We found the best women’s down jackets for every budget and activity. From a do-all hoodie to a budget-friendly puffy, we’ve got you covered.
Down jackets are a winter staple. They provide top-level warmth while packing down small. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to choose.
Our group of testers donned a handful of the best down jackets in salty elements at work and exploring the outdoors. These outer layers were tested while rock climbing, hunting, walking, running, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, shoveling, camping, and more.
And while there isn’t a perfect jacket for every single activity, we’ve found a variety of the best down puffy jackets to keep you warm all winter. Jump to our favorites below:
- Best Overall
- Best Budget
- Best Stretch
- Most Eco-Friendly
- Most Stylish
- Best for Plus Sizes
- Best of the Rest
The Best Down Jackets for Women in 2022
Best Overall: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie
This 800-fill Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie ($279) withstands wind, resists moisture, and is lightweight for its level of warmth. We took this jacket on rolling hikes, bike rides, and walks on crisp bluebird days during 5-degree lows and with dry blizzard conditions in Colorado’s Front Range, Elk, and Sangre de Cristo mountains. We stayed dry throughout thanks to the shell’s DWR finish, which resists moisture.
Heavier amounts of water noticeably dampen the exterior, though it rebounds. This hoodie easily withstood bitter gusts, and the elastic cuffs are comfortable and block wind. When fully zippered, the reinforced neck rise doesn’t slouch, which protects the lower half of the face. But the hood shape is a little too snug to comfortably wear a helmet.
“This is an excellent everyday down jacket with great style and protection for the winter season,” said one tester. It’s awesome to pull on after cardio activity, like after a winter run. We also loved it for backcountry travel. And it maintains loft and warmth even with snowfall and some moisture.
The reason it tops our list? It’s durable over time, and we found it just slightly warmer than our runner-up choice.
Runner-Up: Eddie Bauer MicroTherm 2.0 Down Jacket
The Eddie Bauer MicroTherm 2.0 ($174) is versatile, warm, lightweight, waterproof, durable, and so much more. This jacket is quality — it features 800-fill goose down, a “super” DWR, and stretch panels, and it’s tested to a temp rating down to -20 C/-5 F. In testing, we definitely found it’s warm.
Eddie Bauer markets it as its premium ultralight jacket, and we’d agree. The fill power is premium, and so is the quality of the fabric and design.
We do want to note this jacket is ultralight and in order to shave weight, Eddie Bauer gave it an active fit. We found it slightly short in the waist/core length. Depending on your frame, the shape of this jacket may also be narrow in the hips. (If you want a roomier fit for layering or a standard fit, maybe consider our overall pick.)
What our staff testers and online reviewers liked most about the Eddie Bauer MicroTherm 2.0 jacket is that it’s warm and lightweight and versatile — for everything from skiing to general daily wear to travel. It kept us warm in fall, winter, and spring (and stood up well to a whole season of wear). A chilly 40-degree fall morning, a 10-degree ski day, or even a dash through a blizzard — the MicroTherm can handle all sorts of cold.
The last feature that swayed this jacket toward the top of our list? The array of clean, elegant color choices. This. Jacket. Rocks.
Best Budget Down Jacket: REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0
The REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket ($99) is for anyone in search of a down jacket that won’t break the bank. It packs down easily into its own pocket (almost as packable as our top choice) and quickly regains its shape after unpacking.
The DWR coating protects from light moisture. It even withstood an accidental spill — the coffee just sat on top and rolled off with a quick shake. No stain, no absorption. One tester reported, “The jacket never got soggy, and the wind never bit me. The zipper’s storm flap actually works.”
One con is the feathers did leak more than expected. But as a DWR-treated jacket with a 650-fill at less than $100, it’s a top contender.
“This is the most flexible down jacket I’ve ever worn, which makes it super comfortable for everyday outdoor tasks and recreation,” said our staff tester Morgan Tilton. The jacket performed well on commuter rides, nippy walks, and snowy hikes in a range of temperatures from 10 to 35 degrees plus windchill at 10,000 feet.
“When I lean over handlebars, there’s no seam restriction on my upper back, arms, or shoulders. My ability to fully reach feels like I’m not wearing a jacket at all,” she said.
The Super/DS Down ($275) is the first-ever jacket with stitch-free baffle construction and is made from a single fabric, eliminating the need for glue. The 700-fill jacket is lightweight and packs down to the size of a small travel pillow. Most impressively, water droplets roll off the surface with no signs of absorption or loss of loft.
Its hood is stretchy and spacious for a climbing helmet. However, when fully zippered, the hood’s elastic slightly pulls back the front collar, so the lower face is exposed from time to time. Still, given the warmth and stretch, this jacket would be our first pick for cold climbing-based endeavors.
Most Eco-Friendly: Mammut Whitehorn IN Jacket
There’s a lot to like about the Whitehorn IN Jacket ($239) from Mammut. First, let’s talk about an unusual standout feature — it’s reversible. You basically get two warm and comfortable looks for the price of one. Plus, you can feel good knowing it’s top-of-class for sustainability.
The outer is protected with a PFC-free DWR coating to repel moisture and keep you dry. We had no problem in light, wet snow, but be sure to bring a shell for any wetter conditions. With a combo of 650-fill recycled down and strategically placed recycled synthetic Ajungilak insulation along the shoulders, we stayed plenty warm during 10- to 20-degree days.
This jacket doesn’t pack down super small, so it’s not a favorite choice for lightweight backcountry outings. But anyone looking for a warm, comfortable, sustainable puffy will appreciate the Whitehorn IN.
Most Stylish: Basin and Range New Wingate Down Jacket
Looking for an around-town winter jacket that will keep you warm and stylish? Then you need to meet the New Wingate Down Jacket ($190). The 550-fill down is lofty and warm. And the nylon outer shell is durable enough to withstand years of use. We’ve worn this during blizzard conditions and stayed toasty running mountain town errands.
We especially like that the adjustable storm cuffs keep the cold wind out. And the insulated hood kept our ears warm even when we forgot our hat at home. The hood has a faux fur lining, which is removable if that’s not your style.
We’ve heard concerns about this jacket being too narrow through the hips, but our testers had no such problem. We were easily able to layer a sweater underneath and zip it fully.
This isn’t the jacket to choose for light packing or backcountry adventures. But for après ski outings and in-town adventures, it’s a wintertime winner. And considering you can grab one now for over $100 off, it’s a great deal too.
Best for Plus Sizes: Columbia Delta Ridge Down Jacket
If you’re looking for the warmest, plus-size down layer for a great price, look no further than Columbia’s Delta Ridge Down Jacket ($160). It features 650-fill down and Columbia’s thermal-reflective, silver-dot interior to reflect heat to provide as much warmth as possible. This jacket also has stitch-free baffling for zero drafts, a water-resistant shell fabric, zippered hand pockets, and binding at the hood, cuffs, and hem.
Across online retailers, this plus-size down jacket has a 4.7 out of a 5-star rating. That’s pretty damn good for any piece of apparel, but especially outerwear in extended sizes. Columbia nailed the fit, features, and comfort with the Delta Ridge. And, this down jacket works for a variety of activities outside.
It’s available in sizes 1X-3X (size range 16-26). We loved its sister version, the Women’s Delta Ridge Down Jacket ($140) in testing too.
Best of the Rest
This light, packable, 850-fill, lofty down jacket ($359) is exemplary for belaying, climbing, and hiking in the fall and spring as well as alpine climbing in the summer.
“The jacket and insulated hood’s amazing insulation kept me warm even with wind, which I didn’t feel through the fabric. The Cerium SL Hoody is easy to move in. I also really liked the elastic cuffs on the sleeves: I can easily tuck my hands to warm them,” said one tester.
But we wouldn’t recommend this jacket for wet winter activities, as snowfall dampened the outer layer. It’s also not super breathable, and there are no interior pockets.
One tester used this jacket as an outermost layer for backcountry ice climbing in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains in zero- to 10-degree temperatures. Her routes included multipitch and mixed (rock and ice), vertical and overhanging frozen faces, and chimney moves.
“While I belayed and climbed, this jacket kept me warm without overheating,” she said. “It was super lightweight, especially for how protective it is.”
It gets top marks for range of motion. And the exterior fabric is both supple and durable.
Designed for full warmth with a nod to The North Face’s retro style, this goose-down jacket is one of our favorites in the height of winter. The Nuptse Down Jacket ($280) has 700-fill down, a DWR finish for protection in wet weather, and a cinch at the hem to keep heat in. Wide baffles, oversized logos, and a more relaxed fit complete the style.
We loved a lot of things about this down puffy, namely, its warmth, packability, and adjustable cuffs. Most jackets we tested simply had stretch cuffs — this jacket’s adjustability is great for creating a seal around your winter gloves or mittens.
The stowable hood also packs into the collar, and the entire jacket compresses down to zip into its own pocket.
Fjallraven is known for making high-quality gear, and the Greenland Down Liner Jacket ($260) is no exception. And it’s impressively eco-friendly. From the ethically produced 650-fill down to the recycled polyester outer, this jacket hits all the marks. It shed light moisture well (thanks to a PFC-free DWR finish) but can soak through in extremely wet conditions.
Our testers appreciated the soft jersey cuffs and urban flair. Though this jacket is touted as a midlayer, it looks good enough to hold its own in town.
For active pursuits, it doesn’t offer the extra stretch or breathability of some of the best women’s down jackets. And women with broad or muscular shoulders may find it too tight for comfort.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Down Jacket
Down insulation is made from goose or duck plumage, a natural undercoat beneath feathers. This traditional jacket fill is known for being lightweight and compressible while maintaining warmth due to intricate clusters that capture air and body heat.
Down vs. Synthetic
You may be wondering, do I even need a down jacket? Or, why should I add a down jacket to my gear closet? Down is incredibly insulating and warm. It’s also very light. The downsides of down are a loss of insulation when wet and an inability to dry fast. In the long run, it also requires special cleaning.
Synthetic insulation, on the other hand, is made from polyester fibers and is designed to imitate down clusters and properties with a few key differences. If you compare two equal-weight jackets, down is warmer than this alternative. But synthetic insulation retains warmth even when wet. It’s also easier to wash and usually comes at a lower price point.
Within synthetic jackets, active insulation is another progressive subcategory to know. These technical garments are designed to dump extra heat and dry fast, so you don’t have to remove the jacket during vigorous activity. But these layers also need to be durable, warm, and wind-resistant. It’s a tricky balance.
Fill power is a measurement of the down feathers’ loft, on a scale of 400 to 900 cubic inches per ounce. The number reflects the down’s quality and warmth-to-weight ratio. The higher the number, the higher the quality — less down is needed to create the same warmth. Down jackets with 800- to 900-fill power will be lighter, more packable, and pricier.
Outdoor industry brands have made an effort to source down ethically without animal cruelty and create transparency in the global supply chain. Various certifications exist, but the most common is the Responsible Down Standard and Global Traceable Down Standard. Without meeting such standards, animal abuse can become part of the supply chain. Synthetic choices can set some folks at ease.
Animal materials aside, synthetics can sometimes be a safer choice overall — like in wet or mixed weather. Active insulation is best for high-output action. If it’s cold and dry, down is optimal despite a higher cost. The above are a handful of the best down jackets to keep you covered in the cold.
Consider Fit: Size, Stretch, Length
When choosing a down jacket, consider where, how often, and what activities you’ll be using it most for. Are you going to wear it walking or hiking? Are you planning a technical winter alpine summit? Do you just need a warm down coat for winter?
First, consider how much room you’ll need for layers. This will depend on the climate, moisture levels, and temperatures of where you’ll be wearing the jacket. (Also, if you tend to run cold.)
Next, consider length. Do you want a shorter, athletic fit? Do you want waist, hip, or knee-length? This will depend on your own activity and comfort levels.
Finally, consider stretch. Do you want stretch panels or a helmet-compatible hood? Do you prefer an adjustable hem or stretch hood?
I’m on the taller side and really appreciate a jacket with stretch fabric and paneling in the arms and shoulders. Some of the puffies on this list are better for lower-output activities and some for higher-output activities (you’ll want more stretch for these).
What's the Best Down Jacket to Buy?
The best down jacket that reigned supreme in our testing was the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie, but we also included a runner-up (the Eddie Bauer MicroTherm 2.0 Down Jacket), because a single jacket isn’t going to perfectly fit and please everyone. You can’t go wrong with either of these.
But if you’re looking for specific features — maybe a parka length, down ski jacket, or jacket with a chest pocket — check out all our Best of the Rest picks. Every jacket on this list was tested and recommended by at least one female staff member.
Is Down Good for Backpacking?
I can answer this question with two words: consider climate. Need a second clue? Humidity. That’s right, we’re talking moisture. Heavy, wet snow and air have a much different effect on fabrics than cold and dry snow and air.
Consider where you’ll be wearing the down jacket. Are you backpacking in the fall or early spring? Will it be wet and rainy, or will it be on the drier side?
Generally, a down puffy is a perfect layer to add to your backpacking pack, whether it’s for day hiking or backpacking. If you’re buying a puffy specifically for backpacking, you’ll also want to make sure it works with your other layers, is comfortable wearing with a pack, and can pack down small.
How Should a Down Jacket Fit?
Down jackets are designed to be insulating and warm. However, you should still leave a little room for layering. That being said, you don’t want a jacket to be too big. If so, the airspace between your body, the inside of the jacket, and the insulation is wasted space and you’ll lose heat.
If a jacket is too small, you won’t have as good of a range of motion — essential, especially when engaging in high-output activities in the cold.
We don’t recommend a jacket here if the fit is way off. We do still recommend checking each brand’s sizing guide to ensure that you get the best-fitting jacket possible.
What Is the Highest Down Fill Power?
The highest fill power, 900-fill, is also going to be the warmest. The majority of down jackets we tested (and a good reflection of what’s on the market) were 650-fill to 800-fill power down.
Which Down Fill Is in My Price Range?
This is a great question and one almost everyone considers when buying a down jacket (even if you don’t realize it). Generally, a good-quality down fill power is 500 and up. A jacket with 500- or 600-fill down is good, 600- to 800- fill down is better, 800- to 850-fill down is great, and 900-fill down is probably overkill, unless you’re traveling to arctic or high alpine environments.
The higher the fill power, the higher the price will be. You’ll want to weigh price but also usage. Do you frequent cold places and need a quality jacket? Do you run cold? Then consider investing in a higher-fill down option, like the Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretchdown Hooded Down Jacket or Eddie Bauer MicroTherm 2.0 on this list.
If you’re deciding between two jackets and one is much higher in price, always check the fill power. Most down jackets I own are between 650- and 700-down fill. Though, like our top pick, it doesn’t hurt to have an 800-fill for your coldest adventures.