Best Women'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.

29 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
365 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 women’s down jackets

Last Updated December 2019

Ready for plunging temperatures? Having the right outerwear is the key to enjoying cold weather to the fullest, so choosing a women’s down jacket is an important decision.

As bulky as they look, down jackets are incredibly lightweight since they’re filled with duck or goose feathers. This unique fill provides unmatched warmth in chilly temperatures, and in some styles, only minimal layering beneath it is necessary. The signature puffy look of down jackets is now a style staple in winter fashion — it’s created by geometric quilted patterns that render each jacket different from the next. All things considered, women’s down jackets are the crown jewel of functional fashion in freezing temperatures.

If you’re ready to weather the elements in a brand new down jacket, read our buying guide for helpful tips and expert product advice. We’re sure you’ll find a style that keeps you warm for years to come.

If you’re washing your down jacket at home, avoid using harsh detergents, especially those with bleaching agents. Completely avoid using fabric softeners.

Key considerations

Synthetic vs. down fill

Synthetic fill jackets are generally less expensive options, so you can actually purchase more than one for the same price as a single down jacket. They’re also warm alternatives if you’re allergic to feathers. Even so, synthetic fill jackets are not as warm as down, so you most likely need a few layers beneath them. They also don’t have the same longevity as down jackets.

Down fill jackets are extremely warm and have a luxurious, fluffy, and lightweight feel to them. Depending on the style, you may not need to wear several layers beneath them, except in extreme temperatures. Down fill jackets are usually more expensive than synthetic alternatives, so they’re more of an investment. They’re obviously not for those who are sensitive or allergic to feathers.

Fill weight

You may notice down jackets are marked with numbers like “600g” or “500g” down. This refers to how much the fill weighs. The higher the number, the more it weighs — and the warmer the jacket. Moderate quality weight is up to 600g, and high-quality weight ranges from 650g to 750g. If you’re looking for the highest quality, aim to get 800g or higher fill weight in your down jacket.

Jacket length

Women’s down jackets come in four main lengths: waist and hip, mid-thigh, calf, and full-length. Waist and hip styles are the sportiest jackets, but if you have a longer torso, they may be too short and leave your waist and lower back susceptible to drafts. Mid-thigh lengths make sure most of your bottom is covered, even if you’re moving and bending. They’re well-suited for active individuals but may not be enough for those who spend a lot of time in colder temperatures.

Calf lengths fall anywhere between the knee and the ankle. These are a good choice if you need warmth that covers the majority of the body, especially the areas that boots don’t reach. For maximum coverage, which is especially important in extreme temperatures, full-length styles are best. They fall closer to the ankle and often feature A-line silhouettes to allow for ample range of motion while walking.

EXPERT TIP

If you enjoy all-day outdoor excursions in cold weather, opt for a down jacket with plenty of pockets so you don’t need to carry around a large bag.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Hood

Despite the fact that down jackets are intended for cold, wet weather, not all of them come with hoods. Coats with hoods are either sewn on or removable, with the latter being more common. Removable hoods are snapped, zippered, or buttoned off and on, making them ultra-convenient to transition between styles. Depending on how it’s attached, the procedure can take a few minutes.

Cuffs

Down jackets vary quite a bit at the cuffs. Some are essentially open and just as wide as the rest of the sleeve. Others taper at the wrist to eliminate drafts. This area is a point of contention for consumers, as cuffs are often too tight or too wide, and sleeves can be the wrong length. To find a down jacket with more precise sizing to suit your arm length, consider styles that have a broad size range, including petite and tall.

Adjustability

Some down jackets have adjustable features courtesy of Velcro, bungee cords, or drawstrings. When located at the jacket’s middle section, their intentions are to create more of an illusion of a waist in an otherwise boxy style. Cuffs are often adjustable as well so they can be customized to seal off any drafts, especially over gloves.

Special lining

Select down jackets feature special lining, mostly in the form of fleece and faux shearling. Generally speaking, this lining only covers the torso or certain panels around the face. Since these materials are highly absorbent, limiting their presence to the top part of the jacket means they won’t be exposed to moisture and saturate the jacket from the bottom up.

Weather resistance

Down jackets are often equipped with various degrees of weather resistance, which mostly depends on their shell materials — normally polyester and nylon. Quality down jackets are, at the very least, water-resistant. There are some styles that are windproof as well, which means the weave of the material won’t allow wind to penetrate the jacket. 

EXPERT TIP

A well-fitting down jacket should be comfortable to wear while driving. When trying on jackets, hold your arms out straight in front of you. As long as it doesn’t feel constrictive, you’re good to go.


Staff  | BestReviews

Women’s down jacket prices

Women’s down jackets cost between $60 and $400. Price depends not only on the quality of the fill, but also how well designed the jacket is to protect you in colder temperatures.

Inexpensive: You can pick up a wallet-friendly down jacket for less than $100. For the most part, you can only find waist or hip-length styles, and only some come with hoods.

Mid-range: If you’re looking for a longer jacket with better cold-weather features, expect to spend between $100 and $200. These styles often include removable hoods, more pockets, and wrist cuffs.

Expensive: For premium down jackets from major labels, you can spend between $200 and $400. These jackets are typically long and full-length styles. In addition to a variety of adjustability options, they sometimes have fur trim.

EXPERT TIP

Certain down jackets are equipped with media player pockets convenient for commuters and students.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Spot clean with gentle products. Staying on top of stains is important, provided you’re using the correct spot cleaning products. Stick to gentle, bleach-free formulas or use a diluted mixture of hand soap for sensitive skin.
  • Choose a jacket with a waist. To avoid a boxy look, choose a down jacket with a distinct waistline or at the very least, a style with a drawstring or bungee cords at the waist.
  • Size up if you layer. If you prefer layering clothing in colder weather, it’s a good idea to consider sizing up your down jacket.

Other products we considered

We also like Eddie Bauer Women’s Lodge Down Duffle Coat. This long jacket averages 45 inches in length, falling mid-calf on most women. It has one of the largest size ranges available, including petite, tall, and plus sizes. The jacket also features a fleece-lined upper body and neck area, making it soft against the skin and minimizing clothing and hair static.

If you’re looking for a waist-length sporty style, we like North Face Women’s Aconcagua Jacket II. Available in 18 colors including some metallic tones, this versatile lightweight down jacket is a quality and affordable choice. Between its high level of water resistance and wind protection, it’s well-suited for a cold day of traveling or hiking. Its full-coverage neck protector earns high marks for keeping your neck warm without the bulk of a scarf.

When attaching or removing a hood to or from your down jacket, lay it flat on a bed to ensure your zipper won’t catch on the surrounding fabric.

FAQ

Q. How do I clean my down jacket without ruining the feather fill?
A.
Before choosing a cleaning method, reach out to the jacket manufacturer for their recommended instructions. Some manufacturers recommend having down jackets cleaned professionally to be safe. Others say you can wash it at home, provided you have a front-loading washing machine since top-loading models have agitators that are too rough for down jackets. In terms of drying, some jackets are best left to air dry, while others are fine on tumble dry low with some tennis balls to help the feathers stay fluffy.

Q. How should I store my down jacket off-season?
A.
Keep your jacket in a closet with ample space around it to breathe and move freely. The last thing you want to do is stuff it in a tightly packed rack of clothing, as it can compress and de-fluff the feathers. You may need to rearrange your closet or wardrobe to make sure your down jacket is properly stored.

Q. I’m going on a trip to a cold weather destination. How do I pack a bulky down jacket?
A.
When traveling to a colder destination, it’s a good idea to keep your outerwear with your other carry-on items in an overhead compartment. With that said, you’ll probably be short on space when you travel, so consider getting a lightweight down jacket instead. These thin yet warm packable jackets can fit into small bags and are comfortable to wear all day. You might need to have a couple of base layers, but at least you won’t have to carry around “puffer bulk” on your trip.

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

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