Duck down VS Goose Down: Know What You Need to Pick

duck down vs goose down

Before, I did not know about duck down or goose down. I wear my down jacket and appreciate its warmth. Yet, as I become so engrossed in hiking and camping, I became so particular about the quality of the clothes I wear.

As a backpacker, I am a bit obsessed with the comfort my jackets brings since I often camp in the wild and sleep outdoors. Eventually, I learned about the down clusters as insulation in my favorite winter jackets.  Now, on Duck down VS Goose Down, which one is better?

I tell you, it is best that you know what you need to pick.

The Difference between Duck down and Goose Down

Down traps the heat and flows warm air all over my body serving as a shield between the cold and me.  It matters a lot to me since it is the most comfortable, warm and light of all insulation I have tried.

  • Fill Power

Goose clusters are naturally bigger than the duck. The goose being literally larger than the duck may be the reason behind. Because of this, the goose fill power is famous for being more robust and long-lasting than those of the duck’s.

The age of the bird is also a factor to consider. The older the birds, the more fill power they can give. The longer the bird lives, the better developed the cluster becomes.

I can imagine manufacturers sorting out the different type of clusters to provide different range fill powers and content. When it comes to outdoor gear, average fill power starts at 500 while top-end gears are about 900.

Do you want to learn more about fill power? Here is a video explaining its details.

  • Odor

Goose only eats grass and other types of leaves. Ducks, on the other hand, almost eat anything. Because of this difference, goose tends to have less problem regarding odor compared to ducks.

Down are organic materials, and the presence of fat and oil is the reason it smells. No matter how clean the jackets will be, you cannot avoid sensing some slight scent.

  • Price

The price is actually dependent on the quality of the product. Because of the fill power and the odor issue, goose down is expensive than ducks. However, when by chance I get a high-quality duck down, it could be the other way around.

Besides, price tends to fluctuate because of the availability of the clusters. In seasons that that bird consumption is low, there is not enough supply so the price will naturally go up. As I realize, people eat ducks more that goose. Another reason why ducks are cheaper than a goose.

Of course, I must also consider price factors like budget and your specifications.

  • Durability and Insulation

Goose and duck down provide the same comfort when it comes to insulation. Literally, the feathers have an equal physical structure that is important for a useful insulator. If I take good care of my jackets, for sure, both type will last very long.

Nevertheless, do you know that the fat and oil content of the down affects its durability? There must be enough fat and oil to trap the heat and ensure warmth. Therefore, if it happens that the down is “over-washed” during production, it will drain the oil along with it. The result will be a brittle and dry output that is vulnerable to break down.

Besides the goose or duck down, you also need to consider a reliable brand to ensure durability.

The Truth Behind Down Jackets

I told you that I am hooked with down jackets. I got a collection of them. It is warm and light, perfect for a backpacker.  I often go to extremes while camping, so I need them.

However, the controversy behind live plucking to support the industry is too inhumane for me. I cannot take the cruelty the birds are suffering because of my down jackets. I guess this issue is still open until now and whatever the truth comes out, I still hope that it would be in favor of the birds.

Final Thoughts

Now that I have learned the facts behind when I think about Duck down VS Goose Down, I do not see a big difference in contrary to what I expected. I am most particular with the insulation and the price when it comes to decision making. As I have discovered that goose and down can be equal about their quality of insulation, it all goes down to price.

With the right manufacturer, I believe that duck down is practical to buy than the goose. With the same warmth, it can offer, I still pick the product that can fit into my budget. However, we have different priorities. My choice may contradict yours.

I am curious on how it goes with you. Can you post some comment and tell me what you think about duck down VS goose down?

About the Author

Lauren Reese

I'm Laura. I have a huge passion for hiking and camping. Lying under the star beside the tent and camping fire with my team is the ultimate nature getaway to me. I wish to share my experience during the adventure with you through this blog. Feel free to read my stories and leave some comments if you like.

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