The 14 Best Women’s Down Jackets for Backpacking & Travel Reviewed 2021

Down jackets are a winter essential that everyone should have if planning any travel.

They provide the most warmth for the least weight and often can be packed into small spaces, making them efficient and easy to travel with.

But, quality can vary a lot.

To make your search easier, I’ve done the research for you and put together a list of the best women’s down jackets for backpacking.

And, I’ve included some pointers on what to look for when making your decision.

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14 Best Women’s Down Jackets Available in 2021

Wantdo Women’s Hooded Down Jacket

Review: This is one of the best women’s down jackets for backpacking. It comes in a lightweight design and packs down small for convenience.

It is made from high-quality nylon material with a durable water repellent finish and features 80% duck down and 20% feathers.

It is made to keep you warm without having to bear the weight of a heavy winter jacket. After unpacking it, it takes a short time to fluff out into its shape, and it even has a hood for extra warmth.

I love that this jacket has multiple pockets. It features side zip pockets on the exterior to carry quick-access items, and the interior has deep pockets that you can utilize to carry your phone, keys, cards, etc.

Pros

  • Packs down to a small size.
  • Water-repellant coating.
  • Lightweight.
  • Available in different sizes including plus sizes.
  • Multiple pockets.

Cons

  • Snug fit.
  • Not RDS certified.

Takeaway

This top-rated jacket is ideal for backpacking, thanks to the lightweight, packable design.

However, you might want to order a size up as it comes in a snug fit. Refer to the size chart to ensure you get your correct size.

Columbia Women’s Centennial Creek Down Jacket

Review: Finding the balance between warmth and weight in a winter jacket can be challenging. But this jacket seems to have that figured out. It is ultra-light yet super warm.

Colombia is a well-known outdoor gear brand so you can be sure the quality is up to standard and that the down is ethically sourced from animals that have been humanely treated.

It features 100% nylon outer material, 100% polyester lining, and 650 fill power down insulation. What’s more? The jacket has a unique heat retention system inside to add even more warmth.

The baffling is flexible at all the right points to provide a comfortable, versatile fit. And, it has a hood!

Pros

  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS) Certified.
  • Lightweight, warm design.
  • Quality insulation.
  • Sturdy zippers.
  • Water-resistant fabric.
  • Zippered hand pockets.

Cons

  • Small fit.

Takeaway

Reliable quality, lightweight and very warm, this is the down jacket you’ll want for your next camping trip. However, you may need to size up.

Epsion Women’s Long Down Jacket

Review: I found this jacket a great fit for extremely cold weather. Its longer length, windproof design and faux fur hood means it’ll provide extra warmth.

The outer material is 100% polyester, which is breathable yet windproof and waterproof, though it would probably be safer to think of it as water-resistant and not test it in a heavy downpour.

The insulation is 90% white duck down and 10% feathers. This combo works to keep you warm during those cold camping nights and snowy days.

And, let’s not forget that it has a hood with a fur collar. How warm can it get? Probably too warm, you will forget it is winter. The long design brings about the elegance and style while keeping you warm down to your thighs.

Pros

  • Elegant long design with cinched waist.
  • Available in multiple colors.
  • Deep side pockets.
  • Quality construction.

Cons

  • Can be too tight around the hips for curvier women.
  • Not RDS certified.

Takeaway

I understand that we all come in different sizes, so this jacket might not fit everyone. But, if you get your correct size, you will reap the benefits of a longer length.

Eddie Bauer Women’s Down Jacket

Review: I get most people like short winter jackets, but for the lovers of super long ones, I had to include this beauty from Eddie Bauer.

I admit it is quite an investment, but it is built to beat the coldest of winters. Surprisingly, it is lightweight for its length while still being super warm. It features 650 fill down that extends from the head to below the knee and a fleece lining in the upper body for extra warmth.

The interior storm cuffs provide extra protection from the wind and the cold, and the outer material is water-repellent to keep you dry all day.

Pros

  • Ideal for extreme winters.
  • Quality materials and insulation.
  • Comes in various sizes and colors.
  • Machine washable.

Cons

  • Bulky to travel with unless you’re going to be using it everyday.

Takeaway

This jacket might not be your go-to option every time you travel, but if you are planning a getaway in winter, it can come in handy. It is elegant, warm, and cozy.

Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Chevron Down Jacket

Review: A beauty from Tommy Hilfiger, this down jacket should be top of your list. It comes in the perfect mid-thigh length, light weight, cozy warmth, and in a range of colors for all tastes.

The zipper that extends into a stand-up collar, so your neck is covered, and it has two invisible size zipper pockets for added storage and quick access. The hood features an adjustable drawstring so you can keep even the strongest wind out.

But, maybe the best part is that it packs small into a drawstring pouch for convenient storage when traveling.

Pros

  • High-quality nylon material.
  • Sturdy zippers.
  • Machine washable.
  • Easy to pack and carry.

Cons

  • Not suitable for extremely cold weather.

Takeaway

This jacket is ideal for layering. On its own, it might not keep you warm in extremely cold temperatures. But, if you are looking for a lightweight, packable option, it is ideal.

Orolay Women’s Down Jacket

Review: I like buying items that I can wear regularly and not only when traveling. This Orolay down jacket is stylish enough for day-to-day use yet practical enough for a winter trip out of town.

The quality of this jacket is outstanding. The insulation is made up of high-quality white duck down, which is lightweight yet warm. The zipper is super sturdy and opens seamlessly, and the 100% polyester shell is water and wind-resistant.

It has a waist-tightening and slim-fitting design that is flattering. Also, it comes with a big hood that features a removable faux fur trim. Fashion meets comfort with this jacket.

Not big on bright colors? The jacket is available in black, beige, green, and navy.

Pros

  • Stylish and comfortable.
  • Handy side pockets.
  • Available in 6 sizes.
  • Windproof and splash-proof material.

Cons

  • Might not keep warm in under zero temperatures.

Takeaway

This is a lightweight women’s down jacket to layer on when traveling in the winter. If you like to keep up with style but still enjoy the comfort of a winter jacket, get your hands on this one.

Columbia Women’s McKay Lake Long Down Jacket

Review: Columbia is known for its quality apparel, and this jacket is no exception. It is a great choice for backpackers that need a warm yet lightweight jacket. It comes in a longer length with a hood for additional comfort and warmth.

One thing that stands out to me is the cuffs. They are designed to fit snugly on your wrist and provide wind and cold protection.

The jacket has 80% duck down and 20% feather. This combo ensures just the right amount of warmth in a lightweight design. And, it is water-resistant to keep you dry on those damp days.

Pros

  • Responsible Down Standard certified.
  • Lightweight for backpacking.
  • Longer length.
  • Water resistant.
  • Secure pockets.

Cons

  • Might be too light for extreme weather.

Takeaway

Another lightweight option from Columbia that is ideal for backpacking and camping. It is quite an investment, but the quality is worth the buy.

Calvin Klein Women’s Chevron Quilted Down Jacket

Review: When shopping around for a down jacket for traveling, look out for packable designs. This Calvin Klein design is ideal, thanks to its lightweight and quality construction that packs down easily into its travel bag.

It features a cinched back detail that is flattering to most women and stylish and the quality, as you would guess, is top-notch.

With its 100% nylon material, the sturdy zippers and duck down filling, this jacket ticks all the quality boxes.

Pros

  • High-quality construction.
  • Stylish.
  • Easy to pack.

Cons

  • Oversized hood.

Takeaway

This is the ideal jacket for winter travel to cooler cities if you’re looking for something extremely lightweight that pack away easily when not in use.

Eddie Bauer Women’s CirrusLite Down Jacket

Review: I could not miss this classic down jacket from Eddie Bauer. It is lightweight, versatile, packable and water resistant making it a great choice for backpacking.

It comes in a nylon shell with 650 fill down insulation and a DWR water-resistant finish to keep you dry when hiking in a wet climate.

It features two secure zippered pockets and an interior pocket that comes in handy to carry your cards, keys, phone, etc. Most importantly, it has elastic-bound cuffs and a hem to minimize heat loss and provide wind protection.

Pros

  • High neck collar.
  • Excellent quality.
  • Great insulation.
  • Lightweight and packable.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a packable pouch.

Takeaway

This is the ideal travel companion for women who do a bit of outdoors adventuring on their travels but want to be able to pack away their jacket when not in use.

Marmot Women’s Jena Down Jacket

Review: If you are looking for a reliable jacket for winter hikes and backpacking, I recommend getting this one. It is designed to beat the cold and keep you comfortable all through the most extreme conditions.

Marmot are a top-rated outdoor gear company so you can be sure that this jacket is top-quality and will last many years if well looked after.

It features an ultra-light water-resistant ripstop fabric to keep you dry as well as moisture-resistant 700-fill power down. It has an elasticated drawcord hem, zippered pockets, and the whole things packs down into a small pouch.

With this jacket, you can camp, hike, and trek in the cold comfortably.

Pros

  • Easily packable into a pocket.
  • Multiple colors and sizes.
  • Long collar for extra warmth.
  • Lightweight.
  • Water-resistant.

Cons

  • Might fit small for wider hips.

Takeaway

This is a high quality, top-rated down jacket for hiking and camping that is warm, lightweight and easy to pack away.

Equick Women’s Puffer Down Jacket

Review: If you’re on a budget but have your heart set on a lightweight down jacket for travel, this jacket could fit the bill. It’s not going to be the best quality for such a low price, but it’s very compact, pretty warm, and very lightweight.

It comes with an attached hood, so your head stays warm as well. Additionally, it features two side zip pockets and an inside deep pocket, ideal for keys and phones.

The fabric is waterproof and windproof, and the stretch tap inside the cuffs provides great wind protection.

Pros

  • Different colors available.
  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight and easy to pack.

Cons

  • Sizes fit differently for some.
  • Not RDS certified.

Takeaway

Wantdo Women’s Packable Down Jacket

Review: This jacket has a simple, hoodless design that is well suited for camping or hiking.

It comes in a high-quality nylon material with a water repellent finish. The insulation includes 80% duck down and 20% feather. It is super lightweight yet warm enough to wear in the winter.

This particular one comes with a stand-up collar, so it covers the neck nicely. It also features side zip pockets and deep interior pockets for other essentials. And, you can pack this down into a pouch for convenient carrying.

Pros

  • Multiple bright colors.
  • Simple yet stylish.
  • Warm and lightweight.

Cons

  • Likely not RDS certified.

Takeaway

If you are solely looking for a hoodless jacket, I recommend this one. It’s one of the more affordable options but is still reasonable quality.

Cluci Women’s Down Jacket

Review: With 100% nylon outer material, 90% duck down and 10% feather, this jacket sounds like a top choice for winter use. It is not only lightweight but also comes in a packable design for convenience.

It is breathable to balance warmth and comfort, and water-resistant to help keep you dry. It has an easy-pull front zipper for quick opening and closing and also features an attached hood.

I love that the cuff has an elastic nylon band to keep moisture and wind out, and it has two zippered hand pockets and two inside deep pockets to carry your phone, cards, keys, etc.

Pros

  • Seamless puffer design.
  • High-quality materials.
  • Lightweight and packable.
  • Attached hoodie.

Cons

  • It is a tight fit.

Takeaway

The jacket could work well only if you got it in your right size. It is lightweight, easy to pack, and comes with a cozy hood.

Lock & Love Women’s Down Jacket

Review: This jacket comes in 100% nylon material with 80% duck and 20% feather insulation and it is an ideal choice for camping and backpacking thanks to the packable design. You only need to roll it down and fit in the pouch.

The material is breathable, so you are comfortable all day. Additionally, it is windproof and has a water-repellent cover to keep you protected against the elements.

If you like to carry a ton of things when walking, this jacket provides the pockets for that. It has two zippered hand pockets and two inside deep pockets to keep essentials secure.

Pros

  • Different colors and sizes.
  • Value for money.
  • Removable hoodie.
  • Easy to pack.

Cons

  • Fits short for some people.

Takeaway

This is a great jacket if you are looking for a lightweight, packable and affordable option. Note, however, it might be too short, so I advise layering with a lighter jacket for better coverage.

How to Choose the Best Down Jackets for Women

When buying winter clothes, particularly down jackets, it pays to know what to look for.

I have put together a little buyer’s guide and a FAQ section to guide you through your buying process.

woman wearing backpaking jacket and standing on top of mountain

Materials

Most down jackets come in either nylon or polyester for the outer material. These materials are lightweight but durable.

Some might be treated with a DWR finish for water repellency but even with this, they’re unlikely to be really waterproof in a downpour so be aware!

Insulation

When it comes to choosing down jackets, insulation is a critical factor to consider. Consider the fill power down the jacket comes with, as this will determine how warm it is.

Go for jackets with 650 fill power and above as those tend to provide more warmth in cold weather.

Also, consider the type of down the jacket has. Some come with goose down, others duck down, and others as a combination of down and feather. All will offer varying degrees of warmth.

Last but not least, the down industry is not without blame when it comes to animal rights. Look for jackets that have been certified with the Responsible Down Standard to be sure that the animals that provided the down and feathers were well looked after and humanely slaughtered before their feathers and down were removed. Cheaper products are very unlikely to come with ethically sourced down.

Weight

The best down jacket should be lightweight to pack conveniently and not bulk up your luggage. Heavy winter jackets are an option if you’re doing more urban travel in winter.

But if you’re doing any hiking or traveling over multiple seasons, you’ll want something lightweight and compact.

A good tip is to focus on layering to maximize on heat retention without adding more weight to keep warm. You can take off a layer if you get too warm or add more when the situations demand.

The Hood

I am usually on the fence when it comes to choosing between jackets with hoods or those without. The reason being; I love the flexibility of a hoodless jacket but like the convenience of a hood when the conditions get unpredictable.

I recommend getting one with a hood, either attached or removable, to be on the safe side.

The hood isn’t as essential as the jacket, but it comes with a lot more warmth than a hat alone can provide.

woman sitting on rock across snow covered mountain

Additional Features

  • If a jacket doesn’t fit right, it will most probably not serve its purpose. On this note, you should always refer to the size chart to find the right size. Some brands have down jackets in slim fits, so you may need to size up.
  • Also, pay attention to the zippers the jacket has. You do not want to deal with a faulty zipper up in the mountains. Test out the zippers and other fastenings to ensure they are secure.
  • Remember the pockets. These are my top considerations. I always have things to carry, and I could do with a few pockets on my jackets. Some down jackets come with exterior ones, other interior ones, and some both. Choose according to your needs and where you generally like your pockets.

woman hiking in mountains

FAQ

What is the best women’s down jacket?

I have a few favorites, but on top of my list is the EQUICK Women’s Puffer Down Jacket. It comes in a lightweight design, has an attached hood and multiple pockets. I love that it is quite affordable and packs light, essential for camping and backpacking.

Are lightweight down jackets warm?

Lightweight down jackets are warm, but the amount of warmth they provide varies from the fill power of down used. Generally, down is warm, and jackets with this retain heat.

Should a down jacket be tight-fitting?

A down jacket should not fit too tight nor too loose. The idea is to ensure you are comfortable and can move freely but also snug to retain heat.

It is important to consider the other layers of clothes when choosing the size. That way, you leave ample space to layer when the situations call for that.

How Do I wash a down jacket?

Most brands recommend handwashing down jackets as the machine cycle can damage the filling. But there are a few down jackets that you can wash in the machine on the delicate, gentle cycle.

Regardless of the material, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions. That way, you’ll retain the quality of your jacket and be able to use it for longer.

How do I pack a down jacket?

The best way to pack a down jacket is to stuff it inside a small stuff sack or pouch. Folding or rolling can damage the down, although all down will eventually compress over time.

Summary

The cool breeze and misty vibes in the winter do not mean staying indoors. You can still pack up your camping gear, including the best down jacket, and explore your way out into the woods.

As you plan for that, I recommend downloading my e-book about solo travel. It has useful tips to ensure you stay safe while exploring alone.

ebook cover 3d

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Sintija

Cynthia

She is a frequent contributor to Independent Wolf, especially when talking about women’s point of view. She thinks she’s somewhat funny (she usually cracks up at her own jokes) and she also loves traveling.