We’ve reviewed 24 of insulated outdoor jackets on the market including the best down jackets, synthetic jackets, and several examples of the new generation fills that either mix down and synthetic fibres for superior performance in damp conditions or are 100% synthetic fibres that work in a similar way to down.
Generally pure down is superior for warmth relative to weight and pack size and works best in cold, dry conditions. Meanwhile synthetics retain more warmth when damp and dry faster afterwards making them generally better suited to cold, damp conditions like the British winter.
What are the different types of down and insulation?
There is also new down-like synthetics and Primaloft’s Down Blend, which mixes down and synthetic fibres together blur the lines between the two giving warmth to weight ratios closer to down, but with better wet weather resilience.
Finally, more and more brands are using down which has been treated to make it water resistant. These are far better than untreated down under prolonged exposure to wet conditions and dry much faster, but for regular damp and cold use, we’d still recommend synthetic fills.
The insulated jackets we’ve tested
For each jacket, we’ve picked out its most important points, described the fit and tried to give you an idea of which conditions it works best in. It would be great to be able to say which are the outright ‘best’ buys, but actually very few of these jackets are lemons, they just work better in some scenarios than others. Here they are…
Navigate through the best down jackets
You can scroll down the page to move through the different jackets or follow the links below to jump to your favourite brand.