In winter conditions you need warm layers, and a down jacket makes an excellent warm layer. You just have to remember, when buying winter down jackets, that down does not perform very well when it gets wet. So you definitely don’t want to get down wet. Winter conditions can be good in this regard, however, as snow often gets you a lot less wet than rain does. So when the temperature is really low, down actually becomes a better choice.
Winter Down JacketsWhat you want to find on a good winter down jacket.
- Waterproof – You should definitely get a winter down jacket that is waterproof, or at least water resistant. Snow wont be too much of a problem, as far as getting wet is concerned, but rain is a real worry, and the last thing you want in winter is an insulating that suddenly does not work.
- Down Quality - With a winter jacket the quality of the down may not be quite as important, just as long as there is plenty of it. But for campers, backpackers and hikers, down quality is a good indicator of a few things, the most important being how much the jacket will weigh and how compact it will be. You don't want a winter down jacket that takes up half of your backpack.
Best Winter Down JacketsSome of the better winter down jackets, for both men and women.
Men's Winter Down Jackets
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie Jacket - If you're a backpacker, camper or hiker then you will appreciate something like the Ultralight Down Hoodie from Patagonia. It's thin, with a low profile, but features a hood and two hand pockets, along with chest pocket, making it a good blend of features and minimalism. It uses 800+ fill down, and a water repellent outer shell, and the average weight is a very respectable 9 ounces, or 255 grams. A winter down jacket that will keep you warm but also stuff in to a backpack without taking up too much room.
- Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka - If your main concern with a winter down jacket is staying warm, then Canada Goose is the company you want. Despite the name they actually use duck down in their jackets, and lots of it. Features like a snow skirt, fleece lined pockets and a thick, fur lined hood all help to keep you very warm, even in cold conditions. And the outer shell is water resistant, to keep all that down dry. This is a winter down jacket to stay warm in.
Women's Winter Down Jackets
- Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie Jacket - Similar to the Patagonia jacket from above, in the men's section, but with a woman's cut. This one is the same light weight of 9 ounces, or 255 grams. You get a hood, two hand pockets and one chest pocket, but beyond that this jacket is lacking in features. But that's kind of the point, because the low profile, lack of features and 800+ fill down, along with the water repellent finish, make this an ideal choice for backpackers, campers and hikers looking for something to stuff in to a backpack.
- Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka - For staying warm regardless of what the temperature is, Canada Goose is the company that most people go to. This particular jacket comes with a fur lined hood, fleece lined pockets and a water resistant exterior, features that are all focused on keeping you warm inside. If you were going to the arctic, this is the jacket you would, and in fact many who head to the arctic do take this jacket.