The 10 Best Men's Down Jackets
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in September of 2016. Our best advice for when the temperature outside drops into an uncomfortable range is to stay indoors and enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa (or whatever takes your fancy). But if you absolutely have to venture outdoors, make sure you stay toasty warm in one of these men's down jackets and coats. Coming in a variety of styles to suit any taste, they are available at prices to meet any budget. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best men's down jacket on Amazon.
Nike ACG Thanks to a thick funnel collar, you can feel confident wearing this one out on chilly winter days. It's a trendy option, available in black and two-tone lemon yellow, and features a two-way zipper and elastic cuffs for added protection from the wind. nordstrom.com
Burton Evergreen If you can't stand the cold nipping at your chin, this performance jacket may be the solution for you, as it boasts a hood that wraps around the head and part of the face. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can count on it lasting season after season. moosejaw.com
Cotopaxi Fuego Fans of classic ski chalet style will appreciate this selection's seventies-inspired stripes. It comes in three appealing color combinations and is stuffed with 800-fill-power goose down, which packs plenty of insulation power. rei.com
November 03, 2019:
Down jackets are a favorite garment when temperatures drop for a number of reasons. First, they're stuffed with feathers which insulate and hold heat without adding unnecessary weight or bulk — something campers, hikers, and the like will definitely appreciate. Second, they generally take up little space. You can fold them up and stuff them in your backpack easily and still have room for your other supplies, and some even come with pouches for simple storage and transport. With a down jacket or coat, you can keep warm and maintain a full range of motion, too, which can't always be said for garments made from thicker materials such as wool.
The Eddie Bauer CirrusLite, The North Face Aconcagua, Calvin Klein Coat, Cutter Rainier have been added to the list. The CirrusLite was chosen due to its simple yet classic design, and The North Face Aconcagua for its durability and appealing color options. The other two newbies were picked because of their popularity among outdoors enthusiasts. By contrast, the Patagonia Sweater Jacket, Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, Rab Neutrino Endurance, and 32 Degrees were removed due to various issues including availability and quality concerns.
Down With the Thickness
And don’t forget to look at the outer materials and how well the jacket will stand up to wet conditions.
While a great men’s down jacket will turn heads, it’s likely that you want one not just to look good, but to be warm, too. So, when shopping for a down jacket, one of the most important measurements you’ll want to pay attention to is the fill power, which measures the loft of the down and its attendant insulating abilities. Fill power is usually expressed as cubic inches per ounce, which is measured when the down is fully expanded. For example, a down fill rating of 700 means that when an ounce of down is at its fluffiest, it covers 700 cubic inches.
Why is this important? Because down with a higher fill power has more air pockets, which means it will insulate better and keep you warmer. Most men’s down jackets fall somewhere between 500 and 800 fill power, which impacts the price of the garment. The other measurement that impacts price and quality is the fill weight, which tells you how much down is in the jacket. A high fill weight leads to a jacket that’s warmer but heavier and denser, while a fill weight on the lower side gives you one that may not keep you as warm but will compress extremely well for packing.
There are a few other things to think about when selecting a down jacket, as well. If you’re vegan, there are synthetic down jackets available that are just as warm as those made from goose or duck down. This type of down is usually made from ultra-fine polyester fibers that can imitate bird down’s lofty clusters, although you’ll usually need more of it to achieve the same warmth. For this reason, synthetic down jackets are sometimes a bit less compressible.
And don’t forget to look at the outer materials and how well the jacket will stand up to wet conditions. Real down doesn’t dry particularly quickly, so a jacket with a water-resistant shell is a good idea. Or, if you live in a truly wet, cold climate, synthetic down might be the better choice, as it dries much faster. Finally, if you plan to be doing any strenuous activities, look for a shell made from durable nylon that can stand up to abrasions.
Caring For A Down Jacket
Listen up, guys. A down jacket is not the kind of garment you can leave wadded up in the back of your closet during the months when it’s not in use. Not if you expect it to keep you feeling warm and looking hot, that is. After all, a quality winter jacket is an investment, and we want to help you protect it. Luckily, it’s not that hard to properly care for a down jacket. (For those modern men who understand the importance of proper clothing care, we apologize, but read on, because we want to keep your garment game on point.)
Choose a gentle cycle and cold water, and go ahead and spot treat any stains with diluted detergent before you throw it in.
Although some down jackets, such as those with silk content, must be dry cleaned, the majority can go right into your washing machine. Choose a gentle cycle and cold water, and go ahead and spot treat any stains with diluted detergent before you throw it in. After it’s clean, you can put it in the dryer, again selecting a low temperature. To help the jacket fluff back up, put a couple of tennis balls in with it — these will help distribute the filling evenly. You might take the jacket out halfway through the cycle and smooth out the filling, too, which will help prevent clumping.
Unless you are doing a lot of sweaty, strenuous activities, you should really only need to wash a down jacket once or twice per season. In the warmer months, hang it on a quality coat hanger. Be sure not to leave it packed away in its stuff sack. Leaving a down jacket compressed for long periods can wrinkle the outer fabric and lengthen the down’s re-loft time.
If you see any feathers poking out, resist the temptation to pull them through the fabric. Instead, gently push them back in so that you don’t risk creating a hole. If you do end up with a hole or tear, you can use fabric patching tape or even duct tape. This type of repair job lends a certain rugged air to the garment, but if that’s not your thing, a qualified tailor might be able to sew the fabric together.
A Brief History Of The Down Jacket
The men’s down jacket was born out of the kind of necessity that usually comes after a near-death experience. Way back in the 1930s, legendary sportsman and designer Eddie Bauer was out on a fishing trip that almost turned tragic. Finished for the day, he and a friend were hiking their way out of the canyon they’d been angling in, when Bauer stopped to rest. He was wet and half frozen, and he reports that a sleepiness began to creep over him — the beginnings of hypothermia. His friend was already some way ahead of him, but Bauer was carrying a revolver, which he fired into the air to alert his companion of his predicament. Alone, Bauer most likely would not have survived, but his friend was able to provide him the help he needed.
Back at the design board, Bauer reflected on stories his uncle had told him about his time in the Russian Army and about the feather jackets they wore to stay warm in the sharp, cruel cold. The prototype Bauer produced used goose down that was held in place with diamond quilting. Working with a friend who was a climber, he perfected the design and ultimately started offering the jacket, dubbed the Skyliner, for sale in 1936. The garment was a smash success and a staple product in the Eddie Bauer line up until the 1980s.
Bauer may have patented the original, but today, a whole host of companies and designers produce down jackets for men in a variety of styles and colors. These jackets may go by different names, including puffer or “puffa” coats, but they all have one thing in common — they can trace their modern lineage back to the Skyliner and the resilience of man against the weather.
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