The lowdown on duck and goose down

What is down?

Down feathers are the soft, fine clusters that sit beneath the tough, waxy outer feathers of ducks and geese. These clusters provide unrivalled insulation and are exceptionally light, affording these birds the warmth and mobility to thrive in very cold conditions.

How does it work?

Duck and Goose Down jackets provide arguably the warmest, lightest, and most comfortable natural insulation. But why is it so warm? Because when the cold weather bites, down traps and circulates warm air around your body, creating a buffer between you and the cold. Some down jackets like the XT driFILL jacket offer additional protection against wind and rain.

What is the difference between duck and goose down?

Goose down clusters are typically larger than duck clusters, often coming from larger, older animals. This means goose down tends to have generally higher loft power and greater durability than duck down. With that said, it is not simply a case of one being better than the other. Essentially, it is possible for high quality duck down to provide better insulation than mediocre goose down, so it’s important to consider the source and quality of your down fill.

Can down get wet?

Traditionally, down loses its ability to insulate when it gets wet. This is because moisture causes the down clusters to stick together and impacts their ability to trap warm air.

Down is slow to dry, so if you're out and about, it is important to keep your down jacket dry. Most jackets, including the Lawrence jacket and Federate jacket, have a durable water repellent (DWR) outer shell that provides a temporary solution to light rain, but will likely not protect your down from saturation in heavier rain.

If your down jacket gets wet, let your jacket drip dry flat on a rack before tumble-drying thoroughly on a low heat setting; washing your down jacket is easy, and something you should do from time to time.

What about waterproof down jackets?

Even with the best of intentions, you can't control the weather. But if you are caught short in a storm, fear not. Kathmandu’s driFILL technology goes a long way toward surmounting this watery challenge. DriFILL is natural down with a water-repellent treatment, designed to help your jacket dry much more quickly without compromising the performance of the down. As with all jackets, its ability to protect you from rain depends on factors such as fabric and construction. The XT driFILL jacket is designed to keep moisture out, featuring a fully taped construction and water resistant zips that protect you and your down from wet conditions.

Is our down ethically-sourced?

Down is a by-product of the international commercial duck and goose farming industries. The animals are farmed for their meat, and down is a by-product of this process. All Kathmandu branded clothing and equipment containing duck and goose down is 100% ethically sourced and certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

The RDS is the international standard for responsibly sourced duck and goose down. It is the highest, third-party approved, animal welfare standard available - and certifies that down comes from animals that have been treated humanely. We continually work hard to trace our materials back to their source, to ensure our suppliers have behaved in an ethical and transparent way.