Lighter than a feather: why weight matters

The Shackleton Endurance Parka weighs just 1.2kgs, approximately half the weight of our competitors’ parkas in the same class.

How is this achieved?

The answer lies in the quality of the down used – it is pure, 100% European goose down, the soft layer of fine feather that grows between a bird’s skin and exterior feathers. It is the single greatest insulation material on the planet, with an unbeatable warmth-to-weight ratio.

The Endurance Down Parka has a fill-power of 800, meaning that one ounce of down can cover 800 cubic inches at its maximum loft. The higher the fill-power, the less down required in the baffles. The result is a parka that is incredibly light, warm and packable. So packable, in fact, that it will fit into a stuff sack the size of a football. These qualities are, in part, why our Endurance has been named 'Best Winter Jacket' by T3 magazine, conquering the best efforts from more than 15 of the world's biggest brands, including Canada Goose, Ariat, The North Face and Patagonia. 

You may be asking, why is weight such a big deal?

Weight Watchers

“Equipment weight is critical to the success of any long-range polar journey,” says our Director of Expeditions, former SAS soldier and record-breaking polar explorer Louis Rudd MBE.

“For my 900-mile solo unsupported crossing of Antarctica in 2018 [Spirit of Endurance], I spent 18 months agonising over every gram I would be placing in my pulk. I sourced the lightest solutions for everything, cut labels from clothing, trimmed excess material from straps and opted to go without spare underwear. The psychological boost I got from knowing that I wasn’t dragging an ounce more than I needed to was critical to the success of my trip.”

Weightless Warmth

Crucially, lightweight credentials cannot come at the expense of insulation. A winter parka is only worth its weight if it is able to keep the wearer warm in sub-zero temperatures. Furthermore, it needs to keep the wearer alive when the weather takes a turn for the worst.

Pure down is incredibly light and fluffy. A down cluster has a round centre called a plumule, which features thousands of tiny fibres. When stuffed into a coat baffle, these fibres interlock with each other, trapping pockets of air and, subsequently, the warmth from your body. It is remarkably efficient.

The Endurance has been tested and proven to minus 30 degrees centigrade. It has been on the shifting ice in Antarctica; on high glaciers in Iceland; in Arjeplog in Sweden; and deep in the mountains of New Zealand. The list goes on.

See our Down & Fur page to read about the ethics of the goose down used in all our jackets and parkas.