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A puffy is your last-ditch armor against the cold: a compressible layer that traps warm air close to your skin, keeping out unexpected chills. But these 6 insulated jackets aren’t just warm, they’re light and packable enough to take on any of your adventures without a second thought.
Best All-Around: Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka
With temps in Utah’s Little Death Hollow hovering around freezing on a November trip, the Plasma 1000 kept us warm over a T-shirt and light fleece as we did camp chores. Buy the Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka Now / Read the Full Review
Most Affordable: Decathlon Trek 100 Down Hiking Jacket
For the most part, down performs like down no matter what garment it’s packaged into, and the non-hydrophobic, 800-fill variety in the Trek 100 works just as well as it would in a jacket four times as expensive. Buy the Decathlon Trek 100 Down Hiking Jacket Now / Read the Full Review
Most Comfortable: Black Diamond Approach Down
For chilly (low 40s) evenings in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, the Approach was our tester’s chosen outer layer (over a T-shirt and fleece) for hanging around camp thanks to 800-fill, hydrophobic down. Buy the Black Diamond Approach Down Now / Read the Full Review
Most Versatile: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Hoody
The Ghost Whisperer has long been considered a classic in the ultralight category, and it retains that status with this update. Buy the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down Hoody Now / Read the Full Review
Most Packable: Mammut Broad Peak Light IN Jacket
Like a first-aid kit and a backup Prusik loop, the Broad Peak Light always found a way into our kit, even for an ascent of Red Rock, Nevada’s classic 5.9 route Epinephrine. Its puny packed size (no larger than a pint glass, the smallest in the test) made it a constant staple, ready to add some warmth just in case. Buy the Mammut Broad Peak Light IN Jacket Now / Read the Full Review
Most Durable: Western Mountaineering QuickFlash Jacket
“Durable ultralight puffy” might sound like an oxymoron, but the QuickFlash is the most resilient in the test thanks to its 12-denier nylon fabric and sturdy accents. Buy the Western Mountaineering QuickFlash Jacket Now / Read the Full Review