Finding the right jacket or equipment for your thermal protection needs is not easy. Here's a short insulation guide from Pyrenex to help you choose the jacket and equipment that will best insulate you from the cold.
How to insulate yourself from the cold?
Whatever the season, there is always a moment when the weather and temperatures get worse. Whether it's spring or even summer, the feeling of cold can surprise you, especially if you decide to go to the mountains. In autumn and especially in the middle of winter, temperatures often close to zero leave no relief for your body.
Whether it is the upper or lower body, it is important to be well equipped according to the seasons. The jacket that you will choose as well as the pants (or shorts) are the first barriers to the cold. A very impermeable fabric ensures a faultless waterproofness and limits air inlets. You must make sure that it has breathable properties at the risk of having a poor thermal regulation and be very quickly sweating. Similarly: the thicker a jacket, the warmer it keeps you, but the heavier it is. At Pyrenex, the use of natural down allows you to combine puffiness, warmth but also and above all breathability and lightness compared to synthetic fillings.
They help to keep the body warm and dry throughout the day. Pyrenex tip: the "3 layers" technique. The 1st layer is breathable (it keeps you dry), the 2nd layer is insulating (it keeps you from being cold) and the 3rd layer is protective (it helps you fight the wind and prevent injury). You can choose a fine down jacket or a sleeveless down jacket as a second layer under your favourite coat, or a thicker down jacket as a 3rd layer!
- The accessories:
They allow you to protect the extremities that are not protected by clothing. It is often the sensation in those areas which make you feel cold during an outdoor trip. The skin is generally thinner and therefore more sensitive (ears, nose, hands and toes): you should never skimp on their protection. Depending on the intensity of the effort, the location, the weather and the temperature, it is recommended to wear a hat, scarf, gloves, tights and warm socks.
Synthetic insulation and natural insulation?
Synthetic insulation aims to imitate the qualities of natural insulation. Mainly made of more or less thick polyester fibres, synthetic insulation is arranged to form small pockets that trap air and retain heat. Although insulating and easy to care after, synthetic insulation often performs poorly compared to natural ones. And even though it does sometimes perform very well, it should never be forgotten that synthetic insulation is made from petroleum-based materials that are non-biodegradable and therefore have a negative carbon footprint.
For centuries, natural insulation has been synonymous with warmth, quality and prestige. At Pyrenex, since 1859, duck feathers and down have been ennobled in our Saint-Sever factory, ensuring exceptional performance in terms of thermal insulation, lightness and durability of the product. The DOWNPASS label of Pyrenex products guarantees the respect of ethical criteria, quality and traceability of the feathers and down. This label is based in particular on the standards of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes. It certifies all our Pyrenex products with natural fillings.
Thanks to the recycling and revalorization of a natural element coming from local agricultural sectors, our down and feathers factory is committed to a process of sustainable development and circular economy, also called "upcycling". Pyrenex down and feather down jackets are designed for responsible consumers who are concerned about their well-being and that of all stakeholders.
The filling power of Pyrenex natural down:
The indicator used to guarantee the thermal insulation of Pyrenex down is the filling power. Calculated in CUIN (cubic inch), this is the capacity for a certain filling weight to fill a certain volume. The greater the volume occupied, the better the down will be in terms of thermal insulation and lightness. Indeed, a "wide" duvet will capture a greater quantity of air. It is this film of air inside a down padding that insulates your body from the cold outside while having great thermo-breathing properties.
We have transcribed this filling power through a gradation of indicative temperature ranges to help you better choose your Pyrenex quilted jacket. This range goes from -20°C to 15°C.
Pyrenex jacket range and their types of usage:
The thicker a natural down jacket is (filling power), the warmer it is. Coming back onto the fashion scene in recent years, down jackets can be worn in the city as well as for sports usage, especially in the mountains. The classic Pyrenex down jacket is nevertheless designed for the most essential need: keeping you warm in the middle of winter as an outer layer.
Lighter, often thinner and compressible down jackets are intended to be worn in mild temperatures or during physical activity (brisk walking, trail, hiking, skiing and others). They can also be used as an underlayer paired with your favourite winter coat or jacket.
Pyrenex sleeveless jackets are at a crossroads in terms of usae. They can be worn in the middle of winter over a thick sweater or alone in mid-season over a long-sleeved t-shirt for example. On the one hand, you will adopt a resolutely urban and "streetwear" style, on the other hand a more sporty and casual look.
Special case: warm parkas. At Pyrenex, parkas are all filled with natural down and often associated with real fur to perfectly fight against the (very) great cold. The technicality, the size of the pockets and the cut of Pyrenex parkas are key assets to face the winter cold, they are often long and use thicker fabrics.