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So, you’ve read our Down vs Synthetic guide and know which camp you want to get comfortable with. Now the question is: which jacket is best for your intended use? This guide will help you.

What kind of down jacket is suitable for what activity?

Lightweight down jackets can be used effectively in a variety of disciplines. Here are some examples:

Ski Touring

A down jacket is an essential part of the layering system when ski-touring, particularly if you are somewhere that is consistently cold and dry. Having a lightweight down jacket as a mid-layer is a is a key piece of gear when it’s particularly cold, and can easily be paired with a waterproof hard-shell. 

Our Fenrir down jacket is an ideal candidate for a ski-touring trip due to the combination of its lightweight nature, and ability to regulate your body temperature during highly exerting activities.

Alpine Climbing

Similar to ski touring, having a lightweight down jacket like our Thorsen as a part of your layering system offers optimum warmth on those cold, dry days up in the mountains. 

They can be packed down into a compression sack which will take up minimal space in your pack, and can be reached easily when conditions get colder.

Rock & Winter Climbing

Lightweight down jackets often come in handy when climbing, but even more so when you find yourself belaying. 

Maintaining warmth when remaining stationary at the bottom/top of a crag can cause your body temperature to plummet, so having a belay-specific down jacket like the Fjorm can prove an essential piece for those long days at the crag, on a multi-pitch adventure in the Alps or in the depths of a spindrift-filled gully in Scotland.

High Altitude/Extreme Cold

Heavyweight down jackets are aimed at those adventures that take you either to higher altitudes, or to extremely low temperatures. Down jackets are in a class of their own in these scenarios as there is rarely much moisture in the air. 

 Our Fjorm down jacket has kept multiple mountaineers warm atop the likes of Denali in Alaska, as well as Arctic and Antarctic adventurers. 

With good quality down jackets capable of keeping you comfortable at temperatures of below minus 30 degrees Celsius, it’s common sense to have one on hand in these kinds of environments.


When moving through mountainous terrain, especially in winter, it is essential to maintain warmth. Having a warm, lightweight and packable down jacket like our Fenrir is something that most mountaineers will have in their pack. 

If conditions are going to be cold and dry, a down jacket will far outperform its synthetic competitors in terms of packability and warmth. Whether it be used as an outer layer, or paired with a hard-shell on top to keep out moisture, a lightweight down jacket will always prove useful in the mountains.


Beyond the mountains, down jackets are also just great tools for staying warm when out and about closer to home. 

With the ‘puffer jacket style’ being popular, you wouldn’t look amiss around town in your Asta gilet, and you would definitely be significantly warmer than if wearing a fashion puffer. 


Synthetic Jackets

Synthetic jackets are a great substitute for down when conditions are wetter. The insulation can maintain its heat-keeping properties well, and the outers are usually more durable to put up with the harsher impact from the elements. As far as activities go, synthetic jackets are an ultra-versatile category, able to hold their own in ski-touring, alpine climbing, rock climbing, mountaineering and everyday life.

With synthetic jackets normally comprising more bulk than their down counterparts, climbers can find this bulkiness constrictive around their arms and shoulders, where freedom of movement is important. Hybrid jackets such as our Alfar HF offer a combination of synthetic fill on the torso, with a thinner and lighter fabric on the arm/shoulder, thus enabling this crucial freedom of movement.

Breathability is another key area where synthetics can be more efficient when compared with down. Our Asger hybrid fleece jacket uses Polartec® Alpha® for the perfect balance of warmth and breathability when taking part in highly exerting activities.

Synthetic jackets can take a beating, so if you know you’re going to be away in an unforgiving environment for quite some time, our Floyen jacket could be well worth considering. Synthetic jackets tend to be kinder on the wallet as well, which is a consideration for those operating on a budget.



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