Primaloft Gold vs Down: Competition Between Natural And Synthetics

You may have heard of the new Primaloft insulation technology that is commenced in recent years. This technology promises to copy the advantages of down insulation in jackets, sleeping bags, and other insulated gear. But how does this really stack up against down?

Primaloft Gold is considered to be the highest standard in Primaloft insulation. Comparing it to Down is what we are going to do in this review. We are going to be comparing them based on each of the benchmarks of an insulated piece of gear. But before we get into the comparison, we are going to the find what Primaloft and down are known for.

Primaloft Gold vs Down

Preview
adidas Men's Terrex Primaloft Gold
Adidas Terrex Agravic Mens Primaloft Hiking Jacket S Utility Black
Marmot Men's Down Jacket
Marmot Men's Lightweight, Water-Resistant Zeus Jacket, 700 Fill Power Down, Dark Spruce, Medium
Title
Adidas Terrex Agravic Mens Primaloft Hiking Jacket S Utility Black
Marmot Men's Lightweight, Water-Resistant Zeus Jacket, 700 Fill Power Down, Dark Spruce, Medium
Price
$150.00
$200.00
Water Resistance
Yes
B07DGMYCTK
Weight
11.1 oz / 315 g
ultra lightweight
Materials
Synthetic Microfiber
Featherless—Synthetic Down
Insulation
80gr Primaloft gold insulation
700 Fill Down
More Information
adidas Men's Terrex Primaloft Gold
Preview
Adidas Terrex Agravic Mens Primaloft Hiking Jacket S Utility Black
Title
Adidas Terrex Agravic Mens Primaloft Hiking Jacket S Utility Black
Price
$150.00
Water Resistance
Yes
Weight
11.1 oz / 315 g
Materials
Synthetic Microfiber
Insulation
80gr Primaloft gold insulation
More Information
Marmot Men's Down Jacket
Preview
Marmot Men's Lightweight, Water-Resistant Zeus Jacket, 700 Fill Power Down, Dark Spruce, Medium
Title
Marmot Men's Lightweight, Water-Resistant Zeus Jacket, 700 Fill Power Down, Dark Spruce, Medium
Price
$200.00
Water Resistance
B07DGMYCTK
Weight
ultra lightweight
Materials
Featherless—Synthetic Down
Insulation
700 Fill Down
More Information

Why Is Down So Popular?

Down is considered to be the de facto standard in insulation for winter gear. It has many beneficial properties when it comes to winter gear. For example, one of the benefits is the fact that it is very lightweight and does not take up much space. Some of the highest quality down jackets have a great warmth-to-weight ratio, providing plenty of warmth weighing so much.

There is also the fact that they can be compressed into a very small package. This means that you can stowaway your down sleeping bag or quite easily just by compressing the feathers. Keep in mind that if you keep down compressed for too long, it may destroy the integrity of the feathers.

What Is Primaloft Gold?

Down prices have been increasing over the past couple of years. This is mostly due to conditions changing in China and forcing down to be bought at higher prices for lower quality. As a response to this, synthetic insulation makers have been trying to mimic the benefits of down to replace it in the market. Primaloft is one such company.

Primaloft is the creator of a synthetic insulation. It originally developed synthetic insulation for the U.S. Army. The army required a water resistant, synthetic alternative to down. This synthetic material is made to mimic down and its qualities. For example, Primaloft is made up of small polyester balls that can easily be compressed, just as down can. It also has a great capability to insulate you from the cold by providing great warmth-to-weight ratio. Primaloft is fairly light compared to other synthetic insulation. It also has the property of the water resistant. And when it does get wet, it still holds in the heat even better than down does.

Related: Canada Goose Langford vs Chateau: Which one is much Better for Extreme Weather?

There are several grades of Primaloft. Primaloft Gold is the highest standard of this insulating synthetic material. It has all of the best properties that synthetic insulation has to offer. It has a high warmth-to-weight ratio, it absorbs less moisture, it packs down easily, and it is very breathable.

Comparing The Properties Of Primaloft Gold And Down

In order to draw a comparison between Primaloft Gold and down, we will be taking into account each of the main insulation properties.

Cutter & Buck Men's Weather Resistant Primaloft Down Alternative Rainier Jacket, Black, Large Tall

Warmth

Both the Primaloft Gold and down will keep you plenty warm in the winter. However, when considering warmth-to-weight ratios, we find that there are two sides the coin. First of all, down that has lower grade fill levels are pretty comparable to Primaloft Gold in terms of warmth-to-weight ratios. But when we are getting into high-grade down (which is pretty expensive), down wins out on this one. Any synthetics can’t beat high grade down when it comes to warmth. But it must still be said that Primaloft Gold does an excellent job at keeping the warmth and is the industry standard and synthetic insulation.

Breathability

Generally speaking, synthetic insulation is more breathable than down. This is mostly due to the fact that down will keep you warmer. Also, Primaloft Gold was specifically designed to allow for plenty of breathability. While synthetic insulation is not quite as warm as down, is actually best for those who are going to be participating in a sport. Winter sports such as skiing, hiking, or even going for a jog will make you perspire. And synthetic insulation is better than down in these cases.

If you’re looking for a stretchy Primaloft-based jacket, see the ever popular Thermoball on Amazon.

Water Resistance

This is where synthetic insulation wins out the most over down. Down has the major downside of clumping up and losing its warming properties when it is wet. This is why you cannot go out in a down jacket while it is raining unless you are wearing a protective cover over it. But Primaloft Gold is made to be water resistant. And even when it does get wet, it retains its insulating properties. This is one of the reasons why the U.S. Army wanted Primaloft materials for their jackets.

Adidas Terrex Agravic Mens Primaloft Hiking Jacket S Utility Black

Compressibility

You may have heard that one of the advantages of down is that it is very compressible. You can compress a down jacket for sleeping bag to a very small package and put it away. But as said previously, keeping down compressed for a long time either in its integrity.

Primaloft Gold has excellent compressibility. First of all, the polyester balls that make up the Primaloft material can easily be compressed. Also, the balls of this material will conform to your body, making it super comfortable to wear. You can also compress Primaloft materials like you would with down.

Pricing

You may have noticed that the price of down has really been increasing for the past couple of years. There are many people who are trying to find alternatives to down to keep themselves warm in the winter. This is part of the reason why Primaloft is become so popular. It has many of the benefits of down, as well as being water resistant.

Primaloft Gold jackets and sleeping bags are generally less pricey than high-grade down.

Where To Get Primaloft Jackets

If you are a fan of Primaloft, you may be wondering where you can get items that contain it. One of the most popular Primaloft containing jackets today is The North Face Thermoball. This jacket is known to be very warm and has really optimized itself using Primaloft technology. The North Face is actually formed a partnership with Primaloft in order to provide you with synthetic insulation jackets.

Take a look at the Thermoball on Amazon.

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