Being cold is one of the worse feelings you can experience while traveling. Furthermore, extreme weather conditions might be a limitation for visiting raw nature if you can´t protect yourself from them.
Down jackets are the perfect travel companions to keep you dry, warm, and comfortable. If you’re driving, you might consider electric blankets to keep you warm.
Did you already do your research and found the market too crowded?
Don´t worry, we did the hard work for you and came up with a verdict.
Read on, choose wisely, and never be cold again (regardless of the weather).
In this article, we’re going to review the best down jackets for your next outdoor trip:
- The North Face Men’s Altier Down Triclimate Jacket
- Eddie Bauer Superior Down Jacket For Men
- Marmot Men’s Winter Puffer Jacket
- Tapasimme Men’s Down Puffer Jacket
- Eddie Bauer Men’s Peak XV Down Jacket
- Columbia Women’s Hexbreaker Long Down Jacket
- Eddie Bauer Women’s Sun Valley Down Parka
- London Fog Women’s Chevron Coat
- Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite Hooded Jacket
- Tommy Hilfiger Chevron Quilted Packable Down Jacket
Best Down Jackets For Men
Little has to be said about The North Face as a brand. They design and manufacture some of the greatest adventure clothing in the world.
This particular model comes as a two-piece featuring an underneath, thermal, tighter jacket, and a rain-proof overcoat.
The 550-fill power goose down that fills the under jacket works great for not-so-extreme weather conditions (-10C max). It is also lightweight and waterproof.
Although it probably fits perfectly with just a t-shirt, it is too slim of a fit for any heavy layering. The overcoat is a great addition to the combo being a little heavier and bigger.
You can wear them separately at different times of the year too.
If you are not traveling somewhere with extreme weather conditions and can benefit from the flexibility of two coats instead of one for different temperatures, this coat is definitely for you.
- Two-piece jacket
- Light-weight, waterproof under the jacket
- 550 goose down filling
- Slim fit doesn´t allow heavy layering
- Sleeves can be a little too long
Eddie Bauer was a guide and you can tell his experience reflects on the design of this parka. It is classic down-filled and can withstand temperatures down to -40C.
The water and wind-proof design along with the (very easily) detachable hood make it perfect to keep warm even in the coldest snowstorm.
Speaking about the design, though, pockets could be angled so one´s hands will slip in more comfortably. You have to extend your elbow because of the parka design.
Besides that, it is crafted with the highest-quality materials and the attention to detail is superb.
Since it is a loose fit, it works great for men wearing more layers of clothes or that don´t like slim-fit coats. Since it is good for -40C you can confidently take this parka anywhere with you.
- Great materials, attention to detail, and craftsmanship
- Detachable hood
- Withstands weather as low as -40C
- Pockets can be uncomfortable
- The loose fit might not be for everybody to shape
Marmot has been around crafting top-notch adventure clothing since the 1970s. This winter puff jacket pays homage to that long path with some great features.
To begin with, the 700 fill power works great at keeping you warm in extreme temperatures while being highly compressible.
Also, the zippered, hand-warmer pockets are great for mountain climbers´ stiff and cold fingers. Finally, the Angel-Wing design by Marmot allows for perfect, natural movement while being warm against any storm.
The one thing that can be considered a flaw is the noticeable difference between the filling in the chest and the arms.
This means that while you might be sweating with the center part of the jacket, you can feel cold in your arms.
This Marmot jacket is great for those chasing adventures in extreme weather conditions because it allows you to move and hike as if wearing a much lighter jacket keeping you warm at all times.
- Angel-wing design
- 700 fill power
- Zippered, hand-warmer pockets
- Noticeable warmth difference between arms and chest
- A little too loose for slim wearers
This is a very long coat designed to go past the knee line of the person wearing it.
It also features an adjustable hood, making it a perfect outfit to protect the entire body in extreme weather conditions.
Adding to that, the wind-proof cuffs, as well as the water-repellent fabric, are great for stormy weather.
The only flaw is that it is a unisex design for both genders but feels like a woman´s piece due to the small fit for the size and the reverse zipper.
That being said, the double zipper and the internal pockets make this a very comfortable long coat.
If you are traveling to a place where stormy and cold weather is expectable, this coat will be a great ally.
- Double zipper
- Extends past the knees
- Adjustable hood
- Small fit on the top part
- Reverse zipper
This Eddie Bauer model is made for high climbing and arctic temperatures. The fill power is up to 800 which will keep you warm up to -40C.
The thick Cordura waterproof cover is just perfect for any weather that might come your way. Indeed, the I-Beam Baffle technology distributes the down evenly inside the jacket avoiding any cold spots.
Also, the large number of internal and external pockets makes it very practical for high-tech climbing. That being said, it is a jacket that can´t be worn for casual occasions, because it is far too warm and there is no detachable inner part.
If you are a seasoned hiker or climber, you´ll find in this jacket a great adventure companion. It is not recommended for casual wearing; it´s too warm for it.
- 800 fill power
- RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified
- I-Beam Baffle Construction for even down distribution
- Far too warm for casual wearing
- Cordura exterior is heavier and less packable than other materials
Best Down Jackets For Women
This Columbia jacket takes the concept from the above model (OMNI-HEAT and OMNI-SHIELD technology) and takes them one step further by adding responsibly-sourced goose down at 600 fill power.
This feature makes this jacket suitable for more extreme weather conditions. The waist is adjustable and, along with the comfort cuffs, make the design look and feel great.
Also, the zipped inner and outer pockets make this jacket the perfect companion for traveling to places on Earth that offer extremely harsh conditions.
On the not-so-good side of things, the exterior layer is a tad thinner than other Columbia products making it prone to snagging.
If you are not going to go climbing and hiking on trails offering threats to the exterior fabric, then you´ll be more than fine with this coat. It is a great companion for city tourism.
- 600 pure goose fill power
- OMNI-HEAT inner construction
- Adjustable waist
- Outer layer rips easily
This long parka by Eddie Bauer will keep you very warm due to its 650 fill power and half-thigh length.
The dual front zippers work perfectly throughout the extent of the parka that is available in four sizes: petite, regular, tall, and plus.
The fur detail on the hood is trendy and due to the premium down, this is not a heavy parka to roam around with.
The water and windproof outside material are paramount to keep the insides dry and warm even in the harshest weather. On the negative side, the top part and the pockets can feel a little too tight for most users.
When traveling to extreme temperatures and aiming for a more touristic approach that includes city tours and sightseeing, this parka can be a great companion.
If you are going to go full-on climbing, maybe you should get a more sports-oriented model.
- Half-thigh length
- Dual front zippers
- Trendy hood
- Tight measures in the chest and pockets
- Hood is non-detachable
This London Fog model is a good option when it comes to warm coats that are trendy and well-designed. Indeed, the company has been around since 1923 and the leverage of the last century is present in this piece.
It is a polyester shell filled with 50% down and 50% feather that works as a waterproof and cold-proof coat in harsh weather conditions.
Although the hood is detachable, the faux fur in it gives the trendy touch the coat needs.
On the negative side, pockets are thin nylon sleeves that don´t add any warmth to the hands, and the zipper can be considered somewhat small for the overall size of the coat.
Women looking for an everyday coat in countries with a harsh winter or looking forward to traveling for extended periods can benefit largely from this coat. It is not suitable for extreme adventuring.
- Trendy design
- 100% polyester water and windproof material
- 50% down and 50% feather filling
- Nylon-sleeve pockets
- Small zipper
This hooded jacket is just another proof of what Columbia can do when they apply high-tech garments to their pieces.
To begin with, the interior of the jacket is made of OMNI-HEAT technology, which reflects on body heat and dissipates moisture to keep you warm and dry.
The outside is made of OMNI-SHIELD, dirt, and water repellent fabric that not only repels moisture but also is very hard to get stained.
Finally, it is a lightweight coat with two zipped external pockets and an internal one to help you carry important documents safe while traveling.
On the not-so-good size, Columbia tends to run smaller than other brands, so beware of the size when making the purchase.
Although not suitable for extreme temperatures (-20C and below), this jacket is an excellent traveling companion for most situations.
It is comfortable, lightweight, and waterproof with just the right design to fit everything you need.
- OMNI-HEAT technology is warm and light
- OMNI-SHIELD technology to keep you dry and clean
- External and internal pockets
- Not true to size when compared to other brands
- Can’t withstand extreme weather
This model by Tommy Hilfiger was designed thinking of the traveling consumer. You can easily fold it and make it fit into a tiny drawstring pouch.
Also, the front zipper goes all the way through to create a stand-up collar that protects you from harsh weather along with the hood.
The slim fit of the trendy design is great to enhance the female figure while wearing a long, warm coat.
Finally, it features a pair of hidden, zipped, side pockets that are very handy while traveling to store important and valuable items.
On the downside, there is no even feather distribution technology in place, so it can be a tad annoying to be freezing on the chest while super warm on the back and vice versa.
If you prioritize comfort and look great to having an extra warm jacket with an even feather distribution, this jacket is perfect for you.
Otherwise, you won´t be satisfied with it.
- Slim, perfect fit
- The front zipper creates a stand-up collar
- Hidden zipped side pockets
- Uneven feather distribution is common
- Can easily be snagged
Down Jacket Buyer’s Guide
Before we get started with the candidates, let´s review some key terminology so we are on the same page.
Down fill power is a measurement taken in a laboratory. The test requires an ounce of down placed inside a glass cylinder and pressed by a certain weight.
The down´s ability to bounce back is what calculates the fill power. The number can be anywhere between 400 and 900.
It sounds nice, but what does it mean for you?
The higher the number, the more efficient the down is, thus, the smaller amount you need to generate the same warmth. The resulting jacket will be more compressible, warmer, and lighter.
For extreme outdoor temperatures, you should aim at 600 and above.
On the other hand, for lighter weather conditions, you can get a jacket anywhere between 400 and 600.
A down jacket can be made of real down insulation or synthetic one. Both approaches have pros and cons; let´s go through them so you can make a better-informed decision.
- Better warmth-to-weight ratio
- Compress really well and packs small
- Very efficient at heat retention
- Takes a long time to dry once wet
- Requires special cleaning
- On the expensive side
- Easy to clean
- Usually dries fast once wet
- Cheaper than natural down
- Needs more weight to provide the same warmth
If you are looking for extreme warmth and need to pack light for hiking purposes, you will be better off with natural down.
If weight is not so important, but you´ll travel for a long time, and easier to clean and cheaper to replace a synthetic jacket could be a better choice.
Learn more about how to wash your down jacket here.
Warmth without proper waterproofing is a recipe for disaster.
While most of the high-end down jackets use a very light external material to reduce weight, they are very prone to ripping and suffer abrasion.
For wearing during longer periods or daily during winter, a thicker covering material could be a much better choice.
If your down jacket gets wet on the inside, it won´t be enough to protect you from extreme weather. Plus, natural down takes a long time to dry.
A good, thick waterproof layer on top of your jacket is a definite winner in most scenarios.
These might seem like major issues, but they can be in terms of the aesthetics and fit of the jacket.
Make sure to check if it has standard sizing since some jackets tend to be a little oversized, for example. Meanwhile, some down jackets include few color options, and others offer several.
Down jackets/coats tend to have several pockets on the exterior and interior of the outerwear.
If you’re using your jacket for applications like work for skiing, then you’ll likely want a jacket with extra pockets.
You can even find “media pockets” for storing mobile phones and media players.
Down outerwear is available in different forms. They include jackets, coats, and raincoats.
The general style is related to issues like the amount of fill, length, and casual/formal design.
When picking down outerwear, it’s critical to consider these issues to pick the right style.
For example, you might need a light down raincoat for cold/rainy days or a heavy parka for frigid below-freezing days.
Some outwear labeled as “down” jackets/coats technically include faux down fill.
You might want to pick down made from feathers or faux/fake down for issues like health conditions or animal-friendly issues. It’s up to you to select one or the other.
Some jackets not only contain synthetic down but also faux fur around the hood. This provides the look and feel of fur but avoids animal hair being used.
You can sometimes find lifetime warranties for down jackets, but usually, they’re available for X years. If they’re limited, make sure to find out what they cover.
Usually, this includes defects due to material or manufacturing issues.
This is based on a wide range of factors. They include the jacket’s/coat’s brand, style, fill, pockets, water resistance.
You can save money through methods like price comparisons, sales/discounts, and free/discounted shipping.
Keep in mind a quality fall/winter jacket/coat is an investment. Spending hundreds of dollars might be worth quality down outerwear you can wear for years.
Product FAQs: Some Common Questions
What is down?
Down is the soft/warm under feathers of duck and geese. It’s a good insulator since the loft (fluffiness) produces small air pockets that trap warm air and hold heat.
This is a plus in cold weather when below-freezing temperatures and winds can produce frigid environments.
What are some features of down jackets?
Some are quite common. Hoods add extra warmth as well as extra bulk. Cuffed waist/wrists help to retain warmth. Pockets are good for keeping your hands warm and storing things like goggles and phones.
What are the main kinds of down jackets?
They include “sewn through” and “box baffle.” Sewn-through is more common and usually the cheapest kind of down jacket. They have less material and are easier/cheaper to make.
Then there are box baffle-down jackets. This maximizes the down fill’s loft/warmth. Each baffle contains its area of down. This minimizes cold spots and maximizes loft. Baffle box jackets are often pricier.
Is down better than synthetic insulation?
It’s important to note that each has pros and cons. For example, down is lightweight, retains heat well, and packs small. Meanwhile, synthetic insulation is cheaper and is easier to clean.
Some vegans also avoid buying clothing with animal products, so they prefer synthetic insulation. How should a down jacket fit? It shouldn’t be too tight or loose. Make sure you can add layers of clothes underneath.
However, too much space would cause air to get through the arms. Another factor is these jackets tend to be somewhat heavy so you’ll need extra room for mobility.
Read down vs. synthetic jacket to learn more.
What’s down fill power?
This is related to the down’s “fluffiness” and insulation. Higher fill power means the down has more air pockets and makes the jacket more insulating based on its weight.
Fill Power ranges from 400-450 (medium) to 750-900 (excellent).
When traveling to harsh weather or extreme climatic conditions dressing properly is paramount.
Regardless of the magnificent landscape, if you are shivering, your experience will not go into your memory as “amazing”. Thus, the perfect jacket can solve that and be a game-changer when enjoying outdoor adventures.
We´ve come a long way on our take of the best down jacket for travel and it was indeed quite a ride.
We went through every model we thought covered a different style and need and hopefully gave you all the info you need to make a wise, informed choice.
If you are wondering about our verdict, let´s say that for men, the perfect choice would be The North Face Men’s Altier Down Triclimate jacket because of its versatility.
You can wear them separately in different climates and both feature water and windproof technology.
In the case of women, we chose the Columbia Women’s Hexbreaker Long Down jacket because it is the perfect mix of high-tech construction and a classic goose-down interior.
Wearing it while traveling you can keep warm and dry at all times with a light-weight, trendy-looking coat.
We hope you enjoyed this piece and remember that a well-prepared traveler always gets the most out of every location.
Make memories that will last for a lifetime and avoid shivering from ruining that selfie with the right coat.