Best women’s down vest

Outerwear

Down is a great, natural material that is insulating yet lightweight. It’s ideal for an active person who wants to keep their core warm but still have a full range of motion.

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Which women’s down vests are best?

When it comes to warmth and fluffy comfort, you really can’t beat a down vest. Down is a wonderful natural material that is insulating yet lightweight. If you’re a very active person who wants to keep their core warm but still have a full range of motion, a down vest is a great choice. The best down vest for women is the Eddie Bauer Women’s CirrusLite Down Vest.

What to know before you buy a women’s down vest

Care

Generally, down garments can be washed in a washing machine unless stated otherwise. They should be washed on a delicate cycle and dried delicately in the dryer. In some ways, they’re easier to keep clean than other outer layers like coats. Even so, you shouldn’t need to wash them very often, especially if you want them to last longer.

Layering

Depending on where you live or where you plan to wear a down vest, you should consider what kind of layering you can do with it. You might need a down vest as a substitute for a jacket, especially if you intend to wear it while physically active. Or you might want it to wear under your winter coat for added insulation. That can factor into the type of vest you get, as a thinner vest will be easier to layer, whereas a thicker one will serve as an excellent outer garment by itself. 

Allergies

Some people are allergic to down. If you’ve never owned anything made with it before, this could be worth testing before you commit to wearing a down vest. Usually, it’s dust that people react to, not the feathers themselves, but it’s always good to check and be sure. Down that has been properly washed and prepared ahead of time is less likely to contribute to an allergic reaction because it will have less dust.

What to look for in a quality down vest for women

Fill Power

Not all down vests are filled with 100% down. Most tend to have a small amount of other filler, too, like regular feathers. The higher the down percentage, the warmer it will be since down insulates while regular feathers do not. Fill power is the amount of down per cubic inch. A garment with higher fill power will not only be warmer it will also last longer.

Practicality

Puffy vests can be great for keeping you warm, but it’s much more convenient if you can pack up nice and small when you travel. When comparing down vests, see which ones are specifically labeled as easy to pack. It’s also nice when they have sufficient pockets, as carrying a bag or purse with bulky warm clothing can be a pain. Water resistance is an added bonus, as you can probably imagine how unpleasant it would be to be wearing a sodden vest filled with goose down after getting caught in heavy rain.

Goose vs. duck

Manufacturers don’t always specify which kind of down a vest contains. The most common ones are goose and duck. The main differences are that goose is less likely to smell, and duck tends to be more affordable. If the vest is more affordable, it’s probably made with duck down. You don’t need to be concerned about the smell, though, as down has to go through many processes to clean it properly before it’s added to clothing.

How much you can expect to spend on a women’s down vest

Expect to spend about $40-$120.

Down vest FAQ

What is down?

A. Down is fine, fluffy feathers that you can find under the smooth exterior feathers on birds. It used to be more commonly used in things like warm clothes, pillows and even mattresses. Because of its structure, it traps air and provides insulation, which is why it works so well in clothing.

How is down collected?

A. It is usually collected from birds raised on farms during their natural molting process. Since geese and ducks are farmed in large numbers, down is a by-product of the existing poultry industry. This means that birds are not raised exclusively for their down.

What’s the best women’s down vest to buy?

Top down vest for women

Eddie Bauer Women's CirrusLite Down Vest

Eddie Bauer Women’s CirrusLite Down Vest

What you need to know: This high fill power vest comes in some great colors and features a straightforward, comfortable design.

What you’ll love: It is packable and has a wind-resistant nylon outer layer. It’s machine washable and can be dried lightly in the dryer with a clean tennis ball to keep the down from clumping. The down is sourced responsibly and certified as such.

What you should consider: It only goes up to size XXL.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s down vest for the money

Lands' End Women's Puffer Vest

Lands’ End Women’s Puffer Vest

What you need to know: This stylish vest has lower fill power, making it perfect for someone who doesn’t need quite as much warmth.

What you’ll love: It is machine washable and features 80% down that was ethically sourced. It’s also water-resistant and comes in some really great colors and patterns to suit anyone. There are a variety of petite, regular and tall size options.

What you should consider: It goes up to size 3X, and the pockets do not have closures.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Orolay Women's Light Down Vest

Orolay Women’s Light Down Vest

What you need to know: This duck-down vest features pockets big enough for a paperback book.

What you’ll love: The down goes through 34 different washes before it is ready to be made into a garment. Even though it’s duck down, there should be no odor. With 90% down, it will definitely keep you warm.

What you should consider: It only goes up to size XL and might not look as fashionable as other options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Eve Jones writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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