Down jackets make fantastic pieces of gear for hiking, backpacking, camping or even just around town. But down jackets can also be expensive. There are plenty of sales, of course, but if you really want to save money on your down jacket, it can help to know what you need to look for when you’re doing your research. There is definitely such a thing as a good cheap down jacket, you just have to know what to look for when buying cheap down jackets, to make sure that you don’t end up getting something of poor quality.
Cheap Down JacketsSome things to look for when shopping for cheap down jackets.
- Down Quality – Generally, higher quality down will raise the price of the jacket. 900+ fill down will be more expensive than 700+ fill down. The benefit of that higher quality down is that it will weigh less, relative to the warmth you get, and will compress better. But if you’re not too concerned about those things, there’s nothing wrong with getting the lower quality down.
- Hood – A hood is a useful thing to have on a down jacket, as it keeps warmth in. On the other hand, a down jacket is a poor choice when it starts raining, which is precisely the situation that a hood is often useful for. So getting a down jacket can be a smart move, as long as you can find something else to wear on your head for warmth, and not getting a hood will generally also save you some money.
Best Cheap Down JacketsSome of the very best cheap down jackets, for men and women too.
Men's Cheap Down Jackets
- Marmot Zeus Down Jacket - The Zeus uses 800+ fill down, which is certainly a respectable quality of down, and a water resistant finish on the exterior as well, which is important to keep the down dry. It also has two zippered hand pockets for keeping your fingers warm. What it doesn't have is a hood or a zippered chest pocket, which you will find on many other jackets. Still, a very good, basic down jacket with a respectable price.
- Mont Bell Alpine Light Down Jacket - Mont Bell is well known for making excellent down products, and have a whole range of down jackets, this being one of the cheaper ones. It's much the same jacket as the Zeus above, with 800+ fill down, a DWR finish and two zippered hand pockets, with no chest pocket or hood. This is several ounces lighter than the Zeus, however, which is something to think about. The parka version of this jacket, which is the same thing but with a hood, also won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award in 2011, so a good, quality down jacket with a lower price.
Women's Cheap Down Jackets
- Marmot Venus Down Jacket - A good, basic down jacket from Marmot with a respectable price. You do get two zippered pockets for your hands, as well as 800+ fill down and a water resistant finish on the outside, to keep the down dry. What you don't get is a hood or a zippered chest pocket, which many down jackets often come with. So a good, if basic cheap down jacket.
- Mont Bell Alpine Light Down Jacket - This jacket from Mont Bell has basically the same design as the Venus above. Two zippered hand pockets, 800+ fill down and a water resistant finish, but no hood and no zippered chest pocket. This jacket does, however, weigh less, which might be of interest to backpackers and hikers.