There's nothing better than spending time out in the great outdoors. Unless you're out there in the freezing cold without any way to stay warm. Thankfully, down jackets can keep you warmer than just about any other coats available.
But what are the best down jackets?
In this article, we'll look over some of the best down jackets on the market today and what factors you should look at when choosing the right one for you.
Best Down Jackets for Men
Let's take a look at some of the best down jackets for men currently available on the market. Each of these jackets serves a unique purpose and has its own area of expertise.
- INSULATED. This jacket features a Durable Water-Repellent (DWR) finish and warm goose down...
- SLIM FIT. Designed as an extra layer of lightweight warmth, this slim fit jacket is made with...
- GREAT FOR TRAVEL. Highly compressible goose down allows this jacket to roll into its hand pocket for...
If you’re looking for a great overall down jacket to keep you warm, the North Face Stretch Down Jacket is an awesome pick. It comes in a myriad of colors with both solid and block colorways. It’s also designed for a slim fit to cut down on unnecessary bulk while adding a lightweight layer of warmth.
The jacket’s filled with warm goose down that’s been certified to the RDS (Responsible Down Standard) by Control Union. The inner layer doesn’t provide a super-intense level of heat making it great for most situations. However, if you’re looking for higher level of added heat, you may want to opt for something heavier such as a parka. The shell is made with a water repellant finish to keep you nice and dry through rain or dewy conditions.
Other features include:
- Zippered side pockets
- Elastic bound cuffs
- Hem cinch cord
- Extreme Compressibility
- Ultralight, versatile, and packable, this down jacket for men is a consummate traveler, whether your...
- This isn't your ordinary down jacket for men because it features two secure zip side hand pockets...
- Our men's puffer Jacket is complete with 100% nylon construction and StormRepel DWR water-resistant...
Down jackets can get to be quite expensive. However, this Eddie Bauer CirrusLite is the best down jacket for the money on the market right now. It’s available in 5 different colors—one of which is sure to fit you. Also, they’re pretty simple to size. Just order your normal size and there’ll be no issues.
The CirrusLite is stuffed with 650 fill power down which will help you get through some chilly weather. But it’s not suitable for extreme cold. The outer shell is constructed out of 100% nylon with a StormRepel water resistant finish. It’s also got a high neck collar to provide extra warm on windy days.The biggest downside to this jacket is its durability. The nylon quality isn’t what you’d look for in a heavy-duty hiking jacket. However, if you’re looking for a light layer to keep you warm and dry throughout the week, it will certainly get the job done.
- Material: Made with our core cotton/nylon fabric, this Jacket is extra warm, breathable & durable....
- Weather Repellent: Featuring a water repellent outer shell, our jacket will absorb moisture and keep...
- Superior Design: Quilted design allows for a slim fit, while heavy duty YKK front & side metal...
Not all down jackets are built alike, and the 3q Jacket from Moose Knuckles proves it. It’s a premium choice with tons of great features. However, it also comes at a premium price point, so be prepared to shell out some dough.
The jacket comes in several different colors and is a slim fit cut. The cut is designed to maintain a sleek profile and warm air wrapped around your body.
However, if the jacket gets too warm, it can easily be ventilated by opening zipper adjustable side seams which also allow quick access to your pants pockets. The jacket comprises of an inner stuffing of 80/20 down with a 650-fill power to give you a medium-high warmth level and a water repellant shell made of a cotton-nylon blend.
One of our favorite features is the down-proof lining that keeps the down exactly where it’s supposed to be and prevents any stray feathers from poking out. It also has a detachable natural fox fur hood that’s as warm as it is stylish. This would definitely be our best overall pick if it was more affordable.
- No matter what kind of weather winter throws at you, this men's parka jacket has you coverd.
- This parka coat has a waterproof/breathable nylon shells turns away rain, sleet, snow, or hail and...
- The 650 Premium down insualtion keeps you warm even when the mercury goes sub-zero and makes this...
You may live in an area that requires a bit more warmth than other jackets. And the Eddie Bauer Superior Down Parka can give you just that. Although it’s only filled with 650 fill power down, the heavy outer layer amplifies the insulating power of the parka ensuring you stay nice and toasty.
You really only need to layer this jacket beyond a t-shirt when temperatures are below freezing. Otherwise, you may find yourself unzipping to cool down.
The parka shell is made out of 100% nylon that’s waterproof and coated with StormRepel DWR finish. And the down has been certified to RDS. It also comes with an attached hood rimmed with faux fox fur.
And while the fake fur does keep the price down, it also can become quite itchy. Fortunately, the fur is removable if it’s not for you.
- This ultra lightweight men's down vest is a great layer for cold-weather hikes, chilly camping...
- Ultralight, water-resistant ripstop fabric keeps you warm and dry without adding bulk;...
- Zippered hand and interior zipper pockets offer additional warmth and storage for small items
You don’t always need a full-blown parka or even jacket in order to keep warm. Often, you’ll only need a vest to give you that extra boost.
MARMOT’s Zeus vest is stuffed with a 700-fill power down to help keep your body core temperature up. But it’s not too overbearing because you’re only wearing a vest.
Its smaller size makes it super-portable and lightweight. And coupled with its ability to fold into its own pocket, the Zeus vest is perfect for hikers and backpackers.
Best Down Jackets for Women
Adventuring women need to keep warm too! We've done the legwork and have put together a list with some of the warmest down jackets for women to help make your hunt easier.
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND WARM: This hooded jacket combines light yet toasty synthetic down insulation and...
- WATER RESISTANT: This jacket keeps moisture out moisture with a water-resistant shell.
- ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: Comfort cuffs with thumbholes and a drop tail design provide extra protection...
Finding a top-notch down jacket for women can be pretty difficult. There's just so many options available. However, one jacket really stands out above the rest as the best overall jacket.
The Columbia Heavenly Hooded Jacket.
It comes in a huge selection of colors and sizes to ensure that your jacket fits everything about you. It's also nice and toasty. Filled with soft, lightweight comfortable down, this jacket not only looks great and keeps you warm but is easy to wear around.
It's also equipped with Columbia Omni-Heat interior lining. It's an extremely lightweight, self-warming material that's just as comfy as fleece. If we had to, the one thing we'd change about this jacket is the hood. While it's a great addition to the jacket, it's non-removable. Other than that, this is one great jacket.
- Ultralight, versatile, and packable, this down jacket for women is a consummate traveler, whether...
- This isn't your ordinary women's down coat because it features two secure zip side hand pockets and...
- Our women's puffer coat is complete with 100% nylon construction and StormRepel DWR water-resistant...
The jacket so nice, we've got it twice. The best down jacket for the money for women is the Eddie Bauer CirrusLite. It's built just like the men's version we've listed above; however, it's cut particularly for women.
This jacket is perfect for fitting over other mid-layers and has an approximate moderate activity temperature rating of -10F. This means that you'll be able to comfortably perform moderate activity in temperatures as low as -10F with minimal discomfort.
However, like its male counterpart, this down jacket isn't as durable as other jackets.
At first glance, you can't tell just how rugged this coat actually is. From a fashion standpoint, the Mackage Elita Ski Jacket is just stunning. However, looks can be deceiving because this jacket is as tough as they come.
It's filled with 800 fill power duck down and feathers with a polyester lining. This will keep you warm in even the coldest of situations. However, it's full of vents to keep your body from overheating. This jacket was designed so you wouldn't need to wear too layers underneath to achieve maximum comfiness.
There are also way more pockets than you can see. Mackage makes use of invisible pockets, hooks, and adjustment straps to maintain both function and beauty. However, this type of coat certainly comes at a premium price point.
- Besides warmth, our women's winter parka provides extra weather protection with exclusive StormRepel...
- Our women's parka jacket has 650 fill Premium Down for exceptional warmth without weight. Metallic...
- All of our down is meets the Rsponsible Down Standard (RDS)-certified down insulation and is...
The best women's down parka is another entry from Eddie Bauer. The Sun Valley Down Parka is a super-stylish, streamlined coat that can combined warming capabilities with lightweight technologies.
It's only stuffed. with 650 Fill Power down; however, the down is top-notch being both extremely lightweight but insulating as well. The down has been RDS certified and the exterior of the parka has been waterproofed through StormRepel DWR means.
And with so many different colors and designs, there's bound to be one suited for you. Th biggest drawback to this coat is its zipper. While they're not all out terrible, they still leave much to be desired.
- 700 fill power recycled down for lightweight warmth and compactability
- Zippered handwarmer pockets; Interior zippered pocket
- Fixed hood
If you're looking for a quality down vest, we really like the Marmot Ithaca vest. It's filled with 700 Fill Power down to ensure that your core stays nice and regulated while still giving you the freedom of movement that only a vest can.
The vest also comes equipped with a fixed hood; however, when not in use, it stays nicely tucked away. The Ithaca is also equipped with hand warmer zippered exterior pockets for safe storage and an interior pocket that you can use to safely tuck your phone away.
The biggest drawback to this jacket is that the hood isn't removable. There'll be times where you may not want it attached, and this vest can't offer that.
When looking for the best down jacket, there are a ton of different factors you should consider. Sometimes, what’s best for one person isn’t that great for another. Here are some different criteria you need to pay attention to.
Down Jacket Classifications
Down jackets are often placed into four different classifications. These classifications describe the weight and construction of jacket.
- Ultra-Lightweight: Ultra-lightweight jackets are specifically designed for activities where every bit of weight counts such as climbing, backpacking, and backcountry skiing.
- Lightweight: These are the most popular down jackets. They’re great for everyday use and are excellent for layering in colder temperatures.
- Midweight and Heavyweight: These two classifications are the next level of warmth and weight for down jackets. These are only typically need in much colder temperatures. And they’re normally much more expensive.
How warm your down jacket will be is primarily determined by two elements:
- Fill Power: This is a direct measurement of the quality of the filler down. And the higher the number, the better the quality. You need less high-quality down to achieve the same degree of warmth as larger amounts of lower quality down.
- Fill Weight: While fill power is extremely important in determining warmth, fill weight is the true driving factor. This is a measure of the actual amount of down within your jacket. If you were to compare two jackets with the same fill power, whichever jacket contained the most down would be considerably warmer.
Shell Durability (Denier)
The durability of your jacket can be determined through its denier. Denier is a simplified measurement of the weight of thread. And the bigger the denier, the heavier the thread will be. Jackets with larger deniers are much more durable than smaller denier jackets. Typically, larger denier jackets have a much longer lifespan than others.
Weight is a super important component for those intending to be active when wearing their down jackets. A heavy jacket may provide increased warmth; however, it can become quite cumbersome are over extended periods.
Finding the right balance between warmth and weight varies from situation to situation. So, it’s very important to determine what’s best for you.
Down has tons of great benefits, and one of the best is its ability to be compressed for portability. Some down jackets can be compressed so small that they can easily fit into a backpack pocket.
If you’re looking for the most compressible jackets, opt for those that have higher fill powers.
There’s no point in investing in a quality down jacket if it isn’t waterproofed. A wet jacket can easily put a damper on any outing especially if it allows leaks into your base layers. Be sure to stay on the lookout for DWR (durable water repellent) treated jackets and those constructed of naturally water-resistant materials.
Keeping Warm with the Best Down Jackets
As you can see, there's a lot that goes into choosing the best down jacket. Each jacket has differing performance levels, and you'll have to check out our criteria to determine which is best for you. Hopefully, we've been able to shed some light on this topic and help you make a more informed decision.
But as far as daily use is concerned, we stand by our best overall recommendations.
- For men: The North Face Men's Stretch Down Jacket
- For women: Columbia Women's Heavenly Hooded Jacket