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11 Finest Ultralight Down Jackets for Backpacking [2022] BikeHikeSafari

This can be a gear assessment in regards to the Finest Ultralight Down Jackets 2022.

On this assessment of the light-weight down jackets I observe that the standard of the down jackets are stepping as much as the following stage.

Many firms are utilizing high quality materials that repel water and match that with the highest quality responsibly sourced hydrophobic down.

Let’s check out the down jackets for day climbing, backpacking and ultralight through climbing.

Finest Light-weight Down Jackets for Backpacking 2022

The Finest Light-weight Down Jackets for Backpacking in 2022 are:

Finest Ultralight Down Jacket – Total

Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket Overview

Montbell Plasma Down Jacket Review

Montbell Plasma

Whole Weight – 135g / 4.8oz
Down Fill Weight –
45g / 1.6oz
Down Fill Energy –
1000 fill ex down
Whole Loft –
1600 cubic inches
Outer material –
21g/m2 7 denier with DWR
Hood –
Pockets –
Stuff Sack –

> Ultralight
> Finest heat to weight ratio
> Not utilizing hydrophobic down
> Non responsibly sourced down
> No Pockets or Hood

With a complete weight of solely 135 grams this is among the lightest down jackets on the checklist.

For the hiker in search of out the lightest doable jacket with among the best heat to weight ratios there is no such thing as a equal. However one of the best at school heat to weight ratio comes at a small value.

The 1.6 ounces of 1000 fill loft down is a a lot larger fill energy than any of the opposite down jackets in reviewed. It isn’t hydrophobic down like many different manufacturers however it does add as much as 1600 cubic inches of loft to maintain you heat.

The jacket makes use of a really skinny shell materials. It’s a very mild 7 denier material which mixed with among the best DWR therapies which does an okay job repelling water. However watch out of this jacket in dangerous climate and watch out to not get this jacket caught on sharp sticks and branches when climbing. All of this combines to make an extremely light-weight jacket.

How sturdy is the 1000 loft down? Most individuals are inclined to agree that the candy spot for the standard vs sturdy down lies someplace between 750 fill and 900 fill energy loft. I’d count on many lengthy years of use out of this high quality jacket if taken care of and washed as wanted.

This ultralight jacket has no frills. That is the non hooded model with no pockets. This retains the general weight down which is the primary purpose to contemplate this extremely light-weight down jacket.

At 4.8 ounces or 135 grams, it is a true ultralight weight jacket for the gram counting ultralight hiker or somebody eager to cowl big miles with all of the lightest doable gear. Simply watch out, it is probably not as sturdy as the opposite jackets on this gear assessment. Finest insulated jacket in the marketplace.

Total, if you’re in search of the lightest jacket on the checklist with one of the best heat to weight ratio this do a great job at trapping physique warmth. There may be merely no different insulated jackets that may compete however that is the non hooded model.

Need one thing hotter with pockets and a hood? Think about the Montbell Plasma 1000 Fill Energy Alpine Down Parka.

Finest Down Jacket for Backpacking

Arc’teryx Cerium SL Hoody Overview

Weight215g / 7.6oz
Down Fill Weight
Whole Loft – 
Down Fill Energy  –
Responsibly sourced, non hydrophobic 850 loft down
Outer material
Climate resistant Arato 7 material with DWR
Stuff sack

> Extremely light-weight.
> 850 fill down.
> Extra fragile materials than the opposite jackets reviewed.
> Hydrophobic down would make this the higher down jacket on this assessment.

Tremendous light-weight and far hotter than it appears to be like. That is the second lightest jacket on this assessment, however the addition of a hood and pockets carry the specs a bit larger than Montbell.

Though the Arc’teryx Cerium SL 850 fill down jacket doesn’t use hydrophobic down, it does have a waterproof outer with DWR Remedy. A number of the excessive moisture areas use artificial insulation as an alternative of down. This results in a great stage of water resistance however the lack of hydrophobic down will maintain this jacket from being a favorite moist environments.

The outer materials of the jacket is a few of the lightest of all of the jackets obtainable at present, however not as a lot as Montbell. It’s, due to this fact, a bit extra fragile and care is required to ensure it isn’t destroyed by sharp sticks on the path.

Total, this extremely mild down jacket makes use of excessive fill energy non hydrophobic down and is among the the higher down jackets. It’s extremely mild and heat sufficient for through climbing all however the wettest of trails. The Arc’teryx Cerium SL can be near the right extremely mild down jacket for climbing the Pacific Crest Path.

Finest Down Jacket for Via Climbing


Weight300g / 10.6oz
Downfill weight
105g / 3.7oz
Down Fill Energy
Responsibly sourced, non hydrophobic, 900+ Fill loft down
Whole Loft
3330 cubic inches
Shell material – 
Pertex material 37g/m2 with DWR
Stuff sack

> Pertex defend shell material.
> Prime quality 900+ down.
> Nice heat to weight.
> No Hydrophobic down

The Feathered Mates Eos has an general weight 10.6 oz / 300 grams. This jacket provides a few of the finest heat to weigh of any jacket on this assessment. The 105 g / 3.7 oz of 900 fill energy plus down makes this an awesome down jackets for its heat to weight ratio, to not point out the brand new chest pocket that they added.

Add to that the standard ripstop nylon pertex outer defend shell materials with DWR to dam the wind and dangerous climate.

The one factor stopping the Feathered Mates Eos Down Jacket from being one of the best on this assessment is the shortage of hydrophobic down which makes this jacket not as climate resistant as others.

However heat supplied for chilly mornings or evening in good climate this jacket makes this jacket an awesome selection. Excellent as an ultralight through climbing down jacket on the Continental Divide Path the place hikers want a barely hotter jacket than on different through hikes

Total, the Feathered Mates Eos is among the finest mild weight down jackets in the marketplace. It feels a lot hotter than the light-weight would point out. Excellent as an ultralight down jacket for through climbing. Using hydrophobic down would rocket this jacket to one of the best extremely light-weight down jacket on this assessment.

Finest Down Jacket for Australia and New Zealand

Macpac Icefall Overview

Weight320g / 11.3oz
Down Fill Weight
95g / 3.3oz
Down Fill Energy
800 fill Hydrophobic Goose Down
Whole loft
2640 cubic inches of down fill
Shell material – 
Pertex Quantum Ripstop 31g/m2 with DWR
Hooded Jacket
Stuff sack
No, stuffs inside one of many two zippered hand pockets

> Extremely light-weight
> Most waterproof jacket on this assessment
> Highest high quality every thing
> Solely obtainable in Australia and New Zealand
> Poor match, perhaps a slim match is perhaps higher

The Macpac Icefall is among the finest down jackets in the marketplace. This properly thought out jacket combines every thing that anybody may need from a troublesome light-weight jacket.

The outer shell materials is high quality Pertex Quantum is a ripstop nylon which mixes power, light-weight and a waterproof material. The DWR remedy assists in making this extra water resistance than a lot of the different jackets on this check.

The addition of 800 loft fill energy Hydrophobic down makes for a jacket properly capable of face up to the extra a few of the worst climate. Not solely is there hydrophobic down however the areas most probably to get moist such because the shoulders and cuff space are stuffed with Artificial insulation within the type of Primaloft Gold.

The one detrimental about this jacket is the shortage of slim match which makes it a bit free across the abdomen space.

This Light-weight Down Jackets can be completely fitted to all however the coldest climbing journeys anyplace on the planet and excellent for through climbing in moist locations such because the Te Araroa Path in New Zealand.

The one factor I don’t like is the minimize of the jacket which is barely massive across the abdomen space. It isn’t an athletic match like another jackets. My broader shoulders require me to dimension up giving me approach to a lot room in the midst of the jacket.

Total, I feel the Macpac Icefall is one of the best ultralight down jacket in the marketplace. Properly thought out with all one of the best design options doable. One of many prime spec Water Repellant Down Jackets reviewed and a private favorite.

Extra Nice Down Jackets

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Hooded Overview

Whole Weight249g / 8.8oz
Down Fill Weight
85g / 3oz
Down Fill Energy
Responsibly sourced, non hydrophobic 800 loft down
Whole Loft
2400 cubic inches
Shell material – 
10D ripstop material 30g/m2 with DWR End
Stuff sack
No, it stuffs right into a pocket.

> Ultralight
> very small pack dimension
> Excellent for the ultralight through hiker
> No hydrophobic down
> No changes within the hood

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 is among the hottest Light-weight Down Jackets among the many extremely mild through hikers of the world. An excellent mixture of a few of the lightest materials and no frills designs mix to make this one of many prime picks.

The up to date Mountain {Hardware} Ghost Whisperer 2 down jacket doesn’t use hydrophobic down because it had carried out beforehand. In my view it is a transfer backwards however it has purchased the worth down somewhat which is optimistic.

Regardless of the shortage of hydrophobic down it does have a great DWR end however general this jacket doesn’t fare properly in damp circumstances.

One other factor used to maintain the load down is the elastic on the hood moderately than an elastic draw chord. This helps maintain the general weight. Total the jacket works properly and a prime choose for the extremely mild through hiker.

I’d like to see the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 return to utilizing hydrophobic down as was the case on the earlier mannequin earlier than this replace.

The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 is among the lightest top quality jackets obtainable. Additionally it is one of the crucial packable because it stuffs into its personal pocket. This jacket is finest suited to extremely mild hikers akin to Via Hikers who need the Finest Down Jacket for the Pacific Crest Path. This is among the lightest doable down jackets with a great heat to weight ratio.

Out of doors Analysis Illuminate Overview

Best Ultralight Down Jackets - Outdoor Research Illuminate Review

Weight353g / 12.5oz
Down Fill Weight
Down Fill Energy  –
Responsibly sourced, non hydrophobic, 800 fill energy loft down
Whole Loft
Shell material
Climate resistant 10D Nylon with No DWR
Hooded Jacket
Stuff sack
No, Jackets stuffs right into a pocket

> Low value (solely simply).
> Nice customer support and guarantee division.
> Poor climate resistance.

The Out of doors Analysis Illuminate is a light-weight down jacket which is among the least expensive top quality jackets in the marketplace and worthy of consideration for these on a finances. The hooded down jacket has a cinch twine to maintain the hood tight throughout the pinnacle, heat pockets for arms and among the best warranties within the enterprise.

Having used their guarantee service prior to now I price them very extremely, one other very optimistic purpose to contemplate this jacket.

The climate resistant shell materials is missing any DWR Remedy and the responsibly sourced 800 loft down shouldn’t be hydrophobic. So this jacket performs poorly in something aside from good climate.

Conclusion – The Out of doors Analysis Illuminate is among the finest down jackets for these on a finances. It has every thing a finances ultralight hiker would need minus something that will add to the general value of the jacket. It may very well be lighter and somewhat extra climate resistant.

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket Overview

Weight470g / 17oz
Down Fill Weight
Down Fill Energy  –
Responsibly sourced, hydrophobic, 750 fill loft down
Whole Loft
3750 cubic inches
Shell material
Climate resistant Pertex Quantum 32g/m2 with DWR coating
Stuff sac

> Very heat.
> Nice climate resistance.
> High-quality supplies.
> Heavy.
> 750 loft down.

The 5 ounces of down creates a large 3750 cubic inches of right down to maintain you heat. Though the Rab Microlight Alpine is barely heavier than the opposite jackets on this assessment it’s the warmest.

The Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket makes use of top quality hydrophobic down, high quality DWR Remedy and among the best within the enterprise outer shell materials materials, Pertex Quantum. This can be a severely climate resistant jacket.

If solely this jacket was utilizing larger loft down akin to 800 plus and was somewhat bit lighter.

The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket has all one of the best options and all one of the best supplies, if solely the loft of the down was larger than 750 fill it will carry down the general weight and improve the general high quality to make this one of many one of the best down jackets. I’d like to see this jacket embrace 800 or 900 fill energy hydrophobic down.

Total, Rab makes a few of the finest out of doors and this jacket is not any exception. For anybody heading off into chilly damp areas this jacket will probably be an awesome match. Excellent for moist chilly trails akin to early season begins on any of the Triple Crown Climbing Trails or the Te Araroa Path in New Zealand.

North Face Summit L3 Hoody Overview

Weight480g / 16.9oz
Down Fill Weight
Down Fill Energy  –
Responsibly sourced, hydrophobic down, 800 fill loft
Outer material – 
10D Pertex Quantum GL material 25g/m2 with DWR Remedy
Stuff sac

> Hydrophobic Down.
> Pertex Quantum GL material.
> Very heat.
> Probably the greatest light-weight climate resistant jacket.
> Heavier than the opposite jackets
> Not very compact.

The Pertex Quantum GL shell material is lighter than my favorite Pertex Quantum. Mixed with 800 loft hydrophobic down and a top quality DWR end this is among the finest jacket to take outside when the climate turns nasty.

The North Face Summit L3 Hoody is barely heavier than the opposite jackets on this assessment however it one of many warmest. Making this higher suited to somebody who feels the chilly or heading into temperatures beneath freezing.

It packs up barely bigger than the opposite jackets.

Total, the North Face Summit L3 is among the higher Down Jackets for these heading into dangerous climate or wanting one of many hotter jackets. High quality every thing on this jacket. The added heat comes at the price of weight and it isn’t essentially the most compact of all of the jackets. One other jacket that’s good for moist chilly trails or early season begins on any of the Triple Crown Climbing Trails or the Te Araroa Path in New Zealand.

Better of the Relaxation

The next is a listing of superior Down jackets which can be actually worthy of a glance:

  • Patagonia Down Sweater – The Patagonia Down Sweater is a superb down jacket made with a excessive proportion of recycled supplies. Good high quality, excessive loft down and with among the best warranties within the enterprise.
  • Rab Neutrino – The Rab Neutrino is the massive brother of the Alpine jacket. It’s hotter, bulkier and heavier and higher suited as among the best winter down jackets.
  • REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 – The REI Co op 650 down jacket 2.0 is among the finest finances down jackets due to the decrease fill energy however in the event you can spend just a bit extra then you will get a lot better.
  • Arc’teryx Cerium LT – The Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody is a heavier model of the Arc’teryx Cerium SL Hoody which is on this assessment. Though it’s nice I choose the SL model.

Finest Ultralight Down Jacket for Via Climbing

Most through hikers solely put on a down jacket at evening or very first thing within the morning till the physique has warmed up. Climbing in a down jacket shouldn’t be frequent until the climate turns chilly and nasty.

The Finest Extremely light-weight down jackets for through hikers are the Feathered Mates Eos, Arcterex Cerium, Ghost Whisperer 2, Macpac Icefall and Montbell Plasma.

Every are below 300g and face up to the tough remedy they are going to be put by way of. The Montbell Plasma is much and away the lightest making it nice for individuals who need the lightest jacket and don’t thoughts the shortage of options akin to a hood or pockets.

If climbing on moist through hikes such because the Appalachian Path or Te Araroa Path the Macpac Icefall is the stand out selection.

Finest Down Jackets for Wet Climate

With hydrophobic down, high quality DWR repellent and one of the best outer supplies it’s onerous to go previous the Macpac Icefall, Northface Summit L3, Rab Microlight Alpine

The Macpac Icefall and Arcteryx Cerium SL add artificial insulation into the excessive moisture areas that are prone to get moist akin to hoods, cuffs and shoulders, however the lack of hydrophobic down actually lets it down in foul climate.

Total, the Macpac Icefall is one of the best down jacket for dangerous climate, intently adopted by the Rab Microlight Alpine and Northface Summit L3 that are each fairly a bit heavier however are each hotter jackets.

Finest general Ultralight Down Jackets

Ever single jacket on this assessment may do one thing that will make them the standout winner and most suitable option. Because it stands a few jacket rise to the highest however may very well be improved.

The Feathered Mates Eos would attain the highest spot if it used hydrophobic Down. It is extremely heat, mild, a great match and nice in all however wet climate. The very same may be stated for the Arcteryx Cerium SL.

The Northface Summit L3 and Rab Microlight Alpine would attain the highest spot in the event that they had been lighter in weight. Regardless of being characteristic wealthy, climate resistant and heat, they’re barely too heavy.

Montbell is ultralight in weight however missing in options. That is one of the best choose for the hiker who doesn’t care about pockets, hood or climate resistance and desires the lightest jacket in the marketplace.

Out of doors Analysis is the most cost effective (solely simply) and is an efficient light-weight jacket. Including extra options would add to the worth, however would make it a greater jacket.

The Macpac Icefall ticks all of the containers for climate resistance, high quality, light-weight and heat. It might take out the highest spot if it had a slim match as it’s too cumbersome across the mid part however nonetheless among the best down jackets on the checklist. Additionally it is troublesome to entry for non New Zealanders or Australians.

Total, I just like the Macpac Icefall for climbing in dangerous climate. For a mix of heat and ultralight weight I like Arcteryx Cerium SL  and Feathered Mates EOS.

Consumers Information

How to decide on a Down Jacket

The are a number of components you must consider when taking a look at down jackets.

They need to be, light-weight, have a great high quality fill energy and fill weight of down and a few type of climate resistance is nice within the type of Hydrophobic down, waterproof face material and a DWR end.

One other essential consideration when shopping for a down jacket is that the down is responsibly sourced. The Accountable down customary ensures the down is traceable and sourced from animals that adjust to animal welfare requirements.

Heat of a Light-weight Down Jacket

The Finest Down Jackets for Via Climbing or Bikepacking will probably be a compromise between light-weight and options.

It’s unlikely that the majority light-weight down jackets will probably be utilized by anybody climbing Mt Everest however they are going to actually be seen on backpacking journeys or through climbing trails such because the Pacific Crest Path, Appalachian Path, Continental Divide Path or Bikepacking the Nice Divide Mountain Bike Path.

All of the ultralight down jackets reviewed listed here are compact, light-weight and heat sufficient for most individuals in temperatures round freezing. For temperatures considerably beneath freezing additional layers will probably be wanted, specifically if at camp and inactive.

What’s Fill Energy and why Is it essential?

All one of the best down jackets ought to have a fill energy of 800 or larger. The quantity 800 fill energy refers to its lofting capacity. When you take 1 ounce of down it would develop or loft to 800 cubic inches. 850 will loft to 850 cubic inches and so forth. Total, Confused?

The video beneath does an awesome job at explaining every thing to do with Fill Energy.

Water Resistance of a Down Jacket

Down doesn’t like getting moist. It tends to clump collectively and when that occurs it looses its capacity to maintain you heat. To forestall that from taking place all one of the best down jackets use a tightly weaved outer sheel material to forestall as a lot water as doable from making contact with the down.

Pertex is taken into account among the best outer material however many firms use related supplies that defend water from moving into the down as a lot as doable.

Some jackets use a small quantity of artificial insulation materials within the areas with excessive contact with moisture akin to shoulder and arm cuffs.

Down jackets akin to Macpac Icefall and ARCTERYX – Cerium SL Hoody use a small quantity of artificial fill materials within the shoulders and cuffs to forestall excessive moisture areas from wetting out the down.

What’s Hydrophobic Down? And why it is best to use it in a down jacket

In recent times Nikwax has developed a hydrophobic down that resists the overwhelming majority of contact with water, therefore is ready to keep properly lofted if in touch with water.

Jackets with hydrophobic down must be thought-about of upper high quality than these with out. I’ve a choice to make use of a jacket with hydrophobic down however it hasn’t at all times been that manner. It suppliers a safer possibility if I’m carrying a jacket in dangerous climate.

If heading out into dangerous climate like I skilled on the Appalachian Path and Te Araroa Path in New Zealand, the next jackets can be good. The jackets beneath use hydrophobic down:

  1. North Face Summit L3 Hoody Overview
  2. Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket Overview
  3. Macpac Icefall

Watch the loopy video beneath which demonstrates how good hydrophobic down is.

What’s a DWR Coating and why do I want it?

Consider the DWR end as being like placing a layer of wax on the automotive. It permits the water to bead and run off the material. And like a layer of wax on a automotive it doesn’t final eternally and finally the DWR will put on off and the material will moist out.

The entire firms besides Out of doors Analysis use a DWR on the surface of the jacket. DWR stands for Sturdy Water Repellent.

Retreating the outer material with Nikwax TX Direct or related will make the material proof against water once more.

How you can restore Ultralight Down Jackets

Ultralight Down Jackets will not be essentially the most sturdy of out of doors gear. Using light-weight materials mixed with sharp sticks and branches, a spark from a campfire or a fall in tough terrain can simply harm a down jacket.

A small rip or tear within the material will happen if used for a chronic time within the outside. There are two methods to restore the out material.

The primary and simplest way is to cowl the outlet with some Tenacious Tape. Consider this tape because the superglue of cloth tapes. Reduce to dimension a canopy the outlet. Tenacious tape on down jackets are an indication of a properly used jacket that has spent high quality time within the outside.

The second manner is to stitch on a patch over the broken layer of cloth. I choose the primary methodology of utilizing Tenacious Tape as it’s low-cost and it really works. I’ve used it many instances of the years to patch small holes.

Finest Options in a Light-weight Down Jacket

What options are essential on one of the best light-weight down jacket for backpacking? For most individuals a hood is tremendous essential. The necessity for a down jacket within the outside is to maintain heat. A hood is among the best methods to do that. The added weight to the down jacket is value it.

Pockets are one other nice characteristic. Any hiker that has been hit by colder than anticipated temperatures will respect warming their arms within the pockets. Generally gloves will not be sufficient. Different instances you’ll have forgotten to carry gloves with you.

A stuff sac is a superb thought to retailer the jacket. In any other case, the flexibility to pack the jacket into one in all it’s two zippered hand pockets or zippered chest pocket to make them packable when not being worn. All of the reviewed jackets have some type of storage methodology.

Cinch twine on the hood and backside of the jacket are used to limit the quantity of chilly air coming into the jacket and offering one of the best match. Not all jackets have this characteristic.

Some jackets use easy elastic stitched into the jacket to offer a good match across the waist or hood. The cinch twine does add a small quantity of weight and value to the jacket however for essentially the most half that is thought-about properly value it.

Finest Worth Down Jackets

If the highest quality jacket prices a lot that you could’t afford to spend time outside or are too scared to take the jacket someplace for the concern of damaging it then we now have an issue. A number of the jackets reviewed are very properly priced and the shortage of some options make them worthy of consideration.

A high quality down jacket will final a few years and if properly cared for it’s value spending somewhat extra now for one thing that may final a few years within the nice outside.

Down Jackets vs Artificial Jackets

Artificial jackets are slowly however absolutely catching as much as down jackets with their heat to weight to packability ratio. Materials like Polartec Alpha and Primaloft Gold are a few of the finest obtainable in the meanwhile however they’re nonetheless not as a great as down.

Down additionally has a wonderful capacity to be compressed and lofted with out damaging the down. The identical can’t be stated for all synthetics simply but. I think within the subsequent 10 years an artificial product will come alongside that may make down out of date. Watch this house.

Ultimately synthetics will surpass down however the time shouldn’t be right here but.


With so many Down Jackets in the marketplace listed here are one of the best ones:

Regularly Requested Questions

How heavy is an ultralight down jacket?

Ultralight Down Jackets often weight lower than 500 grams / 17.5 ounces with a few of the most costly, highest high quality jackets weighing lower than 142 grams / 5 ounces. As they’re so mild they’re good for backpacking and climbing.

What’s Hydrophobic Down?

Hydrophobic Down is a specifically handled down that repels water. In consequence it’s properly suited to climbing and backpacking in wetter climates because it won’t soak up as a lot water as non handled down.

One other one of many Finest Climbing Gear Critiques from BikeHikeSafari.

Learn Extra:

Finest Backpacking Down Pants
Finest Ultralight Rain Jackets
Finest Ultralight Rain Pants
Finest Base Layers for Backpacking
Finest Climbing Underwear
How you can Wash a Down Jacket


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