We’ve put the best lightweight puffer jackets out there in one place so you can stay toasty warm this winter.
Keeping warm during the Aussie winter is all about layering. Moving here from England I thought I could leave all my warm gear behind, boy was I wrong. Very wrong. Despite being known for blue skies and beaches, the Australian winter can get really cold.
But unlike England, it doesn’t stay cold all day, even in the Snowy Mountains. You might start off covered head to toe and wrapped up to the nines, but come lunchtime you’ll want to lose a few layers, which means a light puffer jacket should be a staple of your winter wardrobe.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk to the local shop for your morning coffee, a day hiking in the Bluies, or full day shredding in the Snowies, adding a puffer jacket to your repertoire will keep you warm when you need, but pack away easily when things heat up. This is why we’ve focussed our selection on the best lightweight, packable puffers out there.
Here are the six best puffer jackets for keeping warm during the Aussie winter.
Arc’teryx Cerium LT Insulated Hoodie
This premium puffer will keep you warm during cold mornings at the crag, while checking the dawn surf and when you’re out for post shred beers. The Cerium hoodie has a down-filled hood to keep your noggin warm and a wind-resistant shell. While it won’t keep you dry during a downpour, the DWR finish will repel some moisture.
Weighing in at just 350g and with a pack size similar to a Nalgene bottle, this is the perfect jacket for lightweight adventurers to keep warm this winter.
Weight: Mens 305g / Womens 280g
The North Face ThermoBall Eco Insulated Jacket
If you’re looking for a jacket that’s eco-conscious and chock-full of recyclables, then this is the jacket for you. The North Face is using ThermoBall technology, which means this jacket is filled with synthetic fibre-clusters that have been designed to mimic the way down traps heat within air pockets. But more importantly these synthetic fibers are made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester.
Not only is the jacket filled with recycled content, everything from the lining to the DWR finish is made from 100% recycled materials. Equivalent to 600 fill goose down, the synthetic insulation should keep warming your bones even if it gets wet, which gives it a pretty significant advantage over down.
Weight: Mens 430g / Womens 370g
Marmot Solus Featherless Insulated Jacket
Marmot’s featherless jackets use 3M Thinsulate Recycled Featherless Insulation which is also pretty good on the eco scale. The insulation is made with 75% recycled loose-fill fibres and should deliver warmth to the power of 700 fill down. The synthetic insulation aims to keep you warm when wet and like the other jackets in this list, this one also packs away into its own pocket. It’s a bit heavier than some of the others, but this extra weight is reflected in the extra warmth rating.
Weight: Mens 581g / Womens 625g
Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie
Patagonia’s known for being an environmentally conscious company and their Nano Puff is a true part of that tradition. The shell is made from 100% recycled polyester and the PrimaLoft insulation is 55% post-consumer recycled content.
The jacket’s also DWR coated and, according to Patagonia, maintains 98% of its warmth even when wet. The brickwork pattern on the front and back looks rad and helps the insulation work its magic. Stuff the Puff into its chest pocket when not in use and chuck it in your bag, or hang it from the reinforced carabiner loop.
Weight: Mens 363g / Womens 306g
Mont Zero Ultralight Down Jacket
Boasting the lightest weight of our selection at under 200 grams AND the highest down fill rating, the Mont Zero UL packs a serious double whammy. Filled with premium 800+ down and featuring an anti-gravity nylon shell, this jacket is the ultimate choice for the ultralight connoisseur. Hot tip – if you get this jacket you’re going to want to size up as Mont lists it as a ‘trim-fitting’ jacket.
Weight: Mens 198g / Womens 188g
Kathmandu XT Ultralight Down Jacket
Kathmandu’s ultralight offering comes in at a healthy 417g, which is pretty good for the 800 fill down insulation. The down insulation is RDS certified, so you know it’s responsibly sourced. A DWR coating helps the jacket repel moisture and stretchy panels under the arms keep you moving freely. Like all the jackets featured this one packs away into a pocket and is just as comfortable on the high street and the mountain.
Price: $500 (members $300)
Weight: Mens 417g / Womens 325g
How to Wash Your Puffer Jacket
Not sure how to wash your new down jacket? Read our how to guide.
Feature photo by Roger Stuart