Made by a company whose history begins in 1968, the Fjallraven Men’s Greenland No. 1 Down Jacket is the ideal choice for the serious outdoors-type, from backpackers to snowboarders to mountaineers and everyone in between. With fill that is ethically sourced, you can take comfort in knowing your jacket is revered not only for comfort and performance, but for the high standards that Fjallraven is known for.
Its outer shell is made from G-1000 Eco fabric that is wind and water resistant and composed of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton. Padded for comfort, the goose down coat includes a fixed hood, padded chest and hand pockets, and a two-way front zipper with protective flap.
The Black Diamond Men’s Cold Forge Down Hoody Jacket is a case study in packability, warmth, and weather resistance, thanks in no small measure to its PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend. Whether you are embarking on a long, cold ski tour or a single-day outdoors event, this is a great, mid-weight jacket offering durability and comfort.
Attention to detail is what sets this insulated down jacket apart from the off-the-shelf variety sold by big box retailers. Underarm gussets provide a greater range of motion, your hands will keep warm in zippered pockets, your wrists will remain comfortable thanks to lightweight stretch cuffs, and you can even wear a climbing helmet under its adjustable hood.
Down Jacket Buying Guide And FAQ
How Did We Choose The Best Down Jackets?
Choosing the best down jacket depends on many criteria, including available sizes, fill materials, water resistance, and other intangibles. For instance, if you are used to a coat with pockets, it makes sense to choose a Down Jacket accordingly. Want something with a hood? Then do not buy a coat without it. We also looked at:
- Customer Reviews
Features To Look For In A Down Jacket
What constitutes the “best” of anything can be a daunting task. Thankfully, our buying guide helps you look at down jacket criteria from an objective standpoint and eventually make an informed buying decision. Everyone has different preferences and looks for what is considered desirable features, but here are the most common “must-haves” to consider before purchasing a Down Jacket.
Warmth – Deciding on how warm you want your jacket to be depends on the environment you will wear it in, but also the combination of Fill Power and Weight. A higher number for both denotes the warmth of the jacket. A down Jacket with an 800 Fill Power but only 5 ounces of fill – the actual weight – will be less warm than a jacket with 10 ounces of fill and a 500 Fill Power.
Fill Power – Fill Power refers to the “loft” or fluffiness of the Down filler, and how much is contained in each square inch. “Maximum” fluffiness or loft occurs when the filler completely expands within the jacket, creating air pockets to trap warm air and body heat.
Weight – If Fill Power measures volume, then Weight talks about a simple measure that is easily understood – weight itself. When looking for the best mens down jacket, pay attention to the stated weight. If a product listing says the jacket weighs 10 ounces, that means that 10 ounces of filler was used to make it.
Shell Fabric – The outer material of the jacket contributes to its performance in four ways: Durability, warmth, waterproofness, and weight. The two most common materials used for the shell fabric are nylon and polyester, because they are durable and better suited to harsh environments. But the thinness of the shell fabric also is an important consideration. When looking at a Down Jacket, pay attention for any feathers or Down poking through the shell. If you see this happening, that is a clue that the shell fabric is not strong enough to hold in the fill. Ensuring the shell fabric has been treated for water resistance is another important factor when choosing a coat.
Hood – Whether or not you choose a Down Jacket with a hood is entirely a personal preference. If you ride a bike and wear a helmet, or perform other tasks where head gear is necessary, then a hooded jacket is not the best option. Conversely, a hood is a good second line of defense in keeping your head and ears warm and dry if the situation demands it. You also may consider a hood that can be detached via a zipper, snap, or buttons. Some jackets have collars which unzip in the back, providing a built-in compartment where the hood could be stored if not in use.
Fit – A goose down coat needs to be comfortable when worn, meaning you do not want it too tight or too lose. A good rule of thumb is to follow the same size you would for a normal jacket, and for the environment in which it is worn. For instance, if you plan on wearing a Down coat when it is cold, you may choose a jacket that is slightly big or loose and allows you to layer clothing beneath, such as a sweater or hoodie.
Water Resistance – Not every down puffer jacket is waterproof, but if that is a desirable feature then there are dozens of such coats to choose from. Most of these jackets have an outer shell that has been treated with one of many durable water repellent (DWR) products, and may include a layer of fabric such as Gore-Tex, which is a waterproof, breathable material used in many outdoor clothing lines. Keep in mind, however, that a DWR will wear out over time, based on frequency of usage and how often the jacket is washed. Thankfully, many DWRs are available as a spray and can be re-applied as needed.
Compressibility – A down puffer Jacket can be compressed and most even come with a cinch-bag to store them in when not in use. But keep in mind that the filling, if compressed for a long period of time – such as from one season to the next – will form in clumps and the jacket no longer will be comfortable to wear. Think of compressibility as a temporary state, something you can do to a coat while you are outside but want to store it temporarily. For longer storage your Down Jacket should be placed on a hanger in a vertical position.
Down Jacket Types
Down Sweaters – These are popular and often less expensive alternatives to a heavier down coat. They are normally lighter than Down Jackets, with a softer outer shell and which sometimes do not include the features of a full coat such as interior pockets or multiple outer compartments. Down Sweaters are ideal for light-duty use.
Ultralight Down Jackets – Like any packable down coat, an Ultralight version displays all the best characteristics you would expect from a Down coat: packability, warm, wind-proof, repels moisture. But these also have another advantage: They are extremely lightweight, often less than 9 ounces and are a good option for an outdoor lifestyle. Ultralight Down Jackets combine comfort – light and fluffy – with high tech features such as ultrathin exterior shells, snag-free zippers, and more.
Midweight/Heavyweight Jackets – Mid to heavyweight Down Jackets are marketed toward outdoor use in extreme environments. While still light or fluffy compared to jackets or a down parka jacket made from wool or other fabrics, these jackets are sought after because they pack more filling per ounce than others. As a result, they have a much higher Fill Power number, a thicker shell fabric and hood, and deeper, sturdier pockets.
Down Jacket FAQ
Q: What is a down jacket?
A: A true Down jacket is any jacket made of Down, the layer of a bird’s feathers – normally duck or goose or both – which is found beneath the tough, outer feathers. Its primary advantage over other fill materials for jackets is its thermal properties and padding, or softness. The outer layer of a Down Jacket is made from polyester or nylon. Down is an ideal fill material for jackets because it is lightweight, fluffy, and has thousands of tiny air pockets which trap warm air and body heat.
Q: What is fill power?
A: The Fill Power of Down refers to its ability to fill one cubic inch of space. Thus, the higher the Fill Power, the greater the down jacket is at retaining heat and warmth. Fill Power normally ranges from 450 to 900. A down parka jacket with a Fill Power of 550 or higher is considered a good buy, but the higher the Fill Power for a coat, the more a consumer can expect to pay to buy one. Any Down Jacket with a Fill Power of 750 or higher provides great insulation capabilities.
Q: What is the difference between down feeling and synthetic?
A: Any jacket marketed as Down must have the feeling of Down every time you wear it. The Down “feeling” is perhaps best characterized by its softness, fluffiness, and its ability to be compressed when not in use – then expand to its original shape and size without loss of softness. A jacket made with synthetic fill as a Down alternative will be obvious, even when touching or squeezing the other material because it feels tougher and is less fluffy and flexible. Both Down and Synthetic fill materials have their advantages.
- Down has a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than synthetic fill material.
- It is very compressible.
- Down is durable, meaning a goose down coat could last for decades with proper care.
- Suitable to be worn in warm or cold temperatures.
- This kind of insulating material is water-resistant.
- Synthetic fill is hypo-allergenic, meaning it will lead to less sneezing, coughing, and other allergic reactions.
- It is less expensive than a true down jacket.
- A Synthetic filled coat is easier to clean.
Q: How to clean a down jacket?
A: Some manufacturers recommend that you get your Down Jacket professionally cleaned by someone who specializes in washing Down jackets but keeping your coat in top shape can be achieved at home. Here are some tips to consider.
Get a Down-friendly detergent, which should be clearly displayed on the packaging. A normal detergent will eventually strip feathers of their natural oil, resulting in damage to the Down filling. A Down-friendly detergent, on the other hand, will not wear down the oil in the feathers or damage the outer material’s water repellence.
If possible, your mens down coat should be washed in a front-loading washer, or a top-load model without an agitator. An agitator, the central mechanism visible in many top-load machines, can damage Down material after repeated use due to its back-and-forth spinning action.
- Use cold water.
- Add detergent per the manufacturer instructions.
- Set the washer to utilize an extra spin cycle.
Once the wash cycle is complete, the Down Jacket can be put in the clothes dryer on low heat or a gentle fabric setting. Ideally, a newer dryer has a dry-sensing feature that detects moisture in the fabric and will end the drying cycle when appropriate.
Do not use bleach of any kind when washing your Down Jacket.