If there's one piece of outerwear that will protect you from bad weather, it's the trusty old puffer jacket! Not only is this style of coat supremely warm and comfortable, but recently it's become quite the fashion statement too. So, while in the past you might have only reached for one when embarking on outdoor activities in the extreme cold, you'll now find that ladies all over the UK can be seen sporting one while shopping or carrying out daily chores.
The only question is, how do you go about choosing the ultimate cosy cocoon? To help you select the best one for your style and budget, we’ve created a simple buying guide that will explain all of the different options available. Then it's on to the recommendations, which include a variety of designs — from short quilted khaki jackets to classic long black coats with a hood. Come rain, snow or sunshine, we'll help you find the perfect puffer!
Finding the right puffer jacket is all about balancing form and function. With this in mind, we'll share expert advice about the various factors you should consider when shopping such as the type of insulation, the down ratio and how to get a flattering fit.
Without a doubt, the first thing you should be considering when buying a puffer jacket is insulation — after all, it’s this layer that’s going to keep you warm! You have two options: down or a synthetic material.
Down is the traditional option and is typically made from the soft fluff that's attached to duck or goose feathers. Goose is considered the warmer of the two types of down but unless you’re tackling the Arctic, either one should work just fine in British weather. However, down can be expensive to manufacture, and this is reflected in the cost for the customer too.
On the other hand, you have synthetic insulation. This can be made from an array of different fabrics such as polyester, polyamide or nylon, but all work in the same way and have similar characteristics.
Synthetic materials are inexpensive to buy yet still provide the warmth and comfort of traditional down, so it’s easy to see why they have become the go-to option for many people nowadays. Unfortunately though, these fibres collapse more quickly, which means you’ll likely need to replace a synthetic jacket every few years.
Now, if you do opt for down over a synthetic layer, there are a few things you might want to learn about it to ensure you know exactly what you’re buying.
First up, you have the "down ratio". Since companies aren't always able to clear away all of the feathers when sourcing down, they will sometimes provide a down to feather ratio. This is usually 70:30, 80:20 or 90:10. As you’d expect, the more down, the warmer the jacket.
If the company doesn’t provide this information, they may instead indicate the "down fill". This is a measurement of the quality of the down used for insulation — the higher the number, the less down is required to keep you warm. A down jacket with 550 fill will technically be bulkier than a 900 fill, but they should both provide around the same amount of warmth.
Next up, you’ll want to consider the fit of the jacket. Regular is the classic fit and hence the most popular choice. Regular jackets are cut closer to the body and have a slimmer silhouette — this makes them a better day-to-day choice, as you don’t have to worry about feeling in the way on a crowded bus or taking up all the space on the coat stand at work.
Then you have boxy puffer jackets. These have a more traditional mountaineering silhouette and are more casual in style. If you’re a keen hiker then a jacket like this would be the obvious choice, but don’t be surprised if you see fashionistas wearing these around Shoreditch as well. Naturally, the downside to the bulky shape is that they can be a pain to wear on public transport or when carrying lots of shopping.
Another factor to think about is the length of the jacket, as there are short, mid-length and long options available. If you're petite then stick to a short or mid-length puffer, as a knee-length coat will overwhelm your frame. If you’re on the taller side, however, we recommend opting for something longer that will flatter your figure.
Now that you know what to consider when buying a new puffer jacket, we'll share our favourites that are available to buy online right away. We’ve found some absolute gems from top brands like The North Face, Barbour International and Calvin Klein.
The North Face
The North Face
Nuptse Cropped Jacket in Pink
Thickened Down Jacket with Hood
Mackney Funnel Neck Quilted Jacket
Stretch Down Jacket in Burgundy
Tephra Stretch Insulated Jacket, Vintage Indigo
Copenhagen Tilda Down Filled Coat, Black/Pumice
Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Puffer Jacket
Down Puffer Jacket
Diamond Quilted Reversible Coat
The Archetypal Puffer Jacket
A Super Cosy Coat With a Cult Following
Fashionable Yet Functional, and Affordable Too
A Neutral Addition to Your Wardrobe
Water-Repellent and Easy to Pack Away
A Versatile Puffer That Works on Its Own or as a Layer
The Closest You’ll Get To Wearing Your Duvet
An Economical, Lightweight Option
Simple, Sleek and Sophisticated
Two Puffers for the Price of One
|Fit||Cropped, boxy||Regular, mid-length||Regular, mid-length||Boxy||Regular, mid-length||Regular||Oversized, long||Regular, mid-length||Regular, short||Regular, long|
Why not pair your new puffer jacket with a stylish scarf, cosy cardigan and some warm winter boots? We've got recommendations for all three wardrobe essentials — just check out the links below!
So there you have it, our comprehensive guide to finding the ultimate puffer jacket. Hopefully we've helped to point you in the right direction when it comes to the features you want from your new coat and you've enjoyed browsing our suggestions. Here's to staying warm while still looking cool!
Author: Lewis Clark
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