When it comes to the different kinds of insulation available to hikers, campers and backpackers, it is hard to beat down. A good down jacket has a better warmth to weight ratio than any other insulating material out there, and those people who want the best tend to stick with a good down jacket. Of course women’s and men’s clothes are not the same, and there are some specific things about men’s down jackets that make them better suited for use by a man. The only real drawback associated with down is that it does not perform well when wet. It tends to clump, which drastically reduces its ability to insulate properly. And when that happens, you will get cold. But with that one caveat, down really is the best choice for staying warm outside.
Men’s Down JacketWhat to look for when you go shopping for a new men’s down jacket.
- Down Quality – Down comes in a wide range of qualities, and while lower quality down will be less expensive, higher quality down gives you the same amount of warmth as lower quality down would, but for less weight. For backpackers and campers, this is an especially important point to pay attention to, as lighter gear means less weight and bulk in your backpack.
- Waterproofing – Remember that down should never be wet. If you have a waterproof layer to throw on over your down jacket, that’s great, but if not, you can always get a down jacket that is waterproof, or at least water resistant. That way, you get the insulation and you don’t have to worry as much about your down jacket getting wet.
Best Men’s Down JacketA few of the better men’s down jackets that are out there on the market.
- Patagonia Down Sweater - The Down Sweater from Patagonia is a fairly standard down jacket. It uses 800+ fill down, which is a good quality, and comes with a polyester outer that has a water repellent finish, so you don't have to worry about a little rain or showers. It comes in a few different colors, and is the kind of thing you could wear around town just as easily as you could on the trail. It weighs 11 ounces, or 311 grams.
- Mont Bell EX Light Down Jacket - This is a down jacket ideally suited to campers, hikers and backpackers. The outer is a DWR treated nylon, to keep light amounts of water out, but where this really stands out is the fill material, 900+ fill down, which is the really good stuff. That, combined with a few excellent construction details get the weight of this men's down jacket down to just 5.6 ounces, or 161 grams, which is ideal for stuffing in a backpack until you need it.
- Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka - If you're getting a down jacket to stay warm, then there aren't too many options better than Canada Goose. This particular Canada Goose jacket uses 625+ fill duck down, rather than goose down, and plenty of it to keep you warm just about anywhere. This jacket has been in use for 20 years by the National Science Foundation at Antarctica's McMurdo Station research facility. It has a whole list of features, including a down filled, fur lined hood, that sets it apart as a down jacket for cold conditions.