Down Revolution: Eddie Bauer To Launch ‘Down Fabric’

Thindown wants to revolutionize your down jacket. And from early testing of the Eddie Bauer Evertherm Jacket, we think it could shake up the world of down insulation.

Thindown is essentially waterfowl down formed into fabric. Because the down plumage is held between two layers of super-fine “scrim,” it can be used inside jackets as insulation without the use of baffles.

This is a big deal in manufacturing, and could change the way down coats look and feel.

Eddie Bauer revealed that it will use the down in its to-be-released jacket today. We’ve been testing the jacket behind the scenes for months. Read on to learn more about this exciting new insulation.

Down Jackets: Baffles Required

Down, by nature, is a fluffy, loose substance. It provides excellent insulation because it “lofts” to fill a large space with dead air.

Most down manufacturing blows down into baffles between two layers of fabric. This results in the iconic “Michelin Man” puffy coat appearance. The down, lofting outwards, creates the bugling tubes of insulation held together with sewn or welded baffles.

Down coats need baffles to keep down in place. Without them, the down would all eventually fall to the bottom, leaving large areas of a coat uninsulated.

Down Fabric: A New Solution

Thindown uses an elegant solution. It holds down in place by turning it into a fabric.

In the most basic sense, Thindown creates this fabric by mixing down clusters with an adhesive. The clusters are then layered between super light scrim (a fabric that resembles super sheer pantyhose). The result is a crazy light, airy down sandwich.

Apparel manufacturers can then use this fabric as an insulation, no baffles needed.

This is a big deal because you can now have a down jacket that doesn’t look like down. It has a flat face and interior fabric, and can appear much like many synthetics.

It can perform like a “puffy,” without the puffy appearance.

Exclusive: Eddie Bauer Evertherm Jacket Review

Eddie Bauer is the exclusive brand using the Thindown in its Evertherm Hoody ($250) and Evertherm Jacket ($280) starting fall 2017.

It has an exclusive deal with Thindown for two years, so you won’t see it elsewhere until 2019.

We’ve been testing a pre-production sample for a couple months, and so far the jacket has proven exceptionally warm. It mirrors conventional down in being light and compressible.

Given we’ve had the jacket mostly during warm months, our cold weather testing has been limited. Using it in a few high altitude situations with temps down to the high 30s, the jacket certainly performed as promised.

We look forward to using the Evertherm in colder weather to put it through more extreme paces. But at first testing, this is a remarkable new type of down that could signal a whole new puffy look for the future.

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Managing Editor Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in Denver, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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