Best Down Jackets 2018: In a cold place, it’s very obvious for you to be exposed to extreme conditions that come with living in such place. There are a lot of things that go into a winter gear, but the one most important item that you must have in your closet is a reliable down jacket. When it comes to keeping warm, these jackets can be life savers. A good jacket will insulate your body and protect you from all elements that one comes across in a cold place and all the while looking stylish. All you need to do now is get yourself one, and you can’t go wrong if you choose one of the best down jackets listed down below.
Are You a Fit: Who Should Use Down Jackets?
Travelling or hiking to a cold weather place? The first decision that you should take when planning is to get yourself a jacket to keep yourself warm with. You will need to decide whether you want to go for lightweight down jackets of a synthetic one. You will need to come to decision based on your assessment of warmth, weight, water resistance, compressibility, style, and other features. To answer the question of who should use best down jackets, we would say anyone who’s aiming for light, warm and good compressibility.
Best Down Jackets Women’s and Men’s 2018
Here we are putting together a selection of the best down jackets 2018. You’ll find something that suits you, and in case we have managed to miss somehow a down jacket that you have found very valuable, let us know in the comment section.
Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Sweater
Outdoor Research is one of the best hiking/skiing gear makers in the market right now. Founded back in 1980 by Ron Gregg, a physicist and dedicated mountaineer who went on to revolutionized standards in the outdoor industry. Over the last two decades the lead innovations in a number of fields. Having made groundbreaking products from waterproof stuff sack to soft shell gloves, Outdoor Research has expanded their reach with their horizon and came up with some of the best waterproof down jackets.
Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater tops our list of best down jackets and good reasons too. It’s incredible light weighted and warmed that promises to keep you comfortable when the temperatures drop. The down jacket offers impressive compressibility so that you can pack it up in your bag without taking too much of space. It’s a high quality down jacket that comes with a 650 down fill insulation while you go out to enjoy the view.
Some of the features that helped Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater grab the number one spot are Zippered Napoleon Pocket, Drawcord Hem, Stretch Binding at Cuffs, Left Hand Pocket Doubles as Stuff Sack, Brushed-Tricot-Lined Collar, Internal Front-Zip Stormflap. Like we mentioned, it’s breathable and light weighted. The down jacket comes in nine vibrant colors – Bengal/Diablo, Black, Dusk/Night, Earth/Cafe, Evergreen/Hops, Glacier, Pewter/Lemongrass, Redwood/Charcoal, and Tahoe/Baltic.
The jacket is good looking and fits well onto the body, unlike most of the jackets that came across as puffy and big, unable to retain warmth.
We like the smart placement of pockets that make it easy to place smartphone or IDs for easy access. The warmth to weight ratio really is perfect.
We found out that the jacket is warm enough when you are active but if you have plans to sit down outdoor, then you better look at some of the other options on our list.
It’s worth mentioning that we found the price relatively cheap. The Brushed-tricot-lined collar is something that we really liked and found handy in keeping our neck warm.
Patagonia Down Jacket Men’s
Patagonia was founded in 1953 by a 14-year-older called Yvon Chouinard. Fast forward to 20 years, Chouinard Equipment had become the largest suppliers of climbing hardware in the United States of America, and now Patagonia is a legendary company. Known for their high-quality product, Patagonia claims to have never “knowingly make a mediocre product.” As an environmentally conscious company, they say that they “cannot avert our eyes from the harm done, by all of us, to our one and only home.” That said makes excellent down jackets, and one of it was bound to make it to any list of top ten best down jackets.
Patagonia’s Down Sweater Jackets are not just superbly compressible, its featherweight. Comes with a 100% polyester ripstop shell, the down jacket is tear-resistant, snow shedding along with being windproof. With 800-fill-power, the Patagonia Men’s Down Jackets is one of the cheapest down jackets in our list. It offers 2 zippered hand pockets, quilted-through construction, and a drawcord hem that tightens the piece of cloth from inside. Besides there is an interior chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack with a carabiner clip-in loop, and it’s zippered.
Like Outdoor Research Sweater, Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket comes in nine vibrant colors for you to choose from. Those colors are Peppergrass Green, Feather Grey/Forge Grey, Black, Deep Sea Blue, Black/Black, Navy Blue, Underwater Blue, and French Reds.
It usually hard to imagine that something so light could be so incredibly warm; so if you are planning to do a lot of outdoor activities, the jacket could be too hot to handle.
Strategically placed pockets make it accessible which is very useful when you are hiking up in the mountain.
The down jacket has got a funny fit. We found it a bit too long and a bit narrow. It could have been because it was previous year’s model.
This was one of the best down jackets that we are glad to have come across. When it comes to the warmth of the Patagonia Men’s Down Sweater Jacket, nothing on our list can beat it. As for the quality of the jacket, it seemed durable and soft to the skin.
Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Down Jacket
The California-based company was founded back in 1993; known for manufacturing high-tech outdoor clothes and gear including backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and gloves. Although the company was purchased by Mountain Hardwear in 2003, they have managed to retain their position of being one of the best outdoor gear producers in the world. The company has been sponsor to several athletes over the last few years including biggies like Andrew Lock, Erik Weihenmayer, Ethan Pringle, Jake Meyer, Kenton Cool, Ueli Steck, et al.
Mountain Hardwear’s Nitrous Down Jacket is one of the warmest down coat that we have come across. Available in four solid colors – black, dark compass, python green, and stone green (which we tested), it’s an 800-fill down jacket. It’s a non-hooded jacket that sports high warmth to weight ratio with Q. Shield. Made of 100% nylon, the down sweater offers two front hands warmer pockets; dual hem drawcords seal in warmth, along with zippered hand pockets and one zippered chest pocket.
We found the jacket to be comfortable and light, with enough compressibility to squeeze it into backpacks.
One of the best things about this particular down sweater is that we received the exact color we orders, unlike most products that you buy online.
The size is weird. The size is bigger than what you order; so if you are tall, go for medium size, it’ll fit you perfectly, but not everyone is comfortable with over an oversized down sweater.
Technically it’s a fantastic piece of down jacket, in fact, one of the best down jackets for extreme cold. But the size could be an issue if you like a tight fit sweater. The fit is standard and not slim, so you might want to keep that in mind when going for this down jacket.
Columbia Platinum Turbo Down Jacket
Columbia Sportswear Company has been making outdoor gears for the last 70 years. This global sportswear company is based in Portland, Oregon. The products kept you warm, dry, cool and protected all weather condition. Over the last couple of years, the company has experienced many ups and downs but has managed to established reputation because of the fact they enjoy outdoors adventures which are integral to the success of their products and the company as a whole.
As for Columbia Platinum Down Jacket, it is one of the best down jackets we have come across owing to its thinness and lightweight. It comes with Omni-Heat reflective lining, 860 Turbo Down insulation with binding at the collar and cuff. Made of water-resistant fabric, the down jacket comes in over 10 color options to choose from, and those are backcountry orange, black, bright red, deep water, ever blue, graphite, hyper blue, mountain red, new cinder, rocket, and super blue.
The sweater offers zippered hand pockets and along with draw cord adjustable hem which is great, to say the least. The jacket is durable, and because of its slim frame, the piece of cloth is a great fit. It’s durable and comes with a breast pocket along with inner storage.
The coat kept up pretty well during the testing period in the harsh weather condition and performed really well.
It turned out better than we thought and was super warm against cold winds at the hills side when we were testing the down jacket.
The size is a problem, something we figured out pretty early on when we ordered a size L which turned out to be too large and later M that turned out too small.
The down jacket is one of the cheapest women’s down jackets of our list of best down jackets. We found it budget-friendly, durable comes in a variety of colors to choose from. The jacket is perfect for anyone who wants to go for something decent for a do-able price.
The North Face Thermoball Down Jacket
The American Outdoor is known for specializing in making outdoor equipment like coats, shirts, outerwear, fleece, sleeping bags, backpacks, tents, footwear, etc. The company tends to make products that are useful for amateurs and skilled professionals like college students, skiers, mountaineers, snowboarders, hikers, climbers, etc. Founded back in 1968, The North Face mainly serves in the North and South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific areas.
As for their Thermoball Jacket, it available in fifty plus colors and patterns; the one that we tried and was incredibly impressed was the Asphalt Grey. The down sweater offers versatile mid-weight layer that keeps you protected from the harsh weather conditions in the mountains. We really liked its lofty yet packable design makes it the perfect choice for unpredictable mountain weather choices. We tested the jacket in a wet weather condition, and it performed better than we expected. Basically, it was the thermoBall insulation is the jacket that provided supreme heat to the wearer even in wet weather condition. Plus the jacket comes with incredible compressibility that allows you to effortlessly compress the jacket into your backpack.
The piece of cloth sports a Ripstop shell that can withstand rugged terrain along with rough weather conditions to keep you completely warm and safe.
As we mentioned before the down sweater makes for a light and convenient storage so you can simply pack it away into a pocket of your backpack. It is also one of the best lightweight down jackets in this list.
Another feature that we really liked about the jacket is that its media compatible and you can easily slide in your iPod, smartphone or other gadgets to listen to on the move.
It could be a tight fit for anyone with a large chest. If you order a large size, it won’t fit in snuggly. So if you are looking for best down jackets that fit your size then it may not be your first choice.
The jacket has got everything that a perfect down sweater should have which is why The North Face Thermoball Jacket has landed on our list of top down sweaters. Made 100% polyester, it’s supremely warm, packs small and is pretty light weighted. The only catch is it could put a hole in your pocket.
Hawke & Co Down Puffer Jacket II
Founded in 1958, the makers are focused on producing utility textiles and have managed to become leaders in designing and producing outdoor garments. Carefully crafted and designed the products are versatile and encourage exploration. The products and particularly down above mentioned down jackets are the embodiment of the creative spirit and the attention to details that the Hawke & Co puts into what they make. The Co Down Puffer Jacket II is one of the cheapest down jackets in our list largely because the makers believe in creating affordable clothing that satisfies and exceeds customers expectations.
Made of Nylon, this particular down jacket comes in over fifteen colors and patterns for you to choose from. The one that we bought in and tested is called Kombu which is basically green. One of the biggest benefits of the down jacket is that it’s very light, warm and packable. It performs well in the wet weather conditions too and for the cost it’s one of the best down jackets which doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket and also performs really good. As for the size of the down sweater, we’d suggest you size down one size for a good fit. For anyone wanting to sport big and boxy down jacket, go for your regular size.
We like the non-slippery clothing materials; having used the jacket for several weeks every day, we did not encounter any slips unlike with the ones we have listed above.
The down jacket keeps warm but not as warm as we had expected, but considering the cost, the product is as good as it gets.
Despite its many shortcomings, this is one of our top rankings down jackets, and a budget buy. But for anyone who can afford a bit more, we would suggest that you look at some of the other down jackets on our lists like the Columbia Platinum Turbo Down Jacket or the Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Down Jacket.
Tommy Hilfiger Down Jacket
Whoever hasn’t heard of Tommy Hilfiger right? The multinational corporation is known for manufacturing and designing upper market apparels and a range of other products like footwear, fragrances, home furnishing, etc. Established back in 1985 by Tommy Hilfiger who remains their chief designer and responsible for seeing the entire creative process, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation has some 1400 free-standing retail stores spread across some 90 countries. In short “Tommy Hilfiger Best Down Jackets” is one of the most searched terms among trekking enthusiasts.
It’s a nice looking jacket that is both light weighted, easy to pack and the great fit to your body. Nearly a week of testing has had us really impressed, but of course, the jacket has its drawbacks that we’ll be discussing below. It comes in some fifteen different colors, and most of them are matted, so it’s great for people who hate shiny sweater. The available color options include black, cross dye charcoal, gold, port, red among others; and the one that we choose to test was Heather Slate.
Some of the other features that the down jackets include side-entry hand pockets and down feather padding with a logo at the left chest and standing collar to help protect your neck from the harsh weather. It also sports a drawstring that helps in quickly packing the jacket.
It’s a premium quality jacket that offers rich color, excellent material, at a comparatively low price.
This is probably one of the best fittings down jackets that we have come across while creating this list.
One drawback that we noticed is that there is a gap on the bottom pocket that makes no sense because anything you keep in there tends to fall out.
This is undoubtedly one of the best down jackets available now, and it comes from one of the best clothing brands in the world right now, and the piece of jacket that we had tested turned out great and pocket-friendly. Considering the cost, the warmth of the sweater is limited. So anyone looking for warmer down jacket, you should think of upping your jacket and look for something like Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Sweater.
Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hooded Down Jacket
The outdoor clothing and sporting goods company were founded back in 1989, and for anyone interested, the name comes from one of the earliest known bird called Archaeopteryx. Headquartered in Canada, the company is responsible for manufacturing skiing, climbing, snowboarding, backpacking and all other hiking-related activities products. The worth of the company and their products can be judged based on the fact that their Arc’teryx LEAF (Law Enforcement and Armed Forces) product line that makes the military and law enforcement clothing products.
Arc’Teryx hooded jacket comes with a ton of colors and design. The one we choose to test is Rigel that comes filled with 850 white geese down. Streamlined and light weighted down sweater, the piece of material works well in both cold and dry conditions. The secret behind the incredible warmth that the down jacket seems to come with is the Strategic placement of synthetic and down insulation, which make it one of the best down jackets available in the market.
The Coreloft synthetic insulation is placed along the collar, sleeves, shoulder, and underarms. These are the areas are generally prone to contact moisture and become colder. One of the best down coat for cold weather, the piece of clothing sports an adjustable hem drawcord and low profile down insulated StormHood that largely makes sure the draft stays outside.
We really like the attention to the craftsmanship which is superior to a lot many others down jackets on our list. The thought put into the attentions makes the fabric stronger so that its stands up to your everyday use.
The down jacket could be a little tight for anyone with a beer belly, but there are a lot of rooms on both the sleeves.
Super light and compressible, the jacket is very warm, although the fit is a little weird. The highlight of the piece is the high-moisture areas are filled with synthetic. Despite the broad sleeves, the elastic cuffs provide a great seal against the cold.
Calvin Klein Classic Packable Down Jacket
The fashion house was founded by Calvin Klein back in 1968. Headquartered in the New York City, the fashion house is currently owned by PVH. Over the last fifty years, the brand has managed to become one of the most revered and popular clothing lines.
Out of the seven color variants, we choose to test midnight and were extremely satisfied with the result, and thus included it in this coveted list of best down jackets of 2018. The down jacket is a premium down that comes with zipping front, open cuffs with soft elastic hem, interior, exterior pockets, and packs into a nylon bag. With chevron cut lines, the jacket fits well while keeping enough space for other clothes underneath. Of course, coming from the house of Calvin Klein the design of the jacket is commendable so much so that we can tell it is the best looking down jacket that we have come across and also amongst our list of top down jackets. The jacket’s shell material is pretty thin and as for the rest of the material, the Calvin Klein down jacket sports which is great, to say the least.
The piece of clothing is light, warm and without bulk. The colors were vibrant, and the wrists are elasticized along with an adjustable elastic waist cinch to keep the wind out.
There are two exterior zippered pockets and two inside pockets that help keep things as well as to keep the hands warm.
The only catch of this down jacket is that it lacks a hood that would’ve made it a lucrative buy.
We were easily able to bundle up the jacket into a small ball and shove it inside the sack, so we know it has got exceptionally high compressibility and does not take up much time. If the primary thing that you are looking into is compressibility, then this is one of the best down jackets you should go for. Besides, it’s not too expensive.
32 Degrees Weatherproof Packable Down Puffer Jacket
Known for making the most technologically advanced fabrics that are also responsible for bringing all day comfort at a value price, the 32 Degrees clothing lines are an inspiration. Owned by D.P.I. Imports in New York, the full trademarked brand is ‘Weatherproof 32 degrees’. Founded in 1948, the clothes of that they manufacture are known for their comfort and convenience.
It’s one ne of the best down jackets for cold weather that we have come across while trying to make this list. The Packable Down Puffer Jacket comes in five different colors for you to choose from and the one we tested is Army Green. Here’s what the jacket has to offer – on-seam side-entry pockets, color-matched packable pouch. This packable quilted down puffer jacket comes with standing collar and zip front. It’s ultralight, with minimal weight, superb compressibility and high-loft warmth.
The jacket is easy to carry as it folds into a detachable pouch and can be used to do a range of activities.
It’s very lightweight and seems durable and rolls into about the size of a softball which you can out inside a sack.
The jacket was a little too puffy, and the snug areas were not snug enough. You might want to order a smaller size than what regularly fits you.
We are pretty impressed with this packable down jacket. It’s pretty light and made of a seemingly good quality and managed to hold up to a few hours of rough weather throughout the testing week. Also, it’s pretty cheap, so anyone who can’t afford too much on best down jackets can shortlist this one.
Down Jackets vs. Other Jackets: Why Use a Down Jacket?
Like we said earlier down jackets are light layers that produce incredible warmth. The perks of using a down jacket are many. When you don’t need one, stuff it into your backpack. Lightweight jackets are a real excel and here are a couple of things that the down jackets do for you – it keep you warm, without adding too much weigh and because of its pack-ability, a down jacket must be your number one priority when planning on visiting a mountain.
Down jackets are a win-win when compared to synthetic ones that often tend to be heavy, thick, with about the same warmth and does not compress well. If you are thinking of cold weather jackets, think of laying your hands on one of the best down jackets brands. For more elaborate explanation of the many advantages of down jackets, read below. Besides going into detail Down Jackets review that we mentioned, we have also touched on a couple of other feature and best Men’s & Women’s down jackets.
Buying Best Down Jackets – What’s Important?
Down jackets are lightweight, warm, big, yet can be easily packed into to your travel bag. But that’s not the only thing that consists of a down jacket. To choose the best jacket that’ll see through your time in the cold place, you’d need to keep a couple of points in mind. Below we are listing down the things you’ll need to consider before purchasing best down jackets 2018 for yourself:
The number one reason to buy a down jacket is to retain warmth in your body. Warmth is normally the first things that people look into (although there are a whole lot of other things that you should see into and we have discussed all those below).
Down Fill Power
It’s a measurement of the warmth the jacket against its weight. A higher number signifies more warmth, but unfortunately, it also makes the jacket heavier. So the fill power directly reflects on the weight of the jacket. Normally, an entry and mid-level jackets come with 550 to 650 down fill power and are suitable for daily wear, but for the heavy activity, you’ll need to go for something lighter. Make your choice wisely based on the purpose of Down filled jackets.
Types of Best Down Jackets
Regular and treated (hydrophobic) down are the two types of down and the one way they are different to the other is that hydrophobic down is treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR). It makes the jacket somewhat water repellent and helps it dry faster. When exposed to moisture, the hydrophobic down insulation loses only 30%.
Best Down jackets usually have two kinds of constructs: baffle box and sewn through ones. Baffle box jackets are usually pricier than the latter. That is because it offers better insulation owing to the lack of cold spots because each down box sports its own rectangle. As for the sewn through down jackets prevent the down from migrating causing cold spots to emerge especially around the stitches. It ends up reducing the overall warmth of the jacket.
By a rule of thumb, lightweight down jackets are preferred over heavier ones. Like we mentioned earlier, the higher the down fill power, the lighter the jacket will be. Also, it’s worth noting that the primary reason behind the rise and popularity of down jacket because they are lightly weighted owing to their build. So it’s wise to look one with high fill power.
With Hood or Without
Often overlooked but we think it’s quite important to decide on how you intend to use the jacket; on that would depend whether you need a hooded down jacket or without one. It’s probably worth noting that that down jackets with hood are used as mid layers for hiking and is usually a bit cheaper and weightless. Hooded down jackets are perfect for base layers for cold weather hiking.
The higher the compressibility, the easier it would carry the jack in a backpack. For good compressibility, there needs to be higher fill power number. Normally down jacket are more compressible than a synthetic-insulated jacket, so there’s another reason to get yourself best down jackets.
Also, since these jackets are used by hiking and mountaineering, it’s important that they have convenient pockets. One should also see that the pockets are accessible when you are wearing your backpack, climbing harness, and other relevant gears. You wouldn’t like to scramble for things when you are out in the cold.
Pro-tip: Down Jacket belongs to the category of high-priced fashion items. So, if you want to save some penny while buying the perfect jacket for you, you may look out for the down jackets clearance sale.
Check other Hiking Gears
And with that, we conclude this list of best down jackets 2018. We have tried including the best manufacturers, covering the top down jackets available online that we got the chance to lay our hands on. Although these are the ones that fit in our bill, there might be several down jackets that are worthy of this list; let us know of them. Tell us in the comment section below. We wish you a warm and safe winter.
- Are You a Fit: Who Should Use Down Jackets?
- Best Down Jackets Women’s and Men’s 2018
- Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Sweater
- Patagonia Down Jacket Men’s
- Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Down Jacket
- Columbia Platinum Turbo Down Jacket
- The North Face Thermoball Down Jacket
- Hawke & Co Down Puffer Jacket II
- Tommy Hilfiger Down Jacket
- Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hooded Down Jacket
- Calvin Klein Classic Packable Down Jacket
- 32 Degrees Weatherproof Packable Down Puffer Jacket
- Down Jackets vs. Other Jackets: Why Use a Down Jacket?
- Buying Best Down Jackets – What’s Important?