The Best Down Jackets For You

We’re entering the time of the wet year when we start thinking about staying warm. Those of us who live in climates where the weather changes may be pulling out our down sweater, down sweater hoody, climbing helmet, and best down jacket. Then, we may find we need the best winter jacket. One of the best and warmest types is the down jacket, which gives extra warmth for the cold weather.

A woman wearing an elegant down coat

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right down jacket. Determine how much insulation (down insulation, synthetic insulation, or body-mapped insulation) you need. Think about how you will use your down jacket or versatile jacket—as an everyday winter jacket or as an insulation outer layer. Look for the fill power (down fill or higher fill power) and the fill weight you want. Consider the weather protection each winter jacket has. Get the features you want, such as own pocket, two zippered chest pockets, a hood, or vents. Also, the top winter coats are durable and made with fill that’s certified as responsible down standard.

Let’s start by looking at some down jackets on Amazon. These all have good overall reviews for wet weather performance from customers. They’re considered some of the best winter jackets and jackets on the market. Then, we’ll look deeper into the factors we just mentioned to help you decide what type of down winter jacket works best for you. Keep reading to learn how to choose your ideal down jacket.

Best Down Jackets


Marmot Women’s Montreaux Full-length Down Puffer Jacket

This full-length puffer jacket comes in three colors—jet black, berry wine, and arctic navy. It’s crafted of 100% polyester sweater knit material. It’s machine washable, so it’s a good option for an everyday winter jacket. The shell fabric is treated with Down Defender for moisture resistance. The coat has a 700-fill power level. The jacket has a hood that zips off if you like. The hood also has a faux fur ruff you can take off if you want. Two interior pockets are included. One is zippered while the other is a drop-in pocket.


  • Lined handwarmer pockets
  • Keeps you warm and dry
  • Customizable hood and ruff
  • Full-body insulation
  • Lightweight warmth
  • Easy to clean


  • Sizing is off
  • Zipper seems lower quality than jacket
  • Fill is uneven


Alpine North Women’s Vegan Down Drawstring Winter Parka

The Alpine North Winter Parka is full-length and machine washable. It’s another good option for an everyday winter jacket. The shell of this Microlight Alpine jacket is made of 82% polyester and 18% cotton. This winter jacket is filled with a down alternative. Rather than using goose or duck down, the coat is filled with a 100% polyester down alternative. It’s eco-friendly and animal friendly. This jacket is rated for temperatures as low as -22º F. The shell is water-repellent, also, so you stay dry. The coat is lightweight with a faux fur trim around the top that can even be removed.


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and slim
  • Four color choices
  • Filled with down alternative
  • Flapped pockets on the exterior, zipper pockets
  • Easy to clean


  • Pockets rip off easily
  • The waist-level drawstring doesn’t extend all the way around
  • Not a good option for those under 5 feet


Orolay Women’s Puffer Down Jacket Winter Maxi Jacket With Hood

The Orolay puffer coat is one of the top winter jackets for women looking to be warm over their whole bodies. This is a maxi-length winter coat, meaning it comes down to about mid-shin level. The shell is made of 100% polyester that is windproof and water-resistant. It’s machine washable and has a zipper closure on the front. The fill is made of 90% white duck down and 10% feathers. The coat is hooded and has snap-up pockets. It’s stylish and fitted, as well.


  • Highly affordable
  • Warm and keeps wind out
  • Easy to clean
  • Interior cuffs trap in heat
  • Fitted to body shape


  • Glitchy zipper
  • Sizes run big
  • The Hood may be too large


Are Down Jackets Worth The Money?

If you like to stay warm when in the cold air, then an ultra-light down jacket is worth the money. Down is a great insulator. Choosing the right down coat should start with considering how you’ll be using it. Are you going to wear it as an everyday winter coat, or will it be used for a specific activity? Best down jackets for layering under other coats should be chosen for different features than those for everyday use.

Your chosen down jacket is more worth it when you stay within your financial means. Set a budget for your down coat up front. When we overspend for items, the value they hold is decreased.

Jackets in different colors in different colors

How Much Insulation Do You Need?

Down coats come with various levels of insulation. They provide greater or lesser warmth. If you want something lightweight for cool climates or for layering, you’ll look for a jacket that’s slim and rated for temps down to around freezing.

The next level is midweight. These jackets won’t weigh as much as a heavy one but have high fill numbers and fill weights. Most are rated for below freezing.

Heavyweight types are ideal for cold, winter climates particularly when winter camping. They’ll keep you warm when the snow is blowing around and the temperatures are freezing. Most of these have weather-resistant shells, too. These have high fill power numbers and fill weights. Sometimes, the down is of lesser quality, though.

What Is Fill Power And Fill Weight?

These two numbers essentially indicate how warm the coat will be. One measures the amount of space the down takes up, while the other measures the ounces of down in the coat.

  • Fill power – This tells you how much fluff or stuff sack the down has. How much space does an ounce of down occupy within the coat? It speaks to the fluffiness of the down coat.
  • Fill weight – This tells you how many ounces of down are in the coat. The fill weight is the true indicator of how warm the coat will be. You can have a high fill power number but a low fill weight, and the coat won’t be as warm as one with a larger fill weight.

Weather Protection

Down coats aren’t the right choice when they’re wet. Down that gets saturated starts to clump. That makes for a lumpy, uncomfortable coat that won’t keep you warm.

This means you should look for a down coat with a shell that is weather protected. You want something with a wind-proof and moisture-resistant shell. Many down jackets are treated on the outside with durable water repellant. It causes any moisture to bead and drip away. A new trend towards treating the down inside the jacket is helping to keep moisture from collecting in the filling.

A woman is wearing a down coat while walking on the woods.

Down Winter Coat Features

Hoods are important features for some people. Wearing a down coat with a hood in winter weather conditions keeps the wind and snow off your neck and head. Many hoods are removable. You may want to look for one with a removable hood if you’ll only need it for certain times.

Pockets are important to consider, too. Make sure there’s a two zippered hand pockets somewhere for storing your personal items. It’s good to have two exterior pockets with lining to keep your hands warm.

Other features you can look for include drawstrings, cuffs, two-way zippers, air vents, and removable trimming.

Responsible Down Standard

We encourage you to look for a down coat that’s been RDS Certified. This stands for Responsible Down Standard. It means that the animals used to source the down and feathers are not unnecessarily harmed to make consumer products. If eco-friendly and humane practices are important to you, look for this certification on down coats.


Choosing the right down coat comes down to some specific factors. You’ll look at how you’re going to use the coat, first. Decide how warm you need it to be. That will help you choose the fill power and fill weight you want. Choose features that provide the coverage you want and the security. You can look at the style and customizability of coats, too. The ideal down coats keep you warm no matter the weather with the look and price you prefer.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which Down Jacket Is The Warmest?

When considering the warmth of down jackets, one option that is often considered the warmest is a hooded jacket with a helmet-compatible hood. The combination of a hood and a helmet-compatible design provides added protection and insulation for the head and neck area, which are vulnerable to heat loss in cold weather conditions.

The hooded jacket offers extra coverage and helps to retain body heat by creating a barrier against the elements. A hood that is specifically designed to accommodate a helmet ensures a snug fit and prevents heat from escaping, making it ideal for activities that require head protection, such as mountaineering or winter sports.

By incorporating both a hood and a helmet-compatible design, this type of down jacket provides enhanced warmth and insulation, especially in harsh or extreme weather conditions. However, it’s worth noting that the overall warmth of a down jacket depends on various factors, including the quality and amount of down insulation, construction, and additional features such as windproofing and layering. Personal preferences and specific environmental conditions should also be taken into account when choosing the warmest down jacket for individual needs.

What Is The Best Brand Of Down Coat?

Patagonia is one of the leaders in the industry. Check out the Patagonia down sweater online.


What Is The Most Lightweight Down Jacket?

The Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody is the top in the lightweight category of down jackets and the Jacket Mountain Hardwear ghost lines. This should be one of your go-to jackets.

Which Is Better, A Down Or Synthetic Jacket?

Authentic down is better for keeping warm. It’s lighter and isn’t as easily compressed as synthetic fill compared to other jackets.

At What Temperature Do You Wear A Down Jacket?

Down jackets are rated for the temps they are intended for. You should wear one for temperatures below 40º F. Choose your down jacket by the rating. Some are rated for temps well below freezing.

Which Fill Down Is The Warmest?

When it comes to determining the warmest fill down, it’s essential to consider the specific fill power rating of the down insulation used in a particular product. Fill power refers to the volume that one ounce of down occupies, and a higher fill power generally indicates better warmth-to-weight performance.

In the context of the “Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer,” it is a well-known and highly regarded down jacket in the outdoor industry. The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer utilizes 800 fill power down insulation. With an 800 fill power rating, the down clusters used in the Ghost Whisperer are large and have the ability to trap more air, providing excellent insulation and warmth.

Therefore, among the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer series, the jackets with 800 fill down would generally be considered the warmest options available.

However, it’s worth noting that the overall warmth of a jacket depends on various factors, including the amount of down used, the jacket’s design and construction, and additional features like windproofing and layering. Additionally, individual preferences and specific environmental conditions can also play a role in determining the perceived warmth of a jacket.

900-fill down from a goose is the warmest.

Is Canada Goose Warmer Than North Face?

These are both warm coats. Canada Goose is better at keeping you warm in frigid temperatures. However, if there’s moisture along with the cold temps, you’re in trouble. North Face coats are more water-resistant while still being warm.


Is Moncler Better Than Canada Goose?

Canada Goose is the better of these two. It’s warmer, more weatherproof, and more durable than the Moncler brand. Pair this with good sleeping bags, and you’re off to a wonderful night.

What Is The Difference Between A Down Jacket And A Puffer Jacket?

How tight should a down jacket fit?

Is 800 Fill Down Warmer Than 600?

When comparing the warmth of down insulation, the fill power rating is a crucial factor to consider. Fill power refers to the volume that one ounce of down occupies. A higher fill power indicates that the down clusters are larger and can trap more air, thus providing better insulation.

In the case of down jackets, a higher fill power generally corresponds to better warmth-to-weight performance. So, if we compare 800 fill down and 600 fill down, the 800 fill down is expected to provide superior insulation and warmth compared to the 600 fill down.

However, it’s worth noting that there are other factors involved in determining the overall warmth of a jacket, such as the amount of down used, the jacket’s design and construction, and additional features like windproofing and insulation layering. It’s also worth mentioning that there are alternative fill powers available, such as the REI Co op 650 fill down, which offers a balance between weight, warmth, and affordability.

What Is 700 Fill Jacket?

A 700 fill jacket refers to the insulation level of the jacket, specifically its down filling. The fill power of a jacket measures the quality and loftiness of the down insulation used. It represents the volume that one ounce of down occupies in cubic inches when it is allowed to expand fully.

In the case of a 700 fill jacket, it means that one ounce of down occupies 700 cubic inches when fully lofted. Generally, higher fill power indicates better insulation, as the down clusters trap more air, providing greater warmth while maintaining a lightweight feel. A 700 fill jacket is considered to have a high fill power and is typically suitable for cold weather conditions, providing excellent warmth without excessive bulk.


What Type Of Coat Is Warmest?

When considering the “warmth to weight ratio,” the type of jacket that is typically considered the warmest is a down jacket. Down refers to the soft layer of feathers found under the outer feathers of waterfowl like ducks and geese. Down insulation is highly regarded for its excellent warmth to weight ratio, meaning it provides a high level of insulation while being lightweight.

The warmth of a down jacket is primarily due to the down clusters’ ability to trap air effectively, creating an insulating layer that retains body heat. This unique feature allows down jackets to offer exceptional warmth without excessive bulk or weight. As a result, down jackets are highly preferred for cold weather conditions, mountaineering, and outdoor activities where lightweight warmth is crucial.

It’s important to note that the warmth of a jacket depends on various factors, including the quality and amount of down insulation, the design and construction of the jacket, and additional features like wind proofing and water resistance. However, when considering the warmth to weight ratio, down jackets are widely recognized as one of the warmest options available.


Are Longer Coats Warmer?

When considering the warmth of jackets, the length of the jacket itself is not the sole determining factor. While longer coats may offer some additional coverage and insulation, it’s important to note that warmth is influenced by various other factors.

For instance, an ultralight jacket, despite its shorter length, can still provide significant warmth. Ultralight jackets are designed to offer high levels of insulation while minimizing weight and bulk. They often utilize advanced synthetic or down insulation technologies that effectively trap body heat, providing warmth even in colder conditions.

The warmth of a jacket depends on factors such as the quality and amount of insulation, the design and construction of the jacket, and additional features like windproofing and layering. These elements can significantly impact the overall warmth provided by a jacket, regardless of its length.

So, while longer jackets may provide added coverage and potentially offer more insulation in certain areas, it’s important to consider the specific features, materials, and insulation used in a jacket when assessing its warmth. An ultralight jacket, despite being shorter in length, can still offer substantial warmth due to its focus on efficient insulation and lightweight design.

Which Is Better Down Or Synthetic Jacket?

The choice between a down jacket and a synthetic jacket depends on various factors and personal preferences. Both types of jackets have their own advantages and considerations. Here’s a comparison to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Warmth: Down jackets are generally considered to provide better warmth-to-weight ratio compared to synthetic jackets. Down insulation has exceptional loft and natural insulating properties, which helps trap body heat effectively. Synthetic jackets, on the other hand, may not offer the same level of warmth as down, especially in extremely cold conditions.
  2. Moisture Resistance: Synthetic insulated jackets perform better in wet conditions. Synthetic insulation retains its warmth even when wet and dries relatively quickly. Down jackets, however, lose their insulating ability when they get wet, and they take longer to dry. Manufacturers have developed water-resistant down and treated down options to address this concern, but synthetic insulation still tends to perform better in wet environments.
  3. Breathability: Synthetic jackets typically offer better breathability compared to down jackets. Synthetic insulation allows moisture to escape more readily, making them suitable for activities that involve high levels of exertion and sweating. Down jackets may retain more heat and be less breathable in situations where ventilation is crucial.
  4. Durability: Synthetic jackets are generally more durable than down jackets. Synthetic insulation is less prone to clumping and losing its loft over time. Down jackets require more careful maintenance to preserve their loft and insulation properties. However, with proper care and regular maintenance, down jackets can have a long lifespan as well.
  5. Weight and Packability: Down jackets are known for their superior warmth-to-weight ratio and excellent compressibility. They are lightweight and can be easily compressed into a small size, making them convenient for travel and backpacking. Synthetic jackets, while improving in these aspects, tend to be bulkier and less compressible.
  6. Cost: Synthetic jackets are often more affordable than down jackets. Down jackets, particularly those with higher fill power, tend to be more expensive due to the cost of sourcing down and the intricate manufacturing processes involved.
  7. Environmental Considerations: Some individuals prefer synthetic jackets for ethical reasons. The down industry has faced concerns regarding animal welfare and the sourcing of feathers. Synthetic insulation offers an alternative that doesn’t involve animal products.

Ultimately, the “better” choice depends on your specific needs, priorities, and the intended use of the jacket. If lightweight warmth and excellent compressibility are crucial, and you don’t expect frequent exposure to wet conditions, a down jacket may be a better fit. If you prioritize moisture resistance, durability, and affordability, a synthetic jacket might be more suitable. It’s recommended to consider these factors and try on different jackets to see which one aligns best with your preferences and requirements.



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Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Shulammite Jan Languido

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