Being exposed to the elements should not prevent you from doing your job, attending a sporting event or other activity, or just going for a walk because you enjoy being outside. Even if you are hiking, snowboarding, climbing a mountain, or involved in search and rescue, you must be comfortable. Part of that depends on your outdoor clothing. The Best Down Jackets or sweaters are a great option because they provide a combination of comfort, compactness, breathability, and warmth. This guide will walk you through the best down jacket options, and why they may be an ideal choice for your next outdoor clothing purchase.
The Best Down Jacket
Icebreaker men’s down coat known for its stylish, durable, and comfortable outerwear that will keep you warm in many conditions during many activities. The Stratus Long Sleeve Zip Hoodie is a perfect example. Made from 100 percent polyester for the outer shell, and soft and fluffy 100 perfect Merino wool for the filling, you will appreciate its fit and comfort no matter the situation.
The hoodie is a great choice for casual office dwellers, hardcore urban adventurers, or rugged outdoorsmen who cannot be bogged down with a heavy coat. It features quilted exterior shell design, a drawcord hem, washability, and wool lining which repels moisture and dries quickly. Make sure you also check our guide to the best Carhartt jackets for more great options.
Shaped hood offers protection and warmth.
The hood opening and sleeve hem include stretch binding.
The center front zipper includes a storm flap to protect against inclement weather.
The front pockets and interior chest pocket are zippered.
Mountain Hard Wear, best known for its Ghost Whisperer™ line offers this Insulated Down Water Repellent Jacket that is suitable for many outdoor activities. Geared toward ultrafast mountaineers, the coat meets demanding challenges head-on with feature like extreme compressibility, Q.Shield™ DOWN 800-fill insulation that is moisture resistant, and a low-profile quilt pattern to help trap in heat.
If you spend time outdoors, you will appreciate its comfort and functionality. This packable down jacket has one interior toggle hem for easy adjustments, a built in carabiner attachment, and down filling repellency.
800 Fill Power.
Weight of 8 pounces.
Limited lifetime warranty.
Elastic binding inside cuffs.
- BrandMountain Hardwear
- Weight4 pounds
Are you struggling to stay warm in damp, chilly environments? You could do worse than choose a Marmot Tullus Hoody Men’s Winter Puffer Jacket as your next clothing purchase. With a 600 Fill Power, it is a model of warm, comfort, and compressibility. Thanks to Down Defender technology, the lightweight down jacket stays warm when wet thanks to a special layer applied to the filling which prevents moisture and clumping but keeps the down fluffy.
One of the nicest features is that it comes with an attached hood with elastic binding, allowing you to keep your face warm depending on weather conditions.
600 Fill Power.
Handwarmer pockets with zippers.
Elastic at the cuffs and hem.
- Weight1 pounds
Thanks to its high warmth-to-weight ratio, the Cerium LT hooded down jacket is an ideal choice if you are looking for a breathable, mid-layer or standalone coat to wear in cool, low-moisture environments. It has an 850 Fill Power but weighs only 9.9 ounces, and has filling that is fluffy, warm, and compressible. Perhaps best of all is its Down Composite Mapping™ technology which places Down Composite Mapping™ in areas that are moisture-prone and where warm is needed, such as the sleeves, collar, shoulders, and underarms.
Made from a moisture-resistant outer fabric.
Lightweight for comfort.
Front zipper has a chin guard.
Includes an internal, zipper pocket with stuff sack.
- Weight10.4 ounces
Made by a company whose history begins in 1968, the Fjallraven Men’s Greenland No. 1 Down Jacket is the ideal choice for the serious outdoors-type, from backpackers to snowboarders to mountaineers and everyone in between. With fill that is ethically sourced, you can take comfort in knowing your jacket is revered not only for comfort and performance, but for the high standards that Fjallraven is known for.
Its outer shell is made from G-1000 Eco fabric that is wind and water resistant and composed of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton. Padded for comfort, the goose down coat includes a fixed hood, padded chest and hand pockets, and a two-way front zipper with protective flap.
Filling is made from 80% goose down, 20% feather.
Fitted hood with leather edging.
Two buttoned chest pockets.
- Weight2.35 pounds
The Black Diamond Men’s Cold Forge Down Hoody Jacket is a case study in packability, warmth, and weather resistance, thanks in no small measure to its PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend. Whether you are embarking on a long, cold ski tour or a single-day outdoors event, this is a great, mid-weight jacket offering durability and comfort.
Attention to detail is what sets this insulated down jacket apart from the off-the-shelf variety sold by big box retailers. Underarm gussets provide a greater range of motion, your hands will keep warm in zippered pockets, your wrists will remain comfortable thanks to lightweight stretch cuffs, and you can even wear a climbing helmet under its adjustable hood.
Protected by a durable water repellant finish.
Climbing-helmet friendly hood.
Insulated wind flap.
Lightweight stretch cuffs.
- BrandBlack Diamond
- Weight1 pounds
One of the most impressive values on the market, the Voodoo Falls 590 TurboDown Jacket is lightweight, compactable, and conforms to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) by Control Union. It has a 550 Fill Power with insulation made from 80 percent duck down and 20 percent duck feather. The lining includes 100 percent polyester, Omni-Heat™ Reflective technology that reflects body heat.
590 TurboDown™ Insulation.
Water resistant fabric.
Zippered hand pockets.
Cuffs with binding.
Geared for winter activities.
- Weight1 pound
An RDS-certified jacket, the Downlight StormDown Hooded Jacket is comfortable, affordable, and durable. One of its best features is its 800 Fill Power StormDown® insulation resulting in ultra-warmth, extreme compressibility, and moisture resistance.
Adjustable drawcord waist.
Zippered hand pockets.
Packable, includes carabiner loop.
Extra range of motion in shoulders and sleeves.
Chest pocket with convenient media port.
- BrandEddie Bauer
Geared toward use in freezing conditions, the Mountain Equipment Classic Lightline Men’s Down Jacket sets the standard for lightweight, technical duvets. You will come to appreciate its adjustable hood, comfortable design, and its windproof and waterproof fabric. This down coat has a shell made from DRILITE® Loft 40D outer fabric; the fill is rated at 700 Fill Power.
Zippered, inner security pocket.
Adjustable drawcords at the hem and cuffs.
Front zipper with insulated baffle.
- Brand Mountain Equipment
If you are a serious Alpine mountaineer comfortable working in winter conditions at 4000 meters, then the Neutrino Pro Jacket should accompany you on every ascent. Made from hydrophobic down that is ethically sourced, its shell is made from Pertex® Quantum Pro outer fabric that is designed to resist spindrift and heavy snow.
800 Fill Power.
Hem draw cord.
Two-way front zipper.
- Weight 2.09 pounds
The Transcendent Hoody is a great choice for anyone who spends time outside during the winter or other challenging conditions. Whether you are a backpacker, mountain biker, or a climber, you will appreciate this jacket’s warmth and comfort. It includes an adjustable hood, zippered hand pockets, a large left-hand pocket which doubles as a stuff sack, and lined collar.
Shell is 100 percent polyester.
650 Fill Power made from 80 percent goose down, 20 percent feathers.
Water and wind resistant.
Includes carabiner loop.
- BrandOutdoor Research
- Weight 1 pound
Alpine-inspired performance plus minimalist looks equals outstanding value for extreme cold weather environments, thanks to 700 Fill Power with Down Defender treatment to ensure warmth and prevent clumping. Weather resistant and lightweight, this Marmot Stockholm down puffer jacket also can be worn as casual dress by zipping off the hood.
700 Fill Power.
Attached insulated hood.
Inside and outside pockets.
- Weight1 pound
With a corporate history of nearly 60 years, Canada Goose has established itself as a premier supplier of luxury apparel. The Men’s Lodge Jacket is a new entry in its line of rugged outdoor wear. Warm with a 750 Fill Power, it is light enough to be worn comfortably during many outdoor activities, such as hiking and backpacking. Some of the features you will come to value are hallmarks of Canada Goose: Traceable, humanely sourced fill material – in this case, White Duck Down; ripstop construction; windproof and waterproof shell; and many others.
Two-way front zipper with storm flap.
750 Power Fill.
- BrandCanada Goose
- Weight1.2 pounds
Thanks to its lightweight outer shell, convenient packable bag, and weatherproof materials, Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Ultra Loft Sweaterweight Quilted Packable Jacket is the perfect choice for an afternoon of activities in mild to cool weather. Its practical yet stylish design, imprinted with the iconic Tommy Hilfiger logo, exudes charm and a sense of restrained performance.
Elastic banding on cuffs.
Two zippered exterior pockets.
Ultra Loft down-alternative insulation.
- BrandTommy Hilfiger
A combination of 600 Fill Power and DWR treatment make the Dubliner Down Jacket a worthwhile contender for urban or city-based winter activities. Other notable features include insulated down, windproof outer shell, elasticated cuffs, adjustable hem, and multiple pockets.
2-Ply fabric construction.
- BrandHelly Hansen
- Weight 1 pound
Down Jacket Buying Guide And FAQ
How Did We Choose The Best Down Jackets?
Choosing the best down jacket depends on many criteria, including available sizes, fill materials, water resistance, and other intangibles. For instance, if you are used to a coat with pockets, it makes sense to choose a Down Jacket accordingly. Want something with a hood? Then do not buy a coat without it. We also looked at:
- Customer Reviews
Features To Look For In A Down Jacket
What constitutes the “best” of anything can be a daunting task. Thankfully, our buying guide helps you look at down jacket criteria from an objective standpoint and eventually make an informed buying decision. Everyone has different preferences and looks for what is considered desirable features, but here are the most common “must-haves” to consider before purchasing a Down Jacket.
Warmth – Deciding on how warm you want your jacket to be depends on the environment you will wear it in, but also the combination of Fill Power and Weight. A higher number for both denotes the warmth of the jacket. A down Jacket with an 800 Fill Power but only 5 ounces of fill – the actual weight – will be less warm than a jacket with 10 ounces of fill and a 500 Fill Power.
Fill Power – Fill Power refers to the “loft” or fluffiness of the Down filler, and how much is contained in each square inch. “Maximum” fluffiness or loft occurs when the filler completely expands within the jacket, creating air pockets to trap warm air and body heat.
Weight – If Fill Power measures volume, then Weight talks about a simple measure that is easily understood – weight itself. When looking for the best mens down jacket, pay attention to the stated weight. If a product listing says the jacket weighs 10 ounces, that means that 10 ounces of filler was used to make it.
Shell Fabric – The outer material of the jacket contributes to its performance in four ways: Durability, warmth, waterproofness, and weight. The two most common materials used for the shell fabric are nylon and polyester, because they are durable and better suited to harsh environments. But the thinness of the shell fabric also is an important consideration. When looking at a Down Jacket, pay attention for any feathers or Down poking through the shell. If you see this happening, that is a clue that the shell fabric is not strong enough to hold in the fill. Ensuring the shell fabric has been treated for water resistance is another important factor when choosing a coat.
Hood – Whether or not you choose a Down Jacket with a hood is entirely a personal preference. If you ride a bike and wear a helmet, or perform other tasks where head gear is necessary, then a hooded jacket is not the best option. Conversely, a hood is a good second line of defense in keeping your head and ears warm and dry if the situation demands it. You also may consider a hood that can be detached via a zipper, snap, or buttons. Some jackets have collars which unzip in the back, providing a built-in compartment where the hood could be stored if not in use.
Fit – A goose down coat needs to be comfortable when worn, meaning you do not want it too tight or too lose. A good rule of thumb is to follow the same size you would for a normal jacket, and for the environment in which it is worn. For instance, if you plan on wearing a Down coat when it is cold, you may choose a jacket that is slightly big or loose and allows you to layer clothing beneath, such as a sweater or hoodie.
Water Resistance – Not every down puffer jacket is waterproof, but if that is a desirable feature then there are dozens of such coats to choose from. Most of these jackets have an outer shell that has been treated with one of many durable water repellent (DWR) products, and may include a layer of fabric such as Gore-Tex, which is a waterproof, breathable material used in many outdoor clothing lines. Keep in mind, however, that a DWR will wear out over time, based on frequency of usage and how often the jacket is washed. Thankfully, many DWRs are available as a spray and can be re-applied as needed.
Compressibility – A down puffer Jacket can be compressed and most even come with a cinch-bag to store them in when not in use. But keep in mind that the filling, if compressed for a long period of time – such as from one season to the next – will form in clumps and the jacket no longer will be comfortable to wear. Think of compressibility as a temporary state, something you can do to a coat while you are outside but want to store it temporarily. For longer storage your Down Jacket should be placed on a hanger in a vertical position.
Down Jacket Types
Down Sweaters – These are popular and often less expensive alternatives to a heavier down coat. They are normally lighter than Down Jackets, with a softer outer shell and which sometimes do not include the features of a full coat such as interior pockets or multiple outer compartments. Down Sweaters are ideal for light-duty use.
Ultralight Down Jackets – Like any packable down coat, an Ultralight version displays all the best characteristics you would expect from a Down coat: packability, warm, wind-proof, repels moisture. But these also have another advantage: They are extremely lightweight, often less than 9 ounces and are a good option for an outdoor lifestyle. Ultralight Down Jackets combine comfort – light and fluffy – with high tech features such as ultrathin exterior shells, snag-free zippers, and more.
Midweight/Heavyweight Jackets – Mid to heavyweight Down Jackets are marketed toward outdoor use in extreme environments. While still light or fluffy compared to jackets or a down parka jacket made from wool or other fabrics, these jackets are sought after because they pack more filling per ounce than others. As a result, they have a much higher Fill Power number, a thicker shell fabric and hood, and deeper, sturdier pockets.
Down Jacket FAQ
Q: What is a down jacket?
A: A true Down jacket is any jacket made of Down, the layer of a bird’s feathers – normally duck or goose or both - which is found beneath the tough, outer feathers. Its primary advantage over other fill materials for jackets is its thermal properties and padding, or softness. The outer layer of a Down Jacket is made from polyester or nylon. Down is an ideal fill material for jackets because it is lightweight, fluffy, and has thousands of tiny air pockets which trap warm air and body heat.
Q: What is fill power?
A: The Fill Power of Down refers to its ability to fill one cubic inch of space. Thus, the higher the Fill Power, the greater the down jacket is at retaining heat and warmth. Fill Power normally ranges from 450 to 900. A down parka jacket with a Fill Power of 550 or higher is considered a good buy, but the higher the Fill Power for a coat, the more a consumer can expect to pay to buy one. Any Down Jacket with a Fill Power of 750 or higher provides great insulation capabilities.
Q: What is the difference between down feeling and synthetic?
A: Any jacket marketed as Down must have the feeling of Down every time you wear it. The Down “feeling” is perhaps best characterized by its softness, fluffiness, and its ability to be compressed when not in use – then expand to its original shape and size without loss of softness. A jacket made with synthetic fill as a Down alternative will be obvious, even when touching or squeezing the other material because it feels tougher and is less fluffy and flexible. Both Down and Synthetic fill materials have their advantages.
- Down has a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than synthetic fill material.
- It is very compressible.
- Down is durable, meaning a goose down coat could last for decades with proper care.
- Suitable to be worn in warm or cold temperatures.
- This kind of insulating material is water-resistant.
- Synthetic fill is hypo-allergenic, meaning it will lead to less sneezing, coughing, and other allergic reactions.
- It is less expensive than a true down jacket.
- A Synthetic filled coat is easier to clean.
Q: How to clean a down jacket?
A: Some manufacturers recommend that you get your Down Jacket professionally cleaned by someone who specializes in washing Down jackets but keeping your coat in top shape can be achieved at home. Here are some tips to consider.
Get a Down-friendly detergent, which should be clearly displayed on the packaging. A normal detergent will eventually strip feathers of their natural oil, resulting in damage to the Down filling. A Down-friendly detergent, on the other hand, will not wear down the oil in the feathers or damage the outer material’s water repellence.
If possible, your mens down coat should be washed in a front-loading washer, or a top-load model without an agitator. An agitator, the central mechanism visible in many top-load machines, can damage Down material after repeated use due to its back-and-forth spinning action.
- Use cold water.
- Add detergent per the manufacturer instructions.
- Set the washer to utilize an extra spin cycle.
Once the wash cycle is complete, the Down Jacket can be put in the clothes dryer on low heat or a gentle fabric setting. Ideally, a newer dryer has a dry-sensing feature that detects moisture in the fabric and will end the drying cycle when appropriate.
Do not use bleach of any kind when washing your Down Jacket.