Down jackets are great when you need that bit of extra warmth when you’re outdoors! They insulate the body with the soft under feathers from ducks or geese, which create thousands of tiny air pockets that trap warm air and retain heat.
And that’s not all. Down fill has an excellent “warmth to weight” ratio, which means it can be folded and compressed right down to stuff in your backpack without getting damaged, and it’s lightweight too.
There are some really great packable down jackets out on the market at the moment, and it’s hard to pick out just one. But we’ve been on the case and have hand picked our top 5 to show you. We’ve included some men’s and some women’s ones.
Our reviews on those are coming up shortly, and after that we’ve also got a handy buying guide for which basically goes through everything you might want to think about before you buy.
Then we’re going to top that off with a section where we provide answers to your most frequently asked questions.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
What we love about this jacket is it’s fantastic value for money.
In fact it was so cheap that we were surprised by how positive the customer feedback was - you don’t normally get such good quality at such an affordable price.
But that’s not all we love about it…
While it’s fill is 500 fill power RDS certified down, the outer shell is 100% nylon which helps make it water resistant, and able to handle moderate rain.
Speaking of rain, the jacket is also hooded, so the rain doesn’t get to mess with your hair.
There’s plenty of pockets - two inner zipped ones for keeping your wallet, keys and cell phone safe, and 2 outer ones for keeping your hands warm.
When you’re not wearing it, it packs up super small, and comes with a matching pouch.
- Excellent value for money
- Water resistant & hood
- Great pockets
- Not many color options
This is a great jacket for the outdoorsy woman.
Despite how much warmth it can bring, it’s really lightweight - ultra lightweight even.
You can get it with or without a hood, and there’s a wide range of color options. Most of which are quite modest and subdued, which is something a lot of women look for in a jacket. Yet at the same time you can match with your other clothes and dress an outfit up or down as you please.
There are deep inner pockets (nice to get pockets in women’s clothing isn’t it), and the outer pockets are zipped, so nothing’s going to fall out of them.
When you’re not wearing it, it packs up super small, and comes with a travel bag to keep it rolled up. Super handy for taking around in a backpack.
The price is very reasonable in our view. And it ticks all the other boxes too - water repellent, wind proof, anti-static. Hard to fault it to be honest.
Be careful if you decide to buy this via the link, because some of the options include hoods and some don’t, so be sure that you select the style you want.
The size chart on the Amazon page is really handy - make the most of it and get the perfect fit.
- Nice range of colors
- Loads of great features
- Very reasonable price
- Comes with travel bag
- They don’t always have every size in stock for every style
For those of you who like their brands - we’ve got no less than Tommy Hilfiger for you!
The Hilifiger logo is right on the chest, but it isn’t overdone or showy. It’s small and subtle.
Don’t be fooled by Amazon’s product description. Although at the top it says 100% Nylon, if you scroll further down, it says that the padding is 100% down feathers.
It’s both water and wind resistant, and it comes with it’s own matching drawstring pouch to pack it up in when you’re on the move.
We love the color range too - something to suit every taste. You’ve got the darker colors, for those who like to blend into the crowd, or some more popping colors that will make you stand out. There’s also a few camo patterns in there, and Tommy Hilfiger’s more trademark color block style.
We also like that there are some big and tall sizes in there, and not just standard sizes. There’s something for everybody.
And if all that’s not enough, it’s even machine washable too!
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Great colors & styles
- Big and tall sizes available
- Comes with its own pouch
- No inside pockets
- Pockets don’t seal
What we love about this jacket, besides being a packable down jacket, is that the outside layer is water repellent.
This means that when the rain hits, it doesn’t seep through the outer layer to the inners (and ultimately to you) but instead runs right off. (Watch the video on the Amazon page if you don’t believe us!)
It’s available in a wide range of colors, and has a natural lustre to it, so it’s great for ladies who like to stand out and be seen.
The down filler is of the highest quality - 80% duck down and 20% feather. With this combination, it not only provides a layer of warmth, but at the same time, it's also very breathable. Perfect.
It comes with its own matching pouch, which you can easily pack it into and shove into a backpack or purse.
We also like the deep inside pockets, perfect for keeping things safe, and there’s zips on the outer pockets too - all your items are kept secure.
You can buy it with or without a hood. And we like how the size range can accommodate the largest of us.
- Water repellent!
- Natural lustre
- Matching pouch
- Great pockets
- Not machine washable
This is a great jacket too.
The inner filling is made up of 90% down and 10% feather - and the result is that the jacket is super lightweight, yet is also cosy and breathable at the same time.
It’s waterproof and windproof, and the inner down fill will keep you warm even when you’re caught out in the rain.
It packs down compactly into a matching pouch, that’s easy to stash away in your purse.
It comes in the main two colors people go for in their jackets, black and navy (well it says purple, but it looks navy to me). And they have a great shine to them, which together with the horizontal stitching makes them look quite sleek and sexy.
Besides the colors, there are two main styles. One long sleeved with a hood, or a sleeveless version with no hood. So you’ll have to pick the style best suited to your weather conditions I guess. Or get one for fall and one for spring.
Both styles feature pockets, which is great - two deep inner pockets for your essentials, plus two outer pockets, where you can either keep your hands warm or stash more items, held secure by the zip.
We love that it’s machine washable - so convenient.
Be sure to check the size chart before you buy.
- Sleeveless option
- Well insulated
- Smart, sleek look
- Great pockets
- Machine washable
- Limited color options
Best Packable Down Jackets Buying Guide
OK, as promised, let’s do a quick run through of everything you might want to think about before you buy.
You really don’t need to spend a lot of money on a portable down jacket, they’re really quite affordable. You can even sometimes pick one up for just $20. Bargain. That said it’s more common to pay between $30 and $60 for one.
Of course the price can vary from size to size and from brand to brand. That’s something to bear in mind when you’re shopping round.
We were going to show you options for every price range in our top few picks, but to be honest we didn’t feel that the more expensive ones were any better than the cheaper ones.
Sizing is the aspect to really pay attention too. You don’t want to get one that’s too tight or oversize. Most manufacturers offer only standard sizes. But unfortunately these don’t by standard dress sizes, they’re just “small, medium, large” etc.
But if you’re buying through Amazon, there’s almost always a size chart on the Amazon page, and they’re really good guides for sussing out whether a particular size jacket is going to be a good fit. All you need is the right kind of measuring tape.
The style of your clothes very much comes down to your own personal taste. Down jackets normally come with smart horizontal stitching, which in itself looks very smart. But you’re not limited in your color options. You can go bright and bold, or you can blend into the background. Up to you entirely.
What we will draw your attention to though, is that different styles can affect how much protection you get from the wind and the rain. Some packable down jackets come with hoods and some don’t. Some are sleeveless and some aren’t. So you’ll need to decide which of these styles best meets your needs.
As we said in our section on budget, you really don’t need to spend a lot of money for a good quality packable down jacket.
That said, we do understand that there’s a market for big brands, and we were sure to include a top brand in our top 5 picks, that is the Tommy Hilfiger jacket. The branding on this particular jacket is there but is subtle, to add a quiet sophistication to the jacket.
We always recommend that you look at customer reviews before buying products online. When you’re buying online, you can’t pick up the item for a closer look like you would in the shops, or try it on. So instead you need to make the most of the platforms which show actual customer reviews.
We think Amazon is quite good for customer reviews, especially compared to the manufacturer’s websites which tend to only select positive reviews to be published on there as testimonials.
And the best thing about using Amazon customer reviews before buying a jacket is that you can find out if the size range is true to size. And then you can also look into how good the water resistance is etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best packable down jacket?
You know, that’s quite a tricky one to answer. All of the jackets in our top 5 picks are really good. We picked the 32 DEGREES Men’s Jacket as our number choice, because it’s such good value for money. But which one is best depends on what it is you're most looking for in your jacket.
If the main thing you’re looking for is something to keep the rain off, then we can recommend the Cior Women's Packable Down Jacket, because it’s water repellent rather than water resistant.
Or you might feel that the best packable down jacket is the one with the best look, which would be a fair comment. But we’re not going to comment on which ones we think look the best because everyone’s taste is different and we’re quite conflicted about which one looks best.
Or if you love pockets, that might trump the other factors, in which case, all 5 of our top 5 picks could do the trick.
Are packable down jackets warm?
Let’s bust some myths here shall we? There’s nothing about giving a coat the ability to pack into its pouch that makes it any less warm.
And down jackets are very effective at keeping the wearer warm, as we said in our introduction. Even the more lightweight ones can keep you warm.