Puffer vests are an embodiment of one of those rare moments when fashion and function intersect. Puffer vests generally serve the function of providing enough insulation to keep the core of the body warm. However, with the turn of the decade, they are now being made with equal emphasis laid on fashion and functionality and come with various features such as hooded options and pockets, which add a personalized style to it. What’s more, they are also adaptable as they can be worn in any climate. Listed below are some of the best puffer vests money can buy.
The Best Puffer Vest
Whether for style or warmth puffer vests don’t get better than our top pick from Dickies. Providing you with an extra layer of warmth without compromising on its stylish features, the Dickies Men’s Diamond Quilted Nylon Vest is a great way to keep your body insulated. this bubble vest is made with a polyurethane coating which makes the nylon shell of this vest water-repellent. Another feature of this puffer vest is the rib knit collar which traps your body heat and also gives you a comfortable fit. If you are also into fishing, be sure to check out our selection of the best fishing vests.
Warm and lightweight
Hand warmer pockets
100% nylon material
- Weight2 pounds
Built mainly for outdoor use, the Carhartt Men’s Gilliam Vest is made of nylon with quilted polyester insulation which keeps you warm at all times. This puffer vest is good for fishing as it has a water-repellent technology which keeps water away from the body, leaving you dry enough to enjoy your activity. It also has inner pockets where you can keep most of your gear. If you are a fan of the brand, be sure to check out our guide to the best Carhartt jackets for more high-quality clothes to keep you warm.
Triple-stitched main seams
Draw-cord adjustable hem
Lower pockets with snap closures
- Weight1 pounds
The Columbia Men’s Voodoo Falls TurboDown Vest is designed to retain your body heat, especially in cold climates. A unique feature of this vest is the Omni-Tech Reflective lining which traps your body heat. Contributing to its heat retention capability is an adjustable drawcord hem which comes in handy in windy conditions as well as multiple zippered pockets to store all your much-needed essentials. You may combine it with some of the best joggers from our list.
Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective material
Zippered hand pockets
Drawcord adjustable hem
- Weight1 pounds
Combining style and function, the Alpine Swiss Lightweight Alternative Jacket is the best black puffer vest has been specially designed to keep well protected from the elements of the cooler weather. It can be worn over shirts which gives you endless combinations if staying fashionable is your main concern. It is constructed from nylon shell which makes it water-resistant. It also features two secure front zipper pockets for easier storage of your gear, whether you are out fishing or camping. For more practical pieces of clothes like this, check out our reviews of the best tactical vests.
Water-resistant nylon shell
Lightweight and comfortable
Large inner pockets for storage
- Brandalpine swiss
- ModelBy Alpine Swiss
- Weight1.2 pounds
Made by one of the most recognizable global brands in the market, the Calvin Klein Men’s Packable Vest is magnificent in style and functionality. This mens puffer vest is made from 100% nylon which is an exceptionally durable and resilient material that is highly resistant to staining. It is also highly elastic, waterproof (but does not float), dirt-repellent, resistant to mildew and overall very easy to clean. Additionally, nylon does not stretch and is wrinkle resistant. The vest comes designed with an elastic hem which helps to provide better insulation for the body. Its style is further enhanced by the Calvin Klein logo printed on the chest. It would look great over a v-neck t-shirt.
Interior and exterior pockets
Material made from nylon and polyester
Printed Calvin Klein logo
- BrandCalvin Klein
- Weight1 pounds
The Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Full Zip Puffer Vest can double as a winter vest because of its 750 fill-power that makes it lightweight and provides all-round warmth. It is made from a 100% nylon that makes it easy to pack away. It also features a full-zip front with a leather zipper which prevents chafing. A stand collar is also included in the design to protect the neck from harsh elements. Perfect to combine with your turtleneck sweater.
Internal storm flap
Zip-up hand pockets
100% durable nylon
Pony player embroidery
- BrandPolo Ralph Lauren
- Weight10.1 ounces
The North Men’s Aconcagua Vest offers extra protection from chills and rain droplets. This padded vest is made from 100% polyester and uses Heatseeker insulation to trap the body heat in adverse weather conditions. It also features synthetic insulation which is positioned at high-friction areas. If you are a fitness enthusiast, you will sure like some of the best weighted vests from our list, so be sure to check them out.
Water repellent fabric
Zippered chest pocket
- BrandThe North Face
- Weight10.4 ounces
Known for designing high-quality apparels, Tommy Hilfiger lives up to his billing with the release of the Tommy Hilfiger Ultra Quilted Puffer Vest. This winter vest incorporates a stylish design that is lightweight and gives a great fit to the body. An interesting feature included in this vest is the drawstring bag which enables you to store the jacket easily. For more amazing winter clothes, check out our guide to the best winter jackets.
Inside zipper pocket
Nylon field-quilted packable jacket
Center-front zipper closure
- BrandTommy Hilfiger
The Under Armour Men’s Trail Hybrid Zip Jacket uses Storm technology to repel water droplets. This padded vest mens jacket comes with various usable features such as a hook closure below the neck which allows the vest to be worn in a cape-like fashion. What’s more, the material of this padded vest wicks very fast. It also incorporates a ColdGear Reactor insulation which continually keeps the body warm. Our guide to the best fleece jackets features more great products for your wardrobe, so take a moment to check it out.
Made from 85% nylon and 100% polyester
Fully seamed seals
Elastic bound cuffs
- BrandUnder Armour
- Weight14.4 ounces
Outdoor activities during winter just got better with the Amazon Essentials Men’s Lightweight Water-resistant Packable Puffer Vest. The material of this puffer vest is made from 100% nylon which makes it lightweight and comfortable. This quilted vest also features a full-zip front and a stand collar to protect the neck from cold. The sleeve cuffs are elastic which provides better insulation for the body. Our guide to the best down jackets features more winter apparel that you will like.
100% Nylon material
Full zip front
Quilted and lightweight
- BrandAmazon Essentials
Puffer Vest Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Puffer Vests
Brand - Puffer vests come in various brands and some are more popular than others. It is, however, important to note that whilst some brands lay more emphasis on style, others tend to do better when it comes to functionality. We aimed at listing only top quality products that lay emphasis on both. For example, brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein stress the importance of both style and functionality.
Reviews - Researching detailed reviews was a starting point for us when researching the best puffer vests. The puffer vests listed in this article were selected based on the positive appraisal of important attributes such as type of material, water-resistance, style and comfort.
Price - Before choosing a puffer vest, it is practical to consider all the features it has to offer. An expensive vest doesn’t always guarantee the type of vest that is suitable for your requirements.
Features To Look For In Puffer Vests
Fashion or Performance - Nowadays, puffer vests are worn casually in almost all weather conditions. However, providing an extra layer of warmth is the main purpose of a puffer vest. Style or fashion is an obvious personal preference but performance must be prioritized. A good example is the Dickies Men’s Diamond Quilted Nylon Vest, which provides an extra layer of comfort without compromising on style.
Insulation/padding - When it comes to puffer vests, insulation is the most important feature to consider. However, there are different types of insulation with varying degrees of warmth. Down is the most common type of insulation and by far, the warmest. This is because the feathers effectively trap heat close to the body. On the other hand, down retains more moisture when wet which might become a problem in rainy conditions. Synthetic insulation is another type of insulation that does a good job of keeping you warm. It is more breathable which means it won’t retain moisture. Additionally opting for a mens puffer vest with hood will provide additional warmth.
Warmth - Practically, the main function of a puffer vest is to keep you warm in chilly weather. When buying a puffer vest, it is best to consider the type that is guaranteed to give you the maximum degree of warmth.
Water-proof - The shell of a vest which includes its material, coating and thickness determines how well a vest can protect you from water or precipitation. Consider buying puffer vests that are made of polyester or nylon materials as they are water-repellent. Also, consider getting synthetic insulation which is more breathable and wicks water faster.
Packability - This feature is slightly overlooked but it is equally important. The weight of a puffer vest should be considered as a much heavier vest might be difficult to pack. Down is the obvious choice in this regard as it packs down the smallest.
Pockets - When choosing a puffer vest, the amount and position of pockets should be considered. Pockets are great for storing essentials or supplies especially during outdoor activities.
Breathability - This feature is very important to consider as a poor breathable puffer vest will leave you exposed to cold. In this regard, synthetic padding is recommended as it breathes well, wicks faster and does not retain moisture.