The fill power down really lofts out these thin sewn through baffles, making this one of the puffier jackets in the review. Long line winter coat with oodles of style and performance. Clean out the detergent compartment before adding soap. Samples of the same weight show that increasing down fill power displaces more volume, resulting in a lighter and more compressible product.
Squeeze out excess water. Use your hands to squeeze the jacket and remove excess water before picking it up to dry it. Run the jacket through multiple spin cycles. The drying process for a down jacket takes quite a long time, but you can help it along by removing as much moisture as possible from the coat.
Run the jacket through two or three additional spin cycles after the second rinse is complete. If possible, increase the speed of the spin with each cycle. Then, lay the jacket to hang on a radiator or hang it to dry. Tumble dry on low. After the spin cycles, place your jacket into the dryer along with two or three clean tennis balls. As the tennis balls bounce around in the dryer with the jacket, they will fluff the feathers inside.
This fluffing will prevent the feathers from clumping together, and help return their loft. Higher heat can damage or melt parts of the jacket. Fluff the jacket as it dries. As the jacket dries, remove it from the dryer every 30 minutes to shake the jacket vigorously and break up feather clumps. You know the jacket is dry when the feathers stop clumping together,  and when it feels light and fluffy again. Even if you're radiator or air drying your jacket, be sure to shake it out every half hour to break up clumps.
Hang the jacket to air. When the jacket is fully dry, give it a final shake. Hang it somewhere to air out for a couple hours before wearing or storing the jacket. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 4. Can I allow the down jacket do dry naturally after hand washing it? Answer this question Flag as What is the best way to dry a down jacket if I don't have a dryer? How to dry a down vest without a dryer? How do I remove a stain from a down jacket?
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To clean a down jacket, start by filling a large sink or tub with cold water and some down-safe soap.
Did this summary help you? Tips Do not iron a down jacket, as the heat can damage the feathers and melt the shell. Did you try these steps? Upload a picture for other readers to see. Tell us more about it? Crafted from a lightweight cotton-stretch fabrication. Long sleeves with button cuffs. The Zayne button -up shirt offers a modern finish to a timeless classic. Cut from a slubbed lightweight rayon fabric. Mini buttoned- down collar.
Gathering detail at curved back yoke. Kensie Long Sleeve Button Down. White With Purpleyellow Birds. Contrast Black Collar And Cuffs. Blue And White Gingham more. Berek Flower Pop Two- button Jacket - Berek jacket features large-scale novelty floral print and distinctive marbleized buttons.
Notched collar; two- button front. Misook Button -front Textured Jacket - Misook textured jacket. Jewel neckline; ornate button front with hidden hook. Long sleeves with snap button closure. Front snap button closure. Chest patch pocket with snap button closure on right side. If weight and packability are your primary concerns, consider one of the jackets here with super-light shell material like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded.
If durability is your primary concern, consider some of the jackets with slightly burlier shell fabrics like the Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody.
Overall, hoods keep you warmer, especially in windy conditions. In order to be sure that we were comparing apples to apples, we chose only jackets with a hood for this year's review, with the exception of the REI Co-op Magma , which only comes hoodless. Many of these models are also made without a hood for a few less dollars, and we made note of that in the specs column. If you're looking for a down layer to keep you as warm as possible, then get a hood.
If you often wear your jacket as a mid-layer, consider a non-hooded model, which will layer a bit easier under your chosen outerwear, which probably has a hood. Keep in mind that not all hoods are designed the same. Some hoods are made to wear over a climbing helmet and are rather large if you don't happen to be wearing one at the time.
Other hoods, like on the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer , are designed to be tighter fitting to the face and worn under a helmet. These hoods are good at keeping the cold out and offer a tighter, sleeker profile while climbing or hiking. One of the great advantages of down is its compressibility; many jackets either come with a stuff sack or compress into their own pocket. Jackets that stuff into either a chest or hand pocket and have a clip-able carabiner loop are more advantageous for climbing then a separate stuff sack because of the ease with which you can attach the stuffed jacket to your harness.
This is particularly nice when climbing multi-pitch routes where you only have a small follower's pack, as it allows the leader to lead with the jacket on their harness and thus have it at the belay, while the follower carries the pack. The other issue with a separate stuff sack is that you have to be careful not to lose it. Take a peek at the photo below to compare the sizes of several jackets stuffed into their stuff sacks or pockets. Besides the obvious differences in warmth, lighter jackets and parkas also differ quite a bit in terms of pockets and features.
Several of the light down jackets reviewed here skimp significantly on features as a means of saving weight. Features that are often cut include draw cords on the hood and waist and having fewer pockets. On the other side of that spectrum are parkas that are designed for expedition use and are full of features intended to make your life easier in the cold.
Below we briefly make mention of the common features found on these jackets, and what styles worked well, and what didn't.
These are the two front pockets designed for keeping your hands warm or stowing your snacks in. Every handwarmer pocket in this review was zippered, which we love for keeping your valuables safe when moving about. Some had fleece linings, which felt nice. An important aspect to consider is whether the pockets are high enough to sit above a pack's waist belt, otherwise they become unusable when wearing a pack. Most jackets have one of these, although some do not.
These pockets are great for storing items like a smartphone, sunglasses, or chapstick close at hand. Internal pockets are generally better insulated, a nice feature for keeping a phone's battery alive in the cold, while external pockets are without doubt easier to access quickly. These are some of our absolute favorite pockets, but unfortunately only two out of 10 jackets had them — the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Hooded and the OR Transcendent Hoody.
These are large, un-zippered pockets on the inside of the coat with a top opening. They are great for storing hats, gloves, warm water bottles, or even rock climbing shoes, on the inside of your jacket where they can stay toasty warm within your heat envelope.
The jackets in this review used three methods of securing and tightening the hood: While elastic was the least adjustable in fact its not adjustable at all! Our favorite method was the single draw cord that tightens at the back of the head. These cords were both easy to use, and held the hood in place very well. While they are our preferred method for adjusting a hood on a shell jacket, in the case of these down jackets we didn't really enjoy the dual side-of-the-face draw cords.
We found them to be more finicky to find the proper adjustment, annoying to loosen, and uncomfortable where they rest against the side of the face. It is common to have one or two draw cords on the hem to tighten the jacket around the waist and hips. We very much appreciated this feature, as the one jacket that was not adjustable, the Marmot Tullus Hoody, allowed plenty of cold air to flow up into our jacket. The location of the pull cords as well as the type of buckles used made a difference in how much we liked these features.
We greatly appreciated draw cords that lived inside the hand warmer pockets, as the alternative is a dangling loop of elastic hanging down from the waist when tightened that could catch on sticks or bushes along the trail, or even on our crampon points when ice climbing.
Our favorite buckles were the Cohaesive buckles that lived entirely within the fabric of the jacket — they are super low profile and are easy to release and loosen with gloves on. The best way to approach buying a lightweight down jacket is to first consider what you intend to use it for.
This holds true for just about any piece of equipment, in reality. Carefully considering how and where it will be used will help you to understand what sorts of conditions it will need to protect you from.
It will also help you to paint a picture in your mind about what characteristics are top priorities, and tailor your eventual choice based on those desires. Below we pick out a few of the most common uses for a lightweight down jacket, and offer our opinions on what to look for in a jacket for that purpose, as well as some specific product recommendations. Generally speaking, the lightweight down jackets in this review are not going to be sufficient for high altitude mountaineering expeditions.
For hanging out in glacier camp on Denali, or battling your way up to 8,m on Cho Oyu, you are going to need a dedicated expedition parka or 8, meter suit. In general, these parkas are far thicker, heavier, warmer, have more features, and are more expensive than the jackets we tested here. That said, for mountaineering expeditions that are not tackling the extreme cold of the highest altitudes and latitudes, many of these jackets will work great, especially as a layering component.
Weight becomes a primary concern, but so does warmth, as a down jacket on a mountaineering trip will primarily be used when not moving. The Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody offers the award-winning combination of warmth and light weight in a jacket that fits big enough to wear over your other layers. For backcountry skiers, a lightweight down jacket will serve primarily as a mid-layer to be thrown on to ward off chill on the down hills.
Typically a person will generate way too much heat on the skin track to consider wearing a down jacket while moving uphill, but will usually want to trap that warmth as the sweat cools for the chilly downhill. In these circumstances, light is certainly right. A thin down mid-layer to go underneath a hard or soft shell that keeps the powder and moisture off is the way that we typically layer.
For resort skiing, we like to wear a down mid-layer under our shell all of the time in the winter, as the temps are usually cold, and whether you are riding the lifts up or skiing down, you are likely being blasted by cold air. Warmth becomes a bigger priority than weight in these circumstances. All of the jackets we recommend for backcountry skiing would work great as a mid-layer here. There are many different scenarios where you might be climbing and want a down jacket, broken down a bit more detailed below.
Down jackets make great belay jackets while hanging out at the crag in ideal sending temps. Features we really like for this purpose are internal stash pockets, where we like to keep our thermos, gloves, and even our shoes toasty warm in between burns on the project.
We also love a two-way zipper, which allows us to easily access our belay loop by unzipping the front of the jacket from the bottom up, and not having to scrunch up the bottom of the jacket. The OR Transcendent Hoody has nearly perfect features for use as a belay jacket, but isn't nearly as warm as the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody which is also ideally suited for this use. Any time that we are alpine rock climbing, we prefer to be using a synthetic insulated jacket.
Lightweight down jackets don't want to make direct contact with rock, as the thin outer layers will likely tear, and feathers and down will begin leaking out immediately, ruining the jacket. If a synthetic jacket tears, the insulation remains largely unaffected, and you can repair the hole after the climb. For mixed alpine and alpine ice climbs, we love using a lightweight down jacket that has the option of either being worn as a mid layer under our shell, or as an outer layer at the belays that we can put on and remove again frequently.
Typically the temperature of the air will dictate which tactic is most appropriate. The Ghost Whisperer is the best down mid-layer in this review. The main features you want for this kind of climbing is light weight and very compressible, not to mention a fit that will go over other clothes.
Our experience with winter and ice climbing is that we are willing to sacrifice a bit of weight in favor of serious warmth, as we are generally willing to do anything to stay warm, keep having fun, and keep blood flowing from our torso to our extremities. We might easily wear a down jacket as a mid layer under our hard shell to keep us warm all day and to keep it dry and protected.
We will always also have a large puffy belay jacket ready for times when we stop moving. For this kind of jacket we want the warmest we can get, with internal pockets for keeping extra clothing items warm and trying to dry gloves out a huge bonus. Down has long been shunned in wet climates due to the fact that it shrinks up like a ball of cellophane when it gets soaked with water.
However, recent advances in technology are making it so that you need not automatically dismiss down if you live in, say, Portland. The Columbia Outdry Ex Gold is actually water proof , meaning you could wear it all day long in a downpour and likely stay dry. That said, since it isn't very warm or super compressible, and is also fairly heavy, we would use this jacket around town, but wouldn't choose to lug it on a backpacking trip.
If you are going backpacking in a wet area, down can still be a good option. It still retains its awesome warmth-to-weight ratios, which can make it a real MVP piece on overnight trips.
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