As the temperature begins to dip towards freezing and has the gall to descended even further down, there’s nothing you’re going to want more than a puffer jacket. Down-fill insulation is the key to keeping yourself warm and cozy each and every winter, like bringing your favorite comforter with you as a shield from the frigid air.
What was once created for bonafide winter activities is now a must for everyday life wherever the cold touches its cruel hands, and the only question left is what kind of puffer is right for you. A mid-layer is good for more moderate weather and for layering with a shell when conditions get worse, while a beefed up parka is likely all you’ll need for your torso when everything in sight is covered in frost.
We’ve put together our favorite puffer jackets of 2021, from the outdoor staples to the more fashionable renditions that’ll help you show out. You don’t have to spend a whole lot of money — and whatever you do pay, consider it a strong investment in many winters to come.
The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket ($280)
The quintissential TNF puffer comes in the very same proportions from 1996 and in a whole host of colors to cater to your tastes. A stowable hood can hide out in the collar, and you can pack the whole thing into the right pocket to make transporting it a cinch.
Columbia Titan Pass Omni-Heat Infinity ($240)
Columbia recently rolled out its Omni-Heat Infinity collection, which uses a reflective gold material plucked from NASA in conjunction with down to keep the heat in. We’d consider this jacket more of a mid-layer, and the bright chartreuse should look great when it comes time to stack on another layer.
Arc’teryx Agrium Hoody ($400)
Just like your favorite hoodie — or “hoody,” as the Canadian brand seems to call it — but much warmer. This puffer from the coolest outdoor brand of the moment is remarkably light and versatile, and it may just be the piece to get you hooked on Arc’teryx.
Stüssy Stripe Down Puffer Jacket ($275)
Striped nylon disguises this jacket's true nature as a puffer, making it easier to dress up than the more gorp-y options above. It’s a steal at $275, and yet another reason why Stüssy is the most consistent streetwear brand out for 30 years and running.
Aimé Leon Dore x Woolrich Heritage Parka ($950)
Teddy Santis’ remarkably hot brand bridging streetwear and menswear has brought its superb taste to Woolrich for this robust parka in a rich forest green. The details are what takes it over the top, including a shirt collar hiding underneath the removable hood and waistband drawcord for extra snug.
Comfy Outdoor Garment CMF Down Jacket (~$534)
Comfy Outdoor Garment remains one of Japan’s best-kept outdoor secrets, and the large diamond stitching on this puffer is just enough of a tweak to make you fall in love.
Stone Island 43432 Naslan Light Watro Down-TC ($1,230)
The Italian dye and materials experts at Stone Island pack more tech into their jackets than most people will ever need, but oh is it ever cool. Mechanically-spun nylon is steamed to give it a more natural finish and make the vibrant purple look slightly aged, while the polyerethane coated trim brings a striking polish.
Daily Paper Epuffa Jacket ($286)
A slightly cropped cut and recycled insulation make this seasonable staple from Daily Paper subtly attractive and sustainable. Just make sure you pick the right color shirt to peek out from below.
Adidas Tyshawn Puff Jacket ($170)
We’re getting slight George Costanza vibes from this oversized Adidas puffer, which is fitting because it was designed by New York City pro skater Tyshawn Jones. And at under $200, you’re not going to find anything more stylish.
ERL Lightning Puffer Jacket ($1,360)
Kanye West and Lady Gaga collaborator Eli Russell Linnetz has quickly grabbed our attention with his namesake brand thanks to the highly detailed stitching on his colorful puffers. Simply put, there is not a cooler puffer out than ERL’s, which is why they’re often sold even with a four-figure price.