to top 10 table

Best Down Vests

last updated Dec 15, 2018

When the temperatures start to drop but it is not quite cold enough for a winter jacket, the best thing to keep you warm but not overheating is the down vest. The down vest is a vest that is insulated and covers the chest leaving the arms exposed, this is to keep your body warm but does not overheat your arms and gives you more mobility to start your spring activities. Now the nice thing about the down vest is that they are not only usable during the fall months but also can be used during the spring when the temperatures start to heat up but it is not quite warm enough to wear just a sweater. When looking for a down vest there is multiple on the market, so it can be overwhelming trying to find the best vest to fit your style and keep you warm during fall & spring.

Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
14k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
11
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By Melissa Coleiro:

This buying guide of down vests has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed down vests to keep you warm and comfortable during the spring and fall months. A down vest to keep your eye on is the Arcteryx Cerium. We love this addition because it is highly rated, insulated, warm, lightweight, and comfortable.

Sorting Options
Comfort Durability Features Size By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Comfort
98%
Durability
97%
Features
99%
Size
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$249.00
$249.00
See Deal
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Comfort
97%
Durability
96%
Features
96%
Size
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Comfort
96%
Durability
95%
Features
95%
Size
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Comfort
93%
Durability
93%
Size
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$107.40
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Comfort
92%
Durability
91%
Size
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$29.99
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Comfort
90%
Durability
89%
Features
90%
Size
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$110.75
See Deal
$116.06
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Comfort
89%
Durability
88%
Features
87%
Size
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Comfort
83%
Durability
82%
Features
83%
Size
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$179.00
See Deal
$179.00
See Deal
$185.00
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
Durability
81%
Features
80%
Size
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$119.99
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
Comfort
78%
Durability
79%
Features
78%
Size
79%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.12.18)
$98.95
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Arc'teryx Cerium
  • Mountain Khakis Outlaw
  • The North Face Nuptse
  • Eddie Bauer downlight stormdown
  • XPOSURZONE Women's Lightweight Down Vest
  • Outdoor Research Transcendent
  • Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer
  • Patagonia Down Sweater
  • Columbia Flash Forward
  • Degrees Nano Light
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Arc'teryx Cerium

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Arc'teryx Cerium
Comfort
98
Durability
97
Features
99
Size
98
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

The down composite mapping places the synthetic insulation in areas prone to moisture

The collar height provides an ample amount of warmth

Overall, it is lightweight yet extremely durable

Cons:

This vest tends to run small, may want to go up a size

When speaking about pure quality and design, there is little to nothing wrong with the Cerium LT Men’s Vest from Arcteryx. About the only aspect, you could take issue with is the fact that it tends to run small, but the construction and design are flawless.

Read more

Comfort and Warmth

When the warmth is most needed, the 850-fill insulation will provide it. However, the down composite mapping also places Coreloft synthetic fibers to retain the warmth when the vest is exposed to moisture. Also, the collar is designed in a way to provide the maximum amount of warmth.

Design and Construction

Constructed from full nylon and coated with a durable water-repellent finish, this vest will protect you from light precipitation. To reduce the noise, the zipper pulls are corded and simple to grab onto.

Integrated Pockets

For a convenient place for your hands or accessories, there are zippered hand pockets in the front of the vest.

Size and Color Options

Men can select all the way from small to XX-large while there are color options for black, magma, nautic gray tropos blue, riptide and admiral.

Additional Convenient Features

When you are not using this vest, simply store it away in the included stuff sack. In addition, for adjustability, there is an elasticized hem.

Overall

Arcteryx complements their superb quality and construction with a visual appeal that makes a great fashion statement. Past the small issue with the sizes generally running small, which is more of a note than a hindrance, this performs its designed purpose perfectly.

2. Mountain Khakis Outlaw

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.3
Mountain Khakis Outlaw
Comfort
97
Durability
96
Features
96
Size
96
best offer for today
Pros:

The fabric manages to feel durable without losing its softness

Has a very attractive trim fit for women

Retains the property of down even while exposed to moisture

Cons:

Sizes have been known to vary, may fit too small or too large

All you men out there, this is the best down vest for you. Right off the get-go, it is a strong sign when the biggest issues are with the sizing and “over-shininess”. Everything past this is pure gold.

Read more

Comfort and Warmth

Outside of the 650-fill down insulation providing superb warmth, the vest is crafted with treated nylon shell with a durable water repellent finish that sheds light rain and snow and has great wind resistance.

Design and Construction

This vest is specifically designed to mimic the quantities of down, even when it experiences moisture and water. The fabric itself, is crafted from soft saving woven fabric with 650-fill down insulation.

Integrated Pockets

For a convenient location to rest your hands or stash your small accessories, there are zippered hand pockets that can be accessed.

Size and Color Options

There are plenty of colors to choose from including black, pink, purple, gray, cool blue and cosmic blue. Size-wise, select from extra-small to XXX-large.

Additional Convenient Features

Past its intended design, there are not too many additional features to be aware of. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this vest does not need excess accessories to be as terrific as it is. However, it is highly compressible and can pack into its left-hand pocket for easy carry and storage.

Overall

It is difficult to find many reasons to why you would not want to invest in this down jacket. However, it is important to note that the sizing may not be true to your size. Once you get the appropriate size, though, the rest will be history.

3. The North Face Nuptse

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
The North Face Nuptse
Comfort
96
Durability
95
Features
95
Size
95
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

The North Face only uses the highest-quality goose down in their products

There is double-layer taffeta on the shoulders

Cons:

When you shorten or tighten the bottom, the excess rope ends up in each pocket

Chances are, you have worn a piece of apparel from The North Face at one time in your life. There is a reason for that as they are keen on producing the best garments possible and their Men’s Nuptse Vest is a great example of why they have had success.

Read more

Comfort and Warmth

With 700-fill goose down, this vest manages to capture warmth around your torso. The insulation manages to trap all the hot air inside and reduces the amount of heat loss thus, enhancing the overall warmth.

Design and Construction

The vest is crafted from 100 percent 50D x 50D nylon and a 700-fill goose down insulation. With high-loft baffles, it manages to sport an updated fit. Finally, it has double-layer taffeta crafted on the shoulders. But, the zippers are somewhat lacking in quality.

Integrated Pockets

Besides the secure-zip hand pockets on the front, there is also an internal chest pocket to hold any items you want to be secured.

Size and Color Options

While not all sizes are promised to be there, there is a wide selection from small to XXX-large. Meanwhile, there are loads of color choices including red and black, brown and black, blue and black, and blue and navy.

Additional Convenient Features

The North Face specifically designs these types of garments to be compatible with other apparel that they sell. Plus, the hem allows for proper adjustment.

Overall

Everything about the Nuptse Vest is as good as it gets, except for the zipper construction. Each vest may not encounter this issue, but some will have a sticky zipper.

4. Eddie Bauer downlight stormdown

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Eddie Bauer downlight stormdown
Comfort
93
Durability
93
Size
93
best offer for today
$107.40
Pros:

It is built to withstand cold-weather activities such as climbing

Includes a chest pocket with an audio port

Cons:

While it does a good job of not being snug, it is a little poofy

While this next vest is fantastic for the reasons it should be (great design and comfort), it is also noteworthy for its convenient chest pocket. There is an audio port with the chest pocket that provides you with an excellent location for your music player.

Read more

Comfort and Warmth

In most cold weather climates, this will keep you warm with its 800-fill down insulation. Past this, it is designed to be a universal fit. Thus, not making it too relaxed or too slim on your body.

Design and Construction

This vest is crafted from a durable polyester shell with a DWR finish, which manages to wick away moisture. In addition to this, this vest is also windproof.

Integrated Pockets

Past the hand pockets on the front, there is also a convenient pocket located on the chest. On this pocket is an audio port that allows your electronics to stay warm and close nearby your reach.

Size and Color Options

All men should be able to find a size for them with options from small to XXX-large (with some options for tall). For colors, there are a few including black, gray, berry, cinder gray, and blue.

Additional Convenient Features

The audio port is convenient enough, but there is also a drawcord waist that can be streamlined to better adapt for you needs. Even though the fit is made to be universal, everyone will have a different preference.

Overall

It is hard to ask for much more than this. Past a few blimps in the radar, this is beyond a worthwhile investment.

5. XPOSURZONE Women's Lightweight Down Vest

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
XPOSURZONE Women's Lightweight Down Vest
Comfort
92
Durability
91
Size
91
best offer for today
$29.99
Pros:

Warm

Packable

Fits well

Cons:

Some had issues with sizing

Xposurezone is a company that may not stand out as much as North Face or other large household names, but it certainly has built a strong following of satisfied customers. This company produces outdoor wear that is well built and made for colder weather.

Read more

The great thing about this stylish vest is that it is built to be lightweight and sleek. So you can easily wear this vest over a turtleneck as you head out for a cold night on the town or if you need an extra layer to hike a mountain.

The high collar zips right up, and this provides you optimal warmth that also offers a snug fit that looks great.

Along with the style of this vest, there is binding detail at the arm pit that offers complete durability for a wearer to have. So you won't be needing to rush out and by a new vest any time soon.

This vest is also designed to be folded into a compact size, so that it can be easily packed for travel or a few nights of camping.

If you are looking for a warm vest that is stylish, warm, comes in multiple colors, and is durable, this is a great vest. It comes in a men's version, too.

6. Outdoor Research Transcendent

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Outdoor Research Transcendent
Comfort
90
Durability
89
Features
90
Size
90
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

It is lightweight in nature

The internal front stormflap keeps out drafts

Its water-resistance allows moisture to bead off

Cons:

Not as much insulation as some will prefer

As great as the Outdoor Research Men’s Transcendent Vest is, and you will soon find out, it does not provide as much warmth as other down vests. For its weight, though, the warmth is pretty remarkable.

Read more

Comfort and Warmth

A brushed tricot collar lining manages to keep you both warm and soft simultaneously and the internal stormflap assists in keeping out drafts. Overall, the vest is stuffed with 650-fill power goose down.

Design and Construction

As this vest is water-resistant, moisture will naturally repel off of the fabric and away from you. The ripstop polyester fabric and nylon taffeta liner make up the overall craftsmanship of the vest.

Integrated Pockets

Per the norm with down vests, there are two zippered hand pockets. But, also a zippered Napoleon pocket.

Size and Color Options

Not too many colors are available, just black, dusk and night, earth and café, and pewter and lemongrass, but a strong amount of sizes from small to XX-large.

Additional Convenient Features

To keep everything in place and to keep the heat secure, there is a drawcord hem. In addition, the left-hand pocket doubles as a stuff sack.

Overall

Sure, other vests use a more potent fill past 650 but that does not mean it will not keep you warm. In fact, this makes the vest an ideal choice if you still wanted to wear it in reasonably cool weather.

7. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer
Comfort
89
Durability
88
Features
87
Size
88
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

The lightweight nature makes it great for layering

A built-in secure loop for a carabiner is implemented

Cons:

Construction for the toggle hem and zipper are below-average

In many ways, a lot of these vests could be flip-flopped. That is how close they are and much is the same with the Ghost Whisperer Men’s Vest. It could have easily eclipsed the top spot, but minor deficiencies prevent it from doing so.

Read more

Comfort and Warmth

For both extra warmth and freedom of movement, a low-profile quilt pattern is implemented. Meanwhile, the 800-fill down provides an excellent amount of warmth and insulation.

Design and Construction

Q. Shield technology is able to resist heat-robbing moisture and manages to retain maximum loft even when damp. The Ghost Whisperer fabric utilizes a super-tight weave to ensure it is downproof, windproof and water-resistant.

Integrated Pockets

Nothing out of the ordinary here, with two front handwarmer pockets.

Size and Color Options

The choice is yours from black, dark compass, ice shadow, shark, and manta gray, among others. Size-wise, options are available from small to XX-large.

Additional Convenient Features

Its lightweight nature makes it simple to layer while the interior toggle hem provides an easy adjustment. Also, a built-in secure loop for a carabiner is included.

Overall

Mountain Hardwear clearly wanted to make this vest as lightweight as possible, which is good, but the toggle hem and zipper are not of the utmost quality. But, they will still more than suffice and do not hurt the overall rating that much.

8. Patagonia Down Sweater

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Patagonia Down Sweater
Comfort
83
Durability
82
Features
83
Size
84
best offer for today
more shops
$185.00
$179.00
See Deal
$179.00
See Deal
Pros:

It has an updated, contoured fit

The nylon-bound elastic armholes manage to seal in as much heat as possible

The front zipper sports a wicking interior stormflap

Cons:

On the front pockets, the teeth of the zippers catch on everything

This sweater vest is a great example of an entry that could have so easily taken the top spot on this list but is hindered by one simple design flaw. This design flaw, which you will soon find out, does not make this unusable (as it would not be on the list) but is one to be cautious of.

Read more

Comfort and Warmth

For next to your skin comfort, the collar has a zipper garage at the chin. To keep you dry, the center-front zipper has a wicking interior storm flap. The fabric itself has 800-fill power goose down for a terrific level of warmth.

Design and Construction

The liner is a 100 percent recycled polyester fabric that has a durable water-repellent finish. Its shell fabric has an updated ripstop pattern and is more contoured. But, the plastic oversized zipper teeth on the pockets are a huge issue. They tend to snag on everything and it would have been sufficient to have hidden zippers.

Integrated Pockets

Both of the handwarmer pockets on the front have zippers and garages. In addition, there is an internal zippered pocket near the chest area.

Size and Color Options

Past large, there are no size options but you can go down to extra-small. A few colors are accessible including black, harvest moon blue and different shades of gray.

Additional Convenient Features

The included internal pocket also self-stuffs and includes a carabiner clip-in loop. Plus, there is a drawcord hem that tightens from the inside.

Overall

If you have layers on top of this vest, they may get caught from the teeth of the zippered pockets. Just a forewarning, but it should not deter you from this vest. It is just a slight inconvenience that could have easily been avoided.

9. Columbia Flash Forward

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
Columbia Flash Forward
Durability
81
Features
80
Size
80
best offer for today
$119.99
Pros:

There is binding at the hemline and under the arm

A strong amount of color options are available

Cons:

It may be too shiny for some

  • For short people, this is a no-go

  • First things first, this vest is tailored for taller men and taller men only. This is not necessarily a hindrance, but something all guys should be wary of. If you do happen to be a taller individual or do not mind a lengthy vest, you may just fall in love with it.

    Read more

    Comfort and Warmth

    It features 650-fill power down insulation for an ample amount of warmth and will hold up well in relatively cold conditions.

    Design and Construction

    No-sew bonder baffles are integrated into the fabric to reduce the amount of water penetration. However, this also provides a modern and sleek aesthetic. Although, the sheen appeal may appall some. The 100 percent polyester is also coated to be water-resistant.

    Integrated Pockets

    Just a normal day at the office here with zippered hand pockets on the front.

    Size and Color Options

    As mentioned, this is for tall men and the sizes reflect that. Available are sizes extra-large (tall) to 4X-large (tall). Some additional colors are also available including black, graphite, black and blue, and hyper blue.

    Additional Convenient Features

    For added convenience, this vest is packable into the hand pocket.

    Overall

    If you can get past the long, albeit extra-long, and shiny appeal then you may have a match made in heaven. However, this will certainly not appeal to all so keep that in mind.

    10. Degrees Nano Light

    The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
    78.5
    32 Degrees Nano Light
    Comfort
    78
    Durability
    79
    Features
    78
    Size
    79
    best offer for today
    $98.95
    Pros:

    It is easily packable when not in use

    The front zipper closes all the way up past the neck

    Can be machine washed

    Cons:

    Sizes can vary, some say it runs big while others small

    Truthfully, there really is nothing wrong with this 32 Degrees’ down vest. However, when you stack it up against the competition, it does not necessarily stand out in any way. Though, that does not mean it will not make a worthwhile addition to your winter clothing.

    Read more

    Comfort and Warmth

    It features both a packable design and down-fill insulation to provide you with warmth throughout the day. The collar also zips all the way up to prevent a draft from hitting your neck.

    Design and Construction

    The fabric is made up of a mix of nylon and polyester and it has a coating to prevent water from penetrating the surface.

    Integrated Pockets

    On the side of the vest, front zippered pockets are present for you to access.

    Size and Color Options

    On Amazon, you can choose from small, medium and XX-large. For colors, select from either royal blue or asphalt.

    Additional Convenient Features

    With a drawstring at the bottom, you can adjust this vest to tailor to your needs. Plus, its lightweight nature makes it easy to layer additional clothing.

    Overall

    You know, there is nothing wrong with simple and that is just what 32 Degrees exemplifies with this vest. Not too much here is going to open your eyes but there is enough quality to warrant an investment.

    Criteria Used for Evaluation

    Comfort

    When discussing any type of garment that is intended to be used to keep you warm, you need to judge how well it does its intended designed purpose. With down vests, this mainly comes down to the fill power utilized. First of all, for those that do not know down is the soft layer of feathers that is closest to a bird’s skin. When you see “down vests”, this is not referring to the literal direction of down. Now, the amount of fill each vest has will vary. For example, on this list, there are some with 650-fill, 700-fill, 800-fill, and 850-fill. But, what on earth do these numbers mean?

    Fill power is the measure of loft in a down product. As such, the more fill power it has (the higher the number is) allows it to trap more air; thus, providing a greater amount of insulation. In layman’s terms, the higher the number the warmer the vest will keep you. But, there are outside features that attribute to the overall warmth of a vest. This includes the design of the collar and whether or not the zipper has a garage at the chin, an interior storm flap to block drafts, and elastic armholes to seal in heat.

    Durability

    Having a vest keeps you warm is extremely important, but the overall design and construction do not end there. In fact, it is only the beginning. There are two huge areas of the construction to pay attention to, one being the fabric utilized and the other if it is resistant to water and the weather. The types of fabric will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but most on this list either consist of nylon or polyester. Honestly, picking between these two is like flipping a coin as they both are terrific materials.

    Polyester has a high-durability and tenacity and can withstand repetitive movements while nylon is known as being thin and flexible while maintaining an excellent amount of toughness. Either one will more than suffice but be sure there is some sort of durable water-repellent finish coated on top of it. This will allow the vest to protect itself from water, allowing it to repel off your vest. However, remember that water repellency means it is not easily penetrated by water, but it is not waterproof. As an additional design feature, also look for the shoulder construction. Take special note of the ones that are crafted with double-layer taffeta on the shoulders, as taffeta gives it a greater volume.

    Features

    As simple as it seems, pocket location and design can play a factor in any type of garment, but especially types such as vests like these. Throughout the entirety of this list, you probably started to notice a theme. Most vests had zippered hand pockets in the front and the occasional one had an internal chest pocket. The reason to want these types of pockets is simple as it gives you a location to store your valuables and accessories, while also providing a resting spot for your hands.

    But, what is more important is whether they are zippered and if the zipper has a garage. Zippers are important as they keep your items secure. Say, for example, you had loose change in your front pocket and leaned over. Without a zipper, there is a high probability that the change will fall out. Take note if they do not have a garage, though, as that can lend its way to comfort. A garage is a small piece of fabric that will keep the zipper pull away from your skin. While a zipper will not result in a serious injury, those without garages can quickly become nuisances.

    Size

    It truly is a shame that every single aspect of a garment could be perfect, but if the color or size is not to your liking it can tarnish the entire product. Oftentimes, resulting in a pass. Color is one thing, as you sometimes may have to live with a color scheme that you are not in love with, but size is everything. As you noticed, most these vests tend to vary with size. Some fit large while others tend to fit small. The more size options given to you, the higher the chance you will find one that fits you. Keep an eye on both of these, as if you are going to go all-in and invest in a down vest you might as well enjoy the visual appeal and fit.

    Expert Interviews & Opinions

    Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
    Sort criterias acording to:
    Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
    Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
    1
    Comfort
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    2
    Features
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    3
    Size
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    4
    Durability
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    Down filling

    Every single important design factor has been discussed in-depth, but there are additional features to be aware of. Some of which, such as an included carabiner clip-in loop, elasticized hem, and the ability to double as a stuff-sack, can be very beneficial for you. Let’s start off with the carabiner clip-in loop. The only way this would be of any use to you is if you ever see the need to wear a carabiner, say for rock climbing. It would also work well with a harness.

    As far as the ability to double as a stuff sack, that is a neat feature in times where you want to take off and store the vest. Lastly, an included drawstring or elasticized hem allows you to tailor the vest ever so slightly to add comfort.

    Other Factors to Consider

    Fit

    Every single important design factor has been discussed in-depth, but there are additional features to be aware of. Some of which, such as an included carabiner clip-in loop, elasticized hem, and the ability to double as a stuff-sack, can be very beneficial for you. Let’s start off with the carabiner clip-in loop. The only way this would be of any use to you is if you ever see the need to wear a carabiner, say for rock climbing. It would also work well with a harness.

    As far as the ability to double as a stuff sack, that is a neat feature in times where you want to take off and store the vest. Lastly, an included drawstring or elasticized hem allows you to tailor the vest ever so slightly to add comfort.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: What is better, goose or duck down?
    a:

    It is often wondered what bird produces better down, a goose or a duck. While the answer may shock you, one is vastly superior to the other but both are still great. The IDFL, the world’s largest feather and down institute, states that goose generally tends to be a better product than duck. First off, goose clusters are typically much larger than duck clusters and come from older and larger birds. What this produces is a higher amount of fill power, making the down more durable and resilient.

    But, goose down also plays a helping hand in odor control. Geese do not have much of a diet, mostly eating grass, and as such, it is easier for manufacturers to control the odor from the down. Meanwhile, ducks have a diverse diet and the odor becomes more of an issue. That being said, do not think that duck down is incompetent; it is just that goose down is superior.

    q: Does more filling mean a higher price tag?
    a:

    This is a very interesting question, but it also seems like common sense. As mentioned earlier, the greater the amount of fill the more insulation a down garment will possess. As such, you would think that this would automatically make down products with a higher fill more expensive. But, this is not necessarily the case as other factors play more of a role than the weight of the down.

    For example, the quality of the fabric and construction, in addition to the quality of the down fill, play more of a role in determining the final price. So, technically, a 650-fill power down vest could be more expensive than an 850-fill power down all because the 650-fill has a superior fabric and construction.

    q: Why use down?
    a:

    All this talk about down is fabulous and all, but why do companies choose it in the first place? It seems like such a cruel process to have to gather the down from a defenseless animal, although, most companies will do so after the animal has been used for food purposes. However, even though some animal activists will take serious offense to this, it is one of the best insulators in the world and that is the primary reason it is so popular.

    As compared to synthetic insulators, it is approximately three times warmer per ounce. What this provides to you is superior warmth, but its lightweight nature does not make it bulky. Per each ounce of down, there are around two million fluffy filaments that overlap with one another to create insulating pockets of air. In addition, if you care for a down garment properly, the material will last for years on end.

    q: How do you remove grease stains from down?
    a:

    The process of cleaning and washing a down garment has already been addressed, but what happens when you get a pesky grease stain on it? Honestly, much of the same process will be followed with some minor alterations. For starters, spread out your vest on a flat surface and apply a few drops of detergent directly on the surface of the stain. Then, use your fingers to gently rub the detergent into the stain. For the next few hours, allow the vest to sit and soak in the detergent.

    From there, follow the same instructions as before for washing but select the “Large” load setting and ensure that the vest is pushed down to soak up as much water as possible. If this fixes the problem, proceed to dry it as normal. Otherwise, repeat the above steps until you finally remove the stain.

    q: Why can duck or goose down have an odor?
    a:

    It was briefly mentioned how odors can come into play with a down garment and if you do happen to smell something funky coming from your vest, it may not have properly cleaned down. It is a manufacturers responsibility to ensure that the down they are using is clean and odor-free, or hypoallergenic. Even when they state it is, there is a chance that they simply masked the smell with certain spray-on chemicals. Unfortunately, this remedy to the odor will not last forever.

    Thankfully, as you now know, goose down typically has less odor than a duck down. Thus, if you see a vest with goose down (which most on this list have) you need not worry about odor too much. But, the only true way to get an odorless down is for the seller to thoroughly wash it.

    Sources

    1. Crystal Stein, The best down vests of 2018, Blog, Oct 11, 2018