The fill number refers to the quality of the down inside a down jacket. So an 800 fill down jacket has down that is of a certain quality, and lofts a certain amount, loft being the method by which down keeps you warm. 900 fill down would be a higher quality than 800, but also more expensive, while 700 fill down would be a lower quality, but likely cheaper. 800 is a good middle ground. It’s not the high end stuff, but it’s relatively good, and will be lightweight and compressible, which is what you want from a down jacket.
800 Fill Down JacketFeatures to look for when looking for an 800 fill down jacket.
- Water Resistant – Regardless of what the quality of the down you’re using is, you will likely want to get a down jacket that has some sort of water resistance built in to the outer shell. Or even some sort of waterproof outer exterior. Down does a poor job of keeping you warm when it gets wet.
- Hood – Another important feature that you may or may not want on a down jacket, regardless of the quality, is a hood. Since down jackets shouldn’t be getting wet you don’t want to be getting a hood to keep your head dry. But if you want to keep your head warm, then a hood on your down jacket is a good idea.
Best 800 Fill Down JacketSome of the very best 800 fill down jackets for men and women.
Men's 800 Fill Down Jacket
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket - The Ultralight Down Jacket from Patagonia is a great, minimalist down jacket. It uses a durable water repellent finish to keep both you and the down dry, and has two zippered hand pockets, plus one zippered hand pocket on the chest to store a few essentials. It doesn't have a hood, and has a fairly fitted profile that makes it ideal for active outdoor pursuits. It weighs a total of 8.5 ounces, or 240 grams.
- Mont Bell Alpine Light Down Parka - The Alpine Light won the 2011 Backpacker magazine Editor's Choice award, and it's easy to see why. It's a thicker, midweight down jacket that will keep you warm in colder weather. The hood will help with that, of course, as will the 2 zippered hand pockets and the durable water repellent finish on exterior. Because it's a warmer jacket it does weigh more, at 15.7 ounces or 445 grams.
Women's 800 Fill Down Jacket
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket - First, a great minimalist down jacket from Patagonia. It has a great slim, low profile fit that makes it ideal for life outside. There's no hood, but there is two zippered hand pockets plus one zippered chest pocket that increase your options and will allow you to get your hands warm. The water repellent finish will keep both and the down inside your jacket warm. The whole thing weighs 8 ounces, which is 226 grams.
- Mont Bell Alpine Light Down Parka - If you're looking to stay warm when the temperature drops down low, something like the Alpine Light might be a better choice. It's got more down in it, for added warmth, which is obvious when you look at the weight, which is 12.7 ounces, or 360 grams. It also has a durable water repellent finish, to keep you and the down dry in those colder conditions, and two zippered pockets, plus a hood, to keep your extremities toasty warm. It also won the 2011 Backpacker magazine Editor's Choice award, so a solid down jacket for those colder days.