Down Jacket

Finding the Best Down Jacket for Backpacking

Most of the time, backpacking is done in cold areas such as the mountains. Even though you will likely generate heat along the way, you must get comfortable wear. The kind of heat that you generate will depend on the intensity of the hike, it is not obvious to generate heat. Luckily, many down jackets are specifically meant for backpacking. They are comfortable, light and warm.

There are a wide variety of jackets and it is better to go for the best down jacket for backpacking.

Best Down Jacket for Backpacking

In this buying guide, we are helping you in the quest for the best down jacket for backpacking. We are going to compare two of the best, very functional and made of top quality that serves you well for the long term. Here is a quick look at our top picks.

Mountain Hardwear Men's Ghost Whisperer Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Men's Ghost Whisperer Jacket

Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperers are high-quality jackets made from a synthetic material that can resist heat-robbing moisture, while at the same time maintaining the maximum loft even when wet.

It has been beautifully designed with a quilt pattern that is low profile to trap heat so that you get extra warm. Unlike other kinds of materials, even though you are warm, this jacket offers warmth without weighing you down. You can easily do your layering without adding heat or discomfort.

The hems of the jacket have been made such that they can toggle so that adjusting the fly is easy. The inner cuffs of the jacket are soft and elastic to keep unwanted cold and moisture away. The jacket is easy to store and carry, as it can be compressed to fit in its own pocket.


  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Product dimensions: 24 x 16 x 4 inches


  • It is lightweight
  • It is warm without being bulky
  • It has been made with a high-quality material to trap heat and resist moisture
  • It is easy to store and carry


  • It is small for those who have a chest size of more than 46”
  • It is not hooded

The Puffer Jacket is a lightweight and water-resistant jacket that will keep you comfortable while backpacking. The jacket’s interior and exterior are made of nylon while the fill has been made of polyester. The material is quilted so that it can trap heat and make sure you are warm.

Unlike many backpacking jackets, it is hooded for greater convenience and warmth. It also has a full-zip front, zip pockets, as well as elasticized cuffs for comfort and convenience.

However, keep in mind that it can only be machine washed. Even though the shell is water-resistant, it is not suitable for prolonged exposure to rain or water, as that will soak the material.


  • Has a hoodie for more convenience
  • It is lightweight
  • The quilted material will make sure that you are warm
  • It is long-lasting
  • There are a variety of sizes for the whole family


  • The material will soak water after prolonged exposure to rain
  • The hoodie is not removable
  • Some users complained of the jacket not having enough puffs

Buyer’s Guide

Either of the above down jackets are great choices for backpacking. If you are confused about which one to choose, we do not blame you at all. They would both be a great investment for you.

In this section, we hope to make things easy for you by comparing the specifics of these two jackets. First, let’s explore the factors to consider when you are looking for a down jacket. 

Here’s what to look for.

Type of Insulation

Different jackets have different insulation types. Insulation will determine how warm the jacket will be. It will also determine how it will handle wet conditions. When it comes to insulation, there is no right or wrong. It all depends on your activities and the intensity of the activities.

Features of the Jacket

The features of the jacket are in terms of how it has been made. Is it hooded? How are the adjustments, vents, and pockets? Are there any other special features? It is good to check the features as they will influence your comfort and convenience.

Weight and Compressibility of the Jacket 

The weight of the jacket and how much it can compress is an important consideration since you will be carrying it around when you are not using it. The more lightweight and compressible it is, the more convenient it will be.

The Material of the Shell 

The shell material is an important consideration, as it will affect weight, waterproofing, breathability, durability, and mobility.

Cost of the Jacket

As much as the cost of the jacket is important, you should still compare it against its features and overall quality. With that comparison, it can be easier to choose a jacket that will give you the most value for the money.

Reviews of the Jacket

You should always check the reviews of the jacket that you are thinking of purchasing. It is good to know the experiences other customers have had with the jacket so that you know what to expect.

With those pointers, at least it is easy to choose a down jacket. Now, we can narrow down to compare the different pointers between the two jackets we reviewed to help you settle on one.

Best in Terms of Features of the Jacket

When it comes to comparing the features of the jacket, they all have more or less the same features, except that the Amazon Essentials jacket is hooded which may give you more convenience.

Best in Terms of Compressibility

When it comes to compressibility, the Mountain Hardwear Men's Ghost Whisperer Jacket is the better choice, as it can compress and even fit in one of its pockets. That will give you more convenience when you want to carry it around.

Most Budget-friendly 

When it comes to the price, the Amazon Essentials jacket is cheaper, costing about one-quarter that of its counterpart. As mentioned earlier, you should also look at the features you’re getting for the money. In this case, when we compare the features, the Amazon Essentials jacket remains the most budget-friendly.

Our Recommendation

When we compare the two, the Amazon Essentials jacket is our recommendation. Apart from being cheaper, it is hooded, has been made with high-quality material, features a durable outer shell, is waterproof, and will make sure that you are warm without weighing you down. It also comes in a variety of sizes to make sure that there is an option for everyone.

Before shopping for a down jacket, it is important to define your needs first so that you may know what to look for when you go out to the market. When defining your needs, you need to factor in the intensity of your hike or activity, how long you plan to use it, if you will be layering other outfits underneath, the temperature of the place, and the options you have. 

With all of that in mind, it will be easier to choose the right down jacket for backpacking!

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