Survey puts the heat on top-name padded coats

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Survey puts the heat on top-name padded coats

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left to right: Beanpole, Columbia, Millet, Lafuma, The North Face

A 32-year-old surnamed Lee recently visited a department store in southern Seoul to buy a nice, warm padded coat to survive the remaining months of winter.

“Although the products all looked the same to me, the price differed greatly depending on the brand,” Lee said. “But I wasn’t sure what was different about the quality and what made some more expensive than others.”

On behalf of people like Lee, the Korea Consumer Agency compared the price and quality of 10 padded coats.

What the consumer group found was that the maximum temperature difference between the warmest and 10th warmest coat when worn was 2.3 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit), and that the one with the best thermo function was 1.4 times more expensive.

According to the agency yesterday, the padded coat with the lowest price tag was Beanpole’s Bonfire (468,000 won, or $432), while the highest was Millet’s Paradiso (669,000 won).

“The thermal function of Beanpole’s Bonfire down jumper product was relatively strong and the padding weighed 828 grams, which is lighter than the average,” the consumer group said.

“But the product contained less downy content.”

The coats surveyed were from Beanpole, Columbia, Eider, K2, Black Yak, Nepa, The North Face, Kolon Sports, Lafuma and Millet.

“The most expensive product was Millet’s Paradiso and the second-most expensive was Lafuma’s Helios [630,000 won], but the study showed their thermal function wasn’t substantially different from products in the 400,000 won range.”

Beanpole’s padded coat was rated at minus 21.4 degrees Celsius, whereas Millet was minus 21.1 degrees and Lafuma minus 20.6 degrees.

Meanwhile, the Korea Consumer Agency said it plans to post details of the study on the Smart Consumer website managed by the Fair Trade Commission.

“The outdoor wear market last year was about 6.4 trillion won,” said an official from the agency.

“Although more consumers are interested in winter wear like down jumpers, not enough information has been given to them about the products being sold.”


BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]
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