October 15, 2021

7 Best Down Jackets For Women

October 15, 2021

7 Best Down Jackets For Women

Many women love exploring the outdoors, even if it's early or mid-winter. If you are among them, then it is just right that you invest in the best down jackets for women. 

Down jackets are essentially better than synthetic ones when it comes to comfort and insulation. They have exceptional thermal efficiency, which is essential for individuals who enjoy snowy and alpine-related adventures. They can keep your body heat intact so that you can survive low-temperature conditions. 

In choosing a down jacket, it is essential that it has a durable and seamless construction. After all, down insulation doesn't perform well if it is wet. Breathability, durability, and packability are also essential considerations you have to take into account. 

Below are some of the finest down jackets for women that you should check out first. 

7 Best Down Jackets For Women

1. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Hoodie

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Designed to be sustainable gear, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 is a down jacket that provides exceptional temperature control. Its outer fabric is made from recycled content. Specifically, it features an ultralight ripstop nylon shell with an added durable water repellent so that moisture and other elements won't compromise its down insulation. 

This unit has an 800-fill-power down that can give you a cozy level of warmth during the cold season. Interestingly, the down is compliant with the Responsible Down Standard, so you can guarantee that it has ethical construction. There are two zippered hand pockets in this gear where you can stow your essentials. Both its cuffs and hood are elastic so that cold air won't enter your body. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Ripstop nylon
  • Lining material - Nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation - 800-fill-power goose down
  • Hood - Available
  • Weight - 7.8 ounces

2. Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket

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One impressive feature of the Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket is its water-resistant goose down. Even if it gets exposed to damp conditions, its ability to insulate heat won't deteriorate. The said insulating material also has an 800-fill-power, which makes it extra toasty and warm. Moreover, this jacket has an updated architecture to cater to the demands of its clients. For instance, the circumference of its hip, waist, and bust has been increased. 

The ruggedness of its shell is also one of its compelling qualities. It is tailored from 20-denier ripstop nylon with durable water repellent finish so that it can shed off moisture and light rain. Its ripstop nylon lining also provides added comfort and stability to its wearer. The elastic binding on cuffs, heam seal, and hood are efficient in preventing cold air drafts. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Ripstop nylon
  • Lining material - Mini ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation - 800-fill-power goose down
  • Hood - Available
  • Weight - 12 ounces

3. KUHL Spyfire Down Parka 

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This parka from KUHL is definitely an innovative choice for a down jacket. It has an exquisite shell construction, which features the use of a 20-denier, high-filament nylon fabric tailored from an authentic Japanese mill. Such finesse on its design enabled the jacket to offer a supple feel and high-textile strength. Furthermore, it has been embedded with durable water repellent finish as well to fend off snow, light rain, and stains. 

Utilizing an 800-fill-power goose down, the KUHL Spyfire Down Parka can certainly provide toasty warmth while you are in cold environments. You'll also notice that this jacket has large baffles on its front and back for exceptional thermal control on the core. Meanwhile, the baffles on the underarm panels are small to reduce their bulk. I also find its 3D fit quite beneficial; it conforms to most female body shapes with ease. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - High-filament nylon
  • Lining material - Information unavailable
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation - 800-fill-power goose down
  • Hood - Available
  • Weight - 18 ounces

4. REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie

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The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie features extra loft and warmth without being too heavy. It is a lightweight jacket, flaunting its rugged but weight-savvy Pertex mini-ripstop nylon construction. It has an 850-fill-power goose down as its core insulation that provides an exceptionally high warmth-to-weight ratio.  Moreover, it provides compressibility so that you can pack it in small packs and stuff sacks. 

You'll be impressed that its goose down has a durable water repellent finish. It lets you use the jacket in moist and damp environments. Drying the down doesn't consume time, too. The variable baffle mapping on its body enables ergonomic insulation. Basically, it distributes most of the warmth to the part of the body that needs it. The hood of this jacket has been filled with down, too, and has rear adjustment for a guaranteed fit. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Pertex mini-ripstop nylon
  • Lining material - Ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Insulation - 850-fill-power goose down
  • Hood - Available
  • Weight - 11.5 ounces

5. The North Face Gotham Down Jacket

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Performance-wise, I can say that The North Face Gotham Down Jacket isn't as good as other down jackets that I've listed here. This one only has a 550-fill-power goose as its primary insulation. Hence, it is only ideal for early winter uses and applications where the cold temperature isn't that punishing. The jacket is an ideal choice for urban travels and short excursions to snowy terrains. Its recycled polyester shell has a non-PFC durable water repellent finish for enhanced defense against the elements. 

Notably, its side panels have polyester fibers that function as insulating materials. They ensure that your core remains warm throughout the trip. Meanwhile, its beautiful hood has a detachable faux-fur ruff. The hood has extended coverage, as well; you can also remove it if you think that you won't be encountering any downpour. A number of pockets are installed in The North Face Gotham; they are zipper-secured, which enables you to store your small valuables and accessories. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Pertex mini-ripstop nylon
  • Lining material - Ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Down/synthetic
  • Insulation - 550-fill-power goose down/polyester fibers
  • Hood - Available
  • Weight - 29.2 ounces

6. Patagonia Silent Down Jacket

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Quality materials and efficient construction are essential when it comes to down jackets. Fortunately, these two things are well-embodied by the Patagonia Silent Down Jacket. The latter includes a 700-fill-power down insulation for optimal heat control. The shell's mechanical stretch enables you to move freely, while its durable water repellent treatment beads moisture and water away from your clothing layers. 

The reverse-coil zipper on the jacket's middle-front allows hassle-free access to its users. You can on and off the jacket without having stiff and snagged zippers. The Patagonia Silent Down Jacket has a snap metal placket for added protection against the wind. Meanwhile, its handwarmer pockets have been lined with a supple micro-brushed jersey for extra comfort and insulation. You'll also benefit from its drawcord hem, especially in its ability to prevent warm air from escaping. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Recycled polyester taffeta
  • Lining material - Recycled polyester taffeta
  • Insulation type - Down/synthetic
  • Insulation - Recycled down (goose and duck)
  • Hood - None
  • Weight - 20.1 ounces

7. Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie

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Women can rely on the warmth and comfort provision of the Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie. It is an extremely cozy, non-restrictive gear that you can use when strolling the woods or exploring the concrete jungle. Its 700-fill-power goose down on its body ensures efficient thermal quality. Meanwhile, the synthetic recycled polyester on its shoulder panels prevents moisture from getting absorbed. Impressively enough, its shell and lining fabrics are constructed from post-consumer materials, too. 

The Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie offers elastic binding on its cuff to prevent warm air from escaping. Even its drawcord adjustment is there to ensure that you can maximize the insulation that the jacket can provide. Storage isn't a problem for this gear, as you can stuff it inside its pocket. It has a packability that only a few down jackets can match. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Fabric material - Recycled nylon
  • Lining material - Recycled nylon
  • Insulation type - Down/synthetic
  • Insulation - Recycled goose down/recycled polyester
  • Hood - Available
  • Weight - 15.4 ounces

How To Choose The Best Down Jackets For Women

Women often prefer comfort and warmth when it comes to their winter gear. Hence, it is not a surprise that they prefer using down jackets over synthetic ones. 

In choosing a down jacket, several considerations have to be taken into account. Loftiness and comfort are among them. But there are other equally important aspects, too, such as packability, warmth-to-weight ratio, and durability. 

Fill Power

Every time I inspect down jackets, I always pay attention to their fill power. Specifically, the term "fill power" refers to the quality of the down--or the volume of its loft. High-quality down jackets have 700 or higher fill power. Needless to say, the higher the fill power, the more warmth, and comfort you can feel from wearing a down jacket. 

A lot of down jacket manufacturers always prioritize fill power. In fact, some of them put fill power labels directly on the jacket. Of course, that's not the wrong thing to do. 

Meanwhile, you may also encounter the term "fill weight" along the way. It is not often mentioned, but it is essential to know about it as well. Fill weight directly refers to the amount of down equipped in the jacket. If the fill weight is high, then it means that the jacket can provide more warmth. But at the same time, it also adds to the overall bulkiness of the jacket. 

Some jackets have the same fill power rating. If you want to compare them, check their weight. For example, a 10-ounce, 700-fill-power jacket has better warmth provision than a 7-ounce, 700-fill-power jacket. 

Warmth-To-Weight Ratio

The quality of warmth provision of a down jacket may rely on its warmth. You see, the weight of the jacket is constituted by two components: the down and the shell. Depending on the thickness of the shell fabric and the fill weight of the down, a jacket may either be labeled as lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight. 

Again, the concept here is that heavy jackets often produce more warmth. But at the same time, if you think that you don't need too much insulation, then going for lightweight or midweight is truly acceptable. 

  • Lightweight - Any jacket that has a fill weight of 3 to 4 ounces is considered to be lightweight. They can be used as an outer layer during early winter or mid-layer when things are a little bit cold already. 
  • Midweight - Jackets that have a fill weight of 5 to 6 ounces belong to the midweight class. Here, you can guarantee a significant increase in the insulation and thermal efficiency they provide, especially if the down they contain has fill power. 
  • Heavyweight - If you are going to ascend on high altitudes or go to the backcountry in the middle of winter, a heavyweight jacket is the most suitable option for you. These jackets are burly, but at the same time, they offer the best insulation. Moreover, they offer enhanced rigidity and weatherproofing. 

Packability

You should also mind the packability of the down jacket whenever choosing one. Always remember that the packability of gear is dependent on its weight. The more materials used in the jacket, the heavier it gets. And the heavier it is, the less packable it becomes. 

But why does packability matter? Well, there are instances where you don't have to take off your jacket and store it inside your pack luggage. If you can't compress the jacket well, stashing it would be difficult. You wouldn't want to end up in the said predicament during your interstate or international travels. Furthermore, packable jackets are essential if you are going to take them on and off during your adventure from time to time. 

However, you can always compromise the compressibility of the jacket if you know that insulation and comfort are at stake. As mentioned, lightweight jackets are not suitable when the temperatures are close or down to zero already. 

Weather Protection

Since we are talking about down jackets, we shouldn't fail to mention their weather defense. Most of the time, these jackets are worn as the topmost clothing layer. Hence, you can say that they are the ones that encounter the elements directly. 

Hence, it is essential that the jacket you pick has a durable construction. The shell's material should be rugged. Ripstop nylon and polyester are the best choices here. They have high-tear resistance, seamless constitution, and long-lasting durability. Moreover, they provide decent water resistance too. 

If that's not enough, then you should pick down jackets that have durable water-resistant (DWR) treatment. The latter adds a waterproof layer to the surface of the shell's fabric. The most interesting part about these DWR treatments is that you can reapply them once they dissipate. 

In Summary

Searching for the best down jackets for women would be less time-consuming if you know the important considerations in choosing one. Of course, you shouldn't forget about the fit. It would really be great if you could size the jacket by yourself to know if it can fit your body. If you can, go for those units that have women-specific fit to guarantee more comfort and heat retention. 

That's it for now. If you have other inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below! 

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