11 Best Down Jackets for Mountaineering and Hiking [2023]

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more about us.

Are you looking for the best down jackets for mountaineering and hiking in colder weather that will keep you warm and not weigh you down?

Let’s face it. Everything in life is a tradeoff. Do you want to be warm? Or do you want a heavy load?

Down jackets are a popular choice amongst the outdoor set, for their warmth-to-weight ratio and compressibility, making them easy to pack and carry and they make an excellent mid-layer for very harsh environments.

The aftermath of Bikejoring with my husky (it’s the only way I can “hike” with my dog, he’s too fast to “walk”. I was seriously warm, but seriously dirty. It’s best to wear a rainproof layer over the top of a puffy jacket (as I learned) if you’re gonna be in mud.

🪿 I mean, if geese can stay warm floating on those frozen lakes, with their help you can stay warm on the trail too.

Quick Verdict: Best Down Jackets for Mountaineering and Hiking

Short on time? Don’t have time to read the whole article? No Problemo!

I’ve personally tested multiple jackets and thoroughly reviewed dozens of reports to help you find the perfect one for your needs. Explore my favorites and discover the ultimate puffy jacket for your next adventure.

My Top 3 Recommendations

Best Value for Money
RAB Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
7.8
  • 700 Down Fill Power
  • Responsible Down Certification
  • Recycled Materials - Hydrophobic Down
  • 14.6 oz
Best Insulation
Arc'teryx Cerium Hoody
9.1
  • 850 Down Fill Power
  • Responsible Down Certified
  • Trim Fit
  • 10.2 oz
Ultra Lightweight
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody
8.4
  • 800 Down Fill Power
  • Responsible Down Certified
  • Recycled Fabric
  • 8.8 oz

These jackets SHOULD NOT be cheap. It’s full of animal parts and (sorry, not sorry) it’s an item you should buy well and buy once to respect the animals. You may not care so I also have all the other specs so you can choose what’s best for you.

I’ll be real, the certification of the “responsible down standard” appeals to me and I’ve listed which jackets have 3rd party testing to ensure the least animal cruelty.

Are Light Weight Down Jackets Worth it?

Not everyone needs a down jacket (esp vegans and people in very wet environments). But they are good for 👎🏻

  • 🥾 Winter Mountaineers, Trekkers, Hikers for mid layer
  • 🎒 Backpackers
  • 🌏 Expedition Leaders
  • 💗 People Living in Harsh Environments

This review is targeted at people that want the absolute best down jacket for hiking and mountaineering and not end up wet and cold in the wild. You can also use winter hiking socks to avoid those icy feet, or if the mud and ice get too much — use a ski boot dryer to quickly get your gear back in shape.

Below is my list of the best puffy jackets that will help you conquer any mountain. Let’s get to it.


Table Best Hiking Down Jackets

I’ve listed where to find them on amazon here, but you can also shop at REI and I’ve included how to find them in the detailed review further down.

Click on Product 👎🏻
to See Prices & Purchase
⭐️ Why is it good? 🔥
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Best Ultralight Down Jacket
Patagonia Down SweaterBest Down Jacket for Hiking: 100% Recycled
RAB MicrolightBest for Mountain to City
Best Jackets by Benefit

Next Best Puffy Jackets:

➡️ Don’t miss out on my other top gear recommendations for hikers based on my experience as a physical therapist, which you can find at the end of the article.

🔥 ➡️ Related Reading – Advice from a Physical Therapist Hiking & Travel Addict:


15 Best Down Jackets for Hiking

So let’s jump in where I’ll share my personal experience, pros and cons, and expert recommendations for the best mountain jackets for mountaineering and hiking.

➡️ Tip #1: Look for “Down Fill Power” to determine insulation level.

➡️ Tip #2: Down is not the best for really wet weather.

The best jackets will have a variety of features to address breathability, weight, materials, fit, and ethical sourcing – and I know which ones to look for.

Overall Best

1. Best Ultralight Down Jacket for Hiking: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody

If you’re looking for a sustainable and lightweight down jacket for hiking, then the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody is my top choice as it strikes a balance between sustainability, warmth, price and weight.

Pros

  • The jacket is made with 100% recycled face fabric and responsibly sourced, RDS-certified down insulation.
  • It’s ultralight and packable, making it easy to carry in your backpack.
  • The elastic hood and cuffs keep the warmth in and the cold out.

Cons

  • The jacket is not completely waterproof, so it may not be the best option for rainy weather.
  • Some users have reported that the sizing can be a bit small, so it’s important to check the size chart before purchasing.
  • The price point is on the higher side compared to other down jackets in the market.

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody is a great choice for those looking for a sustainable and lightweight down jacket for hiking. The recycled face fabric and responsibly sourced down insulation make it a more eco-friendly option than other jackets in the market.

The jacket is also ultralight and packable, making it easy to carry in your backpack. The elastic hood and cuffs keep the warmth in and the cold out, making it a great option for colder weather.

However, the jacket is not completely waterproof, so it may not be the best option for rainy weather. It’s important to check the size chart before purchasing, as some users have reported that the sizing can be a bit small. Additionally, the price point is on the higher side compared to other down jackets in the market.

Product FeaturesMountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer
Down800-fill-power
Weight8.8 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes



2. Best Down Jacket for Hiking 100% Recycled: Patagonia Down Sweater

In my experience, if you’re interested in environmental and animal impact – it’s hard to beat Patagonia. This high-quality, sustainable, and versatile down jacket that will keep you warm in cold weather conditions: I highly recommend the Patagonia Down Sweater.

Pros

  • The 800-fill-power Advanced Global Traceable Down provides incredible warmth without adding bulk.
  • The durable water repellent finish sheds light rain and snow, keeping you dry and comfortable.
  • The fully adjustable hood and elasticized cuffs and hem help to keep the cold air out.
  • The jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell, making it both environmentally friendly and durable.
  • The jacket is ethically sourced from geese that are not live-plucked or force-fed, making it a sustainable and ethical choice.

Cons

  • Hand wash only.
  • The jacket may not be warm enough for extreme cold weather conditions.

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell and is insulated with 800-fill-power Advanced Global Traceable Down, which is ethically sourced from geese that are not live-plucked or force-fed.

The durable water repellent finish sheds light rain and snow, keeping you dry and comfortable. The fully adjustable hood and elasticized cuffs and hem help to keep the cold air out, providing excellent warmth and insulation.

The jacket also features zippered handwarmer pockets and an internal chest pocket that doubles as a stuffsack for easy packing and storage. However, it’s important to note that the jacket is hand wash only, which may be inconvenient for some users.

Product FeaturesPatagonia Down Sweater
Down800-fill-power
Weight14.9 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes



3. Best Alpine Down Jacket: RAB Microlight

RAB Women's Microlight Alpine Down Jacket for Hiking, Climbing, and Skiing

If you’re looking for a lightweight, packable down jacket for your next hiking adventure, the RAB Women’s Microlight Alpine Down Jacket is a great option. Made with eco-friendly materials, this jacket is insulated with recycled down and features a durable, water-resistant outer layer.

Pros

  • Lightweight and packable for easy transport on the trail
  • Eco-friendly materials made with recycled fabrics and insulated with ethically sourced recycled down
  • Durable, water-resistant outer layer protects you from light snow and rain

Cons

  • Some reviews mention that the jacket may leak feathers
  • Sizing may be tailored for taller people
  • Price point may be higher than other down jackets on the market

This jacket is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who value sustainability and want a high-quality, warm jacket for their next adventure. The combination of micro and nano baffles increases warmth where it matters without adding bulk, making it easy to layer under other jackets or wear on its own.

The jacket features harness-compatible pockets, a stuff hood brim, and a regular fit for seamless layering. The 700-Fill RDS Recycled Hydrophobic Down traps body heat and dries quickly, so you can stay warm and comfortable no matter the weather.

Product FeaturesRAB Microlight Alpine
Down700-fill-power
Weight14.6 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedNo



4. Best Wet Weather: THE NORTH FACE Summit Series Down Hoodie

THE NORTH FACE Summit Series Down Hoodie Hooded Jacket Men's Small Summit Gold/ Tnf Black

Is mud and rain in your hiking plans? This is the best semi waterproof and lightweight down jacket for hiking – THE NORTH FACE Summit Series Down Hoodie Hooded Jacket.

Pros

  • The slim fit 800 fill ProDown retains its loft even in wet conditions and offers superior warmth and compressibility.
  • The durable ripstop fabric is lightweight and can withstand harsh outdoor conditions.
  • The jacket features a water-resistant, reverse-coil center front zip with an internal draft flap to keep you dry and warm.

Cons

  • The jacket is hand wash only which can be inconvenient for some people.
  • The feathers can be visible through the material, which may not be aesthetically pleasing for everyone.
  • The jacket is quite expensive compared to some other options on the market.

The Summit Series Down Hoodie is a great choice for those looking for a jacket that can keep them warm and dry while hiking. The jacket’s slim fit design ensures that it is not bulky, and the 800 fill ProDown insulation provides superior warmth and compressibility. The durable ripstop fabric is lightweight and can withstand harsh outdoor conditions, making it perfect for hiking in rough terrain.

The jacket features a water-resistant, reverse-coil center front zip with an internal draft flap, which helps to keep you dry and warm. The jacket also has a secure-zip chest pocket and a large internal, mesh drop pocket, which are great for storing your essentials while on the go. The stretch-knit cuffs provide a comfortable fit and help to keep cold air out.

While the jacket is quite expensive compared to some other options on the market, the quality and durability of the Summit Series Down Hoodie make it a worthwhile investment for anyone who spends a lot of time hiking in cold weather.

Product FeaturesSummit Series Down Hoodie
Down800-fill-power
Weight14.1 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedNo



5. Best Down Jacket for Mountaineering: Mammut Broad Peak IN Hooded Jacket

Mammut Broad Peak IN Hooded Jacket

If you’re looking for a high-quality down jacket for your next hiking trip, the Mammut Broad Peak IN Hooded Jacket is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The PERTEX QUANTUM material is very lightweight, making it easy to pack and carry with you on your hike.
  • The zipper closure provides a secure fit, keeping you warm and comfortable even in cold weather.
  • The jacket is designed to be hand washed only, which makes it easy to care for and maintain.

Cons

  • The jacket is only available in black, which may not be everyone’s preferred color choice.
  • The medium size may not fit all body types, so you’ll need to make sure to check the sizing chart before making your purchase.
  • The jacket is a bit on the expensive side, which may not be ideal for those on a tight budget.
Product FeaturesMammut Broad Peak IN Hooded
Down800-fill-power
Weight13.5 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedNo


6. Warmest Neck & Head : Patagonia Fitz Roy

Are you into subzero hiking? If you’re looking for a stylish and sustainable down jacket that can keep you warm in cold weather conditions, the Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoodie is an excellent option to consider.

Pros

  • The 800-fill-power Advanced Global Traceable Down provides incredible warmth without adding bulk.
  • The durable water repellent finish sheds light rain and snow, keeping you dry and comfortable.
  • The jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell, making it both environmentally friendly and durable.
  • In alignment with Patagonia practices, the jacket is ethically sourced from geese that are not live-plucked or force-fed.
  • The jacket has a stylish and flattering fit, making it a great choice for everyday wear.

Cons

  • Hand wash only.
  • The jacket may not be warm enough for extreme cold weather conditions.
  • The jacket’s sizing may run small, so it’s important to check the size chart before purchasing.

The Patagonia Women’s Fitz Roy Down Hoodie is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell and is insulated with 800-fill-power Advanced Global Traceable Down, which is ethically sourced from geese that are not live-plucked or force-fed. The durable water repellent finish sheds light rain and snow, keeping you dry and comfortable. The fully adjustable hood and elasticized cuffs and hem help to keep the cold air out, providing excellent warmth and insulation.

The jacket also features zippered handwarmer pockets and an internal chest pocket that doubles as a stuffsack for easy packing and storage. However, it’s important to note that the jacket is hand wash only, which may be inconvenient for some users.

The jacket’s warmth may also not be sufficient for extremely cold weather conditions, and its relatively high price point may not be suitable for all budgets. Additionally, the jacket’s sizing may run small, so it’s important to check the size chart before purchasing.

Product FeaturesPatagonia Fitz Roy
Down800 fill Power
Weight14.8
Responsible Down CertifiedYes



7. Best Windblocking: Outdoor Research Men’s Coldfront Down Jacket

Outdoor Research Men’s Coldfront Down Jacket

If you’re looking for a stylish and functional down jacket for your winter adventures, then the Outdoor Research Men’s Coldfront Down Jacket is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • This down jacket is extremely warm and well-insulated, thanks to its 700-fill down insulation and 85% recycled VerticalX ECO insulation at wrists and shoulders.
  • It is wind and water-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor activities in harsh weather conditions.
  • The jacket is lightweight and packable, and can be easily stuffed into its left pocket for convenient storage and transport.

Cons

  • Hand wash only, which may be inconvenient for some users.
  • The jacket is only available in black, which may not be everyone’s preferred color.
  • The price point is higher than some other down jackets on the market.

The Outdoor Research Men’s Coldfront Down Jacket is a great investment for anyone looking for a high-quality, stylish, and functional down jacket. The jacket’s 700-fill down insulation and 85% recycled VerticalX ECO insulation at wrists and shoulders ensure that you stay warm no matter how low the temperature goes. The jacket is also wind and water-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor activities in harsh weather conditions.

In addition, the jacket is lightweight and packable, and can be easily stuffed into its left pocket for convenient storage and transport. The brushed tricot lined hand pocket keeps your hands warm during adventures, and the interior drop-in pockets provide a safe storage location for your wallet and keys.

Product FeaturesOutdoor Research Men’s Coldfront
Down700-fill-power
Weight1 lb 4.6 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedNo


8. Highest Down Fill: Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody

Arc'teryx Cerium Hoody Men's | Lightweight Warm Versatile Down Hoody X-Small Black Sapphire

If you’re looking for a high-performance down jacket for hiking, the Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody is a great option. With its streamlined, minimalist design and lightweight technical down insulation, it offers a high warmth-to-weight ratio that will keep you cozy and comfortable on the trail.

Pros

  • Highly efficient natural insulation that compacts well and offers excellent warmth to weight.
  • Versatile high performance designs for diverse activities and conditions.
  • Lightweight technical down insulation.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Not suitable for extreme cold weather.
  • Limited color options.

The Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody Men’s is ideal for those who want a lightweight and warm down jacket that is also versatile enough to be worn in a variety of conditions. The jacket is made with 850 fill European white goose down RDS down lining, Arato 20 100% Nylon 60% bio-derived material FC0 DWR Insulation, Coreloft 100 (100 g/m) and 80 (80 g/m) 80% recycled polyester bluesign Approved Material Arato 15 100% recycled dope dye nylon.

This combination of materials provides excellent insulation and warmth, while also being lightweight and easy to pack.

The jacket is also designed with a streamlined, minimalist look that makes it a great choice for those who want a jacket that is both functional and stylish. The zipper closure makes it easy to put on and take off, while the machine-washable design makes it easy to care for.

Product FeaturesArc’teryx Cerium Hoody
Down850-fill-power
Weight11.9 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes



9. Best Men’s Slim Fit: RAB Electron Pro Down Jacket

RAB Men's Electron Pro Down Jacket

If you’re looking for a reliable down jacket to keep you warm on your hiking adventures, the RAB Men’s Electron Pro Down Jacket is a great choice.

Pros

  • Lightweight and packable
  • Durable and weather-resistant outer fabric
  • Zoned baffling adds warmth without bulk

Cons

  • Runs small, so consider sizing up
  • Expensive compared to some other options
  • Upper arms may be a bit baggy

This jacket is designed with alpine climbers and mountaineers in mind, so you can trust that it will keep you warm and comfortable in even the harshest conditions. The Pertex Quantum Pro Ripstop outer material is highly durable and weather-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet or cold. The 800-fill down with Nikwax hydrophobic finish is lofty and warm, and the zoned baffling ensures that you get maximum insulation where you need it most.

One of the best things about this jacket is how lightweight and packable it is. You can easily stuff it into your backpack when you’re not wearing it, and it won’t take up too much space or add too much weight. The stretchy, low-profile cuffs make layering seamless, and the adjustable, helmet-compatible hood is a nice touch for those really cold and windy days.

However, it’s worth noting that this jacket runs small, so you may want to consider sizing up. It’s also more expensive than some other down jackets on the market, so it may not be the best choice if you’re on a tight budget. Finally, some users have reported that the upper arms are a bit baggy, which may be a concern if you have particularly slim arms.

Product FeaturesRAB Men’s Electron Pro
Down800-fill-power
Weight1 lb 2.5 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes


10. Most Retro: The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket

The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket

90’s alert!!!! If you’re looking for a warm and stylish down jacket for hiking, The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket might be the one for you.

Pros

  • The jacket is incredibly warm and cozy, perfect for cold weather hikes.
  • It has a classic, retro design that looks great both on and off the trail.
  • The jacket is made with high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.

Cons

  • The jacket might be a bit heavy and bulky for some hikers.
  • It might not be the best option for wet weather, as it’s not completely waterproof.
  • The jacket might be a bit pricey for some budgets.

The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket is a great choice for hikers who value warmth and style. The jacket is incredibly warm and cozy, thanks to its 700-fill goose down insulation. It’s perfect for cold weather hikes, keeping you comfortable and protected even in the harshest conditions.

The jacket has a classic, retro design that looks great both on and off the trail. It’s available in a variety of colors, so you can choose the one that best fits your style. The jacket is also made with high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.

However, the jacket might be a bit heavy and bulky for some hikers. It’s not the most lightweight option out there, so if you’re looking for a jacket that won’t weigh you down, this might not be the best choice for you. Additionally, the jacket might not be the best option for wet weather, as it’s not completely waterproof.

Product FeaturesNorth Face 1996 Retro Nuptse
Down700-fill-power
Weight1 lb 8.16 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes



11. Most Stylish: Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket

Cotopaxi Fuego Down Jacket

If style is just as important as function – this cute, lightweight and packable down jacket that can keep you warm during fall through spring, the Cotopaxi Fuego Hoodless is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The 800-fill RDS certified, water-resistant down provides incredible warmth without adding bulk.
  • The elastic binding throughout and hem drawcord help to keep the elements out.
  • The two interior stash pockets and zippered hand pockets provide ample storage space for your essentials.

Cons

  • Hand wash only.
  • The lack of a hood may be a dealbreaker for some hikers.
  • The jacket may not be warm enough for extreme cold weather conditions.

The Cotopaxi Fuego Hoodless is made of 20D giant-ripstop nylon with a DWR finish, which makes it lightweight and durable. The jacket is also packable, which means you can easily store it in your backpack when you’re not using it. The 800-fill RDS certified, water-resistant down provides excellent insulation, and the elastic binding throughout and hem drawcord help to keep the cold air out.

The two interior stash pockets and zippered hand pockets are great for storing your phone, wallet, and other essentials. The jacket has a zipper closure, which makes it easy to put on and take off. However, it’s important to note that the jacket is hand wash only, which may be inconvenient for some hikers.

Product FeaturesCotopaxi Fuego Hoodless
Down800-fill-power
Weight14 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes



12. Cheapest: Eddie Bauer Women’s CirrusLite Down Jacket

Eddie Bauer Women's CirrusLite Down Jacket

Are you a Florida hiker? If you’re looking for a cheap, lightweight, packable, and warm down jacket for your hiking trips, the Eddie Bauer Women’s CirrusLite Down Jacket is a great option.

Pros

  • The StormRepel DWR treatment offers a moisture-shedding finish, keeping you dry in wet conditions.
  • The 650-fill premium down insulation provides excellent warmth without adding bulk.
  • The jacket is Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified by Control Union 851564, ensuring that the down used in the jacket is ethically sourced.

Cons

  • The elastic cuffs and hem may not be tight enough to keep out cold air.
  • The jacket may not be warm enough for extremely cold temperatures.
  • The jacket may not fit well for those with broader shoulders or bigger busts.

This jacket is perfect for those who want a lightweight and packable option for their hiking trips. The StormRepel DWR treatment ensures that you’ll stay dry in wet conditions, while the 650-fill premium down insulation keeps you warm without adding bulk. Plus, the RDS certification means that you can feel good about the ethical sourcing of the down used in the jacket.

The elastic cuffs and hem may not be tight enough to keep out cold air, so you may want to layer up with a warmer shirt underneath. Additionally, the jacket may not be warm enough for extremely cold temperatures, so it’s best suited for milder hiking conditions. Finally, the jacket may not fit well for those with broader shoulders or bigger busts, so be sure to check the sizing chart before purchasing.

Product FeaturesDetails
Down650-fill-power
Weight7.6 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes


13. Best Women’s Value: Columbia Women’s Lake 22 Down Hooded Jacket

Columbia Women's Lake 22 Down Hooded Jacket Aura Medium

If you’re looking for a down jacket that is warm, lightweight, and water-resistant, then the Columbia Women’s Lake 22 Down Hooded Jacket is a great choice for you.

Pros

  • The jacket is made of water-resistant fabric, so you can stay dry even in wet conditions.
  • The 650 fill power down insulation provides excellent warmth without adding bulk.
  • Good for fall and spring hikes.

Cons

  • The jacket is a slim fit, so it may be too tight in some areas for some people.
  • Feathers may poke out of the jacket, which can be embarrassing and disappointing.
  • The jacket is relatively thin and lightweight, so it may not be suitable for extremely cold temperatures.

The Columbia Women’s Lake 22 Down Hooded Jacket is a great choice for hikers who want a lightweight and warm jacket that can handle wet conditions. The water-resistant fabric ensures that you stay dry, while the 650 fill power down insulation provides excellent warmth without adding bulk. The scuba hood and chin guard offer extra protection from the elements, making this jacket a great choice for outdoor activities.

One downside of the jacket is that it is a slim fit, so it may be too tight in some areas for some people. The jacket is relatively thin and lightweight, so it may not be suitable for extremely cold temperatures.

However, if you’re looking for a jacket that is warm, lightweight, and water-resistant, the Columbia Women’s Lake 22 Down Hooded Jacket is a great choice.

Product FeaturesDetails
Down650-fill-power
Weightunknown
Responsible Down Certifiedyes

14. Most Shoulder Movement: Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Hoody

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Hoody

If you’re looking for a down jacket that is both warm and flexible, the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Hoody is a great option for you.

Pros

  • The stretch-woven fabric provides a comfortable fit and allows for a full range of motion.
  • The 700-fill RDS-certified down insulation keeps you warm and dry even in wet conditions.
  • The jacket features zippered hand warmer pockets, a full zippered chest pocket, and one internal dump pocket.

Cons

  • The hood is insulated and adjustable, but it is also low-profile and may not provide enough coverage in harsh weather conditions.
  • The jacket is designed for cold weather activities, but it may not be suitable for extreme cold temperatures.
  • The jacket is a bit pricey compared to other down jackets on the market.

The Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Hoody is a great choice for hikers and backpackers who need a down jacket that can keep up with their active lifestyle. The stretch-woven fabric provides a comfortable fit and allows for a full range of motion, making it easy to move around and stay active. The 700-fill RDS-certified down insulation is both warm and reliable, even in wet conditions, so you can stay warm and dry no matter what the weather is like.

The jacket features zippered hand warmer pockets, a full zippered chest pocket, and one internal dump pocket, providing plenty of storage space for your essentials. The hood is insulated and adjustable, and it is also low-profile, so it won’t get in your way when you’re on the move. However, the hood may not provide enough coverage in harsh weather conditions, so you may need to wear a hat or other headwear to stay warm.

Product FeaturesDetails
Down700-fill-power
Weight1 lb 2 oz
Responsible Down CertifiedYes



Honorable Mentions:



Buying Guide

best down jackets for mountaineering

When it comes to buying the best down jacket for thru hiking, there are a few things you should consider to ensure you get the best product for your needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Ethical Sourcing

This kind of clothing will kill animals. Usually it’s a goose from China, but it can come from other waterfowl.

If you want to mitigate your impact, consider buying well and buying once.

The “responsible down standard” incentivises humane treatment of the animals and has 3rd party testing to ensure the least animal harm.

Fill Power

The fill power of a down jacket refers to the amount of space one ounce of down takes up. The higher the fill power, the warmer the jacket will be. Look for a jacket with a fill power of at least 550, but preferably 700 or higher.

Weight

The weight of the jacket is another important factor to consider. You want a jacket that is lightweight and easy to pack, but also warm enough for your needs. Look for a jacket that weighs between 8 and 16 ounces.

Insulation

The type of insulation used in the jacket is also important. Look for jackets with high-quality down insulation, as it provides the best warmth-to-weight ratio. Synthetic insulation is also an option, but it is not as warm as down.

Features

Consider the features of the jacket, such as pockets, hoods, and adjustable cuffs. Pockets are important for storing small items, while a hood can provide additional warmth and protection from the elements. Adjustable cuffs can help keep the cold air out.

Fit

Make sure you choose a down jacket for backpacking that fits well and allows for a full range of motion. You want a jacket that is not too bulky, but also not too tight. Look for a jacket with a slim or regular fit, depending on your preference.

Final Verdict

Based on my personal experience, the best all-around down jacket for hiking is the Arc’Teryx. You’ll find the right balance between sustainability and function.

Best Insulation
Arc'teryx Cerium Hoody
9.1/10Our Score
  • CERIUM - Streamlined, minimalist and lightweight technical down insulation. High warmth to weight ratio.
  • ESSENTIALS - Versatile high performance designs for diverse activities and conditions.
  • DOWN INSULATION - Highly efficient natural insulation that compacts well and offers excellent warmth to weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best down jackets for cold weather hiking?

The best down jackets for cold weather hiking are those with high fill power and a good warmth-to-weight ratio. Look for jackets with a fill power of at least 800 and a weight of around 1 pound or less. Some popular options include the Arc’teryx Cerium, the Patagonia Down Sweater, and the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer.

What should I look for when choosing a down jacket for hiking?

When choosing a down jacket for hiking, you should consider the fill power, weight, and durability of the jacket. Look for a jacket with a high fill power (800 or more), a weight of around 1 pound or less, and a durable outer shell that can withstand wear and tear on the trail. Additionally, consider features such as a hood, pockets, and adjustable cuffs to maximize warmth and comfort.

Are 1200-fill down jackets worth the investment for hiking?

While 1200-fill down jackets are incredibly warm and lightweight, they are also very expensive. For most hikers, a jacket with a fill power of 800 or 900 will provide sufficient warmth without breaking the bank. However, if you frequently hike in extremely cold temperatures and have the budget for it, a 1200-fill down jacket may be worth the investment.

What are the advantages of an ultralight down jacket for women’s hiking?

The advantages of an ultralight down jacket for women’s hiking include a lightweight and packable design that makes it easy to carry in a backpack, as well as excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. Additionally, many ultralight down jackets are designed specifically for women, with a more tailored fit and features such as adjustable hoods and cuffs.

How does the Montbell Down Jacket compare to other hiking jackets?

The Montbell Down Jacket is a popular choice for hikers due to its high fill power (900), lightweight design, and durable outer shell. It is comparable to other top-rated hiking jackets such as the Arc’teryx Cerium LT and the Patagonia Down Sweater, but may be slightly less expensive.

Is an 800-fill down jacket warm enough for hiking in cold weather?

Yes, an 800-fill down jacket is generally warm enough for hiking in cold weather, provided that it is designed for cold weather use and has a good warmth-to-weight ratio. Look for jackets with a durable outer shell, adjustable cuffs and hood, and a weight of around 1 pound or less.



Why Trust?

woman hiking

At Crave the Planet, I’m all about honest and relatable reviews of outdoor products. As a physical therapist, hut to hut hiker, downhill skier and mom, I’m constantly trying new gear to make my outdoor experiences more comfy and fun but with science in mind.

I’ll be real with you, I don’t do every outdoor activity. But, who does? I’m just a regular person who loves exploring the planet. Perfectionism is my enemy and I hope to help you ditch that vibe too.

My review process involves testing each product in real-life outdoor situations, but if it’s a really horrible day I’ll probably find a hotel in the valley. I’ll let you know what worked for me and what didn’t, so you can make informed decisions about your gear choices.

I don’t do sponsored reviews or take payment for my reviews. All comments are based on my personal experience. Sometimes I’ll test something and then send it back for a refund. Usually there’s a hefty fee. Bummer. So, if you’re looking for a relatable and honest take on outdoor gear, you’re in the right place.

Prefer Video? How to tell a real vs fake down jacket.

More Resources

Discover gear that elevates your outdoor adventures. As a physical therapist, I’ve curated product comparisons to enhance safety and enjoyment, perfect for beginners or those with weary knees.

Physical Therapist Curated Gear Guides for Hikers & Skiers

If you’re an avid hiker or mountaineer, you know that staying warm and light is integral for the experience. I hope this list of the best down jackets for mountaineering and hiking will help you feel safer to explore.

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.