New Nightfall jackets and brand new Daybreak range!
The Nightfall has been a mainstay of our cold weather jackets for the last two years. If you need one top standard, excellent warmth jacket for after sunset when trekking, safety gear when winter walking or for superb warmth simply when watching winter sports, camping or general wear, this is it.
Rohan Men’s Nightfall Jackets
Rohan Women’s Nightfall Jackets
This year it is relaunched with an even higher specification. For the first time we are using 800+ Fill Power goosedown (see below for more, technical information).
We genuinely think this is the best down commercially available on the market.
We’re not interested in lower performance garments, just to gain “market share”, (whatever that is).
Rohan Men’s Daybreak Jackets
Rohan Women’s Daybreak Jacket and Vest
We are also more than excited about the launch of our brand new down range called Daybreak. This is a lighter jacket and vest each for men and for women.
They share the same, premium, 800+ goosedown filling but in a lower quantity, making these exceptionally light garments more versatile across the cooler and cold seasons.
Not only are these among the most technical garments we make they are also among the most attractive: the reaction in the office has been amazing. Everyone wants one! Well, they’re going to have to wait.
Rohan Nightfall and Daybreak Jackets – Launching November 2010
Lighter than a feather.
The technical lowdown on Down.
The single best insulation material in the world is another triumph of evolution over man’s best efforts in the laboratory.
Natural down is the premier insulator bar none. We are humble enough to realise that sometimes you just can’t improve on Nature.
Down is the best insulator by weight. It is also the most packable.
It works by lofting up through the action of heat: your body heat, which it traps as the superfine tendrils on the down plumules extend and reach their full extension.
This also explains why it is so packable. The tendrils can be crushed back again almost to nothing, leaving a very small volume.
Good down with low feather can withstand continual packing and lofting without deterioration. Obviously, the higher the quality the down the longer the ultimate lifespan of the garment will be.
Down garments were developed to help mountaineers survive in extreme conditions. Now they are an everyday staple, once the temperature drops.
At Rohan we have been using down alongside our highly developed Insuloft™ insulation for several years now. It has some excellent advantages, and also some specific disadvantages.
The crucial thing is to wear down appropriately. By this we mean it’s at its best in sub-zero temperatures or where there is otherwise no risk of it getting wet.
This is because if down gets wet it will collapse, quickly losing its ability to keep you warm and taking an age to dry.
When the weather is cold and dry though there is nothing better.
For this reason it’s usually inappropriate to wear down for highly active use where there is a chance of sweat reaching the delicate plumules.
For active use, for mixed weather and for wet climates our special Insuloft™ insulation has been specifically engineered to be almost as warm as down for it’s weight, but without the handicap of needing to be kept dry. In fact, it thrives in wet weather.
Back to down then, the thing is this: how can you tell what you are actually getting when you buy a down garment? They all look basically the same.
As with many things in life it’s the bits you can’t see that turn out to be the most crucial.
The first thing to note is the ratio of feathers to down. Down is the soft plumules that develop under the feather. When harvested it is inevitable that feather gets mixed up in the down. It’s a costly and time-consuming process to sift out the bits of feather, but essential. Feather has no real insulation value and the sharp quills are prone to punching through even the most downproof cloth. Check the label. All Rohan down is 95% down – we think the very best standard that is physically possible. You’d be surprised how many “down” garments on the market are actually nearly 50% feather.
The next thing is the quality of the down itself. This fundamentally depends on the bird it comes from. Goosedown is generally regarded as superior to duck down. Guess what we use?
But there are many different grades of down even from geese. This is where lab testing and accreditation comes in.
Luckily the quality of the down can be measured in a scientific test. The result is given as Fill Power and rated with a number, eg 650.
This is a comparative scale. The higher the number the better the quality of the down.
What we are measuring here is how big a space will be occupied by a measured amount of down when it lofts up.
The better the quality of the down the more it will loft up. So the less you would need for a given amount of warmth, because it’s the degree of loft that ensures that maximum body heat is captured and retained.
We’ve found that a typical, good quality feather and down rating would be around the 500 Fill Power mark.
Higher quality down that is aimed at serious outdoor use comes in around the 700 mark, typically.
Due to our insistence on quality all Rohan down garments are from November 2010 rated with at least 800 Fill Power.
We believe that this is genuinely the highest level that can be achieved commercially and consistently.
Still with us? One thing you should know: there are two test methods that give different readings, the USA method and the rest of the world (that’s CEN and JIS, which are European and Japanese test methods respectively).
Guess what? The USA test method gives a higher rating than the other test methods.
So, if you buy a North American down garment that says it has 700 Fill Power then according to the rest of the world – and according to our measure – this is more like 650. Correspondingly, if you see a claim for 850 or even 900, you need to ask on what test method?
Rohan 800+ Fill Power would be closer to 900 if we were Americans. Which we’re not.
Talk about British understatement… But this is because we always prefer to aim on the side of caution, to seek to use more rigorous scientific standards, and to avoid hyperbole. It’s our way.
So. Rohan down is to the best possible standard. Scientifically tested. So you can buy the Rohan brand knowing you are getting the best.
Check out all Rohan Down Jackets