Which men’s puffer jackets are best?
A lightweight jacket can cut it in the fall, but when the temperatures drop in winter, you need really warm outerwear to ward off the chill. A men’s puffer jacket is one of the most popular options because it can keep you warm and looking stylish all winter long.
A puffer jacket features quilted construction filled with insulation. That means you can stay warm out in the cold, but the jacket still has a comfortable, lightweight feel you can wear for plenty of outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a super-light men’s puffer jacket that’s water-repellent and easy to pack, the Eddie Bauer Men’s CirrusLite Down Jacket is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a men’s puffer jacket
Men’s puffer jackets, sometimes known as down jackets, generally have two types of insulation: down or synthetic.
- Down insulation, or fill, is the most popular option for puffer jackets but usually the most expensive, too. It’s made from the soft undercoat beneath goose or duck feathers, which gives it an incredibly lightweight feel that’s ideal for outdoor winter activities. Down puffer jackets are also very easy to compress, making them a breeze to pack for trips.
Down isn’t effective insulation when it gets wet, though. It can also pose an issue for anyone with allergies.
- Synthetic insulation is a less expensive, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free alternative to down. It’s usually made of polyester, so it’s water-resistant for a certain period and continues to insulate even when wet. Synthetic puffer jackets tend to break down more quickly than down, though, and usually aren’t as warm as down puffer jackets.
If you opt for a down puffer jacket, you’ll definitely want to consider its down ratio. That measures the amount of down versus the amount of feathers the insulation contains. A high-quality jacket should have at least 80% down to 20% feathers, though you can find some with 90% down and 10% feathers. Some lower-quality puffer jackets feature a 70%-30% down-to-feathers ratio.
You’ll pay more for a higher down ratio, but the higher the percentage of down, the warmer the jacket’s insulation is. Consider the climate of the area where you live or travel to decide the best option for your jacket.
The quilted stitching on a puffer jacket holds the pockets of insulation in place. Some jackets feature simple horizontal or vertical stitching patterns, which offer a classic look. You can also find some men’s puffer jackets with diamond or other geometric stitching patterns that help the jacket stand out.
What to look for in a quality men’s puffer jacket
If you’re going to be outdoors in cold or windy weather, it’s a good idea to choose a puffer jacket with a hood. Some hoods have a drawstring that lets you cinch it as tight as you’d like to keep out the cold and wind. A hood can make your jacket a little bulkier, though, so a hooded style isn’t the best option if you’re planning to wear layers.
Many men’s puffer jackets have pockets to keep all your must-have items within easy reach. Some pockets are even lined with fleece, so they can keep your hands warm if you don’t have gloves.
Adjustable cuffs and hem
Some puffer jackets have an elasticized waist and wrists to keep the chill from seeping into the jacket. You can also find some styles that have a drawstring with the elastic, so you can adjust the fit to get the cuffs and hem as tight as you like.
Men’s puffer jackets are available in a wide range of colors. You may prefer a neutral option like black, gray or white, but you can also find jackets in brighter shades like red, yellow, green, orange or blue.
If you already have other winter gear like a hat, scarf and gloves, you may want to match those colors. Otherwise, it’s a matter of personal preference.
How much you can expect to spend on a men’s puffer jacket
Jackets with low-quality synthetic down or a low down ratio typically range from $30 to $50, but you can find higher-quality synthetic and higher ratio down jackets with plenty of features for $50 to $100. The highest-quality down puffer jackets can go for as much as $400.
Men’s puffer jacket FAQ
How should a men’s puffer jacket fit?
A. A puffer jacket isn’t designed to be too tight or too loose. It should fit fairly close to the body to help trap heat but still provide enough space that you can layer items under it if you’d like. To check that your jacket isn’t too tight, make sure you can move your arms freely without it pulling up too much.
What’s the best way to wash a puffer jacket?
A. Most men’s puffer jackets are machine-washable. However, if you have a down jacket, it’s best to use a front-loading washer because top-loading models often have a center agitator that can disrupt down insulation. You can wash the jacket in a top-loading washer, but make sure to use a gentle or delicate setting with cold water.
It’s also important to wash your jacket with a gentle, down-specific detergent. You may want to consider putting the jacket in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from other items in the load.
To dry the jacket, use low heat. It’s also a good idea to throw a few dryer balls or tennis balls in with the jacket to help the down keep its shape.
What are the best men’s puffer jackets to buy?
Top men’s puffer jacket
What you need to know: This classic puffer jacket is one of the highest-quality styles on the market, offering a durable, water-resistant shell and premium down insulation.
What you’ll love: The nylon shell boasts a water-repellent finish and 80% down insulation. Its zippered side pockets are ideal for securing your belongings. The higher neck allows for extra warmth, too.
What you should consider: Some buyers report that the seams may start to unravel after several months.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top men’s puffer jacket for the money
What you need to know: This highly affordable puffer jacket offers high-quality construction that can keep you warm, despite its budget-friendly price.
What you’ll love: It compresses easily and includes a small bag for travel and storage. It’s available in a wide array of colors. It features a standup collar, elasticized cuffs and zippered pockets. It’s machine-washable too.
What you should consider: Its fill is synthetic. The sizes run somewhat large, so you may need to size down.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Thanks to its big-and-tall design, this puffer jacket is an excellent choice for larger men. It also offers plenty of high-quality features.
What you’ll love: It comes with a handy bag for travel and is available in an array of flattering colors. It’s easy to clean in the washer, too.
What you should consider: Some buyers complain that the zippers are flimsy and down can leak after regular use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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