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The best men’s puffer jackets are harder to find than you’d think. Sure, in the dead of winter, puffer jackets are everywhere you look: slung on the backs of office chairs, draped on barstools, piled high on restaurant banquettes, scurrying across snow-covered streets. But consider the myriad ways to go wrong with a puffer. Too puffed up and you’ll look like you’re wearing George Costanza’s infamous Gore-Tex coat. Too bare-bones and you’ll be wishing you’d sprung for a jacket with more down filling. And even if you get the right fit, most drab winter jackets fail the Kondo test: They inspire literally zero joy.
But the best men’s puffer jackets are antidotes to the schlubby, formless sleeping bag you probably already have in your closet. They come in unique silhouettes, they’re made with innovative fabrics, and they flaunt some eye-catching colors that will actually make a winter fit instead of sabotaging it. Below are our six favorites, plus a handful of others worth puffing up your closet with.
The Best Puffer Jacket for City Dwellers
The North Face designs jackets for outdoorsy folks and city dwellers alike, which means you’re just as likely to see one of the brand’s trademark puffy jackets in SoHo as you are in the Catskills. The retro-inspired Nuptse jacket features a boxy silhouette and is made from The North Face’s original shiny ripstop fabric. If that weren’t enough, the puffer also comes with a stowable (and quite stylish) hood for when the wet weather hits.
The Best All-Natural, Guilt-Free Puffer
The world of technical outdoors gear is fraught with synthetic materials and plastic that can wreak havoc on the environment. But Olderbrother’s waxed puff coat is 100% au naturel. From the natural plant indigo dye, to the renewable, cruelty-free tree fill, to the mother of pearl buttons and hand-applied beeswax organic Japanese broadcloth fabric, this puffer is as guilt-free as it gets. And it’s sexy as hell, too. Throw it over a cozy hoodie and some wide-leg jeans for a can’t-fail look.
The Best Luxed-Up Puffer
Moncler makes the Rolls-Royce of puffer coats. From the instantly recognizable patch to their signature glossy, puffed-up panels, a Moncler jacket is engineered to turn heads. And this one, designed by former Phoebe Philo protege Veronica Leoni, is no exception. It’s got all the goods under the hood, of course, but that eye-popping slime green colorway is the real star of the show.
The Puffer of the Moment
You can’t write a puffer jacket story in 2021 without mentioning this cultural juggernaut. Ye’s first-ever release for the Gap instantly ranks among the weirdest and most interesting pieces of clothing the venerable American chain has ever released. Its amorphous shape and bold colors made it an immediate hit among streetwear kids and fashon types, and it’s been completely sold out since it first dropped back in June. Until Mr. West perfects his plan to bring Yeezy goods to the masses, you’ll have to cop this one on the secondhand market.
The Best Not-So-Puffy Puffer Jacket
Don’t let that slim, streamlined shell fool you. Veilance’s Monitor coat is packed with all the cutting-edge, cold-busting technology you’d expect from Arc’teryx’s highest-end division. We’re talking a whole lot of trademarks, people: Down Contour™ technology! Down Composite Mapping™! Insulated StormHood™! WaterTight™ external zippers! Waterproof GORE-TEX® Pro exterior! What does all that really mean for you? It means you’re getting an absurdly warm, absurdly advanced coat that won’t restrict your movement or interfere with your minimalist tech ninja aesthetic.
The Best Eco-Conscious Puffer Jacket
Back in the ’80s and ’90s, Miuccia Prada’s pioneering designs helped turn practical, techy nylon into something worth lusting over. Now, she’s pulling the same trick for recycled materials, by fashioning Prada’s iconic nylon goods—like this understated puffer—from repurposed ocean plastics.