There’s one obvious reason to use a down jacket, and that’s to keep you warm. Really warm. If you’re overnighting high on a mountain, huddled in a tent or a refuge, a down jacket will almost certainly be an essential part of your winter kit bag. It’s not just night times either – often even when you’re exercising you’ll appreciate the extra insulation that this warmest of materials offers.
There are plenty of factors when choosing a down jacket of course: The down fill (how much warmth you get from the amount of down – the better the quality, the less you need for the equivalent warmth), the outer fabric, the features, hood, and so on.
“It ticks just about every down jacket box you can imagine.”
More recently, the use of a durable water repellency that is fused directly with the down – meaning it keeps warm even when wet – has also become an important factor. If you’re going to be out in inclement conditions (which, let’s face it is likely if you’re outside in winter) it’s worth thinking about how all your gear will handle the wet, but particularly your down jackets – old style down doesn’t just stop warming you when it’s wet, it gets heavy too, slowing you down as well as cooling you down.