When the weather changes between seasons, it can be tough to find a go-to jacket that offers the perfect mix of warmth and breathability. But choosing one of the best lightweight down jackets on the market will solve this problem. They're insulated — but not too heavy — so they'll always keep you at a comfortable temperature.
Down jackets, by definition, have warm, insulated interiors that keep you warm in the winter, but many brands have also come out with thinner down jackets that are made to wear in those in-between seasons. Even better, these lighter options double as some of the best travel jackets because they're bulk-free and easy to pack. Another plus is that down jackets come available in a variety of styles, from hooded to hoodless and long or short. Naturally, you can get them in lots of wearable colors, too.
To help inform your choice, I've compiled a list of the best lightweight down jackets. Here, you'll find a mix of styles including different fabrics and features. And though down tends to be pricier, I've also included a range of prices to fit any budget. Take your pick, below, and get ready to enjoy your versatile piece of outerwear year-round, especially as the weather cools down.
1. The Best Lightweight Down Jacket: Wantdo Women's Hooded Down Jacket
Wantdo's hooded packable down jacket is my top choice for a lightweight down jacket, all things considered. This hooded option is made with super warm duck down and a nylon outer shell that's wind-resistant and water-repellant. It features two side zipper pockets, inner pockets for valuables, cuffed sleeves, and a short length that hits above the waist. The fit is movable and breathable, and it's lightweight enough to be folded down and packed into a small drawstring bag. Even better, it comes in seven colors and a wide variety of sizes.
This is also the most affordable option, but that doesn't mean the quality is any lower — the jacket boasts more than 2,300 Amazon reviews.
- Available sizes: X-Small - XX-Large
2. Also Great: Amazon Essential's Women's Hooded Down Jacket
Another decently affordable option, Amazon Essential's hooded down jacket is has a barely-there feel. With a slim fit that ends just above the waist, this option is made with cozy duck down and a quilted nylon outer shell that's both durable and water-resistant. It also comes with an attached hood, two side pockets and elasticized sleeves.
While this may look similar in style to the Wantdo jacket, above, its narrower shape and contoured seams set it apart as an even more fitted option. Available in nine colors, it has more than 150 reviews and a four-star rating. It's also thin enough to fit nicely into its included travel pouch.
- Available sizes: X-Small - XX-Large
3. The Best Splurge: Columbia Women's Mighty Lite III Down Jacket
If you have extra cash to spend, Columbia's Mighty Lite III jacket features the reputable outerwear brand's Omni-Heat thermal insulation for serious warmth that's still breathable. Along with the insulated inner lining, this jacket is made with polyester material that's tear-, water- and stain-resistant, so you can trust that it'll hold up well in various types of weather. Like the previous two options, it has a fitted, non-puffy style that ends above the hips, two outer zippered pockets, an inner pocket and a hoodless spread collar.
This option also comes highly-recommended by users, boasting more than 1,600 mainly-positive Amazon reviews. Get it in black (pictured) or five other colors.
- Available sizes: X-Small - 1X
4. The Best Plus-Size Down Jacket: Calvin Klein Women's Plus-Size Down Coat
Still in the under $100 range, Calvin Klein's down coat is a quality plus-sized option with a mid-length fit and chevron-clad design that adds interest. It's made with durable nylon for maximum warmth without the bulk.
Features-wise, Calvin's jacket — which has a 4.5-star Amazon rating — is equipped with a funnel collar and two outer zippered pockets. Plus, it's completely packable and comes with its own carrying bag. You can purchase it in three colors: black, navy and titanium (pictured).
- Available sizes: 1X - 3X
5. The Cult-Favorite: Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket
Perhaps you've seen this (also slightly pricier) lightweight Orolay jacket before. In March 2018, The Strategist writer Katy Schneider first wrote about how the Amazon-available coat had "taken over the Upper East Side [in New York City]," and it's still a best-seller on the site. Why? Made with light-yet-warm duck down encased in a polyester outer shell that hits just below the waist, this oversized outerwear has the features and look of a luxury coat for an unbeatably low price.
Beyond its distinct and beloved high-low fit, this option has six handy pockets with statement hanging zippers and an attached, lined hood for added warmth and wind-proofing. No wonder it has more than 8,000 reviews on Amazon. It's available in five colors including black and the pictured navy shade.
- Available sizes: XX-Small - XX-Large
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