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Want to get out over the autumn and winter but missing the all important down jacket? Steph digs into what to look for and her favourite products for 2022.
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Steph C

For great warmth without weight, you just can’t beat a down jacket. Scrunch them up, squash them into the bottom of your pack, generally throw a little abuse at them and they’re still there for you, just like a good friend, keeping you warm and dry.

A decent down jacket is an essential piece of kit for anyone who loves getting outside and active in summer and winter. But with so much choice out there, how do you choose which is the best fit for you? Choose well and your investment will last you for years. Luckily we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Read on and we’ll help you choose one of the best women’s down jackets for you.

In a rush? Here's a Quick Look at Our Top 12 Best Women's Down Jackets

Best for: extreme cold weather conditions and expeditions - Rab Neutrino Pro Down Jacket
Best for: comfort - Patagonia Down Sweater
Best for: backpacking and long distance hikes - Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody Women's Down Jacket
Best for: climbing and scrambling - Mammut Broad Peak Hooded Jacket
Best for: multi-sports - Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown DS Jacket
Best for: winter hiking - North Face Women's Trevail Jacket
Best for: hiking in damp conditions -  Haglofs Roc Women's Down Jacket
Best for: those on a budget - Alpkit Women's Talini Jacket
Best for: fast packers and bike packers - Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hoody
Best for: mountain hikes in cold conditions - Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket
Best for: high-altitude hiking and camping - Mountain Equipment Sigma Down Jacket
Best for: best general all-rounder - Dark Peak Women's NESSH Down Jacket
Best women's down jackets

Best Women's Down Jackets: Buying Guide

Synthetic or down insulation?

The argument for natural down

Basically there are two types of insulation used in down jackets; synthetic down and natural down. Natural down from geese and ducks is most commonly used. It’s the soft, fluffy stuff under the feathers. Down has great insulation properties as it naturally forms air pockets that trap the warm air produced by your body to retain heat. It’s also light and because of its superior warmth-to-weight ratio it packs down easily.

Goose down is the most popular natural down insulation as it’s more lightweight and warmer but tends to be expensive. Duck down is also used as it’s cheaper but it’s not as effective. Ideally down feathers should be sourced from animals who haven’t been exposed to unnecessary cruelty like live-plucking and force feeding. Look for companies who’ve signed up to a certification like the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

The disadvantage of down is that it does lose a lot of its insulating power when it gets wet and can take an age to dry out. Water may run off a duck’s back, but if these natural water repellent oils are left in, down will eventually rot and smell bad.

Stripping these oils out keeps the down fresh but also robs it of its water shedding abilities. Some companies get round this by treating their down with hydrophobic (water repellent) chemicals, making it absorb less water and dry out faster. Paired up with a water-repellent outer shell, hydrophobic down jackets can keep you pretty darn dry when it’s showery.

The disadvantage of hydrophobic treatments is that they don’t usually last long. Chances are they’ll have worn out long before your jacket. Generally the more environmentally friendly they are, the less they’ll last.  

But what about synthetic?

Synthetic insulation can get round the downsides of down. It can mimic its properties and give great insulation even when wet. It's generally more water repellent and dries a lot faster than natural down. It’s also naturally hypoallergenic and easier on the wallet. Synthetic insulation is a great choice if you’re allergic to natural down or you’d prefer not to use animal products.

The downside (no pun intended!) of synthetic insulation is that no matter how good it is, it won’t match up to the warmth retaining properties of natural down. Due to a less effective warmth-to-weight ratio, jackets made with synthetics tend to be heavier and bulkier.

Best down jackets for women

What’s Down Fill Power?

Fill power measures the effectiveness of the down by how many cubic ounces an ounce of down can fill. Not all natural down is created equal. The best down comes from more mature geese and because it’s finer, less is needed to provide the same amount of warmth. The higher the fill power the lighter and more compressible the jacket will be, but you’ll also pay more.  

The best down jackets for outdoor use will have between 600 and 800 fill power. Anything over 800 fill tends to be pretty technical and expensive.

Fit

Jackets for women tend to be a narrower cut than men's jackets although they are roomier around the hip area. A longer cut jacket helps keep cold air from circulating around your nether regions.  

Ideally the down jacket should be neither too fitted or too loose. If it’s too loose then cold air can get in but allow for adding layers underneath. Make sure it’s not restricting your movement, especially around the arms.

Remember that you might need to wear a waterproof jacket over the top if conditions are really gnarly out there, so you don’t want anything too bulky.

Construction

Down jackets are constructed using either sewn through or box wall baffle techniques. Baffled? We’ll explain.

Sewn Through

Baffles are the little pockets of space constructed to hold the down or insulation between two fabric layers. This insulation traps your body heat, making a layer or warm air. With sewn through construction, the outer fabric is literally sewn through to the inner lining to create small chambers that are stuffed with insulation.

As no extra fabric is used the jacket is lightweight and more compact, and costs less to make. However, the down is pinched at the seams, which reduces its ability to ‘loft’ (fluff up) at these points, creating potential cold spots.

Sewn through jackets are intended for general hiking and camping rather than winter mountaineering.

Box Wall

Box wall jackets are created by making small chambers for the down, each one separated by a wall of fabric. The advantage is that this removes any pinch points, allowing the insulation to loft more and retain warmth. As extra fabric is used and they’re more complex to make, box wall jackets tend to be heavier and more expensive.

Box wall construction is usually found in high-end jackets for expeditions and the more serious stuff, where a good warmth to weight ratio is key. Unless you’re into winter mountaineering and extreme cold you probably won’t need it.

Best down jackets for women fill power

Durability vs Weight

Using a thin, lightweight material for the outer layer creates an ultra-light weight jacket. The thinner the shell, the less hard wearing it is, and it’s more likely to get ripped or torn. A heavier shell adds more weight but it’s tougher and stands up to more abuse.

If you want a jacket for occasional use or general travelling you could get away with a lightweight shell, but if you want a jacket that’ll accompany you on your mountain hikes and scrambles for years to come, you’ll need something more robust.

Outer shells are often treated to protect against light rain or snow showers without the insulation getting wet.

Other Features

A hood helps keep your head warm but also adds weight and bulk. If you tend to wear your down jacket as a mid-layer underneath a waterproof jacket, consider ditching the hood. If you’re a climber or a cyclist you’ll need a hood that’ll fit a helmet underneath.

The best down jackets have at least two handwarmer pockets and many also have a chest pocket for valuables. Zippered pockets keep things secure but make sure they’re easy to open and close if you’re wearing gloves. One of the pockets often also function as a stuff sack for the jacket.

If you’re backpacking or climbing check you can access the pockets when wearing a rucksack or harness. If you have to take these off every time you need the pockets it’ll get old pretty fast, believe us.

Ideally hems and wrists should be elasticated or cuffed to retain the heat. Some jackets let you to adjust the waist using a draw cord, which keeps out drafts.

Jacket for women hoody style

Best Down Jackets for Women: FAQs

How do I look after my down jacket?

It’s fine to keep your down jacket compressed in the bottom of your rucksack for the duration of a trip; take it out and hang it up when you get home and it’s good to go again in a few hours. However your jacket shouldn’t be stored in its compression sack as it’ll take a long time to re-loft and insulate when you eventually take it out.

If you’ve noticed your jacket doesn’t seem to re-loft like it used to, a quick few minutes in a tumble drier on a low heat can make all the difference.

Even the best down jackets shed feathers, especially when new. The trick is to resist the temptation to pull them out, instead try to push them back in.

Try not to let your jacket get too wet or the down will break down and start to smell. Who wants a whiffy jacket?

What if I spill something on it?

It’s best to try to avoid washing the whole jacket if you can. Washing it too often will shorten its lifespan. Try to spot treat the area if possible.

What if it rips?

We hear you. You’re pushing your way through an overgrown, brambly path when rip, your beloved down jacket suddenly has a tear… luckily it’s not the end of the road for your puffy. You can buy repair patches for down jackets and some companies such as RAB even offer a baffle repair service.

If you need to carry out a temporary repair job in the field, use tape to cover the tear. Ideally this should be a less sticky tape such as micropore but if all you have to hand is duct tape then that’ll do, but be careful when removing it as it can pull the fabric and make the tear worse.

How often should I wash my down jacket?

If you only use the jacket at weekends and for the odd longer trip then once or twice a year should be fine. If you tend to live in yours, you may need to wash it more often.

How do I wash it ?

Washing a down jacket can be a little nerve-wracking due to the prospect of ruining an expensive piece of kit, but as long as you’re careful you’ll be good.

Use a cleaner designed specially for washing down products, like NikWax’s Down Wash or similar. Check the care label on your jacket; it’s generally best to use a gentle cycle at 30 degrees. Don’t use any detergents.

Before you wash, brush off any loose dirt, close all flaps, compress the hood and do up the zips. Once the wash cycle’s ended, run extra spin cycles to remove as much excess water as possible.

Once washed, you may need to reproof the DWR coating on the outer shell of the jacket. Some of the best down jackets are DWR treated to make them water resistant but this wears off over time. We recommend using something like Nikwax Down Proof. Put your jacket through another wash cycle using the Down Proof and run the extra spin cycles as above.

You’ll need to have the patience to let your jacket dry out thoroughly. Natural down jackets will need a lot more drying time than synthetics. If you have a tumble drier, pop the jacket in on a low heat using drying balls (okay, tennis balls will do). Get it out and give it a shake every so often to stop the down clumping.

If you don’t have a tumble drier, hang it outside to dry or hang it next to a heat source such as a radiator, no wringing though! You’ll still need to shake it out every so often though so it doesn’t clump. Once the jacket’s dry, you’ll need to give it a good old vigorous shake to help the loft return.

Jacket for women recycled polyester

ourComparison

Dark Peak Women’s NESSH Down Jacket

a decent lightweight down jacket for a good price, plus you’re helping someone out

Mountain Equipment Sigma Women’s Down Jacket

the optimised down distribution is super innovative

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket

a great looking high performance jacket that can be worn around town as well as on the mountain

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hoody

a good quality jacket that’s also kind to the environment

Alpkit Women’s’ Talini Jacket

a low-cost option that offers great performance

Haglofs Roc Women's Down Jacket

super water resistance plus it's good for the environment. What’s not to love?

North Face Women’s Trevail Down Jacket

a decent jacket at a decent price

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown DS

we love the innovative design

Mammut Broad Peak Hooded Jacket

it’s so comfy

Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody Women's Down Jacket

we love the great warmth to weight ratio

Patagonia Down Sweater

stylish yet robust, this is a great all-rounder

Rab Women’s Neutrino Pro Down Jacket

a lovely warm jacket yet still fairly lightweight, it’s more than a match for epic mountain adventures

final score

84

%

final score

91

%

final score

90

%

final score

85

%

final score

89

%

final score

87

%

final score

89

%

final score

82

%

final score

84

%

final score

81

%

final score

85

%

final score

91

%

The Good

  • Vertical side baffles flex to allow better freedom of movement
  • Integrated wrist mitts help keep hands toasty

The Good

  • DRILITE Loft 30D outer layer is totally windproof and highly water resistant
  • Half Dome HC hood with EXL lining for upper-body warmth

The Good

  • Three harness compatible zipped pockets
  • Fully recycled shell, insulation and lining

The Good

  • Packs away into its own pocket using an internal carabiner clip loop
  • Soft-touch fabric feels great against the skin

The Good

  • Fully windproof outer fabric; DWR treated to be water resistant
  • High collar keeps your neck warm and free from drafts

The Good

  • Lightweight wind and tear resistant 20D Perspex shell fabric
  • Adjustable hood with reinforced peak

The Good

  • Internal chest pocket plus hand warmer pockets which act as a stuff sack
  • Hem cinch cord locks in extra warmth

The Good

  • Woven-stretch construction improves durability
  • The continuous channel design traps in heat

The Good

  • One handed adjustable hem drawstring
  • DWR treated to repel snow, light rain and spindrift

The Good

  • Insulated Storm Hood has you covered without compromising your range of vision.
  • Lightweight and durable Arato 10 outer shell

The bad

  • Not as water resistant as some
  • Can be hard to pack away in its pocket

The bad

  • The slim fit isn’t for everyone
  • It’s heavy, even heavier than the Rab Neutrino Pro

The bad

  • Sizing can be an issue
  • Poor adjustment system in the hood

The bad

  • Too tight around the armpits for some users
  • Cuffs aren’t elasticated so don’t keep out the cold and wet

The bad

  • Some users have found sizing can be very variable, so make sure you try before you buy
  • The front zip can break easily

The bad

  • Doesn’t compress as well as similar weight jackets
  • It’s thin so it's not one of the best down jackets for winter mountain hikes

The bad

  • Can be fiddly to pack away, especially with gloves on
  • Tends to shed down

The bad

  • Heavy, maybe too heavy for lightweight backpacking trips
  • Doesn’t compress as well as other jackets
  • No water resistant treatment to the outer fabric

The bad

  • Not as fitted as other jackets
  • Still fairly bulky when compressed

The bad

  • Some users have found the fit to be tight in certain areas
  • The Arc'teryx Cerium LT isn't as compressible as other lightweight jackets due to the mix of synthetic and natural insulation

Warmth

90

%

Water resistance

70

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

95

%

Warmth

95

%

Water resistance

90

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

90

%

Warmth

85

%

Water resistance

85

%

Durability

95

%

Eco score

95

%

Warmth

90

%

Water resistance

80

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

90

%

Warmth

80

%

Water resistance

95

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

90

%

Warmth

75

%

Water resistance

95

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

95

%

Warmth

95

%

Water resistance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

95

%

Warmth

80

%

Water resistance

65

%

Durability

95

%

Eco score

90

%

Warmth

80

%

Water resistance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

90

%

Warmth

75

%

Water resistance

75

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

90

%

Colour

black, steel grey, maroon, blue, red

Weight

322g

Price

£

Down

850 fill power responsibly sourced goose down

Colour

azure, cosmos

Weight

570g

Price

£££

Down

goose down. Mountain Equipment have partnered with the DOWN CODEX scheme to promote animal welfare

Colour

steel, Atlantis, deep heather, ascent red, black, steel

Weight

413.5g

Price

£

Down

P.U.R.E recycled ethically sourced hydrophobic down

Colour

smoky quartz, mint palm, vinson blue, dusty purple, Mojave tan, black, dark zinc, washed turquoise, dark clay, Icelandic, lantern

Weight

220.5g

Price

£

Down

hydrophobic goose down. Mountain Hardwear use ethically sourced down and are partnered with the RDS.

Colour

black, chilli

Weight

340g

Price

£

Down

synthetic PrimaLoft Silver ThermoPlume insulation

Colour

brick red, tarn blue, pumpkin yellow, true black, tulip pink

Weight

293g

Price

£

Down

DWR treated goose down

Colour

black

Weight

440g

Price

££

Down

ethically sourced 700 fill power goose down. North Face are partnered with the RDS

Colour

mystic purple, raw clay, black, fiery red

Weight

426.5g

Price

££

Down

responsibly sourced hydrophobic goose down

Colour

black phantom, dragon fruit, blackberry, tin-ceramic

Weight

330g

Price

£

Down

90% goose down and 10% feather. Mammut are partnered with the RDS.

Colour

ephemera, timelapse, muse, wander, black, verra

Weight

280g

Price

£££

Down

mix of goose down and Coreloft insulation

Dark Peak Women’s NESSH Down Jacket

Best for: best general all-rounder

Why we like it

a decent lightweight down jacket for a good price, plus you’re helping someone out

The Good

  • Vertical side baffles flex to allow better freedom of movement
  • Integrated wrist mitts help keep hands toasty

the bad

  • Not as water resistant as some
  • Can be hard to pack away in its pocket

Colour

black, steel grey, maroon, blue, red

Down

850 fill power responsibly sourced goose down

Weight

322g

Price

£

A fantastic jacket for women if we ever saw one. We must admit, we hadn’t heard of Dark Peak before we started our research. Founded in Sheffield, they specialise in producing quality synthetic and down kit. What’s great is that Dark Peak feel they have a responsibility to give back, hence their ‘one sold, one given’ philosophy. They promise that for every jacket sold they’ll donate a suitable jacket to someone who’s homeless.

The name of the jacket also caught our eye. ‘Nesh’ is a Yorkshire term to describe someone who feels the cold. And if you are nesh then this jacket will certainly keep you warm enough thanks to its impressive 850-fill power.  

The thumb loops on the cuffs are a nice touch and the jacket has a slightly longer fit at the back, which is a bonus as it prevents it riding up… nobody wants a cold bum!

Warmth

90

%

Water resistance

70

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

95

%

No items found.

final score

84

%

Dark Peak Women’s NESSH Down Jacket

Check latest price

Mountain Equipment Sigma Women’s Down Jacket

Best for: high-altitude hiking and camping

Why we like it

the optimised down distribution is super innovative

The Good

  • DRILITE Loft 30D outer layer is totally windproof and highly water resistant
  • Half Dome HC hood with EXL lining for upper-body warmth

the bad

  • The slim fit isn’t for everyone
  • It’s heavy, even heavier than the Rab Neutrino Pro

Colour

azure, cosmos

Down

goose down. Mountain Equipment have partnered with the DOWN CODEX scheme to promote animal welfare

Weight

570g

Price

£££

The Sigma is a quality jacket designed for fast and light winter mountaineering. The down distribution is optimised by using a baffle-by-baffle approach. This basically means you get more down in areas where you’re most likely to lose the heat.

The 800 fill power uses a high quality down to keep you toasty and the water-resistant outer will help keep you dry. The wind and water resistant fabric has also been used in key areas inside the jacket, such as the insulated hood, inside the pockets and the inside of the hem and cuffs. A specially tailored ‘Alpine’ cut gives great upper body insulation. This adds up to a serious piece of kit and just what you need for winter mountaineering or when it’s super cold out there.

It’s not the most lightweight out there by a long shot but it’s worth carrying the extra weight when performance matters.

Warmth

95

%

Water resistance

90

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

90

%

No items found.

final score

91

%

Mountain Equipment Sigma Women’s Down Jacket

Check latest price

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket

Best for: mountain hikes in cold conditions

Why we like it

a great looking high performance jacket that can be worn around town as well as on the mountain

The Good

  • Three harness compatible zipped pockets
  • Fully recycled shell, insulation and lining

the bad

  • Sizing can be an issue
  • Poor adjustment system in the hood

Colour

steel, Atlantis, deep heather, ascent red, black, steel

Down

P.U.R.E recycled ethically sourced hydrophobic down

Weight

413.5g

Price

£

One of the best down jackets for mountain adventures, the Rab Microlight Alpine is one of the best down jackets for cutting a stylish dash both on the hills and around town.  The thicker 30-denier Pertex shell fabric means you don’t need to be too precious with this jacket. It won’t break easily, it’ll certainly stand up to a little scrambling or bushwhacking without ripping so you can expect it to last you years. At 750 fill power it’ll keep you warm plus the water resistant shell and Nik-Wax treated down will keep light snow showers and spindrift at bay.

Rab have updated the Microlight’s design using zoned micro and nano baffle stitch construction for more efficient insulation. Basically this means more core warmth without restricting movement.

The hood features a visor which keeps rain and snow out of your eyes which is a nice touch.

Warmth

85

%

Water resistance

85

%

Durability

95

%

Eco score

95

%

No items found.

final score

90

%

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket

Check latest price

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hoody

Best for: fast packers and bike packers

Why we like it

a good quality jacket that’s also kind to the environment

The Good

  • Packs away into its own pocket using an internal carabiner clip loop
  • Soft-touch fabric feels great against the skin

the bad

  • Too tight around the armpits for some users
  • Cuffs aren’t elasticated so don’t keep out the cold and wet

Colour

smoky quartz, mint palm, vinson blue, dusty purple, Mojave tan, black, dark zinc, washed turquoise, dark clay, Icelandic, lantern

Down

hydrophobic goose down. Mountain Hardwear use ethically sourced down and are partnered with the RDS.

Weight

220.5g

Price

£

They've taken their best-selling down hoody and given it a sustainable twist. The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 (cool name, by the way) uses recycled materials so it’ll heat you but not the atmosphere. The 800 fill power responsibly sourced down keeps things cosy and the DWR finish to the outer fabric makes it pretty water resistant.

As jackets for women go it's one of the lightest we’ve seen, plus it packs down well into a shape that fits easily into a rucksack or a bike pannier. Despite the weight, it’s surprisingly warm and tough; it’s more durable than many of the heavier down jackets. The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 is roomy enough to take a fleece underneath but isn’t too bulky.

Although the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer surprisingly heavy on features for such a light jacket, it could use a hood cinch to stop it from blowing back in high winds.

Warmth

90

%

Water resistance

80

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

90

%

No items found.

final score

85

%

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hoody

Check latest price

Alpkit Women’s’ Talini Jacket

Best for: those on a budget

Why we like it

a low-cost option that offers great performance

The Good

  • Fully windproof outer fabric; DWR treated to be water resistant
  • High collar keeps your neck warm and free from drafts

the bad

  • Some users have found sizing can be very variable, so make sure you try before you buy
  • The front zip can break easily

Colour

black, chilli

Down

synthetic PrimaLoft Silver ThermoPlume insulation

Weight

340g

Price

£

A good alternative to goose down, the Talini uses an innovative PrimaLoft Silver ThermoPlume insulation which, unlike down, doesn’t lose its shape when wet. It also retains up to 90% of its warmth when wet and is fast drying, unlike other down jackets, you can wear this one when it’s hammering down.

The equivalent warmth of 650 fill power, the synthetic plumes are stored within baffles like most goose down jackets to keep the insulation evenly distributed. It’s also one of the best down jackets for packing down. The jacket will squeeze nicely into a 3 litre Airlok, ready for its next adventure.

The outer is made from ripstop fabric so snags and tears shouldn’t be a problem. It’s effective as an outer layer but can also be worn underneath a waterproof when it gets really gnarly out there as there’s no hood.

Warmth

80

%

Water resistance

95

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

90

%

No items found.

final score

89

%

Alpkit Women’s’ Talini Jacket

Check latest price

Haglofs Roc Women's Down Jacket

Best for: hiking in damp conditions

Why we like it

super water resistance plus it's good for the environment. What’s not to love?

The Good

  • Lightweight wind and tear resistant 20D Perspex shell fabric
  • Adjustable hood with reinforced peak

the bad

  • Doesn’t compress as well as similar weight jackets
  • It’s thin so it's not one of the best down jackets for winter mountain hikes

Colour

brick red, tarn blue, pumpkin yellow, true black, tulip pink

Down

DWR treated goose down

Weight

293g

Price

£

If you really want a down jacket that keeps you dry in wet weather, the Roc rocks. The 800 fill power down has been DWR treated and the whole thing has been waterproofed to ensure the filling stays dry for up to 5,000 minutes of exposure to the wet. That’s over 83 hours’ worth. It’s incredibly lightweight and packable, and as it’s built from recyclable and fluorocarbon free materials it’s good for the environment too.

The jacket’s outer layer is constructed using Pertex Quantum, which is light yet tear resistant. Although it’s warm, the material still allows a flow through of air to keep things nicely ventilated and prevent sweaty pits. The sleeves and hem are elastic which helps reduce weight.

Raglan sleeves allow greater freedom of movement, so it’s a good option if you like to mix up your hiking with other outdoor adventures.

Warmth

75

%

Water resistance

95

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

95

%

No items found.

final score

87

%

Haglofs Roc Women's Down Jacket

Check latest price

Why we like it

a decent jacket at a decent price

The Good

  • Internal chest pocket plus hand warmer pockets which act as a stuff sack
  • Hem cinch cord locks in extra warmth

the bad

  • Can be fiddly to pack away, especially with gloves on
  • Tends to shed down

Colour

black

Down

ethically sourced 700 fill power goose down. North Face are partnered with the RDS

Weight

440g

Price

££

This updated version of North Face’s Trevail down jacket features zoned baffles stuffed with a quality 800 fill power content for amazing warmth. Highly compressible and light, it’s great for hiking, camping and general travelling, It’s not the lightest jacket out there though so it may not be your first choice for backpacking.

The outer shell has a DWR finish for protection against snow and spindrift and it’s cut lower at the waist, which helps prevent icy drafts around your nether regions. The inner elastic cuffs and cinch cord at the hem all help lock in warmth when it’s blowing a hoolie out there.

Great as a stand-alone jacket or as a mid layer system, the Trevail is a great go-to jacket for your winter hillwalking adventures.

Warmth

95

%

Water resistance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

95

%

No items found.

final score

89

%

North Face Women’s Trevail Down Jacket

Check latest price

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown DS

Best for: multi-sports

Why we like it

we love the innovative design

The Good

  • Woven-stretch construction improves durability
  • The continuous channel design traps in heat

the bad

  • Heavy, maybe too heavy for lightweight backpacking trips
  • Doesn’t compress as well as other jackets
  • No water resistant treatment to the outer fabric

Colour

mystic purple, raw clay, black, fiery red

Down

responsibly sourced hydrophobic goose down

Weight

426.5g

Price

££

At first glance this jacket really stands out from the crowd thanks to its unique baffle design. Mountain Hardwear state that this Stretchdown design allows much greater freedom of movement as pockets of down from a single stretch fabric is used.

This stretchiness is combined with a 700 fill power which will keep you warm, however it is not as warm as other jackets of a similar price and weight. At 426.5g it is heavier than others which you’ll need to factor in if weight is an issue. This extra weight does make it one of the most durable jackets though and it’s unlikely to get ripped or torn easily.

The eco-advanced construction removes the need for stitching or glues, which helps the durability factor. Two generous zippered pockets will keep hands warm and will even fit a water bottle if needed.

Warmth

80

%

Water resistance

65

%

Durability

95

%

Eco score

90

%

No items found.

final score

82

%

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown DS

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Mammut Broad Peak Hooded Jacket

Best for: climbing and scrambling

Why we like it

it’s so comfy

The Good

  • One handed adjustable hem drawstring
  • DWR treated to repel snow, light rain and spindrift

the bad

  • Not as fitted as other jackets
  • Still fairly bulky when compressed

Colour

black phantom, dragon fruit, blackberry, tin-ceramic

Down

90% goose down and 10% feather. Mammut are partnered with the RDS.

Weight

330g

Price

£

The Broad Peak feels light and airy right from when you first put it on. The material feels soft and silky but is still durable enough to last for many adventures to come. The 800 fill power gives a good warmth to weight and the jacket packs down well. It has two generous zippered pockets that are easily accessible when wearing a backpack or a climbing harness plus a separate internal pocket that doubles as a stuff sack.

Mammut use Pertex Y Fuse technology. Unique Y shaped yarn filaments create a tight interlocking structure which improves water beading. A two-way zip is a nice touch too.

Being a lightweight jacket it's best suited for wearing when you’re actually being active rather than sitting around in cold weather, as you will feel the chill.

Warmth

80

%

Water resistance

85

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

90

%

No items found.

final score

84

%

Mammut Broad Peak Hooded Jacket

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Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody Women's Down Jacket

Best for: backpacking and long distance hikes

Why we like it

we love the great warmth to weight ratio

The Good

  • Insulated Storm Hood has you covered without compromising your range of vision.
  • Lightweight and durable Arato 10 outer shell

the bad

  • Some users have found the fit to be tight in certain areas
  • The Arc'teryx Cerium LT isn't as compressible as other lightweight jackets due to the mix of synthetic and natural insulation

Colour

ephemera, timelapse, muse, wander, black, verra

Down

mix of goose down and Coreloft insulation

Weight

280g

Price

£££

Super lightweight and versatile, the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody is one of the best down jackets for women out there for warmth, considering its weight. An impressive 850 fill power content keeps things cosy and the Down Composite Mapping places Coreloft synthetic insulation into moisture-prone areas to help keep you dry.

Arc’teryx have improved the fit and the Cerium LT Hoody now comes in a longer length, handy for keeping those nether regions draft free. Two hand pockets with zippers help keep hands warm and there’s an internal zippered security pocket. Pockets are accessible when wearing a climbing harness or a rucksack, which makes it an excellent choice for a long-distance hiking trip when weight matters.

The Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody has a separate stuff sack, and there’s a handy cord loop inside the chest pocket which it can be attached to, which saves it from blowing away in the wind.

Warmth

75

%

Water resistance

75

%

Durability

85

%

Eco score

90

%

No items found.

final score

81

%

Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody Women's Down Jacket

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Patagonia Down Sweater

Best for: comfort

Why we like it

stylish yet robust, this is a great all-rounder

The Good

  • Centre-front Vislon zipper comes with a wicking interior storm flap and zipper garage at the chin for extra warmth
  • Adjustable hem and elastic cuffs help seal in warmth

the bad

  • It’s less durable than other jackets
  • Not as water repellent so you’ll need to keep it dry

Colour

alpine blue, black, classic navy, regen green, Catalan coral, cornice grey, piton purple, roamer red, feather grey

Down

global traceable goose down certified by NSF International

Weight

346g

Price

£

A stylish jacket designed to trap in the warmth, the Patagonia Down Sweater will keep you snug out on the trail and on those chilly evenings around camp. It’s also pretty tough. The hard-wearing outer layer is made from recycled polyester ripstop treated with a water repellent finish.

The generous 800 fill power goose down keeps things cosy and there are two secure handwarmer pockets with zippers. An internal zippered chest pocket is a handy addition and also converts into a stuff sack using a clip-in carabiner loop.  

It’s fairly lightweight and packs down well so you can take it pretty much anywhere. With soft-touch materials, it’s arguably the best down jacket out there for comfort, plus the top part of the zipper has a fleece cover so you don’t get cold metal against your face. Always a bonus!

Warmth

95

%

Water resistance

70

%

Durability

80

%

Eco score

95

%

No items found.

final score

85

%

Patagonia Down Sweater

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Rab Women’s Neutrino Pro Down Jacket

Best for: extreme cold weather conditions and expeditions

Why we like it

a lovely warm jacket yet still fairly lightweight, it’s more than a match for epic mountain adventures

The Good

  • Two-way front zip with insulated baffle for extra warmth
  • Weather-resistant Pertex Quantum Pro outer fabric gives great protection from snow and spindrift
  • Hook and loop adjustable cuff tabs

the bad

  • Likely to be too warm in milder conditions
  • Heavier and not as compressible as lighter jackets

Colour

blueprint/ celestial, crimson, beluga/ steel

Down

hydrophobic goose down - Rab use ethically sourced down and are partnered with the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

Weight

530g

Price

£££

If you’re looking for a jacket that’ll take you from base camp to summit and back again, look no further. Packed with high quality 800 fill power goose down, the Rab Neutrino Pro is made for winter alpine conditions and it’ll keep you cosy right up to 4000m.

The down-filled hood has capacity to fit a helmet underneath, has a wired peak and is fully adjustable. Two fleece-lined hand warmer pockets and an internal zippered chest pocket keeps essential items secure and close to hand. At 530grams it’s one of the heavier jackets for women we’ve looked at, but the trade-off is it’s one of the warmest jackets out there.

Down jackets aren’t designed to be totally waterproof in really wet weather conditions, but thanks to the durable water repellent Perspex Quantum Pro outer fabric used, the Rab Neutrino Pro will keep you drier than most.

Warmth

95

%

Water resistance

90

%

Durability

90

%

Eco score

90

%

No items found.

final score

91

%

Rab Women’s Neutrino Pro Down Jacket

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