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12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024]

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It is a gear evaluate concerning the Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets 2024.

On this evaluate of light-weight down jackets for 2024. The standard of down jackets are higher now than they’ve ever been.

In relation to staying heat a down jacket affords the most effective warmth-to-weight ratio of any jacket. They need to be part of each layering system when backpacking and may work effectively as an insulated windproof layer or mid-layer. Add a hardshell akin to a rain jacket and you can be tremendous heat on most chilly climate backpacking journeys.

Let’s check out the down jackets for day climbing, backpacking, and ultralight thru-hiking.

How We Examined

All of the Down Jackets on this evaluate have been extensively evaluated and researched by the professional creator who has greater than 30 years of expertise in Through-Mountaineering, Backpacking, Mountaineering, and Bike Touring. A few of the Ultralight Down Jackets have been bought and a few have been provided by the producer. They’ve been rigorously examined by the creator in all types of climate. The analysis, testing, and expertise of the creator have mixed to give you the Greatest Ultralight and Light-weight Backpacking Down Jackets for 2024. Learn the Evaluate Coverage for additional particulars.

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Greatest Light-weight Down Jackets for Backpacking 2024

The Greatest Light-weight Down Jackets for Backpacking in 2024 are:

Greatest Down Jacket – Total

Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody Evaluate

Arcteryx Cerium LT review
12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024] 51

Weight11.9 oz / 337 grams
Down Fill weight –
4 oz / 105 grams
Complete Loft – 3400 cubic inches
Down Fill Energy  –
850 loft down
Outer material
Climate-resistant Arato 15D material with DWR
Stuff sack

> Extremely light-weight.
> 850 fill down.
> Extra fragile materials than the opposite jackets reviewed
> Hydrophobic down be an enchancment for this down jacket

The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody is a brilliant light-weight down jacket that’s a lot hotter than it seems to be. This up to date mannequin has a barely thicker outer shell than the earlier mannequin which has elevated the load by virtually one ounce, however it’s nonetheless very light-weight and heat.

Though the Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody 850 fill-down jacket doesn’t use hydrophobic down, it does have a waterproof outer with DWR Therapy. A few of the excessive moisture areas use artificial insulation as a substitute of down. This results in stage of water resistance however the lack of hydrophobic down will maintain this jacket from being a favourite moist setting.

The outer materials of the jacket is a really light-weight material that’s windproof and powerful sufficient to resist gentle abuse. But it surely is a little more fragile and care is required to ensure it’s not destroyed by sharp sticks on the path. For climbing on trails, it’s good. Bashing your means by way of an unmarked path with sharp sticks in the midst of nowhere, possibly not.

Total, this light-weight down jacket for women and men makes use of excessive fill energy non-hydrophobic down and is without doubt one of the higher down jackets. It’s ultra-light and heat sufficient for thru-hiking all however the wettest of trails. The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody can be near the proper ultra-light-down jacket for climbing the Pacific Crest Path.

Greatest Ultralight Down Jacket

Zpacks Goose Down Jacket

Zpacks Goose Down Jacket
12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024] 52

Weight7.4 oz / 211 grams
Down Fill Weight
3.8 oz / 108 grams
Complete Loft – 
3610 cubic inches
Down Fill Energy  –
950+ loft down
Outer material
7D material with DWR
Stuff sack
stuffs into the chest pocket

> Ultralight and finest heat to weight
> 950+ Hydrophobic Down
> Very heat
> Good climate resistant materials and DWR
> No zips on the pockets
> 7D material just isn’t designed for any off-trail climbing
> Not the most cost effective

The Zpacks Goose Down Jacket is an impressively gentle down jacket. It’s not solely one of many lightest down jackets available on the market however the complete loft and heat of this jacket make it higher than virtually all the opposite jackets on this evaluate!

The Zpacks Goose Down Jacket is full of 950+ hydrophobic down. The baffles on the jacket are beneficiant sufficient to permit the right down to loft up properly and supply stage of heat.

To maintain the load down Zpacks have used a really skinny and light-weight 7 Denier material. Whereas this does a wonderful job of preserving the general weight of the jacket to a minimal it ought to be famous that it makes the jacket somewhat delicate, and due to this fact finest suited to climbing on trails or to be used at camp. Sporting this jacket for any off-trail climbing just isn’t really helpful.

The mix of the 7D material coated with a DWR and using hydrophobic down provides this jacket stage of water resistance. Whereas I’d not advocate that you just use this jacket within the rain, I examined this jacket in gentle rain and it retained its heat and loft. Good to know for those who ever get caught out in poor climate. However please deliver a light-weight rain jacket for unhealthy climate!

Throughout testing, I famous that the match of the jacket is sweet, with sufficient room to layer a fleece jacket beneath if wanted. Be very certain to comply with the sizing tips on the Zpacks web site, as they’re very detailed about what dimension you should purchase. In the intervening time they don’t have girls’s particular sizing, so girls ought to be aware of the hip dimension when shopping for. And for those who occur to be curvy then this jacket will not be for you.

The Zpacks Goose Down Jacket comes with 2 hand hotter pockets that should not have a zipper. The shortage of zips retains the load down, however storage of something is not going to be a good suggestion. They do job of preserving arms heat and positioned so that they don’t intrude with hip belts when backpacking.

It comes with an honest hood that has a toggle adjustment. The hood just isn’t the most effective compared to others on this evaluate, but it surely serves the aim of preserving the pinnacle heat whereas preserving the load down. It additionally has a toggle to regulate the waist which is a helpful characteristic does the job effectively.

The down jacket is saved within the zippered chest pocket which is beneficiant sufficient in dimension to make packing and unpacking simple.

Total, the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket is the most effective ultralight down jacket for 2024. Keep tuned for a full in-depth evaluate of this as I check the jacket for long-term sturdiness.

Greatest Light-weight Down Jacket

Feathered Buddies Eos Evaluate

Feathered Friends Eos Ultralight Down Jacket Review

Weight10.8 oz / 306 grams
Down Fill weight –
4 oz / 104 grams
Down Fill Energy –
900+ Fill loft down
Complete Loft
3600 cubic inches
Shell material – 
Pertex material 37g/m2 with DWR

> Pertex defend shell material.
> Top quality 900+ down.
> Nice heat to weight.
> No Hydrophobic down

The Feathered Buddies Eos has been up to date for the 2023 season to suit higher than the earlier model. They up to date the hood so it matches higher and added a chest pocket.

and has an general weight of 10.8 oz / 306 grams. This jacket affords a number of the finest heat to weigh of any jacket on this evaluate. The 105 g / 4 oz of 900 fill energy plus down makes this an important down jacket for its warmth-to-weight ratio, to not point out the brand new chest pocket that they added.

Add to that the standard ripstop nylon Pertex outer defend shell materials with DWR to dam the wind and unhealthy climate.

The one factor stopping the Feathered Buddies Eos Down Jacket from being the most effective on this evaluate is the shortage of hydrophobic down which makes this jacket, not as climate resistant as others.

However heat supplied for chilly mornings or nights in good climate this jacket makes this jacket an important selection. Excellent as an ultralight thru-hiking down jacket on the Continental Divide Path the place hikers want a barely hotter jacket than on different thru-hikes

Total, the Feathered Buddies Eos is without doubt one of the finest gentle weight down jackets available on the market. It feels a lot hotter than the light-weight would point out. Excellent as an gentle down jacket for thru-hiking. The usage of hydrophobic down would rocket this jacket to the most effective ultra-lightweight down jacket on this evaluate.

Greatest via Mountaineering Down Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hooded

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hoody Ultralight down jackets review

Complete Weight8.8 oz / 249 grams
Down Fill Weight
3 oz / 85 grams
Down Fill Energy
800 loft down
Complete Loft
2400 cubic inches
Shell material – 
10D ripstop material 30g/m2 with DWR End
Stuff sack
No, it stuffs right into a pocket.

> Ultralight
> very small pack dimension
> Excellent for the ultralight thru-hiker
> No hydrophobic down
> No changes within the hood

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 is without doubt one of the hottest Light-weight Down Jackets among the many ultralight thru-hikers of the world. An excellent mixture of a number of the lightest materials and no-frills designs mix to make this one of many prime picks.

The up to date Mountain {Hardware} Ghost Whisperer 2 down jacket doesn’t use hydrophobic down because it had beforehand. For my part, this can be a transfer backward but it surely has purchased the worth down somewhat which is optimistic.

Regardless of the shortage of hydrophobic down, it does have DWR end however general this jacket doesn’t fare effectively in damp circumstances.

One other factor used to maintain the load down is the elastic on the hood somewhat than an elastic draw chord. This helps maintain the general weight. Total the jacket works effectively and is a prime decide for the ultra-light thru-hiker.

I’d like to see the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 return to utilizing hydrophobic down as was the case on the earlier mannequin earlier than this replace.

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 is without doubt one of the finest light-weight down jackets for backpacking in 2024. Additionally it is some of the packable because it stuffs into its pocket. This jacket is finest suited to ultralight hikers akin to Through Hikers who need the Greatest Down Jacket for the Pacific Crest Path. This is without doubt one of the lightest down jackets with heat to weight ratio. Need one thing even smaller? In addition they make an ultralight down vest.

Greatest Backpacking Down Jacket

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody
12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024] 53

Weight15.1 oz / 428 grams
Down Fill Weight
5 oz / 142 grams
Complete Loft – 
4000 cubic inches
Down Fill Energy  –
800 loft down
Outer material
100% recycled ripstop nylon material with DWR
Stuff sack
No, jacket stuffs into chest pocket

> Fairly priced contemplating it’s Patagonia
> Heat
> Environmentally pleasant
> Not the lightest down jacket
> Cumbersome pack dimension

The Patagonia Down Sweater is without doubt one of the hottest down jackets on the planet. A mix of environmentally pleasant design, manufacturing, and light-weight match makes for an important down jacket.

I used and examined this down jacket whereas thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Path and Continental Divide Path. Whereas it could not charge as ultralight or in some instances not even light-weight, it does trustworthy job of preserving you heat.

As you’ll count on with Patagonia, they use a recycled nylon face material coated with a DWR. The down is an ethically sourced 800 loft.

The mix of the standard down, good face material, useful match and set of hand pockets, and chest pockets make for down jacket. Apart from the environmentally pleasant heritage, there’s nothing particular about this jacket. And that’s what makes it nice. No frills, no advertising hype. It simply works.

Total, the Patagonia Down Sweater is an effective, trustworthy backpacking-down jacket with out the frills and advertising hype. It simply works. In case you are heading off on the paths or touring the world, this is without doubt one of the finest backpacking down jackets available on the market in 2024.

Greatest Water Resistant Down Jacket

The North Face Summit Collection Breithorn Hoodie

The North Face Summit Series Breithorn Hoodie
12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024] 54

Weight16 oz / 454 grams
Down Fill Weight
Complete Loft –  unknown
Down Fill Energy  –
800 fill loft
Outer material – 
Recycled ripstop material with DWR Therapy
Stuff sac
No, packs into left hand pocket

> Hydrophobic Down.
> Recycled shell material with DWR
> Very heat.
> Top-of-the-line light-weight weather-resistant jackets.
> Heavier than the opposite jackets
> Not very compact.

The North Face Summit Collection Breithorn Hoodie is the just lately upgraded model of certainly one of my favourite Summit Collection jackets from The North Face. And like its predecessor, it packs a good diploma of climate resistance.

The recycled outer face material is coated with a PFC-free DWR end. And contained in the jacket, the 800 loft hydrophobic down resists water absorption. While you get caught out within the rain, that is the water resistant down jacket.

The North Face Summit Hoody could also be barely heavier than a number of the different jackets on this evaluate but it surely is without doubt one of the warmest. Making this higher suited to somebody who feels the chilly or heading into temperatures beneath freezing. It additionally packs up barely bigger than a number of the different jackets.

It comes with a generous-sized chest pocket and two outsized hand pockets. When not in use, the jacket folds into its left hand pocket for storage.

It is available in each a males’s model and a girls’s model.

Total, The North Face Summit Down Jacket is without doubt one of the higher waterproof Down Jackets for these heading into unhealthy climate or wanting one of many hotter jackets. High quality every little thing on this jacket. The added heat comes at the price of weight and it’s not probably the most compact of all of the jackets. One other jacket that’s good for moist chilly trails or early season begins on any of the Triple Crown Mountaineering Trails or the Te Araroa Path in New Zealand.

Greatest Down Jacket for Australia and New Zealand

Macpac Icefall Evaluate

Macpac Icefall Down Jacket Review

Weight10.5 oz / 300 grams
Down Fill Weight
3.3 oz / 95 grams
Down Fill Energy
800 loft Down
Complete loft
2640 cubic inches of down fill
Shell material – 
Pertex Quantum Y Fuse 100% recycled Ripstop with DWR
Hooded Jacket
Stuff sack
No, stuffs inside one of many two zippered hand pockets

> Extremely light-weight
> Most waterproof jacket on this evaluate
>Highest high quality every little thing
> Solely accessible in Australia and New Zealand

The Macpac Icefall was absolutely up to date in 2022 and is even higher than the earlier mannequin. I’ve been utilizing and testing this product for a number of years in all types of climates. Because of my testing I can say it is without doubt one of the finest down jackets available on the market. This well-thought-out jacket combines every little thing anybody may need from a tricky light-weight down jacket.

The outer shell materials has been absolutely up to date to the brand new high-quality Pertex Quantum Y fuse ripstop nylon that’s 100% recycled. It’s a robust, light-weight materials that could be a very waterproof material. The DWR remedy assists in making this extra waterproof than a lot of the different jackets on this check.

The addition of 800 loft fill energy Hydrophobic down makes for a jacket effectively capable of stand up to the extra a number of the worst climate. Not solely is there hydrophobic down however the areas almost certainly to get moist such because the shoulders and cuff space are stuffed with Artificial insulation within the type of Primaloft Gold. I’ve even been caught out in a big rainstorn with no rain jacket and this down jacket stored me dry.

The brand new Macpac Icefall is a slim to common match which is a lot better than the earlier mannequin and can match a lot better than the earlier mannequin.

These Light-weight Down Jackets can be completely suited to all however the coldest climbing journeys wherever on the planet and excellent for via climbing in moist locations such because the Te Araroa Path in New Zealand. This ultra-light down jacket girls’s sizing is just like the lads’s however with a greater match. I even know some males who put on girls’s down jacket.

Total, I feel the Macpac Icefall is without doubt one of the finest down jackets for 2024. It’s effectively thought out with all the most effective design options doable. One of many top-spec Water Repellant Down Jackets reviewed and a private favourite. However it’s only accessible in Australia and New Zealand at this stage.

Lightest Down Jacket

Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket Evaluate

Montbell Plasma Down Jacket Review

Complete Weight – 4.8 oz / 135 grams
Down Fill Weight –
1.6 oz / 45 grams
Down Fill Energy –
1000 fill ex down
Complete Loft –
1600 cubic inches
Outer material –
21g/m2 7 denier with DWR
Hood –
Pockets –
Stuff Sack –

> Ultralight
> Greatest heat to weight ratio
> Not utilizing hydrophobic down
> Non responsibly sourced down
> No Pockets or Hood

ir?t=bikehikesafari 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B00FFESFWQir?t=bikehikesafari 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B00FFESFWQWith a complete weight of solely 135 grams, this is without doubt one of the lightest down jackets on the listing.

For the hiker looking for out the lightest down jacket with among the finest warmth-to-weight ratios. However the most effective at school heat to weight ratio comes at a small price.

The 1.6 ounces of 1000-fill loft down is a a lot increased fill energy than any of the opposite down jackets reviewed. It’s not hydrophobic down like many different manufacturers but it surely does add as much as 1600 cubic inches of loft to maintain you heat. However this jacket is nowhere close to as heat because the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket which packs virtually 3 occasions extra loft than this jacket.

The jacket makes use of a really skinny shell materials. It’s a very gentle 7 denier material which mixed with among the finest DWR remedies does an okay job repelling water. However watch out of this jacket in unhealthy climate and watch out to not get this jacket caught on sharp sticks and branches when climbing. All of this combines to make an extremely light-weight jacket.

How sturdy is the 1000 loft down? Most individuals are inclined to agree that the candy spot for the standard vs sturdy down lies someplace between 750 fill and 900 fill energy loft. I’d count on many lengthy years of use out of this high quality jacket if taken care of and washed as wanted.

This ultralight jacket has no frills. This males’s ultra-light down jacket is the non hooded model with no pockets. This retains the general weight down which is the primary purpose to contemplate this extremely light-weight down jacket.

At 4.8 ounces or 135 grams, this can be a true ultralight weight jacket for the gram counting ultralight hiker or somebody eager to cowl enormous miles with all of the lightest doable gear. Simply watch out, it will not be as sturdy as the opposite jackets on this gear evaluate. Additionally it is not the most effective insulated jacket available on the market and never as heat because it seems to be. For the this jacket to be superior I wish to see a bit extra loft and only a bit extra down fill within the jacket.

Total, in case you are looking for the lightest down jacket on the listing with the most effective heat to weight ratio and the most effective packable down jacket then that is it. This extremely gentle packable down jacket merely is gentle in weight but it surely may very well be somewhat hotter. Additionally take into accout, this jacket has no hood.

Need one thing hotter with pockets and a hood? Take into account the Montbell Plasma 1000 Fill Energy Alpine Down Parka.

Greatest Finances Down Jacket

REI Co-Op 650 Down Jacket 2.0

REI Co Op 650 Down Jacket 2.0
12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024] 55

Complete Weight – 11 oz / 312 grams
Down Fill Weight –
4.2 oz / 119 grams
Down Fill Energy –
650 fill down
Complete Loft –
2730 cubic inches
Outer material –
Recycled Nylon
Hood –
Pockets –
Stuff Sack –
No packs into the left pocket

> Fairly priced
> Will maintain you heat sufficient, did I point out it’s low cost!
> Discontinued so won’t be in inventory within the close to future
> Heavy for the heat

The REI Co-Op 650 2.0 Down Jacket is neither the lightest nor the very best quality down jacket however is the most cost effective. In case you are searching for a price range down jacket then that is it.

It’s stuffed with 650 fill RDS down and has outer material. At 11 ounces it’s affordable for the load. Additionally, be aware that it’s now discontinued so it’s a actual cut price in the mean time.

Total, this is without doubt one of the finest males’s down jacket for these on a price range.

Down Jackets price Contemplating

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket Evaluate

Rab Microlight Alpine
12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024] 56

Weight 17oz / 470 grams
Down Fill Weight
5 oz / 143 grams
Down Fill Energy  –
750 fill loft down
Complete Loft
3750 cubic inches
Shell material
Climate resistant Pertex Quantum 32g/m2 with DWR coating
Stuff sac

> Very heat.
> Nice climate resistance.
> Fine quality supplies.
> Heavy.
> 750 loft down.

The 5 ounces of down creates an enormous 3750 cubic inches of right down to maintain you heat. Though the Rab Microlight Alpine is barely heavier than the opposite jackets on this evaluate it’s the warmest.

The Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket makes use of high-quality hydrophobic down, high quality DWR Therapy and among the finest within the enterprise outer shell materials materials, Pertex Quantum. It is a significantly weather-resistant jacket.

If solely this jacket was utilizing a better loft down akin to 800 plus and was somewhat bit lighter.

The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket has all the most effective options and all the most effective supplies, if solely the loft of the down was increased than 750 fill it will deliver down the general weight and improve the general high quality to make this among the finest down jackets. I’d like to see this jacket embrace 800 or 900 fill energy hydrophobic down.

Total, Rab makes a number of the finest out of doors gear, and this jacket isn’t any exception. For anybody heading off into chilly damp areas, this jacket can be an important match. Excellent for moist chilly trails akin to early season begins on any of the Triple Crown Mountaineering Trails or the Te Araroa Path in New Zealand.

Better of the Relaxation

The next is an inventory of superior Down jackets which are actually worthy of a glance:

  • Rab Neutrino – The Rab Neutrino is the massive brother of the Alpine jacket. It’s hotter, bulkier, heavier and higher suited as among the finest winter down jackets.
  • Katabatic Gear Tarn Down Jacket: The Katabatic Gear Tarn is made by the well-known quilt maker and appears to be effectively suited to damp chilly climate. I hope to be testing this jacket actual quickly.

Down Jacket Comparability Desk

Supply: Producers

Greatest Ultralight Down Jacket for Through-Mountaineering

Most thru-hikers solely put on a down jacket at night time or very first thing within the morning till the physique has warmed up. Mountaineering in a down jacket just isn’t widespread until the climate turns chilly and nasty.

The Greatest Extremely light-weight down jackets for thru-hikers are the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket, Feathered Buddies Eos, Arc’teryx Cerium, Ghost Whisperer 2, Macpac Icefall, and Montbell Plasma.

Every is underneath 300g and stand up to the tough remedy they are going to be put by way of. The Montbell Plasma is way and away the lightest however is nowhere close to as heat because the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket.

If climbing on moist thru-hikes such because the Appalachian Path or Te Araroa Path the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket, The North Face Summit Breithorn Hoodie and the Macpac Icefall are the stand out decisions.

Testing the best backpacking down jackets for this review
Testing to seek out the most effective backpacking down jacket

Greatest Down Jackets for Wet Climate

With hydrophobic down, high quality DWR repellent, and the most effective outer supplies it’s arduous to go previous the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket, Macpac Icefall, The North Face Summit Breithorn Hoodie, and Rab Microlight Alpine

The Macpac Icefall and Arc’teryx Cerium add artificial insulation into the excessive moisture areas that are prone to get moist akin to hoods, cuffs, and shoulders, however the lack of hydrophobic down actually lets it down in foul climate.

Total, the Macpac Icefall is the most effective down jacket for unhealthy climate, carefully adopted by the Rab Microlight Alpine and The North Face Summit Breithorn Hoodie that are each fairly a bit heavier however are each hotter jackets.

Greatest general Ultralight Down Jackets

Each single jacket on this evaluate may do one thing that might make them the standout winner and most suitable option. Because it stands a few jackets rise to the highest however may very well be improved.

The Zpacks Goose Down Jacket is the most effective ultralight jacket. With very excessive loft, good heat, high quality down and light-weight there’s little to fault.

The Feathered Buddies Eos would attain the highest spot if it used hydrophobic Down. It is vitally heat, gentle, match, and nice in all however wet climate. The identical may be mentioned for the Arcteryx Cerium.

The North Face Summit Breithorn Hoodie and Rab Microlight Alpine would attain the highest spot in the event that they have been lighter in weight. Regardless of being feature-rich, weather-resistant, and heat, they’re barely too heavy.

Montbell is ultralight in weight however missing in options. That is the most effective decide for the hiker who doesn’t care about pockets, hood, or climate resistance and needs the lightest jacket available on the market.

The Macpac Icefall ticks all of the bins for climate resistance, high quality, light-weight, and heat. It will take out the highest spot if it was accessible for non New Zealanders or Australians.

Total, I just like the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket and Macpac Icefall for climbing in unhealthy climate. For a mixture of heat and ultralight weight, I like Zpacks Goose Down Jacket, Arcteryx Cerium  and Feathered Buddies EOS.

Testing the Patagonia Down Sweater
Testing the Patagonia Down Sweater in Montana

Select a Down Jacket

The are a number of elements it’s essential to take into accounts when down jackets.

They need to be, light-weight, have high quality fill energy and fill weight of down and a few type of climate resistance is sweet within the type of Hydrophobic down, waterproof face material, and a DWR end.

One other vital consideration when shopping for a down jacket is that the down is responsibly sourced. The Accountable down commonplace ensures the down is traceable and sourced from animals that adjust to animal welfare requirements.

Options in a Light-weight Down Jacket

What options are vital in the most effective light-weight down jacket for backpacking?


For most individuals, a hood is tremendous vital. The necessity for a down jacket within the outdoor is to maintain heat. A hood is without doubt one of the best methods to do that. The added weight to the down jacket is price it. Most are adjustable with some type of light-weight conch wire to drag tight in windy climate.

Down Jacket hood
12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024] 57


Pockets are one other nice characteristic. Any hiker that has been hit by colder than anticipated temperatures will admire warming their arms of their pockets. Generally gloves aren’t sufficient. Different occasions you might have forgotten to deliver gloves with you.

Pockets are both within the chest space, abdomen space, or each. And so they can embrace a zipper or not.

Chest pockets make a helpful place to retailer one thing like a cellular phone or snacks when strolling. They’re typically used as a reversible stuff sack for jackets when they aren’t in use.

Hand pockets are finest suited as a spot to maintain arms heat. All of the jackets on this evaluate have their hand pockets situated in such a spot that it permits you to use a backpack and hipbelt. Whereas zippered hand pockets may be good, they are going to add to the load and aren’t at all times vital as one thing you want.

Down Jacket pockets
Down Jacket Pockets are a good suggestion

Down Jacket Storage

A stuff sack is a good concept to retailer the jacket. In any other case, the flexibility to pack the jacket into certainly one of its two zippered hand pockets or zippered chest pockets to make them packable when not being worn. All of the reviewed jackets have some type of storage technique.

Down jackets packed into their pockets for storage
Down jackets packed into their pockets for storage

Cinch Cords on hoods and Waist

Cinch cords on the hood and backside of the jacket are used to limit the quantity of chilly air getting into the jacket and supply the most effective match. Not all jackets have this characteristic and people who do are over people who don’t.

Some jackets use easy elastic stitched into the jacket to offer a decent match across the waist or hood. The cinch wire does add a small quantity of weight and value to the jacket however for probably the most half, that is thought of effectively price it. Some use a easy cinch wire on the hood to maintain it in place.

Conch cord on the waist of down jacket
Cinch wire on the waist to tighten to cut back air movement and maintain you heat

The heat of a Light-weight Down Jacket

The Greatest Down Jackets for Through Mountaineering or Bikepacking can be a compromise between light-weight and options.

It’s unlikely that the majority light-weight down jackets can be utilized by anybody climbing Mt Everest however they are going to actually be seen on backpacking journeys or thru-hiking trails such because the Pacific Crest Path, Appalachian Path, Continental Divide Path or Bikepacking the Nice Divide Mountain Bike Path.

All of the down jackets reviewed listed below are compact, light-weight, and heat sufficient for most individuals in temperatures round freezing. For temperatures considerably beneath freezing further layers can be wanted, particularly if at camp and inactive.

What’s Fill Energy and why Is it vital?

All the most effective down jackets ought to have a fill energy of 800 or increased. The quantity 800 fill energy refers to its lofting capability. If you happen to take 1 ounce of down it would increase or loft to 800 cubic inches. 850 will loft to 850 cubic inches and so forth. Total, Confused?

The video beneath does an important job of explaining every little thing to do with Fill Energy.

Water Resistance of a Down Jacket

Down doesn’t like getting moist. It tends to clump collectively and when that occurs it loses its capability to maintain you heat. To forestall that from occurring all the most effective down jackets use a tightly woven outer shell material to stop as a lot water as doable from making contact with the down.

Pertex is taken into account among the finest outer materials however many firms use related supplies that shield water from entering into the down as a lot as doable.

Some jackets use a small quantity of artificial insulation materials in areas with excessive contact with moisture akin to shoulder and arm cuffs.

Down jackets akin to Macpac Icefall and Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody use a small quantity of artificial fill materials within the shoulders and cuffs to stop excessive moisture areas from wetting out the down.

What’s Hydrophobic Down? And why it is best to use it in a down jacket

In recent times Nikwax has developed a hydrophobic down that resists the overwhelming majority of contact with water, therefore is ready to keep properly lofted if in touch with water.

Jackets with hydrophobic down ought to be thought of of upper high quality than these with out. I’ve a desire to make use of a jacket with hydrophobic down but it surely hasn’t at all times been that means. It supplies a safer choice if I’m carrying a jacket in unhealthy climate.

If heading out into unhealthy climate as I skilled on the Appalachian Path and Te Araroa Path in New Zealand, the next jackets can be good. The jackets beneath use hydrophobic down:

  1. Zpacks Goose Down Jacket
  2. The North Face Summit Breithorn Hoodie
  3. Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket
  4. Macpac Icefall

Watch the loopy video beneath which demonstrates how good hydrophobic down is.

What’s a DWR Coating and why do I would like it?

Consider the DWR end as being like placing a layer of wax on the automobile. It permits the water to bead and runs off the material. And like a layer of wax on a automobile, it doesn’t final without end, and finally, the DWR will put on off and the material will moist out.

The entire firms besides Out of doors Analysis use a DWR on the surface of the jacket. DWR stands for Sturdy Water Repellent.

Retreating the outer material with Nikwax TX Direct or related will make the material immune to water once more.

Testing the water resistance of the Zpacks goose down jacket
Testing the DWR and water resistance of the Zpacks Goose Down Jacket

restore Down Jackets

Down Jackets aren’t probably the most sturdy of outside gear. The usage of light-weight materials mixed with sharp sticks and branches, a spark from a campfire, or a fall in tough terrain can simply harm a down jacket.

A small rip or tear within the material will happen if used for a chronic time outdoor. There are two methods to restore the out material.

The primary and simplest way is to cowl the opening with some Tenacious Tape. Consider this tape because the superglue of material tapes. Lower to dimension a canopy the opening. Tenacious tape on a down jacket is an indication of a well-used jacket that has spent high quality time outdoor.

The second means is to stitch a patch over the broken layer of material. I choose the primary technique of utilizing Tenacious Tape as it’s low cost and it really works. I’ve used it many occasions over time to patch small holes.

Testing the Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket in cold weather
Testing the Patagonia Down Sweater on the Continental Divide Path

Greatest Worth Down Jackets

If the very best quality jacket prices a lot which you can’t afford to spend time outdoor or are too scared to take the jacket someplace for worry of damaging it then we’ve an issue. A few of the jackets reviewed are very well-priced and the shortage of some options makes them worthy of consideration.

A top quality down jacket will final a few years and if effectively cared for it’s price spending somewhat extra now for one thing that can final a few years within the nice outdoor.

Down Jackets vs Artificial Jackets

Artificial jackets are slowly however certainly catching as much as down jackets with their heat to weight to packability ratio. Materials like Polartec Alpha and Primaloft Gold are a number of the finest accessible in the mean time however they’re nonetheless inferior to down.

Down additionally has a ravishing capability to be compressed and lofted with out damaging the down. The identical can’t be mentioned for all synthetics simply but. I believe within the subsequent 10 years an artificial product will come alongside that can make down out of date. Watch this area.

Ultimately, synthetics will surpass down however the time just isn’t right here but.


With so many Down Jackets available on the market listed below are the most effective ones:

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BikeHikeSafari Gear Evaluate Course of

The creator, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small unbiased adventurer and out of doors gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.

BikeHikeSafari just isn’t half of a giant weblog community and is proudly unbiased. All opinions on this web site are unbiased and trustworthy gear opinions of outside merchandise by the creator.

The creator, Brad McCartney is a really skilled triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Learn extra). He was a supervisor of an out of doors retail retailer and may be very skilled in what’s vital when utilizing and testing gear for opinions like this.

BikeHikeSafari won’t ever obtain any cash for opinions and they don’t settle for sponsored opinions on this web site. All of the feedback concerning the gear opinions are from the creator based mostly on his years of expertise. Hope this unbiased evaluate was useful for you.

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