What Is a Packable Down Jacket: The Basics

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When it starts to reach those fall and winter seasons, it’s time to pull out your outwear. One of the most popular types of jackets to wear in the cold weather are down jackets. These jackets are amazing because they trap your body heat within a protective insulating layer and allow you to keep warm throughout the day.

The only downside that many find about down jackets is the fact that they are very fluffy and big. If you’re traveling and need to place the jacket in your bag, you may be out of luck, except if you find a packable down jacket.

What Is a Packable Down Jacket?

Packable down jackets offer all the same qualities that a down jacket has, but they are relatively lighter, thinner, and can easily be stored away. How can that be possible? Are they just as effective as regular down jackets? Wouldn’t they do a poorer job at trapping heat?

What Is a Packable Down Jacket

1. Warmth

There are two types of factors when it comes to keeping you warm in a down jacket. The first one, and considered as the biggest factor, is insulation.

Down jackets are noticeably warm because of the down feathers that are placed into the lining. As an overview, down clusters are the part of a duck which is underneath the feathers, and this is called plumage. The main factor why these feathers go into making a packable down jacket is that they aren’t as big or fluffy as their counterparts.

Second is what is termed fill power. Packed down jackets contain less down, but more power to help balance the warmth distribution. The fill power refers to how much pressure one can put in a cubic inch of a down and then see if it fluffs back up.

The less down, the less insulation that you’ll get when you’re using the jacket. Typically, most jackets have at least 400 to 800 down power, but packable down jackets float around 300 to 400.

2. Durability

Unlike regular down jackets, packable downs can last through tough wear and tear conditions. You’ll find that many down jackets use a rip-resistant fabric that keeps the jacket from getting damaged.

However, the downside is that ripstop fabrics often trap moisture, making you feel clammy. Nonetheless, if your goal is to have an effective insulating jacket that can last through most outdoor conditions, then this is a small price to pay.

3. Retention

The problem with down jackets is that they’re prone to ripping and leaking. Packed down jackets work similarly, but the added ripstop fabric makes it more resistant to leaking.

Let’s face it, many of us purchase a down jacket thinking we’re going to use it for the next few years, but what if it just ripped and leaked? Would you want to spend the time and energy to fix it? That said, by getting a packed down jacket, you can save yourself the frustration of getting a leak and keep the jacket retained.

Packed down jackets

4. Accessories

Packed down jackets are the best when it comes to those pesky zippers. Regular down jackets are popular for using a small and lightweight zipper, preventing it from puncturing the jacket. Unfortunately, these types of zippers get stuck and ultimately make the jacket annoying to use.

On the other hand, high-quality packed down jackets often have large zippers that are easy to use. You’ll also find that high-end outerwear features more accessories such as ventilation, multiple cuffs, and even interior and exterior pockets.

5. Fit

Lastly, these jackets aren’t as bulky as your regular ones. Instead, they feature properties that are sleek and slim. While we enjoy the warmth that down jackets provide, we all hate looking like an overly puffy marshmallow. An excellent way to be trendy and stylish while still being warm is by getting a packed down jacket. They’re more flattering on both men and women and provide you with a sleek, body-hugging style.

Why Should Use a Packed Down Jacket?

Well, we’d say that they are most suited for travelers. No matter if you commute to work or are out in the wilderness, a lightweight and portable jacket that keeps you warm is a must. Being on the go doesn’t mean you have to carry around a bulky looking jacket; instead, use a packed down jacket because you’ll be able to store them away in your backpack, bag, or purse easily, especially since they conveniently roll up into a tight cylinder and can be stored away.


When it comes to what is a packable down jacket, it’s basically a lightweight and portable alternative to a winter jacket, and you can find low- and high-end versions that look just as good as they feel. The exterior can look fashion forward while complementing your body, while the interior will keep your heat trapped inside, keeping you warm. All-in-all, when it comes to outerwear, it’s the best of both worlds.

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