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With the weather turning colder each day, your jacket needs to work twice as hard to keep you warm, dry, and safe in inclement weather. There are lighter jackets that can tackle the rain, camo jackets that allow for dexterity when out in the hunting blind, and fleece jackets that can serve as a base- or mid-layer. However, when you're looking for the warmest jacket to stand up to the coldest temps, you're better off spending your money on a puffer jacket. With a quality women's puffer jacket, you'll be able to withstand cold, windy, icy, and wet weather with no problems. You may also know these coats as down jackets -- and that's because they often use the feathers of geese or duck to keep you super-warm, although you can also find some that are made with synthetic fibers. These feathers or fibers are sewn into 'pockets' that form that classic puffer shape, and those pockets help to retain and trap heat to keep you warmer for longer. These jackets are typically water-resistant, too, so a little rain, snow, or sleet won't be a nuisance. However, we do want to note that down has a tendency to 'clump' once it gets wet, so either purchase a synthetic option (which tends to not clump) or find an option on the list that has coated down if you anticipate being out often in torrential rain or long periods of snow.
When shopping for a puffer jacket, you do want to consider a few things. For instance, the length of a puffer jacket is very dependent on what you're doing outside. If you're using it to stay warm in extreme temperatures, a longline puffer will cover more of you for additional warmth. If you're working outside, you may prefer a shorter fit to keep your legs unincumbered as you go about your duties. As for fit, you want to remain somewhat true to size -- if it's too loose, the cold will come through, but if it's too tight, you won't be able to layer things underneath it if you desire. We recommend getting your normal jacket size, and if you're in between sizes, go for a larger size. Finally, we want to note a common spec of down jackets you may run into: the down fill number. Typically, down jackets are around 650-fill. What that means is that one ounce of feathers takes up 650 cubic inches of space. As a rule of thumb, the higher the down fill is, the 'heavier' the down is and the warmer the coat will be. Synthetic jackets are typically heavier than down jackets, so keep that in consideration as well. We rounded up seven of our favorite women's puffer jackets for layering, extreme cold, outdoor work, and more. Check out our picks below.
1. The Best Longline Puffer Jacket
Stay warm from hood to hem in this classic parka that falls right at the thigh. The 650-fill down puffer jacket has top-quality insulation to repel moisture and keep heat in. What makes the down in this option stand out is that itts treated with insulation that won't clump together as it gets wet, so you'll stay warmer for longer. It's also designed to resist wind and rain, so if you live in a cold, rainy area, this is a great pick for you. Enjoy the warmth! Some features we love that help keep the cold out: a removable insulated hood, zip pockets, elastic cuffs, and more. We also love that it's machine-washable.
2. The Best Waist-Length Puffer Jacket
This waist-length hoodie from Columbia is insulated with 550-fill goose down and has a water-repellent finish for taking on rainy days. It has secure pockets, elasticized cuffs, and is one of the most wind-proof jackets in the Columbia line. One reviewer writes: "I LOVE this jacket. It's lightweight, yet warm. Perfect for fall and early winter. It's the perfect everyday jacket and fits just right. Having an affixed hood is a perk. You can easily fold it up neatly into the hood and slip it in a tote."
3. The Best Down-Alternative Puffer Jacket
This jacket is made with PlumaFill synthetic insulation that stays warm even when wet, but imitates the warmth and packing power of down fill. The outer shell is made of 100% nylon ripstop that has a durable water-resistant coating to stand up to wetter weather. Finally, it features an under-the-helmet hood and two zippered pockets.
4. The Best Women's Puffer Jacket for Layering
This jacket has 700-down fill power, so it's another warm option that is also light enough to work as an outer layer with a fleece jacket or paired with a merino wool base underneath. It's also water-resistant, quick-drying, and has zippered hand pockets. The down in this coat is also treated to stay dry 10 times longer than if it wasn't, and it's also only 12 ounces in weight. When searching for a warm jacket with a high down, the light weight means this is a coat that will keep you warm without being too bulky. A rare find!
5. The Best Option for Extreme Cold
This jacket also has a 700-down fill rating, making this a super warm option that's also longline, so it's our pick for the most extreme temperatures. The below-the-knee parka zips above the nose, perfect for those looking to keep the wind from chilling their face too much. The hood is a major perk, and there's additions like wrist gaiters and a chin guard to keep you extra warm while still remaining dexterous. The interior stash pocket is also helpful, so store your phone, keys, and more inside to keep them warm and dry. It's 35 ounces and uses certified Responsible Down.
6. The Best Women's Puffer Jacket Under $100
For under $100, you can get a water-resistant puffer jacket from Eddie Bauer. The polyester down parka is lightweight and easy to roll up in a suitcase or backpack -- but still boasts a 650-down fill rating. The down in this jacket is responsibly sourced, and the nylon outer shell is 100% recyclable. One five star reviewer wrote: "This down jacket, it's lightweight, yet warm, blocks the wind and keeps out the cold. I would definitely recommend! Super easy to pack."
7. The Best Option for Outdoor Work
Carhartt is the gold standard when it comes to quality workwear, especially for cold or inclement weather. This insulated jacket blocks wind and is water-resistant to light rain (it'll just bead right off when it hits it). The filling is synthetic so it can stand up to the rain, but it also has a sherpa lining for extra warmth.
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