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The Best Men’s Puffer Jackets to Beat Back The Cold

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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.

Best Puffer Jackets Breakdown

Puffer Jacket History

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.

Down vs. Synthetic

Down insulation offers a solid warmth-to-weight ratio and convenient compressibility, but the insulating properties can suffer if it gets wet. Synthetic insulation, on the other hand, is more moisture-resistant and durable compared to down.

How Should a Puffer Jacket Fit?

Puffer jackets should be roomy enough to wear over your clothing without feeling too tight or too loose. You should be able to move your arms and shoulders freely, and the sleeves should be long enough to cover your wrists without riding up when you move.

What to look for

Material: Higher fill power generally means you’re getting better insulation, and you’ll want to look for at least 600-fill power if you plan on wearing the jacket in any serious cold weather.

Shell: A waterproof and windproof shell is essential for any serious puffer jacket, and luckily, the outer shell of most puffers is at least wind and water-resistant. A shell that’s also abrasion-resistant (like one made of nylon ripstop) can be useful for stuff like rock climbing, hiking, and other alpine sports.

Features: Features like multiple pockets (both inside and outside), two-way zippers, and chin guards can all be helpful for both active and casual wear. If you’re more concerned about the style of the jacket, then extra features may not be as important.

Weight: Since a big upside to puffer jackets is their lightweight warmth, you want something that isn’t too heavy (anything around 10oz is a good rule of thumb).

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka
  • Storage pouch with buckled enclosure
  • Anti-static lining
  • Very lightweight
  • No hood

Best Budget Puffer: Pound for pound, one of the best puffers on the market, Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down parka is both extremely warm and uniquely stylish, featuring a durable nylon ripstop shell. 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 water-repellant parka is an excellent choice that won’t break the bank, with a down fill power of 750+.

Material: Nylon ripstop shell, down filling
Fill: 750+
Features: Water-repellant, abrasion-resistant

Howler Brothers Merlin Puffer Jacket

Howler Brothers Merlin Puffer Jacket
  • Comes with a built-in stuff sack
  • Durable water-resistant shell
  • Hand warmer pockets
  • N/A

Best Year-Round Puffer: Howler Brothers combines their love of surf culture and durable Western wear to bring us unique takes on beloved classics. You see this blend of style pretty well in the Merlin Puffer Jacket, which is a bit more lightweight (both literally and in style) than your average puffer. It’s made with a water and abrasion-resistant ripstop nylon shell, and filled with PrimaLoft Gold insulation. Thanks to the versatile style and warmth, this jacket works just as well in the fall as it does in the winter, and it comes with a built-in stuff sack for convenient portability, so you can take it anywhere.

Material: 100% polyester ripstop shell
Fill: PrimaLoft Gold insulation
Features: Water-resistant, abrasion-resistant

Cotopaxi Fuego Down Hooded Jacket

  • Built-in scuba hood
  • Breathable underarm panels
  • Responsibly-sourced down filling
  • Comes in a variety of fun colorways
  • Runs a tad large

Best Colorful Puffer: 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.

Material: 20D giant-ripstop nylon with DWR finish shell, goose down filling
Fill: 800
Features: Water-resistant, built-in hood

Lululemon Wunder Puff Jacket

Lululemon Wunder Puff Jacket
  • Water-repellant and windproof
  • Responsibly-sourced down material
  • Interior pockets
  • Can get damaged if washed improperly

Best Relaxed-Fit Puffer: lululemon proves yet again why it’s one of the best at making products that are both accessibly stylish and insanely comfortable. With its Wunder Puff Jacket, the Canadian-born company flexes its athleisure expertise. The stretchy nylon with elastane allows for greater movement, and the relaxed fit falls away from the body for more layering options. The brand’s trademarked water-repellant and windproof fabric locks the 600-fill goose down into place for even greater insulation and warmth.

Material: Nylon, elastane, goose down filling
Fill: 600
Features: Waterproof, windproof

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Hoody

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Hoody
  • Designed for mountain sports
  • PFC-free DWR finish
  • Insulated hood
  • Hand warmer pockets
  • Doesn’t have the classic puffer look

Best Active Puffer: 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, with 700-fill RDS-certified down insulation to keep you warm and dry.

Material: 87% nylon, 13% elastane, goose down filling
Fill: 700
Features: Water-resistant, insulated hood

The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket

  • Old-school style
  • Hood and jacket are easy to stow away
  • Non-PFC DWR finish
  • May want to size down if you don’t like a relaxed fit

Best Classic Puffer: 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 offer insane warmth, as one would expect from a TNF product designed for winter conditions.

Material: 100% recycled nylon ripstop body, goose down filling
Fill: 700
Features: Water-resistant

Patagonia Jackson Glacier Jacket

Patagonia Jackson Glacier Jacket
  • Water and wind-resistant
  • Sustainably-made
  • Adjustable insulated hood
  • Sizable front pockets
  • Runs a little small around the chest

Best Winter Puffer: One of the most functional jackets on the market, Patagonia’s Jackson Glacier jacket has become an industry standard. The 700-fill recycled down 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.

Material: 100% recycled polyester, duck and goose down filling
Fill: 700
Features: Waterproof, wind-resistant

Fjallraven Expedition Down Lite Jacket

  • Lighter version of a classic jacket
  • Made with responsibly-sourced materials
  • Adjustable drawcords
  • Lightweight, but still big

Best Alpine Sports Puffer: With an array of color options, Fjallraven’s mid-level puffer is a lighter version of the jacket 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.

Material: 100% polyamide, goose down filling
Fill: 700
Features: Water-resistant, wind-resistant

Canada Goose Crofton Puffer

  • Made in Canada
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Water and wind-resistant
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Pricey

Best Premium 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.

Material: Ripstop nylon, duck down filling
Fill: 750
Features: Water-repellant, wind-resistant

The Best Waterproof Socks for Outdoor Adventures

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If you plan on taking your puffer out on the trails, you may want to stop by our best waterproof socks guide for a complete outfit.