There are many things that make down jackets better than other insulating jackets, and weight is one of the big ones. Down has one of the best weight to warmth ratios of any insulating material out there. But there are still lightweight and heavy down jackets. Fortunately for the hikers, campers, backpackers and others concerned about weight, there is a fantastic lightweight down jacket just right for you. But there are a couple things to look for to make sure you get the best lightweight down jacket possible.
Lightweight Down JacketFeatures to look for when shopping for a lightweight down jacket.
- Down Quality – When it comes to the weight of a down jacket this is the number you need to pay attention to. All other things being equal, a jacket filled with 900+ fill down, which is the high quality stuff, will be lighter than a jacket filled with 700+ fill down. The higher the down quality is, the better the weight to warmth ratio is.
- Hood – A hood is always a nice thing to have, but part of the reason you get a hood on a jacket is for when it rains, and you shouldn’t be getting a down jacket all that wet, so a hood isn’t as crucial. And if you get a down jacket without a hood, you of course save the weight that the hood would have cost you.
Best Lightweight Down JacketSome of the very best lightweight down jackets for men and women.
Men's Lightweight Down Jacket
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie Jacket - If you want a lightweight down jacket that doesn't spare any of the essential extras, then the Ultralight from Patagonia is the jacket for you. The 800+ fill down is high quality, but it also comes with a hood, two zippered hand pockets and one zippered chest pocket, plus a water repellent exterior. So a great down jacket with a few essential features. It weighs an impressive 9 ounces, or 255 grams.
- Mont Bell Ex Light Down Jacket - If you're really looking for lightweight, however, then the Ex Light is the jacket for you. It comes with no pockets and no hood, but it does have a water resistant exterior, to keep the down dry. And the down is the very high quality 900+ fill down, which is what helps the Ex Light get down to the impressive weight of just 5.7 ounces, or 161 grams.
Women's Lightweight Down Jacket
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie Jacket - The Patagonia Ultralight is the perfect blend of lightweight design and feature rich design. It has a few essential extras, like a hood, two zippered hand pockets and one zippered pocket on the chest, but nothing else that would be superfluous. The combination of 800+ fill down and water resistant exterior will keep you dry, and the impressive weight of 9 ounces, or 255 grams will keep you happy.
- Mont Bell Ex Light Down Jacket - If you're not interested in features and just want to save weight, the Ex Light is a great choice. There's no pockets, no hood, just a bare bones down jacket. What it does have is 900+ fill down, for the most efficient warmth possible, and a water resistant exterior, to keep that down dry. And at 4.7 ounces, or 133 grams, you'll hardly even know you're carrying it.