Down jackets are a great choice of outerwear as they are soft and warm but still sturdy and durable.
They are great for sports, especially hiking, as they will provide you with the comfort and protection you need, whilst still being easily packed away in a backpack.
Down jackets can be quite expensive but are almost always great quality and a worthy investment.
To help you find exactly what you need, we’ve put together a list of the best down jackets available, so read on to find your perfect fit.
5 Best Down Jackets
OUR TOP PICK
This Berghaus down jacket doesn’t have the highest fill power on this list, but may still be the warmest option.
This jacket has ultra-light reflect technology that uses your own body heat to keep you warm. The technology reflects your body heat back to your core which will keep you up to 20% warmer.
As well as this, the Berghaus down jacket has gale-proof Pertex Quantum which will keep you warm even in extreme weather.
Although it is not the cheapest option on this list, it is still (at the time of writing) a very affordable option for a down jacket, especially one with such great features.
This great price, along with its amazing technology, is the reason this jacket is our top pick of the best down jackets.
- Ethically sourced Hydrodown
- Ultra-light reflect technology
- Available in 7 colors
- Price varies depending on color and style
With its faux-fur trimmed hood and 6 different colors, this down jacket is fashionable as well as practical. This jacket can be worn hiking up a mountain or on a day out in the city.
In practical terms, the hood is removable, as is the fur faux-trim so you can choose how fashionable or smart you want to look. The removable faux-fur trim is a really useful feature, especially if you live in an area where it rains often. Faux-fur trimmed hoods look fashionable and cozy, but aren’t great in wet weather.
There’s nothing you want less when hiking up a hillside in the rain, than your vision being obscured by the fur trim dripping water into your eyes. Faux-fur trims do take a while to absorb water, but once they do they become difficult to dry.
The zip-off hood is useful as, if it’s not raining but is windy, a hood flapping around your head is just as annoying.
This jacket is great quality, but it is quite expensive. The price also varies depending on color.
- Available in 6 colors
- Zip-off hood
- Removable faux-fur trim
- Machine washable
- Compatible with tumble dryer
- Price varies depending on size
This LAPASA men’s down jacket is simple and smart and can be worn when you’re out for the weekend, out hiking, or on your way to the office.
The outer shell is made from 100% Nylon so you can be sure that your jacket will be durable and strong. You won’t have to worry about getting any rips when hiking through trees or if you come off your bike.
Nylon is strong and water-resistant but is unfortunately not entirely waterproof, so don’t rely on it if you run the risk of being out in a downpour.
This down jacket is best for cold and dry climates as it will keep you warm and is windproof.
The best feature of this down jacket is that it can be easily packed down. It even comes with its own drawstring bag which you can pack the jacket into, just like a sleeping bag.
One downside of this jacket is that the down fill can sometimes have a bit of a smell, so make sure to air it out when you first get it and don’t keep it anywhere it could get musty.
- Available in 4 colors
- Drawstring bag included for easy carry
- 90% white duck down which can have a slight smell
- Nylon shell isn’t 100% waterproof
- Not machine washable
This is one of the most affordable options on this list and even for such a low price, you still get a good quality jacket.
One of the best features of this jacket is that it comes in a range of sizes, which also include several tall options. That said, the tall options are slightly more expensive which is a little frustrating.
This down jacket is pretty standard and has a 100% Nylon shell with an added StormRepel DWR water-resistant finish. This means that, although it isn’t entirely waterproof, the jacket will shed moisture so that water won’t soak into the fabric.
One great, and not very common, feature of this jacket is that it is machine washable. Due to the nature of down, it can’t always be washed in the machine and usually needs to be washed by hand. This jacket still requires a delicate wash, but being able to simply throw it in the machine is a big plus.
As well as machine washable, this jacket is also able to be tumble dried on a low setting, which is also unusual and is actually one of the best options for it.
- Available in 5 colors
- High neck
- Machine washable
- Compatible with tumble dryer
- Price varies depending on size
Tommy Hilfiger is a well-known and reliable brand, so you can be sure that you’re getting good quality with this jacket.
Although Tommy Hilfiger is a designer and designer prices can be expected, this down jacket isn’t much more expensive than the average.
One of the really great features of this jacket is its size range. Women’s sizing has seen a great increase in sizes available in recent years and plus-size clothing is much more available. But the same can’t really be said for men’s clothing, so the size range is a major plus.
One slight downside of this jacket is that it can sometimes shed. It’s not uncommon for feathers to poke out of down jacket seams, but it is annoying and a drawback on this otherwise great jacket.
- Well-known brand
- Available in a wide range of colors and styles
- Available in a wide range of sizes
- Available in big and tall sizes
- Machine washable
- Feathers can shed
Best Down Jackets Buying Guide
Buying good quality down can be difficult, especially if you’re not sure what to look for.
Although not the most expensive clothing item around, down jackets definitely aren’t cheap and some can be several hundred dollars.
So, it’s important to make sure you decide exactly what you need from your jacket beforehand, so you don’t end up investing in something that will just sit gathering dust in your closet for years to come.
To help you out, we’ve put together this guide so you find the best and comfiest down jacket for you.
Down Fill Sizes
When looking for a down jacket, you will see phrases like “650 fill power” and wonder what that means. “Fill power” is quite an intense name for something so soft and fluffy and refers to the “loft” of the down which is essentially how thick and warm it is.
Down works by trapping air between the feathers which acts as the insulation. This means, the fluffier the down, the more air can be trapped and the warmer you will be.
The high the fill power number, the higher the loft, and so the higher the warmth. Basically, the higher the fill power, the warmer you will be.
Packable Down Jackets
One useful feature of many down jackets is that they can be packed down to a really small size and then just thrown into your backpack. This is especially great if you’re regularly hiking or using the jacket for sports as trying to tie a thick jacket around your waist or push it into your backpack can be really annoying.
If you’re planning to wear your down jacket just out and about as a normal winter coat, a packable jacket is useful but not entirely necessary. But, if you’re using it for hiking then it is the best option as it will save you so much time and energy. Some even come with a bag that the jacket can be packed down into which makes it even easier and means you won’t spend ages trying to push unruly sleeves and hoods into your backpack.
Down Jackets for Sports
Down jackets are a great option for sports as they will keep you warm and dry and, as mentioned above, are usually easily packed down so you don’t have to worry about it getting in the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is down?
Down is the feathering on birds that keeps them warm and dry.
They aren’t the long, thick feathers you normally associate with birds, but small, soft feathers that essentially act as insulation for the bird, in the same way it does in a down jacket. Down jackets will usually be insulated using duck or goose feathers.
What is ethically sourced down?
Down is a by-product, which means the birds used are slaughtered for something else (i.e. their meat) and their feathers are then used for something else so that it isn’t wasted. The birds aren’t killed specifically for their down, but they do need to be dead for them to be plucked so there are some ethical issues surrounding down.
As you probably know, birds, especially chickens, can be treated really poorly by certain producers and a lot of people are now avoiding any product from caged birds. For down to be considered “ethically sourced”, the birds must have been treated well throughout their lives and must not have been force-fed or plucked alive. Their lives must be free from hunger, discomfort, pain, injury, disease, and fear, and they must have been allowed the freedom to essentially live as they normally would, if they were not being farmed.
This might all sound a bit grim, but it’s worth knowing exactly who and what is producing the clothes you will be wearing. As down jackets can be expensive, it’s also a good thing to know who your money is going to and who you will be supporting.
Can you buy synthetic down?
Yes, it is possible to buy synthetic down jackets that use polyester fibers to replicate the texture and properties of natural down. It can be difficult to choose what kind of jacket to get, if you don’t want to use something containing animal products then this is understandable, and synthetic down jackets are (a little) cheaper than natural down.
Synthetic down does have its advantages, but it won’t have the same feel and won’t work in the same way as natural down, so it’s worth considering what exactly you want from a jacket and what is important to you.
This type of down may be marketed as “vegan down” or “synthetic down” but most will usually be the same, although some use cotton or another material for the insulation. Prices will vary depending on brands and the type of material used for the insulation.
Are down jackets warm?
Yes, the warmth you get from a down jacket is one of its best features.
Down is a great insulator and is also incredibly soft so will keep you warm and cozy.
Why are down jackets expensive?
The bird down needed for down insulation is difficult to obtain and the quality of the down depends on the quality of the birds.
When it comes to geese, adult geese provide the best and softest down, so time and money goes into raising a healthy goose. Goose down is also quite difficult to find but is in high demand which shoots the prices up.