Natural Down Blends With PrimaLoft® Insulation to Take Cold/Wet Weather Protection to the Next Level.
Sub-freezing temps combined with rain, snow and/or sleet encourage many to remain in the comfort of home but for many of us, it’s when we’re standing in the river in the midst of these conditions that we feel most at home. Now that Fall has arrived, winter isn’t far behind. For the coming season when you need to take warmth and weather protection to the next level, wrap yourself up in the DOWNStream® Jacket and Sweater. Technical Apparel & Sportswear Product Line Manager, Eric Miesch is here to explain all the features and technology behind the fishiest cold weather piece Simms has released.
Simms: At a glance, the new DOWNStream® Jacket and Sweater look a lot like standard “puffy” layering pieces, but in reality, there’s a lot of fishy functionality that can’t be seen. Talk to us a little bit about some of the technical aspects that make all of the DOWNStreams® so effective and versatile.
Miesch: So I would say that yes, the DOWNStream® Jacket and Sweater are super warm but, really, in my mind, because we incorporated a waterproof, breathable laminate, they’re actually incredibly water resistant. What I mean is, whether it’s snow, rain, sleet or hail, DOWNStreams® do an outstanding job of keeping your warm while simultaneously keeping you dry. In all honesty, the functionality of the DOWNStreams® (in most cases) prevents you from having to wear an outer shell.
Simms: In terms of wearing the DownStream® with waders, do you recommend wearing it on top of your waders or is it sleek enough to fit inside your waders?
Miesch: Like I say, because of the laminate we used, DOWNStreams® work great as an outer shell. However, what I will say is the fit was cut in a way that fits closer to the body, especially down around the waist area. This was done specifically so it could slide inside a wader without bunching up which is great for those super frigid days when it’s raining in sheets or dumping snow and you do want to wear an outer shell like a ProDry™ or a Slick Jacket.
Simms: Some jackets that are super warm are bulky which can obviously limit range of motion. Did the design/development crew do anything to retain range of motion in the DOWNStream®?
Miesch: I would say that everything Simms does is driven on purposeful design and patterning for the active angler, so range of motion is built into the style and the cut and the patterning. Again, everything we do, we do thinking about how an angler is going to be moving in the piece. And the DOWNStreams® are no exception. Aside from the cut however, we constructed them with different insulation values in the sleeves and the body. By doing so, we accomplished two things. First, because the body portion of the jacket uses a higher insulation value, your core has added warmth. Second, because the insulation value in the arms is slightly less, you get a greater range of motion for casting, rowing etc.
Simms: Let’s talk a little more about the insulation, after all, it is the namesake of the jacket.
Miesch: We built the DOWNStream® Jacket and Sweater with a PrimaLoft Down Blend Insulation. And yes, this is really the key component to the Jackets and Sweater. Down has a much higher clo value than synthetic fabrics [clo rating is the standard metric used in measuring warmth] but of course, if a 100% down jacket gets wet, all of its warming properties literally disappear. So the great thing about using a down blend is you get the super warm, lightweight characteristics of natural down but because it’s blended with PrimaLoft Gold, the jacket is able to maintain warmth even when wet. That’s why we are so excited about all of the DOWNStream pieces, they really are the perfect choice for cold weather anglers. They’re breathable, highly water resistant, rugged and super warm.
Simms: From what I understand, the PrimaLoft Down blend isn’t running through the entire garment, correct?
Miesch: That’s correct. Basically, in areas such as the cuff, the hood and the shoulders, areas that will likely receive the most moisture, we stuck with a PrimaLoft Gold which of course doesn’t include any natural down. Our feeling was these are areas that are most susceptible to moisture so we kept the insulation in these key spots synthetic to maintain maximum warmth in damp/wet conditions.
Simms: You just mentioned the cuff. We’ve noticed that when people put the DownStream on for the first time, lots of times, the first comment is “wow, that cuff is awesome.” Why is that? Tell us a little more about the cuff design.
Miesch: Yeah, the cuff design is amazing. What people are noticing is that the cuff is actually turned up inside of the sleeve. First, this eliminates an abrasion point on the wrist but second of all it allows the insulation to run to the bitter end of the sleeve. Because we designed the cuff this way, the warming characteristics run all the way donw.
Simms: Can you talk to us a little bit about the difference between the Jacket and the Sweater?
Miesch: Well obviously, the most noteworthy difference between the two is the sweater doesn’t have a sweater. Outside of that, the jacket (men’s and women’s) have a slightly higher insulation value than the sweater. So what I would say about that is, the Jacket as I said before could pretty much serve as an outerwear piece but, if you are looking for a super warm mid layer for a really cold/wet day, that you plan on wearing an outer shell on the outside, the sweater is going to keep you nice and warm and really fit well inside your waders.