Once the curtains fall on daylight saving time, it’s time to brace for winter’s blustery chill—and shake the dust off the winter jackets in your closet. As far as cold weather layers go, style-savvy outerwear like tailored wool overcoats and flannel-lined bomber jackets might serve as sophisticated picks for scuttling down frosty sidewalks. But when you’re confronted with truly dramatic winter weather—the dreaded polar vortex, an unprecedented nor’easter—no other garment will keep you comfortable like a puffer jacket.
Designed With Down
With a puffer jacket, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. These quilted jackets have their signature “puffiness” because they’re stuffed with goose or duck down or synthetic fibers, which are kept in place with internal baffles (the stitched segments that give puffers their distinctive look). The baffles prevent the filling from lumping or shifting about.
Puffers are popular among outdoor enthusiasts because of their unparalleled comfort and insulating abilities. Better yet, most down-filled jackets are highly portable, too: You can compress and roll them up for more organized packing.
When comparing jackets, one of the key metrics to look for is fill power. Without getting too technical, it’s an industry term that quantifies the volume of loft that one ounce of down produces. The higher the fill power, the greater the loft and the more efficiently the down jacket will insulate (though other factors contribute to overall warmth, such as the density of the down filling and whether the jacket has a wind-resistant shell).
Aside from those basics, puffer jackets come in a wide range of styles. Our selects for this season include a variety of silhouettes and colorways; some are more lightweight for convenient layering, while others can keep you warm in Arctic conditions. Bundling up for winter has never felt (or looked) so good.
The Puffer Jacket Guide 2022
1. Nobis Citizen Tailored Parka
Every bit of the wind- and water-resistant Nobis Citizen parka was engineered to ensure supreme warmth. Filled with ultra-insulating Canadian white duck down, the jacket hits at the knee for extra coverage and to block out drafts of chilly air. Ribbed button cuffs and a hidden drawcord waist trap heat and create a snug fit, and fleece-lined pockets offer a cozy refuge for your hands. This parka also comes with removable coyote fur trim around the hood for added style points.
2. Quince Lightweight Down Hooded Puffer Jacket
Stuffed with responsibly-sourced down, Quince’s hooded puffer is a lightweight, highly packable option. Made with warm 650-fill-power insulation, it rolls up into its chest pocket and packs down to about the size of a football—perfect for tossing into your suitcase. Better yet, it’s highly affordable, too.
3. The North Face HMLYN Down Parka
The HMLYN Down Parka is a streetwear-appropriate update to The North Face’s original Himalayan Down Jacket, a go-to outer layer for elite mountaineers. The parka is built for challenging conditions. In addition to 550-fill-power down, it’s made with a DWR-treated nylon WindWall shell for wind-resistant protection, an adjustable hood for maximum coverage, and a storm flap over the front zipper to block out precipitation.
4. Canada Goose Crofton Slim-Fit Recycled Nylon-Ripstop Hooded Down Jacket
Constructed from recycled tear-resistant nylon ripstop, Canada Goose’s Crofton is an all-around winner for those who want the insulation of down without the bulk. It uses down padding for a streamlined feel and lower weight, and it’s ideal for outdoor expeditions—it even comes with detachable backpack straps for slinging over your shoulders when you break a sweat.
5. Moncler Montcla Logo-Hood Puffer Jacket
Lean into high-end alpine fashion with Moncler’s Montcla puffer, which is constructed with a sturdy but flexible nylon fabric and—unlike the other picks on this list—nylon insulation. Available in black and khaki green, the jacket features channel-quilted detailing, a two-way front zipper, generous side pockets, and a grosgrain logo band embellishing the inside of the hood.
6. C.P. Company Nycra-R Down Parka
Italian sportswear brand C.P. Company develops its innovative fabrics to help you confront the harshest weather and stay comfortable. One of them is Nycra-R, a sustainable regenerated nylon that’s stretchy, waterproof, and breathable. This padded down parka made from Nycra-R was garment-dyed for added color depth, and it’s finished with an adjustable hood and storm flap over the front zip for increased protection.
7. Faherty Vintage Down Jacket
Faherty’s Vintage Down Jacket draws on mountaineering fashion of the ‘60s and ‘70s for its roomy cut and faded color, but it features high-performance modern fabrics that hold up against extreme weather. This puffer jacket comes with a removable drawstring hood, and it’s made with recycled down paired with a regenerated polyester ripstop lining.
8. Fjällräven Expedition Long Down Parka
The popular Expedition Series builds off an iconic winter-ready jacket that Fjällräven launched back in 1974. Today, the Swedish brand ethically produces its Expedition garments with recycled nylon and top-quality, 100-percent traceable down (rated for 700 fill power). This parka style hits at mid-thigh for extra protection against the biting cold.
9. Arc’teryx Revet Down Coat
Arcteryx’s 750-fill-power Revet gets its warmth from large baffles packed with European goose down that’s RDS-certified for animal welfare. The breathable exterior is coated with a durable PFC-free water-repellent treatment to prevent moisture from seeping through, and the low-profile hoodie will keep your noggin toasty when the wind picks up.
10. Marmot Hype Down Jacket
When the mercury plunges to subzero temps, throw on Marmot’s 800-fill-power Hype Down Puffer. Elasticated cuffs, zippered pockets, and a drawcord hem work hard to shield your upper body from cold air, whether you’re shredding black diamonds or commuting to the office. The lofty puffer also rolls up tight for packability, so it’s a good choice for travel and longer outdoor trips
11. Norse Projects Willum Down Pertex Quantum
The updated version of the Willum from Norse Projects has been enhanced with increased pocket storage and an even more ergonomic fit. Made with tightly woven Pertex Quantum, a windproof textile sourced from 50-percent recycled fabrics, this parka is finished with a DWR treatment for dependable weatherproofing and lined with RDS-certified, 700-fill-power down for warmth.
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