Do you ever wonder, how can I can stay warm while outdoors this winter? A down jacket might be your answer. These feather filled jackets are useful for all kinds of winter activities ranging from ski touring to hiking to outdoor photography. Finding the best down jacket for your specific needs should be your main focus before heading out into the cold.

Down jackets aren’t cheap but are a great investment that will keep you cozy and warm outdoors for years. But how do you know what’s the best down jacket for you?

Here at The Adventure Junkies, it’s our goal to help make the research process easier for you. To help you out, we have compiled a list of the best down jackets on the market right now.

 

QUICK ANSWER: THE BEST DOWN JACKET

  1. Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Jacket
  2. Arc’teryx Thorium SV Hoody
  3. Rab Neutrino Endurance Jacket
  4. Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody
  5. Arc’teryx Cerium SL Jacket
  6. The North Face Nuptse Jacket
  7. Canada Goose Hybridge Lite Hoody
  8. Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody
  9. Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
  10. Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket

 

 

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THE BEST DOWN JACKET – A COMPARISON

PICTURE
DOWN JACKET
WEIGHT
FILL
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
DOWN JACKET
WEIGHT
FILL
PRICE
RATING
Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Jacket
15.1 oz.
800
$$
5.0
Arc'teryx Thorium SV Hoody
19.0 oz.
750
$$
5.0
Rab Neutrino Endurance Jacket
22.0 oz.
800
$$$
4.8
Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody
15.4 oz.
650
$
4.6
Arc'teryx Cerium SL Jacket
6.5 oz.
850
$
4.6
The North Face Nuptse Jacket
24.7 oz.
700
$
4.5
Canada Goose Hybridge Lite Hoody
8.0 oz.
800
$$$
4.5
Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody
9.7 oz.
850
$$
4.4
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
12.8 oz.
800
$
4.4
Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket
7.0 oz.
800
$$
4.4

 

DOWN JACKETS 101

 

4 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST DOWN JACKET

 

1. WARMTH

The number one reason to buy a down jacket is that it’s warmer than most other jackets. Warmth should be your main focus when browsing the web or stores for down jackets.

No other material comes even close to down in terms of warmth. Down insulation works so well because its many tiny feathers trap body heat exceptionally well.

There are two factors you should look at when it comes to warmth in a down jacket – Fill power and fill weight.

 

FILL POWER

Fill power measures the quality of the down (for example, 600-fill, 700-fill or 800-fill). The higher the number, the better the quality.

Most entry and mid-level jackets come in 550 to 650-fill down. This level of fill power works just fine for daily wear but won’t be able to keep up with heavy wear activities.

High-end premium down jackets use 800-fill and above. The advantage of this high grade fill is lightweight and highly compressible warmth.

 

FILL WEIGHT

Fill weight represents the actual amount of down in the jacket, expressed in ounces. More down, of course, means a warmer jacket.

 

2. WEIGHT

Weight can play a major role in finding the best down jacket. And it should.

If you plan to use your jacket for climbing, backpacking, mountaineering, ski touring, or any other sport that you have to carry all of your gear, you’ll want a jacket that’s as lightweight as possible. On the other hand, if you’re only using it as a piece of clothing to keep you warm outside, weight won’t be a significant factor in your decision.

 

3. HOOD OR NO HOOD?

Deciding whether to get a down jacket with a hood or without one depends on how you’ll use it.

Down jackets without a hood are often used as mid layers for hiking or skiing. They can be a perfect addition to your base layers for cold weather hiking. They’re usually a bit cheaper and weight less than their hooded counterparts.

We recommend a hooded down jacket if you’re going on more serious excursions. Climbers, mountaineers and long-distance backpackers should opt for a jacket with a hood. The added warmth is something that everyone appreciates.

 

4. COMPRESSIBILITY

The compressibility of a down jacket is particularly important during multi-day outdoor adventures. If you have to carry your things in a backpack, you’ll want them to be as small and light as possible.

A good thing to keep in mind is that the higher the fill power number is, the better the compressibility will be. Premium jackets with 800-fill and up pack down extremely small.

If you are in between choosing a down jacket or a synthetic-insulated jacket remember that down will win every time in the compressibility challenge.

 

best down jacket

Photo by istockphoto.com/es/en/portfolio/Nkarol

 

DOWN JACKET REVIEWS

TOP 10 BEST DOWN JACKETS

 

1. BEST DOWN JACKETS FOR OVERALL USE 

 

PATAGONIA DOWN SWEATER HOODY JACKET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Use at lower altitudes or even on the streets

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Jacket

WEIGHT: 15.1 oz.

FILL: 800-fill down

FEATURES: 1.4-oz. 20-30-denier recycling polyester ripstop shell, 1.5-oz. 22-denier recycled polyester ripstop liner, DWR finish, traceable down

PROS: Stylish, environment-friendly materials, warm, compact

CONS: Tear-prone fabrics

 

ARC’TERYX THORIUM SV HOODY

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Mountaineering and rock climbing

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Arc’teryx Thorium SV Hoody 

WEIGHT: 19 oz.

FILL: 750-fill down

FEATURES: Low-profile stormhood, DWR finish, two zippered hand pockets, one internal zippered pocket, one internal dump pocket, 40-denier shell

PROS: Weatherproof, stylish, warm, very durable

CONS: Rather heavy compared to other down jackets

 

RAB NEUTRINO ENDURANCE JACKET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Adverse weather in the mountains

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Rab Neutrino Endurance Jacket 

WEIGHT: 22 oz.

FILL: 800-fill down

FEATURES: Pertex Endurance outer layer, Pertex Quantum inner layer, stuff sack, helmet-compatible hood, zippered hand-warmer pockets, zippered internal pocket

PROS: Extremely warm, weather resistant, helmet-compatible hood, high-quality compressible down

CONS: Heavy, expensive, European-style left-hand zipper

 

 

 

2. BEST AFFORDABLE DOWN JACKETS 

 

OUTDOOR RESEARCH TRANSCENDENT HOODY

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Use in a system of layers

WOMEN’S VERSION: Outdoor Research Aria Hoody

WEIGHT: 15.4 oz.

FILL: 650-fill down

FEATURES: 100% polyester, 20D ripstop outer layer, 44D nylon lining, two zippered hand pockets, internal front-zip stormflap, left-hand pocket functions as stuff sack, adjustable hood, drawcord hem

PROS: Stylish, durable, breathable

CONS: Slightly less warm, less water resistant

 

ARC’TERYX CERIUM SL JACKET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Commuting in cold weather and between après-ski bars

WOMEN’S VERSION: Arcteryx Cerium SL Jacket – Women’s

WEIGHT: 6.5 oz.

FILL: 850-fill down

FEATURES: Wind- and moisture-resistant Thisela outer fabric, DWR finish, comes with stuff sack

PROS: Extremely lightweight, stylish design, warm for its weight, compressible

CONS: Not breathable, less durable, no hood, less suitable for inclement mountain weather

 

THE NORTH FACE NUPTSE JACKET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Casual everyday wear

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Nuptse Jacket  

WEIGHT: 24.7 oz.

FILL: 700-fill down

FEATURES: Zip-in compatibility with other The North Face clothing, zippered hand pockets, zippered internal chest pocket, double-layer taffeta on shoulders, 50D mini-ripstop nylon plain weave, stows in its chest pocket

PROS: Classic look, comfortable, durable

CONS: No hood, heavy

 

PATAGONIA DOWN SWEATER JACKET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Everyday wear and occasional winter weekend outings

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Patagonia Down Sweater

WEIGHT: 12.8 oz.

FILL: 800-fill down

FEATURES: 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell, two zippered hand pockets, one zippered interior chest pocket that’s also a stuff sack, nylon-bound elastic cuffs, traceable down

PROS: Environment-friendly and high-quality materials, lightweight, durable

CONS: No hood, boxy design, less compressible

 

 

 

3. BEST DOWN JACKETS FOR WOMEN

 

CANADA GOOSE HYBRIDGE LITE HOODY

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Multi-use, including hiking, skiing and mountaineering

WEIGHT: 8 oz.

FILL: 800-fill down

FEATURES: 10D fabric, Tensile-Tech inserts, quilt through design, two zippered center front pockets, two zippered hand pockets

PROS: Fantastic warmth/weight ratio, quality materials, stylish

CONS: Very expensive

 

ARC’TERYX CERIUM LT HOODY

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Ski touring, light mountaineering and winter hikes

WEIGHT: 9.7 oz.

FILL: 850-fill down

FEATURES: Stylish, lightweight, extra CoreLoft synthetic insulation in collar, underarms, cuffs and shoulders, DWR finish, down-insulated stormhood

PROS: Comfortable, warm hood, great combination of down and synthetic insulation, stylish

CONS: Expensive

 

MOUNTAIN HARDWARE GHOST WHISPERER DOWN JACKET

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST FOR: Minimalist rock climbers and winter hikers

WEIGHT: 7 oz.

FILL: 800-fill down

FEATURES: Q.Shield down, stowable in pocket, Whisperer 7Dx10D ripstop 100% nylon, two zippered hand pockets

PROS: Very lightweight, warm for its weight, comfortable, compact

CONS: Loose cuffs

 

Best Down Jackets – Hiking Clothes for Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring – Hiking Outfits for Women, Men and Kids – Backpacking Gear For Beginners
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