It’s hard not to identify with a naked mole rat on a spiritual level when the temperature drops. They’re blind, cold-blooded, and have zero desire to socialize with outsiders. If you similarly need a little extra motivation to leave the house, a puffer jacket can provide reliable warmth. Whether you opt for down or synthetic, the best puffer jackets for men combine solid insulation and a water-resistant synthetic shell to keep you supremely comfortable in any weather.
Down is the kingpin of insulation because the high-quality fill provides incredible warmth in a lightweight package that compresses down so it’s easy to pack and will last you for years (if not decades). Down insulation is measured in fill power, which ranks on a scale from 400 to 900, with higher numbers indicating a better warmth to weight ratio. Synthetic down alternative is a little bit heavier and bulkier but, unlike down, it provides insulation if you happen to get wet and tends to be budget-friendly. Its weight is measured in grams per square meter (GSM) — and somewhere around 100 to 200 GSM is ideal for cold. That said, it's often hard to find that metric listed, and some brands will simply list the weight class (i.e. mid-weight).
For convenience, the jackets below are organized into down and synthetic categories and listed in order from most lightweight to most heavy-duty, so you can skip to exactly what you're looking for. Rest assured, all of these warm jackets promise to bring your inner naked mole rat into the light.
The best down puffers
1. A packable puffer jacket with ethically sourced down
The Eddie Bauer Cirruslite down puffer is a quality jacket at a relatively bargain price. It offers ethically sourced down insulation, with 650 fill power, that's third-party certified to the Responsible Down Standard. The nylon shell is treated with a proprietary durable water-repellent (DWR) finish to keep wetness at bay, and the classic cut features a stand collar and elastic cuffs, plus two zip pockets and a security pocket on the interior. The warm but lightweight puffer is cut with a little extra room to go over your midweight layers, and it's rated to keep you comfortable (per lab testing) in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit. It packs down compactedly to fit into the included storage pouch, too. "It provides a lot more warmth than I expected. Down definitely does a great job at insulating. Easy to roll up and keep in a small bag as well," one shopper reported.
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: S — XXL
2. This high-quality glossy puffer
For even greater warmth with additional features well worth the investment price, Marmot's Stockholm puffer jacket is GQ-approved for looking just as good as it feels. The 700 fill power down insulation is specially treated with a water-resistant finish to stay lofty and warm even if you happen to get drenched (a significant advantage over the untreated stuff), while its high ciré shell is tightly woven with a waxy finish. The zip-off hood features a Velcro closure for security in inclement weather, and throughout the body you'll find a fleet of pockets. There are two zippered hand pockets, one on the sleeve for things like lift passes and key cards, plus an additional zip security pocket and a drop-in sleeve for your phone. "This coat will keep you warm in any weather. It is a bit on the puffy side, but one of the warmest jackets I have ever owned," a reviewer vouched. "The quality is top notch with very nice zippers."
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: Small — XX-Large
4. A draft-proof puffer jacket with max fill power
On days you need maximum coverage, this heavy down puffer jacket comes loaded with features for epic warmth. It features the loftiest insulation out of any jackets on this list with a whopping 800 fill power with heat-sealed seams on its nylon, water-resistant shell. Nice additions include a heavy-duty adjustable hood with a serious collar that comes up high and zips off so you can see what you're doing if necessary. Amazon shoppers loved the knit cuffs with thumbholes, which keep out drafts and provide seamless protection from coat to glove. The sizeable pockets, big enough to fit a pair of ski gloves, also earned high marks from reviewers. "This thing fits extremely well, keeps you comfortable at low temperatures, it’s honestly an amazing jacket. The filling is one of my favorite things about this jacket, it feels like you’re wearing a pillow" one fan swore, adding, "[The] craftsmanship that went into this piece is really noticeable."
- Available colors: 2
- Available sizes: Small — XX-Large
The best down alternative puffers
5. A lightweight puffer at a bargain price
The AmazonEssentials packable puffer jacket gets high praise for its solid quality at a bargain price. With cozy polyester-based insulation, it's lightweight yet warm and couples with a quick-drying, water-resistant nylon shell (although note: no fill weight is provided). You can't detach the hood, but it's so unobtrusive that it likely won't be an issue. Two zippered pockets provide all the space you need for carrying daily essentials, and when you're ready to pack up the jacket it compresses down supernaturally well into the included stuff sack — you could easily keep one in the trunk of your car or your backpack so you're never left out in the cold by accident. "Turns out that this 'cheap' jacket is way better than my old expensive one," a reviewer was surprised to note. "Light years better! It's lighter and warmer, dries quickly and the hood doubles as a neck warmer when down. Love this thing!" Also, consider their well-reviewed heavyweight puffer jacket for even more warmth on a budget.
- Available colors: 11
- Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
6. A mid-weight puffer available in a wide range of colors & sizes
Tommy Hilfiger's mid-weight puffer jacket offers good bang for the buck in a smart-looking package. The synthetic polyfill insulation is nicely plush and its quick-drying nylon shell has a wet finish that comes in a serious range of shades if you're looking for something a little different, but there are plenty of classics as well. There's a drawstring on the hood and hem, with a fleece-lined collar and ribbed knit storm cuffs. Two oversized zip pockets on the outside offer plenty of space to stash your gear, and a secure zippered pocket on the inside breast pocket to keep your valuables close. "This thing is almost too warm, but I love it," a shopper testified. "I’m in college and I walk about 15 minutes to class. Windchill yesterday was -3 and honestly I was sweating in my jacket. Where I go to school on an average day winds reach 20 mph and this jacket has no problems." The brand's lightweight puffer jacket without a hood has a few more color options if you’re game
- Available colors: 30
- Available sizes: X-Small — 5X
7. This sturdy puffer with serious insulation
When you need all the protection from the elements that you can get, this wallet-friendly, water-repelling puffer literally has you covered. The windproof Oxford fabric features a polyurethane coating for staying utterly dry and everything is triple-stitched for durability. Underneath that, you'll find an impressive 400 grams of insulation, and the stuff itself is made from synthetic hand plug cotton with hollow-core fibers that trap above-average warmth. There's a snap placket over the zipper and collar, plus ribbed knit cuffs and two zip pockets for your hands — and one on the inside that's big enough for a thermos — with an elastic drawstring, removable hood topping it off. "I was torn between this or two other coats, and I spent days (I'm telling you, like 5 days) just staring at them and trying to research," a shopper confessed. "It's so warm that I don't even need a sweatshirt under it and it was 28 degrees plus wind the other day...10/10."
- Available colors: 5
- Available sizes: Small — 3X