The Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket breathes extremely well when working hard in cold environments, yet insulates just as well when activity ceases, eliminating the need to layer up or down during stop and go adventures.
The Black Diamond Equipment First Light Hoody is a durable workhorse for alpine environments, providing the right combination of breathability and heat retention for moderately active, start and stop pursuits in winter conditions.
With a rack of down jackets to choose from, this was the one we reached for the most. This is a super warm jacket, but it doesn't have a weight penalty, and with the water-resistant down and great fit, it comes at a very fair value for its price.
Marmot's Greenland Baffled Jacket is best reserved for cold places, winter camping or the chronically cold. It's a bit bulky for skiing with, but at rest stops or at camp its high warmth to weight ratio will be appreciated.
The Mountain Hardwear B'Layman was one of the warmest synthetic puffies we've tried, and proved its ability to shuck weather. It’s a great choice for coastal places where precip doesn't always fall as snow.
We loved this jacket's trim fit and middle-of-the-road weight and warmth, between a down sweater and expedition parka. It's not as warm as some jackets we tested, but it doesn't feel bulky, and comes at a fair price.
The least warm of the down jackets we tested for this review, the Helly Hansen Odin Belay scored bonus points for its streamlined fit and easy layering. It lags in compressibility and weight-to-warmth ratio, but it boasts a wide comfort range.
According to Mountain Hardwear, the Ghost Whisperer (hooded) is the world's lightest down jacket—seven ounces, 850-fill down, two pockets, and a ripstop shell that's down- and wind-proof and water repellant.