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Down jackets (also known as puffer jackets) are the best way to stay warm when traveling in winter. Fortunately for us, puffer jackets are having a moment this season. 

From sporty to bold and colorful, find out the most stylish and practical options for your cold weather travels! Which will be the best down jacket for your trip?


Watch this Facebook Live where I compare four of my favorite down jackets!


Best Down Jacket



Table Of Contents



Packing for cold weather travel can be quite daunting especially if you want to travel carry-on only.

To help you make the most of your winter gear and limited luggage space, start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:




Shop Sizes XS-XXL: Bernardo Packable Mixed Media Water Resisant Quilted Down Coat




The key to wearing a puffer jacket and not resembling the “Michelin” man is to choose a flattering cut in a size that fits you. That is unless you’re comfortable rocking the “oversized puffer jacket” trend, which might be tricky to wear on a plane seat. Read this post to learn how to stay warm without looking like a snowman!

The biggest mistake women make in fashion is not wearing clothing that fits them. The best down jacket or any other item of clothing is the ones that fits you well. Whether too big or too small, it’s important to purchase clothing that fits your body shape and height.




Shop Sizes XS-XXL: 32 Degrees Ultra-Light Packable Down Jacket


For example, if you’re under 5’3” shop brands with petite sizes such as Asos, Top Shop, or Miss Selfridge. Alternatively, those brands have tall sizing as well while Asos, Target, and Nordstrom have extensive online plus size collections.  Take a look at our list of best online shopping sites!

Don’t be afraid to try on different sizes until you get the right fit. And if the item is “just okay” then skip it and keep looking for the right piece. Don’t waste your money on clothes you’re not 100% happy with because you’ll never have “anything to wear”.




Thermal Top | Sweater | Scarf | Thermal Pants | Jeans | Jacket


In addition, another way to ensure you avoid the “snowman” look is to choose your layers wisely. Avoid cotton fabrics and opt for synthetics and natural fibers when it’s cold. Find out how to choose the warmest thermals!




Sweater | Purse | Gloves | Leggings | Rain Coat | Jacket | Bootie


Use merino wool or silk thermals underneath your clothing to create a warm base next to your skin and avoid piling on sweaters on top to keep you warm. You should only need no more than one or two layers in between your skin and your jacket if you wear thermals.


Learn more here about how to create the perfect capsule wardrobe for your next trip!




Shop Sizes XS-3X: London Fog Packable Down Coat




Don’t make the mistake of choosing the thickest puffer jacket thinking it will keep you warmer than a thin one. Just as with clothing, it’s all in the fabric. Read this post on how to choose the best fabrics for travel!

Down jackets have a “fill” which is the material that insulates you and keeps you warm. The best down jacket styles have 100% feather fills and are also the least bulky. They also tend to be pricier, too, so if you choose a quality jacket, make sure it’s the perfect one.




Shop Sizes XS-XL: London Fog Chevron Coat


You can save money by choosing a jacket that has a blend so it will be warm but moderately priced. On the low end, you can find a synthetic version and these are best if you plan to choose one with “trendy” details that may not last the test of time.


Recently I discovered Sierra Trading Post and they have awesome deals for good quality jackets. Amazon also has good discounts on great brands, too.




Shop Sizes XS-2X: Columbia Icy Heights Belted Jacket


Belted Styles


A solution to avoid a bulky look and create a more defined figure is to choose a belted style – a detail that’s currently on trend. These are the best down jacket styles for women who don’t want to lose their figure under a coat.

You can also add your own belt to the outside of the jacket to mimic this appearance without purchasing various puffer jackets. This usually works better with jackets that fall lower below your hips.


I have this belted red puffer jacket and it’s perfectly feminine and warm, too!




Shop Sizes XS-XL: Calvin Klein Lightweight Chevron Packable Jacket


Packable Styles


If possible, choose a down jacket that’s “packable”. This means that you can bundle it up into a small compression sack so it won’t take up too much space. For more options, take a look on our packable down jacket post here!


This is the best down jacket option for travel:

  • Packable jackets tend to be thinner helping you avoid a bulky appearance
  • What they lack in weight they make up for in warmth
  • They save suitcase space




Columbia Women’s Heavenly Hooded Jacket: Shop Sizes XS-XXL and 1X-3XL


Saving suitcase space is particularly important if you’re going to a destination with varying temperatures. It might be cold at night but sunny during the day so a packable down jacket is easy to store.


Use packing cubes to compress clothing and maximize space in your suitcase!




Shop in Petite, Regular, Tall, and Plus Sizes: Eddie Bauer Lodge Down Coat


Long Lengths


Headed to an extremely cold destination with sub zero temps? The best down jacket style is one that covers your backside, ideally falling to your knees.

If it’s going to be below freezing outside, warmth is essential so bring something sturdy and add a belt to create more definition if needed.


Pair a long coat with versatile, warm winter snow boots!




Shop Sizes XS-XXL: The North Face Down Water Repellent Jacket


Sporty Styles


While inexpensive down jackets will work just fine for fashion purposes or moderately cold city travel, don’t skimp out when you’re headed outdoors.

If you’re planning a cold weather trekking, camping, or snow adventure then invest in a jacket that will keep you warm. Being cold when you spend the majority of the day outdoors and are in sub zero temperatures is not something to take lightly. In fact, it’s unsafe.

Look for specialty jackets that have natural fills, waterproof exteriors, and hoods. Don’t forget to bring your quality thermals on a trip like this, too!


I have the ultra-light and warm Columbia Turbodown shown above and love it! Get tons of compliments on the style, too.




Shop Sizes XXS-XXL: Charter Club Mid Length Hooded Down Jacket


Bold Colors


Everyone seems to be talking about plum puffer coats at the moment. When it comes to adding some life into a basic, neutral travel wardrobe, colorful jackets are always the best.

If you’re traveling in cold weather, the majority of your pictures will most likely be outdoors and your jacket will be in every picture. Make it a good one.




Shop Sizes XS-XL: Quince Lightweight Down Puffer Jacket


If you’re hitting the slopes or going to a snowy destination colors like reds or blues look striking against the white backdrop.

In grey city skies, bold colors will also look good but do you really want to wear a sporty blue style in front of the Eiffel Tower or Buckingham Palace? You may want to a opt for a colorful wool coat instead or a non-sporty puffer jacket in a neutral color.


Read this post for bold statement coats in non-puffer styles!




Shop in Regular and Petite Sizes: Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Jacket


Versatile Picks


Ideally, you can own one down jacket that you can take on both outdoor adventures and wear to city destinations, too. These are two well balanced styles that fit the bill!


I recently got this one by Ibex and it’s extremely light, warm, and versatile!




Shop in Regular and Plus Sizes: Calvin Klein Chevron Quilted Packable Down Jacket


Styling Options


Want the benefits of a puffer jacket but don’t like the idea of wearing one? Go for a non-traditional design with interesting details such as unique hardware or elegant collars.


Watch my Facebook Live to see me compare four of the best down jacket styles!




Wearing ibex Wool Aire Down JacketPatagonia Fleece Shell paired with Zella Leggings and UGG Boots


Editor’s Top Pick: Ibex Packable Down Jacket


I was shocked at how warm I was in this jacket despite how thin and lightweight it is. I’ve only worn it briefly in temperatures ranging from 25F – 40F and layered only over a t shirt and separately just over a merino wool thermal, but so far I’m impressed and can’t wait to test it out for extended periods of time outdoors. If it’s as good as I think it will be, this could easily become an essential in my winter wardrobe.

Because it’s so thin, it’s the perfect hooded jacket to bring on a trip with mixed weather or when you need something packable you’ll only need occasionally for the cold. In addition, this could just as easily be something to wear every single day on a cold weather trip because it’s thin and light enough to wear layered underneath a more polished coat.



Womens Best Down Jackets Product Comparison Chart


best-down-jacket Bernardo Packable Mixed Media Water Resisant Quilted Down Coat Chevron and box quilting and neoprene insets make a textural statement on a packable jacket with a removable inner bib and hood. Check Price
best-down-jacket 32 Degrees Ultra-Light Packable Down Jacket Lightweight down jacket, Packs up small into include pouch. High loft of down allows for exceptional compressibility. Check Price
best-down-jacket London Fog Packable Down Coat Down filled jacket with detachable hood with faux fur trim. Draw string waist detail, zip closure with snap cover tab and cold resistant. Check Price
best-down-jacket London Fog Chevron Coat Quilted-down coat with zip-and-snap placket, removable hood, and faux fur-lined collar. Zippered side pockets and has snap, zipper closure. Check Price
best-down-jacket Columbia Icy Heights Belted Jacket A fantastic blend of ultra lightweight warmth that only down fill can provide. This is an excellent coat for hard cold weather climates. Check Price
best-down-jacket Calvin Klein Lightweight Chevron Packable Jacket Classic short body style with zipper closure and hidden zipper side pockets. Lightweight quilted packable down jacket. Check Price
best-down-jacket Columbia Women's Heavenly Hooded Jacket Features Omni-Heat Reflective 100% polyester lining that works to keep you dry and warm by reflectiving your body heat with embedded silver dots. Check Price
best-down-jacket Eddie Bauer Lodge Down Coat Fleece lining in the upper body, and at the collar and interior storm cuffs provides additional protection. Check Price
best-down-jacket The North Face Down Water Repellent Jacket Maintains body heat, provide a great warmth-to-weight ratio and ensure a flattering fit. Check Price
best-down-jacket Charter Club Mid Length Hooded Down Jacket Cozy up to this packable puffer coat from Charter Club, a hooded pick designed with plenty of pockets and a water-resistant finish. Check Price
best-down-jacket Quince Lightweight Down Puffer Jacket This cute down puffer from Quince is super simple yet really cute, plus it’s lightweight and super easy to pack. Check Price
best-down-jacket Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Jacket Made with responsibly-sourced 650-fill premium down and features a new recycled shell and lining. Check Price
best-down-jacket Calvin Klein Chevron Quilted Packable Down Jacket The jacket conveniently packs into matching drawstring pouch for easy storage and travel. Check Price
best-down-jacket Editor's Top Pick: Ibex Packable Down Jacket This ultralight puffy is filled with a proprietary merino wool insulation, keeping your body temperature regulated for peak performance. Check Price



How Editor-In-Chief Alex Rocks Down Jackets







Compass Rose Packing Cubes


How to Pack Your Jackets


Packing cubes will change the way you pack. We designed our own brand of slim packing cubes, with a unique color and numbering system, so it’s easy to remember where you’ve packed everything—ESPECIALLY your jackets!


Learn our packing hacks with packing cubes in the video above!


We put together a five-part YouTube series showing the different methods to use packing cubes for travel. If you use this specific packing strategy, packing cubes can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry-on only!



What do you think is the best down jacket for travel? Share and comment below!


For more tips on cold weather, please read:






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