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The Best Down Jackets

Top Picks

How we choose: The best down insulated jackets highlighted here were selected based on 570 reviews of 259 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Black Diamond Vision Down Parka

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Toughness unheard of in a down jacket coupled with smart features and class-leading weight savings earn a place in my mountaineering kit for Black Diamond's Vision Down Parka. The Vision Down Parka can bring that extra degree of safety when Mother Nature attacks.

Reasons to Buy

  • Innovative, durable liquid crystal fabric
  • Weight savings over other competitors
  • Climbing-friendly features

Reasons to Avoid

  • The hood doesn't cinch down as tight as I'd like

The Black Vision Down Parka was the winner of the 2020 Backcountry Magazine Editors’ Choice Award. According to Black Diamond: "the Black Diamond Vision Down Parka is our warmest insulated jacket for the coldest conditions and biggest objectives on your hit list." Ever been cold? I mean REALLY cold. Not just the cold that gets you saying, "Holy @#it, it's cold," but the cold that makes it hard to even make words with your lips. The cold that makes your chap-stick feel like hard plastic. The cold that makes you question your idiotic choices in hobbies.

Read more: Black Diamond Vision Down Parka review (1)

Big Agnes Danvers Pullover

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Danvers is an ultralight pullover that can be use by anyone as either a mid or top layer. It's minimalist, highly packable, and its 850 FP DownTek water-repellent down will help keep you warm without any added bulk or restriction of movement.

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile
  • Ultralight
  • Packs small
  • Warm extra layer
  • Extremely comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Expensive
  • Pull over design (may be cumbersome to some)

  Preface I received this Big Agnes Danvers Pullover for the purpose of this review.  It arrived with minimal packaging, which I like. We all need to do what we can to reduce our impact on the environment.   About Big Agnes Big Agnes has been around for about twenty years. Should you require it, their outstanding customer service could not possibly be improved upon. Their stated goal is to produce the best gear possible to help folks get outside and chase their dreams. I think they stand true to that goal.

Read more: Big Agnes Danvers Pullover review (1)

Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoody

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

This jacket is truly a study in craftsmanship by the designers at Patagonia. First of of all, it is INCREDIBLY LIGHTWEIGHT. Every time I go to pick it up, this fact strikes me. I also own the Men's Phantom Jacket by Mountain Hardwear in large, which is also VERY lightweight and 800-fill down, however, this jacket (although the same size i.e. large), is much longer and has a down hood as well, and somehow the Fitz Roy Hoody amazes me more. It's GREAT as a raincoat, as water and snow just bead and slide right off it.

Read more: Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoody reviews (4)

Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (10 reviews)

Warm, cozy, one of my favorite pieces of gear.

Reasons to Buy

  • Warm
  • Compressible
  • Lightweight

Reasons to Avoid

  • Wish it had a hood

I bought the women's Phantom Jacket last winter because I needed a beefier insulated jacket for my winter backpacking trips. I am always in search of items that are not only of excellent quality, but also don't unnecessarily compromise space or weight in my pack. This jacket compresses very well, and is super light! That being said, it's amazingly warm. I have easily taken this jacket down to 0-degree temperatures, with a mid and base layer and been comfortable.   While the collar on the jacket is pretty tall, and very soft on the inside, I do, however, wish this jacket had a hood.

Read more: Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket reviews (10)

Arc'teryx Thorium Hoody

user rating: 4 of 5 (3 reviews)

The Thorium AR does exactly what it intends to, which is keep you very very warm and comfortable for a low weight penalty. Buy this jacket if you want a near a perfect insulation layer for weather below -5°C (23°F) that packs small and feels like wearing a cloud.

Reasons to Buy

  • Extremely warm (best use is below -5C/23F)
  • Excellent cut and articulation
  • Packs small, weighs little
  • Ridiculously comfortable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Too warm above -5C/23F
  • Works best as part of a system

First things first, this jacket excels at its intended use. If it's cold but dry, it's great. If it's wet or the wind picks up you WILL need a shell over it (down + water = bad, it isn't incredibly wind resistant). It's designed to be worn over a baselayer and under a shell, during low to no activity. If you're huffing up a mountain you'll need to take it off and rely on your shell and baselayer. It's designed to keep you warm when you stop for a break, make camp, or are in -25C/-13F and below.

Read more: Arc'teryx Thorium Hoody reviews (3)

Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (17 reviews)

After buying many parkas I bit the bullet and bought this one. I like the others, but when I opened the box the day it arrived I WAS IN SHOCK. This parka is a beast and I wished I had found one years ago. It has everything that a parka should have, some things are in excess but like everything that is made west of the Pond it's built big, tough, and doesn't say sorry.

Reasons to Buy

  • The hood is perfect for all weathers
  • It feels like it was made for the job
  • The quality has the heart and soul of the people who made it
  • Still made in the country of its birth

I am very happy with this parka, and at least I now own a coat that is the real deal. I have spent a lot of cash on parkas, just trying to get it right, I have been that cold I have had ice build up on my chest, frostbite, snow blind and more. So I have done a lot of research into my equipment and because of all of the above. This parka is no fashion statement, it's a valuable tool to help you get the job done and go home alive. It's not about looking pretty. It is very warm and well made.

Read more: Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka reviews (17)

Gerry Sweater Down Jacket

user rating: 4 of 5 (4 reviews)

Gerry is a well-known brand that has been making outdoor clothing for more than seven decades. This jacket is well made and is being sold at a very good price.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very well made
  • Down insulation makes for good warmth
  • Multiple pockets for storing maps, snacks, gloves, and other items close at hand
  • Excellent price for what you get
  • Light weight

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sewn-through can allow some loss of warmth
  • Not made in the USA
  • 1-way front zipper (problematic when wearing climbing harness)
  • No storage bag or "stuffing pocket"
  • some "feather leakage" with time

Weight: 0.6 p/0.3 kg = 9.6 oz/300g Down fill: 650 Some of us “Old Greybeards” who became acquainted with the outdoors many decades ago made use of army surplus leftovers from WWII. This gear tended to be very heavy and didn’t always meet our needs. As the troops returned home, some of them started small family shops that created high quality gear that was lighter than the army gear and would work for our treks into the woods and hills which we lived near. Sometimes when we made expeditions to far away parts of the world One of these small family shops was started by Gerry Cunningham in Boulder, Colorado, right in the Rockies.

Read more: Gerry Sweater Down Jacket reviews (4)

Eddie Bauer First Ascent Peak XV Down Jacket

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (7 reviews)

The Peak XV is a full-featured winter down parka that is built for abuse. I say that because in addition to being stuffed with 850 fill power down, it has an outer shell that is heavy and sturdy (keep in mind this is the jacket as purchased in 2012; it’s still sold but has probably changed some over time). The jacket is extremely warm and durable. On the downside, it only has limited room for layering, and the baffles in the sleeves allow more shifting and possible cold spots than I would have liked.

Reasons to Buy

  • Extremely warm
  • Simple but useful features
  • Nice puffy hood
  • Burly outer fabric
  • Good range of movement

Reasons to Avoid

  • Bulky and heavy
  • Baffling in sleeves
  • Would have preferred more room for layering

INTRO/UPDATE: When I first reviewed this jacket, it was a preliminary look without having worn it. That was several years ago. I have now worn the jacket on a number of winter trips and in very cold weather. I‘m going to insert updated observations at various points in italics rather than completely rewriting the review. INTRO: As noted, I have not yet used the jacket but wanted to provide some basic information. This will replace the down jacket I use to stay warm when I'm sitting still on winter trips in Northern New England and New York State.

Read more: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Peak XV Down Jacket reviews (7)

Patagonia Down Sweater

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (11 reviews)

The Patagonia Down Sweater is a fairly lightweight and highly packable warm layer. The down sweater's relatively roomy fit is great for layering and won't constrain movement. Based on a couple years experience, the jacket is very well made and will last for years with normal care. While it is not the lightest or most full-featured jacket and can be pricy unless you buy on sale, it is one of the more versatile puffy layers around. Highly recommended.

Reasons to Buy

  • Warm
  • Light
  • Well-made
  • Good basic features

Reasons to Avoid

  • There are better ultralight options
  • Can be pricey

I have had my Patagonia Down Sweater for a few years.  I use it a lot in the spring and fall on cooler days, particularly if I expect to sit still for a while, and as a layer on winter days where i'm not particularly active. It might be the perfect cool/cold night layer for sitting around in. I love the versatility of this jacket, and it has proved to be surprisingly durable. My size XL weighs 13 ounces on a digital hand scale. FIT: This jacket has what I think is an average fit in terms of length and girth, but it is clearly designed for layering as opposed to jackets that are trim 'active fit.' The sleeves are perfect for my height (I'm 5'10"), and the hem falls right around hip length.

Read more: Patagonia Down Sweater reviews (11)

Canada Goose Resolute Parka

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Owned three Resolute Parkas, lived and worked for years right there in Resolute Bay! I have mixed feeling about the Resolute. They are great for around camp or while doing labor that is kinetically abrasive. They are durable and warm, there is no doubt.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very tough, durable
  • Longevity
  • Very warm
  • Dependable overall
  • Tried and tested
  • Good utility functionality (clip spots for GPS, radio, etc.)

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not ideal for active users
  • Sweat builds up from mid back up to shoulders
  • In high arctic conditions, ice crystals build up in fabric fairly fast. Freezes up and loses its insulative properties on avg. of 6 days of use in -30° to -48°C conditions.
  • Hood style is not overly ergonomic despite wire frame

Besides living and working with it every day, I spent a year living on the land on Cornwallis Island with this parka and developed a love-hate relationship for it. Kuugaaruk,NU Sedentary it is awesome. Working doing labor that may compromise other gear, you will never be disappointed in its durability. But the outer main pockets had to be resewn and reinforced on my first two, and done preventatively for the last one. TALOYOAK, NU They will outlast you if you take care of the down. But on the move, it's a different beast.

Read more: Canada Goose Resolute Parka reviews (4)

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