Best Down Jackets for Men in 2019
You know most puffer jackets are ugly as hell. It's like a plastic bag stuffed with down.
Some puffer jackets are so bulky that they make you look like a Michelin Man.
Still, winter is cold and you need to bundle up.
In fact, puffer jackets don't necessarily have to be ugly and bulky. Jackets with quality down can be warm yet extremely lightweight, and they can be fashionable as well.
With so many puffer jackets to choose from, selecting the most suitable puffer jacket can be a daunting task.
In this post, I'm going to share with you the best puffer jackets I found after my extensive research.
But first: What's the difference between down and feather?
A down jacket is a jacket filled with down and feathers from duck or goose. While feather is the outer layer covering the wings and body and of the bird, down is the softer underlayer comes from the breast covering by feathers.
Down is fluffier than feathers and it traps more air than feathers. And that means it has better insulating property.
When it comes to down jackets, you need to check what’s the composition of feather and down.
A good down jacket should have 70% to 90% down and 10% ~ 30% feather. The more the down, the better the insulating property.
But that’s not the only thing to look at when choosing down jackets.
You need to check the fill power as well.
You may be wondering:
“What exactly is fill power?”
Fill power is the amount of space the down takes up, measured in cubic inches per ounce of down.
Simply put, fill power is a measure of the “fluffiness” of the down. The higher the fill power the better the insulating property.
Here’s a good rule of thumb regarding the fill power and the quality:
Below 500 fill power: Bad
600 - 700 fill power: Good
Above 700 fill power: Excellent
The picture below shows downs with different fill power together with polycotton, a cheaper alternative to down.
Now, this is important:
Down jacket with higher fill power doesn’t imply better insulating property. Fill power implies weight difference.
Why is that?
The higher the fill power, the less down it needs to make a warm enough jacket, and therefore the lighter the jacket.
So if the weight of the jacket is your concern, choose the one with a high fill power.
Weight: 18 oz.
Insulation: 750-fill duck down
Lifetime warranty: Yes
Started as a company specializing in raincoats and snowmobile suits in 1957, Canada Goose has now grown into a hot fashion brand.
That said, Canada Goose Lodge Down Jacket doesn’t only look good but it is warm and versatile enough where you can use it for urban use or backcountry activities.
This jacket is constructed with a windproof ripstop nylon shell and a water-resistant coating. It’s rated as TEI2 (Thermal Experience Index) which means it’s good for a temperature range of 32°F to 5°F.
I brought this jacket on a trip to Korea where the temperature in winter varies like crazy (48°F to 5°F). I would say this jacket is suitable for a wider range of temperature than it was stated and it did a great job of protecting me from strong wind and snow.
One of the coolest features I like is that it can be packed away into its own pocket. It saves you a lot of space when you tuck it away into your backpack. And it doubles as a pillow if you go camping.
There's an elastic drawcord at the back of the neck for tightening the neck area.
Inner collar and chin guard are lined with soft brushed tricot fabric.
The jacket comes with a full-length zip with inner draft flap and zipper garage.
There’re three outer pockets and two inner pockets.
The inner pocket is really deep and you can stuff almost anything in it.
You can make the bottom of your jacket tighter without exposing your hands by pulling the elastic cords inside the fleece-lined hand warmer pockets.
This jacket has a bit more room than a slim fit and that’s what I prefer. If you want a slim fit, try Hybridge Lite instead.
There’s also a hooded version and that's what Daniel Craign wears in the James Bond movie Spectre.
I found that the hood is a bit large. I would get a hooded version instead if they made it detachable.
Overall if you want a versatile jacket that can withstand extreme weather without looking too bulky, this is a great choice.
Weight: 13 oz.
Insulation: 800-fill traceable goose down
Lifetime warranty: Yes
Patagonia is the pioneer that makes outwear appeal to fashionable city dwellers by introducing bold colors to the mainstream Earth-toned outwear market in the 1980s.
I bought a navy Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket 2 years ago and it became my most used jacket in the winter.
It’s a stylish, lightweight jacket with a slim silhouette which matches perfectly with everyday wear.
Compared to Canada Goose Lodge Down Jacket, this jacket is lighter and looks a bit less bulky but the trade-off is the insulating property.
I would say this jacket is warm enough for winters in New York and most of the other cities in the United States.
But for more extreme weather like below 20°F, you’ll need to wear extra layers underneath to keep yourself warm.
I’m 5’10, 135 lbs wearing M size.
This jacket is contoured fit and it’s a bit loose in the waist area. You can wear extra layers underneath comfortably without hampering your mobility.
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket comes with a recycled polyester ripstop shell with a Durable water repellent (DWR) finish.
My personal experience with DWR is that it's only effective for light rainfall or snowfall, and your jacket gets wet for anything heavier than that.
Also, the DWR coating wears off over time, and you need to reapply a DWR coating to restore its water repellency.
On the front of the jacket, there's a full-length zip with zipper garage to prevent rubbing against the neck.
The sleeves end with elastic cuffs for enhanced fit and added comfort.
There’re two hand warmer pockets and one inner chest pocket which doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket.
Patagonia is my favorite outwear brand not only because of their great products but also because of their environmental consciousness.
They only use traceable down in their products. That means no birds are being live-plucked or force-fed when the down is extracted.
I was particularly impressed by their Common Threads Initiative which aimed at making their products durable, repairable and recyclable.
They ran an ad Don’t Buy This Jacket telling peoples to consume less in The New York Times on Black Friday in 2011, and I truly believe this is what we all should be doing.
If you are looking for a lightweight, stylish everyday jacket which holds up for years to come, Patagonia Down Sweater Hooded Jacket is your best bet.