Synthetic downs: PrimaLoft

PrimaLoft Synthetic Downs

In 1986, the American company Albany International registered a patent for a synthetic down and gave it the name PrimaLoft. Even then, the material had excellent insulation properties for a low weight and small packed dimensions - similar to the qualities of conventional down.

First developed for the military, PrimaLoft's excellent properties soon took the outdoor sector by storm. Since then, PrimaLoft has become an integral part of the outdoor clothing and equipment sector and is used by countless companies.

PrimaLoft's insulation and warming properties

Depending on the make, PrimaLoft is generally not quite as warm as conventional down of the same weight and pack size. This synthetic fibre's main advantage over down, though, is its qualities when wet.

When wet, down collapses and clumps together. This greatly reduces its warming capacity. PrimaLoft, however, keeps up to 96% of its fill power when wet, so it performs even in humid conditions.

What's what? The different variations

PrimaLoft is available in different variations that offer distinct advantages depending on their intended use. All variants are wonderfully warm, have good water-repelling properties, are quick-drying, light, breathable and easily compressed. However, there are still some differences:

  • PrimaLoft ONE: Has the best warmth-to-weight-and-compression-ration. The ultra thin microfibres are permanently water-repellent and long-lasting.
  • PrimaLoft ECO: This eco-friendly material version is made from plastic bottles recycled in an elaborate process. About 28 bottles are needed to manufacture one kilogram of the high-quality synthetic fibre that is virtually just as good as the other variants.
  • Primaloft INFINITY: In spite of their a special surface coating and high-quality production, the fibres are damaged slightly with each compression, causing them to lose a minimal amount of fill power. Generally, this doesn't become perceptible until after several hundred compressions. Primaloft INFINITY has an especially long lifespan, which is why it is frequently used in sleeping bags.

All PrimaLoft fibres come with a bluesign certification. This certification was developed for the textile industry and certifies that raw materials and resources are obtained in a sustainable way with a minimal impact on the environment.

Use of PrimaLoft in the outdoor industry

It is most commonly used in PrimaLoft jackets. These jackets distinguish themselves through their excellent qualities. These include a low weight and keeping the body warm and dry due to the material's heat-regulating properties. With their cuts specifically adapted to mountain sports, PrimaLoft jackets are some of the most comfortable insulation layers out there.

Not just the upper body, but legs, hands and feet also need to be protected from the cold. Many companies therefore also include the PrimaLoft trousers and other PrimaLoft clothing articles such as shoes and gloves in their product range.

Other products requiring good insulation are sleeping bags and sleeping mats. Sleeping bags especially are prone to condensation due to moisture inside and out. This can fairly quickly affect a down sleeping bag's ability to provide warmth. A sleeping bag with PrimaLoft filling, however, is much less susceptible to moisture and is easier to care for. This is why many companies such as Marmot, Ajungilak, Exped or Mountain Equipment offer PrimaLoft sleeping bags. Some manufacturers such as Exped also use PrimaLoft to fill ultra-light sleeping mats.

You will find a large selection of PrimaLoft products for men, women and kids in our shop.

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