Colored Goose Down as ‘Bling’ in See-Thru Jacket

Goose down has long been a preferred insulator for outdoors types in search of maximum warmth. Aesthetically, though, bulky goose fluff wrapped in baffles can give pause to anyone not wanting to take on the Michelin Man look. This might change next year when Hi-Tec Sports ships a new type of down made to flaunt the fluff.

A rainbow of feathers visible through transparent shell

By adding dye to its down, the company can use the insulation as a fashion element in outerwear design. The first example, the women’s Timaru Down Hoodie, has a transparent shell fabric to reveal a rainbow of colored feathers inside.

Hi-Tec calls the dye treatment Color-Tec. Beyond just coloring the down, Hi-Tec notes that the treatment “also increases the loft of the down.” The company says Color-Tec does not affect the “requisite oils” needed for healthy, insulating down.

Panels of Color-Tec treated down

The initial colored down piece, a 700-fill variety, will be on display next month at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Utah. It will not ship to stores until next summer, at which time the company plans to sell the Timaru Down Hoodie for $189.95.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of

Timaru Down Hoodie ships to stores in mid-2012

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.