Primaloft - Down for the Military

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I know many people on here rate Keela products and particularly the Belay Jacket so thought you might be interested in our latest blog post:

Whether it is the latest magical cream guaranteed to make your wife look younger or a new better-than-Gore-tex breathable fabric the world is full of new technologies. All this means that it can be really tricky to understand which ones are best for the role in which you operate.

Primaloft thermal insulation has been around for a while but I’m sure few people are aware that it was originally developed by the US military and the first patent described it as synthetic down. With similar thermal properties, weight and compressability to down, Primaloft has the huge advantage of retaining these properties when wet. This is why the US military uses it in the outermost layer of their latest generation Extended Cold Weather Clothing System.

As well as military clothing, you’ll also find Primaloft in many high performance mountaineering products including our range of Keela Belay jackets. Available in both green and black these offer excellent value and are, rightly, extremely popular as an alternative to the ubiquitous Snugpak Softie jacket.


One of the key failings with a jacket design is that the full length zip offers an easy route to heat loss, even with baffles behind it. Keela have just extended their Belay range to include a new over the head smock, which is a similar style to the classic Buffalo Mountain Shirt, and addresses that specific failing.

The Keela Belay Over the Head Smock has Primaloft insulation but also a range of features not found on the more basic jacket. These include a large central pocket, neck baffle, adjustable cuffs, lightweight hood and large side zips from hem to upper arm. They’re also available in both green and black.

We don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Primaloft Belay Over the Head Smock as a top to keep in your daysack for layering up when you go firm. This is one occasion where the technology is absolutely spot on
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