Duck… Duck… Canada Goose! Grab your feathered friends and get into a Flying V, it’s time to talk about the most flocking cozy winter outerwear this side of the equator: fluffy, puffy, and crazy-warm down jackets.
Now that we’ve gotten all of those puns out of our system, let’s get into why we’re so down with down. (Okay that was the last one, promise!) Those little feathers in our outerwear—and pillows and comforters—are pretty amazing. They’re the bird’s insulation; the soft “plumage” underneath the feathers you can see. It’s warm enough and light enough that ducks and geese can go paddling around outside all winter and also literally fly… So yeah, it’s nice to have in a coat.
You won’t want to face the colder months without one of these jackets because—spoiler alert—you can’t just fly south for the winter like the ducks. So whether you’re looking for some bougie Italian sprezzatura vibes from your outerwear or some 1990s throwback swagger, we’ve got you. From well over $3000 to just under $100, these are the best down coats at a range of prices.
Let’s start off with a great, affordable option from Uniqlo (that’s only available online, by the way). Their Ultra-Light Down half-coat is filled with genuine down for warmth, but take note that since the shell is nylon, it’s going to absorb water rather than repel it. We like the design and the price tag on this one, but definitely save it for those cold, dry days, not the rainy wet ones.
Boy, did we have major flashbacks when we saw this puffer at Nordstrom! A reissue from 1996, the Nuptse is for those of you who want to have your warmth and your 90s fashion street cred served up in equal measure this winter. Retro looks aside, this North Face jacket is great because it has a hidden hood and the color-block black around the shoulders is actually double-layered taffeta that’s designed to withstand the wear and tear of backpacking. Plus, it comes in eight colors and packs into its own pocket. (Again, ideal for travel if you go on a lot of ski trips or winter getaways!)
You probably don’t need us to extol the technical virtues of Patagonia products, but it’s absolutely worth noting that this jacket packs into a stuff bag (ideal for travel), sheds rain and snow while you’re out and about, and has nice big pockets inside where you can handily stash your gloves or hat. Again, it comes in black, but the jewel green color is the winner in our eyes.
The Arrivals Aer Jacket, $395
The first thing that comes to mind for us when we think of The Arrivals is, “Can I have all of this please, to go?” Their jackets are just so cool and luxe. Like, Chris Pine bathing in a tub full of caviar-levels of cool and luxe.
And guess what? They’re designed to perform, too. The Aer jacket keeps you cozy in temperatures below 30 degrees and even has a “powder skirt” which is a funny name for that snap-closure at the bottom of a jacket that keeps snow from flying up into it when you’re skiing.
Another real selling point for us with this puffer? All the colorways! Basic black is there, sure, but we’re majorly digging the faded matte hues of blue, reddish-pink and sandy brown that will set you apart from the down-wrapped masses.
Woolrich is an American heritage brand we love, and their internal label, John Rich & Bros., creates apparel that’s a bit more playful and has a slightly more European vibe than Woolrich. We especially like this one because of the cool, oversized flap-front pockets and its slight sheen. Plus the rich olive color is just as easy to wear but way more interesting than your standard issue black or charcoal coat.
Is Canada Goose the Allbirds of winter coats? The brand enjoyed a similar, “Wow they really are everywhere” explosion in popularity over the past couple of winters—and a similar drop-off, too. That’s largely in part to oversaturation, and also because of the brand’s use of real coyote fur, and some controversy over how they get it. You can read up on their policies on animal products, and decide for yourself if you’re on board or not.
From a quality standpoint, it doesn’t get much better than Canada Goose’s warmth and durability. Their outerwear is worn by arctic explorers, champion dogsledders and the first Canadian to summit Everest. They also just look nice, which matters when you’re investing nearly a G for one piece of clothing.
Loro Piana Clearwater Jacket, $3250
Did you even realize you could spend more than $3000 on a down coat? Turns out you can. The good news is, Loro Piana really doesn’t flock around when it comes to fabric. The brand is famous for their cashmere, but they “put a real do” (as my mom says) on their outerwear, too.
The technical specs are there—weather-resistant shell and filled with 90 percent down and 10 percent goose feathers—but what really sets Loro Piana’s coat apart is the snazzy Italian craftsmanship that comes through in the small details: fleece lining in the detachable hood, cashmere woven into the trim, buttons made of buffalo horn and the slight curve at the bottom of the jacket that totally sets the silhouette apart from other jackets. Is this a lot of money to spend on a jacket? Of course. Is it worth it? Honestly… Kind of.