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The 12 Best Puffer Vests For Men In 2024
— 1 July 2024

The 12 Best Puffer Vests For Men In 2024

— 1 July 2024
Randy Lai
WORDS BY
Randy Lai

Given relatively low humidity and mild winter climes all-round, one could be forgiven for thinking that Australia isn’t prime overcoat territory. But puffer vests? Well, that’s a whole other story.

In an ideal world, this sleeveless design combines comfort, weather-resistance, and an effective warmth to weight ratio, all in a single ultra-compact package.

Check out our favourite men’s puffer vests in 2024 below: ranging from the ever-popular Patagonia number, all the way up to the likes of Canada Goose, Moncler, and more.

RELATED: The Best Men’s Puffer Jacket Brands For Every Price Point In 2024


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Moncler ‘Gui’ Gilet

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Two-way zip fastening
  • Appliqué logo
  • Quilted construction
  • Made with 10% goose feathers

A segment-crushing option for those who crave the very opposite of the affordable puffer vest, Moncler’s Gui gilet combines a large, discernibly puffed-up polyamide exterior and an internal filling certified with a 90:10 down-to-feather ratio.

Between the glossy navy quilting and applied felt logo, this is a seriously good looking option for those who aren’t afraid to embrace their inner hypebeast.


Arc’teryx ‘Cerium’ Vest

DETAILS

  • Internal security pocket
  • Includes ‘stuff sack’ for compact transport
  • Shell made using recycled 15D Arato™
  • 850-fill European goose down

Widely regarded as one of the best puffer vests for men in transitional weather, Arc’teryx’s ‘Cerium’ lightweight vest works equally well as an “alpine mid-layer” or standalone insulator whenever you’re stepping out into the frenzied urban jungle.

The Canadian tech-wear specialists have named their bestseller after the brand’s proprietary Cerium material: originally formulated for backcountry adventurers who require a premium insulator that’s tough on moisture and responsibly sourced.

Whilst we’d hardly call this a budget vest, this is an option that sits comfortably between sub-$100 high street fodder and the madness of a $1,000 puffer.


Canada Goose Black Label ‘Garson’ Quilted Shell Down Gilet

DETAILS

  • Two-way zip/snap fastening
  • Wind and water resist
  • 80:20 down/feather ratio
  • Fleece-lined collar

An all-elements option which speaks to Canada Goose’s reputation for technically proficient outdoor clothing, the ‘Garson’ is another classic puffer vest that most men will buy only a handful of times and then, hopefully, wear for the long haul.

The classic taupe colourway will add a touch of après ski cool to any casual rig, and being ripstop, augments the garment’s heat-trapping properties with protection against water and wind.


Patagonia Nano Puff Vest

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Filling uses PrimaLoft® recycled polyester
  • ‘Brick’ quilted outer shell
  • Manufacturing certified Fair Trade

A regular suspect on shortlists all over the internet of the world’s best puffer vests, the Patagonia Nano Puff is as impressive to wear as it is to say out loud. True to the Californian outdoor clothing brand’s pioneering ethos, both the vest’s shell fabric and choice of insulation are made entirely from recycled polyester.

Despite the absence of even a single goose feather, the Nano Puff seals in body heat like nobody’s business. In tribute to Patagonia’s roots as a mountaineering/climbing supplies company, the ‘stuff sack’ — used to store this puffer vest when it isn’t in use — is reinforced with a carabiner clip-in loop.


Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Vest

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Collared style
  • Premium down with 750 fill power
  • Long-lasting water-repellent coating
  • Convenient self-packing design

Unequivocally one of the warmest, best-performing synthetic vests that I’ve bought for under $100, Uniqlo’s range of ultra-light downs needs little in the way of introduction.

Of the core styles currently offered, I’m a big fan of the soberly described ‘ultra light down vest.’ The Japanese retailer’s special construction ensures you stay warm — despite the lack of the traditional, Michelin Man-esque puffiness.

The exterior shell is fabricated using a soft, subtly shiny Taffeta fabric; at its most appealing when dyed in two-tone black and brown.


The North Face ‘Retro Nuptse’ Vest

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Oversized ’96 style North Face logo
  • Hood can be stowed in collar
  • Water-repelling ripstop outer
  • 700-fill goose down

No buying guide about men’s puffer vests could suffer the omission of The North Face — a brand that, in many ways, has kept the style at the forefront of pop culture for over three decades.

Suffice to say, there have been a lot of iconic North Face gilets over the years; but none of them evoke the brand’s essence quite so vividly as the ‘Retro Nuptse.’ A spin-off of the iconic puffer jacket worn by a who’s who of 90s rap royalty, the Nuptse puffer vest (originally debuting in 1996) is full of the big, brash, streetwise attitude you’d expect of such a modern classic.

The oversized ‘baffles’ puffing across the garment’s surface are instantly recognisable; whereas the inclusion of a cleverly designed ‘stowable’ hood transforms it, in a pinch, into a serviceable rain jacket. Do both, do better.


Rocky Mountain Cord/Leather Down Vest

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Signature leather yoke
  • Cotton corduroy shell
  • Made in Japan
  • 90:10 down/feather ratio

If you’re anything like me, and love American workwear labels that have been transformed by the ineffable perspective of Japanese designers, then Rocky Mountain Featherbed (or, ‘RMFB’ for short) probably rings a bell.

Founded some 60-plus years ago in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; RMFB shifted its production to Japan in 2005, and since then, has become a go-to partner for menswear brands who are in the business of releasing seriously heavy-duty down-stuffed puffer vests.

There are of course a couple options, but I’ve personally always had a soft spot for the cotton cord. The quality of the small details are absolutely superb: from the supportive collar (think John Mayer in his Paradise Valley phase) to the single-piece leather yoke that turns this into a lifetime purchase. A men’s puffer that puts the “VEST” in “investment.”


Stone Island Nylon Patch Gilet

DETAILS

  • Two-way zip fastening
  • Woven ‘Stone Island’ patch
  • Horizontally quilted shell
  • 90:10 down/feather ratio

A year-round style staple (currently benefiting from a European end-of-season discount every intrepid shopper should get around) this Stone Island patch gilet is an effusive outer layer for those looking to inject a dose of Green Street hooliganism into their entire outfit.

Featuring a fully zipped front closure and classic horizontal baffles, there are definitely other vests on our list offering a more unique perspective on technology or design.

That said, the brand’s wind rose compass is among the most recognisable badges of quality to those who prize innovative Italian design; and there’s something to be said about a men’s puffer best that feathers good ol’ fashioned looks with performance that (even in 2024) stacks up with the best.


Kathmandu ‘Frisco X’ Down Vest

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Water-repellent
  • Shell made from 100% recycled plastic
  • Built with TrackMyDown transparency tool
  • 600-fill power down

To the three-figure budget what Uniqlo HEATTECH is to the sub-$100 camp, Kathmandu’s ‘Frisco X’ offers a clever deviation from the usual horizontally quilted, goose down-laden affair of premium outerwear brands.

First off, during road-testing, we found that the hexagonally shaped baffles do a decent job of helping you to retain body heat, even though (theoretically) the Frisco’s 600-down power rating makes it one of the lower-lofting garments to crack our list.

Like Patagonia, Kathmandu also takes its mission of sustainability very seriously. So much so, that this puffer vest has been certified using TrackMyDown. The initiative allowed us to trace the origin of each cluster of insulation used in the making of this vest: a significant feel-good value add that complements Kathmandu’s now-exclusive use of production methods that meet the Responsible Down Standard certification.


Montbell Superior Down Vest

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Comes with ‘stuff sack’
  • Outer has been DWR treated
  • Ballistic Airlight nylon shell
  • 800-fill power down

A refinement on the ‘UL Down Inner Jacket’ series first launched in 2004, Montbell’s ‘Superior Down’ is a frequent sight on the person of mountaineers, backpackers and those who embrace what I can only describe as a professionally nomadic existence. And for good reason.

This puffer vest’s gridded exterior is made with the signature Montbell ‘Ballistic Airlight’ treatment. Crimped and woven extremely tightly, the result is a garment that is both extremely thin and incredibly resistant to abrasion — perfect for stuffing into the corner of your backpack without trading away too much vital packing space.


FrizmWORKS Mountain Down Vest

puffer vest mens

DETAILS

  • Hidden rear pockets
  • Sheepskin yoke detailing
  • Press-stud closure
  • Shell made using 100% nylon

This 1960s inspired men’s puffer vest, from South Korean label FrizmWORKS, will acquit itself well on mountain trails; yet it’s probably most at home adding to the quality of your camping excursions this winter.

A major player in the global market for high-end pioneering gear, FrizmWORKS has spruced up a broadly classic outerwear design with loads of practical embellishment: there are two discretely incorporated rear zipper pockets (great for on-the-trail essentials!) while the detailing along the yoke is executed using natural sheepskin.


Nike Sportswear Therma-FIT Gilet

DETAILS

  • Taffeta lining for ease of layering
  • Part of the ‘Tech Pack’ capsule
  • Water-repellent
  • Ripstop outer

A great option if you’re looking to channel your inner Adonis Creed, Nike Sportswear’s latest Therma-FIT gilet is among the handful of pieces we’ve included that is manufactured using at least 50% recycled polyester fibres.

A purely synthetic vest, this puffer vest for men embraces The Swoosh’s ironclad talent for innovation. The lining is made out of silky smooth taffeta: allowing for an easygoing garment, well-suited to layering.

Cut for a distinctly relaxed look, we’d say this piece is at its best when thrown into the mix with sportswear and technical runners.


If you’ve enjoyed this puffery Buyer’s Guide, then why not check out some of our other fashion-related stories? Here are a few of our favourites to get you started:

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Randy Lai
WORDS by
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].