If you live in a weather climate with harsh winters, then you are probably familiar with down jackets. These jackets are not only light and agile, but they also do an excellent job of keeping you warm. This warmness is thanks to the many pockets filled with goose or duck material. Each of the pockets of insulation captures your body heat and keeps it inside the jacket. As such, they are excellent for cold, winter environments.
But where do you begin when shopping for down jackets? There are so many different brands that offer them; which one has the best one? Down jackets are more expensive than typical jackets, so you should know about the product before buying it. Luckily, we got you covered. We rank the popular brands from best to worst, so you know which brands offer the best down jacket for outdoor settings.
BEST DOWN JACKET BRANDS COMPARISON TABLE
How Do We Rate the Down Jackets Brands on This List?
To determine which down jacket brand offers the best products, we look at three important factors you should consider when looking at products. These factors include price, quality, and variety. For each of these areas, we ask relevant questions. The answers to these questions determine which brands rate offers the best down jacket.
- Price — How much do the down jackets within the brand typically cost?
- Quality — What material does the brand use? Does it justify the price?
- Variety — Are there a wide selection of models, colors or other features offered for each down jacket?
15 OF THE Best Down Jacket Brands
- Fully insulated with 800-fill goose down (RDS certified)
- Lightweight, 20-denier, high tear strength Nylon body fabric with DWR
- 2-Layer Nylon overlay at front, top sleeves, yoke and hood for water resistance
Whether it is the cheaper Spyfire priced , or the heavier Firestormdown jacket, KUHL offers one of the best prices to quality to ratio. Sleek and stylish, these products are great for cold urban environments like Chicago. For the price offered, KUHl offers the best introduction product for people who may be on edge about buying a down jacket. Not only that, but KUHL jackets are also built to last for a long time. As such, we rate this brand at the top of this list.
2. OUTDOOR RESEARCH
Outdoor Research is a brand that brings intense scientific research in the development of their product, and it shows. The result is an affordable product that works almost as well as the more expensive brands. This affordability is especially impressive considering just how low the prices are on some of the jackets. The lighter options, The more expensive options, but there is a range of products that price between these two.
3. CANADA GOOSE
Canada Goose is another luxury brand that offers incredibly comfortable products. Since the company bases itself out of the Great North, they know functionality should come first. However, style comes in a close second, especially with Canada Goose’s luxury parkas. These waterproof jackets come with a beautiful fur hood cost upwards. Other lighter jackets typically cost lower. If you are willing to shell out the cash, then Canada Goose is well worth it. These are some of the warmest and snuggest jackets around.
4. MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT
As the names suggest, Mountain Equipment offers down jackets that were explicitly designed to withstand more extreme conditions. Depending on the model you want, the brand prices the jackets differ. Warm and lightweight, these jackets thrive in cold outdoor environments. However, some customers have reported a few sizing issues with the product being too snug. Others complained about simple zipper issues which are unacceptable for a higher priced product.
5. Tommy hilfiger
If you are a frequent backpacker and want a light, but useful, jacket option for changing cold weather conditions, Tommy Hilfiger is an excellent choice. You can wear during the cold of the morning and then carry it around for the rest of the trip when the weather warms up. You will hardly notice it because of the incredibly lightweight, which feels like a cotton shirt. The lightweight options are priced lower, while the heavier parkas come in at higher price.
Though a Patagonia down jacket is not the lightest in its category, it does offer a wide range of benefits. There are plenty of styles to choose from, each with their size, color, and extra features. Patagonia down jackets come in a wide range of men’s, women’s and children’s sizes. There is more expensive parka option priced higher and lighter jackets/sweaters priced lower. Features like hoods, waterproof material, and color are available but usually comes with a price increase.
Like Patagonia, the brand Arc’teryx offers a wide selection of down jacket option. Typically the lighter jacket, like vets and sweaters are priced lower. Others steadily increase with size and style options. While these light jackets are beautiful, Arc’teryx is mainly known for its heavy-duty jackets. The waterproof parkas are expensive, but they are well worth the price. The insulated material is perfect for skiing or snowboarding. The breathable material keeps you warm and dry but also opens up to allow venting.
8. THE NORTH FACE
- 550 fill down jacket with stretch for improved mobility and comfort
- Active fit
- Goose down is certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) by Control Union
For any person looking for a quality mid priced product, you cannot go wrong with an established brand like The North Face. These down jackets typically stay between the prices of midrange. However, there is a wide variety of women, men and children's options to choose from when buying jackets. Parkas, jackets, vests, sweaters are available in plenty of different colors. The downside with a lot of these down jackets is the fact that not many of them are available with a completely waterproof material. Still, for a dry cold, they are instrumental.
9. MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR
- Warm, light and incredibly stretchy knit fabric is vastly more comfortable than conventional down jackets
- Groundbreaking stretch-welded channel construction traps more warmth than standard stitching
- QShield Down resists heat-robbing moisture and retains maximum loft even when wet
Whether it is their down pullovers priced cheap, or their fully insulated down snowsuit priced expensively, Mountain Hardwear's undoubtedly scored big with the variety of options offered by the brand. But besides this feature, the outdoor-centered brand functions exceptionally well in snowy environments. The style is another big plus with this brand. Whether the material is waterproof or water-resistant, the apparel provided by Mountain Hardwear looks slim and fashionable — great for mountain excursions and urban environments.
Mammut is another champion of lower-priced down jackets that offer genuine value for the consumer. With a ranking of 850 fill power, it is easy to see why Mammut down jackets work so well in cold environments. They are also very stylish —offering a slim fit that is very flattering for many people’s figure. DUe to its slim fit, this jacket is generally better suited for smaller individuals. The drawback with most Mammut products comes in the form of their hoods. These hoods often cannot withstand harsh wind conditions. They blow right off the user's head.
11. EDDIE BAUER
- CARE: Secure all garment closures before laundering. Machine wash warm delicate, separately, using mild detergent only....
- Responsible Down Standard (RDS)-certified down insulation. Certified by Control Union. More About RDS
- StormRepel DWR finish sheds moisture so it doesn't soak into fabric
Eddie Bauer is another brand that chooses functionality over style. Though their down jackets are a bit puffy, their unique brand of insulating material keeps its wearer nice and toasty in cold weather. They are price very reasonable — between low and high. Nylon inner pockets make it convenient for storing any material you are carrying with you. However, watch out for the sizing. Some users reported the larger size was too large for them.
- LIGHTWEIGHT & BREATHABLE- Ultra lightweight(13~17oz.),can fit into a backpack easily,makes the down jacket perfect for...
- WARM & WINDPROOF-With a 96g~146 grams(Vary on size)duck down filling and 650 high fill power rating, adjustable drawcord...
- PACKABLE-The down jacket could pack into its own left pocket of about 9.4" long and 7.8" wide for easy carrying.
If you are on a budget constraint, but still want a down jacket, Wantdo is a good brand for an affordable option that still works. A variety of products like the Down Jacket are available for lower price. They price other waterproof options at a affordable price. While Hardland does offer a good product with water resistant material and wind resistance, the low price of their product is noticeable sometimes. Specifically, you notice it in the light content itself. It is very light and not particularly durable with rough use.
13. LAnds' end
Lands' End down jackets is another excellent contender for keeping out the cold weather, they also suffer from a general bulkiness in their size. Lands' End jackets are typically more lighter than other brands. Luckily an affordable price and superior water resistant technology keep it a solid option for shoppers looking for a more cheaper apparel option. There are also helpful fitting options like adjustable drawstrings for the hoods and waist of the jacket.
While Marmot down jackets scores very high of the warmth scale, they come with a significant downside. They are bulky to the point of fault. This puffiness makes it one of the heavier down jackets on the market, which is unfortunate since down jackets are typically lightweight and portable. However, there is no denying that these jackets are hot. If you live in the North East United States, or similar areas with rough winters, then these jackets are a good choice. The fact that most of the jackets cost is affordable, another plus.
Nautica is another large manufacturer of outdoor gear, so there down jackets have some credibility as hiking and hunting gear. You would certainly be hard pressed to find a more affordable brand. Nautica down jackets rarely goes about high priced, in fact, most stay affordable. Unfortunately, this comes with a price regarding quality. Many users report that the down feathers in their Nautica jackets frequently comes out, so they do not last very long under heavy use.
Buyer’s Guide for New Down Jackets
When looking at these brands for the best down jacket, there are a variety of factors you should consider. Unfortunately, these factors can be a bit confusing if you are not familiar with the terms. You should also know what features come standard of down jackets and which are add-ons. To help you understand, we answer some technical questions user often has when buying down jackets.
What Does Down Fill Power Mean?
The fill power is the amount of puff to the insulation of an article of clothing. If a down jacket has a high fill power, then there are lots of pockets of down insulation on the piece. These conditions are tested and determined in laboratory settings. Jackets with a lower fill power will not be significant or warm as higher rated jackets. A lower score for a down jacket fill power is 400, while more top jackets may score around 800 or 900.
What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Synthetic Jackets?
Synthetic jackets are indeed less expensive than down jackets, so are they worth considering? While synthetic jackets are cheaper than down material, they do not have the same amount of heat retention that down jackets offer. They are also much more substantial than their counterparts. Down insulated material is even more breathable which makes it more versatile for warm weather. With that said, down jackets are much harder to clean than synthetic jackets, requiring special dry cleaning.
What are the Extra Features Offered on Some Down Jackets?
While some down jackets offer expensive add-ons, most stick to the same types. Notably, you should be on the lookout for a jacket that includes hoods, insulating cuffs on the sleeves, extra pockets and breathable vents that allows excess heat to drain in warmer weather.
We hope our list of top brands helped you choose the best down jacket possible. Down jackets are an incredibly useful product for outdoor enthusiasts and cold weather haters. Not to mention the fact that they are making a fashionable come back since their popularity in the ‘90s. Get your new jacket today.