Materials - TNF HyVent and Goose Down

HyVent® Fabrics

HyVent®: A superior, waterproof, breathable technology utilizing a polyurethane (PU) coating that consists of a tri-component multi-layer formula for waterproof protection, moisture permeability and durability. This technology has been lab tested in The North Face® Quality Assurance lab to ensure the best possible durability and function while also maintaining a comfortable level of breathability. The minimum level of breathability achieved using HyVent® is: 600 g/m2/24 hours on the Moisture Vapor Transfer Rate scale.

To test the level of waterproofness, we subjected HyVent® garments to 20 wash cycles, where garments retained an average of more than 60 PSI on the waterproofing Mullens Test.

In addition to lab testing, HyVent® garments have also been heavily field-tested. The North Face athlete Rick Armstrong, a skier and mountaineer who has many first descents, said, "This technology keeps me out in the storms, catching the best snow long after most people have gone inside."

HyVent® Alpha: A fabric used in the Summit Series® collection, this burly, waterproof fabric utilizes a microporous, hydrophobic lamination technology that retains its capabilities in even the most severs conditions. Its laminate membrane, consisting of nearly half a million holes per square inch, allows perspiration to pass through the jacket before it condenses to liquid; keeping you dry, warm, and comfortable.

HyVent® DT: Using the same principle as HyVent® coating but reducing the thickness of the third layer, this waterproof fabric is lightweight, packable, and more breathable than other unlined treated fabrics. HyVent® DT is created by applying a polyurethane (PU) coating with a DT print matrix which acts as a dry-touch, half-layer coating. The DT half layer adds durability and comfort by physically separating the HyVent® DT PU coating from the skin. HyVent® DT eliminates the need for a liner and is commonly referred to as a 2.5-layer fabric.

HyVent® 3-Layer Fabric: Utilizing a three-layer construction to stay simultaneously breathable and waterproof in extreme conditions, this fabric excels in any exploration. The durable woven outer layer protects the wearer from abrasion, while the mid-layer utilizes a polyurethane coating and micro pores to channel water vapor from the inner layer to the outer, while keeping water out. The comfortable inner layer is also engineered to manage moisture, channeling it up to the micro pores. The end result is a superior waterproof, breathable technology that stays dry inside and out.

Goose Down

Goose Down

The basic concept:
The higher the fill power, the better insulating the product.

This may seem like a simple concept, but there's much more to down and fill power than feathers and warmth. Even a basic understanding of the properties of this top-notch natural insulator will help make your next down purchase an educated decision.

What is down?

The layer of soft, fine, fluffy feathers under the outer feathers of adult geese, ducks and other waterfowl.

What is fill power?

A measurement of the loft or "fluffiness" of down based on the amount of space one ounce of down occupies. Fill power is not directly related to warmth, but rather the warmth-to-weight ratio.

For instance, two products with different fill powers may offer the same degree of warmth. But the higher-fill-power product will be more efficient, meaning it will weigh less than the product with lower fill power. A lower-fill-power product requires more down to provide equal insulation.

Higher fill powers are best used for the most active applications, when weight and packability are significant factors.

How does down insulate?

Down of all fill powers traps pockets of air that warm and provide insulation. Dense, lower-quality feathers compress more than finer, more fluffy ones. So it takes a greater, heavier amount of lower-quality down to contain the same amount of air as higher-quality down will trap.

Goose down has a supremely high loft and fill power, which ensures superior insulation and volume retention after compression.

How is fill power measured?

In a clear plastic cylinder, a weighted piston settles upon one ounce of down. The volume, measured in cubic inches, occupied by this partially compressed down determines the fill-power measurement.

The higher the loft, the more cubic inches the down occupies. And the higher the fill power, the more "dead" air the down will trap to keep you warm.

Are there down alternatives?

Synthetic insulation, made mostly of polyester fibers, mimics the loft and warmth-trapping properties of natural down. Though the pros and cons of quick-drying synthetic alternatives and long-lasting natural down are widely debated among outdoor enthusiasts.

While authentic down is widely regarded as the superior insulator, synthetic down is less expensive and requires less maintenance. Most notably, in wet conditions, synthetic alternatives provide reliable insulation and are preferred to slow-drying natural down, which loses its insulating power when wet.