11 Best Down Pants for Winter Adventures (and Relaxing at Home)

Lightweight, packable, and hyper warm, the down pant is a gear essential few have adopted, but a game-changer for those willing to

11 Best Down Pants for Winter Adventures (and Relaxing at Home)


Graham Hiemstra

Field Mag's benevolent overlord, formerly of the PNW and now residing in NYC. We apologize in advance for his many mispellings.

A handful of years back, while browsing the impossibly huge (and since shuttered, RIP) flagship shop of Japanese outdoor brand Montbell in downtown Portland, Oregon, I came across a rack of down pants. I’d never seen such a thing before. I mean, a puffy jacket, sure. But a puffy jacket for your legs? On a whim I purchased a pair, and in the years since they’ve become an essential part of my packlist for backpacking, bikepacking, ski touring, backcountry hiking, car camping, hiking, and other types of trips around the world. I even wear them around the house with such frequency I’ve begun to wear through the seat insulation from too much desk chair time.

In recent years many North American and European brands have caught on, offering more diversity in the field of down pants—and even shorts and skirts—than ever before. From American-made and PFC-free to partial length variations, the following 13 pairs are our top picks for the best down pants and insulated pants for keeping cozy this winter, both at home and in the elements.

[Down not your thing? Check out our top picks for best fleece pants]

Mont Bell Light Down Pants

Originally introduced to Japan in 2004, then discontinued, and now back again with lighter, more compressible fabric, the Mont Bell Light Down Pants are the most packable on the list and feature an elastic waist and that’s about it. Barebones and better for it.
Women’s: Yes
Down Fill: 800
Weight: 6.6 oz
Price: $209 SHOP NOW

Snow Peak Recycled Nylon Ripstop Down Pants

Made with recycled materials and a water repellent coating, a zip fly and adjustable integrated belt, this Japanese take on down pants is the most sophisticated of the bunch.
Women’s: YES
Down Fill: 700
Weight: NA
Price: $330 $198 SHOP NOW

The North Face Lhotse Expedition Pants

Though made by renowned outfitter TNF, these particular down pants skew a bit more fashionable than tactical. Inspired by mountain exploration and stuffed with down (fill unknown), this pair has the most street appeal of the lot.
Women’s: Unisex
Down Fill: NA
Weight: NA
Price: $295 SHOP NOW

Nanga Portable Down Pants

This Japanese-made pair from noted down gear maker Nanga is a tad bit on the bulkier side, though ever more comfy for it. With stretch fabric for ample knee movement and a water repellent coating, this pair was designed for cold weather adventures of all sorts.
Women’s: Unisex
Down Fill: 860
Weight: 10.6 oz
Price: $258 SHOP NOW

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Pant

Based on the brand’s well loved down jacket of the same name, the Ghost Whisperer Down Pant is newly available with 100% recycled fabric and designed to be worn around camp, while belaying, or under a shell on particularly frigid adventures. Bonus: they pack into their own pocket for easy storage when not in use.
Women’s: YES
Down Fill: 800
Weight: 9.6 oz
Price: $250 SHOP NOW

Patagonia Nano Puff Pant

Another pant version of a best-selling jacket, the Nano Puff Pant is made with 100% recycled polyester shell fabric with DWR water repellent treatment, and insulated with 55% postconsumer recycled PrimaLoft Gold. With belt loops, a zippered back pocket and reinforced nylon seat, the versatility of these extends beyond many other lightweight pants on our list.
Women’s: Not Really
Down Fill: 60 gram PrimaLoft Gold
Weight: 11.7 oz
Price: $179 SHOP NOW

Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants

Made by hand in Seattle by legendary down outfitter Feathered Friends, these adventure-ready pants feature full-length side zippers and 900+ fill goose down, making them ideal for quickly putting on and taking off without stepping out of your skis or removing boots.
Women’s: Unisex
Down Fill: 900+
Weight: 13oz
Price: $249 SHOP NOW

Rab Argon Pants

Stuffed with 160 grams of the highest quality 800 fill ethically sourced, fluorocarbon free hydrophobic European Goose Down, these down pants from UK-based Rab are designed to be worn over a baselayer around basecamp. A durable Pertex outer material and two-way zipper make these dependable in a range of conditions.
Women’s: NO
Down Fill: 800 RDS
Weight: 13.2 oz
Price: $200 SHOP NOW

66North Vatnajokull PrimaLoft Trousers

Iceland's 66North has the next best thing after down. These synthetic trousers are filled and insulated with an incredibly soft PrimaLoft microfiber blend, have reinforcements on the back of the knees, and three pockets.
Women’s: Yes
Down Fill: PrimaLoft®
Weight: NA
Price: $250 SHOP NOW

Norrona Lyngen Down Knickers

We’re getting into quasi-pant territory now. The Lyngen Down Knickers from Norwegian outfitter Norrona are made with recycled nylon with PFC-free DWR coating and end just below the knee—or, just above the boot if you’re a glass half full type of person. With a side zip these are ideal for tossing on over shell pants to warm up while ski touring. Also likely pretty damn comfy under too.
Women’s: YES
Down Fill: 850 RDS
Weight: 7 oz
Price: $239 SHOP NOW

Skhoop Molly Down Skirt

A hard sell for some, we'll admit; but a down skirt is a perfect option when your upper legs need just a lil extra warmth. This Swedish brand sells mainly adventure skirts in so many fun & funky colors. Featuring a zip-off entry and a zippered pocket, an elastic waist band, and environ-friendly DWR, there's everything to love about this piece. (If you're looking for a puffier option, check out this down skirt by Outdoor Research.)
Down Fill: 600
Weight: 5.6 oz
Price: $199 SHOP NOW

Published 02-10-2021