Nothing beats a good comforter, whether for daily use or for tears in the garden. This type of comfortable insulation offers the best heat-to-weight ratio on the market and is also easier to compress than plastic for easy installation. Below you will find 2020 down jackets, including down sweaters, ultra-light and winter models. You will find a wide range of possibilities, from cheap stones to specialized alpine figures for the most demanding nature lovers. For more information about warmth, weight, lining fabrics and more, see our purchasing tips under selections. We have also created a handy comparison table to facilitate compilation.
1. Patagonian down jersey ($229)
Weight: 13.1 oz.
Filling: 3.4 ounces 800 filling
What we like: Extremely versatile and very aesthetic.
What we don’t do: It’s a little difficult.
The market for down coats is very diverse – from work coats to everyday coats and almost everything in between. But if universality is what you are looking for, Patagonian down will find a way to balance the whole in an intelligent way. The jacket is light and sufficiently packed for backpacks and travel, but also warm enough to be used as an intermediate layer for skiing. It also looks great for everyday use – few outdoor companies can compare Patagonia’s appeal in terms of crossovers. And we can only love the quality of the construction. Of all the brands we’ve tested, Patagonia jackets have a longer lifespan and ultimately convinced us of their durability.
What are the disadvantages of a down jersey? With just over 13 ounces, it’s far from an ultra-light shave, and you can shave a lot of weight with a few options more focused on the back. Also, the cut is somewhat more boxy than we would have liked, although Patagonia has adapted a number of things in recent years to fit (the most important is that the upper or lower layers are lighter, which cannot be said of some artists). After all, Patagonian products are not cheap, although you also have to get a very healthy life out of this jacket. Read the detailed discussion
See Patagonia pants for men See Patagonia pants for women
Best budget jacket
2. REI Cooperative 650 Fluffman 2.0 ($100)
Category : Lightweight
Weight: 11 oz.
Filling: 4.2 oz 650 Filling :
What we like: A fantastic price for a light and well thought-out construction.
What we don’t do: No zoom adjustment (male version).
REI’s original 650 down jacket is our best budget choice in years, and their latest version 2.0 is a hit. The jacket, which was updated last year, is quite light, weighs 11 ounces, offers long-lasting warmth with more than 4 ounces of 650 hp, and keeps the stuff in your pocket. REI has refined the design of a more recent version by adding recycled outer fabric, box dividers and a variety of beautiful colour shades (at the time of publication, five for men and six for women). It’s important to note that they haven’t changed the price significantly (he’s up 45 cents), which competitors like Marmot Ares and Outdoor Research Transcendent will easily weaken by lowering it from $75 to $100. For everyday use, for travel, light adventures and as an intermediate layer for skiing holidays in the skiing area you simply will not find a better offer.
Low-budget products are almost always compromised, and REI’s down jacket 2.0 is not enough for serious and high-quality use. 650e. The down is not as warm and compressible as the 800th vertical down in Patagonia, and the standard nylon duvet is not as strong as the ripstop models found in more expensive alternatives. In addition, the IRE has no zoom adjustment, which limits the size of the zoom (however, the zoom is sufficiently stretched). But let’s go back to the value of the down jacket at 650: It combines warmth, building quality and simply an unbeatable price. We even have an article dedicated to why we think REI is the best cheap on the market today … Read detailed display
See REI 650 Down puff for men
Best Ultra Light Down
3. Mountain Hard Whispering Ghost/2 Hooded Sweater ($325)
Category : Ultra-light
Weight: 8.8 oz.
Filling: 3 ounces 800 filling
What we like: Incredible warmth for the weight and good equipment.
What we don’t do: Canned cut; non-elastic cuffs do not exclude the cold.
Mountain Hardwear finally came back with one of the first ultra-light jackets: the popular Ghost Whisperer. Now 2, the latest model has a slight weight gain (about 1 oz for the men’s hood), but it comes with some remarkable updates. Firstly, it contains just over 800 aggregates, and the new recycled hull is slightly thicker, which translates into a modest increase in heat and power. But it remains true to its roots, thanks to its excellent storage capacity and simple, phenomenal warmth-to-weight ratio, as well as important features such as zippered pockets, hem adjustment and good wind and water resistance. For quick and easy missions, Ghost Whisperer/2 remains the first choice.
Unfortunately the two elements that haven’t been changed in Ghost Whisperer/2 are the fit and design of the cuff. Unlike the special piece you get from Arc’teryx or even feathered friend Eos upstairs, Mountain Hardwear is a square piece that is awkwardly wide in the shell. It is still well enough under the hull, but we are surprised that they didn’t give it the best performance for its intended use. In addition, the cuffs are loose and do not allow a very tight seal that can let cold air through unless you wear a pair of gloves. Despite the threads, the new Ghost Whisper is undoubtedly a fun piece that must be the pinnacle of serious outdoor adventure … Read the detailed overview
See the male mountain whisperer See the female ghostly whisperer MH
Best wintering down
4. Slave Neutrino Pro ($375)
Weight: 21,3 oz.
Filling: 8 ounce 800 filling
What we like: There are a lot of bonuses downstairs.
What we don’t do:Heavy piece up and the left flash can take some getting used to.
British Rab is on our shortlist of favorite outdoor clothing brands, and Neutrino is your favorite down jacket for cold weather climbing and mountaineering. The jacket, which was updated last year, now features a Pertex Quantum Pro shell, but retains everything else that made it a classic. More importantly, Neutrino fills 8 ounces of hydrophobic packaging with 800 loads per ton, to be exact – about the same price as the cooler versions of Arc’teryx, Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear. And the 20D hull is of high quality and offers surprisingly good weather resistance. Even for $375, that’s a lot for you.
What are the disadvantages of Neutrino Pro? The first one is more than 21 ounces, which is good for harsh winters, but heavy and too hot for mild conditions. Secondly, the Americans may have problems with the left European style zipper, which may take some time. After all, it’s a turn for all but the coldest days, and not as versatile as the middleweight option in the mountain gear line below. Far from these questions, the slave is an exceptionally warm and comfortable thing in winter. Read detailed display
See male slave Neutrino Pro See female slave Neutrino Pro
The best of the other
5. Feathered Friends of Eos ($339)
Category: Light/ultra light
Weight: 10,6 oz.
Filling: 3.7 oz 900 Filling :
What we like: Excellent heat-to-weight ratio.
What we don’t do: The shell tissue tends to wear out prematurely.
The feathered friends don’t do rabid marketing campaigns like the big equipment brands, but this plush specialist is very popular in the alpine community (if you’re in Seattle, the store across the street from REI’s flagship store is a nice visit). This is what you get from Pernate Friends: high quality designs, including some of the most powerful designs on the market (900+), local production in Seattle or Vancouver, and competitive prices for what you get. In any case, it will be difficult for you to find the best quality.
For 2020 our favourite jacket is the Pernate Friends Eos, packed in an impressive 3.7 ounces with 900 fillings. This means it has a higher filling capacity and weight than any other light jacket on the list. Why isn’t Eos bigger? It is designed for performance and the design is not as attractive for everyday use as that of competitors such as Arc’teryx Cerium LT or the Patagonian down sweater. Secondly, the Eosa scale tends to show signs of wear faster than we would like. And the last consideration is availability: in high season, there may be a delay before the jacket is removed. Feathered friends have gotten better at this, but it was a problem in the past… Read full report
See naked friends of men See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women See naked friends of women
6. Equipment Horizontal mountain line ($240)
Category : Average weight
Weight: 15.7 oz.
Filling: 6.3 oz 700 Filling :
What we like: One of the best values on this list.
What we don’t do: Not as light and easy to store as some of the more expensive options.
For many years we have included Mountain Equipment Lightline, a winter resistant component built for cold temperatures, on this list. But the truth is that in most places and for most people, this type of jacket will remain in your closet most of the time waiting for those arctic explosions. Enter Skyline, which has a medium-heavy design with less fluff, which is ultimately much more versatile. In practice we wore a jacket with a T-shirt underneath at temperatures between 40 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit and stayed absolutely comfortable. And for only $240, that’s stealing compared to most comfort competitions.
How can mining equipment keep the price so low? That’s a good question, but not because it cuts too many snags in terms of quality. The British company uses the capacity of 700 service stations instead of the 800 or more used by brands such as Patagonia, Montbell and Arc’teryx, which affects weight and packability. But the price of Skyline is lower than that of many lightweight jackets, which offer much less heat. In general, Skyline won’t be our first choice for light backpacking, but it’s a great down jacket for everyday use, for winter hiking and snowshoeing and even as a middle layer in the resort for those who walk in the cold season.
Look at the skyline of the men’s mining equipment.
7. Transcendental external research ($199)
Category : Lightweight
Weight: 13.1 oz.
Filling: 3.5 oz 650 Filling :
What we like: Comfortable, durable and good for what you get.
What we don’t do: Less hot and not as lightly charged as the premium options above.
Outdoor research jackets are not always the best on the market, but they are among the best. In many ways Transcendent is a cheaper version of the Patagonian down jersey. It offers a subtle warmth with a capacity of 3.5 oz. 650 oz. and is available in a range of attractive colours, and we love features such as the soft fliselin pocket heater. For daily use and a relaxing winter, this is a good option.
Last year Outdoor Research updated Transcendent by adding wider bulkheads, a much softer outer and inner hull, and insulation that is now responsibly manufactured with little or no weight gain. In general, we like the look of the new version, which is more modern and less tiring while retaining all the basic elements that made the jacket so popular. Yes, Transcendent is not as hot and small as the top filling options above. But for just under $200, which a lot of people need in a down jacket… Read detailed overview
See Transcendent outdoor research for men See Transcendent for women or Transcendent for men
8. Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoodie ($379)
Category: Light/ultra light
Weight: 10.8 oz.
Filling: 3.4 oz 850 Filling :
What we like: Efficient insulation design and excellent dexterity.
What we don’t do:Sweet and nice, not for everyone.
Oh, the beauty of Arc’teryx products. They are usually the most expensive, the most beautiful (Patagonia is a close competitor) and good enough to be constantly led in the clamps by experienced guides. The Cerium LT Hoody is the company’s most important light down jacket and stylish equipment. With a total weight of 10.8 ounces, almost complete functionality and a silky smooth interior and exterior, Cerium LT plays and presents itself as such. The most direct competitor is the above mentioned Eos Friends featherweight, which has similar characteristics and quality, but costs significantly less than $40.
An interesting feature of Cerium LT is the use of composite down mapping: Arc’teryx added a limited amount of Coreloft synthetic insulation in the areas most exposed to moisture penetration: Shoulders, armpits, wrists and collar. The rest of the jacket is first class in areas that require maximum heating efficiency : Core, hood and shoulders. While most other coats on this list are strictly forbidden, Arc’teryx has created a good balance between light warmth and functionality. Don’t forget that Cerium LT, like most Arc’teryx products, works well. For an even lighter alternative to hot summer backpacks or mountain hiking, check out the 7.6 oz. Cerium SL hooded sweatshirt below. Read detailed overview
See Arc’teryx Cerium LT Male
9. Super/DS Super/DS Mountain hardware with Stretch Hood ($275)
Category : Lightweight
Weight: 17 oz.
Complete: 700 to fill in:
What we like:Super comfortable and one of the most beautiful coats on this list.
What we don’t do: The price of an ordinary business.
Mountain Hardwear launched the Stretchdown line a few years ago, using a flexible polyester packaging material with welded seams. The aim was to increase the span, resistance and heating efficiency by reducing the number of drill holes in the structure. We still believe that the performance of the stretchdown chopper collection is limited, especially considering the 700 powerdown trims in Super/DS, which have less loft than the real backcountry trims mentioned above, and at a relatively high weight. But we liked the comfort and design of this hooded jacket, which is often complimented.
Finally, the Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretchdown stands out like an everyday jacket. The knitted cover is very hard and the sleek style is well worn all over town, even the logo is discreet. Moreover, stretching gives a plush feeling, which you normally don’t get when you go downstairs. For $275, the Super/DS is expensive enough for everyday life, and for those focusing on weight reduction, it’s best to use your own Mountain Hardwear/2 or Phantom Whisper. But for a high quality down jacket for cause and effect and a simple adventure, Super/DS Stretchdown wins… Read detailed display
Watch MH Super/DS Stretchdown male
10. Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Park ($449)
Weight: 22,3 oz.
Filling: 8 ounce 800 filling
What we like: It’s like wearing a down sleeping bag.
What we don’t do: More expensive and not hotter than a cheaper pro-neutrino slave.
To increase the warmth of the Patagonian down sweaters, Fitz Roy’s down park was built for the cold winters. You will receive approx. 227 grams of Filler 800 and Pertex Quantum for moisture protection. Last year the jacket was updated with smaller bulkheads that look like a down sweater, and the outer material of a 20-inch envelope is about the same thickness. However, Fitz Roy has a longer cut for better coverage during the winter months, while down sweaters are more suitable for the shoulder and diaper season. Note that 8 ounces of soft padding is the same as the cheaper Neutrino Pro slave above, which hurts Fitz Roy in our ranking.
In many ways, the Fitz Roy Parka is a hybrid random/executable game. It has advanced features such as a helmet-compatible hood, a double-sided head zipper for laundry and elastic cuffs that do a good job without disturbing you during training. But the jacket still looks like streetwear during the cold months, making it a good option for almost any type of winter clothing (although we did find some rinsing stains and it can get dirty pretty easily). Patagonia also offers a standard Fitz Roy jacket, but we recommend free riding as it only contains 4.5 ounces of down but costs $349. Read the extended review
View Patagonia Fitz Roy Parka men’s jacket View Patagonia Fitz Roy Parka women’s jacket
11. Plasma de Monbell 1000 Alpine landscape under the Park ($439)
Category : Ultra-light
Weight: 8.4 oz.
Refills: 3.4 ounces of 1000 fillings
What we like: The best warmth-to-weight ratio is incredible.
What we don’t do: Lack of attractiveness and above all a long lifespan of daily life.
Among the hardcore climbers you won’t find any brand that has more street name than Montbell. This Japanese company makes equipment for the people who actually use it and doesn’t do much with paid athletes or spray marketing campaigns. But the evidence is in the pudding: Montbell produces the best lightweight insulation on the market, and since most of it is delivered directly to the consumer, the cost of what you get is reasonable. Our favourite down coat in the current composition is the Plasma 1000 alpine down duvet. With a filling capacity of 1000 fillings (no typing errors) and an ultra-thin 7-inch shell, it offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio on the list so far. It is not the easiest option, but it is the most balanced part of UL.
It is worth mentioning that Montbell also produces a Plasma 1000 down jacket that rejects the hood and comes on the market with a ridiculous weight of 4.8 ounces. Why isn’t this version here? First of all, 1.6 ounces of plush is quite rare – which on a route like the Appalachian Trail does fit a warm backpack in summer, but does not in itself provide sufficient thermal insulation, even in the mountains in summer. Moreover, the landing of the jacket was very short. Both versions are mentioned with a length of about 28 inches in the middle of the back, but this is certainly not what one feels on the face (the average was too short, while the large version was too bulging). Whatever version of plasma you are considering, remember that this jacket is not for everyday use, but for those who love the outback.
See 1000 alpine male plasma See 1000 alpine female plasma
12. Hoodie on the north side of Sierra Peak ($279)
Category : Light/ultra light
Weight: 10,6 oz.
Complete: 800 Please fill in
What we want: Super versatile and works well on or around the back of the city.
What we don’t do: No zoom or hood adjustment.
In the past, we’ve felt that the North Face jackets were often quite casual or too technical – the L3 Summit series is a good example of that. But the Sierra Peak Hoodie successfully combines performance, comfort and price. It’s warm enough with an 800-fill (the north surface offers no fill weight) and more durable than real ultralight models with 10 x 15 inch shells. Generally it is light and sufficiently packed for walking and backpacking, but it looks like a detail of everyday life. And another bonus: The lift is quite sporty and there is less boxing than expected.
By comparison, Sierra Peak performs better than Patagonian down due to its lower weight and better conditioning ability. On the other hand, it is less concentrated in the field than the Arc’teryx Cerium LT – the shellfish tissue is slightly thicker and there is no hood or hem adjustment. After all, Sierra Peak is one of the most versatile coats on the list, and so much better. One of the last considerations is that the colours of the face are brighter than they appear on the internet, and the blue flag makes us look lighter.
Male north side of Sierra Peak View of female north side of Sierra Peak
13. Greenland Fiallraven No. 1 Fluffman ($500)
Category: Average weight
Refills: 3.4 ounces or 600 fillings
What we like: Elegant design and superior durable material.
What we don’t do: Too heavy for use in the garden.
Greenland 1 Fjallraven distinguishes itself from the normal plush shirt by its cool Scandinavian style and sturdy construction. Like many other Fjallraven products, the G-1000 bowl is in the spotlight: This sturdy cotton/polyester blend is much more tear resistant than lightweight nylon, blocks the wind very effectively and allows light moisture through (you can also use Greenland wax for a waterproof exterior). Fjallraven uses the lowest quality on our list (600 filling capacities) for Greenland, which is amazing considering the price of $500, but everything is beautifully made and well dressed throughout the city.
As said, Greenland has an undeniably arbitrary construction that limits its attractiveness. The G-1000’s fabric and poor padding don’t allow light weight, and a total weight of over 2 pounds makes carrying it in a backpack unreal (especially since it’s only warm enough for the shoulder season and mild winter conditions). But the quality of the meeting is there, and thanks to the generous weight of the jacket, it’s the only jacket on the list you don’t have to worry about in everyday life.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Men Fialtraven Greenland #1.
14. Black Diamond Hood Access ($229)
Category : Light/Medium Weight
Weight: 15.6 oz.
Filling: 4.7 oz 700 Filling :
What we like: It is warm, fits well and has a solid value.
What we don’t do: Only in the hood.
The Black Diamond Company has significantly renewed its line of insulation jackets and the Access Down Hoody Workaholic is a product of the brand. A plush of 700 kilos is warm and durable enough for everything from freezing city days to ski trips. We also like the condition that corresponds to the emerging roots of strips, with a moderate fit that can still hold a few baseball caps. The DWR coating and down, as well as the wide range of colours available, gives you a universal coating that works as an intermediate or outer layer.
How is Access developing in the wider comfort market? Its generous amount of down puts it on the borderline between light and medium weight, and its competitive price makes it almost as affordable as the impressive mountain gear above it. As far as the disadvantages are concerned, we are a bit disappointed that comics are only offered as a cover and that they are also at the heavy end of the spectrum by almost an entire book. If you want to buy a more serious option for the Black Diamond back office, look at the more expensive but much lighter versions.
See access to black diamonds for men, see access to black diamonds for women.
15. Microlite Rab Alpine Jacket ($280)
Category : Light/Medium Weight
Weight: 17 oz.
Filling: 5 oz. of 750 Filling :
What we like: Warm at a price; waterproof building.
What we don’t do: Cannot be compared to a down sweater for daily use.
Like the Neutrino Pro model above, Rab’s popular ultralight mountaineering jacket pays homage to the brand’s alpine heritage. Firstly, thanks to the sturdy Quantum Pertex body, DWR coating and hydrophobic down, it is designed to withstand wind and light moisture. In addition, we have found that the rigid structure of the mesh cover has a stress-resistant appearance that provides excellent circular coverage and protection. You’ll always want to wear a waterproof layer when the air opens, but the Alpine Microlight is different from other medium-weight down jackets we’ve tested for weather resistance.
With 5 ounces 750 horses less in a large male model, the slave is hotter than competitors such as Patagonia’s Down Sweater Hoody (3.7 ounces 800 horses less) and Feathered Friends’ Eos (3.4 ounces 900 horses less). But just like Pernatin’s friends, it can’t be compared to Patagonia in its daily appeal. The fine cut of the jacket is polarized (especially in the men’s version), and the left European zipper needs a small adjustment. And for the drag and drop in the tutu it’s on the heavy side for 17 ounces, but that extra weight comes with increased insulation. Overall, we think the combination of heat, weather resistance and a reasonable price of $280 Rab makes for a well-balanced backcountry.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Male Slave Alpine Microphone Sm. Microphone Slavewoman Alpine Microphone
16. REI Cooperative Stormhenge 850 ($249)
Weight: 27 oz.
Complete: 850 To be filled in:
What we like: Waterproof and very warm.
What we don’t do: It is heavier and more voluminous than a typical down duvet, making it less versatile.
REI is not known for pushing the boundaries of jacket design, but we like what they created with the Stormhenge 850. It has a high-quality 850 lining, a fully waterproof two-layer pocket (a rarity in the world of down jackets) and beautiful details such as a zipper for the pits and a double-sided zipper for heat regulation. Unfortunately REI does not provide the fill weight, but Stormhenge is one of the hottest options on this list. We wore it comfortably to a baseball game in Fahrenheit in the 1920s.
The Stormhenge distinguishes itself from other winter coats such as the Rab Neutrino Pro and the Patagonia Fitz Roy by its unique waterproof design. Both models have a REP treatment, but are still a long way from the REI in terms of protection against atmospheric influences. However, Stormhenge is the heaviest 27-ounce jacket on the list and is not very small. As a result, it lacks versatility for applications such as hiking or climbing, but its waterproof and warm structure makes it suitable for everything from cold winter hiking to skiing Read more
See REI Stormhenge 850 male See REI Stormhenge 850 female
17. Canadian Goose Jacket ($525)
Category : Average weight
Weight: 18.2 oz.
Complete: 750 Fill in:
What we like: High quality optics and haptics.
What we don’t do: Very expensive.
We start by saying that Canada Goose has more to do with fashion than performance, and they also make some of the most expensive jackets on the market. In fact, you’re more likely to notice an overnight jacket on the streets of New York or Toronto than in a back office in British Columbia. It’s not clear at all: You get a healthy 750-fill, a premium nylon body with impressive wind resistance and DWR surface, and a quality feel that any brand can handle. Lodge Jacket is a very attractive option for commuting, city and après-ski.
With respect to heat, Canada Goose does not offer fill weights for pavilions, but is rated TEI 2 with a fixed temperature range of 30° to 5°F. Based on weight and occupancy, it falls into our middleweight category, which means it has to provide more warmth than the lightweight jackets on this list, but will not stand alone in the middle of winter. But we love the versatility and ease of storage – it’s less bulky than many other Canada Goose jackets and light enough for activities like skiing and snowshoeing.
Look at the male of the Canadian goose wigwam.
18. Arc’teryx Cerium SL ($329)
Category : Ultra-light
Weight: 6.9 oz.
Filling: 1.7 oz 850 Filling :
What we like: A true ultra-light version of Arc’teryx.
What we don’t do: It can look grey in cold weather and the fit is slightly tighter.
The Cerium LT above may be more versatile, but we really like what Arc’teryx has done with the Cerium SL. With a total weight of less than 7 ounces, SL is an ultra-lightweight jacket for spring, summer and autumn hiking and a medium jacket for winter sports. Recently we took a version of the hood for hiking and biking tours in Mongolia and were impressed by the quality of the packaging and construction.
Don’t forget that Cerium SL has its limits. With 1.7 ounces of lean down (although the premium is 850 ounces), the jacket can feel dramatic and fresh when conditions really change. It’s also worth mentioning that serious fathers can benefit from a Montbell Plasma 1000 jacket that weighs only 4.8 ounces and contains almost the same amount of down (1.6 ounces) plus a larger lining (1000), although the cerium Coreloft adds synthetic insulation. But as always we appreciate the look, feel and performance of Arc’teryx products, which is why the two Ceriums are included in this list. Read detailed display
See Arc’teryx Cerium SL male
19. Monbell Amusement Park ($399)
Category: Average weight
Weight: 13.3 oz.
Filling: 5.6 oz 900 Filling :
What we like: Impressive warmth for weight.
What we don’t do: The thin 7D shell is too fragile for our taste.
Montbell is a leader in lightweight warmth, and you’ll find it hard to find jackets with the best ratio of padding to total weight. The mirage of the park weighs more than 13 ounces, but has an impressive 900 fillings of 5.6 ounces of goose down. The name is somewhat misleading: it is not a traditional ski park for the coldest, but it is warm enough for winter camping, mountain climbing and as an intermediate layer for cross-country skiing.
What makes a mirage park undesirable for generals is a 7-inch grenade attached to the thinnest on the list. This means you have to be very careful when wearing your jacket, avoiding stumps on protruding poles or breaking the sink on a climbing wall. If you wear this mirage park under a heavyweight, it’s unbelievable. And if you’re the careful type to look at his gear, go for it. But there is a sacrifice to be made with this heat at this low weight that tends to shorten the life of your jacket.
Look at Montbell Mirage Men’s Park.
20. Groundhog Ares ($175)
Category : Lightweight
Weight: 15,5 oz.
Filling: 3.6 ounces of 600 fillings :
What we like: Retro is looking for an affordable price.
What we don’t do: Not a good warmth-to-weight ratio, only in the men’s version.
Marmot has paid a lot of attention to its collection of featherless jackets in synthetic material, but still offers a high quality down in Ares. What immediately stands out is a retro style with a multi-layered, multicoloured look that is becoming increasingly popular in mountain villages such as Boulder, Colorado. In addition to a design inspired by the 1990s, the jacket has 600 water-repellent coated fillings and plenty of storage space with two hand pockets and an inner zipped chest pocket. Considering the price we would like to see a higher class of downhill, but in general the Ares building is well suited for use in the city and as an intermediate layer for skiing.
One of Ares’ disappointments is that there is currently no female version of the jacket. Moreover, the charcoal is quite heavy (15.5 ounces), if you count the modest 3.6 ounces it contains. Packed in a REI 650 Cooperative 2.0 down jacket, Marmot uses a lower quality, but costs $75 more. On the other hand, you enjoy extra benefits such as a hydrophobic down (untreated REI), zoom adjustment and an extra pouch. Finally, we think REI is the best value, but the combination of Ares’ style and features makes it one of the best on our list.
Look, Ares, the men’s groundhog.
Comparison of down jackets Table
Tips for buying a down jacket
- Categories of down coats
- Filling capacity
- Filling weight
- Our calculated temperature scale
- Resistance of coating materials (denir)
- Compressibility and pack size
- Hydrophobic descent and PWR
- corresponds to
- Hood or no hood?
- Downs, women
- What about synthetic jackets?
Downers of categories
The lighter category of down jacket is the most popular in the industry and the one that interests most people in the market. Heat and abrasion resistance is a top priority, and you won’t find technical features such as helmet compatible hoods, fine adjustments and ultra-light cases. But they are very suitable for daily use, travel, light adventures and winter sports. The temperature range of these jackets depends on factors such as layering and load, but we find that lightweight models are generally suitable for about 35-50 degrees Fahrenheit (see our temperature calculation scale below for more information). The most important models are the Patagonia Down Jacket, the REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 and the Outdoor Research Transcendent.
Light down sweater very popular in Patagonia.
Ultralight down jackets
Ultralight down jackets are special products for backpacking, climbing, ski touring and other outdoor activities where every gram counts. These jackets are generally as light as light jackets, but they are ultra-light thanks to the use of high-quality jackets (Fill Power), fine outer fabrics (Denier) and minimalist zippers and pockets. It is interesting to note that this category of down jackets is often worn as everyday layers in cities, including the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 and the Arc’teryx Cerium LT (which falls between light and ultra-light models). These are generally high quality coats, and if you are prepared to be a little more careful not to damage the exterior, they offer an excellent combination of warmth for their weight and an athletic fit that is easy to wear.
Wearing the ultra-light Arc’teryx Cerium SL during a trip to Mongolia.
TheMedium and Heavyweight
down jackets in the Medium and Heavyweight categories represent a significant advance over the light and ultra-lightweight models and are designed for harsh winter conditions and for use in mountaineering and climbing. You will see fill weights from 3 to 4 ounces (Patagonia down jersey) to 6.3 ounces (Horizon mining equipment) or more. They are also much chubbier than the other categories with more jackets and therefore take up much more space in your package. We therefore only take them with us if extra heat is absolutely necessary. In this article we have listed some of our favourite options for medium and heavy trucks, but to get a better idea of the market, take a look at our best winter coats.
Patagonia Tutus 8 oz 800 in the Fitz Roy Parka refill
It all starts with the high, first-class warmth that can only be found in a plush product. The insulation on the ground floor works so effectively because the free accumulation of springs perfectly retains body heat. But unlike down sleeping bags, which have an official NL sorting system that tests and measures their warmth on a specific scale, down jackets are more like the Wild West. Below you will find information to help you fill in the fields.
Fill Power (600 fillings, 700 fillings, 800 fillings, etc.) is how the quality of the filling is measured, and the higher the fill, the better the down. The number is calculated from the space occupied by a cluster of down in a cylindrical tube. This is called the number of pens. The more lofts a jacket has, the more it absorbs body heat and the warmer you will feel. In other words: To get the same amount of warmth with less filling, you need more down, more weight and more volume to achieve the same comfort.
Testing of the 850 Arc’teryx Cerium LT load and the 650 OR Transcendent load
For coats from 550 to 650, the filling is that of most entry-level and mid-range models, which is quite respectable for everyday use, but is not sufficient for high-end applications. The premium down jacket has 800 or more fillings, which Arc’teryx, Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear use for their premium down jackets. With this level of quality you benefit from the advantages of down insulation: low weight and super compressible heat. Some high-end mountaineer brands such as Pernate’s Friends and Montbell use 900 costs, but such a high number is rare and 800 costs are considered a bonus. In 2013 Patagonia has experimented with the Encapsil down jacket filled with 1000 pieces, but has not yet launched it on the market. Montbell currently offers 1000 filled plasma jackets and a park with thin 7D shells.
Filling power gets the highest pressure, but the filling weight is probably the most important factor that determines the heat of the down. The filling weight is the actual number of filled coats, measured in us. For example, if Jas A 6 ounces of 800 and Jas B 3 ounces of 800, you can expect Jas A to be much warmer (we estimate that the comfort level will increase at a low activity level at an output of about 10-20 degrees). The lower downward filling capacity ensures less heat per ounce. In order to be able to compare apples with apples, you must therefore use comparable filling capacities.
The down is filled with creep after a bad tear.
It is interesting to note that the weight of the filler is advertised far below its capacity, which causes great confusion for customers who associate a filler with a higher capacity, because this means more and more heat. It is clear that filler numbers are much sexier, so we sometimes have to call the manufacturers to find out the weight of the filler, as this is not always indicated (see our article for more information: Down Filling and Insulation Explained).
Our calculated temperature scale
It is difficult to determine in which temperature range you feel comfortable wearing a down jacket (there is a reason why no one has tried to create a standardised classification system). Factors such as landing, layering, load and traffic level, and wind play a role.
The activity level has a major influence on the temperature scale.
Soft sweaters and ultraviolet sweaters are often thought of, which generally have a filling weight of 2 to 4 ounces and provide permanent warmth in conditions of 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit) when there is little stress, such as when lying on the campsite. More filling will help you go to the bottom of the range and less will push you to the middle. A comfortable base layer can give you 5 to 15 degrees more, depending on the thickness and quality. These types of coats are very popular for three seasons in the Alps and in the cities for anything but the heart of winter.
When the mercury drops below freezing, it is more comfortable to wear a real medium or heavy down jacket in winter. The filling weight of these coats must be at least 4 ounces and often between 5 and 6 ounces or more (Rab Neutrino Pro and Montbell Mirage Parka). For the bitter cold and the ascent of the highest peaks you may need an even more challenging downhill park.
REI Stormhenge 850 is ideal for temperatures below zero.
When used as a backpack, for climbing, mountaineering, ski touring or when you have to carry your own equipment, the total weight of the down jacket should play a major role in your purchase decision. Jackets such as Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 (8.8 oz.) and Feathered Friends Eos (10.6 oz.) weigh very little for the warmth they provide and squeeze very little into your package. Because of this fun technology, they are also much more expensive than your normal down jersey. If, on the other hand, you only need one layer to walk around the city and sometimes use it outdoors, such as for skiing, then a heavier, more affordable construction such as 13.1 our Outdoor Research Transcendent will do. Finally, the jackets ready for winter will certainly be the heavier versions, including the 27-ounce REI Co-op Stormhenge 850.
REI jackets are impressively light for their price.
Ultralight is a kind of buzz that you inevitably encounter when you buy a down jacket, and it is worth noting that there are no strict rules about what is acceptable. We keep a close eye on the ratio between the weight of the load and the total weight to see how far the manufacturer has gone to reduce the weight (Shell’s denial is also a good indication, and we’ll tell you more about this later). At the end of the spectrum is the Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Plasma unit, which contains 3.4 ounces of comfort in a super-light 8.4 ounce bag. If companies in the garment industry really want to save weight, you will notice changes in zips, upholstery and the lack of pockets. Some even choose the sweater style with half of the zipper cut out. Regardless of the name given to the jacket by the manufacturer, you should keep a close eye on the weight of the filling material and the total weight to make your own definition.
Dust intensity of the mantle (denier)
A denier (D) is a measure of the weight of a yarn, and the smaller the number, the lower the weight. A lower nominal density means that the material is less durable and more prone to cracks or perforations. Most weight differences in an ultra-light jacket are cut with a lower denier fabric for the jacket. Other factors such as first-class inflation (it gives the most heat with the least weight) and ultra-light flashes also play a role, but the fabric of the jacket is the most important.
Ghost Whisperer/2 has a thin hull, but is perfect for ultra-light adventures.
Almost all coats on this list are made of fairly light outer fabrics. The thinnest jackets are two Montbell and Arc’teryx’s Cerium SL, which have a very fragile 7D shell, and the thickest (at least for those who report on specifications) is the Black Diamond Access, which has a 30D shell. The 10D is a standard for ultraviolet, and the 20D, more important, is that you will often find a medium plush sweater. Don’t underestimate the importance of denial: even a difference between 10D and 20D can play an important role in the overall weight and potential durability of your jacket. If one ounce counts and you want to use your jacket in the background, treat yourself to an ultra-lightweight. If you spend most of your time in the city, the down sweater is more durable and should save you money.
Compressibility and pack size
Down-lovers love its compressibility, and for good reason. An ultra-lightweight jacket like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 can be put in your pocket and is ultimately much smaller than a bottle of Nalgene. Because of the small size of the backpack you have no reason to leave it behind and you can easily put it in your backpack day and night.
Don’t forget: The higher the filling capacity, the easier it is to reduce it. This is noticeable when you reach the premium drop levels (800+ fillings), which are packed to seemingly impossible sizes, but after a few minutes they come out of the bag (provided you don’t keep them compressed for too long). Thickness also plays an important role, and thinner denier fabrics are logically packaged in smaller sizes. With heat for weight, compressibility is an area where plush dominates the vast majority of jackets with synthetic insulation.
The compact size of the down jacket is one of the main advantages of a down jacket.
Hydrophobic Reset and treatment of PWR
Unfortunately, down feathers lose most of their insulating properties when wet and turn into a dirty, damp mess. That’s why some people prefer a synthetic jacket that still isolates in the rain.
Recently manufacturers of gears have started to work on gears down to make them tighter. They do this by adding polymer before filling the liner, making it more resistant to water and reducing your concerns about low rainfall. Although it still does not match the synthetic properties of wet weather, we like the movement of hydrophobic jackets. If you’re going to a wetland like the Pacific Northwest or New Zealand, a water-repellent down jacket like Ghost Whisperer/2 (and a waterproof jacket) is a wise choice.
Stay warm in the StretchDown along the South Patagonian ice field.
Another way for manufacturers of equipment to combat moisture is to treat the DWR (Durable Water Repellant) on the outside of the jacket. This treatment prevents the formation of water droplets and the penetration of the mantle. In fact, it is more difficult for the water to stay on the fabric, on the contrary, the beads rise and roll. Neither a DWR finish nor a water-repellent down keeps your down completely dry, but they do offer good protection against light to moderate rain.
Suitable for a jacket, but there are two important considerations. Firstly, down sweaters have a looser fit than ultra-light jackets or sports jackets, including boxer torso, sleeves and hoods (if available). In addition, the fit varies considerably depending on the brand. Our experience is that Arc’teryx jackets like Cerium LT Hoody are the thinnest of what we call the Arc’teryx cup. Guides and ultra-sporters who make frequent use of the equipment are an essential resource for Arc’teryx, explaining its adaptability. We also love the sporty cuts in the layers of mining equipment and Rab. Brands such as Patagonia, Outdoor Research and Mountain Hardwear often have more comfortable shapes that balance daily comfort with performance. We have come to realise that REI Co-op and Marmot are on a higher level and that we sometimes have to downsize (even with our REI 650 2.0 down jacket).
The cup is not for everyone, but we like to cut at Cerium LT.
Hood or no hood?
Most down jackets on this list are available with or without hoods. The hood version is slightly cheaper and weighs less, but you don’t get the benefits of extra warmth and comfort. For everyday use or as an intermediate layer for skiing, many choose a down jacket or do without a hood and wear a separate cap instead. For backpacks and climbing many people take the hood and don’t regret it. You will notice that in our selection above we have listed the lowered hooded jerseys that are most commonly purchased, as well as the ultra-light hooded jerseys that are also most commonly used for this type of jacket. For more information on this subject, see our article : Does your down jacket need a hoodie?
This item is unisex in nature and we have male and female outdoor device testers in all seasons and in all environments (and you will find that, where possible, product buttons are provided for both the male and female versions). In addition, we have made a selection of the best down jackets for women, which specifically relate to this category. Many models are the same, but the names and color traces are sometimes different. In some cases the design or fit will be different. And there are products that are only available for women or vice versa. In any case, we hope it will be useful for those who prefer to see how specific feminine designs are made.
Test of the female version of the Friends of Pernate d’Eos.
What about synthetic jackets?
A lot can be said about synthetic thermal jackets, which insulate better than down, are moist, breathe better and are cheaper. However, there is still no replacement (at least not yet). The heat-to-weight ratio, compressibility and comfort are unsurpassed. We have tested several synthetic jackets, such as Arc’teryx Atom LT and Patagonia Micro Puff (see our detailed report), which are both very comfortable and quite light, but the heat is simply not the same. In autumn and spring we often use plastics for everyday use and for light outdoor walks, but they take up too much space in our packaging for long nature trips and most of them don’t provide enough warmth for really cold days. Ideally, you should have both, but if you only have one jacket on the market, there is simply no better insulator than a down jacket. A more detailed explanation on this subject can be found in our article on synthetic insulation.
Back to our jacket comparison chart.
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