A lightweight down jacket is one of the best pieces of kit money can buy – you just have to make sure you buy the right one!

A lightweight down jacket is one of those pieces of clothing you will not regret buying. In addition to its qualities in the outdoors, you will find yourself wearing it just about everywhere you go. I never travel without one – they pack down to next to nothing, are super warm and honestly once you get one, you will never go back. You can kiss those bulky jackets in your wardrobe goodbye. I have rounded up five of the best lightweight down jackets that offer the very best when it comes to the warmth to weight ratio. Prepare to get cosy!

1. Mountain Hardwear Whisperer Down Jacket

Price: €325

5 of the Best Lightweight Down Jackets

This lightweight, hooded down jacket is not the cheapest in the bunch but it certainly is a box ticker when it comes to insulated jackets. Weighing in a just 219g, packing away into its own pocket, this is the lightest hooded down jacket in the world. You will not even notice it in your backpack, however, you certainly will notice it when temperatures drop. With 850 fill down the Mountain Hardwear Whisperer is super cosy. This jacket is also equipped with hydrophobic down (or Q shield as Rab refer it to) in order to retain the loft should the jacket get wet.

Available from: Cotswolds

2. Rab Microlite Alpine Jacket

Price: €230

5 of the Best Lightweight Down Jackets

Rab is a favourite amongst the most hardcore climbers and adventurers out there. This is due mainly to the brand’s long standing reputation for quality. And the Rab Alpine Jacket is no exception to that. This 750 fill goose down jacket will become a firm favourite in your backpack. Weighing in at 445g, the jacket packs away into the chest pocket.

As we have come to expect from Rab, the Microlite Alpine Jacket is not equipped with umpteen rather useless bells and whistles but instead, focuses on what you really need. The outer fabric has been wrapped in a water resistant technology to protect the down in wet weather conditions while care has been taken to optimise heat retention with a down filled hood and zip baffle.

The jacket is sublimely cosy and comfortable and will take you from the world’s highest peaks to the city streets and will not look out of place on either.

Available from: 53 Degrees North

3. Berghaus Ilam Down Jacket

Price: €340

5 of the Best Lightweight Down Jackets

Confronting the issues surrounding down when it is wet, Berghaus has also developed a hydrophobic down called hydrodown to protect the insulating qualities of the down when wet.

Weighing in at a respectable 309g for its 800 fill goose down, coupled with the fact that this jacket sheds water well, this jacket is a high performer on this list. 

Available from: Cotswolds

4. The North Face Thermoball Jacket

Price: €190

5 of the Best Lightweight Down Jackets

Technically I am breaking the rules here as this is not a down jacket but it’s a good jacket at a great price. I thought it would be criminal to leave it out. The North Face has developed this jacket using PrimaLoft in the place of down, meaning it copes with wet weather conditions admirably.

The small stitched squares (diamonds in the women’s version) help to trap heat to provide really effective insulation. My only gripe here is that after extensive use some of this stitching has unravelled.

Elsewhere the jacket ticks all of the boxes, weighing in at 328g for the hoodless version, it packs into its own pocket, is super comfortable on and cuts a sleek shape making it smart enough to wear around town.

Available from: Snow and Rock 

5. Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hoody

Price: €390

Best Lightweight Down Jackets

I am a big fan of Arc’Teryx but up until relatively recently, the brand had no insulated jacket in its range. Thankfully though, it saw the gap and delivered the Cerium LT Hoody. And thankfully, it was worth the wait.

Innovation is what we have come to expect from Arc’Teryx so it was great to see the brand deliver something that little bit different. Unlike the others, this jacket is a hybrid between a synthetic and down jacket. Recognising that many of us sweat quite a lot when exerting ourselves, this jacket has used body heat mapping and switched the down for synthetic in areas where moisture is likely to build up.

Available from: Cotswolds 

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