12 Best Down Jackets In Australia For 2024

There is something so magical and refreshing about enjoying our giant nature-filled backyard in winter. You could happily spend hours snuggled up in the best down jacket, watching the sparkling frost on the trees slowly melting as the sun works its way methodically through the forest. But one thing that can ruin this experience is a lack of that warm and toasty puffer jacket.

Trust me, I’ve been there before…

I’ve stood on the peak of Mt Murchison, with the wind whipping through my thin subpar jacket and also climbed the peak of Cradle Mountain with sleet chilling me to the bone before I finally purchased one of the best down jackets. And from these experiences, I can assure you that freezing your butt off in the chilly alpine dampens the experience – to say the least!

Choosing the best down jacket will save you from those bone-wrenching shivers, but how do you decide which one is right for you? Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work for you. In this post, you will find a nifty list of the best down jackets for 2024, plus an easily digestible guide on the components that create a down jacket and which are most important for your adventure style.

Let’s get down to business.

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Frenchmans Cap Summit Surrounded by an inversion and Alpen Glow

How To Choose The Best Down Jacket

What is Down?

Down comes from birds and is the layer of fine feathers or plumage found under the tougher feathers at the underbelly. The down collected for jackets, pillows, sleeping bags and such are generally from ducks or geese.

The plumage of ducks and geese provides incredible insulation due to the high-loft (fluffy) clusters creating thousands of air pockets that trap body heat and air. Down not only retains heat, but it’s also super breathable which allows it to wick moisture away from your body. 

In other words, down = warmth without sweat.

Is Down Ethical?

Down can be unethical if the birds are live-plucked, in turn causing the fluffy little fellas colossal pain and distress.

When you’re shopping for a down-filled jacket, the brands will state whether they source ethical down. Look out for the words Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and Traceable Down Standard (TDS).

These standards state that the sourced down has not come from ducks or geese that have been subjected to any unnecessary harm or distress. As in, no live-plucking or force-feeding. This down comes as a by-product of the meat industry.

Note: The down jackets suggested in this post will only be from brands that have an RDS or TDS label.

Synthetic Alternative For Down Jackets

If you’re still not comfortable wearing a garment filled with an animal by-product, synthetic down is a great alternative.

The design of synthetic insulation mimics the qualities of down. The insulation is made with polyester fibres arranged to replicate the lofty clusters. Synthetic is a little less durable than down and has a slightly higher weight-to-warmth ratio, but excels in resisting moisture. Plus, it dries faster and stays warmer when wet in comparison to down.

However, it is important to note that synthetic down is most commonly made from polyester which can be a sustainability issue. If you choose a synthetic down jacket, look for brands that offer recycled polyester options.

Down Jacket Warmth

Watching the sunrise at Mt Farrell as an inversion sits along the low lying peaks

The warmth of a down jacket comes down to four factors:

  • Duck or goose down 
  • Down fill power 
  • The down-to-feather ratio
  • The down fill weight

Goose Down Or Duck Down?

Because geese are larger animals, their down clusters are bigger and stronger. As a result, goose down provides superior warmth if all other aspects are the same. However, duck down shouldn’t be completely disregarded. Duck down is cheaper due to more availability and fairs better when wet.

Down Fill Power

Any research you may have already done would present you with numbers from 300 to 900 before the type of down used. That number generally refers to the down-fill power.

Down fill power measures the loft (remember loft means fluffiness) of a product, which basically relates to the quality of the down. So for example, for a fill power rating of 550, one ounce of down can cover 550 cubic inches.

All you really need to take away from this is that cheaper, low-quality garments will have a lower rating, usually around 300-500. These are made from smaller down clusters which can result in either a hefty jacket or one that isn’t very warm. 

High-quality jackets should have a fill power of 550 or higher. This will ensure the puffer jacket has superior warmth and provides additional comfort.

But don’t be like 90% of people and rely solely on the down fill power! There are several other important factors to consider.

Keeping warm camping in the blue mountains in my down jacket

Down to Feather Ratio

The down-to-feather ratio relates to how much down and feathers are used to make the garment. Down is more expensive, but a superior insulator. The ratio will usually be 70/30, 80/20 or 90/10 with the first number being the percentage of down. Obviously, the higher the first number, the warmer the jacket.

Down Fill Weight

Fill weight is all to do with quantity. If a jacket says it has a down weight of 120g, then 120g of down material was used to make the jacket. Many companies fail to add this information to their specs but it shouldn’t be disregarded. 

A jacket with a fill power of 650 and a fill weight of 120g would be just as warm as a jacket with a fill power of 800 and a fill weight of 96g. Actually, In theory, slightly warmer.

The key differences would be the pack-down size and weight of the jacket.

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Synthetic Puffer Jacket Warmth

While synthetic down jackets aren’t usually as warm in comparison to feather down jackets, the technologies are advancing at a rapid rate and I doubt it will take long for them to catch up.

When you’re searching for a synthetic puffer jacket, you want to take a look at the synthetic fill weight. The insulation is measured in grams per square metre, meaning a higher number will be warmer. Synthetic down jackets usually range from 50 g to 200 g of insulation.

Unfortunately, brands don’t often disclose this information. But in these cases, you can check the weight of the jacket to get a good sense of the warmth. Basically, the heavier the jacket, the warmer it will be.

Down Jacket Weight

The weight of your down jacket is an essential factor if you’re an adventurer who needs to carry all your gear on your back. However, it is important to note that in most cases, the lighter the jacket the less durable it will be.

In the example above, the overall weight of the 650 fill power jacket is 500g and the 800 fill power jacket is 371g. The 650 down jacket does need to be heavier in order to be as warm. This example is based on the down jackets that Dylan and I have and after a few years of wearing these almost every day, the 650 fill power jacket has shown more durability than the lighter option.

Note: To make things easy, all the weights recorded in the best down jackets list below are for the women’s jackets.

Comfort

Have you ever tried on a down jacket? 

They’re all comfortable!

But if we’re getting technical, the small differences in the comfort of a puffer jacket relate to size and bulk. For technical activities, a bulky down jacket can be uncomfortable and heavy. This is where you’d be better off looking for a higher fill power to enable a lower weight and less bulk – but this will result in a higher price tag as well.

For everyday wear and sitting by campfires in the middle of winter, a higher fill weight will provide a loftier down jacket and a bigger sense of comfort. You can also save money by choosing a down jacket with a heavier base weight and lower fill power.

Waterproofing

This may come as a surprise to some, but no lightweight down jacket is waterproof. On the contrary, down does not like to get wet. It takes forever to dry and can ruin the insulation.

For a touch of water resistance, look for a down jacket with a DWR finish (Durable Water Repellent). This will help protect you and your jacket from sudden rainfall or a misty alpine morning – but always layer with a rain jacket over top when the skies open up.

This is where synthetic down jackets excel. The synthetic fibres fare better when wet and dry much faster than feather down.

Down Jacket Durability

The outer layer of a down jacket will usually be either nylon or polyester. Nylon is generally tougher but polyester is more water-resistant. 

A word to look out for in this subject is ripstop, which refers to a special reinforcing technique adopted into woven fabrics that increases durability. You can get both nylon and polyester ripstop. 

Denier is the unit of measurement that determines the thickness and weight of the nylon or polyester. A higher denier equals a heavier and thicker fabric. Low deniers would be more susceptible to ripping yet will be lighter.

The decision between a high denier, polyester or nylon is completely up to you and what activities you’ll be using the jacket for. But in any case, we recommend wearing a fleece jacket for hiking and leaving your down jacket for camp as they’re known to tear easily.

Down Jacket Style Options

Staying super warm in my Patagonia Down Jacket at sunrise on St Patricks Head

Your down jacket will typically be a staple item throughout winter and the cooler months on either side. And for an item that will be worn this often, you want to ensure it’s the right fit for your lifestyle. The main options you’ll have with style are hood or no hood, colour and length.

Hood or no Hood?

For me, this question is a no-brainer. I am a sook when it comes to the cold and a snug hood keeping the chilly wind away from my neck is paramount. 

Some find that hoods are too bulky when layering and some just don’t like them… weird I know! 

This choice is entirely up to the individual and is again only a real problem if you’re looking for the lightest down jacket possible.

Length

Finding a jacket that covers your bum is beneficial and makes sitting on a cold rock a little more bearable. However, if you go too long it will get in the way when hiking and especially when mountaineering or climbing. It’s best to look for ones that have a slight drop tail but still offer a full range of motion for your hips. 

Colour

Now for the exciting part. What colour should you buy?

From experience and an issue with clumsiness, I would steer away from light colours. Remember, you’re in the bush and dirt sticks to you like velcro.

If you’re keen to stand out for safety reasons, yellow and red are the easiest colours to spot in the bush. This is also a bonus for avid photographers who want to stand out amongst the dense wilderness.

How Much Does A Down Jacket Cost?

Everything you’ve just read needs to be factored into the cost of a down jacket. The higher the fill power – the more expensive the jacket. The tougher the outer layer – the more expensive the jacket. Goose down – more expensive. I take it you get the picture.

The best thing to do regarding cost is to pick the most important factors for you and then see what you can sacrifice with other factors. For example, if you don’t care about the weight or bulkiness of a jacket, maybe a lower fill power and higher fill weight will work. 

Also, factor in where you’ll be wearing your jacket and how warm it really needs to be. If you’re not planning to be in weather lower than 10 degrees, an 800-fill jacket could be overkill. On the contrary, if you’re planning snow expeditions, you need to find something that will keep you snug as a bug.

Hopefully, you’ve got your noggin around all the above information as we’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty. 

What are the best down jackets of 2024?

Sunrise shining on the peak of St Patricks Head Tasmania

12 Best Down Jackets In Australia For 2024

Down Jacket Comparison Table

Down JacketPriceFill PowerFill TypeFill WeightOverall WeightSustainable
The North Face Breithorn$600800ProDown RDS Goose DownNot Specified400gYes
Macpac Halo Hooded Down Jacket$300 $16060080/20 RDS Duck Down169g470gYes
The North Face Aconcagua$400600 plus 220g Recycled InsultaionRecycled Waterfowl DownNot specified520gYes
Patagonia Down Sweater$45080090/10 TDS Goose Down96g343gYes
Marmot Highlander$330700RDS Down with Down DefenderUnknown380gYes
Macpac Icefall$500 $35080090/10 RDS HyperDry Goose Down plus Primaloft Down 88g | Primaloft 80g/m²260gYes
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody$380Not ApplicablePrimaloft Gold Insulation Eco60g Primaloft306gYes
Mountain Designs Peak 700$40070090/10 RDS Goose DownNot specified413gNo
RAB Microlight Alpine$350700Recycled 700 fill-power down Nikwax hydrophobic finish145g413gYes
The North Face ThermoBall Eco 2.0 Hoodie$330Not ApplicableThermoBall™ Eco11 g/ft²390gYes
Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket$419800 fill recycled/repurposed downWater resistant DownUnknown397gYes
Kathmandu Heli Hooded Lightweight Down$23060080/20 RDS duck down90.5g353gYes

1. The North Face Summit Series Breithorn Down Jacket – Best For Warmth

The North Face Summit Series Breithorn down jacket has been designed for wild alpine adventures when warmth and comfort are imperative. The raglan sleeves and gusseted underarms allow for ease of movement, making it the perfect mid-layer as you tackle the technical trails.

The down jacket is constructed with 100% recycled nylon ripstop and 800 fill ProDown – an innovative technology that retains loft even in wet conditions.

Who It’s Good For:

While it’s not the most durable option out there (reviews have stressed you can even see the feathers through the outer fabric), The Summit Series Breithorn down jacket is a great choice for hikers who need an insulated mid-layer or those looking to save weight.

Price: $600 AUD
Fill Power: 800
Fill Type: ProDown RDS Goose down
Fill Weight: Not specified
Overall Weight: 400g
Material: 100% recycled 10D Nylon Ripstop
Waterproofing: PFC-free DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

The North Face Summit Series Breithorn Down Jacket

Features

  • Helmet-compatible adjustable hood with pre-tensioned elastic opening
  • Lightweight and recycled nylon ripstop outer
  • The front zip is water-resistant with an internal draft flap
  • Stuffs into a hand pocket
  • External zippered chest pocket
  • Two large internal mesh drop pockets and two external zippered waist pockets
  • Adjustable hem with a cord lock

Positives

  • Sustainable materials
  • Better water resistance than others
  • Super warm 
  • Very durable

Negatives

  • Expensive
  • Fill weight is not specified
  • Not as durable in comparison to others on this list

2. Macpac Halo Hooded Down Jacket

What the Macpac Halo Hooded down jacket lacks in fill power, it makes up for in fill weight. This ensures a super warm jacket if only a little heavier. The nylon material provides a durable outer layer and a longer back reduces the worry of your jacket riding up and freezing your back.

Plus! The toasty warm Macpac Halo Down Jackets are now made with 100% recycled fabrics. If we didn’t already love this jacket, we sure do now!

Who It’s Good For:

The Macpac Halo Hooded down jacket is made with versatility in mind. It’s a great all-rounder for travel, where you’ll find yourself wandering through cities and along mountain tracks on day walks. The heavier weight and pack size make this jacket slightly less ideal for overnight hikes.

Price: $300 160 AUD
Fill Power: 600
Fill Type: 80/20 RDS Duck Down
Fill Weight: 169g
Overall Weight: 470g
Material: 100% recycled nylon
Waterproofing: PFC-free DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

Macpac Halo Down Jacket

Features

  • 100% recycled fabrics throughout
  • Soft irritation-free lining on the chin flap and collar
  • Adjustable hems and cuffs
  • Drop-tail hem for more warmth
  • A separate stuff sack
  • Internal draft tube retains heat

Positives

  • Sustainable
  • Super warm
  • On the cheaper side of a good jacket
  • Durable
  • Great fit

Negatives

  • The separate stuff sack is easy to lose
  • Slightly bulky
  • On the heavier side

3. The North Face Aconcagua 3 Hooded Down Jacket

The North Face Aconcagua 3 down jacket boasts a hybrid design of both 600-fill recycled waterfowl down and recycled polyester insulation for a competitive weight-to-warmth ratio and increased weather resistance.

While the Aconcagua 3 won’t win any awards for being lightweight, the 50D x 50D WindWall outer provides a super durable and windproof jacket that feels ultra-cosy and dependable.

Who It’s Good For:

The North Face Aconcagua 3 down jacket is the ideal companion for wintry day hikes and everyday wear around town. The durable construction instils confidence in the ability to wear this puffer jacket while hiking without fear of losing a few feathers.

Price: $400 AUD
Fill Power: 600 plus 220g recycled polyester insulation
Fill Type: Recycled Waterfowl Down
Fill Weight: Unknown
Overall Weight: 520g
Material:  50 x 50D WindWall 100% nylon
Waterproofing: PFC-free DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

The North Face Aconcagua Down Jacket

Features

  • Highly wind-resistant outer fabric
  • Brushed chin-guard lining for increased comfort
  • Zippered handwarmer waist pockets
  • Elastic cuffs to trap heat
  • A blend of 550 goose down and recycled insulation increases warmth and water resistance
  • Large hood with peak for additional protection

Positives

  • Extra thickness increases comfort
  • Highly wind resistant
  • Good water resistance
  • Warm

Negatives

  • Heavy
  • Relatively expensive
  • Doesn’t pack down small

4. Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody – Best All-Rounder

Our pick of the bunch is Patagonia’s Down Sweater Hoody. It may be a little pricier, but the weight, warmth and design couldn’t be matched in cheaper jackets. Not to mention, the outer fabric is constructed with 100% postconsumer recycled nylon ripstop made from recycled fishing nets!

And as an added bonus, this 100% recycled nylon ripstop is pretty darn durable – I’ve tested the older version (which had a very similar outer fabric) on multiple technical hiking expeditions and only after 2 years of heavy use has it begun to show wear at the seams.

Read my full review on the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody here.

Who It’s Good For:

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is an ideal choice for hikers and climbers needing a lightweight and warm down jacket. It has one of the best warmth-to-weight ratios compared to the other options on this list. You can also save extra weight by choosing the hoodless Patagonia Down Sweater.

Price: $450 AUD
Fill Power: 800
Fill Type: 90/10 TDS Goose Down
Fill Weight: 96g
Overall Weight: 343g
Outer Material: 100% Recycled 20D Nylon Ripstop
Waterproofing: PFC-free DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

Patagonia Womens Sweater Hoody Down Jacket

Features

  • A single-pull adjustable hood that is just the right size so it doesn’t fall over your eyes
  • The zipper has a moisture-wicking storm flap and a zipper garage at the chin
  • A longer length hem to cover your butt
  • Two secure handwarmer pockets as well as a chest pocket that converts to a stuff sack
  • Cord locks at the front to adjust the hem snugly and keep the wind from creeping in

Positives

  • Superior warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Durable
  • Isn’t bulky
  • Uses recycled materials

Negatives

  • Could be slightly warmer for its price
  • Getting expensive
  • The hem cord locks come loose easily

5. Marmot Highlander Hooded Down Jacket

If you’re searching for a cosy puffer jacket that won’t weigh you down on wintry adventures, then look no further than the Marmot Highlander Hooded down jacket. This lofty jacket provides all the warmth you’ll need without any unnecessary bulk.

Along with a competitive price, a light base weight and a durable 100% recycled polyester ripstop outer layer, the Highlander also boasts better water resistance with its Down Defender technology. This technology coats each individual plume of down with DWR treatment to achieve faster drying times and better loft if the down gets wet.

Who It’s Good For:

The Marmot Highlander Hooded down jacket is a sustainably stylish and lightweight puffer that is the perfect companion for days in the alpine or backpacking trips where there’s a need to save weight and space.

Price: $330 AUD
Fill Power: 700
Fill Type: RDS Down with Down Defender
Fill Weight: Unknown
Overall Weight: 380g
Material: Pertex Quantum (100% recycled polyester)
Waterproofing: Down Defender
Sustainable Material: Yes

Marmot Highlander Down Jacket

Features

  • Fixed helmet-compatible hood with elastic cuffs to protect your face from the cold
  • Adjustable hem drawcord for a customisable fit
  • Elastic bound cuffs trap heat in and protect from the icy wind
  • Increased water resistance with the Down Defender technology
  • Zippered handwarmer waist pockets
  • Internal zippered chest pocket to keep valuables safe
  • Stuffs into waist pocket for ease of storage

Positives

  • Increased water resistance
  • Affordable
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • Not as lightweight compared to others with the same warmth
  • The hem is a little too short

6. Macpac Icefall Down Jacket

The Macpac Icefall down jacket was designed in partnership with the New Zealand Alpine Team to produce a down jacket worthy of hardcore mountaineers. Its ultra-lightweight and weather-resistant design is backed up with 800 goose down and Primaloft Gold synthetic insulation in the most moisture-prone areas.

While it may be a little overkill for most – and the lightweight style might not feel as cosy – if you need a sustainably made, reliable and lightweight jacket for alpine expeditions then this is the one for you!

Who It’s Good For:

The Macpac Icefall down jacket is for ultralight hikers who need a lightweight yet warm and weather-resistant jacket that will provide the perfect mid-layer on winter adventures.

Price: $500 350 AUD
Fill Power: 800
Fill Type: 90/10 RDS HyperDry Goose Down plus Primaloft Gold with Cross-Core Technology
Fill Weight: Down – 88g | Primaloft 80g/m²
Overall Weight: 260g
Material: Pertex Quantum (100% recycled nylon)
Waterproofing: C6 DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

Macpac Icefall Down Jacket

Features

  • Synthetic insulation is found in the shoulders, chin and cuff panels for increased water resistance
  • Y fuse fabric technology increases performance and technology
  • Helmet compatible hood is adjustable for increased protection
  • Zippered handwarmer waist pockets
  • Packs into its own pocket
  • Adjustable hem for a customisable fit
  • Elastic cuffs trap heat to increase warmth
  • High chin increases warmth

Positives

  • Super lightweight
  • Increased water resistance
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • Lightweight feel can make you feel a little colder
  • Not as windproof
  • Slightly less durable – need to be more careful with this design

7. Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody – Lightest Synthetic Option

It’s rare to find a synthetic puffer jacket that can compete with a down jacket in the weight-to-warmth department but Patagonia has done it! The Patagonia Nano Puff is the lightest synthetic puffer jacket we have found that also provides exceptional warmth for mid to cool winters.

You can even save extra weight by choosing the Patagonia Nano Puff without a hood! But the best part is, the entire construction is sustainably made, even the insulation.

Who It’s Good For:

The Patagonia Nano Puff is the ideal choice for sustainably conscious hikers who need a comfortable and lightweight puffer jacket that will withstand the harsh weather found on mountaintops. Its water and wind-resistant design will keep you comfortable throughout your winter adventures.

Price: $380 AUD
Fill Power: Not applicable
Fill Type: Primaloft Gold Insulation Eco 100% post-consumer recycled polyester with P.U.R.E
Fill Weight: 60g Primaloft
Overall Weight: 306g
Material: 100% recycled polyester ripstop
Waterproofing: PFC-free DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

Patagonia Nano Puff Down Jacket

Features

  • Horizontal quilting pattern stabilises insulation and uses durable thread for abrasion resistance
  • Zippered handwarmer waist pockets
  • The internal zippered chest pocket doubles as a stuff sack
  • Drop tail hem for increased protection
  • Adjustable hem for a customisable fit
  • The centre front zip has a wicking-interior storm flap for added warmth and weather resistance
  • Helmet-compatible hood

Positives

  • Lightweight for an insulated down jacket
  • Highly weather resistant
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • The thin feeling can cause you to feel colder
  • A little expensive for its warmth

8. Mountain Designs Peak 700 Down Jacket – Best Members Offer

The Mountain Designs Peak 700 down jacket is a great budget-friendly choice if you’re a member – which is free to sign up! The jacket is relatively light in comparison to warmth and while the fill weight is not specified, reviews have stated the Peak 700 provides efficient warmth for a mild Aussie winter.

Who It’s Good For:

The Mountain Designs Peak 700 down jacket is for Australians looking to save a little cash without compromising on warmth and durability. The only major downside to this jacket is the lack of any recycled materials or PFC-free DWR.

Price: $400 AUD ($280 AUD Club Price)
Fill Power: 700
Fill Type: 90/10 RDS Goose Down
Fill Weight: Not specified
Overall Weight: 413g
Material: Nylon
Waterproofing: DWR
Sustainable Material: No

Mountain Designs Peak 700 down jacket

Features

  • Sewn-through baffle design keeps the down in place for overall warmth
  • Scuba-styled hood traps warmth
  • Stuffs into an internal chest pocket
  • Warmer fabric in the hand pockets and near the chin to keep you cosy
  • Adjustable hem for a customisable fit

Positives

  • Cheap for members
  • Packs down small
  • Relatively lightweight

Negatives

  • Not sustainably made (aside from responsibly sourced down)
  • Need to sign up to get the cheaper price
  • Fill weight not specified

9. RAB Microlight Alpine Down Jacket

Hands down the best feature of the RAB Microlight Alpine down jacket is the fact that even the down insulation used is recycled! Their jackets are made with 100% recycled 700-fill hydrophobic down and 100% recycled nylon Pertex Quantum outer. Let’s hope more brands cotton onto this awesome idea!

In addition to the highly sustainable design, the Microlight Alpine down jacket also boasts a combination of zoned micro and nano baffles to increase core warmth without adding additional weight.

Who It’s Good For:

The RAB Microlight Alpine down jacket is for adventurers that need a little extra durability and weather resistance for their outdoor expeditions.

Price: $350 AUD
Fill Power: 700
Fill Type: Recycled 700 fill-power down Nikwax hydrophobic finish
Fill Weight: 145g
Overall Weight: 413g
Material: Main body: Recycled 30D nylon Pertex Quantum | Lining: Recycled 20D nylon
Waterproofing: DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket

Features

  • A slim fit, keeping close to your contours to keep you warmer
  • A combination of zoned micro and nano baffles increases core warmth
  • Durable and windproof Pertex Quantum outer layer
  • Hydrophobic down stays warm when wet
  • Adjustable hood with a stiffened peak
  • Two hand pockets and a chest pocket
  • Adjustable hem with a dual drawcord
  • Elastic cuffs

Positives

  • Loads of colours
  • Recycled down
  • Sustainable
  • Warm

Negatives 

  • Separate stuff sack easy to lose
  • Some reviews have stated they started losing feathers early on
  • Women’s is a fitted style that could be too tight for layering

10. The North Face ThermoBall Eco 2.0 Hoodie Insulated Jacket – Best Synthetic Alternative

The North Face created a great down-mimicking jacket in the ThermoBall Eco 2.0 Hoodie. It is a 100% post-consumer recycled product that will keep you warm in the shoulder seasons or as a mid-layer for cold conditions.

While it may not be the warmest on this list, it is a great option for those who live in a milder climate.

Who It’s Good For:

The North Face ThermoBall Eco 2.0 insulated jacket is for the environmentally conscious who need a lightweight jacket to keep them warm in mild conditions.

Price: $330 AUD
Fill Power: Not Applicable
Fill Type: ThermoBall™ Eco
Fill Weight: 11 g/ft²
Overall Weight: 390g
Material: 100% post-consumer recycled polyester
Waterproofing: DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

The North Face Thermoball Eco 2 Down Jacket

Features

  • ThermoBall Eco insulation offers warmth even when wet
  • There is an internal zippered chest pocket
  • The jacket can be stowed in the hand pocket
  • The cuffs have internal elastic bands to keep out the cold
  • The attached hood is pre-tensioned with a partial elastic binding
  • There is a hem cinch cord to keep out the cold

Positives 

  • Recycled fabric
  • No down used
  • Comfortable
  • Stylish

Negatives

  • Heavier than a down equivalent
  • Thin material
  • Not as durable as others listed

12. Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket

The Cotopaxi Fuego is a great all-round insulating layer. It’s crafted with responsibly sourced, water-resistant 800-fill down, making it your go-to midweight jacket that is good enough for nearly all conditions.

Cotopaxi’s distinctive style stems from their unwavering commitment to sustainability. At present, an impressive 94% of Cotopaxi’s products incorporate repurposed, recycled, or responsibly sourced materials.

Who It’s Good For:

While the Cotopaxi Fuego doesn’t necessarily excel in any category, it is a great blend of style, comfort and performance, making it a great down jacket for those who intend to undertake a wide range of activities and sport the rather creative look.

Price: $419 AUD
Fill Power: 800-fill responsibly sourced, water-resistant down
Fill Type: RDS Down
Fill Weight: 800 g
Overall Weight: 397g
Material: 20D giant-ripstop nylon with DWR finish
Waterproofing: DWR
Sustainable Material: Yes

Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket

Features

  • An adjustable elastic hood
  • Chin guard on the front zip
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Adjustable hem
  • Two zip hand pockets and two inner stash pockets
  • Packs into its own pocket

Positives

  • Lightweight
  • Fun colour options
  • Budget-friendly

Negatives

  • Not as warm as the others on this list
  • Not as durable

11. Kathmandu Heli Hooded Lightweight Down Jacket – Cheapest Option

The Kathmandu Heli Hooded Lightweight down jacket is the cheapest on our list but that doesn’t mean it lacks in comparison. Many outdoor adventurers diss Kathmandu but Dylan has an older version of this jacket and loves it. It’s been with him for over 4 years now and hasn’t missed a beat.

Who It’s Good For:

The Kathmandu Heli 600 down jacket is a fantastic budget-friendly option for hikers who need a little extra durability in their down jackets. While it’s not the warmest on this list, it fares well in mild to cool winters.

Price: $230 AUD
Fill Power: 600
Fill Type: 80/20 RDS duck down
Fill Weight: 90.5g
Overall Weight: 353g
Material: 100% Ripstop Polyester outer, 100% Polyester Taffeta inner
Waterproofing: DWR
Sustainable Material: Bluesign-approved fabric

Kathmandu Womans Heli Hooded Down Jacket

Features

  • An elastic hood
  • Elastic cuffs
  • An Adjustable hem
  • Packs into its own pocket
  • Two warm zipped hand pockets and two inner stash pockets
  • Chin guard on the front zip

Positives

  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly

Negatives

  • Not as warm as the others on this list
  • Not as sustainable as other options

Final Thoughts

This is by no means a list of every contending down jacket, that would take FOREVER and nobody would want to read such a novel. These are a mixture of Down Jackets I have tried and tested and my selections from extensive research over the years. If you have a down jacket that absolutely should be on this list, please let me know and I can add it in. 

Now get out there, grab a down jacket and enjoy what winter has to offer. For some epic hiking inspiration, have a look at our Hiking Trail Guides.

Last Updated: 31/12/2023

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