Best Men's Down Jackets

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
431 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best men’s down jackets

Last Updated December 2019

Whether you live in a cold climate or enjoy the great outdoors on the weekends, a men’s down jacket is a must for your wardrobe. Down jackets, which have a synthetic shell and fluffy insulation plucked from ducks or geese, do an excellent job of trapping and retaining heat.

Before you add a down jacket to your shopping cart, consider your needs. Do you engage in outdoor sports or other activities in which you break a sweat? What kind of weather will you wear the jacket in? Do you need a waterproof jacket? Also, think about the length of the down jacket and the style you like.

We can help you decide. Below, we’ve compiled a buying guide with all the key information on men’s down jackets. Keep reading to learn more about these jackets, their myriad uses, and how to take care of one. Take a look at some of our favorites, too. You’ll soon be keeping warm in style.

Down jackets with a fill power of 750 and above aren’t easy to find. These coats are made for extreme temperatures, though. The average buyer can stick with a fill power of 550 to 700.

Key considerations

Down

The goose or duck down in men’s down jackets isn’t made from the stiff feathers with quills in them; rather, down is the soft, fluffy feathers underneath those outer feathers. Down traps heat, making it a natural insulator for ducks and geese, so it lends itself to durable outerwear that can keep you warm, too. Down also wicks moisture away from the body. Whether it’s in a jacket, coat, vest, or comforter, down is a superior insulator. Most of the world’s down comes from China, where the material is plucked from birds being butchered for meat.

Fill power: Fill power is the measure of down’s loft, or insulating quality, expressed as cubic inches per ounce on a scale of about 400 to 900. The higher the fill power, the better the down’s insulating properties. A common fill power is 400 to 500, though it’s considered low quality. Products with this number have down from immature ducks and geese. The warmest and lightest down — and the most expensive — is sourced from mature birds and has a 900 rating. For a high-quality men’s down jacket, look for a fill power of 550 or higher.

Duck vs. goose down: Traditionally, goose down was used, and it has a higher fill power than duck down. The good news is that the down from ducks and geese is pretty similar. Because people consume ducks more than geese, duck down is more readily available. There is still demand for goose down, but it’s more expensive.

Water resistance: A typical men’s down jacket is not waterproof. In heavy rain, the down will get waterlogged and lose its insulating ability. Hydrophobic down has been coated with a water-repelling chemical, which means it absorbs less water and dries more quickly. If you’re looking for a down jacket to wear while camping, hydrophobic down is a good choice. But even hydrophobic down isn’t completely waterproof. If you’ll be spending a lot of time in the rain, we recommend layering a collarless down jacket underneath a waterproof jacket.

Fill weight: Fill weight refers to the amount of down used to manufacture the jacket. It affects how soft or firm a down jacket is and how well it compresses. Fill weight tends to be overlooked, but it’s still important.

Shell

The down filling is only part of the jacket’s construction and total weight. Other factors to consider include the outer shell, zipper, and pockets. Ultralight nylon, while lightweight, snags more easily, lessening the jacket’s overall durability. A hardy polyester shell will better protect the jacket’s down insulation.

EXPERT TIP

If your jacket is no longer fluffy after a tumble in the dryer, it might be time for a new one.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Hood

A hood provides adds extra warmth while protecting your head from wind and weather. Some coats include an adjustable cinching hood, which has a drawstring you can use to tighten the hood’s fit. A hood does add extra bulk to the jacket, however. If you intend to use a light down jacket for layering, you can probably skip the hood altogether.

Elastic

Most men’s down jackets have elastic at the wrists and waist to keep cold air from entering the jacket and help you stay warmer longer.

Pockets

Some, though not all, men’s down jackets have fleece-lined pockets. This might seem unnecessary if you wear gloves, but if you’re going to spend extended periods of time in cold temperatures, pockets can make all the difference.

Color

When it comes to men’s down jackets, some shoppers opt for a neutral color, and you’ll have no trouble finding down jackets in gray, black, tan, and white. Those who enjoy a pop of color are also in luck. Down jackets are available in virtually every hue, from red to green to yellow to blue. Consider the other items in your wardrobe before you commit to a color. You can always pair a neutral-colored coat with bright accessories.

Fit

A properly fitting down jacket will keep you warm while complementing the shape of your upper body. For a men’s jacket, the torso should be fitted without being too tight. Leave enough room for layering garments underneath. For a flattering fit, the waist of the jacket should narrow slightly. The armholes should be large enough that you can move your arms easily.

EXPERT TIP

It’s normal for down jackets to leak feathers, particularly after being washed. No worries. Simply push the down back in and dry the jacket on the “no heat” setting.


Staff  | BestReviews

Men’s down jacket prices

You can expect to pay from $30 to $400 and more for a men’s down jacket. This is a big range, but there are quite a few factors that affect the price, such as fill power, fit, weight, water resistance, and brand.

Inexpensive: Down jackets that cost $30 to $50 have a low fill weight and no water resistance. If you’re on a budget or need a simple jacket for outdoor activities in mild weather, you can have some luck in this price range.

Mid-range: The sweet spot for men’s down jackets is $50 to $100. At this price, you’ll find many different styles and colors. More of these jackets include hoods and features such as fleece-lined pockets. You can find hydrophobic down jackets at this price, too. On the higher end of this range, you’ll find jackets with a fill power of about 600.

Expensive: Down jackets that cost more than $100 have a higher fill power. You’ll pay about $200 for a jacket with a fill power of 700 and up to $400 for a jacket with a fill power of 850. Jackets from luxury brands can cost even more, surpassing $500.

EXPERT TIP

Look for a reliable down wash for your jacket. Regular detergent, even a mild one, risks stripping the natural oils in the down.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Patch tears. If your jacket gets ripped, you can patch it back up. Push the down back in and use a piece of duct tape or material specially made for repairing down jackets. Cut the patch in a curved shape so the corners won’t snag on anything.
  • Pre-dry your jacket. You can do this by placing it on a flat surface and using towels to absorb the moisture. It helps minimize the amount of time the jacket spends in the dryer.
  • Fluff your jacket in the dryer. No tennis balls on hand? You can fluff your down jacket in the dryer using rolled-up socks instead.

Other products we considered

We know it’s nice to have options. In addition to the men’s down jackets we recommend above, we also like the Spyder Pelmo Down Jacket. This sleek, form-fitting jacket has elasticized cuffs, a red lining, a fill power of 550, and is machine washable. Buyers say this jacket is warm and lightweight, making it a great mid-layer jacket for the outdoors. Note that the sizing runs small.

We’re also fans of the Kenneth Cole Asymmetric Down Moto Jacket. A stylish option that comes in several different colors, this jacket isn’t made for rugged outdoor activity, but with its fleece-lined pockets it will keep you warm on a chilly night out in temps as low as 15°F. The asymmetrical zipper adds a subtly edgy look.

For those who avoid wearing animal products, there are alternative down jackets available. Just note that the fill is denser and less effective as insulation than down.

FAQ

Q. How do I wash my down coat?
A
. It’s pretty easy to wash a down coat. Simply put it in a front-loading washer with a gentle detergent specifically made for use with down items. Wash on the gentle cycle, and dry on low heat with three dryer balls or tennis balls to fluff the down. Down that is wet and clumped together is ineffective as insulation.
 

Q. Should a down jacket be dry cleaned?
A.
The majority of down jackets are machine washable. You’d only need a dry cleaner for a select few fabrics — like a coat with a silk shell, for example.
 

Q. Will my down jacket lose its warmth over time?
A.
It’s possible. It all depends on the jacket’s quality and how well you take care of it. If you clean it gently and regularly, a quality goose or duck down jacket can last for ten years or longer.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Ola
    Ola
    Writer

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