There’s no stopping the right puffy or light insulated jacket from showing up toasty and looking good. These three styles came across our desk recently (some puffier than others out of the box). And all went immediately out the door for early-season evaluation to heat up your gift-giving in coming weeks.
Eddie Bauer mustered their expedition-proven First Ascent team on this line, and it shows in the details. Micro quilting of high fill (800) treated down delivers, according to testers, at least 30% more heat retention than comparable jackets as demonstrated in recent testing on Vancouver Island B.C. (where the Pacific Ocean and rivers pumped high humidity into the air). The exterior shell defies winds up to about 30mph without the need for a separate shell, with credit to 50% recycled 20D ripstop polyester equipped with a DWR finish. One of few brands to consistently offer taller sizes, the Eddie Bauer jacket goes head-on with esteemed mountain brands, putting StormDown at the core. And as for real-world performance? No other lightweight quilted jacket exceeds this one for easy, snag-avoiding zipper operation along with enhanced shoulder mobility.
Best For: Two- to three-season wear, adventure travel with high compression and demonstrated moisture-fighting properties
When the wind kicks up, you’re at home. If the temperature drops – or climbs – rapidly, you’re ready. This hooded jacket is among the most versatile, value-minded pieces we’ve seen, with the promise of years of adventures ahead. Don’t let the low Nat Geo tag stop you, as this is a legit piece that packs down small on the biggest of bucket-list trips. Pummel the smooth-finished exterior and try to kill the ClimaPlus insulation with wet conditions. One cycle in the the washing machine (or a long, semi-warm shower) puts this puffy jacket back in the game. It belongs in your life. And you belong in a world of amazing places.
Best For: All-around wear backed by the committed team at Craghoppers – and a lifetime guarantee against defects in materials or manufacturing
Sounds strange, but we see this as a four-way jacket from Performance Bike. Fire it up with either grey or burnt orange turned out (two ways), then walk or cycle with it in relaxed comfort (another two ways). Testers favored the quilted polyfill insulation for use in mixed conditions and in high-humidity locations including the Midwest and Mid-South. Employing the smooth-sliding zipper (with top garage) is imperative to get the most wide-ranging use out of the semi form-fitting insulated jacket that sports reflective accents. The zippered hand and chest pockets are a bonus, as is the easy-washing, reasonably-durable fabric. Offered in a wide range of sizes, the unisex puffer jacket is better suited to men, fit-wise.
Best For: Everyday walking and commuting, travel to cooler destinations