Best Down Coats Reviewed and Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Modern puffer jackets feature three of types of insulation to keep you dry and warm; contour feathers, hydrophobic, and synthetic fibers. The contour feathers, also known as down, are the fine feather found underneath the exterior feathers and chest region of geese and ducks. They have a specific structure that allows them to trap air and contain body heat. It is more expensive and harder to maintain and wash, but it is also arguably the best insulation you can get in a winter coat.
Synthetic fibers are made from a polyester construction and are spun together in order to add air pockets which insulates warmth. It is also light and compact, but not as durable or warm as natural fibers. Jackets filled with synthetic fibers are also less expensive and easier to maintain than those filled with contour feathers, making them ideal for athletes who perform extreme winter sports.
Hydrophobic contour feathers have been covered with a DWR coating normally used on the outside of a jacket as a water repellent. This gives you the benefits of both, synthetic fiber and natural fibers.
A lot of times, down coats are made to be very lightweight. They might feel fragile, but the materials used are often very durable. The reason lightweight coats are so popular, especially in transitional season weather, is because they can be balled up and packed into a bag. It’s all because of the material that allows the jacket to fold up so compact.
But even though the materials and fabric feel lightweight and like they could tear, they likely won’t if you are taking care of the jacket. However, with anything filled with feathers, they will poke through the material naturally. Speaking of the feathers:
The amount of feathers that are in a down coat is sometimes represented as a ratio. This ratio represents the percentage of contour feathers to the percentage of regular feathers in the jacket. Contour feathers are smaller and found under the regular feathers and underside of ducks and geese and play a vital role in keeping the birds insulated and warm during the cold winter months. You’ll see numbers like 70/30 or 90/10, with the first number representing the percentage of contour feathers and the second representing the percentage of regular feathers. The higher the contour feather usually means better the quality and higher price.
For this section, we’re going to look at two different aspects, the material used for the lining and outer shell, and the style of construction. For the most part, these types of jackets have two main construction methods, bonded baffles, and sewn-through.
Bonded Baffles – For this type of construction technique, the outer and inner part of the fabric are fused together through chemicals, glue, heat, or a combination of the three. One of the benefits of this type of construction is that it maximizes the loft of the fill and increases warmth. Winter wear made this way tend to be thicker and also more expensive than sewn-through jackets.
Sewn-Through – This type of construction is the most prevalent since it takes less time and is much simpler. For this method, the inner lining is sewn directly into the outer shell in order to create baffles that separate the filling. Less material is used for this technique, which allows the jacket to be lighter than those with bonded baffles and less expensive. They are also less warm as well.
The material used for the lining and outer shell is very important and plays a major role in the jacket’s weight, durability, water resistance, and warmth. The two most popular choices for the outer layer are polyester and nylon due to their ability to endure harsh weather conditions better. Choose a material that will suit your lifestyle to ensure that you get the most out of your jacket. If you are very active, make sure the material is durable and has good breathability.
The overall effectiveness of a down coat is if it keeps you warm, keeps you dry and keeps you comfortable. The effectiveness directly correlates to other criteria on this list, like the materials used, the insulator, and the overall fit.
Again, you might look at some of these down coats and think that they are too light to be effective in keeping you warm. You would be surprised. The down feathers are made to trap the heat and keep you warm. Think about it: birds stay warm with their feathers. It’s the same thing! How this works is that all of the feathers together (or their fluffiness, rather) creates air pockets that trap the warm heat from your body. This helps you retain heat as you wear the jacket.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to keeping warm and trapping the heat is the jacket closure. This also plays a part in keeping you warm. The style in which your jacket closes in the front can affect the amount of air that comes in and how much warmth escapes. The three main types of closures are zipper, buttons, and snap buttons. The best jackets usually have both a zipper and buttons or snaps. This style offers better protection.
As mentioned above, it’s important to keep in mind the materials and overall fit of the coat, too. For materials, you want something that is also waterproof or water repellant. This will help keep you warm and dry as well. The overall fit is important, for example, say you are a tall person, you might consider a longer jacket rather than one that cuts off at the waist. A longer coat will help trap more heat around your body. Depending on your height, some of these jackets can cover as much as down to your ankles, making it an extremely effective coat against the harsh cold.
Another feature that may play a role in the type of winter apparel you choose is the weight of the item. Remember, you should purchase something that meets your needs. If you need something for hiking or skiing, then something lighter would be ideal. This allows you easier movement and more breathability. If you need something for everyday use, then you may want something thicker and heavier for extra durability.
Often, you will see lightweight down coats that keep you very warm and allow you to pack them up into something as small as a pocket at times. Others are designed to be much thicker, and therefore heavier to wear or carry. When it comes to the weight of your jacket, again, consider the activity you will be doing while wearing the jacket. A heavier one might not be ideal if you are looking to hike with it. You might not like how heavy it is in your pack, and it may not be as compressible as you would like.
That’s where the lightweight jacket comes into the picture. While it is not designed for incredibly harsh temperatures, it is something that will still keep the wearer warm. Sometimes the weight of a down jacket comes from the outer and inner shell design. For example, there are some 3-in-1 jackets out there. Each layer adds weight to the coat. But, this design also allows the wearer to remove the mid-layer from the outer shell and wear it on its own. Going this direction gives you options on how heavy your jacket is going to be and when.
10 Best Down Coats
At the top of our list comes from Orolay with a women’s winter jacket that has a lot of amazing features at an affordable price. They incorporate a unique crumple design to increase warmth and use recycled fibers that is windproof and protects against the water. You can choose from five different color and sizes vary from xx-small up to xx-large.
The hem of this comfortable jacket features a unique crumple design that adds extra baffles for better warmth. The style flatters every body type, making it an ideal choice for women of all shapes and sizes.
Recycling is important for the environment, and Orolay understands how as a company they have a responsibility to lead the way. The outer shell and lining are made from recycled polyester, which also has a 60% higher density than regular material for better protection against wind and water.
Cost and Value
This outdoor wear has a 90/10 ratio of contour feathers to regular feathers for maximum loft and comes at a really good price considering the quality. It also has four zipper pockets and hood to keep your head warm.
2. Molodo Down Coat
We like the Molodo coat because it’s long and cool looking and exceedingly warm. It’s like wearing an igloo made of down, with a little room for your head. We also really like that image, but seriously this fluffy flowing coat is chock full of duck down and all of the accessories are classy and stylish so you can wear this flowing piece of downy magnificence to any occasion.
Puffy as Heck
The shell and lining are water-resistant 100 percent polyester and the filling is a nice mix of 90 percent down and 10 percent feathers. We don’t know how many letters are but in our book that full-length! The full-length coat also helps protect your lower parts from biting wind and cold no matter how the winter gods are trying to get you back in the house.
That’s a lot of coat to zipping so it’s nice that the zipper is hefty and high quality. It also has a nice buckle closure and a detachable hood (and while we’re talking hood it’s got a nice faux fur outer ring that makes you look positively Russian). It also has a slim waist design and two zipper pockets and knit cuffs to keep that cold wind off your arms.
Cost and Value
This baby is a bit pricey but it’s a really, really nice coat so we’re giving it a thumbs up and putting it into our second slot. Wear it loud and proud and laugh in the face of that harsh north wind. This coat will keep you warm no matter was February throws your way.
This incredibly lightweight and ultra-thin jacket from Xposurezone features a versatile design that combines fashion and functionality. The outer material is made from 70% nylon and 30% polyester blend for maximum protection against harsh weather and is insulated with 90% contour duck feathers for extra warmth. The thin and light design also allows for easy breathability which makes it the ideal choice for outdoor sports and activities.
This lightweight jacket features an ultra-thin design with breathable material perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, golfing, and climbing. Its V-neck design and unique choice of beautiful colors make this is also a great fit for just hanging out with friends as well.
Although this jacket is very thin, its shell is made with a unique blend of material that is tightly sewn together to keep the rain out while keeping you dry and warm. It’s also filled with 90% contour duck feathers for unexpected warmth.
Cost and Value
As the lowest costing item on the list, you get a great bargain. It has a nice style that looks like everyday settings and the functionality that makes it suitable for outdoor activities as well. It also comes with its carrying pouch for traveling.
4. Calvin Klein Quilted
This stylish jacket from Calvin Klein does more than effortlessly look nice, it keeps you warm and covered too. It's one of those jackets that is the best of both worlds, and you won't mind having to wear it for months on end. The quilted design lends a nice look. The long length keeps you covered, and the down feather filling is what is insulated. Keep in mind that this jacket is lightweight, so it's not designed for harsh winters, but instead, it is the perfect transitional jacket for fall and spring.
Lightweight and packable
This Calvin Klein down coat is made from super lightweight materials, which makes it easy to wear. Even though it is light, it still keeps you really warm. Also, because it is so lightweight, the jacket does not take up a ton of space and easily packs into a bag.
This jacket is long enough to wear over your clothes and still keep the wind, rain, and snow away from your upper body and legs (depending on how tall you are). Either way, it is still a stylish long jacket.
Cost and Value
Depending on the size, you can get a really good deal on this jacket. The brand has a good reputation in the apparel industry and you can choose from many different colors. This is a great pick for the fall and spring weather.
5. Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger has long been a leader in the fashion industry and their puffer jacket for men combines their sense of style with practical functionality. It has a channel-quilted construction that helps insulate and maintain your body’s temperature and two side pockets for your hands. The standing collar design gives it an urban look while preventing the wind from going over your back.
In order to get the most warmth out of the jacket, it was constructed with a channel-quilted technique that increases the loft for a bulkier look. The increased loft means that there are more air pockets and better
Although most puffer jacket brands provide several colors to choose from, Tommy twenty-eight different colors and designs, including grey camouflage, gold, and royal blue, allowing you to find something that matches your unique style.
Cost and Value
This is one of the lowest cost items on the list, but if you just need something light and versatile during cooler weather, this is a perfect choice. It also comes with a nylon packable bag that attaches to the jacket so you never have to worry about losing it.
Not only does this jacket look slick, but it also keeps you warm too. You won't mind having to wear a jacket with this one from Spyder. Wear it on the weekends or too and from the office and feel like you're looking good. Spyder is all about apparel that integrates high-technology fabric and offers a sport-inspired look that functions well with sport-like movement. This is a great transitional weather jacket. You will enjoy it more in the spring and fall.
The cuffs on this jacket feature elastic that makes them stay in place. You won't have to worry about wind or precipitation getting into your sleeves with these cuffs.
The material that this Spyder jacket is made from features a water-repellent coating. This is perfect for those cool but rainy days. You will stay warm and dryer but not bogged down by a heavy coat because of how lightweight this one is.
Cost and Value
The best part of this jacket. It’s cheap, and we really like that in these days of tightened belts and hunkering down. It looks way more expensive than it is and we might like that even more.
Columbia Sportswear Company has been manufacturing top-notch outdoors gear for over 70 years and is worn by professional athletes around the world. Their puffer jacket is made with water-resistant fabric and has a sewn through design that makes it extra-lightweight. It’s easy to wash and maintain and comes in twelve different colors, including Mountain Red, Marine Blue, and Fuse green.
Most puffer jackets are resistant to wind, but few are truly water resistant. Columbia constructed the shell and lining form 100% high-quality polyester that will keep you dry during those stormy weathers.
Looking for something that can endure the wear and tear of everyday use and is easy to care for? This item is machine washable and filled with nylon fibers designed to repel water and keep you warm.
Cost and Value
Columbia is a brand that is known for its high-quality outdoor apparel. This puffer jacket has everything you would expect from them, and more, for a price much lower than others in its class.
This elegant, yet practical winter wear from BGSD was designed in the US to fit American body types comfortably. The low cut allows great coverage of your body and has a 600 fill power rating for amazing warmth when you need it most. It can be washed in your wash machine and the 100% polyester shell protects you from the wind and rain. Extra features to keep you warm include the detachable hood and the knit inset cuff design.
Hidden Zipper Closure
BGSD’s front closure design is a combination of style and practicality. The snap placket that covers the zipper closure gives this parka a seamless design while helping protect against the wind and rain.
Knit Inset Cuffs
One of the main objectives of a winter parka is to keep you warm. Features like a removable hood and knit inset cuffs, which prevents wind from blowing up your sleeves, helps achieve this.
Cost and Value
This item costs a little more than some of the others on the list, but it offers great coverage and has a fill power rating of 600 for great warmth. The design is elegant, yet practical, making it an ideal jacket for just about any occasion.
9. Columbia Long
There are not a lot of winter coats that can keep you warm in seriously cold temperatures and still manage to look stylish. The outer shell is made from 100% nylon for extra durability and features a unique quilted pattern design that provides a body-flattering effect. The outer fabric is also windproof and water resistant for extra protection and the inner fabric has body-warming technology.
Columbia stays at the forefront of the outdoor apparel industry by applying the latest technology into their clothing’s design. This includes a unique thermal-reflective design in the lining that bounces your body heat back for extra warmth.
High Fill-Power Rating
The fill-power rating refers to the number assigned to a jacket which represents how much space the contour feather takes relating to the weight of the item. A higher rating means that there are more air pockets for more warmth. At 600 fill-power, this product is considered very good.
Cost and Value
This winter jacket cost a little more than most on the list, but the prices are still pretty reasonable considering the quality. The outer material is resistant to water and is filled with high-quality goose feathers with a high fill power rating.
There are so many reasons to love the Valuker were not quite sure where to start. Maybe start with the 90% down lining. Or maybe the full length that reaches from the top of your head to your knees. Maybe its the way it's snug and form fitting which manages to make you look great while keeping you warms. Maybe it's all of these things, pick your favorite part of this jacket and say Meh to the coldest of days when you step outside wearing this downy piece of warm magic.
90 Percent Duck Down
The more down the more we're down with these coats. Honestly, this form-fitting jacket is 90 percent down surrounding a synthetic impermeable outer shell just in case feathers and you don't get along. But all those feathers mean you are going to be plenty warm in the coldest of weathers.
The hood itself isn't detachable but the faux fur lining comes off really easily. And to make it all better since it's not real, not only are you still a good person for not wearing fur, but it won't shed. And to make the Valuker even more enticing, the fur trim is packaged separately from the coat to make sure it doesn't get damaged in transport.
Cost and Value
Valukers lean towards the high end and that's okay for what you're getting with this coast. Three pockets, full length, a form-fitting stylish coat, tow outer, and one inner pocket and it is windproof and water repellent so you can laugh at the worst of the winter. We're big fans so consider adding this to your winter coat closet.