Best Puffer Jackets
Puffer jackets are highly coveted by those that live in or frequent cold climates. Visit any chilly city (think a high of 30 degrees Fahrenheit for the day) and you are bound to see puffer jackets galore! Not only are puffer jackets a great look, but they are also highly effective at keeping you warm in the coldest of weather. Long chairlift ride? No problem. Stargazing in the alps? Puffer has got you covered. Exploring Iceland’s Ring Road by your lonesome? Fear not, the puffer jacket offers a warm embrace. There are many different brands, fits, thicknesses, and material options out there at a wide range of prices. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Let us take you through the picks that we have found to be the best!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Great overall warmth
Fantastic sizing and comfort
- Arc'teryx Cerium LT
- Patagonia Down
- Columbia Vodoo
- BGSD Conner Toggle
- Canada Goose Hybridge
- Lark & Ro
- Eddie Bauer Stormdown
- Wantdo Packpable
- Mountain Hardwear Ghost
- Triple Goose Hesselberg
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Ten Puffer Jackets
1. Arc'teryx Cerium LT
Great overall warmth
Fantastic sizing and comfort
Feels heavy while wearing
If you’re looking for a great puffer jacket that can literally go with you anywhere, you certainly should check out the Cerium LT Hoody Jacket from Arc’teryx.Read more
Surprisingly, nearly all of the people who tried on this puffer jacket found that it was not only a great overall fit but also very comfortable to wear. The zipper enclosure and adjustable hood drawcords allowed for a more customized fit, and the shoulder and arms provided a good deal of room and flexibility for most wearers.
The outer shell of this puffer jacket consists of a combination of nylon, polyester and Taffeta materials, that provide great overall moisture resistance. The insulation consists of duck down feathers that can easily trap body heat and help to keep you warm and comfortable even in the most frigid weather.
Overall the craftsmanship of this puffer jacket fell easily in line with the high quality that most people have come to expect from the Arc’teryx brand. The seams were tightly sewn, and the fabric overall was well put together. The only real complaint that we found was that the zipper quality didn’t quite match the rest of the jacket.
Ease of Care
Because of the material used, professional cleaning is highly recommended.
This is a fairly lightweight and slim jacket overall, so if you’re looking for something with a bit more bulk or weight, you might want to look elsewhere. However, for most people, the clean lines and slim fit makes for a great fashionable look.
While the fashion of this jacket and the need for professional cleaning isn’t for everyone, this puffer jacket from Arc’teryx is a clear winner when it comes to keeping you warm in many different situations.
2. Patagonia Down
Great at retaining warmth
Humanely harvested feathers
You didn't think we would leave Patagonia off the list, did you? Similar to all of Patagonia's other products, this jacket does not disappoint. With an 800 fill power goose feather interior, you will feel like a walking furnace in a winter wonderland. Despite a few minor flaws, this jacket is near perfect.Read more
This jacket has more of an athletic fit and fits a bit tighter than a fleece would. Reviews show that if you are a tall person, over six feet, this jacket may be short on you. While the sizing tends to run true to size at the moment, reviewers have been disappointed to order the same size of this same jacket, years later, to realize that the medium from before is not the same medium size now.
The outer material is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop fabric. The jacket has a DWR finish to help keep you warm and dry if a rainstorm were to find you. This jacket also features strong Vislon zippers. For the inside of the jacket, it is made from 800 fill power goose feathers. One of the things we love most about this jacket is the fact that the feathers were harvested humanely and the welfare of the animals was investigated and respected.
Overall the quality and craftsmanship of this puffer jacket is on par with the majority of the others on this list. Patagonia's down sweater offers handwarmer pockets and elastic cuffs on the sleeves. There is also an adjustable hem, so keep the jacket tight around the bottom, not allowing any cold air in. This sweater is also lightweight and packable. Inside the breast of the jacket, there is a small zippered pocket that can be used to keep your phone or money while you are wearing it, or when you're ready to pack it up, the jacket itself folds into the pocket making it very easy to pack.
Ease of Care
Because of down material in the insulation, it is recommended by the manufacturer that this jacket be either cleaned by a professional or hand washed.
This is a great looking jacket and is available in ten different colors. The logo on the jacket is small and inconspicuous. The only way this jacket wouldn't look great is if you are very tall, the jacket may be too short.
Patagonia's down sweater jacket is a well thought out design. The combination of the down insulation, length, and protective outer shell makes it easy to keep the cold weather at bay.
3. Columbia Vodoo
Great at keeping you warm
Classic design allows for great fashion
Great overall fit
Could be a bit more durable
The Columbia brand is a well-known brand when it comes to coats, and this version of a puffer jacket is no exception. The overall quality, workmanship, and fit are truly second to none, and it certainly will become a fashion staple in your wardrobe.Read more
Nearly 85% of the customers surveyed found that this jacket fits them well, and corresponded to the size that they were expecting. The sleeves and shoulder area provided more than enough room and flexibility but still hugged at the wrist to keep the cold out easily. The waist, while not cinched, still hung close to the body and provided a comfortable barrier against the cold.
This puffer jacket is comprised of nearly 100% synthetic materials, including a water-resistant outer shell, and 590 TurboDown insulation. The insulation itself is a combination of both down feathers and synthetic polyester material. This allows for great durability, warmth, and protection when you need it most.
Unfortunately, the overall craftsmanship of this puffer jacket does leave a bit to be desired. There were a few reports of the insulation materials coming out of the jacket, and the seams becoming undone after a few uses.
Ease of Care
Because of the combination of down feathers and synthetic material, this jacket is probably best cleaned by a professional. However, a quick wipe down of the excess dirt and a quick run through the dryer may be all that it takes to freshen up the puffer jacket and give it new life.
While the classic cut and utilitarian feel of the jacket may be a downside for some, for most people this jacket is fashionably versatile enough to be worn in a wide range of situations, from an urban setting to the hiking trail.
While we certainly would have liked to see better overall craftsmanship, for the price and style, this Voodoo Falls jacket from Columbia is hard to beat. Designed for versatility and comfort, this puffer jacket certainly delivers.
4. BGSD Conner Toggle
Feather and down insulation great at retaining warmth
The coat has a very luxurious feel
Not really waterproof or water resistant as advertised
This spot on our list is occupied by a relative heavyweight in the cold weather puffer jacket department. While others boast at being under a pound, this jacket has an unapologetic weight of nearly four pounds. What it doesn’t have in lightness, it more than makes up for it with versatility and warmth.Read more
About 2/3 of the customers surveyed found that this jacket fits as well as they expected, while the remaining customers found it to be a bit too large for their liking.
Both the shell and lining of this jacket are made from a 100% polyester material. The insulation is a combination of down and feather material that is fairly good at retaining heat.
Sadly, this puffer jacket doesn’t quite measure up to the overall hype surrounding it. There were numerous reports of the jacket not being water resistant.
Ease of Care
Because of the combination of feathers and down material in the insulation, it is highly recommended that this jacket is professionally cleaned when necessary.
One thing that was commented by customers repeatedly about this puffer jacket was the elegance it had. Not only did it have a heavier, more luxurious feel overall, but many found it reminds them of something worn by the upper echelons of society.
While we would have liked to see a little better quality and craftsmanship overall, this puffer jacket by BGSD is a good heavyweight coat that can easily keep you warm on the blustery days.
5. Canada Goose Hybridge
Great overall warmth
Easy to care for
Easily packed away
Runs a bit small
If you’re looking for a truly lightweight puffer jacket that offers an extra layer of warmth on those days where a full winter jacket is a bit much, this one from Canada Goose is a great choice.Read more
This lightweight jacket was found to fit a bit snug by many people, and movement overall was somewhat restricted. However, in an urban setting, or for everyday wear during those slightly chilly days, or as a layer on a hike, most found it to be a good choice.
The interior portions of this puffer jacket consists of down insulation, and the outer portion is made from a feather-light 10D synthetic fabric.
Overall most found that the quality and craftsmanship of this puffer jacket was quite good. The seams were found to be strong and flexible, and the coat could easily be packed down into a smaller package overall.
Ease of Care
The nice thing about this jacket is that can be washed in a machine in cold water and a gentle cycle. It may be expensive to buy, but it is relatively easy and inexpensive to maintain.
The overall snug fit and slim design of this puffer jacket makes it a great choice for layering for extra warmth, or to use as a go-to jacket when running around the city.
If you’re looking for a great slimline puffer jacket to add to your collection, and you don’t mind going up a size or two, this one may be just what you need. Made from durable materials with great craftsmanship, this jacket is ideal for its versatility.
6. Lark & Ro
Great heat retention
Easy to clean
Zipper and seam quality could be improved
The eighth spot on our list is taken up by a company that’s well known for combining both fashion and function to the benefit of both. The Lark and Ro Women’s Packable Down Hooded Jacket provides a great deal of warmth in an easy to use, and easy to pack puffer jacket.Read more
This puffer jacket is clearly designed for the average to petite size woman, so if you have a bit more curves, you might want to order a size larger than you usually get. However, if the larger size is purchased, most find the jacket to be very comfortable.
The outer shell is made from nylon material, and the insulation is made from a synthetic polyester blend that is quite good at retaining warmth without the clumping problems often seen with down feathers.
Generally speaking, most customers found this puffer jacket to be well made and warm. There were a few reports of zipper malfunction, or the seams in the shoulder areas becoming weak over time, but other than that, there really weren’t too many complaints.
Ease of Care
One of the nice things about this particular puffer jacket is that the synthetic material makes it fairly easy to care for. While professional cleaning is recommended, this jacket can easily survive a trip to the laundromat.
Unlike many of the other puffer jackets on this list, this jacket features an A-line design. It’s a great choice for those with a slightly wider hip area and a smaller waist.
This lightweight and very packable puffer jacket is a great choice if you want something fashionable to keep the cold at bay. While it does tend to run a bit small, for those wanting warmth and a classic style, it’s hard to beat.
7. Eddie Bauer Stormdown
Great at keeping you warm
Sleeves can feel a bit tight
It’s no surprise that the company that first brought the idea of the puffer jacket into the world is making an appearance on our list. This Micro Therm StormDown Hooded Jacket from Eddie Bauer is a great example of what happens when experience meets innovation.Read more
Nearly two-thirds of the people who use this jacket found that it was a great overall fit, providing plenty of room in the shoulders, arms and chest areas to allow for a comfortable fit. Some found that the jacket felt a bit tight, especially in the shoulder areas, or slightly too short for their liking.
The outer shell of this lightweight jacket is comprised of synthetic material designed to repel water and snow. The interior portions consist of down feathers that provide great heat-trapping ability and functionality.
Overall, most people found this puffer jacket to be well made, with a few notable exceptions. First, the zipper didn’t always measure up to the high standards of the jacket as a whole, and second, the sleeves were often ill-fitting and uncomfortable.
Ease of Care
Based on the outer shell, this puffer jacket is easily one of the best at repelling dirt, grime, and moisture. Usually, a simple wipe down with a damp cloth is more than enough to get the job done. However, if a more thorough cleaning is needed, professional assistance is recommended.
This puffer jacket has an overall slim design and fits well on most bodies. It has a classic, timeless cut that is perfect for an active lifestyle of adventure, both in the wilderness and urban settings.
If you don’t mind a zipper that sometimes gets stuck, and sleeves that are a little tight, this puffer jacket from Eddie Bauer might be a great choice. Designed with the active person in mind, it offers great overall protection from the elements at a very reasonable price.
8. Wantdo Packpable
Great fit for larger individuals
Fantastic warmth overall
Could be more durable
This lightweight puffer jacket offers great overall protection from the elements, and plenty of room to move around in. If you’re a bit on the larger size, or regularly shop the big and tall departments, this is one puffer jacket to consider.Read more
In truth, the average sized person will find this jacket a bit too large and bulky for a comfortable fit. It tends to run a bit large. However, if you are a larger man or women, the overall fit is a comfortable one. There is plenty of room in the shoulder and arm area, and the waist and torso hang somewhat loosely on the body to allow for a greater girth.
The outer shell of this puffer jacket is made from 20D*400T Nylon material that is great for keeping out the wet weather and the cold. The inner areas are filled with duck down insulation that helps to retain heat from the body over a long period of time.
Unfortunately, most found that this lightweight puffer jacket did leave a bit to be desired in the craft department. Many had trouble with the zipper closure, and the seams near the wrist areas were subject to fraying.
Ease of Care
While technically this jacket can be washed by hand with down-safe detergent, most found it more convenient to have this jacket professionally cleaned.
The bulky design of this jacket was a let down for some customers, but quite a few found it to be a welcomed change from the slimmer fitting designs on the market today.
While some may find the larger fit and design a bit awkward to wear, this puffer jacket is a comfortable option for those who have a larger body overall. Dry cleaning is recommended, and there are a few issues with quality, but overall this lightweight yet larger puffer jacket is a great choice.
9. Mountain Hardwear Ghost
Good range of sizes
Arms can feel tight
This extremely lightweight puffer jacket from Mountain Hardwear weighs just over 8 oz, but still features many of the same characteristics as the other quality examples on this list. If you want a puffer jacket that is truly featherlight, this is a great overall choice.Read more
Most customers found this jacket to be well fitting in the torso area, but some found the collar and elbow areas to be strangely tight. It comes in a wide range of sizes, from small to 2X-Large, so finding one that fits shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
The outer shell is made of weather resistant nylon material, and the insulation is made from down material that retains a good amount of loft and heat retention, even when wet. The cuffs are made of a lightweight cotton jersey material, which were designed to help keep the cold out.
In truth, quite a few of the people who bought this lightweight puffer jacket found it to be a little too lightweight for their liking. The outer shell often was shown to be made of a relatively thin material, which didn’t stand up well to rips and tears. While it may be suitable for an urban setting or just going around the town, quite a few people found it less than durable in an outdoor setting.
Ease of Care
While it is easy enough to do a little bit of spot cleaning with a sponge and warm water, professional cleaning is recommended for this puffer jacket.
This puffer jacket provides a relatively smaller profile, and more subtle puffs to give it a more nuanced and nearly professional look. While we wouldn’t suggest wearing it to a business luncheon, it does have an understated elegance that is hard to find in this style of jacket.
If you’re looking for a truly feather-light down jacket that has a relatively low profile, and don’t mind watching out for the occasional tears, this puffer jacket from Mountain Hardwear is a great choice.
10. Triple Goose Hesselberg
Fantastic at keeping you warm
Unique fashionable design
Hard to clean, professional cleaning is recommended
This third entry on our list is designed with the idea of warmth and luxury in mind. Filled with goose feathers and featuring a fur-lined collar and hood, it not only provides a great deal of warmth but also a classic urban fashion sense that is hard to beat.Read more
While a little over half of the people surveyed found that the jacket was a comfortable fit, nearly 40% of the customers found that the jacket was a little bit smaller than they expected. Others also found that the sleeves were somewhat restrictive and uncomfortable.
In addition to the goose down insulation material used, this jacket also features a 10000 millimeter DWR water resistant outer layer that manages to keep you dry and yet allows for great overall ventilation. It is also coated in Teflon, so water and mud simply bead off easily.
While this company has been making puffer jackets and coats since the mid-1980s, their overall craftsmanship is nothing spectacular. The seams have been known to unravel at times, and there are reports of the insulation losing its ability to retain heat over time.
Ease of Care
Because of the goose down feathers as well as the coyote fur lining, this jacket can become a bit of a hassle to care for. Professional cleaning, when needed is highly recommended.
Of the different puffer jackets on this list, this one is perhaps the most fashionable one for the urban and wilderness setting available. It has a classic, practical design that has been featured in many magazines and fashion-forward establishments. While it may not be for everyone, chances are this jacket will get you noticed.
If you’re looking for a jacket that can keep you warm in a wide range of environments, and you don’t mind a little extra maintenance to keep it in top shape, this goose down filled puffer jacket may just be what you need. The classic design and quality materials make for a great overall jacket.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When it comes to the best puffer jackets on the market today, how well it fits your body is an important factor to consider. After all, if the coat is uncomfortable or ill-fitting, there is really no point in wearing it. In order to determine the overall fit of the piece, we not only looked at the available sizes, but also considered how tight the sleeves were, whether the puffer jacket allowed for a free range of motion, whether or not it covered the torso adequately, and if the hood provided enough protection. In truth, we found many of the puffer jackets we looked at to be large by fashion and design, so finding those with a good overall fit was a bit problematic. But we do think that the ones presented here provide the best overall fit for most people.
In order to have a puffer jacket that is both fashionable and functional, it needs to be made of quality materials. Whether the filling is made of natural down feathers or a synthetic material, it needs to be of a good quality and designed to keep the wearer warm, but still be lightweight enough to provide for a free range of movement. The outer shell, of course, should be able to keep the elements at bay. In most cases, we found the materials used in these puffer jackets to not only consist of the quality that we expect, but also the common materials like down, polyester fibers, nylon, and even fur or tightly woven but breathable natural materials.
Another important factor that we considered when searching for the best puffer jacket is the overall care and craftsmanship that was taken in the production of the jacket. Sadly, when it comes to craftsmanship, not all jackets were created equal. Many on the market today may look well made upon the first inspection, but upon a closer look simply don’t stand up to the rigors of daily use, especially for someone who is active. In essence, what we looked for was the tightness of the stitching, how well the material was woven, the quality of the material, and the ability of the jacket overall to wear well in day to day activities.
We wear our jackets on a regular basis, and chances are they will get dirty from time to time. This fact of life is one of the main reasons why we took a look at how easy the puffer jacket was to care for overall. After all, it is an investment in your wardrobe, and if you have to spend an exorbitant amount of money or time to care for it, you may think twice about making a purchase. Thankfully, with modern technology, good materials, and great craftsmanship, most people found these puffer jackets to be relatively easy to care for.
Last, but certainly not least we took a long hard look at the overall fashion of the puffer jacket. Like most clothing, what is “in” can change from year to year or even season to season. So we looked for ones that had a fashionable staying power, as it were. We searched out those puffer jackets that not only had the clean and classic lines of the style but also featured a few of the more trendy items or characteristics that made them some of the hottest sellers on the market today. Finding this balance of timelessness and trendiness wasn’t always easy, and frankly, sometimes we missed the mark, but overall we think that these particular jackets will withstand the test of time quite well.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Puffer jackets have been in existence in one form or another since early in the 20th century, and they’re still going strong. Their practicality, versatility, and comfort make them a great overall choice for winter or cold weather gear in a wide range of environments. No matter whether you wear them to enjoy the slopes, a hike to your favorite camping ground, a visit to the corner store, or simply as your go-to winter coat, finding the best puffer jacket is essential.
Other Factors to Consider
Nearly all the puffer jackets that we presented here in this list will protect you well from the cold. After all, that’s what they are designed to do. However, some of them may be more suited for those who enjoy a hike through the woods versus a quick walk around a city block. When choosing the best puffer jacket for your needs, you should consider what activities you’re going to be enjoying while wearing the jacket. If you prefer spending a good deal of time outside, you might want to consider a puffer jacket with a bit more insulation, or perhaps a larger size, which will help you retain heat. However, if you’re just going from your car to the office, or having a quick snowball fight with the kids, a heavier coat may make you overheat faster. As a general rule, if you expect your activities to cause you to overheat, you’ll want to consider a puffer coat that is a bit more streamlined overall.
In addition to protecting your body from the weather, a good puffer jacket should be comfortable to wear. One of the best ways to make sure that these criteria are met is to choose a jacket that matches not only your size, but also the overall fit and style that you prefer. It may sound a little ridiculous, but you would be surprised at how many people buy a puffer jacket without considering how it will lay on their body, or whether or not it will be flattering to their body type.
Essentially, when choosing a coat, including a puffer jacket, you need to consider your overall body shape to find the most flattering and comfortable fit. The coat should follow the curves of your body, but not hug them. Think of the jacket like your shadow. Where your body flares out, it should as well. Where it curves closer to the body, your puffer coat should as well.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, many of the puffer jackets on the market today are not really designed for bodies that have significant curves. Their cut and the overall shape is more designed for those who have more angular or straight bodies, so those with curves need to look a little bit harder to find the ones that fit them well.
Despite their fun name, puffer jackets actually do very well to keep you and your body nicely warm during the colder months. The pockets of insulation and air in the jackets do allow them to perform well in extremely cold temperatures, but they can also cause the wearer to overheat when the temperatures start to rise.
So before you buy a puffer jacket, consider the average temperatures and types of weather that you’re most likely to encounter while wearing it. This will allow you to determine the amount of insulation, size, and overall heat retention that you need to stay comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions
The puffer jacket gets its name from the areas of air or insulation that are surrounded by seams or stitching. These sections “puff out” giving the jacket a bloated appearance.
The first puffer jacket wasn’t actually called a puffer jacket. It was first brought to the fashion world by Eddie Bauer back in 1936, it was originally called the Skyliner, and consisted of a down jacket where the feathers were encased within the quilted fabric. The design was later patented in 1940, and throughout its history, it has undergone many minor changes, but the overall design and functionality have remained the same.
Often the best way to clean a puffer jacket depends not only on how dirty it becomes but also the materials used to make it. If the jacket merely has a few spots of dirt or grime on the sleeve, for example, a soft sponge with warm water and a mild detergent should be more than enough. If it needs a more thorough cleaning, however, many manufacturers recommend dry cleaning or other professional cleaning services.
For short periods of time, you can store your puffer jacket compressed into a small space. For example, think about putting the jacket in a backpack while hiking. You aren’t going to leave it there long as you will most likely take it out once the temperature drops later in the day. In times when you are not using the jacket, it is best to always unfurl it for storage. If the jacket is left in a ball, the insulation (synthetic or down) will eventually clump up and leave patchy areas where the jacket does not insulate as well.
Advanced global traceable down feathers are certified by NSF International. The feathers are able to be tracked from start to finish, with the treatment of the birds meeting strict guidelines to ensure humane treatment to make sure the birds are not force-fed nor live-plucked. Yes, these horrors do still occur in this day and age, but you do not have to be a part of it or fund it. Look for this certification on any puffer jacket you buy if you support this cause.
- How to Choose the Best Down Jacket, Oct 29, 2018 ,