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Considered the best insulating material in dry conditions, down is an effective, breathable insulator because it’s light, lofty and able to trap air between its appendages. Down is described by fill, such as 600- or 700-fill, meaning one ounce lofts to 600 or 700 cubic inches. The higher the loft, the greater the insulating value. When wet, down requires special cleaning methods, becomes heavy and does not insulate. Contrary to popular belief, down is not feathers.
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