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Today I received an e-mail from Arc'Teryx stating that

Fall 2013 ushers in the arrival of technical DOWN and NEW GORE-TEX® Pro technology.

What is technical down? I assume it is some sort of hydrophobic down. If yes, how does Arc'Teryx technical down differs from other hydrophobic down technologies?

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+1 - I like this question. (for anyone not famaliar with Arc'teryx) Arc'Teryx is the one of the most expensive brands of outdoor gear on the market, and possibly one of the best. But I've never been sure what exactly their proprietary technologies are, or if they're nearly good enough to justify the large price difference from other brands. But I have no idea what the answer is. –  DavidR Jul 25 '13 at 21:03
    
> I've never been sure what exactly their proprietary technologies are, or if they're nearly good enough to justify the large price difference from other brands. –  AlanL Aug 6 '13 at 20:03
    
(Sorry, was going to elaborate on that but Stack Exchange rejected my comment for being too long) –  AlanL Aug 6 '13 at 20:11
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

According to this blog: http://blogs.militarytimes.com/gearscout/2013/01/21/down-is-coming-from-arcteryx/ it simply refers to Arc'teryx getting into the down game at all (previously having no down offerings). With respect to hydrophobic down, the entry states:

Carl told us they considered using recently introduced water resistant down, but their testing showed those products didn’t stand up over time.

In short "technical down outwear" simply refers to outerwear that incorporates down.

(I can not attest to the accuracy of the above blog.)

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Well, looks like we were writing down the same answer at the same time.. :) Thanks! –  ppl Jul 25 '13 at 22:44
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GearScout blog post on Down is coming from Arc’teryx provides some insight on Arc'Teryx usage of down in their products.

According to them, Arc'Teryx did not have down products in their lineup prior 2013.

Arc’teryx didn’t want to enter the down fray unless its design effort added a considerable performance benefit over what was already on the market.

[...]

However, for 2013

Arc’teryx looked at the problem and decided its answer would be to provide down apparel with substantially improved durability while remaining on par or lighter than its competitors.

The down Arc'teryx use is 850+ fill power without any water-resistant coating.

they [Arc’teryx] considered using recently introduced water resistant down, but their testing showed those products didn’t stand up over time. [...] Arc’teryx felt the added cost up front wasn’t worth it when the water resistant properties would only last for a fraction of the jackets intended wear life.

Arc'teryx approach is different in the sense that

Arc’teryx decided to use synthetic insulation in areas prone to collecting moisture such as the cuffs, hem, collar and shoulders. Here, they use synthetic Coreloft insulation because it is an excellent insulator, even when wet.

From the information I have gathered, it seems that technical down is simply 850+ fill power down and Coreloft synthetic use alternatively depending on the area of the body it covers.


Their website has additional information on the specific product pages. (note, I'm definitely not a fan of their website!)

Putting Down Where It Counts

Strategic placement of synthetic and down insulation has Coreloft™ synthetic insulation, that retains warmth when wet, placed along the hem, collar, sleeves and underarms— areas prone to contact with moisture. 850 fill European Goose down lines the core and sleeves where warmth is most needed.


I asked Arc'teryx about their technical down to confirm that it was, in essence, regular down.

My question:

If I understand correctly, technical down is technically down?

Arc'teryx answer:

You got it down!

;-)

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Leaving this answer here in case someone wants a more lengthy answer.. –  ppl Jul 25 '13 at 22:53
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