The first puffer (or puffy) jacket was made by Eddie Bauer in the 1930s after he almost died from hypothermia on an ill-fated fishing trip. Although the initial design featured a down feather stuffing, the warm jackets have become filled with all sorts of insulation over the years. From synthetic concoctions to wool blends—or the pages of a Louis L’Amour novel if you’re like famed rock climber, mountaineer, and author Fred Beckey—the best puffer jackets for the outdoors keep you toasty when the weather is anything but.
The nice part for eco-conscious folks is most modern puffy jackets are made with recycled synthetic insulation and responsibly sourced down, which is certified to be harvested using best practices via the Responsible Down Standard. We also love all the extra eco-tech that goes into making puffers, like nylon made from recycled fishing nets and shells crafted with super-tough Dyneema fiber. Thoughtful design specs are integrated into the latest puffers, too. From ice climbing a frozen waterfall to chilling around a snowy campfire, you can dial in a fit and purpose to meet almost every winter outdoor need.
From lightweight jackets to pillowy parkas, here are the best puffer jackets for the outdoors. We’ve got you covered!
1. Mammut Eigerjoch Advanced IN Hooded Jacket
The Eigerjoch Advanced blends two types of insulation: Premium water-repellent RSD goose down is loaded into the upper arms, core, and interior hood, while exposed and/or high-perspiration spots (think shoulders, outer hood, back, and underarm) are insulated with soft, stretchy synthetic insulation. The combo keeps you warm without overheating. A durable abrasion-resistant outer shell keeps all that good insulation sheltered from the elements. Don the Eigerjoch for a quick repel in case the weather turns or you’ve got a bitter-cold approach.