While puffer jackets were traditionally used by only the outdoorsy folks, over the past couple of decades, they’ve made their way down from the mountains and onto the backs of regular city dwellers. However, just because they’re popular doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a good one. Whether you want something a little longer to keep in the heat or you have your heart set on a puffer with a hood, there are many options to think about.
Men's puffer jackets are more about function than style, so don’t expect one to set your wardrobe alight. That said, these garments don’t have to be the boring fitted navy option you have stuffed in the back of the wardrobe either. Our buying guide will cover the features you should look for when shopping, and we'll share with you our top recommendations for the best puffer jackets for men from popular designers such as Ellesse and The North Face.
So, without further ado, let’s look at the different features that separate the many variations of puffer jackets. We’ll be considering materials, fit and stitching patterns, and looking at the positives, negatives and aesthetics of each.
The type of insulation used for a puffer jacket is one of the most important decisions in the buying process. After all, the point of any jacket is to keep you warm, right? This section will look into the pros and cons of both down and synthetic fillings so that you can make an informed decision.
The organic option comes in the form of either goose or ducks down. If you’re wondering, down is the smaller, softer feathers that are found closest to the bird’s skin. Many consider goose to be the warmer of the two, but unless you’re hiking up the K2, the chances are you won’t recognise the difference.
Either way, jackets filled with down tend to be much lighter than synthetic fillings. This makes them easier to pack and offer more movement when worn, which is why these are excellent for hiking. Be warned, though, puffer jackets filled with down can be expensive!
If you prefer not to use animal materials for your clothing, or you’d just like to keep the cost down, take a look at synthetic fillings. While many would think these would be inferior, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, that usually isn’t the case - they’ll keep you just as warm as down.
However, the difference is that these fibres break down quicker, resulting in you needing a new jacket sooner. Plus, to get the same level of warmth, you need more fibres, which gives these jackets a boxier look.
If you decide to opt for a traditional down jacket, you might want to learn some additional information. Firstly, when companies receive their insulation, they’re unable to remove all the feathers from the down. Therefore, many jackets will have a down to feather ratio. Generally, they’re either 90:10, 80:20 or 70:30, with 90:10 being the warmest.
As we mentioned earlier, though, many elite jackets are created to take on extreme conditions. For regular folk, even a 70:30 jacket should provide more than enough warmth for you to wander the Christmas markets or take on snowy winter walks.
Another fact the company may provide is the down fill. This is a measurement of the down quality, and the higher the rating, the less amount of down required to catch the heat. Therefore, a down jacket with 550 fill will be bigger and bulkier than a 900 fill. Although, they will both keep you nice and toasty!
Puffer jackets come in two different fits – boxy and regular. A boxy fit is a bit more casual and is a certified favourite for street style fashion. However, while these might be good when wandering, their chunkiness can be a bit of a pain when carrying bags, helmets or whatever else you carry on your commute.
On the other hand, regular fit jackets are a little more manageable. These are cut closer to the body and are much less puffy. The obvious downside is that these might not be as warm as a boxy fit jacket. Many smaller regular fits are frequently worn as an underlayer for another coat, but they work perfectly fine when the weather isn't too harsh.
Finally, it's worth considering the stitching pattern on the jacket. As far as we know, this makes no difference to performance, but it will slightly change the aesthetics, so if you're into fashion, you might want to bear this in mind.
The most common stitching pattern is a horizontal design. These come with either thick or narrow padding sections. The wider, chunkier compartments provide a more casual and fashion-focussed look, whereas the narrower segments look much more outdoorsy.
Other than horizontal, you will find either diamond or the occasional abstract pattern. Both of these looks are more informal and better suited to everyday jackets rather than expedition attire.
Now that we've got the technicalities out of the way, and you're hopefully feeling a little more knowledgeable, it's time for the fun stuff - shopping. We've curated some excellent puffer jackets from many established brands such as The North Face, Carhartt WIP and Arc'teryx.
The North Face
The North Face
Stretch Down Hooded Jacket
Tephra Stretch Down Jacket
Cole Puffer Jacket
Nano Puff Jacket
Insulation Colour Block Puffer Jacket
Brooke Padded Jacket
Novern Reversible Jacket
Quilted Windcheater Jacket
One Hell of a Functional Jacket in Bright Orange!
A Puffer Jacket to Battle Any Weather Condition
A Minimalist Puffer for Those on a Tight Budget
A Sophisticated Jacket From a Truly Ethical Brand
A Down-Filled Jacket to Be as Snug as a Bug
A Familiar Design Made With 100% Recycled Materials
A Boxy Puffer Made With a Luxurious Taffeta Lining
The Iconic Ellesse Puffer Jacket for a 90s Vibe
Two Stylish Jackets for the Price of One
A Puffer Jacket Featuring Innovative Brand Tech
One of the best things about winter is the cosiness! Comfortable cardigans, big winter coats and soft woollen hats to keep you warm on your winter excursions. Make sure your wardrobe is kitted out in this winter's finest by checking out some more of our winter fashion articles below!
So there you have it - our comprehensive guide to finding the perfect puffer jacket. We hope you've found this article informative and helpful, whether you're planning on taking on the mountains or the metropolis. Here's to staying toasty all year round!
Author: Lewis Clark
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