As the highest valued insulated jacket in this review, the Columbia Mighty Lite Plush is the best option if you're looking for an exceptional model that is geared toward non-technical adventures. Scoring high points across the metrics of warmth, weather resistance, comfort, and style, our testers were genuinely impressed by this piece. The 80-grams of Omni-Heat insulation kept us warm in temperatures that dipped into the negative double digits, while the fur-lined collar and hood kept us super cozy and warm. The style and fit are flattering for ladies of all shapes and sizes, while the price is just right at $130 (and less on some sites). We love it specifically for wearing in the winter time while walking the dog or running errands around town. It is well suited for the occasional leisurely winter hike.
Even though the Mighty Lite Plush is weather resistant, warm and cute, it trades out breathability and compression. As a result, it's not as well-suited for situations where you might sweat. In addition, we had trouble stuffing it into packs, so we'd recommend it for wear only. The Arc'teryx Proton AR Hoody is a technical jacket, winning our Top Pick for Winter Recreation. Unlike the Mighty Lite, it features a much more breathable face fabric, compresses to a smaller size and fits easily into a pack. While it's not as warm as the Mighty Lite, its the second-warmest jacket in this review, boasting a better warmth-compression ratio than the Columbia. That said, it's dollar signs are much higher and is not the best option for those on a budget. Overall, if you're looking for a great insulated jacket that will keep you warm when the weather turns for the worst, this Best Buy winner is a great deal. Just don't buy it if you're in search of a technical jacket for aerobic activity.