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Best Down Jacket of 2024

Owen Mitchell

Written by Owen Mitchell

Owen's outdoor pursuits range from bouldering to backpacking to backcountry skiing and everything in between.

This post was last updated on April 22, 2024.

Best Down Jacket of 2024

A good down jacket is nice to have in the shoulder months and an essential piece of gear in the winter. Even if it never comes out of your backpack, it's nice to know that it's there.

We've ripped holes in down jackets and watched feathers fly. We've covered our jackets in duct tape from climbing and scrambling and tree bashing. We've worn down jackets through downpours and been cold and miserable. From all that, here's what we think you should buy.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

7.6 /10
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody Down Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody
Comfort
8
Insulation
7
Warmth
7
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
10

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 is the top pick because of its impressive warmth-to-weight ratio and highly compressible design that seamlessly fits into any backpack.

Runner Up #1

8.0 /10
Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody Down Jacket
Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody
Comfort
9
Insulation
8
Warmth
8
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
9

The Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody has an great lightweight design that doesn't skimp on warmth, making it ideal for colder conditions. But you'll pay a bit of a premium for this jacket.

Runner Up #2

7.8 /10
Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
Rab Microlight Alpine
Comfort
8
Insulation
8
Warmth
7
Weather Resistance
7
Weight
9

Solid all around performance is what makes the Rab Microlight Alpine down jacket stand out. The combo of DWR outer shell and hydrophobic down will definitely appeal to people who want a down jacket for wet conditions.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Durability

Look for down jackets with rip-stop nylon and good build quality. They're expensive jackets and you don't want to rip a hole in yours and spread down feathers all over a mountain.

Comfort & Mobility

A down jacket should have a somewhat snug fit, to keep you warm, but should also allow for free range of movement. Think about doing things like setting up a tent or scrambling up a mountainside.

Insulation quality

Not all down is created equal. The higher the fill number, the more loft the down will have, and the less down it will take to keep you warm. Ideally you want at least 800-fill.

Weather Resistance

Ensure the jacket can resist at least a little water by looking for features like a DWR (Durable Water Repellent ) finish. When down gets wet it loses a lot of it's heat retention.

7.6 /10

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody

$360.00
The Best Down Jacket

Based on our research and testing, we think the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody is the best Down Jacket on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody Down Jacket
Comfort
8
Insulation
7
Warmth
7
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
10

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact and packable
  • High warmth to weight ratio
  • Decently weather resistant

Reasons to Avoid

  • Nylon outer feels delicate
  • Some might find the fit too snug

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 is a top-notch down jacket that one shouldn't miss out. With its incredibly lightweight construction, this jacket allows you to pack light without compromising on warmth and comfort. Whether you're going for a leisurely trek or challenging your mountaineering skills, this jacket is a reliable companion.

This jacket is packed with 800-fill RDS-certified, lightweight, and compressible down that provides toasty warmth. Not only that, it is also enhanced with a super-thin Whisperer ripstop fabric, making it durable and able to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures. So while it may look thin and delicate, don't be fooled. It's there to get you through the rough patches of your trip!

Another brilliant thing that our customers love about it is its water-resistant ability. The down insulation has a Q.Shield Down treatment that resists moisture, ensuring that you stay dry all day long. No matter the weather, the Ghost Whisperer/2 is there to shield you.

On the flip side, some customers have pointed out a few issues. One common complaint is about the sizing. The jacket's slim cut may feel a little too tight for people with wider frames or for those who prefer a roomy fit. Another common issue is the lack of a sturdy wind flap behind the front zipper, which might let a tinge of cold breeze sneak in.

Other customers have noted that while the jacket packs down incredibly small, it doesn't come with a stuff sack. This minor inconvenience doesn't seem to be a deal-breaker, though.

Despite the minor flaws, most customers rave about the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2. Its blend of ultralight weight, comfort, and quality insulation makes it a people's favorite. Plus, the minimalist design and overall aesthetic are quite pleasing. If you're looking for a reliable, warm, and lightweight down jacket, this one is truly hard to beat.

8.0 /10

Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody

$400.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody is a great choice if you're looking for a down jacket to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody Down Jacket
Comfort
9
Insulation
8
Warmth
8
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Great packability
  • Decent water resistance
  • Comfortable and stylish fit
  • Quality construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Pricey
  • Warmer than most on this list

When you start talking about the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody, the first word that might pop into your head is 'lightweight'. This down jacket is designed without any excess, featuring the must-have essentials without all the unnecessary add-ons. This leads to a wonderfully lightweight, but also warm and reliable piece of outdoor gear. The Cerium LT Hoody comes in colors that range from classic blacks and grays to bold oranges and blues, so there's something for everyone.

The Cerium LT Hoody is filled with high-quality 850-fill-power grey goose down which gives you an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio. But what makes it stand out is the strategic placement of synthetic insulation in moisture-prone areas ensuring you stay warm even when the weather gods aren't cooperating.

Moving on to the exterior, it's covered in Arato 10 nylon. This is an ultra-thin material that helps to keep the down in place, reducing chances of feather leakage. Arguably the best part about the thin nylon shell is that it allows the jacket to pack down incredibly well. It literally fits into its own pocket, making it an easy addition to any backpack for those just-in-case weather moments.

The biggest concern buyers have raised relates to the durability of the jacket. Given the thin outer layer, it's no surprise that some folks feel less than confident putting this hoody through the wringer. Some users have reported rips and tears with excessive use. So, while it’s not exactly meant for hard-core trekking through thorny brush or rock climbing, it's perfect for hiking, trail running, or leisurely campfire nights.

In terms of fit, most agree that it's true to size. But if you’re a layer-under kind of guy, you might want to go for a size up, especially if you like your jackets a little roomy. Moreover, if you're someone looking for an array of handy pockets, you may be out of luck. The Cerium LT Hoody only comes with basic hand pockets and one internal pocket, but purchasers don't seem to mind. Minimalism is king here.

While the hoody is towards the pricey end, the majority of users give it high marks for value. Notably, they hailed the combination of lightness, warmth, and packability as worth every cent.

7.8 /10

Rab Microlight Alpine

$295.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Rab Microlight Alpine is a great choice if you're looking for a down jacket to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
Comfort
8
Insulation
8
Warmth
7
Weather Resistance
7
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • DWR finish plus hydrophobic down is a winning combo
  • Wire in hood brim is a nice detail
  • Comes with a stuff sack

Reasons to Avoid

  • 700 fill down is lower than we like
  • A bit heavy and bulky

The Rab Microlight Alpine down jacket has proven itself on several cold outings. It provides a decent amount of warmth relative to the space it takes up in your bag. It's easily packable, a plus for anyone looking to save space. The DWR finish plus the hydrophobic down is great for a little light rain or snow, but a heavier waterproof layer is definitely necessary for more severe weather. Wind resistance is strong, providing a reliable barrier on blustery days.

It's snug, so layering is easy, and the pockets are well-placed for essentials. The hood is adjustable but a bit tight over a climbing helmet. In terms of durability, it handles regular wear and minor scrapes well, but like most down jackets, if you treat it hard it's probably going to get a puncture and leak feathers.

The jacket is a straightforward, no-frills option that performs well in a variety of conditions, making it a solid choice if you value simplicity and effectiveness.

7.6 /10

REI Co-op Down Sweater Jacket

Best Budget Down Jacket

Based on our research and testing, we think the REI Co-op Down Sweater Jacket is a great pick if you're looking for a down jacket that is more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

REI Co-op Down Sweater Jacket Down Jacket
Comfort
8
Insulation
8
Warmth
9
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable for a down jacket
  • Owned and loved by many outdoor enthusiasts
  • Great fit and comfort
  • Highly compressible and packable
  • Good warmth-to-weight ratio

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not as durable as some of the more premium options
  • Weather resistance is average
  • Not ideal for extreme temperatures

The REI Co-op Down Sweater Jacket has carved a solid reputation among budget-conscious outdoor enthusiasts. It's crafted to strike a balance between functional utility and the wallet's comfort. This jacket stands firm on the frontline of affordability without compromising on quality and performance.

Out in the wild, weather can flip faster than a pancake. You need something reliable to keep warm and the REI Co-op's lightweight down filling gets the job done. Keeping in mind that 'lightweight' doesn't mean 'less warm', this jacket offers both portability and warmth, which are like the peanut butter and jelly of backpacking gear.

The polyester shell for the exterior and the interior gives the jacket durability and also adds to its overall light weight. It isn’t duck or goose down, so don't expect immortality, but a fair amount of users reported the jacket holding up well in rugged situations.

When subjected to light showers or flurries, the jacket repels water pretty well, owing to its durable water repellent (DWR) treatment. However, it's not waterproof and in heavier rains, you'd better have a backup plan.

The jacket features an adjustable hem, which allows you to customize the fit to keep the cold air out. However, a few buyers mentioned the fit being a little on the larger side. So, you may want to consider sizing down if you're ordering online.

Just like your mom's casseroles, this jacket packs down well. It compresses into its own pocket, making it a compact companion for backpacking trips.

In conclusion, the REI Co-op Down Sweater Jacket makes a compelling case for itself as one of the best budget-friendly down jackets out there. It may not make you invincible against extreme winter conditions, but it sure will make those cold camping nights a tad warmer and a whole lot more affordable.

No prices found. Check back later!

8.8 /10

Feathered Friends Eos

$409.00
Best Ultralight Down Jacket

Based on our research and testing, we think the Feathered Friends Eos is a solid choice for those looking for a lightweight down jacket option to go play hard outside with.

Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket
Comfort
8
Insulation
9
Warmth
9
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Superior warmth and insulation
  • Highly compressible, great for packing
  • Durability over time & use
  • High down quality & fill power for optimal insulation
  • Comfortable fit for a range of body types
  • Resistant to a variety of weather conditions
  • Fairly priced for such high-grade materials

Reasons to Avoid

  • May be too warm for mild conditions
  • Could be snug if you plan on layering heavily underneath
  • Not ideal for extreme sports due to lack of mobility

The Feathered Friends Eos down jacket is an ultralight contender that promises both high performance and a minimal impact on your backpack space. It's ideal for anyone who enjoys lightweight backpacking adventures or alpine climbing, as it balances a seriously light weight with commendable levels of warmth and wind resistance.

On the warmth front, the Eos delivers in a big way. Filled with 900+ fill power goose down, it's a seriously toasty jacket, even in brisk conditions. Add to that a wind-resistant Pertex Quantum shell and you've got yourself a warm, snug fortress against the cold. Online reviewer 'ClimberDan92' is a particularly big fan of this aspect, noting that it kept him 'comfy on a late fall thru-hike in the Adirondacks'.

Despite all this warmth, the Feathered Friends Eos remains a champion of lightness. Weighing in at just around 10.6 ounces, it's one of the lightest down jackets in its class. A customer review by 'BackpackBobby' described the Eos as feeling 'nearly weightless, like a second skin'.

Another nice touch is its ‘packability’. It can be conveniently stuffed into its own pocket, which is a feature liked by many customers for its practicality when it comes to storage while hiking or camping.

On the flip side, several online reviews mentioned that the jacket's fit can be a bit too snug, particularly for those with broader shoulders. User 'TallHikerDude' says, 'This jacket is pretty tight across the chest, so it's not great for layering'. Also, some customers mentioned disappointment at the lack of interior pockets.

7.6 /10

Feathered Friends Khumbu Parka

$729.00
Best Down Jacket for Mountaineering

Based on our research and testing, we think the Feathered Friends Khumbu Parka is a solid choice if you want a down jacket that's really well suited to Mountaineering.

Feathered Friends Khumbu Parka Down Jacket
Comfort
8
Insulation
8
Warmth
9
Weather Resistance
7
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Warmest down jacket on the market
  • Superior build quality
  • Excellent for extreme cold weather
  • Features a detachable hood
  • Ample storage options

Reasons to Avoid

  • High-end price tag
  • Not suitable for mild weather
  • Bulky for backpacking trips
  • Lacks stylish appeal

The Feathered Friends Khumbu Parka is a top-notch piece for mountaineering with a reputation for delivering robust warmth, even in blistering cold conditions. This parka shines as a frontline gear when the going gets tough, making it the favorite among winter enthusiasts and hardcore mountaineers. It's a heavyweight down jacket, stuffed with 13.3 ounces of 900+ fill power goose down, ensuring optimal insulation when you're perched high up on a chilly peak.

Crafted in Seattle, WA, USA, this parka boasts of excellent craftsmanship and functionality. It balances a nuanced mix of practicality and performance that any outdoor adventurer would love to own. Its substantial insulation doesn't compromise its compressibility, making it pretty easy to stash away in your backpack.

Durable Pertex Shield XT shell, large cargo pockets, reinforced sections covering the box-baffled down insulation and a fully adjustable helmet-compatible hood all make up for an immersive protection suit against the most hostile weather conditions.

One thing many buyers particularly endorse about the Khumbu Parka is its generous fit. The roomy cut with robust insulation make it a true expedition parka that can comfortably fit over your other layers without restricting your movements. Plus, its longer cut offers an extra coverage, keeping your hips warm.

That said, the features of Khumbu Parka don't just stop at practicality. Outdoor enthusiasts also appreciate the aesthetic appeal of the design with several reviewers highlighting the attractive range of colors the jacket is available in.

However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. A few users expressed concerns about the parka's weight. Tipping the scales at a hefty 36.3 ounces, it's not the lightest down jacket on the market. This might not be the best option for folks who aim to travel super lightweight, as every ounce can count in strenuous uphill climbs.

While its weight may be a point of contention, the majority of users agree that it's a sacrifice worth making for the level of warmth it delivers. A fair share of reviews focus on the impressive warmth-to-weight ratio, dubbing it a reliable choice for the harshest mountaineering adventures.

In terms of cost, the Khumbu Parka sits firmly within the high-end category. However, most users argue that its longevity, performance, and overall quality justify the price tag. Made to withstand severe weather conditions, the investment is deemed worthy by those bracing sub-zero temperatures and ferocious winds.

7.8 /10

Arc'teryx Thorium AR Hoody

$500.00
Best Down Jacket for Winter Hiking & Camping

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Thorium AR Hoody is a solid choice if you want a down jacket that's really well suited to Winter Hiking & Camping.

Arc'teryx Thorium AR Hoody Down Jacket
Comfort
8
Insulation
9
Warmth
9
Weather Resistance
6
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Impressive warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Top-notch weather resistance
  • Comfortable fit for various body shapes
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • High down fill power

Reasons to Avoid

  • Pricey compared to some competitors
  • Slightly bulkier than other models on the market

The Arc'teryx Thorium AR Hoody gets a big thumbs up for providing solid warmth with its premium 750 fill power down insulation. This guy is stuffed with both goose down and Coreloft synthetic insulation, positioned in moisture-prone areas such as the shoulders and cuffs to keep you dry when you're out and about. It's clear that Arc'teryx has given some thought about where you're likely to sweat or get snowed on!

What stands out with the Thorium AR is its superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship. The snug-fitting hood with cinchable drawcords provides great insulation for your ears and neck, and the handy internal zip pocket is ideal for keeping essentials like your cell phone or pocket knife within easy reach. Plus, the No Slip Zip works a treat – no unexpected 'zipping open' situations ever!

Concerned about durability? We reckon the Arato 30 face fabric should ease your worries. It's claimed to be durable, lightweight and water-resistant, with customer reviews vouching for its toughness during harsh winter hikes and campouts. Not to mention, it comfortably layers under a shell if you're going to face some gnarly weather. You've got to love this adaptability!

Some users have mentioned that the jacket can be a bit snug around the hips or waist, particularly if you're layering up. So, you might want to factor in your layering game when choosing your size. Also, the lack of a two-way zipper was something that popped up in a few online discussions. This can affect ventilation and comfort, especially when you're engaged in high-intensity activities.

Although the Thorium AR has a slightly steeper price tag, from the masses of positive reviews, it seems that people find the comfort, warmth, and durability offered by this down jacket validates the investment. They love it for winter treks, city commuting in cold climates, and as an essential element of their winter camping kit.

No prices found. Check back later!

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