13
YEARS TESTING
300+
ITEMS TESTED
4
GEAR TESTERS
2.5
MILLION READERS

Quick heads-up: some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). This small bit of income helps keep our site running.

Best Down Pants of 2024

Gabe Richards

Written by Gabe Richards

Gabe has tackled peaks throughout BC and Alaska, amassing over 15 years of mountaineering and backcountry experience.

This post was last updated on April 23, 2024.

Best Down Pants of 2024

Down pants are the luxury outdoors item that people don't know they need. But trust us, you need them. They're the piece of gear that you try once and wonder how you ever got on without them.

We've sat on benches made of snow in our down pants. We've sat around campfires, chopped firewood, and lounged in fancy backcountry huts. These are the down pants that we think are great for all that and more.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

8.0 /10
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pants Down Pants
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pants
Comfort
9
Compressibility
9
Warmth
8
Water Resistance
5
Weight
9

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pants snag our top pick for their fantastic lightweight design and ability to pack down small and disappear in to a backpack. These are great all year round, but probably not warm enough for extreme winter temps.

Runner Up #1

8.0 /10
Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants Down Pants
Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants
Comfort
8
Compressibility
7
Warmth
10
Water Resistance
7
Weight
8

The Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants earn the top pick runner up spot because they're a great very cold weather alternative to our top pick. They're high quality, water resistant, but probably overkill for more casual winter adventures.

Runner Up #2

6.8 /10
Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants Down Pants
Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants
Comfort
8
Compressibility
6
Warmth
7
Water Resistance
7
Weight
6

The Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants earn a top pick runner up spot because of the combo of synthetic insulation, reinforced abrasion areas and water resistance make them great for wetter conditions. But they're also heavier and less compressible than down pants.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Durability

Choose durable pants constructed with a shell material like ripstop nylon that won't rip at the first sight of something pointy or sharp.

Insulation

Look for pants with a high-quality down insulation, ideally in the range of 600 to 800 fill power (or more), which ensures they're lightweight but also warm.

Fit and Comfort

Get a comfortable fit with features like adjustable waistbands and cuffs. Look for zippered leg openings, so that you can get them on without taking your boots or shoes off.

Weather Resistance

If you plan on sitting in some snow in your down pants, definitely look for some that are weather resistant, especially in areas that will see a lot of wear, like the rear end and the thighs.

8.0 /10

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pants

$275.00
The Best Down Pants

Based on our research and testing, we think the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pants are the best Down Pants on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pants Down Pants
Comfort
9
Compressibility
9
Warmth
8
Water Resistance
5
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Highly compressible and packable
  • High quality down
  • Lightweight

Reasons to Avoid

  • No real water resistance

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pants are a wonderfully light pair of warm, comfy down pants.

These are basically the pants version of the very popular Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket. They use the same down (800 fill) and a slightly burlier face fabric (15D Ripstop for the pants vs 10D Ripstop for the jacket), so if you own the jacket then you know approximately what you're getting with the pants.

Like the Ghost Whisperer jacket, these aren't super thick insulated pants that you take mountaineering in the winter. They're great for shoulder season and for most backpacking or ski touring winter adventures, but for really low temperatures you probably want to look at something burlier, or to maybe pair these with a thick pair of long johns.

The bottom of the pants have a boot zipper, which is really ideal. This allows you to get pants on over a pair of shoes and to get the down nice and close to your skin, all the way down to your ankle, which is going to maximize heat retention.

They come with a stuff sack, which you can attach to the inside of the waist when you're wearing them. It's a pretty standard stuff sack, it works well, doesn't get in your way. It's a stuff sack.

There is a button to close them, and a zippered fly, plus a drawstring that you can use to tighten them up. There are also two side pockets, which are nice for cold hands.

Be warned that the pants will ride up when you sit in them, exposing your ankles to the cold. The pants do come in short and long sizes though, so get both the size and length that will keep your ankles cozy and warm.

The Ghost Whisperer pants can also be a little thin at the joints when you're sitting in them, which can let a bit of cold seep in. This seems fairly unavoidable with a pair of down pants that aren't super thick, but it's something to be aware of.

Finally, these pants have no real water resistance beyond just the nylon face fabric shedding a bit of water. These are more intended to be layered underneath pants, or worn at camp, as opposed to worn as an outer layer while out and about.

Overall, a lightweight, compact and warm pair of down pants.

8.0 /10

Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants

$279.00
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants are a great choice if you're looking for down pants to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants Down Pants
Comfort
8
Compressibility
7
Warmth
10
Water Resistance
7
Weight
8

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Ideal for very cold weather
  • Water resistant

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not super compressible

Rocking the camping world with its impressive insulation and lightweight features, the Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants definitely offer a top-notch experience for anyone braving cold outdoor conditions. The excellent down fill power used in these pants is a noteworthy aspect that makes them stand out in the crowd.

Built to last, these pants are derived from ethically sourced, high-quality goose down. Many customers highlighted the incredible warmth these pants provide, even in critical weather situations. They especially loved that, despite these pants' warmth-providing capability, they are very lightweight. Even more impressively, they can be fit into a compressed size, an aspect that many backpackers thoroughly appreciate for maximizing their pack space.

However, some users have shared concerns about the fitting of the Helios Down Pants. While some found them snug and true to size, others found them to be too roomy or on the larger side. It’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario - so it may be a wise idea to try them on before buying or to check the sizing chart thoroughly. Despite this minor setback, these pants have been praised overall for their comfort and ease of use.

Additionally, customers found the high cut of these trousers suitable for deep snow conditions. The bottom cinch cords were also a hit among the users as they allowed the pants to be easily tapered to limit drafts. Furthermore, the full-length side zips are another standout feature appreciated by many, simplifying the process of taking the pants on and off over other layers or footwear.

On the flipside, some users voiced disappointment with the lack of a fly zipper. It was a minor inconvenience especially during long camping trips. Also, the absence of pockets in these pants was something a few people wished was included in the design.

The Helios Down Pants were highly recommended by people spending extended periods outdoors, particularly those who are stationary for prolonged periods such as campers, alpinists, or photographers. The remarkable durability, convenience, and warmth with a minor compromise on functionality make these down pants a sought-after piece of gear among customers's outdoor ensemble.

6.8 /10

Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants are a great choice if you're looking for down pants to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants Down Pants
Comfort
8
Compressibility
6
Warmth
7
Water Resistance
7
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Full length side zippers
  • Reinforced abrasion areas means solid durability
  • Good weather resistance

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not very lightweight
  • Synthetic insulation is not very compressible

The Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pants are a bonafide companion for any extreme adventurer. Durable, high-performing, and ridiculously toasty, these pants are a valuable addition to your outdoor gear.

With PrimaLoft Gold synthetic insulation, a renowned warmth-to-weight champion, you won't have to worry about the cold. This insulation retains heat with expert efficiency, even in wet conditions. Plus the reinforced seat and knees come as a strong defense against wear and tear, furthering the durability of this item.

The lightweight aspect of these pants makes them a no-brainer when packing for trips. Weighing in at 15oz, they promise uncompromising insulation without loading your backpack down. As for packability, they impressively compress, meaning you won't have to sacrifice precious packing space.

An added bonus is their full-length side zippers which offer exceptional ventilation flexibility. Whether you need an airflow boost during strenuous ascents, or want the ease of popping these pants on over boots, these zippers deliver.

Customer reviews highlight the pants' fantastic versatility. Many adventurers hail this piece as a standby for varied environments, from ski-touring trips to summit attempts. They've also been praised for their warmth in truly freezing temperatures, assuring users that when it comes to battling the chill, these pants pull no punches.

However, some users had gripes with the waistband, stating that it could provide a more secure fit. They felt it sat a touch loose, and would experience it slipping down particularly during long treks. This seems to be a minor concern when compared to the glowing reviews though.

On the whole, Mountain Hardwear's Compressor Pants are adored for their exceptional insulation, lightness, and durability. A few tweaks in the fit could take these pants from being awesome to being perfect, but they are still a very sound investment for any wilderness enthusiasts.

No prices found. Check back later!

6.8 /10

Feathered Friends Volant Down Pants

$349.00
Best Down Pants for Mountaineering

Based on our research and testing, we think the Feathered Friends Volant Down Pants are a solid choice if you want down pants that's really well suited to Mountaineering.

Feathered Friends Volant Down Pants Down Pants
Comfort
7
Compressibility
7
Warmth
9
Water Resistance
5
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Serious insulation for cold weather
  • Compressible and packable design
  • Durable construction with reinforced seats and knees
  • High quality materials

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not suited for mild weather conditions
  • May be overkill for casual camping
  • Bulkier than minimalistic counterparts

Feathered Friends has truly knocked it out of the park with the Volant Down Pants. These bad boys are designed for heavy-duty mountaineering use - and boy, do they deliver. They're sturdy, warm, and built for the tough conditions you'd expect on the side of a mountain.

Crafted with high-quality 900+ fill power goose down, these pants are an integral part of any mountaineer's cold-weather arsenal. Customers have noted their exceptional insulation capabilities keep you warm in ultra-cold environments. Yet, despite their warmth, they're impressively lightweight and comfortable, making your ascent that much more achievable.

Online reviews praise the Volant Down Pants for their durability. Ruggedly crafted with robust stitching and reinforced seat and knees, they’ve been said to withstand the most challenging high-altitude conditions over time - a true indication that these are pants that have been designed to go the distance.

The Volant Down Pants also impress with practical features. The full-length side zippers, appreciated by many users, provide great ventilation control and allow for easy on/off without having to remove your boots. The integrated waist belt and accessible drop seat are other user-friendly features that add to the overall appeal.

Although these pants receive high marks from most users, some have pointed out a few minor issues. The Volant Down Pants might be a little overkill for light winter camping or casual outdoor pursuits. A handful of users mentioned they are not the most stylish option out there, but let's remember, style is secondary when you're fighting off arctic temperatures on a mountain peak.

That said, the consensus is clear: for hard-core mountaineering or those sub-zero adventures, the Feathered Friends Volant Down Pants are a fantastic choice. Warm, durable, comfortable, and practical - these pants have your back (or more accurately, your legs) in extreme conditions.

Related Posts

Best Hiking Pants

Best Hiking Pants

Men's

For hiking in any season, a solid pair of hiking pants is something that every camper, hiker and backpacker should have in their closet.

We've done a whole lot of trekking around in the forest, up...

Best Long Underwear

Best Long Underwear

Men's

Not everyone packs long underwear for their camping, hiking and backpacking adventures, but we think the people that don't are really missing out on a great piece of gear.

We've worn our long...

Best Down Jacket

Best Down Jacket

Men's

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...

Best Winter Jacket

Best Winter Jacket

Men's

Everyone should own at least one winter jacket. Whether your journey is going to the grocery store or to the top of a mountain, it gets cold out there, and a good winter jacket will see you...

Best Hiking Shorts

Best Hiking Shorts

Men's

For those hot summer days, or even for those not so hot days when you want to move fast, a good pair of hiking shorts is something you should absolutely have in your closet.

We've trekked through...

Best Rain Pants

Best Rain Pants

Men's

Rain pants are one of those pieces of gear that you throw in your backpack and hope that you never need. But when you do need them, you really want the best.

We've been caught out in rain storms on...