Shopping for a winter coat means keeping an eye out for style and warmth. Popular fabrics include wool and down; determining which will keep you warmer and most comfortable depends not just on the temperature, but also on the weather conditions your coat will encounter.
Down for the Job
Down, made from the undercoat of ducks and geese, provides natural insulation that is both lightweight and breathable. It's also the warmest insulating material available -- natural or synthetic. Down is long-lasting and, despite being highly compressible, holds its shape well. It does not do well when wet and takes a long time to dry out. In addition to being more expensive than wool, down causes allergic reactions in some, making it a bad fit for those with sensitivities.
Warmth With Wool
Wool is another effective natural insulator. Like down, it is breathable and holds its shape well. Wool may not be as warm as down, but it has a big advantage -- unlike down, wool is moisture-resistant and holds up better in wet weather. It's also more affordable than down. One downside: it's heavy. Also, like down, wool is not hypoallergenic. In fact, many find wool itchy and uncomfortable against bare skin. Wool can be blended with synthetic fibers to improve its comfort.
Goose Vs. Duck Down Pillows
Winter Clothes Materials
Thinsulate Vs. Thermolite
How to Make a Down Jacket Less Puffy
How to Wash a Marmot Down Jacket
Can a Wool Coat Be Worn in the Rain?
How to Fluff a Down Feather Jacket ...
How to Clean a London Fog Coat
How to Flatten a Down Coat That Is Too ...
What Are Winter Jackets Made Of?
What Can I Do to Prevent a Wool Coat ...
Titanium Vs. Tourmaline Flat Irons
How to Stop Crocs From Making Noise
Acrylic vs. Wool Scarf
Differences Between Polyester and Nylon ...
What Is Fleece Fabric Made From?
Microfiber vs. Cotton Clothes
Microfleece Vs. Microplush
Cordura Vs. Leather
How To Waterproof a Raincoat
Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.