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outerknown puffer jacket

Puffer jackets are great for wearing post-surf session or when heading to the mountains. Photo: Jody Marcon/The Inertia


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There’s nothing better on a cold day than wrapping yourself in a puffer jacket. They’re warm, cozy, comfortable, and functional. They typically pack down small, with an incredible warmth-to-weight ratio, making them perfect for adventures short or extended. Whether you’re setting off for a trip to the backcountry or heading to your local brewery, a down jacket will get the job done.

We got our hands on a well-rounded cross-section to give you honest and in-depth reviews of some of the best puffer jackets for women on the market. And that includes both down jackets and those with synthetic insulation. To learn how these jackets stacked up against one another, take a look at our Comparison Table. Or, to learn more about to look for in a good puffer jacket, check out our Buyer’s Guide.

The Best Puffer Jackets for Women

Best Overall Women’s Puffer Jacket: Patagonia Silent Down Jacket
Best Long Puffer Jacket: Prana Emerald Valley Jacket
Best Puffer Jacket on a Budget: Billabong A/DIV Transport Puffer
Most Packable Puffer Jacket: Mountain Hardwear Ventano Hoodie


Best Overall Women’s Puffer Jacket

Patagonia Silent Down Jacket ($269)

patagonia silent down puffer jacket

Pros: Sustainably made, incredibly comfortable 
Cons:
Doesn’t pack down super small

When it comes to finding quality outdoor gear, Patagonia is a brand we know we can trust time and time again. Soft, warm, and flexible, the Silent Down Jacket is the case and point.

Available in seven different color options, the Silent Down Jacket offers a boxy yet oversized fit. The jacket is Fair Trade Certified sewn and features a 100% polyester shell (70% recycled) and 100% recycled down insulation.

Other technical features include a stand-up collar to keep your neck warm, lined hand-warmer pockets, a full center-front reverse-coil zipper for easy access, an interior zip pocket to stash valuables, and a drawcord hem to seal in warmth.

Of all the jackets we tested, the Silent Down was the best mix of comfortable fit and functional warmth, which is why it sits at the top of our list. The fabric feels soft against the skin, and the cut racks up some style points. The Silent Down is on the bulky side, meaning that it isn’t as packable as some jackets — the only thing that could make it better is if it is packed down into its pocket or a stuff sack for traveling. We’d also love to see the regular-cut jacket come with a hood (the parka length Silent Down jacket comes with a hood).

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Best Long Puffer Jacket

Prana Emerald Valley Jacket ($270)

prana puffer jacket

Pros: Sustainably made, packable
Cons: 
Not as warm as some parka-length puffers

Prana hit the nail on the head with its Emerald Valley Jacket. Made with the planet in mind, the jacket is filled with Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified insulation and features a Bluesign-approved matte nylon shell. Thoughtful features include a drawcord system to easily adjust the hood (which also zips off), a two-way zipper, foldable sleeves, interior/exterior pockets, and a PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR) coating.

The best part? The jacket packs down into its pocket, making it easy to bring along for any and every adventure. For a thigh-length jacket, it’s pretty impressive how small it packs down, which speaks to its relative lightness compared to more warmth-oriented parka-length puffers. A pro or a con, depending on where you plan on using it. The Emerald jacket is super soft and comfortable, and our tester has worn it after countless surf sessions with no wear and tear detected yet. The jacket is two-toned, giving it a little extra flair and allowing for varied styling options, and the latest version features sidecuts at the bottom for unrestricted movement.

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Best Puffer Jacket on a Budget

Billabong A/DIV Transport Puffer ($120)

billabong puffer jackets

Pros: DWR coating, affordable 
Cons:
Doesn’t pack down super small

Part of Billabong’s Adventure series, the jacket design was inspired by the “relentless pursuit for adventure and surf exploration around the world.” Coupling function with fashion, the Transport Puffer offers next-level warmth, making it perfect for cozying up after a chilly session or heading to your local mountains.

Made from 100% nylon, the Transport Puffer features a durable water-repellent outer coating and 140g polyester filling. The jacket also includes a soft fleece lining, elasticated sleeves, a bungee at the hood opening, a zip-front closure, and inner/outer pockets.

The Transport Puffer isn’t as durable as some of the other puffy jackets we tried, but it’s still well-made and reliable for a few seasons. The material isn’t buttery soft, but it’s still plenty comfortable and great for layering. The jacket is a little on the bulky side but is still lightweight and packs down for travel. At a price that doesn’t break the bank, the Transport ticks all the essential boxes.

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Most Packable Puffer Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Ventano Hoodie ($250)

mountain hardwear puffer jacket

Pros: Thin yet warm, adjustable hem
Cons: Not many color options

The Mountain Hardwear Ventano Hoodie has everything you could want in a puffer jacket – it’s lightweight, comfortable, and warm. The synthetic polyester-filled jacket is great for backcountry adventures, as it stays warm(er) than down when wet. It also packs down into its own hand pocket for easy storage and transport.

For how thin and lightweight this jacket is, we were impressed with the warmth it delivered. The jacket also includes zippered pockets for stashing essentials as well as elastic cuffs and an adjustable hem for a customized fit. Our tester is between a size small and medium and opted for the medium for a slightly roomier fit and was glad she did. The Ventano Hoodie is a great jacket for traveling, trekking, and adventures near home. It’s a pretty simple and straightforward design, but sometimes less is more.

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Best of the Rest

Outerknown OK Mono Puffer ($448)

outerknown puffer jacket

Pros: Feels like a warm hug, sustainably made 
Cons: 
Pricey, side pockets don’t have zippers

Co-founded by 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, Outerknown is a surf brand with a focus on sustainability. Like all of Outerknown’s products, the OK Mono Puffer is made with the planet in mind while remaining functional and fashionable.

To honor its commitment to sustainability, the Puffer features a 70% recycled polyester shell and is filled with 100% recycled post-consumer fiber from plastic bottles. The jacket is lofty and comfy, and feels like you’re wrapped in a warm hug. It’s seriously so comfortable you won’t want to take it off.

The Mono Puffer sports a boxy fit, which adds some style but also some bulk. If you’re looking for a jacket that packs down small, this isn’t it. But if you want something warm and cozy, this jacket is for you. The Mono Puffer also features two side pockets and two front pockets, but none of them have zippers, so be careful about what you stash there.

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Patagonia Cotton Down Jacket ($350)

patagonia cotton down puffer jacket

Pros: Super durable, helpful size guide
Cons: Heavier than other jackets

In honor of its 50th anniversary, Patagonia released a collection of its most iconic pieces, now with a sustainability upgrade. The Patagonia Cotton Jacket is a quilted cotton jacket that celebrates the transition from conventional to organic and regenerative cotton, without sacrificing style.

The Cotton Jacket is one of the burliest jackets on our list. It’s made from 100% cotton and 100% recycled down, delivering a warm and durable jacket. The jacket sports raglan sleeves, which allow for a full range of motion. There is elasticized binding on the hood, sleeve cuffs, and hem, providing a secure fit that keeps the elements out. Although this jacket isn’t necessarily waterproof, it is water-resistant and feels comparable to a heavy-duty ski jacket.

One of the challenges we often face when ordering online is sizing. For this collection, Patagonia has a size guide where you simply answer a few questions, and it suggests a size. Our tester is between a small and medium on most jackets. After completing the questionnaire, she was recommended a size small and found it fit perfectly. This jacket is a little heavier than some of the others on our list, but it’s also warmer and more durable too. This jacket is only available for a limited time, so be sure and order soon if you want one!

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Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket ($160)

columbia puffer jacket

Pros: Cuffs with thumb holes, Omni-Heat reflective polyester lining
Cons: Fits a little snug

At Columbia, they know a thing or two about making efficient outer layers, and the Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket is no exception. Available in twelve colors, the jacket features a sleek design that offers function at its finest.

The jacket has a 100% polyester shell and is insulated with 100% polyester synthetic down. An especially unique feature is the Omni-Heat reflective polyester lining that works to reflect and maintain body heat for ultimate warmth. Additionally, the jacket includes zippered hand pockets, a fleece-lined hood and collar, cuffs with thumb holes, a drop tail, and an interior security pocket.

We really appreciated the cuffs with thumb holes for slipping in and out of gloves, and the lining on the hood is a nice touch. The jacket sports an athletic fit, meaning it fits a little on the snug side. So, if you like to wear a lot of base layers, you may consider sizing up.

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Roxy Ellie Waterproof Longline Puffy Jacket ($140)

roxy puffer jacket

Pros: Waterproof, removable faux fur on the hood 
Cons:
Shoulders fit snug

Style meets comfort in Roxy’s Ellie Waterproof Longline Puffy. While many puffy jackets have more of a utilitarian look, the Longline offers function and fashion, making it ideal for warming up after a chilly session or heading into town to meet up with friends (hey, why not both!)

The 100% polyester jacket features Roxy’s patented waterproof technology, chambray lining on the body, Sherpa lining on the collar and hood, lightweight taffeta on the sleeves, and a fixed hood with a drawcord adjustment. The tailored fit gives the jacket a stylish look, however we found that the shoulders fit a little snug while the rest of the jacket is more oversized, making sizing a little funky.

There are two hand warmer pockets on the exterior, but additional pockets on the inside would be appreciated for extra storage. A fun feature is the removable faux fur on the hood, allowing you to dress the jacket up or down depending on the occasion. As a female surfer, our tester appreciated the feminine flare of this jacket while still remaining functional and ultra-warm.

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Arc’teryx Cerium Down Hoodie ($400)

arc'teryx puffer jacket

Pros: Sustainably made, hood is helmet compatible
Cons: Pricey

Simple yet functional, the Arc’teryx Cerium Down Hoodie has everything you could want in a puffer jacket. The jacket is incredibly lightweight, but the 850-fill-power European white goose down offers generous warmth. The 15-denier Arato nylon outer is wind and water-resistant, and the FCO durable water repellent on the outside helps ensure you stay dry.

Arc’teryx incorporates recycled and plant-based materials into its design, which we greatly appreciated. Thoughtful features include corded zipper pulls, stretchy cuffs, an adjustable hem cord, a trim fit, a hidden internal pocket, and a stuff sack. The Cerium includes a hood with an adjustable drawcord, making it helmet-compatible — a great feature for ski season. This jacket is simple, stylish, and warm and works as well for errands around town as it does for adventures in the backcountry.

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KUHL Spyfire Down Parka ($330)

kuhl down parka

Pros: Body mapping, DWR, 5-panel hood with brim
Cons: Pricey

KUHL knows a thing or two about style, and the Spyfire Down Parka is function meets fashion at its finest. The 800-fill down jacket is lightweight and comfortable and hits just above the knee for all-over warmth.

The jacket is lightweight yet warm and has strategically placed baffles and body mapping to ensure you stay warm throughout. The water-resistant fabric is treated with a durable water-repellant, so although you don’t want to get caught in a torrential downpour in the jacket, it can hold its own against the elements.

Kuhl really took its time when designing the hood on the Spyfire — the five-panel hood has a 3D brim and multiple adjustment points, allowing for a customized fit with maximum visibility. The elastic binding on the cuffs was exceptionally well crafted and did well holding in the heat and sealing out snow. The Spyfire is super comfortable and seamlessly transitions from adventures outside to your local brewery.

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Big Agnes Luna Insulated Jacket ($270)

big agnes puffer jacket

Pros: No-draft thumb holes, sustainably made
Cons: Arms are a little long

An upgrade to their old jacket, Big Agnes took the tried and true Luna and made it with recycled and Bluesign-approved materials. The jacket is mapped with vertical and horizontal quilting to ensure the down sits close to the body and keeps you as warm as possible.

Created for people on the go, the Luna jacket has pockets throughout, with the chest pocket doubling as a stuff sack — this was perfect for traveling or situations when space was tight. The jacket sports adjustable draw cords on both the hood and the hem, which was great for creating a custom fit and sealing out the cold. The hood has a built-in visor for enhanced disability, and the no-draft thumb holes were awesome for extra chilly days or times when you want to pair the jacket with gloves.

While the sizing throughout feels true to size, the arms are a little on the long size. Our tester is 5’7″ and found that the arms on the medium hung a little longer than desired. This is likely due to the integrated thumb-holes. Such a cut requires the sleeves to extend further past the wrists, which may not be everyone’s favorite. But overall, the Luna is lightweight, comfortable, and warm — everything we could ask for in a puffer jacket.

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REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket ($280)

rei co-op puffer jacket

Pros: Waterproof, designed to work with a backpack
Cons: A little bulky

Without a doubt, the REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket is one of the heftier jackets on our list. This jacket is very warm and very waterproof, making it well-suited for whatever outdoor adventure you throw its way.

The Stormenge features REI’s exclusive HydroWall 2-layer waterproof, nylon shell with fully sealed seams. The down has further been treated with a durable water repellant to ensure you stay dry. This jacket feels like a cross between a puffer jacket and a rain jacket, so it’s a best of both world kind of deal.

The Stormhenge comes with a whole slew of extra features: a sleeping bag-like draft tube at the neck, an insulated three-way adjustable hood (that’s helmet friendly), adjustable hood and hem, pit zips (for when things really heat up), seam-free shoulders, adjustable cuffs, and internal and external pockets.

Designed to be compatible with a pack, the Stormhenge has seam-free shoulders to prevent chaffing and strategically placed hand pockets that work with a pack’s waist belt. While this jacket is a little bulkier than some on our list, it’s warm and waterproof enough to wear backpacking, skiing/snowboarding, or simply around town. If you’re looking for a sleeker, more packable jacket, we also really loved the REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie. 

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Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Down Jacket ($250)

cotopaxi puffer jackets

Pros: Jackets stuffs into its pocket, adjustable drawcord waist
Cons: Not as warm as some other options on our list, pricey

The Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Jacket is similar to the Capa but is a little roomier and warmer. Available in six different color options, it sports the bright, fun colors we know and love from Cotopaxi without skimping on performance.

Weighing in at 14 ounces, the Fuego is a lightweight puffer jacket, making it a great fit for hiking or travel. The jacket is made from durable ripstop nylon treated with a DWR treatment to help you stay cozy and dry on all of your adventures.

The Fuego is thoughtfully designed with lots of zippered pockets. There are two exterior pockets as well as an interior stash pocket. At the end of the day, the jacket packs into the interior pocket, which is great for folks living on the move.

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Outdoor Research Coldfront Down Hoodie ($279)

coldfront down hoodie puffer jacket

Pros: Cuff gaiters with thumb loops
Cons: Only available in one color

The Outdoor Research Coldfront Down Hoodie feels almost like a ski shell but in a lighter-weight, puffer jacket design. In terms of warmth, it’s a mid-tier jacket with lots of fun features to help you stay cozy and warm.

Designed for all weather conditions, the 700-fill-power down-insulation works to keep you warm in chilly climates. The jacket also has two zippered hand pockets (one doubles as a stuff sack), an internal waist cinch to seal out the cold, and an adjustable insulated hood for extra chilly days.

One of our favorite features of the jacket is the internal knit cuff gaiters with thumb loops. If we’re being fully transparent, the thumb loops aren’t the most comfortable thing (but they aren’t in any jacket). However, they are ideal for added warmth and sealing out snow. If you don’t need them, then you can simply slip your thumb out, so it’s a great feature for all conditions.

One of our only complaints about this jacket is that it doesn’t come in more color options. It’s available in a nice blue, but we wish there were more colors as well. We do like that it comes in a hooded and non-hooded version.

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Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka ($399)

outerknown puffer jacket

 Pros: Insanely warm, tricot-lined hand pockets
Cons:
A little bulky for active activities

 Holy warm. The Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka is the ultimate jacket for chilly conditions. Long, puffy, and cozy, it’s one of the warmest jackets on our list.

The Coze Down Parks sports 700-fill-power down and a 100% recycled shell and lining. The jacket has a lined draft collar, which was much appreciated in windy conditions and an adjustable puffy hood.

The tricot-lined hand pockets are insanely cozy, and the jacket also has a large interior mesh pocket for stashing essentials. In addition to the center zipper, the Coze sports a zipper at the sides for when you want a little extra airflow — it’s a nice thought, but the zippers are at the bottom of the jacket, so we didn’t really find ourselves using them.

Our tester gets cold easily, so she was a big fan of this jacket. It’s long and super puffy — it’s essentially like wearing a portable sleeping bag. Because it’s so oversized, it’s not as ideal for active endeavors but is perfect for a night out in your favorite mountain town.

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Cotopaxi Capa Hooded Insulated Jacket ($250)

cotopaxi puffer jackets

Pros: Fun colors, backed by a lifetime warranty
Cons:
No stuff sack for packing

 One of our favorite things about Cotopaxi’s products is how unique and colorful they are. The Cotopaxi Capa Hooded Insulated Jacket is no exception.

Made with the environment in mind, the Capa features a 100% recycled nylon shell and is made from Bluesign-approved fabrics. The Capa is lightweight, packable, water-resistant, and has no extra bulk, while still remaining warm, so it’s a great option for hiking and other active activities.

The shell is water resistant, which is nice for light drizzles, and has a scuba hood. There is elastic binding at the cuffs and waist, and there’s an adjustable drawcord waist to seal in warmth. Because this jacket is on the thinner side, it packs down well, but we wish it came with a stuff sack or packed into its own pocket for seamless transport. This jacket has a more fitted cut, so if you’re in between sizes, you may want to order up.

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Puffer Jackets Comparison Table

Puffer Jacket Price Weight Fill Sustainable Features? Length
Patagonia Silent Down Jacket $269 570 g Down Yes Hip
Prana Emerald Valley Jacket $270 N/A Down Yes Thigh
Billabong A/DIV Transport Puffer $120 N/A Synthetic Yes Hip
Mountain Hardwear Ventano Hoodie $250 11.7 oz Polyester No Hip
Outerknown OK Mono Puffer $448 N/A Ecodown Yes Hip
Patagonia Cotton Down Jacket $350 40.2 oz Down Yes Hip
Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket $160 N/A Synthetic No Thigh
Roxy Ellie Waterproof Longline Puffy Jacket $140 2.6 lb Synthetic Yes Thigh
Arc’teryx Cerium Down Hoodie $400 10.2 oz Down Yes Hip
KUHL Spyfire Down Parka $330 1 lb 2 oz Down No Thigh
Big Agnes Luna Insulated Jacket $270 15 oz Down Yes Hip
REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket $280 1 lb 10 oz Down Yes Hip
Cotopaxi Fuego Hooded Jacket $250 14 oz Down Yes Hip
Outdoor Research Coldfront Down Hoodie $279 1 lb 4.8 oz Down Yes Hip
Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka $399 2 lb 3.2 oz Down Yes Hip
Cotopaxi Capa Hooded Insulated Jacket $250 1 lb 8 oz Down Yes Hip

puffy jackets for surfing rebecca parsons winter

The Patagonia Silent Down Jacket is made with, well, down, whereas the Billabong A/DIV is made with synthetic insulation. Photo: Jody Marcon/The Inertia

How We Tested

In order to test these puffer jackets, we first perused the market, identifying the top-rated jackets from the best brands in the industry. We then got our hands on the top options and pitted them against each other in chilly weather of all stripes — from brisk dawn patrols to evenings on the town to  starry nights spent around the campfire. These are the puffers that rose to the top.

Editor’s Note: We originally ran this review in December of 2022 as ‘The Best Women’s Puffer Jackets for Surfers.” We know our audience is wider than just surfers and that puffer jackets are well suited for all kinds of outdoor adventures, so we decided to expand our guide into a more general puffer jacket review. We included updates on a few of the jackets we already had and added in a bunch of new ones from the top outdoor gear brands in the industry. To see more options, check out our guide to the Best Winter Jackets for Women.


Puffer Jackets Buyer’s Guide

Not all puffers are created equally. Since the puffer jacket will be your warmest outer layer, you want to ensure you’re purchasing one that will get the job done. When we’re in the market for a new puffer jacket, we consider things like warmth, style, comfort, weight, waterproofing, and more.

Comfort

For us, comfort is paramount. When we’re looking for a good puffer, we want it to be soft and comfy, while retaining warmth and durability. And yes, comfort includes fit and cut as well as hand-feel!

prana puffer jacket

The Prana Emerald Valley Jacket is comfy, thigh-length jacket that packs down small. Photo: Jody Marcon

Warmth

Puffer jackets come in different thicknesses, so consider where and how you’ll be using your jacket. Bulkier jackets tend to be warmer but also less packable, so consider what’s the most important to you. Higher down fill-power ratings can indicate more warmth without adding too much additional weight or bulk.

Style

If you’re wearing your puffer as an inner layer, style isn’t so important. But, if you’re wearing your puffer jacket on its own as your outer layer (and you aren’t huddled around a fire trying to stay warm) style is a factor to consider. Some puffers are designed to be more functional and sporty, while others combine style and function — we prefer the latter when possible.

Waterproofing

Typically, most puffer jackets aren’t waterproof, so it isn’t something we expect in a puffer jacket. But, many are water resistant and treated with a durable water repellant (DWR) finish, which is super helpful in sealing out the elements. Bonus points if the jacket is fully waterproof.

Best Overall Women’s Puffer Jacket
Best Overall Women’s Puffer Jacket

Sporting a boxy yet oversized fit, the Patagonia Silent Down jacket is sustainably made and has lined hand warmer pockets, 100% recycled down insulation, and a drawcord hem to seal out the elements. It’s so comfortable, it feels like you’re being wrapped in a hug.

Price: ($269)

Check Price on REI

Durability

Puffy jackets are expensive. There’s not really any way around it. When we’re shelling out a couple hundred dollars for a jacket, we want something that’s going to last us more than one season. Jackets that rip/tear easily or get damaged when wet aren’t going to be able to keep up with an active lifestyle. We want something that’s thick and well-made while still remaining light and warm.

Eco-Friendly

While it’s not necessary to create a good jacket, we appreciate when brands go the extra mile to make their jackets as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. Recycled materials, bio-based dyes, Bluesign-approved fabrics, or anything that helps reduce the company’s carbon footprint is much appreciated.

Pockets, Hoods, and Zips

Pretty much every jacket comes with some kind of pockets. It’s nice to have a mix of zippered and non-zippered pockets. No zippers on the hand pockets is nice, so you can easily slip your hands in and out, but it’s also good to have some zippered pockets for stashing valuables. In addition to pockets, consider if you want a hood or no hood and if the zipper on your jacket is well-made and won’t easily snag.

outdoor research puffer jackets

The Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka is filled with down and is like a wearable sleeping bag. Photo: Rebecca Parsons

Fill

There are two primary types of fill used on puffer jackets: down and synthetic. Each has variations and pros and cons. Read on to learn more about the differences between down and synthetic insulation to decide what is right for you.

Down vs. Synthetic

Puffer jackets are available in one of two options: down or synthetic. Down simply refers to a special underlayer of goose or duck feathers that provide thermal insulation — down effectively traps heat in the air pockets created by these special feathers. Synthetic insulation is made with polyester fibers that are designed to mimic the qualities of down. Although heavier and not quite as warm as down, synthetic retains a measure of heat even when wet (because those air pockets don’t collapse as easily as the ones created by down) and dries much quicker than down.

Some brands are starting to experiment with other insulative materials in puffy jackets, such as alpaca or Merino wool. These types of jackets don’t appear in this guide — yet! Be on the lookout!

Down to Feather Ratio?

When purchasing a jacket, be sure to check out the down-to-feather ratio. Down jackets are usually available in three variations: 90% down/10% feather, 80% down/20% feather, and 70% down/30% feather. Each variation provides a different level of warmth, with the higher down ratio resulting in warmer insulation.

cotopaxi puffer jackets

Every Cotopaxi is unique and colorful like the Cotopaxi Capa Hooded Insulated Jacket. Photo: Rebecca Parsons/The Inertia

When deciding which jacket to purchase, consider all of the above information and check the online description or inside label to learn the specific features of the jacket you’re considering.

 Return to Comparison Table | Return to Top Picks

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