The Best Down Jacket in Australia [2019]

Down Jacket

Down jackets can be your best friend when out in the cold. Insulated with either duck or goose feathers and down, these jackets represent one of the best options for staying warm outside, especially when considering their warmth-to-weight ratio.

However, with the various brands, materials, and styles on the market it can be hard to know where to start on your quest to to find the best down jacket for your needs.

After the summary table below, we discuss the key things to look out for when choosing a down jacket, followed by our detailed reviews.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
Down jacket from North face for extreme cold
OUR #1 RATED

THE NORTH FACE ACONCAGUA DOWN JACKET

Best all-around down jacket

  • Insulation in side and shoulder panels as well as the core.
  • Secure-zip chest pocket.
  • Insulated hand pockets.
  • Over 50% recycled content.
  • Down RDS certified.

Buy at Wild Earth:

SHOP men

SHOP women

Buy at The North Face:

SHOP men



Patagonia puffer jacket

PATAGONIA DOWN JACKET

Runner up - Best all-around down jacket

  • Lightweight, tear-resistant and windproof.
  • 800 Fill Rating.
  • Quality European down.
  • Insulated exterior pockets and secured with deluge DWR-coated zips.
  • Zippered stretch mesh which can be converted into a storage bag.

Buy at SurfStitch:

SHOP MEN



Kathmandu XT Pinnacle Down Jacket

Best waterproof down jacket

  • 750 fill power
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified

Buy at Kathmandu:

SHOP MEN

SHOP WOMEN



ARCTERYX CERIUM LT DOWN HOODIE

Best high performance down jacket

  • 850-fill power down
  • Very warm yet lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Fits underneath a waterproof shell

Buy at Wild Earth:

SHOP men

SHOP women



THE NORTH FACE 1996 RETRO NUPTSE DOWN JACKET

Best casual down jacket for cold conditions

  • Stowable hood​.
  • Internal zip pocket
  • Velcro adjustable cuffs.
  • 700 fill goose down
  • Certified with Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

Buy at Wild Earth:

SHOP men

SHOP WOmen

Buy at The North Face:

SHOP women



KATHMANDU HELI LIGHTWEIGHT DOWN JACKET

Best lightweight and compressible down jacket

  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified down.
  • Fabric treated with DWR finish​
  • Two front pockets are secured with a zip.
  • Adjustable hem.
  • High neck warming collar.

Buy at Kathmandu:

SHOP men

SHOP women



BURTON EVERGREEN SYNTHETIC JACKET

Best down jacket alternative

  • Synthetic down alternative
  • Hem is adjustable so the heat remains trapped.
  • Outer fabric has a PFC-free DWR coating.
  • Provides the feel of down but is less expensive.
  • Hand warmer pockets are also secured with a zip.

Buy at SurfStitch:

SHOP MEN


How To Choose the best ​​​​Down Jacket

The following are some things to consider before buying a down jacket:

Down Fill Rating

The fill rating can be a bit complex to understand but it is extremely important when buying a down jacket. The fill rating (or fill power) relates to the loft (or fluffiness) of the down. The higher the fill rating, the higher the loft, and the more efficient it will be in trapping pockets of warm air and keeping you warm.

Higher fill power jackets are generally more expensive, however, they're also the best for activities like hiking, climbing, etc. due to a higher warmth-to-weight ratio.

Read more about down fill ratings in the articles below:

Weight

While the fill rating or power relates to the quality of the down, the weight relates to the quantity.​

Down jackets that weigh more will be warmer but will also be harder to compress and add extra weight to your pack when not in use.

Fit

The fit and the cut of a down jacket is extremely important. If you are hiking or climbing, you want a little more freedom to lift your arms and move freely. It will also be best to opt for a jacket that is designed specifically for these types of activities. If the jacket is just for casual wear you may not mind a tighter, more form-fitting cut. Based on your requirements, decide the fit and cut of the jacket that suits you best.

​Ethical Sourcing of Down

It is important to consider the ethical implications of your down jacket purchase. Often, geese being raised for commercial use can be mistreated, force-fed and be subjected to live plucking. Ensure you choose a brand of jacket that sources its down ethically. All brands included in this article are amongst the best on the market in terms of ethical sourcing.

Price

The price, of course, is a valid concern. The higher the down fill rating, the more expensive a jacket is likely to be. It is up to you to decide what your budget is and for what activities you want to use your down jacket. That will help you narrow down on a jacket that is within your budget.


Down Jacket reviews

#1 The North Face Aconcagua Men’s Insulated Down Hoodie

Best all-around down jacket

Down jacket from North face for extreme cold

Stay warm on wintry nights, whether in the city or out in the hills with this insulated down hoodie from North Face

The baffled construction traps heat perfectly and provides insulation all over, including your shoulders and sides. Manufactured with 50% recycled content and 550 fill goose down (certified to the RDS), it is also a good ethical option.

This jacket also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Insulation in the side and shoulder panels as well as the core, giving you overall warmth.
  • Secure-zip chest pocket in case you want to keep small items like keys, money, etc.
  • Insulated hand pockets.
  • Constructed with over 50% recycled content.
  • Down is certified to the RDS.
cons
  • The 550 fill down is as warm as a higher fill rating, but may be heavier and therefore inconvenient for strenuous physical exercise.
  • The hoodie is not stowable.

#2 ​Patagonia Down Jacket — Planet Positive

Runner up - Best all-around down jacket

Patagonia puffer jacket

BUY AT SURFSTITCH

Made with lightweight fabric and treated with deluge DWR (durable water repellent) finish, this Patagonia Down Jacket is a great buy for both rough outdoor wear and casual city wear.

The cuffs are elasticated and the bottom has a drawstring so no wind can make its way in and warmth cannot escape. The polyester used in the jacket is 100% recyclable and the down is traceable.

Pros
  • Lightweight, tear-resistant and windproof.
  • Rating is 800 fill down and the jacket uses quality European down.
  • Exterior pockets are warm and are also secured with deluge DWR-coated zips.
  • Zippered stretch mesh which can be converted into a storage bag for the jacket, making it perfectly portable.
cons
  • Not as warm as other options - not intended for extreme cold

#3 KATHMANDU XT PINNACLE DOWN JACKET

Best waterproof down jacket

The XT Pinnacle is a high-end waterproof down jacket designed to keep you warm in the most challenging of conditions.

Packed with 750 fill power down, the XT is one of the warmest jackets on the market. The outer layer is made from Kathmandu’s trademark water repellent DownTek which ensures the down insulation remains dry, lofty, and warm.

Features include a three way adjustable hood, adjustable hem and cuffs, a range of internal and external pockets, and a stuff sack to keep it compact when not in use. It’s also fully seam sealed.

Pros
  • 750 fill power
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified
cons
  • Expensive
  • Less compressible than other options
  • Waterproof outer adds weight

#4 ​ARCTERYX CERIUM LT DOWN HOODIE

Best high performance down jacket

No list of adventure outerwear would be complete without a product from Arc'teryx. Known for making no compromises in design and construction, they produce some of the most high performing gear on the market.

This down jacket is not only super-warm, it is also incredibly lightweight. This can be attributed to it’s 850-fill power down, along with it’s form fitting design.

Pros
  • Very warm
  • Very lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Fits underneath a waterproof shell
cons
  • Expensive

#5 The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Down Jacket

Best casual down jacket for cold conditions

This jacket is great for both city life and trekking in the wilderness. The hood is stowable so you can whip it out when it gets too cold, windy or wet outside. 

The retro boxy silhouette is a perfect style statement, whether you are wearing the jacket casually or for a trek. The high-loft baffles will keep you warm on a chilly day.

Pros
  • Stylish inspiration from the 1996 Nuptse Jacket.
  • Stowable hood conveniently packs into the collar and is perfect for a cold day.
  • Internal zip pocket if you want to keep something secure.
  • Cuffs are Velcro adjustable.
  • 700 fill goose down gives you incredible insulation.
  • Certified with Responsible Down Standard (RDS). 
cons
  • This is a standard size jacket but may be too short for some. There have been complaints about the sizing not being easy to decipher.

#6 Kathmandu Heli Men’s Lightweight Down Jacket

Best lightweight and compressible down jacket

best value

The ideal down jacket to simply pick up and dash out of the house if you are running late or procrastinated while packing, the Heli lightweight down jacket can become one of the easiest pieces of clothing in your wardrobe. 

It provides solid warmth at a competitive price point and is also prides itself as a lightweight jacket.

Pros
  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified down.
  • Fabric has also been treated with DWR finish so you can even wear it outdoors when it is raining.
  • Two front pockets are secured with a zip.
  • Hem is adjustable so you can contain the heat and prevent the cold from getting in.
  • High neck warming collar.
cons
  • With only a 550 fill power, the jacket is lightweight, but not as light as a more expensive jacket with a higher fill power.
  • The full front zip may cause heat to escape. 

#7 Burton Evergreen Synthetic Men’s Jacket

Best down jacket alternative

BUY AT SURFSTITCH

While not technically a down jacket, this great option from Burton provides almost as much warmth and insulation.

The Evergreen Synthetic jacket provides down-like insulation and a DWR coating. The neck is high to provide a warming collar.

Pros
  • Burton is a sustainable business that aims at 100% Fair Labour Association compliance by 2020.
  • Hem is adjustable so the heat remains trapped.
  • Outer fabric has a PFC-free DWR coating.
  • Provides the feel of down but is less expensive.
  • Hand warmer pockets are also secured with a zip.
cons
  • The jacket is not made of real down so the insulation may not be as effective as a real down jacket, though this jacket is a lot cheaper.

verdict

As you can see, the list of pros weighs heaviest for the The North Face Aconcagua Down Jacket. The brand uses only ethical down and the jacket represents the perfect blend of street style and outdoor performance wear. It will keep you warm whether on a hike in the bush or a casual day around town.