit allows you unencumbered movement. Sleeves with diamond-shape gussets in the armpits offer more range of arm movement. Also check to be sure that the hood fits snugly and stows compactly in the body of the jacket when unneeded.

Reading consumer reviews online can also help pinpoint the goose jacket that's best for you. Most sporting good stores on the Internet offer a customer review rating and comment section; some even offer the ability to sort options by the highest customer rating. In addition, online magazines also usually offer articles rating the best goose jackets and outerwear for a variety of activities.

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sunshined
Post 2

Is it OK to wash something like a goose down jacket? It seems like the few times I have washed a jacket like this, it is never really the same again.

The feathers seem to get messed up and it never has quite the same texture, and is bulky in some places and flat in others. Once there was a small hole in the jacket that I didn't notice before washing it.

I had tiny little feathers all over the place and it was really a mess. I just wondered if you were supposed to put these in the washer or if down jackets need to be dry cleaned?

LisaLou
Post 1

When I want the warmth and light weight feeling of down, I will often wear a goose down vest. This keeps me warm without being as bulky as a jacket.

I always wear something over the vest so that it stays dry. If you have ever gotten a down vest or jacket wet, you know how long it can take to dry out.

If you take good care of your down clothing, it will last you for many years. I know my husband has some goose down hunting vests and jackets that he has used over and over again for many seasons.

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