Cold weather really should get you ‘down’

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James Keivom/New York Daily News

No matter what cold-weather acoutrements she’s wearing, it’s the down jacket that makes EMS employee Sara Zahedi’s outfit so great against winter. Here, she models an Eastern Mountain Sports Meridian Down Jacket ($ 179), Sorel Tofino Herringbone Boots ($ 150), EMS 3-in-1 Altitude Gloves ($ 49), The North Face Cable Minna Beanie ($ 35) and a Buff Original Neck Warmer ($ 20).

The best way to avoid goose bumps is goose feathers, experts say.

Pound for pound, the downy white stuff is the best insulation against Arctic temps, according to Pat Slaven, a textile tester for Consumer Reports.

The feathery fluff weighs less and holds heat better than most other organic materials like fur, cotton and flannel — which can get damp and soggy next to the skin, said Brian Rosener, manager of Eastern Mountain Sports on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The high loft and fluffiness of goose down and feathers put a lot more distance between the body and the cold, according to experts.

Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

The high loft and fluffiness of goose down and feathers put a lot more distance between the body and the cold, according to experts.

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Even stacked against synthetic products like Permaloft — the yarn-based product used in many modern jackets — goose feathers have a slight edge, the experts said.

“It comes down to how much distance you put between yourself and the cold,” said Slaven. “You could also use sawdust or steel wool, but goose down is the lightest and a whole lot more flexible than anything else.”

If you don't care to use animal-based material like down, which fills the Mont Bell U.L. Down Jacket sported by EMS employee Sara Zahedi, left, then try a Permaloft-filled coat such as the EMS Deep Freeze Jacket worn by Eliot Rolen, right.

James Keivom/New York Daily News

If you don’t care to use animal-based material like down, which fills the Mont Bell U.L. Down Jacket sported by EMS employee Sara Zahedi, left, then try a Permaloft-filled coat such as the EMS Deep Freeze Jacket worn by Eliot Rolen, right.

Construction is just as important as the fill, Slaven adds.

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“Look for a down coat that has baffles in it — that’s like a tube to hold the down in place over stitching,” Slaven said. “A coat constructed with baffles is warmer than a coat that’s just got stitching through it.”

Down coats with baffles — think of a tube that holds down in place over stitching — will be even warmer, says Consumer Reports' Pat Slaven.

James Keivom/New York Daily News

Down coats with baffles — think of a tube that holds down in place over stitching — will be even warmer, says Consumer Reports’ Pat Slaven.

Fur is also a good insulator — but it works best when it’s lining the inside of a jacket or cap, where it can trap hot air next to your body.

For those who like to layer from the inside and work outward, nothing beats a good pair of merino wool long johns, said Rosener.

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Wool stays dry better than cotton or flannel, which is why outdoor enthusiasts usually choose wool socks over cotton ones, he said.

Of course, a nice pair of synthetic silk long-johns will do just as well — and cost about half as much as wool.

Top the ensemble off with a waterproof, windproof fleece hat, gloves and a sturdy pair of waterproof, fleece-lined boots to completely ward off Jack Frost’s chill, he said.

gotis@nydailynews.com


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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