ALTHOUGH THE AUSTRALIAN Bureau of Meteorology reported we’re in store for another “unusually warm” winter, we don’t recommend dropping your winter guard completely, because there will still be a cold snap here and there. The crisper mornings are still biting, and the icy winds have indeed arrived. Enter the puffer jacket. The winter outerwear staple is that rare mix of comfort and function: it’s not heavy like most wool coats, and it’s as cosy as a duvet.

But balancing the abundance of warmth with style can be a tricky line to tread: you don’t want to end up looking like the Michelin man. As luck would have it, innovators in the puffer space – from high fashion to outdoor brands – have adapted to these shifting tastes without sacrificing the jacket’s insulating ability. Here, we’ve done the hard work by rounding up the most stylish and insulating puffer jackets for every puff volume preference and budget.

Uniqlo x White Mountaineering Recycled Hybrid Puffer Jacket

Alongside their highly reliable basics range, Japanese giant Uniqlo has been making sartorial splashes with their collaborations. This puffer from their latest collection with Japanese outdoor brand White Mountaineering cuts a straight boxy fit with latticed weave stitching for something a little different. And as we said above, if the plumpness of a puffer isn’t your thing, the fabrication on this jacket features some natural wrinkling for a more tactile texture.

The North Face Green ’92 Reversible Nuptse Puffer Jacket

Puffers from The North Face have become the unofficial uniform for Australian urbanites. Seen on the backs of A$AP Rocky, Ben Affleck and Jake Gyllenhaal, the appeal is its versatility, which has seen it assimilate into the street. Because of its saturation, why not spice it up a little? This rendition of the Nuptse puffer jacket in a sharp chartreuse corduroy packs the extra heat. And although corduroy won’t bode so well on those wet winter days, the brown nylon lining is reversible for said occasions.

Craig Green Quilted Puffer Jacket

British designer Craig Green has created the puffer jacket that delivers on style. Inspired from his working-class upbringing, Green’s quilted puffer jacket is a rework for the workwear-heads for its straight cut and ample four-pocket features. So much so, that when Green started is eponymous label in 2012, he found that couch-cushion polyester from his upholsterer uncle worked just as well as traditional down feathers to deliver on warmth and a clean flat look. The jacket has since garnered a cult following, while also featuring a belt to cinch in the silhouette.

Rains Puffer Jacket

Not to dampen your spirits, but the BoM also reported a fifty-fifty wet winter. With this in mind, Danish rainwear brand Rains’ puffer jacket has a waterproof coating on top of its insulating design. A seamless finish for flatter, less-defined Michelin man folds, will ensure no water will be seeping into this jacket.

Lululemon Wunder Puffer Jacket

With the sun rising later, getting to the gym for a cold and dark 5 a.m. start takes a bit more effort these days. The Wunder puffer jacket from Lululemon is designed for such starts. This is one of the few occasions where you should let the clothes wear you: featuring a well-covered hood and zipper panel ensuring no warmth will escape.

COS Mimus Padded Puffer Jacket

Everyone’s favourite middle-market minimalist brand just got the low-key puffer right. Unlike a traditional puffer, COS’ Mimus jacket is an uninterrupted, smooth design – really leaning into the duvet vibe, but making it fashion.

Moncler Grenoble Lavachey Logo-Appliquéd Quilted Ripstop Puffer Jacket

From its skiwear range, Italian luxury brand Moncler mixes its signature puffers with more technical fabrications for the outdoors. Whether you find yourself at après-ski or in the city, the Lavachey jacket cuts a blouson profile for a smart casual look.

KidSuper Purple Canada Goose & NBA Edition Crofton Puffer Jacket

A throuple collaboration between Brooklyn streetwear brand KidSuper, outdoor icon Canada Goose and the NBA, the special edition Crofton puffer jacket unites all three brands’ spirit for bold and vibrant style. This particular jacket titled Purple Crowd depicts onlookers in a stadium, an abstract illustration by KidSuper founder Colm Dillane.

Should you size up or down for puffer jackets?

For classic puffer jackets, a true-to-size fit is the way to go if all you’ll be wearing is a T-shirt, as they’re already cut for ample room and movement. But do size up from your regular size if you plan to layer. And for jackets cut like a blouson, we recommend sizing up to give way for optimal movement (especially if you want to layer a knit or hoodie underneath).

How can you tell if a puffer jacket is good quality?

You might’ve heard the words ‘down’ and ‘puffer’ used interchangeably when referring to the winter staple. ‘Puffer’ is the umbrella term that encompasses all insulated quilted jackets, while ‘down’ specifically refers to a type of puffer jacket that uses natural insulation fillers like goose or duck feathers.

Making sure which insulation filler is used is key to telling which jacket will optimise warmth and lightness. Another tell-tale sign of good down filling is that it should feel soft as you compress it in your hand, and if it returns to its original shape quickly, you’ve got a quality puffer jacket.

How do you wash a puffer jacket?

While it is important to first check the specific care instructions on the label inside the jacket, the general consensus goes that it is safe to wash in the machine in cold water on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. Before doing so, make sure you turn the jacket inside out and close all zips and covers.

Esquire participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.


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