Are Down Jackets Worth The Cost?

When it comes to picking a winter coat, the amount of options can be overwhelming to say the least. If you've been scanning and keep asking yourself, "Are down jackets worth it?" you're not alone! This type of jacket will cost you a pretty penny, but in my experience, I say the cost is totally worth it.

REI has an incredible guide for picking a winter jacket, and helps you break down exactly what the pros and cons of down are. On the plus side, it describes down as "nature's best insulator — the most warmth for the least weight and bulk." But, the site cautions, "just don't let it get wet."

Echoing REI's advice, Michael Roberts, executive editor at Outdoor Magazine, told CBS News that if down gets wet, "[it] suddenly goes from lightweight and puffy to wet and clumpy." He added, "It's like mud and you lose everything." Yikes.

Ultimately, down is worth the cost if you'll be in weather that's cold but not super wet. Some of the warmest coats can cost well over $1,000, but Jordan Wand, vice president of product and marketing for Outdoor Research, assured ABC News, "There's no silver bullet" when it comes to getting the right down coat. Consider how cold the temperatures you'll have to face are, and go from there to find what suits you best.

The coats below are my top down picks at a variety of price points.

1. Ultra Light Down Jacket (Extended Sizes Available)

Ultra Light Down Jacket, $70, Uniqlo

This one is such a steal for the price and I wear mine all the time.

2. Thermoball

The North Face Thermoball, $199, The North Face

With its quilted down and water-resistant shell, you can feel dang confident you're going to stay warm in this.

3. Lightweight Fiona Down Parka

Lightweight Fiona Down Parka, $349, Patagonia

This parka features 600-fill-power down to keep you insulated when the temperatures drop below freezing.

4. Arctic Down Parka

Arctic Down Parka, $299, The North Face

This gorgeous parka from The North Face includes two layers of waterproof shielding in case you hit an unexpected storm.

5. Duete Parka

Duete Parka, $429, Patagonia

Expensive? Yes. Worth it, considering the waterproof shell, 600-fill-power down, and storm flap? Yup.

Images: Courtesy of Brands