Which jacket should you buy?

A Shackleton jacket is an investment, so it’s important to understand the components and features of each one to ensure you choose a jacket that complements the way you live, explore and travel.

At the start of the season, we developed six jackets to cover a range of conditions and scenarios. (Explore the full range HERE to familiarise yourself with the products before reading further). Designed in London, we work with field experts to give our outerwear an edge of authenticity: our expedition-grade parkas, for example, are unapologetically functional, an extension of your body, built to protect against extreme weather, but not at the expense of comfort. With the right materials, innovation and craft, there's no reason why the two cannot go hand in hand.

To help you better understand the technologies implemented and decide which Shackleton parka or jacket is right for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to read before you buy.


Let’s start simple. If one of the following criteria is of the utmost importance to you, follow the jacket link next to the relevant function.


When scouring for a waterproof jacket, look out for the 'HH' number. This stands for hydrostatic head and is the way of measuring how waterproof a fabric is. The number, a unit of millimetres, represents how high a column of water standing on the fabric would need to be before the water would penetrate the fabric.

The shell fabrics on the Antarctic Protector Parka and the Pilot All-Conditions Parka are waterproof to 20,000HH, meaning the water column would be 20 metres tall before penetrating the fabric. These parkas take waterproofing very seriously (as a general rule of thumb, 3,000HH is considered to be a good waterproof rating). The Endurance Parka also has a shell fabric of 20,000HH, however cannot be classified as fully waterproof as it is baffle stitched. It is, however, highly water-resistant (proven recently in Iceland, comfortably withstanding a solid 7-hour film shoot in the pouring rain).

Full waterproofing on the Protector Parka and Pilot All-Conditions Parka is achieved through welded baffles, where the shell fabric is not pierced and the construction seams are sealed. Heat activates the adhesive on seam tape, which when applied on the fabric between down baffles creates a strong bond that cannot be penetrated by water.

DWR is another feature to out look for. It stands for Durable Water Repellant and is a finish applied to the fabric that repels water.


Each parka or jacket has a varying temperature range. The Endurance Parka performs brilliantly from 10ºC to minus 30ºC, the Protector Parka from 5ºC to minus 25ºC, the Pilot Parka from 10ºC to minus 25ºC, and the Escape Jacket from 10ºC to minus 15ºC. This insulation and heat efficiency is achieved with goose down.

Down is the soft layer of fine feather that grows between a bird’s skin and exterior feathers – the tiny fibres interlock with each other within a baffle, trapping pockets of air. It is the highest-quality insulation material on the planet, with an unbeatable warmth-to-weight ratio, and there are certain numbers you should always consider before buying a jacket or parka. While on the surface some jackets from other brands may look similar, it is here that they are very different.

The first is the fill-power. Fill-power measures how many cubic inches an ounce of down creates when allowed to reach its maximum loft. The higher the fill-power, the more superior the insulation. With a higher fill-power, less down is required, meaning a lighter product. In short, the fill-power is the difference between a jacket that is warm on a winter’s day and a jacket that will save your life in the Arctic Circle. Our outerwear is a minimum 800 fill-power, meaning that one ounce of down can cover 800 cubic inches at its maximum loft. This makes them immensely efficient. We recommend that – for a serious performance parka or jacket – you should avoid anything lower than 800-fill.

The second is the down to feather ratio. The higher the down ratio, the higher the quality and insulation. The ratio in the Pilot Parka, Frank Hurley Photographer’s Parka, Escape Jacket and Titan Gilet is 90/10; it is 95/5 in the Antarctic Protector Parka; and our Endurance Parka is pure 100% goose down – very few parkas in the world can boast this specification. Again, we recommend you use 90/10 as the minimum standard for true expedition-grade quality.

When buying a down product, ensure that it is RDS-certified. The Responsible Down Standard certification is granted to a company that has had its supply chain audited by a professional, third-party body. It recognises and rewards the best practices in animal welfare.

For a step further in body heat innovation, look out for graphene – you will find this within the Pilot Parka. Graphene is a single atomic layer of graphite, tightly organised into a hexagonal lattice. It is the lightest, strongest, most conductive material ever discovered. (It is a million times thinner than a hair; 200 times stronger than steel; and so light that a sheet the size of football pitch would weigh less than a gram.) It lines the inside of the Pilot Parka, regulating body temperature by distributing heat when cold and dissipating heat when warm. It also reduces humidity, odour, bacteria, UV and radiation.


The quality of the down we use means that all of our outerwear can be considered ‘lightweight’, but the 100% pure European goose down used in our Endurance Parka is in a league of its own. Although capable of insulation to minus 30ºC, the Endurance weighs just 1.2kgs (approximately half the weight of our competitors’ parkas in the same class). It can be packed into a small 2-litre stuff sack the size of a football (pictured above).


Everyday wear // If you’re looking for a jacket or parka that will suit a morning commute, weekend getaway or urban adventure, opt for the Escape Jacket, Endurance Parka, Pilot Parka or Titan Gilet. All offer practical elements and refined styling to suit any occasion.

Adventure travel // Obviously adventure comes in many guises. But if venturing to cold climes, with wind, rain and snow all possible, choose theEndurance Parka, Protector ParkaorPilot Parka. The British-madeEnduranceis an award-winning winter jacket that blurs the line between form and function. The Pilot Parkais built for all eventualities, with easy venting if too warm, allowing you to regulate body heat efficiently.

If photography is your preference, go for the Frank Hurley Photographer’s Parka. We developed it in collaboration with powerhouse Leica Camera AG, so it features an abundance of custom features to help you capture shots in the harshest of conditions.

Expedition // For true grit in sub-zero temperatures, the Endurance Parka is the stand-out choice. It's ultra-light, packable and rated to -30ºC, with an abundance of custom features to tackle harsh weather, such as Merino wool pocket linings, large zips that can be used while wearing gloves and a wire-frame hood with a detachable synthetic fur trim. Now in its fourth generation, it has been developed in collaboration with Louis Rudd MBE, our Director of Expeditions and record-breaking polar explorer. (He is the only man to have crossed Antarctica on foot twice.)


ThePilot Parkais the ultimate winter jacket for transferring seamlessly from sub-zero environments to a vehicle, helicopter, plane or yacht. Italian refinement coupled with innovative expedition-grade technology means that this jacket is as comfortable in the city as it is on a glacier. Its lateral zips allow it to be versatile for periods of travelling when temperatures are fluctuating.


Still undecided? Call us on +44 208 065 5494 or email info@theshackleton.com to talk to a member of our team, who will happily assist you.


Drop into our London store (11 King’s Road, SW3 4RP) to explore the range. All information can be foundHERE.