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Best Womens Down Jacket for Hiking 2023

Best Down Jacket Women's Hiking

Those who have a love for all things outdoors and dream of their next trip on the trail know the importance of having the right gear for each activity. When it comes to hiking, a down jacket is a must-have item. It is lightweight, compact, and provides warmth in frigid temperatures. This article will guide you in choosing the best down jacket for your next hiking adventure.


What to Look for in a Women's Hiking Down Jacket

When it comes to keeping warm on a hiking adventure, a high-quality women's hiking down jacket is an essential piece of gear. With so many materials, fill type, and features available, it can be challenging to determine which jacket is best for you. Let's take a look at what factors to consider, as well as highlight some top women's hiking down jackets for light to moderate hikes, extended treks and higher altitudes, and budget-friendly options.

Insulation

The primary purpose of a down jacket is to provide insulation, trapping and holding warm air close to your body. Down, which is collected from the fluffy undercoat of ducks or geese, is known for its excellent insulating properties and its impressive warmth-to-weight ratio. There are two key factors to consider when assessing the insulation of a down jacket: fill power and fill weight.

Fill Power

Fill power is a measure of the loft or fluffiness of the down and its ability to trap air. A higher fill power means warmer insulation and a more compressible jacket. Fill powers typically range from 500 to 900, with 900 being the highest quality down (and also the most expensive). For most hiking scenarios, a fill power of 600 to 800 is suitable for providing ample warmth without excessive bulk or weight.

Fill Weight

Fill weight refers to the actual amount of down used in the jacket, measured in ounces or grams. A higher fill weight typically indicates a warmer jacket. However, be sure also to consider fill power, as a jacket with a lower fill power but a higher fill weight may be heavier and bulkier while providing similar warmth to a jacket with a higher fill power but a lower fill weight.

Construction

The construction of a down jacket plays a crucial role in its overall performance, with factors such as baffling techniques and water-resistant treatments affecting warmth, weight, and durability.

Baffling Techniques

Baffles are chambers intended to hold the down insulation in place, preventing it from shifting within the jacket and ensuring efficient distribution of warmth. It prevents the down from sliding into one part of the jacket, and instead evenly distrubtures the down throughout the jacket. Common baffling techniques include:

  • Stitch-through: The most common and lightweight method, where the outer and inner fabric layers are stitched together to create baffles. This can result in cold spots at the seams due to compression of the down insulation.
  • Box-wall: A more complex technique where the outer and inner fabric layers are separated by vertical baffles, creating a box-like structure to hold the down insulation in place. This eliminates cold spots but increases weight and bulk, making it more common in heavy-duty or expedition-style jackets.

For most hikers, a stitch-through down jacket should provide sufficient warmth while minimizing weight and bulk.

Water-Resistant Treatment

Down is known to lose its insulating properties when wet, making water-resistant treatments essential for maintaining warmth in damp conditions. If you are hiking in an area where the is a chance you will encounter rain, snow, or damp conditions, water-resistant treatments are a must-have feature. Many modern down jackets feature a durable water repellent (DWR) finish on the outer fabric, which causes water to bead up and roll off the surface. Additionally, some jackets also use hydrophobic down, which is treated to make it more resilient in wet conditions. Consider the typical weather conditions you'll encounter on your hikes to determine the importance of water-resistant treatments for your down jacket.

Features for Added Comfort

Aside from insulation and construction, there are additional features to look for that can provide added comfort and convenience on your hikes. Let's explore three such features: hood design, pockets, and adjustable hems.

Hood Design

A down jacket with a well-fitting, adjustable hood is beneficial for retaining warmth on cold, windy days. Some hoods are also compatible with helmets, making them ideal for high-alpine environments where climbing gear is necessary.

Pockets

Pockets are handy for storing essentials such as snacks, sunglasses, or a phone while on the trail. Jackets with zippered or well-designed internal pockets are particularly beneficial, as they can secure your items and minimize the risk of losing them. The last thing you want is to lose your map, phone, or snacks on the trail, leaving you in a potentially dangerous situation.

Adjustable Hem

An adjustable hem, often featuring a drawcord, allows you to customize the fit of your down jacket and helps to trap warmth by sealing out cold air. This feature is especially useful when wearing a backpack, as it prevents the jacket from riding up as you hike.

When it comes to outdoor adventures, a high-quality hiking down jacket is essential for keeping you warm and dry. However, to ensure your jacket remains in excellent condition, it's important know the right ways to care for and maintain it. You have made a potentially big investment in this piece of hiking gear, and you want to make sure it is lasts season after season. In this article, we'll discuss the best methods for cleaning, drying, and storing your jacket, as well as answer some frequently asked questions.

Cleaning Techniques for Hiking Down Jackets

A clean, well-maintained jacket not only looks and feels better, but it also performs better. Over time, dirt and sweat can breakdown the insulation and water-resistance of your down jacket. Luckily, there are two main methods of cleaning your hiking down jacket: hand washing and machine washing. Let's examine both approaches.

Hand Washing Your Hiking Down Jacket

Hand washing is a gentle and effective way to clean your jacket. To begin, fill a large sink or bathtub with lukewarm water and mix in a moderate amount of a down-specific cleaner. Submerge the jacket and gently massage it, paying special attention to especially dirty areas like the collar or cuffs. Allow the jacket to soak for 20-30 minutes, frequently swirling it around in the water. Drain the soapy water and rinse thoroughly with clean water until all soap residue is gone. Gently squeeze out any excess water; avoid wringing the jacket as it can damage the down insulation.

Machine Washing Your Hiking Down Jacket

If you prefer to machine wash your jacket, make sure to use a front-loading washing machine, as top-loading machines are more likely to damage your jacket. First, check the care label for any specific instructions from the manufacturer. Use a down-specific detergent and select the gentle or delicate cycle with cold water to protect the jacket's insulation and fabric. For best results, add two or three clean tennis balls or dryer balls to the load, as this will help redistribute the down insulation during the wash. Avoid using fabric softeners, as they can hinder your jacket’s water-resistance and breathability.

Drying and Storage of Hiking Down Jackets

Proper drying and storage are critical to maintaining your jacket's performance and longevity. Let's delve into the best practices for air drying and storing your hiking down jacket.

Air Drying Your Hiking Down Jacket

The best way to dry your down jacket is to air dry it. Lay it flat on a clean, dry towel and carefully unfold any clumped-up insulation. Make sure it is in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, to prevent color fading or heat damage. Be patient, as it can take 24-48 hours to dry completely. Throughout the drying process, gently fluff and rearrange the down to prevent it from clumping and help it dry evenly.

Storing Your Hiking Down Jacket

When storing your down jacket, make sure it is fully dry and clean to prevent mold and mildew growth. The ideal storage solution is to hang it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in a compressed or vacuum-sealed bag, as this can damage the down insulation and affect the jacket’s loft, which reduces its insulating abilities. If you must store your jacket in a bag (such as during travel), make sure to unpack and fluff it upon arrival to allow it to regain its loft.

Other Types of Hiking Jackets for Women

In addition to down jackets, there are a variety of other options available for those planning their next outdoor adventure. Let's take a look at some popular types of women's hiking jackets.

Women's Rain Jackets

A women's rain jacket for hiking is a type of jacket that is designed to keep women dry and comfortable while hiking in wet conditions. Rain jackets for hiking are typically made of waterproof and breathable materials, such as Gore-Tex or eVent. They are also typically lightweight and packable, so they can be easily carried with you on your hike.

When choosing a women's rain jacket for hiking, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Waterproofness: The jacket should be made of a waterproof material that will keep you dry in the rain.
  • Breathability: The jacket should also be breathable, so you don't get too hot and sweaty when you're hiking.
  • Weight: The jacket should be lightweight, so you don't have to carry a lot of extra weight on your hike.
  • Fit: The jacket should fit snugly, but not too tightly. You should be able to move freely without the jacket restricting your movement.
  • Features: Some rain jackets for hiking come with additional features, such as pit zips, a hood, and handwarmer pockets. These features can be helpful in keeping you dry and comfortable on your hike.

Women's Parkas

A women's parka for hiking is a type of jacket that is designed to keep women warm and dry while hiking in cold weather. Parkas for hiking are typically made of waterproof and breathable materials, such as down or synthetic insulation. They are also typically lightweight and packable, so they can be easily carried with you on your hike.

Women's Soft-Shell Jackets

A women's soft-shell jacket is a type of jacket that is designed to be both comfortable and durable. Soft-shell jackets are typically made of a stretchy fabric that is wind- and water-resistant, but not waterproof. This makes them ideal for activities where you need to be able to move freely, such as hiking, running, or biking.

Soft-shell jackets are typically made of a combination of nylon and spandex. The nylon provides the strength and durability, while the spandex provides the stretch. This makes soft-shell jackets very comfortable to wear, even when you're active.

Soft-shell jackets are also typically water-resistant. This means that they will keep you dry in light rain or snow. However, they are not waterproof, so they will not protect you from heavy rain or snow.

If you're looking for a comfortable and durable jacket for activities where you need to be able to move freely, a women's soft-shell jacket is a great option.

Here are some of the benefits of using a women's soft-shell jacket:

  • Comfort: Soft-shell jackets are typically made of a stretchy fabric that is very comfortable to wear.
  • Durability: Soft-shell jackets are made of strong and durable materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
  • Water-resistance: Soft-shell jackets are typically water-resistant, which means they will keep you dry in light rain or snow.
  • Breathability: Soft-shell jackets are typically breathable, which means they will not make you too hot and sweaty when you're active.
  • Versatile: Soft-shell jackets can be used for a variety of activities, such as hiking, running, biking, and more.

Women's Hard-Shell Jackets

A women's hard-shell jacket is a type of jacket that is designed to be both waterproof and breathable. Hard-shell jackets are typically made of a durable fabric that is coated with a waterproof membrane. This membrane allows water vapor to escape, so you don't get too hot and sweaty when you're active.

Hard-shell jackets are typically used for activities where you need to be protected from the elements, such as hiking, skiing, or snowboarding. They are also a good option for everyday wear, as they will keep you dry in light rain or snow.

Here are some of the benefits of using a women's hard-shell jacket:

  • Waterproof: Hard-shell jackets are designed to keep you dry in the rain or snow.
  • Breathable: Hard-shell jackets allow water vapor to escape, so you don't get too hot and sweaty when you're active.
  • Durable: Hard-shell jackets are made of durable materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
  • Versatile: Hard-shell jackets can be used for a variety of activities, such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and everyday wear.

Here are some of the things to consider when choosing a women's hard-shell jacket:

  • Activity: Consider the activities you will be using the jacket for. If you will be using it for hiking, you will need a jacket that is durable and water-resistant. If you will be using it for skiing, you will need a jacket that is insulated and has a hood.
  • Fit: Hard-shell jackets should fit snugly, but not too tightly. You should be able to move freely without the jacket restricting your movement.
  • Features: Consider the features that are important to you. Some hard-shell jackets have features such as a hood, handwarmer pockets, and a drawstring waist.

Women's Fleece Jackets

A women's fleece jacket is a type of jacket that is made of a soft, brushed fabric called fleece. Fleece is made from recycled plastic bottles, and it is incredibly warm and comfortable to wear. Fleece jackets are typically lightweight and packable, making them a great choice for travel or outdoor activities.

Fleece jackets are available in a variety of styles and colors, so you can find one that suits your taste. They are also available in a variety of weights, so you can choose one that is appropriate for the weather conditions.

Fleece jackets are a great choice for everyday wear, and they are also perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing. They are warm, comfortable, and easy to care for.

Here are some of the benefits of using a women's fleece jacket:

  • Warmth: Fleece is incredibly warm, making it a great choice for cold weather.
  • Comfort: Fleece is soft and comfortable to wear, even when you're active.
  • Lightweight: Fleece jackets are lightweight and packable, making them easy to carry with you.
  • Durability: Fleece is a durable material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
  • Affordability: Fleece jackets are typically very affordable, making them a great value.

Tips to Find the Best Women's Hiking Jackets and Gear

When it comes time to shop for women's hiking jackets and other outdoor gear, here are some tips to remember to find the best fit.

  • Consider the type of hiking you will be doing. Are you planning on day hikes or multi-day backpacking trips? Are you hiking in warm weather or cold weather? Once you know the type of hiking you will be doing, you can start to narrow down your choices.
  • Choose gear that is comfortable and fits well. You don't want to be weighed down by bulky gear or have gear that is too tight and restricts your movement.
  • Make sure the gear is durable and can withstand the elements. You don't want your gear to fall apart on you in the middle of a hike, or breakdown after one year's use.
  • Consider your budget. Hiking gear can be expensive, so it's important to set a budget before you start shopping.
  • Read reviews before you buy. This is a great way to get feedback from other hikers and see what they think of the gear you are considering.
  • Buy from a reputable retailer. This will ensure that you are getting quality gear and that you have a warranty in case something goes wrong.

In addition to jackets, here is some of the essential hiking gear you'll need:

  • Backpack: A good backpack is essential for carrying all of your gear. Make sure it is the right size for your needs and that it has comfortable straps.
  • Hiking boots: Hiking boots are essential for protecting your feet from the elements. Make sure they are comfortable and that they provide good support. And be sure to put plenty of miles on them before you go on a long hike
  • Trekking poles: Trekking poles can help you to balance and reduce stress on your knees. They are especially helpful on uneven terrain. Look for poles that are lightweight and adjustable.
  • Rain gear: Rain gear is important for keeping you dry in wet weather. Make sure it is waterproof and breathable.
  • Wool socks: Wool socks are a great choice for hiking because they are moisture-wicking and odor-resistant.
  • Sunscreen: Sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
  • Hat: A hat can help to protect your head from the sun and rain.
  • Sunglasses: Sunglasses can help to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays.

Best Down Jacket Women's Hiking from Stio

Stio is proud to offer functional, versatile outdoor clothing for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. Everything we make is built and tested in the outdoor, so you know everything Stio offered is ready for all of your adventures. Let's take a look at some down hiking jackets we offer.

Women's Hometown Down Hooded Jacket

The Stio Women's Hometown Down Hooded Jacket is a versatile and stylish jacket that is perfect for a variety of outdoor activities. The jacket is made with 800-fill-power goose down, which is incredibly warm and lightweight. The jacket also features a water-resistant finish, which will help to keep you dry in light rain or snow. The jacket has a relaxed fit, which allows for layering, and a number of functional features, such as hand-warmer pockets, a chest pocket, and an adjustable hood.

The Stio Women's Hometown Down Hooded Jacket is perfect for:

  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Camping
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Everyday wear

Features

  • 800-fill-power goose down
  • Water-resistant finish
  • Relaxed fit
  • Hand-warmer pockets
  • Chest pocket
  • Adjustable hood

Benefits

  • Incredibly warm and lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Versatile and stylish
  • Perfect for a variety of outdoor activities

Women's Pinion Down Hooded Jacket

The Stio Women's Pinion Down Hooded Jacket is a lightweight, packable down jacket that is perfect for unpredictable mountain weather. Made with 800-fill-power HyperDRY™ down, this jacket is incredibly warm and compressible, making it ideal for carrying on long hikes or stuffing into a daypack. The Pinion features a water-resistant Pertex® Shield+ shell that will keep you dry in light rain or snow, and a relaxed fit that allows for layering. A fixed hood with a halo adjust provides low-profile protection from the elements, and interior security pocket doubles as a stuff sack.

Features

  • 800-fill-power HyperDRY™ down
  • Water-resistant Pertex® Shield+ shell
  • Relaxed fit
  • Fixed hood with halo adjust
  • Interior security pocket doubles as a stuff sack

Benefits

  • Incredibly warm and lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Packable
  • Versatile and stylish
  • Perfect for unpredictable mountain weather

Women's Shot 7 Down Jacket

The Stio Women's Shot 7 Down Jacket is a versatile and stylish jacket that is perfect for a variety of outdoor activities. The jacket is made with 800-fill-power Responsible Down Standard certified down, which is incredibly warm and lightweight. The jacket also features a water-resistant Pertex Shield+ shell, which will help to keep you dry in light rain or snow. The jacket has a relaxed fit, which allows for layering, and a number of functional features, such as hand-warmer pockets, a chest pocket, and an adjustable hood.

Features

  • 800-fill-power Responsible Down Standard certified down
  • Water-resistant Pertex Shield+ shell
  • Relaxed fit
  • Hand-warmer pockets
  • Chest pocket
  • Adjustable hood

Benefits

  • Incredibly warm and lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Versatile and stylish
  • Perfect for a variety of outdoor activities

Women's Colter INFINIUM™ Down Jacket

This jacket is made with 800-fill-power HyperDRY™ down, which is incredibly warm and lightweight. The jacket also features a water-resistant Pertex® Shield+ shell that will help to keep you dry in light rain or snow. The jacket has a relaxed fit, which allows for layering, and a number of functional features, such as hand-warmer pockets, a chest pocket, and an adjustable hood.

Features

  • 800-fill-power HyperDRY™ down
  • Water-resistant Pertex® Shield+ shell
  • Relaxed fit
  • Hand-warmer pockets
  • Chest pocket
  • Adjustable hood
  • Storm flap with snap closure
  • Oversized baffles stabilize down for warmth
  • Removable, adjustable down filled hood
  • Zippered handwarmer pockets with brushed tricot for warmth
  • YKK® Vislon® zippers at center front and removable parka skirt
  • Weight: 34 oz.
  • Other Details: Inner jersey cuff with thumb holes for easy layering with gloves. Embroidered Stio® and Pinecone logos.

Benefits

  • Incredibly warm and lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Versatile and stylish
  • Perfect for a variety of outdoor activities

Shop Stio Today

Stio is a mountain lifestyle brand founded in 2009 by a group of friends who shared a passion for the outdoors. We're based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and our products are designed for people who love to explore the mountains.

All of our gear and clothing is made with high-quality materials and construction, and is designed to be functional, versatile, and stylish. Explore Stio's women's down jackets and other outdoor gear today. Within each of our pieces, you'll feel our commitment to living

Frequently Asked Questions about Hiking Down Jackets

How often should I clean my hiking down jacket?

The frequency depends on how often you wear it and the conditions it's exposed to. For occasional wear, cleaning once or twice a season is usually enough. However, if you're using your jacket regularly in particularly dirty or wet conditions, you may need to clean it more frequently to maintain its performance.

Can I use regular laundry detergent on my down jacket?

It's best to avoid regular detergents, as they can strip the down of its natural oils, which gives a down jackets its insulation and loft. Instead, use a down-specific cleaner that's designed to gently remove dirt without affecting the down's performance.

What should I do if my jacket gets wet while hiking?

If your jacket gets wet during a hike, try to dry it as soon as possible. Hang it up in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat sources like campfires or heaters, as these can damage the fabric and insulation. Gently shake and fluff the jacket to help redistribute any clumped down insulation.

How do I repair a tear in my down jacket?

Small tears can be quickly repaired using a repair tape specifically designed for down jackets. Larger tears may require professional repair. Remember to keep a repair kit for your jacket handy when you're on outdoor adventures, as accidents can happen.

By following these tips on care and maintenance, cleaning techniques, drying, and storage, you can ensure your hiking down jacket stays in prime condition, providing you with warmth, comfort, and performance on all your outdoor trips.

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