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The 10 Best Down Jackets of 2022-2023

By: Kevin Katsafanas: Men's Techwear Buyer | November 19, 2022

 

Everybody loves a good puffy. A down jacket is as versatile as a piece of gear can get, offering unbeatable weight-to-warmth ratios, packability, and comfort. So it’s no wonder that you see them everywhere from remote mountain summits to distant checkout lines at the grocery store. It weighs next to nothing and packs down to about the same, so a down puffer is an easy, automatic add to any backcountry pack for any occasion. With a plethora of insulated jacket options for various activities and layering systems available on the market, we’ve sifted through the baffles to find you the very best down jackets and synthetic puffies of the season.

New This Year:

This year, we’ve seen many of our favorite down jackets put an extra premium on eco-friendly construction. Patagonia and The North Face in particular are two brands that we’re really excited about. Patagonia has a freshly updated design for their legendary Down Sweater. They’ve swapped out all the shell and lining fabric for their NetPlus ripstop, which is made entirely from recycled fishing lines. Not to be outdone, TNF is continuing to build on the success of their ThermoBall Eco Hoodie, which is made with recycled fabrics as well as recycled synthetic insulation.

Patagonia Down Sweater

Patagonia Down Sweater

The iconic Patagonia Down Sweater gets a fabric upgrade, and we're stoked about it. Both shell and lining are now made of 1.2-oz 20 denier NetPlus® ripstop from recycled fishing nets, so the nylon goes on your shoulders and not in the stomach of some unsuspecting sea creature. The 800-Fill Power 100% Virgin Goose Down insulation is the best money can buy, and it makes a difference both in terms of warmth and packability. If you need a low-profile mid layer that doesn't compromise, this is the one to bank on.

When you think of a down puffy, the image that probably comes to mind is this one right here. It's a classic for a reason, offering 4-season packable warmth and clean-cut style. This year it’s been updated for an even lower environmental impact.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
800-fill DownRecycled NylonNo$279

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The North Face Thermoball Eco Hoodie

The North Face Thermoball Eco Hoodie

We like to describe TNF's ThermoBall™ Eco insulation as "Great Balls of Fire" to customers in the store who aren't familiar with the product, and it's an apt description for the insulating power even if the hoodie gets wet. The North Face ThermoBall™ Eco Hoodie stashed in your pack or kept in your car is the ideal way to guarantee your day doesn't turn into cold misery when the weather goes south. This year's ThermoBall™ Eco Hoodie features improved insulation and an updated fit.

We all love down, but sometimes synthetic is the way to go. If you’re looking for a puffy to wear in conditions where it might get wet, a high-level synthetic down jacket like this one might be the way to go. We love its clean look that wears well as an outer layer, and the fact that the whole thing is made from post-consumer materials.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
Recycled SyntheticRecycled NylonYes$229.95 - 239.95

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Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie

Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie

Stay warm across the seasons with the Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie, an extra layerable, packable, and toasty puff that goes wherever you do. Sewn with durable nylon ripstop and packed with VerticalX™ SuperStrand insulation equivalent to 700-800 fill power down, the SuperStrand LT Hoodie packs into its pocket so it can be ready for action whenever you are.

The SuperStrand LT is another awesome synthetic option. This one is a bit lighter than the ThermoBall Eco Hoodie, but that makes it that much more layerable. It’s perfect for activities like ski tours, ice climbing, and shoulder season hiking where you might want to wear it under a waterproof shell.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
SyntheticNylonYes$219 - $235

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Rab Infinity Alpine Jacket

Rab Infinity Alpine Jacket

Designed specifically for climbers and mountaineers, the Rab® Infinity Alpine Down Jacket is a trusted veteran when it comes to keeping you warm amidst cold environments. Constructed with zoned GORE-TEX® INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER®, it's no longer paradoxical to simultaneously block wind and maintain breathability. What's more, Rab's unique Interstitch Baffle Technology leverages overhanging baffle stitching to ensure water can't penetrate. Extremely light yet extremely warm, the Rab® Infinity Alpine Down Jacket and its 800 FP RDS goose feather down will surely not disappoint!

A down jacket and a windbreaker in one? Sign us up. One downside to down is that it often can only be used as an outer layer in ideal conditions like bopping around town, or when the weather happens to be just perfect and cold and still. Not with this one. If you’re looking for something to keep you toasty warm on the hunt for the summit, the Infinity Alpine is in a league of its own.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
800-fill DownGORE-TEX INFINIUM WINDSTOPPERYes$399.95

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Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Pullover

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Pullover

Hanging out at the campsite, as a cold weather add-on under a shell, or simply your daily warm-up walking to work, the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Pullover is a smart and versatile multi-season layering piece. Keep this one in the car or backpack and you'll never be chilly again.

We love the combination of stretchy mobility and real down warmth that this Mountain Hardwear jacket offers. Combined with a smooth wear-around-town look, the StretchDown Light is one of our all-around favorite down jackets of the year.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
700-fill DownNylon / Elastane Stretch WeaveYes$249.95

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Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoodie

Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoodie

When the wind's up and the temps are down, but you need to take a break from skinning, nothing jump starts the internal furnace like donning the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoodie. Premium 850 fill European goose down combined with Coreloft™ synthetic insulation in high moisture areas produces one of the finest puffy pieces we've seen. Put it on for 10 seconds and see for yourself.

The Cerium is one of the warmest jackets we’ve ever tested. You will definitely feel all of that super high fill-power down really doing its job as soon as you put it on. But one thing that’s awesome about this jacket is that it manages to feel like a super puffed, overstuffed belay parka while still managing to maintain a fairly sleek low-profile look.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
850-fill DownNylonYes$379

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686 Engineered Quilted Shacket

686 Engineered Quilted Shacket

Keep warm with the 686 Engineered Quilted Shacket. Made up of an engineered quilted fabric with synthetic insulation that'll still keep you warm even if it gets damp, this shacket will undoubtedly become a daily driver piece in your closet. Layer it under your snowboard jacket, or just throw it on over a tee on your way out the door.

Not every puffy jacket is destined for alpine summits, and that’s perfectly fine. All of that lightweight warmth is just as convenient to wear around town on a chilly day as it is to wear out into the mountains. With its rad button-down style and casual cool, the 686 Shacket is one of our favorite anytime layers to wear from the chairlift to the brewpub.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
SyntheticSyntheticNo$159.95

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Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Jacket

Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Jacket

A good down jacket is an irreplaceable part of any wardrobe or gear closet. The top-notch warmth and lightweight packability of real 800-fill down make it a great layering piece for snowsports, and a perfect backpack stash for hiking and camping trips. The addition of an effortlessly cool design makes the Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket a staple of cold weather around town outfits, too. It's one jacket you'll always want to bring along.

Cotopaxi makes excellent products that each have a vibrant and unique flair. As their flagship down jacket, the Fuego is a perfect versatile puffy for those who aren’t satisfied with just one color.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
800-fill DownNylonYes$274.95

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Helly Hansen LifaLoft Air Insulator Jacket

Helly Hansen LifaLoft Air Insulator Jacket

The Helly Hansen LifaLoft Air Insulator Jacket is a water-resistant jacket for high-output days that require lots of layer changes. Helly Hansen's LifaLoft™ Air insulation delivers breathable lightweight warmth, and its soft exterior helps your body move. When you hit a tough kickturn and flop into the side of the mountain, a PFC-free DWR coating will protect the snow from trickling in. An attached hood even fits under helmets so you can layer some GoreTex over top and reduce wind chill to your neck. Complete the kit with huge pockets to store your skins, and maybe you won't have to lug a big backpack to the top after all!

If you’re looking for an insulating layer to wear as part of a snowsports kit, this Helly Hansen jacket is one of the best. It’s a backcountry rider's dream layer, offering low bulk warmth, quick-drying weather resistance, and a helmet-compatible hood.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
100g SyntheticNylonYes$300

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Save the Duck Gig Vest

Save the Duck Gig Vest

The Save the Duck Giga Vest uses a synthetic down so we can literally save a duck. It is wind and water-resistant for greater comfort through all your adventures from the town to the mountains.

Sometimes you need a down jacket but without the down. And sometimes without the jacket too. The Giga Vest is one of those pieces you don’t know you need until you have it and then you find yourself wearing it nonstop. If you’re looking for an awesome puffy vest, this is the one.

InsulationFabricHoodOriginal Price
SyntheticNylonNo$158

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The Selection Process:

Our techwear buyers have an endless amount of knowledge on all things outerwear stemming from years of experience in the outdoor industry in tandem with their countless hours spent outside in all conditions around the world. From hot to cold, snow, rain, wind, and even sunshine, they know what clothing will keep you comfortable. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Kevin Katsafanas

Growing up in the northwest I took to snowboarding when I was 13 and spent most weekends up at Snoqualmie riding the park. As I grew as a rider I traded out rails and jumps for more freeride terrain found on the other side of I-90 over at Alpental. With evo in my backyard, I spent countless weekends hounding the shop staff about gear. Finally, when I was 19 years old I found my way into a full-time position selling snowboards at the Seattle store. In the decade since I've worn a number of hats in the outdoor industry in addition to talking gear, including spending time as the Seattle store's marketing and events coordinator. 9 years later and I am still here at evo in my role as the Buyer for men's techwear, and ski/snowboard bags.