When the cool weather arrives, will you be ready for it? If you like to stay active, a Patagonia Ultralight down jacket may be for you! These jackets are warm enough to keep you protected but light enough to let you move around. What could be better?

If you don’t want to spend money on a quality jacket, you could be like me. Just last year I needed a new light jacket for the autumn. I live further north, so autumn arrives suddenly and without mercy. I waited until the last moment. That’s when autumn arrived, and all the prices shot up. What did I do? I bought the cheapest jacket I could find.

Well, that didn’t work out for me. The first rip happened on my first jog. It was right along a seam under my armpit. Then a pocket tore, and my iPhone kept falling out. One day I went for a bike ride through a beautiful red, orange and yellow forest, and that’s when the zipper opened up from the bottom. I couldn’t get it back together, no matter how hard I tried! I ended up finishing my bike ride with my jacket secured around my throat and billowing out behind me, like Superman’s cape.

Don’t be like me. It's best to make the smart purchase the first time.

All About the Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket

Patagonia makes more than just the Ultralight down jackets. You can find vests, sweaters, workwear, bras, wetsuits, and so much more! A mountain climber founded the company in 1957. The company is known for environmental activism. They donate 10 percent of their profits to environmental groups every year. The Patagonia stores allow customers to recycle used clothing on-site and donates to charities frequently.

Also, Patagonia was in the news after launching a lawsuit against the US Government and President Donald Trump following a reduction of several national parks. The company obviously takes environmental issues extremely seriously.

Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket (m)

That being said, Patagonia Ultralight down jackets are a popular product line. These jackets have the “puff” look. They are ridiculously comfortable and weigh practically nothing. The large men’s jacket weighs a mere nine ounces!

Despite their lightweight and airy design, they keep you warm and snug. The down filling allows your body to breathe, so even if you start sweating you won’t get all sticky and humid under the collar.

Specifications

There are a few different Patagonia Ultralight down jackets. Patagonia states that these jackets are for those who “…spend time on the trails, mountains, or alpines, but want to look good in town, too.”

Also, the jackets use interlocking Y-shaped nylon fibers to enhance their water-repelling abilities. The liners are ultra-lightweight fabric, which allows your body to breathe comfortably. Cold is kept out with 800-fill goose down stuffing.

Also, one interesting thing to note is that Patagonia only uses traceable goose down. This means that the goose traces to its parent farm. The company ensures that the geese are not force-fed nor live-plucked. This is one of the most ethically-made jackets I’ve ever come across!

Customers on backcountry.com rated the Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket 4.5 out of 5 stars. The women who reviewed it raved about how versatile this jacket is. One woman said that she was able to wear it in autumn with a hoody underneath, and then in winter as an underlayer. Several customers mentioned that it’s a little too short for taller people, especially women with longer hips.

Pricing and warranty

Because the Patagonia Ultralight down jacket is such high quality, its price is higher than many other down jackets. You can expect to pay between $230 and $500 for a women’s jacket, and between $299 and $600 for a men’s.

Their “Ironclad Guarantee” covers every Patagonia Jacket. If you are not satisfied with any item, or it doesn’t perform to your expectations, you can return it for a replacement or a full refund. Patagonia will also repair damage caused by wear and tear, although you may have to pay a small fee for this.

This is important. They stand behind their products, and that makes me feel confident about them. I have a hard time trusting companies that don’t warranty their products. When it comes to large purchases and personal safety, a warranty is must-have. The Patagonia Ironclad Guarantee is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I can tell that they are extremely confident in their products.

How Do They Compare?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably gone through a few low-priced jackets that just didn’t hold up. You may have through about investing in a quality jacket that will last you for years. Patagonia Ultralight down jackets are well-designed and well-reviewed. They come with an amazing guarantee. But are they better than the competition? How does a Patagonia compare to Jack Wolfskin? Can it outperform Under Armor?

How I reviewed these jackets

To compare Patagonia Ultralight Down Jackets to the competition, I researched four similar jackets. You're certain to come across one or two of these competitors during your search. I went to each company’s website to learn a little about them.

Next, I went to Amazon customer reviews. Because I trust reviews written by real people, I read through a lot of them. I was able to get a good idea of how these jackets stack up in the real world. I was also able to determine how well they compete with a Patagonia ultralight down jacket.

Jack Wolfskin Lightweight Down Jacket

Jack Wolfskin Lightweight Down Jacket

First up is the lightweight down jacket from Jack Wolfskin. The company started in 1981 in Germany. They make a whole range of outdoor products and are the largest retailer of sports items in Germany. Like Patagonia, Jack Wolfskin exercises corporate responsibility. They run a foundation dedicated to improving working conditions in garment factories, and in 2008 they started a foundation to help child soldiers in Uganda reintegrate into society.

The lightweight down jacket which compares most directly to the Patagonia ultralight down jacket is called a “helium” jacket by Jack Wolfskin. It’s very lightweight, and designed with windproof and rip-proof materials. It has 700-fill duck down inside it. Unlike the Patagonia offering, it has a hood and a handy pack bag included. You can buy this jacket for between $175 and $250. There is no warranty.

Jack Wolfskin Women's Helium Stardust Lightweight Windproof Down...
  • STORMLOCK SOFTTOUCH DECOR: very light, soft, windproof and water resistant fabric / 90/10 duck down fill (700 coin fill...
  • Fixed hood/2 hand pockets/pack bag included/down jacket/windproof, water resistant/very warm down fill/
  • Lightweight/with hood

Pros

  • jacket was “very good.” 

Cons

  • jacket has a super thin lining which rips easily

Quality

Usability

Support

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Under Armor Storm Coldgear Hooded Jacket

Under Armor Storm Coldgear Hooded Jacket

Next up is a jacket with a very long name. It’s called the “Under Armor Storm Coldgear Infrared Turing Hooded Jacket.” In 1993, a 23-year old varsity football captain founded Under Armor. In true entrepreneurial spirit, he worked out of his grandmother’s basement and spent his days driving up and down the Eastern seaboard, trying to convince stores to stock his sports apparel line. Obviously, it worked, because Under Armor is one of the biggest sportswear brands in the world today!

The UASCITHJ (please don’t make me spell out the entire name of this jacket) is made with two layers of windproof materials on the outside. It has a soft, breathable fabric liner on the inside. It’s 100 percent waterproof and has fully-taped seams to keep the old out and warmth in. This jacket costs between $175 and $215. Under Armor includes a 60-day return warranty.

Under Armour Men's UA CGI Turing Hooded Jacket, Legion Blue...
  • Packs into left pocket
  • UA Storm gear uses a DWR finish to repel water without sacrificing breathability
  • 100g PrimaLoft Silver down/synthetic hybrid insulation combines the best of both worlds: natural down & high-performance...

Pros

  • jacket was light and warm
  • build quality

Cons

  • jacket isn’t fitted well and may be a little too short

Quality

Usability

Support

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Marmot Jacket

Marmot Men's Zeus Jacket

Third on our list is Marmot. Marmot has a few different lines of jackets which are all similar, with names such as “Zeus” and “Tullus.” The company started in Santa Cruz, California in 1971. Its founders were two University students, who came up with the idea while studying a glacier in Alaska. Marmot is another steward of the environment. The company started a program called “Envirofree” which strives to reduce chemical applications used in the manufacturing process. Companies who sign up and meet standards can add the Envirofree symbol to their packaging.

Marmot jackets are made for outdoors use in the country and the city. They use the same 800-fill goose down as the Patagonia ultralight down jacket. The jacket easily packs away into its own pocket for easy storage. It sells for between $170 and $250. Marmot covers your purchase with a warranty against manufacturer’s defects for the life of the product, but not wear and tear.

Sale
Marmot Men's Zeus Jacket, Cinder 2XL
  • Ultra Light Down Proof Fabric
  • 700 Fill Power Down with Down Defender
  • Zippered Hand Pockets; packs into pocket

Pros

  • fabric was very soft
  • didn’t find it too bulky
  • weighs almost nothing

Cons

  • wind goes right through it
  • it’s not a great jacket for seriously cold weather

Quality

Usability

Support

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Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Down Jacket

Amazon Essentials Women's Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Hooded Down Jacket

Lastly, we have Amazon’s own down jacket. The Amazon Essentials line usually offers decent quality for low prices. This is Amazon’s own brand of clothing. They use various manufacturers to produce the clothing and then sell it with free shipping. I’ve personally bought several Amazon Essentials items (mostly pants) and love the comfort and quality I receive for what I pay. Your mileage may vary.

The Amazon Essentials Lightweight Packable Down Jacket is decent. It's 100 percent nylon, and filled with 90 percent duck down and 10 percent goose down. It offers a fitted shape, has zippered pockets, and is great for cool weather and winter. You can order one for between $40 and $70. You'll get Amazon's no-questions-asked return guarantee if you're an Amazon Prime member.

Amazon Essentials Women's Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Hooded...
  • Contoured seams bring a fitted shape to this water-resistant quilted jacket featuring hood and down fill for warmth and...
  • Zip pockets, elasticized cuffs
  • Packs neatly into included carrying bag with drawstring closure

Pros

  • cheaper retail brand
  • very thin but also incredibly soft and warm

Cons

  • hood makes it a bit lumpy around the upper back.

Quality

Usability

Support

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Because three out of the four products I reviewed were rated so highly, it’s hard to figure which one is the best for you. The Patagonia ultralight down jacket certainly holds its own in quality, but it’s not perfect. It has its flaws.

Strength

  • Very high quality
  • Keeps you warm and snug
  • Allows your body to breathe
  • Stylish
  • Ethically-made
  • Ethical company that tries to help
  • Absolutely amazing Ironclad Guarantee

Weakness

  • VERY pricey
  • A little too short for many people
  • Did I mention the price?

Should You Buy?

Like I said earlier in this review: Don’t buy the cheapest jacket you can find. The Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket certainly isn’t the cheapest option. It's the most expensive jacket in this review.

Then again, that price does come with fantastic value. They are warm, well-made, don’t fall apart on you, and have the best warranty of any of the jackets here.

Of course, you can buy better-priced jackets. For example, the Amazon Essentials jacket gives you the best bang for your buck, but the quality can’t be anywhere near the Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket. You can get away with it for a season, but expect to buy a new jacket in a year.

If the price isn’t an issue, get the Patagonia ultralight down jacket. You won’t need to buy a new jacket for many years, and you’re getting outstanding quality. Because they back their products with that fantastic guarantee, I trust them completely. I love how ethical the company is in the manufacturing of their jackets, too. If you're looking for a great deal, either buy this jacket or the Amazon Essentials.

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