PrimaLoft vs. Down - What are the differences?

In the world of insulating clothing, there are two outstanding competitors in the spotlight: down jackets and PrimaLoft© jackets. Both promise to keep you warm and cosy, but they do so in different ways and have different advantages and disadvantages. Here you can find out what the striking differences are, when you should use which jacket and which is the right choice for you.

19 octobre 2023

Choosing the right jacket is crucial to staying warm and dry in different temperatures and weather conditions. Two of the most popular options for the cold season are down jackets and PrimaLoft© jackets.

When developing our products, we always have one thing in mind: the best performance. For this reason, in the past we have always opted for man-made padding, i.e. PrimaLoft©, for our insulation jackets. Why? Synthetic padding can maintain its insulating performance very well even in damp conditions. It dries quickly and is very easy to care for compared to down.

Down, on the other hand, offers the advantage of outstanding thermal insulation at low weight. It achieves a higher bulking power, which means that it can trap more air and thus achieve better insulation than synthetic padding. However, this only applies as long as the down remains dry. Because once it gets wet, it quickly loses its thermal performance and takes a long time to dry and become puffy again.


PrimaLoft© is a synthetic fibre insulation that consists of particularly fine polyester microfibres. The tightly interlaced structure of these fibres imitates the function of down by creating many small air chambers between the fibres. The heat is efficiently stored in these air chambers.


Down is part of the plumage of ducks or geese and consists of numerous small, branched fibres that can trap a particularly large amount of air. The countless small air pockets in the down therefore provide a uniquely high insulation capacity at an extremely low weight. The warmth-to-weight ratio of down is unrivalled to this day.

So both fill materials have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them depends on various factors, including the planned activities and the weather. So now we'll take a closer look at when it's best to wear a down jacket and when a PrimaLoft© jacket.


Down jackets: The warmth champions

Down jackets offer excellent thermal insulation. The CALDO Adamello jackets are filled with high-quality RDS-certified duck down, which forms tiny air pockets and stores heat efficiently. Above all, the warmth-to-weight ratio of the jackets is unbeatable. However, as already mentioned, these jackets should not get wet - this means that they are ideal for particularly cold and dry conditions or also as a midlayer under a hardshell jacket in damp and adverse conditions.


Very cold and dry weather

Down jackets are perfect for dry, cold winter days. When temperatures drop below freezing and there is no rain or snowfall, down jackets offer unbeatable thermal insulation even as an outlayer. They are particularly lightweight and can easily be packed in the backpack when not needed. The jacket is also ideal for keeping you warm during less intense sports.


As a midlayer under a hardshell jacket

If you want to take advantage of the excellent warmth-to-weight ratio of down jackets in adverse conditions, or you want to keep warm on a powder descent, you should wear the CALDO Adamello jacket as a midlayer under a waterproof hardshell jacket. This way you can protect it from moisture and still benefit from the unique insulation.


PrimaLoft© Jackets: Versatile and easy to care for

PrimaLoft© jackets are a great option for different weather conditions and activities. They are filled with synthetic PrimaLoft© insulation material, which provides good insulation even in damp weather, i.e. even when wet. This is because the synthetic structure does not mind moisture much. PrimaLoft© jackets are accordingly more robust and easier to care for than down jackets and can be used in many different ways.


Humid or changeable conditions

Unlike down jackets, PrimaLoft© jackets retain their insulating properties even in damp conditions. They also dry again quickly and continue to provide warmth even if they get wet. This makes them ideal for adverse weather conditions or snowy days.


Active outdoor activities

If you are planning to engage in intense activity, such as ski touring or cross-country skiing, a PrimaLoft© jacket is the perfect choice. It provides sufficient insulation without overheating your body. When you start to sweat, it retains its insulating properties even when wet and keeps you reliably warm during the cool down and after the session.


The choice between a down jacket and a PrimaLoft© jacket therefore depends on various factors. Down jackets are unbeatable when it comes to absolute thermal insulation in dry weather, while PrimaLoft© jackets prove their worth in changeable or humid weather and during active activities. Both types of jackets have their rightful place in every athlete's wardrobe, and it can make a lot of sense to have both options to be best prepared for any situation.

So when choosing your jacket, always remember to consider the weather you plan to wear, your activities and your personal preferences. Ultimately, it's about staying warm and comfortable wherever you are and whatever you're doing. If you have any questions about insulation jackets, please ask our shop staff or contact our customer service.