PrimaLoft vs Down Jacket Insulation Comparison

Gareth Simpson

by Gareth Simpson

October 18, 2019

Insulation is the key ingredient for all the snowboard jackets and clothes you will want to wear while exposed to the low temperatures. There are two main types, natural and synthetic and each one comes with a specific and different list of advantages and sub-features. Now, we will compare PrimaLoft and down insulations


Here you can see the main definitions of the insulations we are discussing. They are completely different and usually found in different types of jackets, pants and etc. We will explain the nature of each one and help you understand the differences. 

  • PrimaLoft

PrimaLoft is a synthetic insulation which is made from microfiber polyester fibers. These fibers are fine and very small which allows them to trap the heat and keep it inside a garment. The insulation is able to mimic the down insulation perfectly and to keep you warm at all situations. It is very popular these days and can be seen in countless garments available on the market. 

  • Down

Down is natural insulation that is made from undercoating of geese and ducks. Wild animals are commonly used and this insulation has some of the best warmth to weight rating of them all. You will also like to know that the insulation is lightweight and won’t cause bumps in the design of a product. 

Which one is better?

Let’s compare the main segments of both insulations and see which one is a better choice for you. They may be made for the same purpose, but the difference is massive. 

  • Warmth 

When it comes to warmth, down is the obvious choice. This insulation is able to create small air pockets and to trap the heat which is the most important purpose and the main advantage here. This doesn’t mean Prima Loft is poor in keeping you warm, but down is simply better. 

  • Breathability

Both insulations are able to provide advanced breathability, which is one of the reasons why they are both popular in the world of high-end outdoor equipment. However, PrimaLoft is slightly better due to larger fibers.  Keep in mind that the exterior fabric of a garment is mandatory to consider as well. It can limit the breathability and make a garment better or less breathable! 

  • Water-resistance 

Water won’t affect PrimaLoft. This is a synthetic material which naturally repels water and won’t absorb it, obviously. It is a clear winner in this case scenario. We should add that hydrophobic down and the one treated with DWR ingredients is much better than conventional down, but the winner is still the first type of insulation. 

  • Longevity

Durability has to be one of the next main questions. Down is more durable and it can be compressed for a long period of time and it will maintain its shape and all the capabilities. On the other hand, we can see that down insulation is commonly seen on high-end garments which are paired with better fabrics and which are designed to last longer. PrimaLoft is still durable, but less than down. Also, if compressed for a long time it will flatten and lose its properties! 

  • Maintenance

Maintenance isn’t an issue for PrimaLoft insulation, due to the fact there is no any. You don’t have to worry about maintaining or keeping the garments safe and sound. Down garments should be maintained, kept dry and properly stored. 

Final Thoughts 

So which type of insulation is better? The answer isn’t as simple as you may believe. If you need superb insulation for dry situations, down is the best choice. If you need a more affordable type of insulation to protect yourself from wet conditions, PrimaLoft is a desirable type.


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