A goose down jacket is an excellent piece of gear to have for winter weather. Whether you are hiking, backpacking, camping or even just walking around town, goose down is an ideal material to keep you warm. It has a remarkable warmth to weight ratio, so you don't need a lot to keep you warm, and it also packs down extremely small, which is always a nice feature if you are taking your goose down jacket in to the outdoors.
Goose Down JacketFeatures to look for when you are looking for a goose down jacket.
- Waterproof - The one big caveat when it comes to down is that it does not perform well when wet. It will keep you toasty warm when dry, but if you get it wet it wont do much. So if you plan to be taking your goose down jacket in to a situation where you will need it to be warm, and where there is a possibility of getting wet, you should either have a waterproof down jacket or a waterproof layer that you can put over your non-waterproof down jacket.
- Down Quality - Not all goose down is created equal. The more loft goose down provides, the warmer it is, and the better it is. When you are looking at goose down jackets, the number you want to pay attention to for down quality is the fill power. The higher the fill power, the more warmth you get for the same amount of weight. Anything in the 800 to 900 range is very good, though 700 and up is not too shabby either.
Best Goose Down JacketA few of the very best goose down jackets.
Goose Down Jackets for Men
- Patagonia Down Sweater - The Down Sweater from Patagonia is a great down jacket for a variety of uses. First, it comes with 800-fill goose down, which provides an excellent weight to warmth ratio. It has a polyester exterior, so it's not waterproof. It also doesn't come with a hood, and is hip length, or a 25 inch back length to be more exact. It weighs 11 ounces, or 311 grams.
- Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka - Canada Goose makes goose down jackets for cold conditions. It's been the official jacket of the National Science Foundation at Antarctica's McMurdo Station research facility for over 20 years. The exterior is water resistant, and it comes with a fur-lined hood, as well as a snow skirt to protect you from the elements. Despite the Canada Goose brand name, this jacket is actually made with duck down, which is an ideal material for the extremely cold temperatures.
Goose Down Jackets for Women
- Mont Bell Alpine Light Down Parka - The Alpine Light is the 2011 winner of the Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award. It uses 800-fill down and a nylon exterior, so while it's not waterproof it does provide an excellent amount of warmth to weight. Speaking of weight, the Alpine Light weighs 12.7 ounces, or 360 grams. It also comes with a hood and high collar for keeping you warm in bad weather.
- Canada Goose Montebello Down Parka - The Montbello is the best when temperatures dip down low. It's water resistant, so you don't have to worry as much about getting wet, and despite the Canada Goose brand name, the Montbello actually uses duck down in place of goose down. There is also a down filled hood with coyote fir trim, though the fir is removable too. If you need something that will perform in the cold and the snow, Canada Goose is an ideal jacket manufacturer.