There are a couple of different things that you could fill a jacket with to make it nice and warm, but down is one of the best. Synthetic filled jackets can be great, especially when things get wet outside, but down filled jackets have a couple of things going for them that synthetic jackets just don’t. For instance, you had a down jacket and a synthetic jacket, both of which provided the same amount of warmth, the down jacket would weigh less. It would also compress down better than the synthetic jacket.
Down Filled JacketsThings to be aware of when buying a new down filled jacket.
- Fill Number - The fill number refers to the quality of the down. A 900+ fill down jacket, for instance, is using higher quality down than a 700+ fill down jacket is. The 700+ fill down jacket is good, but the 900+ fill down jacket will be lighter and more compressible, assuming everything else is equal.
- Hood – A hood is a fairly standard feature on most kinds of jackets, but less so on down jackets. This is in part because it’s not a good idea to get a down jacket wet, and a big part of the reason for a hood on a jacket is for when it rains. But a hood can also provide warmth, which is something down is especially good at doing.
Best Down Filled JacketsSome of the better down filled jackets, for both men and women.
Men's Down Filled Jackets
- Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka - If you're looking for something for around town, or perhaps a little activity in the coldest of conditions, then Canada Goose is a good choice. The company actually uses duck down, not goose down, but there's plenty of it stuffed in to this jacket, to give it maximum warmth. In fact this jacket has been the first choice at the National Science Foundation at Antarctica's McMurdo Station research facility for the last 20 years. So what it does really well is keep you warm, and features like fleece lined pockets and a fur lined hood help to do that. It's not cheap, but high quality jackets never are.
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie Parka - If you had something lighter and smaller in mind, for backpacking or hiking perhaps, then this jacket from Patagonia is another excellent choice. It uses very good quality 800+ fill down, and includes a few essential extras, like a hood, two zippered hand pockets, a zippered chest pocket and a water repellent exterior. But beyond that there's not much, which helps this jacket to weigh an impressive 9 ounces, or 255 grams, which is perfect for stuffing in to a backpack.
Women's Down Filled Jackets
- Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka - First, a warm, well built jacket from Canada Goose. If you plan to be out in really cold temperatures you need something like this jacket. Features like fleece lined pockets, a water resistant exterior and a fur lined hood are what make this jacket such an excellent choice for cold temperatures. Despite the company name it's actually full of duck down, rather than goose down. It's only 625+ fill down, but there's plenty of it, which is a quantity over quality approach that works well for cold weather down gear.
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie Parka - If you're not interested in surviving arctic temperatures and want something better suited to backpacking, hiking or just a colder day around town, then this option from Patagonia is ideal. It uses high quality 800+ fill down, and comes with one zippered chest pocket, two zippered hand pockets and a hood. The exterior is also water resistant, to fend off a little moisture. Best of all, it weighs a very reasonable 9 ounces, or 255 grams, making it a great choice for hikers, backpackers and anyone else who likes to stay active outdoors.