Taking on all that winter has to offer shouldn’t be a burden – or rather, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your gear (and specifically, your outerwear) can pass muster. The best puffer jackets take the guesswork out of the equation entirely, with technical attributes aplenty and style points to stand up to outdoor seasonal pursuits.
Puffer jackets are shorter in length and less bulky than, say, a traditional winter parka, and there’s room in every outerwear rotation for one.
They’re called a puffer jacket for a reason, with a quilted design (sometimes vertically quilted, most often horizontal) that’s filled with down (either real or synthetic, or a blend). And although they might seem straightforward, they can add rugged style to any look. These are the puffer jackets we’ll be layering up with this winter.
Some of the best puffer jackets just truly “have it all” when it comes to carefully considered design details, durability and sustainability. I’ve long trusted Patagonia in my outerwear rotation for eco-conscious, dependable performance and style, and the Nano Puff is a certified classic for lightweight toughness and crisp looks.
It’s like I noted above: Patagonia has long covered all the bases as far as reliable performance and environmentally conscious production is concerned.
It all comes to a head with the essential Nano Puff Jacket, which boasts a 100 percent recycled polyester shell and lining, plus sustainable 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester fill for warmth.
If there were a listing for “puffer jacket” in the style dictionary, then this classic from The North Face might be the leading example.
It’s got plenty of stylish pedigree in the world of streetwear, but beyond that, the Nuptse Jacket is just a durable, darn fine jacket with easygoing looks and 700-fill power down for exceptional warmth.
Whether trail hiking, snowshoeing or hitting up a coveted apres-ski spot, Columbia has just the jacket for you.
Made with the brand’s heat-reflective lining for just the right amount of insulation, this jacket doesn’t skimp on style points either, thanks to its colorblocked design. An adjustable hem delivers a secure fit, too.
The great thing about the best puffer jackets is the fact that they pack a ton of performance into a streamlined silhouette. With its slim design, the Wool Aire Hoodie carries on the Ibex focus of sleek performance.
Its eco-friendly exterior is also wind and water-resistant, and it packs down into its own shell for easy transport.
When you really dive into the world of stylish performance outerwear, you might be surprised by what turns up.
Take Uniqlo’s parka, with 3D-cut shoulders for ease of movement. It’s one of the most affordable puffer jackets on the market, and a style steal with a number of surprising performance features, like a DWR-coated exterior made for winter pursuits.
Blazing a trail, so to speak, in the world of winter sports and wintertime strolls requires a jacket that’s up to par. Huckberry and its in-house brand Proof get all the proper design details perfectly correct, using a lightweight nylon shell for durability and warming (yet also lightweight) insulation for supreme performance.
Maybe you’ve noticed that the most stylish dressers you know are all wearing sleek, mysterious outerwear from Arc’teryx. If not, get ready to spot a lot more of the performance brand in the wild, especially considering the reliability of this Fair Trade Certified, naturally insulated puffer jacket.
When I layer up for winter, I reach first and foremost for men’s clothing brands I can trust.
I certainly rank Eddie Bauer highly (quite highly) when it comes to the best puffer jackets, including this classic model that blends lightweight, warm down fill with a durable exterior and an array of crisp color options for versatility.
There’s a fairly good chance that one of the first pieces of winter gear you ever wore came from L.L. Bean. At least, that was the case during my childhood days dealing with cold Michigan winters.
L.L. Bean’s aptly named Mountain Classic Puffer remains a preferred choice for timeless style and a mix of heritage quality and performance.
Canadian heritage sportswear brand Reigning Champ doesn’t cut corners with its extremely soft yet durable sweats, the kind you can wear for all sorts of sporting pursuits, especially on chilly winter mornings. Its Taffeta Warm-Up Jacket is another layer meant to be put through its paces, filled with goose down and finished with a performance-minded YKK Vision zipper.