If you are on the hunt for the best women’s packable down jacket, then you have come to the right place. This guide takes you through everything you need to think about when purchasing the perfect ultralight packable down jacket for your next trip.
When it comes to the best packable down jacket (womens) you don’t only want it to keep you nice and warm while you’re out sightseeing, you also want it to be lightweight and compress down well so not to take up too much space in your luggage. Plus you’ll also want one that fits your body shape well and looks great with your traveling wardrobe.
This guide on the best packable down jacket (women’s) for traveling takes you through everything you need to know to purchase the perfect light packable down jacket. First, I’ll take you through the various features you need to consider when looking for a women’s lightweight packable down jacket and then take a closer look at some of the best packable down jackets currently on the market.
What is a Light Packable Down Jacket and Why do you Need one?
A down jacket, also sometimes called a puffer jacket, is a jacket insulted with down, that keeps you super warm in cold weather.
One of the main benefits of a down jacket as opposed to any other sort of jacket is the fact that down keeps you exceptionally warm, without weighing you down. Jackets insulted with down also compress down really well and take up barely any space in your luggage. In fact many down jackets have a built-in storage pocket so when you are not wearing the jacket you can roll them up and store them inside themselves. Plus down jackets are lightweight making them the ideal type of jacket to take travelling.
If you’re travelling to cold climates, there really isn’t a better option then investing in a down packable jacket.
Our Pick for the Best Women’s Packable Down Jacket: Arc-teryx Cerium LT Hoody
Don’t have time to read my entire packable down jackets guide? I just love the Arc-teryx Cerium LT Hoody. This jacket is a great all round option that is not only super lightweight and compressible but also has great warmth and looks really stylish. I love the use of composite down mapping making sure the areas prone to damp have extra water resistance.Click here to purchase the Arc-teryx Cerium LT Hoody or keep reading below for more information.
Comparison Chart for the Best Packable Down Jacket (Women’s) 2020
Check out the table below for a quick and easy comparison of all women’s packable down jackets reviewed in this guide. For further information, keep reading the reviews below.
|IMAGE||PRODUCT||Weight||Fill Power||Fill Weight||Price Guide|
|EDITOR’S CHOICE||1. RAB Neutrino Pro||21.3 oz||800||8 oz||375||Check Price|
|RUNNER UP||2. Eddie Bauer CirrusLite||Unknown||650||Unknown||60||Check Price|
|3. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer||8.8 oz||800||3 oz||325||Check Price|
|4. Arc’teryx Cerium||10.8 oz||850||3.4 oz||380||Check Price|
|5. Mountain Equipment Lightline||26 oz||675||10.4 oz||275||Check Price|
|6. Outdoor Research Sonata||11.7 oz||650||Unknown||140||Check Price|
|7. RAB Microlight Alpine||17 oz||750||5 oz||275||Check Price|
|8. North Face Arctic||34 oz||550||Unknown||360||Check Price|
|9. North Face Aconcagua||15.9 oz||550||Unknown||220||Check Price|
|10. Beinia Valuker||41.6 oz||700||Unknown||130||Check Price|
Things to Consider when Purchasing a Women’s Lightweight Packable Down Jacket
What makes the best packable down jacket (ladies) depends on a few things. To ensure you get the best down jacket, I recommend you consider the factors below.
1. Fill Power
To determine how well a down jacket will keep you warm, you need to consider the “fill power”. Fill power is the measure of the insulating properties of the down. Generally, the higher the number, the higher the quality of the down. High fill power means that the garment will be lighter weight for the same warmth. Put another way, achieving the same amount of warmth with a lower fill power requires more down, which of course adds weight and bulk.
Down jackets with a fill power of 400-500 will provide a medium warmth, while jackets with fill powers of 800+ are considered super warm and of a high quality.
2. Fill Weight
As well as Fill Power, you will also want to consider the Fill Weight to determine a jacket’s warmth. Fill weight refers to actually how much of the down is in the jacket, whereas Fill Power determines the quality of the down in the jacket.
So if jacket A has 6 ounces of 750 fill down and jacket B has 3 ounces of 750 fill down, then jacket A is going to be much warmer. However a jacket with 550 fill down can still be as warm as a 750 fill down jacket, it just requires much more fill, which will also increase the weight and bulk. So don’t just consider the fill power, also consider the fill weight too.
3. Ethical Consideration of Down
When purchasing a down jacket, you may wish to ensure whether the down for your jacket has been sourced ethically. In order to address concerns about where the down in their products comes from, and to assure buyers that the animals were treated humanely, most companies are using “traceable down,” or “certified responsibly sourced down,” which essentially means that they disclose their own sources and the harvesting practices of those sources.
One way to check if the down for the jacket you’re considering purchasing was ethically sourced is to check whether the product is labeled with the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The RDS is an independent, global standard that companies can certify their products to, so you can easily identify the down was ethically sourced.
The good news is that all down jackets are lightweight but like anything, some are lighter than others. For a super lightweight down jacket, you’re going to want to invest in a high fill power jacket with a low fill weight. This will give you maximum warmth, at the lowest weight.
5. Shell Fabric – Denier
The majority of packable down jackets are made with a nylon shell fabric, which tends to hold up well to the wind and the rain. In order to determine the quality of the nylon, you need to consider the denier.
Denier refers to the weight of a thread and so the lower the number, the lighter the weight. Fabrics with a higher denier are more durable and less likely prone to rips or tears. However, the downside with a higher denier fabric is they are heavier. So if weight is super important to you, you will need to trade off some durability for lower weight.
One of the awesome things about down packable jackets is how well they compress down, making them super easy to pack into your bag. Look for down jackets that come with their own stuff sack or a built in pocket for storage.
The shell fabric will also impact how compressible a jacket is. The heavier the fabric, the less compressible it will be.
7. Waterproof or Water-Resistant
With winter weather ranging from snow, sleet, wind and rain you may want to consider getting a jacket with a waterproof or water-resistant shell. Whilst most down jackets can handle some light snow or rain, they certainly don’t all double as a raincoat.
Another reason you will want to consider a waterproof or water-resistant jacket is that when down gets wet, it loses its ability to keep you warm. So, if you think you will be spending a lot of time in the rain or where there is heavy snowfall, you definitely want to invest in a waterproof jacket. However, most winter jackets are just water-resistant which should suffice if the weather is typically just going to be freezing temperatures and dry snow.
Another option to consider when purchasing a down jacket is to look for jackets insulated with hydrophobic down. Hydrophobic down is basically regular down which has been treated with a durable water repellent to help the down stay dry.
8. Style and Fit
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the most important factor of the best winter coats for women is to keep you nice and warm despite freezing temperatures, but you also want your jacket to look stylish and be comfortable. Let’s face it, if you’re buying this jacket for a trip, you may well find yourself wearing this it all day, every day. The jackets featured in this guide all look fantastic and will certainly keep you warm during your trip.
Also consider the fit of the jacket. Whilst you will want to ensure there are no gaps for cold air to get into, you will also want to ensure there is room for layering underneath. For extreme temperatures you may need room for thermals and another layer or two.
9. Other Features
- Hoods: For the lightest down jacket, opt for a jacket without a hood, particularly if you will be wearing something underneath with its own hood or prefer to wear a beanie. However, a women’s packable down jacket with hood provides maximum warmth and weighs little.
- Zippers: Durable easy to use zippers are a must, look for ones with added toggles which are easy to use with gloves on. For long jackets, a two-way zipper is essential so you can make adjustments at the top of the jacket and the bottom.
- Cuffs: Cuffs are great for trapping heat, look for ones with snap or Velcro closures to ensure the cuff is nice and tight around your wrists and avoid cold air getting inside your jacket.
- Draw Cords: Ensure jackets have cords to tighten at the waist and hem to ensure cold air can’t get into the jacket and warm air stays in.
The Best Packable Down Jacket Women’s Guide 2019
Below I have reviewed 10 of the best packable down jackets for women currently on the market.
If you’re after a top quality and super warm down jacket, look no further then the RAB Neutrino Pro Jacket. With 8 ounces of 800 fill hydrophobic down, this is one of the warmest jackets in these reviews.
The RAB Neutrino Pro Jacket features a durable 20D shell, which is water-resistant, and of course you also have ethically sourced hydrophobic down, so you’re guaranteed to stay warm and dry with this jacket. For added warmth the jacket also has a down-filled hood and hook and loop adjustable cuff tabs.
Other features of this down jacket include a two-way zipper, internal zipped pocket, zipped hand pockets and cinched waist plus it comes with it’s own stuff sack for easy storage and packing.
While this jacket does come with a fairly hefty price tag, you are getting a super quality jacket and if you are after the best, the investment is well worth it. This jacket comes in a range of sizes and great colours to choose from.
The CirrusLite down jacket by Eddie Bauer is a good one to consider if you just want a cheap jacket to keep you warm. It has a classic fit and is designed to fit over midweight layers.
This down jacket features a nylon shell, which has been treated with a water-resistant finish and is insulated with 650 responsibly sourced fill to keep you warm. It also includes elastic cuffs and hem to minimize heat loss, as well as an extra high collar for added warmth.
As well as being lightweight, this jacket is super packable, compressing down into a small pouch. Other features of this Eddi Bauer jacket include two zipped hand pockets and an interior pocket.
Don’t let the cheap price fool you, this packable down jacket features everything you need. Plus it comes in a huge range of sizes and colours too.
The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer is the lightest jacket in this guide but that doesn’t mean it compromises on quality. It’s a great choice if you want something with reasonable warmth that still compresses down to a really small size.
The nylon blend jacket has a 10 denier ripstop shell made from 100% recycled material, so despite the low weight it maintains great durability. The RDS-certified, high quality, 800 fill goose down is hydrophobic so you will have water-resistant protection and even keep warm in damp conditions. The elasticized hood is also useful for retaining extra warmth.
The Ghost Whisperer also features zippered hand pockets, hem adjustment and has impressive compressibility, packing down into a very small pouch. Although it’s not designed for extreme cold, the fit and style give plenty of chance to layer with other items and the jacket comes in a range of colors to suit most tastes.
If you’re looking for the lightest possible down jacket, but you don’t need something that can withstand incredibly low temperatures, the Ghost Whisperer is a great choice.
If you want something that’s lightweight, warm and one of the best looking down jackets on the market you could do a lot worse than the Arc-teryx Cerium LT. With its sleek fitted design and great range of colours it really looks the part.
The jacket is pretty unique in its use of “down composite mapping” which basically means that quality down is placed in the areas that need the most warmth (chest and upper arms) and synthetic insulation is placed in areas more prone to becoming damp (underarms, cuffs, and collar). This tailored approach means the jacket has a great warmth to weight ratio with the 850 fill down providing good insulation without weighing the jacket down.
The nylon shell has a luxurious, silky feel to it and the jacket also features zippered hand pockets, adjustable insulated hood, elastic cuffs, internal security pocket and chin guard to lock in warmth.
The Cerium LT has a hefty price tag but you get a lot for your money with a jacket that is not only lightweight and warm but doesn’t compromise on style and finish.
The Mountain Equipment Lightline is a great cold weather jacket and should be high on your list if you want something that is super warm but don’t mind compromising a little on the weight. Plus the price is very reasonable for the quality you get.
The jacket has a water-resistant and windproof Drilite shell. The fill power of 675 is a little lower than some of the other options but with a fill weight of 10.4 ounces, you will still get a really warm jacket. The higher fill weight does mean this jacket is on the heavier end at 26oz and a little puffier than some options but it’s a small trade for the extra warmth.
Some other features of the Lightline include a removable three panelled hood, zippered hand pockets, internal security pocket and adjustable cuffs and hem.
If warmth and comfort are higher on your list of priorities than weight and compressibility, the Lightline by Mountain Equipment is a great cold weather down jacket with a price that won’t blow the budget.
The Outdoor Research Sonata Hoody is perfect for anyone looking for a really lightweight jacket to wear with other layers that doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s not designed as a standalone jacket in very cold weather but works great as an extra layer to add warmth or for cool Autumn days.
The jacket has a 100% nylon 22 denier ripstop shell and lining which is super durable and stands up to heavy use. The 650 fill power goose down is responsibly sourced and gives the jacket a snug feel. Weighing just 11.7oz, it does not have an overly “puffy” look and layers well over light fleeces and under shells.
The sonata also has zippered hand pockets, zippered Napoleon pocket and also an internal stuff pocket, so there are plenty of places to store things. The slim fit, elastic cuffs and drawcord hem and hood give this jacket a really stylish look.
This is a great looking jacket with medium warmth and if you’re looking for something perfect for cool weather or just to wear around town, you should definitely consider investing in the Outdoor Research Sonata Hoody.
One of the warmest jackets in this guide, theMicrolight Alpine is a really versatile jacket that stands up to use on cold hiking trips and outdoor adventures but still looks stylish enough to wear around town.
The Pertex Quantum shell with a DWR coating can stand up well to windy conditions and offers light water resistance and the ripstop inner lining means it’s a durable jacket. It has 5 ounces of 750 fill power hydrophobic goose down, making for a very warm jacket, but the increased insulation does come with a slightly heavier jacket.
The Microlight Alpine also has a down-filled hood with wired peak and chin guard which is great at keeping out the wind. Other features include zippered hand pockets, zippered chest pocket (doubles as a stuff sack) and elastic cuffs.
Don’t be fooled by the slightly lower fill power in this jacket, the higher fill weight more than makes up for it and it’s actually one of the warmest jackets in the guide that’s also a great choice if you spend time in particularly windy conditions.
If you’re looking for something stylish and warm for everyday wear rather than hiking or adventuring theNorth Face Arctic Parka is the way to go. This jacket is designed more for city sightseeing, then extreme weather and is a stylish addition to your travel wardrobe.
The Arctic Parka has a double layer, dry vent shell that is DWR treated giving it great water resistance and the ability to retain heat well. The 550 fill responsibly sourced goose down allows for medium warmth without the jacket seeming to puffy or bulky for everyday wear. The extra length of this jacket is good for keeping thighs warm too, but that does mean compromising a little on weight and compressibility.
Other great features of this jacket include the 5 pockets throughout, internal cuffs and adjustable hood to trap heat and a zippered storm flap and high collar, which provide great wind protection. The waist darts also give this jacket a more tailored look than the other options and the removable fur on the hood gives the options to change the lookup.
Overall the Arctic Parka is great for keeping warm in everyday situations without having to settle for that typical down jacket look people usually associate with hiking and outdoor adventure.
The North Face Aconcagua jacket is designed with added stretch in the fabric, making it a great jacket for anyone who plans on being quite active and needs the extra mobility.
The jacket has a DWR treated polyester outer shell offering light water resistance and has a beautiful brushed satin finish. It has responsibly sourced 550 fill goose down throughout the body and sleeves as well as synthetic heatseeker insulation in the sides and shoulder panels which help retain extra body heat.
Other features include zippered hand pockets, high collar, and hidden elastic cuffs, which keep body heat in but have a relaxed look. The fitted v style back panel gives a great tailored look to the jacket as well.
If you’re looking for a lightweight jacket with room for movement the Aconcagu is a really versatile option, great for standalone wearing but still layers well for colder weather.
The Beinia Valuker is perfect for anyone wanting to look stylish and still keep cozy warm, it’s a really well designed jacket with a low price that is sure to turn heads.
The parka is made from a 100% nylon outer fabric that is windproof and water repellent as well as being durable and lightweight. The insulation is 700 fill power, 90% duck down which does a good job of trapping warmth without being overly bulky.
The jacket also features a huge and fully removable fur-trimmed hood, which gives this jacket a really stylish look. There are two extra deep outer pockets and one internal security pocket to keep valuables. The fitted waist, longer length and hidden elastic cuffs further add to this stylish down jacket.
This jacket isn’t suitable for outdoor sports and hiking but it’s certainly one of the most stylish options in this guide for city sightseeing and if you remove the fur trim on the hood it’s still light enough to pack down easily.