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Surfing in the winter can be a magical, albeit cold, experience. Depending on where you live, winter can offer solid swell, stunning views, and fewer crowds. But regardless of where you reside, winter always means colder weather. But thanks to technological advancements in both neoprene and clothing, surfing can easily be a year round sport, without sacrificing too much comfort.

A California-based surfer, I am not well versed in navigating extreme temperatures. Even with the water staying in the 50’s during peak winter months, I still find myself chilled to the bone after lengthy sessions. And as someone who lives a life on the move, I seldom have time to run home to shower before moving on to the next activity. Meaning, warm post surf attire is essential. My go to is a pair of pants (or two), a sweater or fleece, and a cozy down jacket, like one of the jackets below.

What are the best women’s puffer jackets?

1. Patagonia Silent Down Jacket ($249)
2. Billabong A/DIV Transport Puffy Jacket ($119.95)
3. Columbia Autumn Park Down Jacket ($150 89)
4. Prana Ice Thistle Long Jacket ($279)
5. Outerknown Puffy ($198 59)
6. Roxy Ellie Waterproof Longline Puffy Jacket ($199.95)

Looking for other gear to keep you warm while surfing this winter? For booties, check out our guide to the best booties. Learn more about women’s wetsuits here and men’s wetsuits here. Want to avoid getting your ears drilled? Read our earplugs review here.

What makes a good puffer jacket?

When it comes to buying a jacket, not all puffers are created equally. Since the puffer jacket will be your warmest outer layer, you want to make sure you’re purchasing one that’s going to get the job done.

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

Should I get down or synthetic insulation?

Puffer jackets are available in one of two options: down or synthetic. Down simply refers to the duck or geese feathers that provide the thermal insulation—down effectively traps heat while remaining breathable. 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 heat even when wet and dries much quicker than down.

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 ration resulting in warmer insulation.

When deciding which jacket to purchase, take all of the above information into account and check the online description or inside label to learn the specific features of the jacket you’re considering. Here are my favorite puffer jackets for surfing.

1. Patagonia Silent Down Jacket ($249)


Cost: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5
Warmth: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Overall: 4.75/5

When it comes to finding quality outdoor gear, Patagonia is a brand I know I can trust time and time again. Impressively 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 that feels like you being wrapped in a warm embrace. The jacket is Fair Trade Certified sewn and features a 100% polyester shell (that is 70% recycled) coupled with 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. 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 could pack down into its pocket or into a stuff sack for traveling.

Buy here.

2. Billabong A/DIV Transport Puffy Jacket ($119.95)

Cost: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5
Warmth: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Overall: 4.75/5

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 140 g polyester filling. Additionally, the jacket includes a soft fleece lining, elasticated sleeves, a bungee at the hood opening, a zip-front closure, and inner/outer pockets. 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.

Buy here.

3. Columbia Autumn Park Down Jacket ($150 89)


Cost: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5
Warmth: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Overall: 4.75/5

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

Offering the best in stay-warm technology, the jacket has a 100% nylon shell and is insulated with 650-fill-power down that is responsible down certified. 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, stealth interior pockets, binding at the cuffs, and a lined neckline for maximum comfort. The jacket sports an athletic fit, meaning it fits a little on the snug size so if you like to wear a lot of base layers you may consider sizing up.

Buy here.

4. Prana Ice Thistle Long Jacket ($279)


Cost: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5
Warmth: 5/5
Style: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Prana hit the nail on the head with their Ice Thistle Long Jacket. It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased a new down jacket and I’m blown away by how comfortable yet warm the Ice Thistle jacket is.

Made with the planet in mind, the jacket is filled with Responsible Down Standard certified insulation and features a Bluesign approved matte nylon shell. Thoughtful features include a drawcord system to easily adjust the hood, a two-way zipper, foldable sleeves, interior/exterior pockets, and a PFC-free durable water repellent coating. The best part? The jacket packs down into its pocket, making it easy to pack along for any and every adventure. The jacket is two-toned, giving it a little extra flair and allowing for varied styling options. While the price is steep, you get what you pay for and the Ice Thistle jacket is a testament to that.

Buy here.

5. Outerknown Puffy ($198 59)


Cost: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5
Warmth: 3/5
Style: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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

To honor their commitment to sustainability, the Puffer features a 100% recycled polyester shell that’s coated with a durable water repellant and is filled with 100% responsible down standard-certified duck down. The jacket is incredibly lightweight and packs down into its own pocket, making it ideal to tote around on adventures. For added style, it features a slightly cropped fit and zippered side pockets for reliable storage. A pro and a con of the Puffer is that it is a tad thinner than other puffers, meaning it’s not quite as warm but is also to easy wear layers under or over.

Currently on sale. Buy here.

6. Roxy Ellie Waterproof Longline Puffy Jacket ($199.95)


Cost: 4/5
Comfort: 3/5
Warmth: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Overall: 4.25/5

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.

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 I 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, I appreciated the feminine flare of this jacket while still remaining functional and ultra warm.

Buy here.

Disclosure: The Inertia may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from the affiliate links included in this feature at no additional cost to you. Our goal is always to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we hope you find this feature useful.

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