When you are in the market for the best insulation and cozy warmth, down jackets are your best option. Filled with choicest feathers from duck or geese, these down jackets give you heat at relatively lower weights than other insulation.Down jackets are especially important for your wardrobe if you have an active lifestyle in winter or indulge in winter sports. Down jackets also have consistent performance over long durations compared to other synthetic insulation. Many of them combine useful tricks like waterproofing like the best rain jackets, removable hoods, fleece-lined pockets etc. for a wholesome winterwear package. The parameters to judge the efficacy of a down jacket are numerous. We took all of them into account and rounded up 10 best down jackets for men.
What is down? What’s the difference between down jackets and synthetic jackets?
Down refers to the layer of feathers that rest under the rough outer layer of feathers of a bird. The down feathers used in down parkas and jackets come from ducks and geese mainly. Down has excellent insulation properties at low weights, hence the cult-following of the jackets.
Both down and synthetic jackets have their own perks. The down jackets offer the best warmth-to-weight ratio. It retains its insulation properties for a long time. Synthetic jackets are much more robust in general. They are quite durable on the outside. But this comes at the cost of weight.They are usually more water-resistant than the down insulation. “We have also written a complete guide about best winter jackets for men“.
Down jacket terminology
There are some terms that are thrown around casually when talking about down jackets. These play an important part in indicating their efficiency:
Fill power:Fill power is an indirect measure of the insulation capacity of down in terms of warmth-to-weight ratio. Fill power is the cubic inches value than one ounce of down occupies. For two jackets with same number of ounces of down, the one with higher fill power will be warmer.
Loft: The loft of the down simply denotes its fluffiness. It is determined by the fill power of the down.
Mature down:Usually down feathers are taken from birds raised for food consumption. They are taken when the birds reach around 4 months of age. However, feathers taken from a mature bird are much warmer and hence costlier.
Baffles:The little square pockets of feather formed on the body of down jackets are called baffles. The jacket is either sewn through both inner and outer layers in a quilt pattern. Or you can have box baffle jackets where each pocket is individually created. Both have their perks. Box baffle jackets are generally costlier, warmer and heavier.
If the down jacket concept baffles you, you can look at the Best winter jackets for men<Insert link to article Best Winter Jackets for Men> section for more choices.
Which are the best down jackets for men?
Down jackets are tricky to judge. You need to have proper information about types of downs, age of down and fill-power to make an informed choice. Then there are factors specific to the product like fitment, convenience etc.. So after making a thorough study we found the top 10 down jackets for men based on:
Warmth-by-weight:We are talking jackets. Warmth is our first priority. We check the fill-power of the downs and their quantity in the jacket. We checked how much warmth was provided for the weight of the jacket. We also checked how effectively warmth was retained in the jackets with drawstrings and cuff-locks.
Construction:A warm jacket may feel cumbersome if the fit is not right. If the shoulders are too tight or sleeves of the down jacket are stiff, you might feel restricted in your movements. Usually a moderate fit works for everyone. Leaner guys prefer the athletic fitment so that jacket looks pleasing on them. We chose both kinds for our best down jackets for men list.
Water-resistance:If you are opting for down jackets, you, most likely, stay in a snow-bound area. Or you could be planning ski-trips. So water-resistance becomes a key factor in determining the value of down jackets. Many of the best down jackets for men we selected here are Gore-Tex lined, DWR-coated or made of other proprietary water-resisting materials.
Durability:Since you are investing so much money into down jackets, you want to be sure that it lasts. The insulation of down will survive. The face fabric which forms the outer coating should also be durable. The best down jackets for men are equipped with reliable face-fabric, grommets, button zippers etc.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer men’s down jacket packs a sucker punch in its lean body. It is not the hottest down jacket on this list. But the amount of warmth it provides for the thickness is literally jaw dropping. We instantly fell for the vibrant color options as well. You can wear just this jacket or use it as a middle layer at high altitudes. Its lightweight comfort lends you agility in scaling high peaks at peak winter. We picked it up for the top spot on the best down jackets for men list right away.
The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer men’s down jacket is a bare-bones article of clothing. It only sports one zipper in the front and two handwarmer pockets on the sides.These are closed by a zip again. There’s a hood extending from the neck. But it has no drawstring. The whole jacket has a shiny Nylon exterior. This is covered by a quilted design which also helps with better insulation. There are 17 colors available in this down jacket, from black to Cherrybomb Red.
The 7D Nylon exterior of Ghost Whisperer hooded down jacket hides 800D- fill down insulation. The coat weighs only 7.4 ounces. That’s an unbelievable figure for a down jacket. The warmth you get from such a light jacket is superlative. That’s the main reason it clinched the top spot on this list. The architecture is kept austere to cut the weight. The Q-Shield Down used in this jacket is hydrophobic, so it resists water to some extent. If you get majorly drenched, then Ghost Whisperer will pay the price and get wet.
This men’s down jacket is easy to stow into one of its own pockets for packing. The fabric is not as durable as that of Arcteryx Cerium LT . But its holds through some steep climbs. There is no drawstring around the hood. We would have liked this option to adjust the fitment. The arms of the coats are slightly longer than usual. This closes off the cold from getting in through the wrist area.
The Arcteryx Cerium LT men’s down jacket hasfew technicalities in its quiver that buy it one of the top spots on the best down jackets for men list. Only slightly heavier than the Ghost Whisperer, this hoody packs some extra warmth as well. It is slightly more durable which adds to its weight. Ghost whisperer had a higher warmth-on-weight ratio. Cerium LT has also experimented with the fill and it has treated some common moisture issues with jackets.
The exteriors of Arcteryx Cerium LT men’s down jacket look much like that of Ghost Whisperer. It is glossy on the outside. The quilt pattern is all over the jacket and looks classy. There are two handwarmer pockets on either side with zips to close them. The hood covers most of the face and has a drawstring to tighten it. But it fits well either way. There are 19 colors in this down jacket.
Cerium LT men’s down jacket has a lot of things going on for it. The jacket is coated with a durable water repellent. It will fade over time but we are glad to have it. There are drawstrings to limit the influx of air at the hem and the hood. The hem drawstring is quite useful and was one trait we missed in the Ghost Whisperer.
This jacket is insulated by 850-fill down in the core body and sleeves. Some strategic areas like under the arms, on the shoulder and the cuffs, have synthetic Coreloft that is claimed to provide extra water-resistance at these areas. However, they are tougher to dry once they get wet. So the Composite mapping works in some situations and not in others.
Cerium is warmer than the Ghost Whisperer, but we found the latter to have better fit as an outer layer. Also it was warmer for its weight. Cerium LT’s outer shell is much more durable than Ghost Whisperers so we get more use out of it. Arcteryx says that it’s designed to be a single or a midlayer.
Highly durable with vibrant colors
Synthetic waterproof insulation in moisture-prone areas
Rab Neutrino Endurance men’s down parka is a heavy-duty winterwear. With the warmest performance of the lot, water-resistance, snug fitment and trippy colors, the Neutrino checks a lot of the right boxes. As a standalone jacket it’s almost thrice the weight of the Ghost Whisperer. But if weather-protection takes precedence over agile movement, the Neutrino jumps the wagon straight to the best down jackets for men list.
The Rab Neutrino Endurance is a baffled down parka which extends all the way to your thighs. Even when you are seated on a cold bench, the seat will be covered by the water-resistant face fabric. The down-filled hood cinches tight to your head via a Velcro strap. There are two handwarmer pockets with water-resistant zips. One internal pocket gives you space to store important items like your phone and keep them dry.
The jacket looks brawny because of the down filling. But the fit is snug and comfortable. It’s not unnecessarily boxy for an outer layer of clothing.
The 30D Nylon face-fabric ofRab Neutrino Endurance men’s down parka hides 800-fill power Goose Down. It uses Pertex Endurance outer shell which is water-resistant to light sprinkle and snow. The down inside also repels water. There are adjustable drawstrings at the hem and elastic closures at the wrist to seal against cold wind and moisture.
The handwarmer pockets of this down jacket are fleece-lined on one side. The hood has a creative design with aVelcro strap to tighten it. It rolls back towards your neck and can be tucked as a roll using a strap. This is a useful additionwhen you want the hood off and out of the way. On account of the exhaustive down filling and Pertex covering, it weighs 22 ounces. It comes with a separate stuff sack that comes to the size of a tiny pillow when stuffed.
Arcteryx is not done being on the 10 best down jackets for men list. Their Arcteryx Camosunmen’s down parka is a wonderfully endowed jacket with all sorts of weather-resistance built into it. It is a handsome jacket which will do equally well in a ski-resort and a business meeting. The snap-off hood makes it even more versatile in its use. With its composite mapping, it gives the Rab Neutrino Endurance down parka a run for its money, except for the down-fill power.
Arcteryx Camosun down parka has a unique look that can handle both casual date night and uptown business meeting. It puts the baffles on the interiors and keeps the outer face fabric looking smooth. There are two pockets for warming your hands. They are discreetly placed under an outer flap. Inside, you have a lengthy pocket to store the essentials that should not get wet.
This down jacket for men has a removable hood lined with synthetic insulation. It comes in three colors: black, carbon steel and Aramon red.
The most coveted feature of the Arcteryx men’s down jacket is the Gore-Tex face-fabric. It gives you the best water-resistance amongst the contenders in this list. The seams on this jacket have been sealed so that water does not make use of that flaw to get in. You can slide through ice caves without worrying about tearing it or getting the jacket wet.
Down Composite mapping also places European goose down (750 fill-power) at the core areas and synthetic insulation in areas like hood, underarms and shoulders. The wrist area has an elastic liner that keeps the water from entering your territories. The collar of the jacket extends high on the neck. The snaps for attaching the hood are placed on this collar. The hood itself can be closed with a draw cord.
Patagonia men’s down jacket is an uncomplicated winter wear which gives you the one thing you need most, warmth. This lightweight jacket has few features but it executes them well. It is easy to carry around and convenient to use. It cocoons you in warmth instantly and gives youthe swag necessary to swagger around the town casually. It is fragile compared to the Arcteryx Cerium LT down jacket, hence its place few pegs down on the best down jackets for men’s list.
The men’s down sweater jacket from Patagonia has the baffled architecture. You can see the uniform quilt pattern outside. The main zipper has a storm flap that prevents rainwater from seeping in through the zipper. It has two handwarmer pockets with zippers. Internally, it has one more pocket to stow your items that need to remain dry.
There’s also a hooded version of this down jacket. The overall fitment is straight. It will accommodate all body types without being too boxy. It can easily house midlayers inside. There are 24 colors of this jacket including simple black to peppergrass green.
Patagonia uses 800-fill power traceable down for this men’s down jacket. By ‘traceable’, Patagonia implies that the goose down can be traced back to birds that were never live-plucked or force-fed. They use recycled Polyester Ripstop fabric. Patagonia claims its durable but customers complained of rips from moderate abrasions. The shell is DWR-coated so it is appreciably water-resistant.
There’s a drawstring at the waist that allows you to block heat at your torso. It doesn’t have any technicalities like the Arcteryx Camosun. But it is soft and comfortable for continuous use. We didn’t find our movement being restricted bythe build. It weighs only 15 ounces. It is heavier than the Ghost Whisperer but considerably warmer too. It is not as compact as the latter when folded though.
If you are tired of glossy baffles and want a more muted look, Arcteryx Thorium SV down jacket could be right down your alley. This jacket is an absolute force in terms of heat, durability and comfort. It is the Hummer of winter wear. You can opt for it for heavy-duty winter use. Water and weather are no match for it. On top of it, it’s reasonably-priced, nothing close to the relatively less technical Canada Goose Hybridge jacket. It occupies its own toasty warm place on the best down jackets for men list.
Arcteryx Thorium SV men’s down jacket ensures you step out suave even in peak winters. Built athletically, this jacket gives you a nice, flattering fit. In spite of its puffy insulation, it looks narrow and properly draped on the body. If you figure has been tainted by one too many beers and steaks, then refer to the size chart given by Arcteryx for the best fit.
There is a single sided zipper running through its length. The two handwarming pockets are also zipped. Internally, there’s one zipped pocket and one dump pocket, a point that many other jackets on the list forego.The hood is permanently attached. It is available in some very attractive and discreet colors with the logos done in contrast colors.
The Arato 40 face-fabric used by the Arcteryx Thorium SV men’s down jacket is a sturdy shell that forms long-lasting partnership with the 750-fill power down. It is primarily built for mountaineering and winter sports so the tough quality is a big advantage. Its weight comes up to 21.7 ounce in total. But given its warmth, it can be used standalone with minimal insulation inside.
Apart from being wear-resistant, the Arato fabric is water-resistant due to its DWR treatment. The hoods, cuffs and underarm areas are stuffed with synthetic Coreloftinsulation. This insulates even when these areas are wet and helps with moisture wicking when you sweat.The hood and the wrists are tightened by elastic. We would have appreciated a drawstring or Velcro cuffs for better fitment.
If you have deep pockets and want something as light and warm as the Ghost Whisperer but more technical, Canada Goose Hybridge Lite men’s down jacket is the product. Ridiculously expensive for a simple jacket, this one is has high warmth for its lowly weight. It is a jacket which makes active movement even easier with Tensile-Tech feature. With a handful of useful features, this hoody jumps right into the best down jackets for men pool.
Hybridge Lite men’s down jacket is a highly casual winter-wear. The first thing we noticed was the length. It is comparatively shorter than some of the other jackets in this list. Some people might find the length suitable, especially for physical activities in the cold. We liked this length or else we would go for a parka for Arctic cold. It has one storm flap with zipper running down the center. It has a double zipper which isn’t particularly important on a jacket of this length. It has two breast pockets and two hand warmers. All pockets are zippered shut.
The fit of this men’s down jacket is athletic. If you are bulkier in build, go for a bigger size. It is not as puffy as the Incandescent. Rather it looks pretty smart on men.
For its extravagant price, the Canada Goose Hybridge men’s jacket has relatively few features. But its fitment and comfort cannot be matched by a jacket any cheaper than this. The cut and look of the jacket is something that can only be found in premium clothes. It uses the Feather-Lite 10D face-fabric and 800 fill-power Hutterite White Goose Down. Together, these rake up a weight of only 8 ounces on the scale. We were mighty impressed by the warmth it could provide at this weight.It surpassed Ghost Whisperer easily in this regard.
This men’s down jacket uses Tensile-Tech fabric insert on the side and underarms to improve breathability and fitment. As a result, it is perfect for working outside in the cold. If you are leading a polar expedition, this would be must have jacket in your arsenal.It can be packed into its own pocket and it fluffs back up easily.There is little water-resistance shown by this jacket and that is its biggest letdown.
The Outdoor Research men’s Incandescent down jacket comes in a Supernova/Diablo version and we could not take our eyes off them. That’s how we ended up checking it out. This down jacket is quite similar to the Ghost Whisperer, except that it’s warmer and heavier than it. The trippy supernova color and the alluring pattern on the jacket make it hard to pass up on. We jogged it right into our best down jackets for men list.
The glossy exteriors that we found in many jackets like Arcteryx Cerium LT etc. make an entrance with Incandescent men’s down jacket as well. The quilt pattern on the jackets is diamond-shaped instead of being uniform squares and rectangles like in Cerium. This gives it a distinctive look that we treated with huge brownie points. It has a full double zipper running down the front. There are two hand warmer pockets with zips to close them. There is an exterior breast pocket accessed via a vertical zipper. The branding remains minimal with just a small ‘OR’ logo near the breast pocket. The hood of the jacket is permanently attached and covers most part of the head.
The fitment of this men’s down jacket is moderate. It fits people of all body types. However, because of the stuffed filling, it looks puffy. If you value warmth over rotund looks, then Incandescent is the jacket for you.
The Outdoor Research Incandescent men’s down jacket has a double zipper down the front. Since the jacket is fluffy, this facility allows you to sit properly if you pull up the lower zipper. There’s a drawcord at the hem to close the bottom of the jacket down to wind. The cuffs also have a stretchy lining which fits tight over the wrist and keeps moisture and cold at bay. This jacket is water-resistant courtesy the DWR –coated Pertex face-fabric.The storm-flap under the main zipper prevents water from entering through the zippers.
This down jacket uses 800+ fill power down jacket. It weighs 17.9 ounces, more than double of the Ghost Whisperer. It is quite toasty, though not as hot as the Rab Neutrino Endurance. Incandescent is slightly more breathable though.One of the pocket of Incandescent doubles as a sack into which the jacket can be stuffed.
Outdoor Research has done its market research. That’s why it has so many products on the best down jackets for men list.The Floodlight men’s down jacket is the encore. It has many useful features. It is versatile in its use. So we picked it up to test. The warmth and convenience were decent. And we didn’t find any glaring issues with the construction. So we flooded the best down jackets for men list with Outdoor Research jackets. Goes well with the best hiking boots for outdoor activities.
The Outdoor research Floodlight men’s down jacket has a baffled construction. The baffles are wide and long and look slightly more stylish than Ghost Whisperer. The front zipper has internal storm flaps. There are two zippered handwarmer pockets. There’s one Napolean pocket on the chest. Two internal pockets increase the storage space inside it.
The fit of this down jacket is moderate-to-wide. It does not flatter the athletic build of guys. The Pewter/lemongrass combination looks quite rich.
The sewn through baffles connect the outer Nylon shells and are lined with polyester inside. It carries 800-fill power down inside to keep us toasty. The jacket looks puffy and the fit is moderate. So it made us look huge.It is also on the heavy side at 21 ounce. It is warm enough to be a standalone down jacket.The hems and cuffs are adjustable and can be closed to keep the wind outside. They can be opened to keep you ventilated. The hood has a drawcord to adjust the fitment. Hood is also wire-brimmed for proper alignment.
The Pertex shell of the jacket is water-resistant. Only consistent contact with water will saturate it. The jacket can be folded into its own pocket and is easy to carry.
The Outdoor Research Transcendent men’s down jacket is anall-round performer. It is not outstanding in any respect but it’s convenient and can be paired with a simple inner layer for Alaskan cold. Its dexterity is supported by a long life. Its abrasion-resistant shell keeps it spick and span after prolonged use. It has executed the design very well and earns high points for that. It gradually impressed us so much that we Transcended it straight to the best down jackets for men list.
If you like a normal amount of gloss but nothing as muted as the Arcteryx Thorium SV, then Transcendent men’sd own jacket will be your jam. It has a nice shiny tone in colors like Diablo and lemongrass which do not look loud.The normal baffled pattern covers it uniformly. The center chain has a single zipper tab. The handwarmer pockets are zipped shut.
It has a vertical pocket on the chest. There are other internal pockets which can be used to stow your mountaineering supplies. The fitment is moderate build. So if you have more pounds on your body than you should have, this down jacket will fit you true to the size.
The 20D Polyester face-fabric of the Outdoor research Transcendent men’s down jacket contains 650-fill power down. It weighs around 15 ounces and provides suitable warmth for its weight. Most of its weight also goes into the longer zipper tabs built for tactile advantage. They are easier to open with gloves on. It has light water-resistance. It can take normal ice slides and slight rain. The main zipper also has internal storm flap to prevent water from creeping in.
The hood and waist of this down jacket have drawcords to tighten them. They also have elastic in the cuffs of the sleeves to keep the cold out. You can stuff the jacket into its own left pocket and it converts into a fluffy pillow.