It features premium fill down, a fully waterproof 2-layer shell a rarity in the down jacket world , and nice touches like pit zips and a two-way front zipper to regulate heat. Karrimor Sierra Weathertite Jacket Ladies. For commuting, urban use, and après-ski, the Lodge Jacket is a very attractive option. These issues aside, the Rab is an exceptionally warm and comfortable winter piece. Truffle Taupe-Dark Beige, Beautiful!
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Given the meager 1. A casual piece from Marmot at a reasonable price point. Low fill power and sheds feathers. Marmot is known for outerwear, and rain jackets in particular.
With fill down, it does have one of the lowest fill powers on this list competitors like the REI Co-op Down Jacket and Outdoor Research Transcendent use fill down. Aside from price, the Marmot Tullus is pretty bare bones. But if you can find it on sale, the Tullus is one of the cheaper down jackets available from a top brand.
Down Sweaters The down sweater is the most casual category of down jacket. But they perform well for everyday use, travel, light adventuring, and layering for winter sports. The temperature range for these jackets depends on factors like layering and exertion, but we find that down sweaters are suitable for approximately 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit 2 to 15 degrees Celsius. Ultralight Down Jackets Ultralight down jackets are designed for backpacking, climbing, backcountry skiing, and other outdoor pursuits where every ounce matters.
These down jackets generally have similar fill weights as down sweaters, but are ultralight due their use of premium down fill power , thin shell fabrics denier , and minimalist zippers and pockets.
They are high quality jackets in general, and if you are willing to take a little extra care to avoid damaging the shell, we prefer ultralights over down sweaters due to their warmth-to-weight ratio and athletic fit that's easy to layer. They still look great too, although the designs do have more of a performance cut. They also are far puffier than the other categories with more down, and as a result take up quite a bit more space in your pack.
Because of this, we only bring them along if the extra warmth is absolutely necessary. At the warmest end of the spectrum are heavyweight winter jackets and parkas. It all starts with that lofty and premium warmth that can only be found in a down-filled product. Down insulation functions so effectively because the loose clusters of feathers are great at trapping body heat.
But unlike down sleeping bags, which have an official EN rating system that tests and measures their warmth on a concrete scale, down jackets are more like the Wild West.
Below is information that should help you fill in the gaps. Fill Power Fill power fill, fill, fill, etc. The number is calculated based on how much space one ounce of down clusters takes up in a cylindrical tube. This is known as the amount of loft, and the more loft a jacket has, the more body heat it traps and the warmer you will be. Put another way, achieving the same amount of warmth with a lower fill power requires more down, adding weight and bulk to achieve the same comfort goals.
At this level of quality, you reap the highly touted benefits of down insulation: Some high-end climbing brands like Feathered Friends and Montbell use fill down, but that high of a number is a rarity and fill is considered premium.
Fill weight is the actual amount of down stuffed into a jacket, measured in ounces. For example, if Jacket A has 6 ounces of fill down and Jacket B has 3 ounces of fill down, you can expect that Jacket A will be significantly warmer we estimate that it would increase comfort levels in low output activities by approximately degrees. Lower fill power down offers less warmth per ounce, so to compare apples to apples you should use similar fill powers. We find it interesting that fill weight is much less publicized than fill power, which leads to a lot of confusion for shoppers who associate higher fill power as always meaning more warmth.
Down Fill and Insulation Explained. Factors like fit, layering, your levels of exertion and circulation, and wind all play a role. Generally, we think of down sweaters and ultralights—which usually have between 2 and 4 ounces of fill weight—as providing solid warmth in conditions ranging from around 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit 2 to 15 degrees Celsius with low levels of exertion, such as puttering around a campsite. More fill will help you move toward the bottom end of the range and less will push you toward the middle.
A cozy baselayer can buy you an extra 5 to 15 degrees depending on its thickness and quality. These types of jackets are very popular for three-season alpine use and in cities for everything but the heart of winter. When the mercury drops below freezing, you will be more comfortable wearing a true midweight or heavyweight down jacket for winter. The fill weight of these jackets should be 4 ounces at the absolute minimum and often is in the range of 5 to 6 ounces or more the Rab Neutrino Endurance and Montbell Mirage Parka.
For bitter cold and climbing the highest peaks, an even heavier down parka may be in order. For uses like backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, ski touring, or whenever you have to lug around your own gear, the total weight of your down jacket should play a significant role in your buying decision.
As a result of all the fun tech, they also cost considerably more than your typical down sweater. We keep a close eye on the ratio of fill weight to total weight to see what lengths the manufacturer went to trim weight the shell denier is a good hint too, and more on that below. Three of our ultralight picks have healthy amounts of premium down and are relatively light at around 10 ounces or less for the hooded versions.
Some even opt for a pullover style to cut out half of the zipper. No matter what the manufacturer names a jacket, keep a close eye on fill weight and total weight to make your own determination. Denier D is the measurement of the weight of a thread, and the lower the number the lighter the weight.
A lower denier rating means the material is less durable and more prone to abrasion. Much of the difference in weight of an ultralight jacket is trimmed by using a lower denier fabric for the shell.
Other factors like premium down it provides the most warmth for the least amount of weight and ultralight zippers play a role as well, but the shell fabric is most important. Almost every jacket on this list is made with reasonably lightweight shell fabrics.
The thinnest jacket is the Montbell Mirage Parka, which has a very fragile 7D shell, and the thickest is the Mountain Equipment Lightline , which has a 40D shell. If ounces matter and you intend to use the jacket in the backcountry, treat yourself to an ultralight.
If most of your use will be in the city, a down sweater is sturdier and should save you money in the process. Down enthusiasts love its compressibility and for good reason. An ultralight jacket like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer can be stuffed into its own pocket and end up much smaller than a Nalgene bottle. The tiny packed size means you have little reason to leave it behind, and can fit it easily into either a daypack or overnight backpacking pack.
Keep in mind that the higher the fill power the more easily it will compress. Fabric thickness also plays an important role, and thinner denier fabrics logically pack down smaller. Along with warmth for the weight, compressibility is an area where down absolutely dominates synthetic insulated jackets. Down feathers unfortunately lose much of their ability to insulate when wet, turning into a clumpy and soggy mess.
Recently, gear manufacturers have started treating down to make it more water resistant. Another way that gear manufacturers fight moisture is a DWR Durable Water Repellant treatment on the outside on the jacket. This treatment helps prevent water droplets from forming and entering your jacket—essentially the water has a harder time staying on the fabric and beads up and rolls off instead. Neither a DWR finish nor hydrophobic down will keep your down completely dry, but they make nice lines of defense against light to moderate precipitation.
Fit is jacket-specific, but there are two main considerations here. First, down sweaters have a more casual fit than ultralight or performance jackets, including boxier torsos, arms, and hoods when available. Fit also varies significantly by brand.
The Patagonia jackets on the list are surprisingly boxy given their quality and feature sets. Outdoor Research and REI jackets are middle of the pack in terms of fit: Most down jackets on this list are offered in hooded and non-hooded versions. For casual use or as a midlayer for skiing, many people opt for a down vest or go without the hood and carry a separate beanie instead.
For a deeper dive into the topic, see our article: However, down still has no replacement at least for now. The warmth-to-weight ratio is unparalleled, as are compressibility and comfort.
For the ultimate in lightweight warmth, we break down the year's top down jackets from ultralight to winter weight. Best Overall Down Jacket 1. What About Synthetic Jackets? The popular Patagonia Down Sweater The temperature range for these jackets depends on factors like layering and exertion, but we find that down sweaters are suitable for approximately 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit 2 to 15 degrees Celsius.
Rab's Neutrino Endurance is made for frigid winter conditions Warmth It all starts with that lofty and premium warmth that can only be found in a down-filled product. Down fill creeping out after an unfortunate tear We find it interesting that fill weight is much less publicized than fill power, which leads to a lot of confusion for shoppers who associate higher fill power as always meaning more warmth. Level of activity has a big impact on the temperature scale Generally, we think of down sweaters and ultralights—which usually have between 2 and 4 ounces of fill weight—as providing solid warmth in conditions ranging from around 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit 2 to 15 degrees Celsius with low levels of exertion, such as puttering around a campsite.
The Mountain Equipment Lightline is excellent in below freezing temperatures Weight For uses like backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, ski touring, or whenever you have to lug around your own gear, the total weight of your down jacket should play a significant role in your buying decision.
The Ghost Whisperer has a thin 7Dx10D shell but is great for climbing and ultralight backpacking Almost every jacket on this list is made with reasonably lightweight shell fabrics. Compressibility Down enthusiasts love its compressibility and for good reason. A compact stuffed size is one of the main benefits of a down jacket Hydrophobic Down and DWR Treatment Down feathers unfortunately lose much of their ability to insulate when wet, turning into a clumpy and soggy mess.
The fit isn't for everyone, but we love the trim cut on the Cerium LT The Patagonia jackets on the list are surprisingly boxy given their quality and feature sets. Hood or No Hood? We prefer hooded down jackets for backpacking What About Synthetic Jackets? Learn More About Outdoor Gear. We take a great deal of pride in researching, testing, and presenting the best gear on the market across a wide range of activities like hiking, camping, skiing Down jackets have a reputation for being bulky, restrictive, and fragile, and therefore often stay on the ground or stuffed away in a pack during a day of skiing or climbing.
Winters are harsh in the U. This simple layering piece is super cozy, adds warmth to your core, is easy to throw over a flannel, and less bulky and cheaper than a full jacket. The company is known Our picks for the best winter jackets and parkas below are among the warmest on the market—they are packed with From backcountry ski tours to mountaineering in some of the most inhospitable weather on Earth, a 4-season tent is the last line of defense between you and the elements.
Accordingly, these tents are much stronger View the discussion thread. Add adventure to your inbox. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer. Black Diamond Cold Forge Hooded. Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka. Comes in Camel, Size M R. A hooded back adds extra warmth to this soft alpaca blend coat. Like the outback in Austra Compare at 3 Sellers. Comes in Camel, Size L R. This stylish Calvin Klein anorak will keep you protected from wet weather.
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