The Best Hooded Jacket


We found the duvet Swix Romsdal (in both women’s and men’s sizes) to be surprisingly puppy-proof and durable. This promising offer was flattering and functional, and would have been a top contender, had it not been for the difficulty of actually finding it available online. If you find it in the store, however, it is a quality purchase.

The synthetic filling Patagonia Nano Puff, available in both women’s and men’s sizes, it is popular and widely accepted as a benchmark in terms of fit. It allows for uncontrolled movement without bunching or binding and sees the shoulder seams and sleeve lengths drop to appropriate lengths, allowing someone to order their mid US size with confidence in fit. But unfortunately this option remains underwhelming in terms of warmth compared to other options in our pool, and it’s not as flexible or comfortable as our great synthetic padding choice.

Women Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down jacket it leaked at the seams, even in a light shower. The down jacket built up when it got wet and didn’t recover, and the fabric of the jacket was almost transparent, allowing for a strangely unbalanced look with the lumpy down. The cuffs aren’t lined and the coat felt restrictive across the chest and shoulders, even for our little testers, which made layering difficult. That said, we like that it comes in very different sizes, from petite to high to plus.

The Mountain Hardwear Super / DS Stretchdown (in men and women) it was elegant but less hot than many of its similarly priced competitors. The 700 less fill power, coupled with a weight of over 15 ounces and the fact that it wasn’t small, put it further down the list than we’d hoped for.

Beautifully assembled, the Helly Hansen Verglas Down Insulator (in men’s and women’s sizes) is exceptionally warm for its weight and stows easily in its handwarmer pocket. Those pockets work beautifully as hand warmers, but there wasn’t enough room to store things, even a cellphone and car keys were uncomfortable. Some of our readers also noted that they ran away after just one season of wear.

The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoodie (for men, for women) is a good attempt to solve the age-old problem of light and packable warmth versus waterproofing. This jacket manages to perform the same functions as the Nano Puff – at a fraction of the weight – and we found it to be nearly waterproof (thanks, DWR!). Unfortunately, the seams that hold PrimaLoft insulation in place are still sewn up at the end of the day. This means that the water was able to flow through each of these holes. Our testers also questioned the rippled feel of the outer material.

The Patagonia Fitz Roy hoodie (women and men) have shown that there can be something like “too hot”. Daily duties caused the testers to overheat, swinging between sweating and freezing. The Fitz Roy is not intended for indoor or commuter use. If a winter camping or ice fishing trip is in your future, however, this would be a great choice because the increase in price is accompanied by equivalent heat.

The Arc’Teryx Cerium SL, in a men’s jacket and a women’s hoodie, was one of the more expensive options we tested, but we found the performance slightly underwhelming for the price. The 850-fill-power down was, in fact, hot. And the 7.6-ounce weight for the women’s small jacket (which was slightly heavier than the weight listed on the Arc’Teryx website) made it the lightest option of the bunch. On a night in temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, this was the jacket we liked best. But the tight fit made for limited mobility and layering difficulty, and it had no lined cuffs, just essential pockets, a not-so-great zipper, and a simple drawstring hood. The tight baffles keep the down jacket from moving or bunching up, however, and this jacket would be a good option if you’re headed on a long, cold, ultralight backpack trip.

The North Face L3 Summit Down, in men and women, it is a popular jacket in Midwestern states, where crouching in the winter is a necessity. We can see why: its 800 down filling is warm and the jacket is very, very swollen. The cuffs are well lined and the fit is pretty ordinary (measure up if you plan on layering extensively). The hood also has an elastic band to prevent cold air from reaching your face. But this jacket is big and heavy and it’s not small. Compared to the similarly priced Stio jacket, there is no competition.

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