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Down jackets are a solid choice for adventurous kids with their fabulous insulation and softness that will keep your tiny tots warm to a T! The plumage (down) that allows geese and ducks to survive brutal winter conditions traps body heat like a superstar, making it perfect for children’s outerwear. If you’re looking for the best down jackets for kids, consult our top 5 winners.

These jackets have a winning combination of quality, weather-resistant features, and high ratings. And there’s something for everyone with the wide range of prices. When you’re ready to take your kiddos on your next hiking or outdoor adventure, make sure they’re prepared with one of these dependable down jackets.

For more of our top hiking apparel recommendations, check out the Best Down Jackets

 

Quick Answer - The Best Down Jackets for Kids

  1. Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
  2. REI Co-op 650
  3. The North Face Arctic Swirl
  4. Rokka&Rolla Puffer
  5. The North Face Moondoggy 2.0

 

Comparison Table - Best Down Jacket for Kids

PictureNameSizeHoodWaterproof?PriceRating
Patagonia Down Sweater JacketGirls XS-XL / Boys XS-XL / Baby 3-6 mos-4TNoNo$$4.6
REI Co-op 650XXS-XLNoNo$4.1
The North Face Arctic SwirlGirls XS-XLYesYes$$$4.9
Rokka&Rolla PufferGirls and Boys XS-XXLYesNo$4.3
The North Face Moondoggy 2.00-24 months, 2T-6T, XXS-XLYesNo$$4.0
PictureNameSizeHoodWaterproof?PriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Kids' Down Jacket

Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Insulation: 600-Fill-Power Traceable Down
  • Material: Recycled Ripstop Polyester
  • Size: Girls XS-XL / Boys XS-XL / Baby 3-6 mos-4T
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Hood: No
  • Lining: Polyester
Features
  • Wind-Proof and Water-Resistant
  • Handwarmer Pockets
  • Zip-Through, Stand-Up Collar Warms Up Through The Chin
  • Spandex Cuff Binding and Drawcord Hem
  • Excellent Color and Pattern Selection

BEST FOR: FALL AND EARLY WINTER

This jacket is perfect for “in between weather,” when there’s a noticeable chill but it’s not frigid outside. It can be used as a mid-layer or a top layer with thermals underneath for colder temps. The jacket is also very lightweight and not as puffy as many other down jackets. That way, your kiddo doesn’t have to struggle to fit their backpack over it or feel restricted when they play. 

This version of the Patagonia sweater jacket doesn’t have a hood, which is great for kids who prefer hats, but there are also hooded versions. If you’re concerned about the origin of the down, this jacket’s down is traceable back to the duck farm where the down was harvested to ensure humane conditions were followed. That extra warmth and baby-soft feel against the skin are just what you’d want your kids to be wrapped in.

REI Co-op 650

Specs
  • Insulation: 650-Fill-Power Down
  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: XXS-XL
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Hood: No
  • Lining: Ripstop Polyester
Features
  • Weather-Resistant Exterior Repels Water, Wind, and Snow
  • Packs Down into Left Pocket for Easy Storage
  • Zippered Handwarmer Pockets for Ungloved Hands or Storage

BEST FOR: FALL HIKES

If your kiddos want to hit the hiking trails with you too, then this jacket provides the perfect cover-up to keep them toasty but not roasting once the temperatures drop. If they stay moving (who can stop them?), then the insulated jacket will keep them warm in a chill. But you wouldn’t want to use this as a regular winter jacket in the deep freeze. 

With added weather protection, the jacket can take on spontaneous drizzle and flurries while you’re out. When you get home, the lightweight, packable jacket packs down into its own pocket, taking up very little space in your foyer closet.

The North Face Arctic Swirl

Specs
  • Insulation: 550-Fill-Power Down
  • Material: Polyester
  • Size: Girls XS-XL
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Hood: Yes
  • Lining: Polyester
Features
  • Fleece Lining for Colder Temps
  • Hood with Removable Faux Fur Trim
  • Zippered Pockets to Warm Ungloved Hands or Store Personal Items
  • Waterproof and Breathable to Regulate Moisture Inside and Out
  • Internal Pocket for Phone or iPod

BEST FOR: BELOW-FREEZING TEMPS

Go ahead and tell your kids to play outside, even in the winter. With its full fleece lining and down insulation, this jacket keeps them warm so they can play outdoors year-round. When your kids start to build up heat, the breathable fabric disperses sweat so they don’t overheat. At the same time, the waterproof exterior keeps rain and snow from penetrating. 

The jacket covers more of the body with warmth with it’s extra length. Though it’s more on the expensive side, this girl’s down jacket lives up to its price in quality and reliability. It should provide that cozy, bundled up warmth and last many years.

Rokka&Rolla Puffer


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Insulation: White duck down and feathers
  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: Girls and Boys XS-XXL
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Hood: Yes
  • Lining: Nylon
Features
  • Super Lightweight and Soft for Snuggable Comfort
  • Machine Washable Material Means This Jacket Is Easy to Care For
  • Hood and Standing Collar Warm the Head and Chin
  • Elastic Cuffs and Side Zippered Pockets Keep Hands Warm
  • Windproof and Breathable for Temperature Regulation

BEST FOR: MULTI-SPORT USE

This jacket is ready to rock and roll, whether you’re headed on a hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, or climbing adventure. The brand boasts of the “warmth without the weight,” and kids love how light and soft the jacket feels. It’s so ultra-lightweight that it packs up into its own travel neck pillow.

It’s important to note that this jacket is more windbreaker than winter coat. It’s perfect for kids who are on the move, but it’s not an appropriate winter jacket for northern climates. The thin, quilted design lets your kid be a kid without the restrictions of a heavy, cumbersome coat.

The North Face Moondoggy 2.0


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Insulation: 550-Fill-Power Goose Down
  • Material: Polyester
  • Size: 0-24 months, 2T-6T, XXS-XL
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Hood: Yes
  • Lining: Polyester Microfleece
Features
  • Water Repellent Finish Resists Sprinkles, Snow, and Stains
  • Droptail Hem Covers More Body in the Back
  • Snap Pockets Warm Hands and Store Goodies
  • Hood with Chin Guard for Full Head Coverage
  • Taffeta Sleeve Lining Glides Over Clothing

BEST FOR: EVERYDAY USE

Give your aspiring astronaut a coat that makes him or her feel like walking on air. Puffer jackets have a way of doing that with their airy, lightweight, space-age feel. The quilted down insulation and water-repellent finish keep them isolated when there are flurries in the forecast. The hood lifts off over the head and chin in case your kid forgets his hat.

Unlike your standard spacesuit, the moondoggy is all about movement, because kids never stop. Performance features such as the raglan sleeves and moveable fabric give your little adventurers space to explore.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING DOWN JACKETS FOR KIDS

MATERIALS

Kids’ down jackets typically have a nylon or polyester exterior and lining because of their low absorbency and flexible qualities. Both are good options, but you might find your child prefers the feel of one over the other. A fleece or microfleece lining is a very soft, warm option that feels cozy and inviting.

 

DOWN TYPE

If the source of feathers inside your child’s down jacket are of concern to you, then make sure to research your options. Traceable down is sourced from humane farms that don’t force-feed or live-pluck their fowl. (Read about the traceable down process here.) Down jackets also typically come with either duck or goose down. Quality goose down tends to be more favorable than duck down because of its resilience and low odor.

 

WASHING INSTRUCTIONS

When you’re looking into down jackets, you’re probably wondering about washing the jacket. Though down seems rather high maintenance, many of these jackets are machine washable in cold water and just need to air dry. Check the instructions on the jacket’s tag to make sure the care requirements fit with your lifestyle.

 

SIZES

Obviously you want to make sure the jacket is going to fit your child. When buying online, it’s important to compare your child’s measurements against the manufacturer’s sizing charts. You should also read through customer feedback to determine whether the sizes run small, large, or true to size. Children grow so fast, it might be better to err on the larger side.

 

HOOD

To hood or not to hood, that is the question. Some kids prefer to wear hoodless jackets with a hat so their backpacks don’t get tangled up in it. Some parents prefer hoods in case their children forget their hats. A hood may be a determining factor in your purchase, so make sure to check if your jacket choice has one.

 

LAYERABILITY

Another important consideration is the layerability of the jacket. Do you want your kids to be able to wear bulky sweatshirts underneath their jackets? Some jackets fit closer while others offer extra space underneath to accommodate layers. This is where going up a size may also be helpful. Check out our guide on how to layer clothes for cold weather

 

OUTDOOR CONDITIONS

Down jackets are available in lightweight versions all the way to insulated deep freeze versions. Some are waterproof or water-resistant too. Consider what the weather is like where you live or where you intend to travel. Also consider what activities your child will be doing in his or her jacket. If the jacket is intended for hiking, then remember to factor in body heat generated by the activity.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

LOFT

A garment’s loft refers to its puffiness and softness. A high loft is airy and billowy, making it soft and plush. The loft of down determines its fill power.

FILL POWER

You’ll notice all down has a fill-power rating associated with it. This number refers to the loft of the feathers. The higher the fill power, the better the quality. 550-fill-power or higher has the best quality in warmth and softness. Read a full explanation about fill power here.

TAFFETA

Taffeta refers to the weave of a fabric. In outerwear, taffeta sleeve linings have a slippery quality to them. Taffeta sleeves make it easier to slide a jacket on and off without bunching up your clothing.

RIPSTOP

Ripstop is another form of fabric weave that resists tearing. Ripstop polyester, for example, is reinforced with a cross-hatch pattern so rips can’t spread.

DROPTAIL HEM

A drop tail hem is a hemline that’s longer in the back than the front. This type of hem covers more of the backside, especially when you bend over. Outerwear with a drop tail hem helps prevent exposed skin on the lower back during activity.

RAGLAN SLEEVES

Raglan sleeves are the type of sleeves that are common on baseball tees and other activewear. The sleeve fabric extends in one piece up to the neckline. This design allows for greater range of motion in the upper body. The extra room under the armpit also makes raglan sleeves better for layering.

READ MORE

For more of our top hiking & backpacking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

About The Author

Jessica Collins is a barefoot health and fitness writer and nature enthusiast who lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and two kids. She's always scouting local hiking trails to go hiking and forest bathing on and streams for kayaking. She's also a certified personal trainer and teaches weekly fitness classes. You can find more of her fitness and forest bathing content on FlashFit Trainer (https://flashfittrainer.com/) and Forest Bathing Central (https://www.forestbathingcentral.com/).

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