Last updated: 16/10/2022

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A down coat is a popular companion in the colder seasons. Both in winter and in the transitional season, the down coat is very much in demand. In this article we have summarised what you should look for when buying a down coat and what the differences are.

In our big down coat test 2022, we took a closer look at a variety of down coats to list the best alternatives. We also took a close look at what really matters when buying a down coat.




Summary

  • Down coats are known for their excellent insulation. By choosing the right down coat, you won’t get cold even in the coldest months of the year.
  • There are two different types of down coats. On the one hand, there are down coats for winter, which are particularly warm. On the other hand, there are down coats that are a little thinner and not quite as warm. These are excellent for the transitional season.
  • There are different types of down. The higher the insulating capacity, the higher the quality. Of course, this is also reflected in the price.

The best Down Coat: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for down coats

In the following section, we have compiled the most important buying and advice criteria for down coats. You can use these to guide your purchase decision.

The criteria you can use to compare down coats include:

The individual categories are explained in more detail below.

Down types

You can distinguish between three different types of down. These are duck down, goose down and eider down. In the following, we will show you the differences between the various types of down.

Duck down

Duck down is the cheapest type, but it keeps you surprisingly warm. There are also differences within duck down. The larger the feather, the more insulation there is. This is especially popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts, as duck down can be compressed to a very small size and still unfolds beautifully afterwards. This is called the bulking power.

Goose down

Goose down has slightly larger feathers than duck down. This means that fewer feathers are needed for the same amount of insulation. This makes a down coat lighter and more comfortable to wear.

Eider down

Eider down is the highest quality down. It is about 50% lighter than goose down. In addition, the down of the Icelandic eider duck is even finer and therefore correspondingly more expensive.

With all three different types of down, you should take a close look at the bulkiness, the mixing ratio and the animal welfare when making your decision.

Did you know that down always comes from waterfowl such as geese or ducks?

Land birds such as chicken or turkey do not have down.

Basically, the higher the quality, the higher the insulation capacity. This means that the feathers are larger and therefore the end product is lighter because fewer feathers are used.

Size

Size is obviously also a decisive criterion when buying a down coat. Basically, you can start from your normal clothing size.

For women, however, the bust and hip circumference is decisive.

The best thing to do is to go to a specialist shop for advice. You can also try on different coats and find out what your perfect fit is.

Warmth

Warmth is also a crucial factor when buying a down coat. First of all, you should ask yourself for which season you would like your down coat. We distinguish between down coats for the winter season and down coats for the transitional season.

The warmth depends primarily on the thickness of the down coat. The thicker, the warmer it is. Quality is also a decisive criterion when it comes to warmth. It’s important that you don’t save on the wrong things. After all, you don’t want to freeze with your down coat.

Later, we will go into more detail about the difference between down coats for the winter season and down coats for the transitional season.

Weight

You should also think about how important the weight of your down coat is to you.

However, the weight is also usually a question of price.

Do you attach a lot of importance to a coat that is as light as possible, or is the weight relatively unimportant to you? Many people prefer light down coats because otherwise they often get physical pain from the weight of the coat.

As mentioned above, eider down is the highest quality down and also the lightest. And as we all know, quality is reflected in the price. It’s best to find out for yourself what a light, high-quality down coat is worth.

Sustainability

Sustainability is also playing an increasingly important role in our purchasing decisions. Here it is especially important to pay attention to how the animals are treated. There are certain animal welfare guidelines that should be observed in any case.

Decision: What types of down coats are there and which one is right for me?

When it comes to down coats, two different types are compared. On the one hand, there are the down coats for the winter and on the other hand, the down coats for the transitional season.

Type Short description
Down coat for winter This product is a down coat that has particularly good thermal insulation. This means that the warmth is retained for longer and you don’t get cold so quickly. In addition, down coats for winter are usually a little thicker, as this keeps them even warmer.
Down coat for the transitional season Down coats for the transitional season are coats that are perfect for the months before and after winter. These down coats are usually a little thinner, but still do an excellent job of keeping you warm.

In the following sections you will learn more about the different types of down coats. We will also show you the advantages and disadvantages of each category.

Down Coat For Winter

Down coat for winter

A down coat for winter is a particularly warm down coat. The feathers of a down coat are often as eider or goose feathers, as these have a better insulating capacity.

If you use duck down for a down coat for winter, the jackets usually become very thick and also heavy. The reason for this is that duck feathers have the lowest insulating capacity.

The advantage of a down coat for winter is that they are very warm and you won’t freeze even in the coldest seasons. In addition, down coats for winter can also be an important style factor.

The disadvantage of this down coat is often that they are extremely thick and are considered impractical. They can also become very heavy if they are of inferior quality. If you like to have a lightweight down coat for winter, it can cost you quite a bit.

Advantages
  • keeps you warm in the cold months
  • stylish
Disadvantages
  • can be very thick
  • often very heavy with inferior quality
Down Coat For The Transitional Season

Down coat for the transitional season

A down coat for the transition season is a slightly thinner, not quite as warm down coat. These are great for the months before and after winter.

The advantages of a transitional down coat are that they are usually very light and you can tailor them perfectly to your individual style. You can also use a transitional down coat as an undercoat in winter.

The disadvantage of a down coat for the transitional season is the insulation. If it gets cold even in the transitional season, you are usually not so well off with a thin down coat. You can get cold more easily and have to resort to another option first.

Advantages
  • usually very light
  • can also be used as an undercoat
Disadvantages
  • poorer insulation
  • not suitable on cold days

Guide: Frequently asked questions about down jackets answered in detail

We have summarised additional information that can help you when buying a down jacket in the final paragraphs.

How do I wash a down coat?

A down coat is a very delicate garment and you should be very careful when washing it. Below we have listed the most important steps for cleaning.

  • The first step is to close all zips and turn your down coat inside out
  • Use a down detergent, which is gentle on the down
  • Do not use fabric softener, it damages the down
  • Wash your down coat alone in the washing machine
  • Use the washing machine’s wool programme and the lowest spin setting
  • Take your washed down coat out of the washing machine very carefully to avoid
  • Machine very carefully to avoid unnecessary tears in the down coat

Alternatively, where can I get my down coat cleaned and how much does it cost?

If you don’t want to clean your down coat yourself and would rather have it done by a specialist, then this is of course also an option. The best thing to do is to find a cleaning company near you.

The costs vary from cleaning company to cleaning company, but there is a rough guide. The average cost of a down coat cleaning is between €25 and €35, which is a guide if your down coat is not excessively dirty. If special procedures or several repetitions of cleaning have to be carried out because the down coat is so heavily contaminated, the costs may be somewhat higher.

Can I put a down coat in the dryer?

Yes, and in fact you should. The best way to dry your down coat is in the dryer. In addition, add one or two tennis balls to loosen up the down.

The best alternative is to ask your family or friends if you can use their dryer. Or you can go to a launderette to dry your down coat.

However, if you don’t want to or can’t use any of these options, you can dry your down coat on a clothes horse. In this case, however, it is essential that you do the job of the tennis balls. This means that you should regularly loosen up the down so that it doesn’t stick together and regain its full density.

What is the best way to store a down coat?

Special care should be taken when storing a down coat. Down is a very sensitive material, so proper storage is especially important. This ensures that it does not lose its density and remains an excellent source of warmth in the cold winter months for a long time.

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A down coat needs a lot of space. Therefore, store it with enough free space.
(Image source: jacqueline macou / Pixabay)

To begin with, you should know that down needs a lot of space. Therefore, you should not store your down coat somewhere in the far corner and hope that it will still be as beautiful next year. You should also not store any other objects on top of your down coat, as this will compress the feathers too much.

The best thing to do is to put your down coat in a cotton bag and hang it up with enough space.

It is also important to know that you should store your down coat in a dry place. Moisture also damages the down and you will no longer have the same wearing comfort. Therefore, the cellar is usually not the best place to store your down coat. It’s best to store your down coat in a cotton cover in your wardrobe with enough space.

How much does a down coat cost?

There is a huge price range for down coats. If you’re looking for a cheaper model, you’ll probably find prices starting at around €60 to €100. The cheaper models are usually not as high quality and do not keep you as warm as the more expensive models.

Of course, the price also depends on the model.

If you’re looking for a transitional coat, it’s easier to find one at a reasonable price than a warm winter down coat.

There are no upper limits for down coats either. Most of the time, you’ll get much better quality if you dig a little deeper into your pocket. This is reflected in a down coat that keeps you warm much longer and better. Prices up to over € 1,000 are quite possible, but these are usually designer brands where you also pay for the brand.

What are the alternatives to a down coat?

There are two alternatives to a down coat. Either you stay away from down and look for a matching down jacket, or you prefer a coat made of a different material.

If you are a down lover, we recommend a down jacket as an alternative to a down coat. You’ll still feel the same and the down will keep you warm even on very cold days.

However, if you also like to cover your torso, we recommend a coat made of other materials as an alternative. Examples are fur coats, fur coats, jersey coats and many more. It’s best to find out what appeals to you most on the internet.

Can I have my down coat resized?

There are always questions on the net about whether you can shorten the length of a down coat. Many people are also not sure whether the sleeves can be shortened or whether it is possible to make a waist.

We did some research and found out that you can shorten your down coat. Especially for smaller women, the length is often a problem. But the sleeves are also often too long.

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You can either resize your down coat yourself or take it to a tailor.
(Image source: Lara Gonzalo / Pixabay)

So if you would like to have your down coat altered, we recommend that you find a tailor shop near you. Either call or go directly to the shop and ask for advice. However, it doesn’t hurt to give them a call, because not every tailor changes down coats.

Why is my down coat losing its feathers?

It is quite normal for your down coat to lose a few feathers at first. Don’t let this worry you for the time being. However, if you want to avoid this, you can wash your down coat before you wear it. It will lose fewer feathers that way.

Never pull out the feathers.

However, if you lose a lot of feathers and it doesn’t stop, this could be a sign of a hole or tear in your coat. If you notice this, try to stuff the lost feathers back in if possible. In any case, do not pull the feathers out.

To prevent losing more feathers, you can tape the tear or hole shut. You can also try to sew the broken area. If that doesn’t work or you don’t want to do it yourself, you can take your down coat to a repair service.

Image source: Kiselev/ 123rf.com

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