More guys are looking for and buying down alternative jackets instead of pricey down jackets for winter wear. If you’re watching your bank account (and who isn’t these days), a warm, non-down jacket can give you a lot of bang for your buck. You can find handsome and sustainably made synthetic, organic cotton, and alpaca-filled jackets that can rival down jackets in style and toastiness.
What is a down alternative jacket?
The best down alternative jacket for men is a type of outerwear that is designed to provide warmth and insulation, like traditional down jackets. However, unlike down, which is made from bird feathers, down alternative jackets are made from recycled or organic cotton materials that mimic the insulation properties of down. These days you can purchase down alternative jackets that are cold-rated to 15 degrees.
Advantages of owning a synthetic, recycled, or organic material jacket
- They are usually more affordable than down jackets.
- They are often hypoallergenic, making them a good option for people with feather allergies.
- They are more durable and often retain their insulating properties even when wet.
- They are often easier to care for and maintain than down jackets. Down alternatives can be tossed in the washing machine. Most down jackets need to be dry cleaned.
Below you’ll find the top ten best down alternative jackets for men to wear now and later. There are jackets for extreme winter sports, a couple for date nights, travel, and work.
1. Save The Duck Wilson Parka
Created with 44 recycled bottles, this down alternative parka will keep you warm even in the frigid cold. It’s been designed with three polyester layers that give you full protection from high winds and wetness too. The jacket has a convertible hood, an inner drawstring waist, and lyra inner cuffs to trap warm air in. Save the Duck is created under Oeko-Tex standards and is made 100% animal free. The Wilson Parka comes in a variety of colors.
2. Moosejaw Hooded Insulated Jacket
This jacket is cleverly designed with a zippered interior pocket that comes with a bottle opener. Because you never know. The jacket has deep mesh pockets, big enough to hold hats, gloves, wallets, and whatever you have. Adjustable Velcro cuffs keep out snow and cold air. The hood, when pulled tight, creates a visor-like effect, so your eyes are shielded from the sun, brutal winds, or snow. The shell and insulation are made from 100% recycled polyester. You’ll stay dry in torrential rain and snowstorms. Reviewers rave about how great it is to wear on and off the slopes.
3. Paka Pakafill Lightweight Puffer
Filled with natural alpaca fiber, this hooded puffer is designed to keep you cozy down to five degrees. The shell is made with Bluesign certified recycled polyester that’s also waterproof. This down alternative jacket has a Silvadur-infused outer membrane that prevents odor-causing bacteria from populating. This makes it a great option for winter athletes. The high neck and hood protect you from all elements. The dropped-back hem keeps your back and bum warm as well. It comes in beige, red, and black.
4. Patagonia Lined Isthmus Hoody
For guys who love their hoodies, this thick, water-resistant cold weather jacket is for them. While it won’t keep you warm in subzero temps, it will keep you comfortable when the weather dips down. Lined in super thick sherpa fabric, this hooded jacket is roomy enough to wear over a thick sweater. Everything is made with recycled polyester, from the sherpa fleece to the taffeta shell to the thermolite sleeve insulation. Not only is this down alternative jacket made from sustainable goods, but it’s also Fair Trade Certified.
5. Everlane The ReNew Long Parka
One of the many reasons people love Everlane is that they’re a completely transparent company. When you visit their page for this down alternative parka, you’ll get a cost breakdown and exactly where it was manufactured. Made from 64 plastic bottles, the shell fabric was created with a fluorine-free, water-resistant treatment. The fill is made with 100% recycled PrimaLoft insulation. This parka is long enough to cover a blazer or suit jacket neatly. It has a deep hood and an inner drawstring waist for a chic look.
6. Mission Workshop Acre Series Jacket
Avid cyclists have raved about this performance jacket. The outdoorsy types and casual travelers are also fans. Heck, there’s a Reddit thread devoted to it. This zip front jacket has a Pertex Quantum Bluesign certified shell and is PFC-free with a durable water-repellant coating and a soft microfiber collar. Because it was created for bikers, it has reflective details for safety. The back has a rounded hem that protects you when cycling. It also has lots of pockets, with two of them being specifically for warming your hands. This jacket can be used as a base layer under heavier jackets or worn by itself. Toss it in a duffel when traveling, as it’s easy to fold up and take on the go.
7. Amazon Essentials Water-Resistant Hooded Puffer
This synthetic-filled jacket comes in 23 colors and patterns. At this price, you can pick up a couple in different shades. This zip-front hooded jacket is made with 100% polyester materials. It has interior and exterior pockets and can be packed in its own drawstring bag. Reviewers like that it keeps them warm even though it’s lightweight. It is water-resistant to keep you dry in light rain or snow.
8. Seasalt Cornwall Tidesman Waterproof Coat
Waterproof even during the heaviest downpour, this hooded coat is warm and stylish. Inspired by outerwear worn by farmers and fishermen, it’s extremely durable. Designed with taped seams to keep out the elements, it’s made with organic cotton. This coat has a sherpa fleece-lined adjustable hood and back.
9. Land’s End Classic Squall Jacket
Looking at this jacket, you wouldn’t believe it will keep you warm. But it does. Temperature rated to 15 degrees, this down alternative jacket has kept men warm and dry since the 1980s. The shell is water and windproof and has an anti-pill and antistatic lining. There’s also an internal storm guard and inner fleece collar. Comprised of nylon and polyester fleece, this is the G.O.A.T of lightweight but heavy-duty winter wear.
10. GAP Factory Heavyweight Puffer
You’ve seen this jacket barreling down a college quad or jostling for space in mass transit. The overly puffy puffer jacket is as classic. And like so many classics, it looks modern at the same time. Completely made with polyester, it’s extremely warm. One reviewer stated, “This jacket is comfortable…and is also surprisingly warm given the fact that it’s not down-filled.” It has an interior cellphone pocket, which is oh so important nowadays.