The main area that the Cerium didn't impress us in was its water resistance. Although not as good as those two jackets, the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody was also among the most comfortably warm jackets in this review. When they were available, we chose to test the hooded versions of all these jackets, because a hood adds both warmth and versatility. It's a little heavy for the warmth it provides, but we loved the features that it has, including an internal chest pocket and a stash pocket, and a high collar that comes up over your nose when fully zipped. We've tested a lot of down jackets over the years, and none is more distinctive than the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded.
The design and features of a jacket, such as a hood and drawcords, the thickness and quality of the outer material, how well the jacket fits, etc. How well you keep the cold out is as important as how well you keep the heat inside. To test these jackets for warmth we used them each countless times on adventures during the late fall and early winter: We also tested them side-by-side on a frigid, windy morning in the mountains to best tell how they compare against each other.
Although they do not come with temperature ratings like sleeping bags, we feel these jackets offer good-to-adequate stand-alone warmth down to freezing and can help you stay warm in much lower temperatures used as part of a layering system. However, in our testing, a few jackets stood out for their warmth. The Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody uses super high fill down to create a thick, cozy, and very lightweight jacket that was warmer than all the others. Likewise, the Rab Microlight Alpine provided top of the line warmth, in no small part because it did an excellent job of sealing off all the openings to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Although not as good as those two jackets, the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody was also among the most comfortably warm jackets in this review. The higher, further, and steeper we take ourselves, the more important the weight of what we take becomes.
The utility of an object comes in measuring how much use you get out of it for how much energy is expended carrying it. The warmth-to-weight ratio of a jacket is a key measure of value, and a down jacket has the highest warmth-to-weight ratio of any technical insulated jacket.
Additional ounces are added or subtracted to a jacket's weight by the fabric and design features. Frequently, durability and other critical features such as a hood are sacrificed on the altar of ultra-light design, to the detriment of the final product.
An ultra-light jacket that doesn't keep you warm or that falls apart after limited use doesn't have a lot of value. To test weight, we weighed jackets on our scale as soon as they arrived. In the cases where a contender came with an included stuff sack for compression, we included that in the item's overall weight, since weight tends to matter more when it's being carried than when it's being worn.
To find the best fit for our head tester, some of the jackets we ordered were size Large, while others were size Medium. Despite their differences in stated size, they all fit our head tester pretty much ideally, so we compared weights straight across the board, regardless of jacket size. From our testing, we noticed that weight seems to be a product of three factors: Using a higher fill-power down means that you get the same loft with less filling, so higher fill jackets tend to be lighter, and there is a little trade-off here except for added expense.
Similarly, using a thinner fabric can make a jacket lighter, with the compromise, in this case, being durability. Lastly, to save weight, some models have far fewer features, such as pockets, zippers, or draw cords, while others use much lighter and smaller zippers to shave half an ounce here and there.
The trade-off for using less or lighter features can again be durability in the case of super small gauge zippers or the lack of ability to fine-tune the fit if a jacket eschews the use of drawcords. The lightest jacket in this year's review was once again the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded , which came in at 7. Despite its low weight this jacket had a hood, zippered pockets, and a hem drawcord, and was surprisingly warm given how light it was.
The insulating capacity of untreated down is almost completely negated by water, so jackets insulated with down have historically had a bad reputation in wet environments. While a down jacket is never an excellent idea for a rainy day, having some level of water resistance is important simply to protect the down.
All of the jackets reviewed accomplish this to some degree by applying a Durable Water Resistant DWR coating to the jacket. DWR coatings are chemical applications designed to repel water before it has a chance to be absorbed by the face fabric and, subsequently, the down inside. By helping to keep the face fabric dry, DWR coatings allow a jacket to breathe better should moisture accumulate on the inside from sweating.
The only downside to DWR coatings is that they vary widely in quality and durability. Once a DWR coating has worn off, you must reapply. Unfortunately, this can happen in as little as a few uses. Water resistance can also come by using treated down that has a DWR coating. Because we do not have access to the down inside a jacket, we found it difficult to test how useful these DWR applications are at creating hydrophobic down.
In years past we only reviewed a couple down jackets with hydrophobic down used inside, while this year there were four that made our selection of the ten best, suggesting that this is a technology that companies think improve the performance of down that comes in contact with water. Never-the-less, despite soaking these jackets in the shower, we found it difficult to accurately compare the performance of the treated down versus regular down.
In general, our scores in this metric were a reflection of the performance of the DWR coating and the face fabric, although we chose to award bonus points to jackets that used hydrophobic down. The most water resistant down jacket was, without doubt, the Columbia Outdry Ex Gold , specifically designed to be waterproof on the outside.
This model was like combining down insulation on the inside with a rain slicker on the outside, and while it came with a few drawbacks, water resistance certainly was not one of them. While we can think of a few improvements we would make, we think this jacket is an intriguing start to the niche of waterproof down jackets.
Our Top Pick for Wet Weather is the Rab Microlight Alpine , which combines water-resistant Pertex microlight shell fabric with an impressive DWR coating, Nikwax treated down, and a hood that keeps the rain out of your face. While it wasn't wholly water proof , this is the down jacket we would want to take to wet climates, with the caveat that we would still do all we could to keep it as dry as possible.
And with its combination of Q. Shield water resistant down and a durable and high-quality outer DWR coating, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded also received high scores for water resistance. This metric accounted for 15 percent of a product's final score. Unlike heavy overcoat-style down parkas, these mid- and lightweight down jackets are designed to be worn while you recreate. Whether you wear them over the top of your other clothes, or as a warmth layer underneath a shell jacket, the fit needs to be conducive to movement.
For this reason, we prefer jackets that are sleeker fitting and not excessively baggy, although your specific body type will dictate what constitutes a good fit. For us, an ideally fitting jacket is one that mimics the shape of the body, so that it moves as we do, but is also large enough to wear a layer or two beneath.
We try to avoid jackets that are overly baggy in the torso, as we find them to be annoying when we are wearing a pack or trying to look down at our feet when skiing or climbing. There's also the fact that they have more dead space that needs to be warmed up using your body heat. We are also very particular about the length of the sleeves, as well as the shape of the jacket through the shoulders and upper back and chest.
Simply put, we want our jacket to be ready for any activity, and no matter what we are doing — ice climbing, skiing, scrambling — we are likely to be moving our arms about and sometimes swinging them over our head. Some jackets have sleeves that are too short, causing them to ride up above our wrists when our arms are outstretched.
Likewise, we found some the jackets to have constrictive fits around the shoulders, upper back, and chest that impede our freedom of movement, and affect the overall fit. Other areas that we paid attention to the fit were the collar, the hood, and the length of the hemline at our waist. In particular, we loved how the sleeves were plenty long and the cut of the shoulders spacious enough for us to perform any conceivable movement without impingement.
While it was big enough to layer beneath, the cut was also sleek enough not to impede our motion. For us, it fits very close to the body with virtually no dead space.
We felt this fit perfectly complemented its lightweight design, as we most often wore it as a stand-alone jacket in cool weather, or as a close to the body warmth layer in frigid weather. The Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody was among a small handful of other jackets that also fit nicely , offering versatility and a wide range of movement.
Regardless of whether you are hiking, alpine climbing, or skiing, when you are working hard you will likely get too hot to wear a down jacket. Except when the weather is frigid, or we are doing a lot of hanging out, we typically only wear our down jacket during breaks in the activity, and then take it off and stuff it in the top of the pack again before we get moving. Since a down jacket typically spends so much time in the pack, it is important to consider how easy it is to compress and how small it is once fully packed up.
It is worth noting that down is superior to synthetic insulation when considering compressibility. Every time you stuff a synthetic jacket away, the insulation breaks down and loses its heat retention capacity.
Down can handle many more compressions and expansions than synthetic insulation, and is also smaller when compressed and is lighter weight than synthetic materials.
The down used in the construction of the jackets reviewed is high quality and resisted degradation throughout testing.
Consequently, the stratifying characteristic for this metric tended to be how small they were when compressed. The jackets with few features, lightweight fabric, and high fill-power down compressed the most, while the jackets with heavy and bulky face fabrics or low fill-power down tended to compress the least.
Some jackets easily fit into one of their own pockets and could be zipped up with an attached clip-in loop. Others included a dedicated lightweight stuff sack that lives in the breast pocket.
Unfortunately, some of the jackets in this review did not have a specialized method of compression, and so to get them as small as possible, we rolled them up inside their hood. Not surprisingly, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded was the highest scorer when considering compressibility.
It is the thinnest and lightest weight of the jackets we tested, and its high fill-power down means that it easily stuffs into its pocket in a tiny little package that can be clipped and taken anywhere. Despite offering the most warmth of any jacket we tested, the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody also stuffs down extremely small, a testament to the fill-power down used inside. The only downside was that it uses a dedicated stuff sack rather than stuffing into its pocket, which adds a tiny bit of weight and bulk, not to mention the possibility of losing the stuff sack.
A handful of other jackets, including the REI Co-op Magma , also stuff down pretty small in their own pockets. With so many companies producing high-quality clothing, it often comes down to the little things that make all the difference when deciding on a jacket.
This means a zipper that out-performs another, pockets a few inches higher, or a hem a few inches lower might make or break your choice.
We've tested plenty of jackets that got away with elastic instead of a drawcord in the hood with varying results. However, only one attempted to do away with the drawcord at the waist, and we did not like this design. There are a few things that you can do without, but some features are essential. When testing for features, we first set out to identify each of the features present on a jacket, and then tested them intensively while wearing the jacket out in the field.
The most important thing to consider was whether the features present worked well. In colder, mistier climates, not having a breathable layer might cause too much of your natural body heat to accumulate inside your jacket.
These will usually appear around the armpits, sleeve edges, or lower portions of the jacket, where you could afford a little exposure to moisture in the name of airflow. Most archeologists agree that waterproofing — in its most basic form — developed during the First Agricultural Revolution. As mankind became more active on the sea, ships would undergo various forms of waterproofing to shore up their hulls.
Egyptian tombs also underwent a similar form of waterproofing known as bitumen emulsion as early as B. This process involved spreading thick layers of black goo among dry reed fibers laid out in cross patterns. Despite the annual flooding of the Nile River, the interior of the Great Pyramids went untouched by water for millennia. The Inuit people of pre-colonial America also had a moisture problem on their hands, and in seeking a solution, they devised some of the first ever waterproof clothing.
Seal and whale intestines proved particularly impermeable to liquid. Because the lining of these organs needed to absorb nutrients, the material proved to be rather breathable, as well.
Waxed cotton grew in popularity among seafarers in the s, as the waxing process was relatively easy and inexpensive for an individual to perform on pieces of clothing they already owned. Eventually, in the late s, Gore-Tex showed up, a lightweight, fluoropolymer membrane with the ability to repel water in liquid form and allow air and water vapor to pass through. Chemical waterproofing treatments were not far behind, leading to the vast array of options on today's market.
Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape. We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki.
Inclement weather will not prevent you from going about your day if you are suitably attired in one of these waterproof jackets for men. These coats offer good protection from both wind and rain -- as well as, in some cases, snow and freezing temperatures --and are available in a range of styles and designs to suit any preference.
When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best waterproof jacket for men on Amazon. Video Review Resources Ebay Jet. If you're looking for a rain jacket that will also keep you warm in the cold, the Ubon Mountain makes a fair choice. It features a thick fleece inner lining, an insulated storm hood, and an attractive two-tone design, though the overall craftsmanship falls a little short.
Good for skiing Protective collar keeps wind out A bit bulky to pack in a bag. This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available. The versatile Wantdo WT combines good looks with high performance at a very reasonable price. Its standout feature are the attached gloves made from a stretchable and lightweight material that keeps your hands warm and protected during extreme weather.
Super warm faux-fur lining Hood is detachable Zippers aren't very durable. The Helly Hansen Mandal not only protects you from the rain, but keeps you highly visible with its bright yellow design. Named after the iconic ball-park in Brooklyn, Ebbets Field Flannels specialized in building out vintage baseball jerseys and caps.
More than just re-using old designs, the Seattle, Washington based company uses old-school cuts and fabrics to give everything that extra authentic feel.
There was a period in time when just about any item of clothing was expected to last a long, long time. The same applies to companies. Based out of the San Juan Capistrano, Freenote Cloth embodies the same rancho aesthetic that their hometown has retained since its founding. Outside of having a distinct style, Freenote is also known for attention to detail. The fabrics, dye, and hardware used on all of their clothing is considered and intentional. From the late s on Filson has continued to provide tough, durable goods made right here in the states because sometimes, the old way is the right way.
Robert Wesley Magness built his career the old fashioned way; from the ground up. While most brands will trace their heritage back to the year they began, imogene and willie peg the start of their business to a pool party when they met in the 6th grade. The friendship they founded would endure decades, distance, and failed businesses. While they specialize in denim, the brand boasts classic tees, denim jackets , and more — all built in the States.
Nashville, TN Known For: Rather than relying on far-away factories to produce their goods, they elected to build a good portion of their clothing right here in the states.
Ventura, CA Known For: Classic, understated beachwear made right here in the states is downright rare. One of the out there still doing it, however, is Mollusk. The Californian brand has all of their clothing board shorts, sweatshirts , shirts, and more designed up in Oakland and built in either Oakland or Los Angeles. If you are looking for solid, American made denim — then Rising Sun jeans are well worth your consideration.
The Los Angeles-based brand embraces an old-time west aesthetic while putting a serious emphasis on quality built tried and tested gear. Started with the simple goal of creating a well fitting shirt, Taylor Stitch has grown into a brand to contend with.
While a lot of American-made menswear brands opt for a heritage look, others like Topo have decided instead to forge ahead with their own style. That, in large part, is why we love them.
What top men's clothing brands make the best looking clothes? This list of popular clothing brands for men will introduce you to new men's clothing labels for men and the most popular designers for men. Help decide on the hottest men's clothing brands below. Vote on your favorite men's fashion brands below and add any good mens clothing brands that might have been left off. Top 10 Best Clothing Brands for Men in When it comes to fashion and trend, then the clothing brands are not only for women but also for men. I must say today’s male models and actors have made the common guys conscious about their look, personality and outfits. The brand that does denim better than the rest still knows how to keep their denim jackets looking fashion-forward and oh-so-cool. This blue denim jacket goes white hot with a paint treatment and a subtle pleat-front detail. While it’s more expensive than the classic .