Whether you trek in Spring, Autumn/Fall or Winter, a good quality, warm down jacket is an essential item to pack. I’ve curated a list of the ten best down jackets in the market so you can choose the best down jacket for your next Everest Base Camp trek.
Down jackets are clearly better than synthetic jackets for many reasons. The cozy down insulation offers the best warmth-to-weight ratio on the market. Also, it packs down smaller than synthetics for easy storage. The only downside is that you can’t let the down get wet as it doesn’t dry easily.
Some trekking companies will provide a down jacket as part of your Everest Base Camp trek package with them. However, you can take your own down jacket so you’re secure in the knowledge that you have the down jacket that you want. If so, check out our list below to find the best down jacket for your next Everest Base Camp trek.
Best Down Jackets for an Everest Base Camp Trek
1. Rab Neutrino Pro
Weight: 1 lb. 5.3 oz.
Fill: 7.5 oz. of 800-fill-power down
What I like: Tons of premium down at a reasonable price point.
What I don’t: Heavy and bulky.
This is the best heavy-weight down jacket that will withstand the cold climate of Everest Base Camp.
Weighing 604 grams and filled with 213 grams of 800-fill power down, this jacket has tons of premium down at a reasonable price point. These jackets are epitomized by their sleeping-bag-like loft, tall and protective collars, and longer cut.
Although it’s a bit heavy and bulky, for cold-weather climbing or frigid nights, there’s no match for the security of a heavyweight down jacket.
2. Outdoor Research Super Alpine Down Parka
Weight: 1 lb. 13.1 oz.
Fill: 8.1 oz. of 800-fill-power down
What I like: Parka-length coverage, water-resistant shell, and lots of loft.
What I don’t: Heavier than the Neutrino Pro without noticeably more insulation.
Very similar to the Rab Neutrino Pro, the Outdoor Research Super Alpine jacket has 230 grams more down and a thicker shell (30D versus the Rab’s 20D). It also features a 3-inch longer center back length (33.5 vs. 30.3 inches), which means more coverage, especially when sitting in snow.
For trekking to Everest Base Camp, the Super Alpine is another solid option and a great value down jacket to have.
3. Mountain Equipment Lightline Eco
Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
Fill: 10.4 oz. of 700-fill down
What we like: Fantastic value for an extremely warm, well-made, and cozy jacket.
What we don’t: Heavy due to the lower fill power; left-hand zipper takes some getting used to.
There is a lot to like about the Lightline Eco jacket from Mountain Equipment. First, it has the highest fill weight on this list at 295 grams of 700-fill down, which makes it a great option for seriously cold conditions. Second, it offers excellent protection from the elements with a windproof and water-resistant shell that’s also the thickest on this list at 50 denier. Third, it’s a nice looking down jacket for trekking to Everest Base Camp. And last but not least, it’s great value.
4. Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket
Weight: 1 lb. 0.5 oz.
Fill: 5.4 oz. of 700-fill-power down
What I like: A nice level of warmth with a water-resistant build.
What I don’t: A tad heavy
Rab’s popular Microlight Alpine Jacket is perfect for trekking to Everest Base Camp.
To start, it’s built to handle wind and light moisture thanks to a tough shell, DWR coating, and hydrophobic down. Further, the rigid structure of the jacket’s wire-brimmed hood has a hardshell-like feel, offering great all-around coverage and protection. With 142 grams of 750-fill-power down, it also has a nice level of warmth with a water-resistant build.
The Microlight Alpine stands out as one of the more weather-resistant midweight down jackets on this list.
5. Outdoor Research Coldfront Down Hoodie
Weight: 1 lb. 4.7 oz.
Fill: 5.3 oz. of 700-fill-power down & 150g VerticalX ECO
What I like: Comfy, classy, and well-priced for what you get.
What I don’t: Doesn’t pack down nearly as small as more premium options.
Outdoor Research jackets aren’t always the highest-quality or most technical on the market, but they are some of the best values.
Warmth is quite impressive with 150 grams of 700-fill down, plus you get more weather-ready VerticalX ECO synthetic insulation at the shoulders and cuffs. Other nice features include the soft-yet-rugged shell, fleece-lined hand warmer pockets, snug-fitting cuff gaiters with thumb loops, and classy branding on the sleeve.
It’s a very well rounded down jacket for taking to Everest Base Camp.
6. Rab Cubit Stretch Down
Weight: 1 lb. 1.1 oz.
Fill: 5.3 oz. of 700-fill-power down
What I like: Warm, stylish, and a real standout in terms of comfort.
What I don’t: Pricey and falls short of true performance pieces in weight and packability.
Stretch-woven shells are a new trend in down jackets, and Rab’s Cubit Stretch Down Hoody is one of the best for trekking to Everest Base Camp.
The Cubit features a soft and pliable shell, along with welded baffles to keep insulation in place without the need for stitches. And it ups the ante in terms of warmth with 173 grams of 700-fill down. It’s a lofty down jacket, on par with a jacket like the Outdoor Research Coldfront above. Not to mention, the build quality is excellent with a high attention to detail.
7. Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Hoody
Weight: 1 lb. 4.5 oz.
Fill: 4.3 oz. of 700-fill-power down
What I like: Super comfortable and one of the best-looking jackets on this list.
What I don’t: Pricey for a casual piece.
Mountain Hardwear’s Stretchdown Hoody is epitomized by soft and stretchy shells and welded seams (rather than stitched baffles). This down jacket combines the insulation of down with the range of motion, durability, and comfort of a softshell. The jacket’s knit fabric is very tough, and the stretchiness gives it a plush feel that you typically don’t get from a down piece.
Another great down jacket to take with you on your next Everest Base Camp trek.
8. Montbell Plasma 1000
Weight: 4.9 oz.
Fill: 1.6 oz. of 1,000-fill-power down
What I like: Incredible warmth-to-weight ratio—the best on the market.
What I don’t: Super thin shell fabric is lacking in durability.
Among serious alpinists, you won’t find an outdoor brand with more street cred than Montbell. Montbell makes some of the most well-respected ultralight insulation on the market, and their most unique offering is the Plasma 1000.
With ultra-premium 1,000-fill-power down, along with a paper-thin 7-denier shell, it’s by far the lightest down jacket on this list at an incredible 136 grams all-in. With its incredible warmth-to-weight ratio, it’s the best ultralight down jacket on the market.
9. Feathered Friends Khumbu Parka
Fill: 13.3 oz. of 900-fill-power down
Weight: 2 lbs. 1.8 oz.
What I like: Super warm: the most down fill on this list.
What I don’t: The mountaineering look isn’t for everyone.
The Khumbu Parka from Feathered Friends is most at home on big-mountain summits and for uses like high-altitude mountaineering.
This jacket is absolutely jammed with high-quality down: 377 grams of 900-fill goose down to be exact.
While it might be a bit overkill for trekking to Everest Base Camp, if you’re after the most warm down jacket, then consider getting the Khumbu Parka. It’s the warmest, most down fill jacket on this list.
10. Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoody
Weight: 1 lb. 1.1 oz.
Fill: 5.6 oz. of 800-fill down
What I like: A technically savvy jacket for fast-and-light winter objectives.
What I don’t: Expensive; not as warm or protective as heavyweight options.
Down jackets are known for being cozy, but Patagonia’s Fitz Roy is a standout in this regard. Its super plush lining and body-hugging design give it a down sleeping bag-like fit and feel. And the Fitz Roy Down Hoody doesn’t disappoint in terms of warmth. This jacket is warm, versatile, and has a high collar for battening down the hatches.
Well, there you have it – ten of the best down jackets perfect for an Everest Base Camp trek. Which one you choose is a personal preference.
For an Everest Base Camp trek, it’s worth going with a heavyweight down jacket. Since most of your gear will be carried by a porter, you don’t have to worry about the extra weight of a down jacket. The most important consideration is being warm and dry when you need it the most.
Thoughts. Which down jacket stands out for you? Do you own any of the down jackets on this list?
As always, I love to hear from you so please leave your comments below.