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12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024]

12 Greatest Ultralight Down Jackets [2024]


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

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

In terms of staying heat a down jacket affords the very best warmth-to-weight ratio of any jacket. They need to be part of each layering system when backpacking and might work nicely as an insulated windproof layer or mid-layer. Add a hardshell akin to a rain jacket and you’ll 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 assessment have been extensively evaluated and researched by the skilled writer who has greater than 30 years of expertise in Via-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 writer in all types of climate. The analysis, testing, and expertise of the writer have mixed to give you the Greatest Ultralight and Light-weight Backpacking Down Jackets for 2024. Learn the Evaluation 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 Evaluation

Arcteryx Cerium LT reviewArcteryx Cerium LT review

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
Hood
Sure
Pockets
Sure
Stuff sack
Sure
Professionals:

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

The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody is an excellent light-weight down jacket that’s a lot hotter than it appears to be like. This up to date mannequin has a barely thicker outer shell than the earlier mannequin which has elevated the load by nearly 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 Remedy. A few of the excessive moisture areas use artificial insulation as an alternative of down. This results in a great degree of water resistance however the lack of hydrophobic down will preserve this jacket from being a favourite moist surroundings.

The outer materials of the jacket is a really light-weight material that’s windproof and robust sufficient to face up to delicate abuse. However it is a little more fragile and care is required to ensure it isn’t destroyed by sharp sticks on the path. For climbing on trails, it’s good. Bashing your means by means 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 likely 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 JacketZpacks Goose Down Jacket

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
Hood
Sure
Pockets
Sure
Stuff sack
stuffs into the chest pocket
Professionals:

> Ultralight and greatest heat to weight
> 950+ Hydrophobic Down
> Very heat
> Good climate resistant materials and DWR
Cons:
> No zips on the pockets
> 7D material 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 in the marketplace however the whole loft and heat of this jacket make it higher than nearly all the opposite jackets on this assessment!

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

To maintain the load down Zpacks have used a really skinny and light-weight 7 Denier material. Whereas this does a superb job of protecting the general weight of the jacket to a minimal it ought to be famous that it makes the jacket somewhat delicate, and subsequently greatest suited to climbing on trails or to be used at camp. Carrying this jacket for any off-trail climbing isn’t advisable.

The mixture of the 7D material coated with a DWR and using hydrophobic down offers this jacket a great degree of water resistance. Whereas I might not suggest 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 carry a light-weight rain jacket for dangerous 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 observe the sizing pointers on the Zpacks web site, as they’re very detailed about what measurement you can purchase. In the mean time they don’t have girls’s particular sizing, so girls ought to be aware of the hip measurement when shopping for. And for those who occur to be curvy then this jacket might not be for you.

The Zpacks Goose Down Jacket comes with 2 hand hotter pockets that shouldn’t 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 a great job of protecting palms heat and positioned in order that they don’t intrude with hip belts when backpacking.

It comes with an honest hood that has a toggle adjustment. The hood isn’t the very best compared to others on this assessment, however it serves the aim of protecting the pinnacle heat whereas protecting the load down. It additionally has a toggle to regulate the waist which is a helpful characteristic does the job nicely.

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

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

Greatest Light-weight Down Jacket

Feathered Associates Eos Evaluation

Feathered Friends Eos Ultralight Down Jacket ReviewFeathered 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
Professionals:

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

The Feathered Associates 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 suits higher and added a chest pocket.

and has an total weight of 10.8 oz / 306 grams. This jacket affords a few of the greatest heat to weigh of any jacket on this assessment. The 105 g / 4 oz of 900 fill energy plus down makes this an ideal 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 protect shell materials with DWR to dam the wind and dangerous climate.

The one factor stopping the Feathered Associates Eos Down Jacket from being the very best on this assessment is the shortage of hydrophobic down which makes this jacket, not as climate resistant as others.

However heat offered for chilly mornings or nights in good climate this jacket makes this jacket an ideal alternative. 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 Associates Eos is likely one of the greatest gentle weight down jackets in the marketplace. 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 very best ultra-lightweight down jacket on this assessment.

Greatest via Mountaineering Down Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hooded

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hoody Ultralight down jackets reviewMountain 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
Hood
Sure
Pockets
Sure
Stuff sack
No, it stuffs right into a pocket.
Professionals:

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

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 is likely one of the hottest Light-weight Down Jackets among the many ultralight thru-hikers of the world. A superb mixture of a few of the lightest materials and no-frills designs mix to make this one of many high 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 however it has purchased the value down just a little which is optimistic.

Regardless of the shortage of hydrophobic down, it does have a great DWR end however total this jacket doesn’t fare nicely in damp situations.

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

I might 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 likely one of the greatest light-weight down jackets for backpacking in 2024. Additionally it is probably the most packable because it stuffs into its pocket. This jacket is greatest suited to ultralight hikers akin to Via Hikers who need the Greatest Down Jacket for the Pacific Crest Path. This is likely one of the lightest down jackets with a great heat to weight ratio. Need one thing even smaller? Additionally they make an ultralight down vest.

Greatest Backpacking Down Jacket

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Patagonia Down Sweater HoodyPatagonia Down Sweater Hoody

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
Hood
Sure
Pockets
Sure
Stuff sack
No, jacket stuffs into chest pocket
Professionals:

> Moderately priced contemplating it’s Patagonia
> Heat
> Environmentally pleasant
Cons:
> Not the lightest down jacket
> Cumbersome pack measurement

The Patagonia Down Sweater is likely one of the hottest down jackets on the earth. A mix of environmentally pleasant design, manufacturing, and a great light-weight match makes for an ideal down jacket.

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

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

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

Total, the Patagonia Down Sweater is an effective, trustworthy backpacking-down jacket with out the frills and advertising and marketing hype. It simply works. If you’re heading off on the paths or touring the world, this is likely one of the greatest backpacking down jackets in the marketplace in 2024.

Greatest Water Resistant Down Jacket

The North Face Summit Sequence Breithorn Hoodie

The North Face Summit Series Breithorn HoodieThe North Face Summit Series Breithorn Hoodie

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

> Hydrophobic Down.
> Recycled shell material with DWR
> Very heat.
> Probably the greatest light-weight weather-resistant jackets.
Cons:
> Heavier than the opposite jackets
> Not very compact.

The North Face Summit Sequence Breithorn Hoodie is the lately upgraded model of one in all my favourite Summit Sequence 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. Once you get caught out within the rain, that is the waterproof down jacket.

The North Face Summit Hoody could also be barely heavier than a few of the different jackets on this assessment however it is likely one of the warmest. Making this higher suited to somebody who feels the chilly or heading into temperatures under freezing. It additionally packs up barely bigger than a few 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 likely one of the higher waterproof Down Jackets for these heading into dangerous climate or wanting one of many hotter jackets. High quality all the things on this jacket. The added heat comes at the price of weight and it isn’t essentially 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 Evaluation

Macpac Icefall Down Jacket ReviewMacpac 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
Sure
Pockets
Sure
Stuff sack
No, stuffs inside one of many two zippered hand pockets
Professionals:

> Extremely light-weight
> Most waterproof jacket on this assessment
> Highest high quality all the things
Cons:
> Solely obtainable 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. On account of my testing I can say it is likely one of the greatest down jackets in the marketplace. This well-thought-out jacket combines all the things anybody might 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 sturdy, 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 nicely capable of face up to the extra a few of the worst climate. Not solely is there hydrophobic down however the areas most probably to get moist such because the shoulders and cuff space are full of 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 saved 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 fitted to all however the coldest climbing journeys wherever on the earth and ideal 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 boys’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 likely one of the greatest down jackets for 2024. It’s nicely thought out with all the very best design options attainable. One of many top-spec Water Repellant Down Jackets reviewed and a private favourite. However it’s only obtainable in Australia and New Zealand at this stage.

Lightest Down Jacket

Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket Evaluation

Montbell Plasma Down Jacket ReviewMontbell 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 –
No
Pockets –
No
Stuff Sack –
Sure
Professionals:

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

With a complete weight of solely 135 grams, this is likely one of the lightest down jackets on the record.

For the hiker searching for out the lightest down jacket with among the best warmth-to-weight ratios. However the very best in school heat to weight ratio comes at a small price.

The 1.6 ounces of 1000-fill loft down is a a lot larger fill energy than any of the opposite down jackets reviewed. It’s not hydrophobic down like many different manufacturers however it 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 nearly 3 instances 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 best DWR therapies does an okay job repelling water. However watch out of this jacket in dangerous 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 likely to agree that the candy spot for the standard vs sturdy down lies someplace between 750 fill and 900 fill energy loft. I might 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 principle purpose to think about 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 desirous to cowl large miles with all of the lightest attainable gear. Simply watch out, it might not be as sturdy as the opposite jackets on this gear assessment. Additionally it is not the very best insulated jacket in the marketplace and never as heat because it appears to be like. For the this jacket to be superior I want to see a bit extra loft and only a bit extra down fill within the jacket.

Total, if you’re searching for the lightest down jacket on the record with the very best heat to weight ratio and the very best packable down jacket then that is it. This extremely gentle packable down jacket merely is gentle in weight however it may very well be just a little hotter. Additionally bear in mind, 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 Funds Down Jacket

REI Co-Op 650 Down Jacket 2.0

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 –
No
Pockets –
Sure
Stuff Sack –
No packs into the left pocket
Professionals:

> Moderately priced
> Will preserve you heat sufficient, did I point out it’s low-cost!
Cons:
> Discontinued so may not 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 highest quality down jacket however is the most cost effective. If you’re on the lookout for a funds down jacket then that is it.

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

Total, this is likely one of the greatest males’s down jacket for these on a funds.

Down Jackets value Contemplating

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket Evaluation

Rab Microlight AlpineRab Microlight Alpine

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
Hood
Sure
Pockets
Sure
Stuff sac
Sure
Professionals:

> Very heat.
> Nice climate resistance.
> High-quality supplies.
Cons:
> Heavy.
> 750 loft down.

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

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

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

The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket has all the very best options and all the very best supplies, if solely the loft of the down was larger than 750 fill it could carry down the general weight and enhance the general high quality to make this among the best down jackets. I might like to see this jacket embody 800 or 900 fill energy hydrophobic down.

Total, Rab makes a few of the greatest outside gear, and this jacket is not any exception. For anybody heading off into chilly damp areas, this jacket shall be an ideal 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 might be definitely 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 best winter down jackets.
  • Katabatic Gear Tarn Down Jacket: The Katabatic Gear Tarn is made by the well-known quilt maker and appears to be nicely fitted to damp chilly climate. I hope to be testing this jacket actual quickly.

Down Jacket Comparability Desk

Supply: Producers


Greatest Ultralight Down Jacket for Via-Mountaineering

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

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

Every is underneath 300g and face up to the cruel remedy they are going to be put by means of. The Montbell Plasma is much 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 reviewTesting the best backpacking down jackets for this review
Testing to search out the very best backpacking down jacket

Greatest Down Jackets for Wet Climate

With hydrophobic down, high quality DWR repellent, and the very best outer supplies it’s onerous 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 very best down jacket for dangerous 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 total Ultralight Down Jackets

Each single jacket on this assessment might do one thing that may 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 very best ultralight jacket. With very excessive loft, good heat, high quality down and light-weight there may be little to fault.

The Feathered Associates Eos would attain the highest spot if it used hydrophobic Down. It is vitally heat, gentle, a great match, and nice in all however wet climate. The identical might be stated 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 very best choose for the hiker who doesn’t care about pockets, hood, or climate resistance and needs the lightest jacket in the marketplace.

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 obtainable for non New Zealanders or Australians.

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

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

The way to Select a Down Jacket

The are a number of elements it’s essential to consider when down jackets.

They need to be, light-weight, have a great 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 very best light-weight down jacket for backpacking?


Hood

For most individuals, a hood is tremendous vital. The necessity for a down jacket within the outdoor is to maintain heat. A hood is likely one of the best methods to do that. The added weight to the down jacket is value it. Most are adjustable with some type of light-weight conch wire to tug tight in windy climate.

Down Jacket hoodDown Jacket hood

Pockets

Pockets are one other nice characteristic. Any hiker that has been hit by colder than anticipated temperatures will respect warming their palms of their pockets. Generally gloves aren’t sufficient. Different instances you’ll have forgotten to carry gloves with you.

Pockets are both within the chest space, abdomen space, or each. They usually can embody a zipper or not.

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

Hand pockets are greatest suited as a spot to maintain palms heat. All of the jackets on this assessment have their hand pockets situated in such a spot that it means that you can use a backpack and hipbelt. Whereas zippered hand pockets might be good, they’ll add to the load and aren’t at all times essential as one thing you want.

Down Jacket pocketsDown Jacket pockets
Down Jacket Pockets are a good suggestion

Down Jacket Storage

A stuff sack is a good thought to retailer the jacket. In any other case, the flexibility to pack the jacket into one in all 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 storageDown 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 coming into the jacket and supply the very best match. Not all jackets have this characteristic and those who do are better off over those 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 essentially the most half, that is thought-about nicely value it. Some use a easy cinch wire on the hood to maintain it in place.

Conch cord on the waist of down jacketConch cord on the waist of down jacket
Cinch wire on the waist to tighten to scale back air circulate and preserve you heat

The heat of a Light-weight Down Jacket

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

It’s unlikely that almost all light-weight down jackets shall be utilized by anybody climbing Mt Everest however they’ll definitely 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 here are compact, light-weight, and heat sufficient for most individuals in temperatures round freezing. For temperatures considerably under freezing further layers shall be wanted, particularly if at camp and inactive.


What’s Fill Energy and why Is it vital?

All the very best down jackets ought to have a fill energy of 800 or larger. The quantity 800 fill energy refers to its lofting potential. In case you take 1 ounce of down it should develop or loft to 800 cubic inches. 850 will loft to 850 cubic inches and so forth. Total, Confused?

The video under does an ideal job of explaining all the things 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 potential to maintain you heat. To forestall that from taking place all the very best down jackets use a tightly woven outer shell material to stop as a lot water as attainable from making contact with the down.

Pertex is taken into account among the best outer materials however many firms use comparable supplies that shield water from moving into the down as a lot as attainable.

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’s 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-about of upper high quality than these with out. I’ve a desire to make use of a jacket with hydrophobic down however it hasn’t at all times been that means. It gives a safer choice if I’m sporting a jacket in dangerous climate.

If heading out into dangerous climate as I skilled on the Appalachian Path and Te Araroa Path in New Zealand, the next jackets can be good. The jackets under 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 under which demonstrates how good hydrophobic down is.


What’s a DWR Coating and why do I want 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 perpetually, and ultimately, 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 comparable will make the material immune to water once more.

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

The way to restore Down Jackets

Down Jackets aren’t essentially the most sturdy of out of doors 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 protracted time outdoor. There are two methods to restore the out material.

The primary and easiest method is to cowl the opening with some Tenacious Tape. Consider this tape because the superglue of material tapes. Reduce to measurement 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 instances through the years to patch small holes.

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

Greatest Worth Down Jackets

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

A high quality down jacket will final a few years and if nicely cared for it’s value spending just a little 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 few of the greatest obtainable in the mean time however they’re nonetheless inferior to down.

Down additionally has a gorgeous potential to be compressed and lofted with out damaging the down. The identical can’t be stated 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.

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


Conclusion

With so many Down Jackets in the marketplace listed here are the very best ones:


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BikeHikeSafari Gear Evaluation Course of

The writer, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small impartial adventurer and outside gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.

BikeHikeSafari isn’t half of a big weblog community and is proudly impartial. All evaluations on this website are impartial and trustworthy gear evaluations of out of doors merchandise by the writer.

The writer, 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 could be very skilled in what’s vital when utilizing and testing gear for evaluations like this.

BikeHikeSafari won’t ever obtain any cash for evaluations and they don’t settle for sponsored evaluations on this web site. All of the feedback concerning the gear evaluations are from the writer primarily based on his years of expertise. Hope this impartial assessment was useful for you.

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