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Top Insulated Coats for Men and Women – Rolling Stone

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Getting dressed during transitional months is no easy task with temperatures fluctuating daily and unpredictable rainfall. Parkas can feel like overkill, but sweaters and even pieces like leather jackets leave us feeling chilly. Here’s where the best down jackets, the workhorse of outerwear comes in.

If you don’t have a puffer jacket in your rotation — or need a new one — read on. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best down jackets to buy right now, as well as some tips on choosing the right one.

In This Article

The Best Down Jackets

Down Jacket Buying Guide

How We Chose the Best Down Jackets

The Best Down Jackets

There are a lot of down jackets out there, and not all of them are worth their price tag. Here are some of our favorites, including technical down jackets for rugged adventures, affordable options, and stylish, office-friendly puffers to warm up your commute.

Best Overall: Patagonia Down Sweater

Most Stylish: Cotopaxi Solazo Down Jacket

Best Budget Down Jacket: REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket

Lightest: Crazy Levity Jacket

Best for Skiing: Norrona Tamok Down750 Jacket

Best for Hiking & Camping: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2

1. Patagonia Down Sweater


A great down jacket’s real talent is versatility: you can wear it backpacking in the rain, or over your office attire. And no down jacket does this better than the Patagonia Down Sweater. It’s as warm and durable as it is slim and lightweight, and the clean look makes it easy to pair with just about anything in your wardrobe. It also keeps out rain thanks to a water-repellent finish, and you get a good selection of colors to choose from.

Buy Patagonia Down Sweater $167.40+

2. Cotopaxi Solazo Down Jacket


Looking for some color to brighten up your transitional wardrobe? Check out this Solazo down jacket from Cotopaxi. The brand’s masterful use of color is put on display, but there’s more than meets the eye with the best-selling jacket. Its 600-fill down is enough to keep you comfortable in a huge range of temperatures, and a DWR finish ensures protection from rain and snow too.

Buy Cotopaxi Solazo Down Jacket $240

3. REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket


Down jackets can get pricey, but you don’t have to drop a few hundred dollars to get a good one. This Co-op 650 from REI gets you all the cozy warmth and versatility of the best down jackets for $100, and comes in a range of colors to suit your style. It boasts 650-fill-power down for warmth and a DWR finish for rainy hikes or commutes.

Buy REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket $99.95

4. Crazy Levity Jacket


Cripple Creek

Wearing this Levity jacket from the Italian brand Crazy is a strange and wonderful experience. Weighing in at a mere 7.6 ounces, it’s one of, if not the lightest down jacket on the market. But it also boasts ultra-premium 950-fill down, ensuring warmth in freezing temperatures. Combine this insanely light weight with the high-quality down and you feel like you’re not wearing a jacket at all, but you’re as warm as you’d be in a parka. This makes the Levity a winner if you’re doing high-movement activities like skiing, mountaineering, or running.

Buy Crazy Levity Jacket $455.95

5. Norrona Tamok Down750 Jacket


If you want serious warmth for skiing or any other chilly outdoor adventures, this Norrona Tamok is a great pick. The jacket’s 750-fill down is plenty warm, and the water-repellent shell is one of the most durable that we’ve used. We’re also big fans of the retro-inspired look, complete with color-blocked shoulders and muted colors.

Buy Norrona Tamok $279.30

6. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2

Best for Hiking & Camping


The Ghost Whisperer from Mountain Hardwear is another excellent down jacket for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities where you don’t want a big puffy parka but still need all the warmth. The jacket is slim and very lightweight, staying out of the way while setting up camp or climbing, but still plenty weather resistant with 800-fill hydrophobic down and a DWR coating.

Buy Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 $329.99

Down Jacket Buying Guide

The best down jackets are technical pieces of clothing, so finding the best one requires some knowledge of down jacket specs. Here are a few things to look out for when shopping for your new down jacket:

Warmth: A down jacket’s warmth can be determined by fill power and fill weight and its down insulation. Fill power refers to the quality of the down — you’ll want at least 600-fill down — with higher fill power down requiring less bulk to keep you warm. But fill weight is also important, as this denotes how much down is used in a jacket.

Weight: The overall weight of a down jacket is also important, especially if you’re planning any activities where you want to keep your overall gear weight to a minimum (think, backpacking, skiing, climbing, etc.). Down jackets are all fairly lightweight, but lighter options are still more desirable.

Waterproofing: All down jackets should have a water-repellent coating, as wet down insulation won’t keep you warm. Most jackets keep out rain and snow with a DWR finish, but others take things up a notch with hydrophobic down for added protection.

Durability: One of the pitfalls with down jackets is that if they tear, that down insulation can fall right out. If you’re doing anything that puts your jacket at risk of a tear, look for something with a high-denier fabric shell.

How We Chose the Best Down Jackets

To find the best down jackets, we tried on options from all the best brands and took many of them out in the field for testing. We felt how the jackets fared well in serious cold, but we also wore them in slightly warmer temperatures, as you should be able to wear your down jacket in a range of temperatures. After testing, we also poured over other expert reviews of our favorites to make sure they loved the jackets as much as we did.


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