Here is my selection of the best synthetic insulated jackets for 2018 which I would consider buying for my next winter or hiking trip.

Wearing a synthetic insulated jacket over a down jacket can have several reasons.

Either you are just looking for an alternative to down because of ethical reasons or you are planning to wear your jacket in a damp or humid environment where down may lose its insulation capabilities when it gets wet.

Best Synthetic Insulated Jackets 2018

On our snowshoeing trip in Finnish Lapland, we could choose between wearing a synthetic or down jacket due to the low humidity.

Weight comparison table

JacketWeight
Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody295 grams / 10.4 oz.
Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody11.3 oz. / 321 grams
Black Diamond Access Hoody11.6 oz. / 330 grams
Montane Halogen Alpha Jacket12.4 oz. / 351 grams
Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket 13.4 oz / 379 grams
Arc'teryx Proton AR Hoody15 oz. / 425 grams
Montane Fusion Alpha Jacket15.1 oz. / 427 grams
Arc'teryx Nuclei AR Jacket16.2 oz. / 460 grams
Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket19.9 oz. / 563 grams
Rab Nebula Jacket20.5 oz. / 580 grams
Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket23 oz. / 645 grams
Rab Photon X Jacket24 oz. / 670 grams
Arc'teryx Fission SV Jacket33 oz. / 935 grams

Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody

Weight: 10.5 oz. / 295 grams

The Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody is not a pure synthetic insulated jacket and replaces the synthetic insulation with 850 goose down on areas where moisture may build up.

With 295 grams it’s the lightest jacket in our list. This jacket is useful for active people, but you may rather pick a different jacket if you are planning to visit a very wet or humid place.

Arc’teryx Fission SV Jacket

Weight: 33 oz. / 935 grams

The Arc’teryx Fission SV Jacket is a waterproof, insulated jacket with Coreloft™ insulation.

This jacket is the warmest synthetic insulated all-mountain jacket in Arc’teryx product range which is also waterproof while still breathable.

Arc’teryx Nuclei AR Jacket

Weight: 16.5 oz. / 460 grams

The Arc’teryx Nuclei AR Jacket is a good choice for alpine climbers and is filled with Coreloft 100 insulation with a full seam taped GORE® THERMIUM™ shell which is water resistant and windproof but also very breathable.

The jacket is designed with an articulated patterning which increases ergonomic freedom.

Moreover, the jacket comes with a helmet-compatible insulated StormHood™ which does not impact your vision.

Arc’teryx Proton AR Hoody

Weight: 15 oz. / 425 grams

The Arc’teryx Proton AR Hoody is the warmest jacket in the Proton Series and is balancing warmth and airflow.

You can wear the jacket either as a soft shell or as a mid-layer under a waterproof shell.

The jacket has a trim fit design and an insulated adjustable hood which is helmet compatible.

Montane Fusion Alpha Jacket

Weight: 15.1 oz. / 427 grams

The Montane Fusion Alpha jacket has been developed by using thermal imaging data and has been designed for alpinists.

Montane Halogen Alpha Jacket

Weight: 12.4 oz. / 351 grams

The Montane Halogen Alpha Jacket has been designed for stop-start activities in the mountains. The jacket is made of Polartec Alpha.

Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket

Weight: 23 oz. / 645 grams

The Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket is a wind and water resistant jacket filled with Primaloft GOLD insulation.

It also comes with an insulated hood with wired visor. The Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket is currently my go-to insulated jacket which I was wearing in the Scottish Highlands.

Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket

Weight: 13.4 oz. / 379 grams

The Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket comes with an insulated hood and is filled with Primaloft Gold. The Cathode Hooded Jacket has Schoeller® underarm side panels that can breathe and stretch.

The jacket is an excellent choice for cold and wet alpine environments and those looking for a lightweight and breathable solution.

Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket

Weight: 19.9 oz. / 563 grams

The Outdoor Research Uberlayer Jacket is made of Polartec Alpha and is an excellent choice for ski tours or climbing. It offers breathability and dries quickly.

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

Weight: 11.3 oz. / 321 grams

The Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody is made of Polartec Alpha insulation and has been designed for active pursuits to stay dry and warm. The hood is made of Polartec Power Grid.

Rab Nebula Jacket

Weight: 20.5 oz. / 580 grams

The Rab Nebula Jacket is a featherless synthetic insulated jacket which dries quickly.

The jacket is designed as an all-rounder which is perfect for climbing and winter walking.

The jacket has a helmet compatible hood for climbing use and a Pertex Endurance® shell to make the jacket water resistant.

Rab Photon X Jacket

Weight: 24 oz. / 670 grams

The Rab Photon X Jacket is a water-resistant winter jacket filled with Primaloft® Gold synthetic insulation and was designed for use in harsh Scottish Winter conditions.

The jacket features zoned synthetic insulation to eliminate cold spots and is reinforced in key areas. The jacket also comes with a helmet-compatible hood.

Our interview with the North Face

Konstantin interviewing the North Face at the ISPO 2016 about their product highlights.

Hi, this is Konstantin, and I’ve got Michael, the product director from The North Face.

Hi, Michael. What are the two, three highlights of the season?

So one of our key highlights is our Thermoball series here. Thermoball is our way to introduce an alternative to down.

So when you think about thermal insulation, down feathers are one of the best elements that you can have. Really captures the air good. The problem with down feathers is once it gets wet, it clumps together and loses all its abilities to create insulation.

So our solution for this is Thermoball, which is a synthetic version here. Basically what it does, even if it’s wet, it keeps its shape and therefore its thermal insulation.

So really one of the big benefits here compared to down. Even if it’s wet or if it’s damp, or a little bit clumped, it keeps the insulation properties.

So that’s one of the innovations that we have. We apply it to various different products. A lot of jackets and snow sports where we apply this.

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