Invented in 1935 after a clothing designer nearly lost his life due to hypothermia, the puffer jacket has historically seen utility and purpose get in the way of fashion. With some early examples using actual sleeping bags for their construction and others finding fabric from bed quilts, these down-filled wonders have definitely gone through an evolution over the years. Now, nearly a century later, we’ve luckily found a way to have our cake and eat it too, with the puffer jacket now regarded as a style icon.
The puffer jacket has become a staple of the winter season, and for good reason. The down filling and baffled insulation provide unmatched warmth while the typical horizontal stitching gives off an aesthetic all its own. As winter cements its hold and temperatures drop, it grows increasingly more important to have a reliable—and often stylish—down jacket as part of your wardrobe at home. As such, we’ve compiled a guide to our favorite puffer jackets for men to wear this season.
REI Co-op 650 Down Hoodie 2.0
At just a bit over $100, you can’t beat the price on REI’s very own down jacket. The lower fill count—as opposed to its heavier 800-fill goose down—keeps this coat light on your body without sacrificing much warmth. It’s also easy to travel with, as it’s able to compress itself into its own pocket. Made from recycled nylon, the Co-op 650 is a responsibly sourced puffer by a company that knows the outdoors like its own backyard. If you live in less frigid climates and don’t want to shell out a ton of cash, this jacket is the one for you.
Uniqlo 3D Cut Seamless Down Parka
Pound for pound one of the best puffers on the market, Uniqlo’s 3D Cut Seamless Down parka is both extremely warm and uniquely stylish. The subtle stitching is perfect for those who want a less defined look, while the fitted style and array of color options ensure that the jacket can go along with almost any outfit. Whether you’re going for a winter hike or enjoying a night out on the town, this waterproof parka is an excellent choice that won’t break the bank.
Nike Sportswear Storm-FIT Windrunner Hooded Jacket
Perennially able to match style with utility, Nike has made the perfect jacket for any occasion. With zippered hand pockets large enough to store all your gear and its Storm-FIT technology that resists both water and wind, the Windrunner’s functionality is truly unmatched. Available in several color schemes, this puffer has a touch of retro in its design. The polyester lining and 75% duck down fill allow for great breathability, and the adjustable hood is just the cherry on top.
lululemon Navigation Stretch Down Hoodie
New for this season, lululemon proves yet again why it’s one of the best at making products that are both accessibly stylish and insanely comfortable. With its Navigation Stretch Down Hoodie, the Canadian-born company flexes its athleisure expertise. The stretchy nylon with elastane allows for greater movement, and the hip-length fit falls away from the body for more layering options. The brand’s trademarked ThermoChannel technology locks the 700-fill goose down into place for even greater insulation and warmth.
Outerknown Lost Coast Moleskin Shirt Jacket
One of the more subtle puffer jackets out there, Outerknown’s Lost Coast Shirt Jacket is made from 100% cotton moleskin for a trimmer option that won’t constrict movement. Did we mention that it’s reversible? If you want to go with a more classic puffer look, the water-resistant polyester flipside serves better for wetter situations. The handwarmer pockets are another unique feature that makes this coat one of our favorite picks.
Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Hoody
Freedom of motion is important for most people when picking the ideal coat. Luckily, Mountain Hardware has employed its very own Stretchdown technology to give you that range with its lightweight “Hoody.” Intended for climbing, this shell jacket’s main selling point is its unique, non-traditional puffer look and its unmatchable comfort. Three exterior pockets ensure that you’ll be able to carry everything you need for even your most rigorous days in the wilderness.
Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded
Featuring Cotopaxi’s signature unique color patterns, the 800-fill Fuego is stylish and lean enough to allow for maneuverability. The summer palette makes this the ideal year-round coat if the climate calls for some extra coverage, however, the adjustable drawcord waist and built-in scuba hood make this perfect for winter weather as well. The water runoff material and breathable underarm panels further add to the jacket’s utility.
Patagonia Silent Down Jacket
One of the most functional jackets on the market, Patagonia’s Silent Down has become an industry standard. The 700-fill recycled down fill doesn’t detract from the compactness of this puffer when traveling. Water- and wind-resistant, this coat also includes an additional mid-layer for extra warmth. With a preference for utility over style — but with a knack for making stylish goods anyway — Patagonia has become such a household name in recent years that it’s nearly reinvented expectations for both.
The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse
This retro-inspired puffer from a benchmark brand is a go-to each year for a reason. The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse is a throwback to an iconic design popular during the heyday of puffers, oversized logo and all. The glossy jacket’s three-piece detachable hood can be stowed away inside its collar, not to mention the entire jacket is capable of easily stowing away in its own right-hand pocket (with your permission, of course). The bungee cinch at the waist and the 700-fill goose down offers insane warmth, as one would expect from a TNF product designed for winter conditions.
Filson Featherweight Water Repellent Down Coat
Filson’s Featherweight Water Repellent Down Coat is perfect for people who don’t live in ultra-harsh climates. One of the oldest brands on this list, the Seattle-based company is more than familiar with its home’s moderate and rainy winters, and yet still recognizes the necessity for a jacket no matter where you are. Available in earth tones that don’t detract from its fashionability, this ultra-light down-insulated jacket also features dual zippers up the front, which allow for more comfort when sitting down, and the ripstop nylon material maintains a sporty look while also holding up against the worst of Washington’s wet winters.
Todd Snyder Japanese Down Quilted Snap Bomber
One of the most fashionable down jackets out there, Todd Snyder’s diamond-quilted puffer made from Japanese nylon is exactly what you’d expect from the New York-based designer. The Snap Bomber toys with vintage pastiche, yet it keeps a very modern sensibility through and through. The gunmetal buttons garnish this incredibly cool coat — which is available in bright orange, black, and camouflage — and the 750-fill down will keep you warm all season long.
This 800-fill goose down jacket features midweight ripstop technology and a clean design for day-to-day adventures in the city and beyond. The trim silhouette and flat color texturing help establish the casual aesthetic, but this puffer is indeed made for the elements as well. Made from a mostly nylon and rayon blend, the Omega will stand up to the harshest weather, and AETHER even doubles down with its lifetime guarantee.
Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Hoody
Known for its long-lasting durability, Arc’teryx has designed the quintessential lightweight jacket to endure your most rugged activities. The Cerium is just one in the Canadian clothing company’s line of down jackets, but is at the top for good reason. More affordable compared to the high-end brand’s other offerings, this puffer is not only engineered to perfection, but its slim fit and light weight (a mere 11oz) won’t make you feel like you’re wearing a puffer at all, despite the 850 fill-power down insulation. Meticulously built, this coat also adds hydrophobic Coreloft insulation to the more moisture-prone areas on your body.
Fjallraven Expedition Down Lite Jacket M
With an array of color options, Fjallraven’s mid-level puffer is a lighter version of the jackets from its original 1974 series. Truly made for trekking adventures, the Expedition bundles you up really nicely and protects you from strong winds thanks to adjustable drawcords, tall neck guards, and a generous hood. The Swedish company sources its 700-fill goose down responsibly, and the 100% recycled nylon material ensures that you can wear this hefty coat guilt-free on your next outing.
Canada Goose Crofton Puffer
Perhaps the most well-rounded luxury puff jacket on the market, the glossy Crofton Puffer is both stylish enough to make you stand out in the crowd and light enough for packing into a suitcase. Spending just under a grand, you’ll get more than just the Canada Goose name with this coat. Using its meticulous Thermal Experience Index, the company has given the Crofton Puffer a 4 out of 5 rating when it comes to enduring the cold. The 750-fill white duck down provides insane warmth without sacrificing compactness, and the backpack strap also makes this the perfect jacket for longer trips.
Moncler Ecrins Short Down Jacket
Moncler once again continues to redefine luxury jackets. The French-Italian company has an array of amazing options, but the Ecrins Short Down makes our list simply because of how it balances performance and style. Despite the glossy aesthetic—made from a shiny nylon laqué—this coat is truly constructed for the outdoors, as it’s equipped with a hood, an elastic drawcord at the hem, and zippered enclosures. The wider down quilting, using Moncler’s signature boudin direct injection, makes this down jacket arguably the best high-end option on the market.
The 20 Best Winter Boots to Wear
If you’re going to be out and about this winter season, make sure you also take a look at our guide to the 20 best winter boots perfect for any adventure.