Reviews of 8 Best Puffy Jacket for Backpacking & Guide

Best Puffy Jacket to Buy

Puffer jackets, also known as quilted jackets or down jackets, are especially used on warm and dry days while hiking and are typically worn as an outer layer over a t-shirt or long-sleeve baselayer.

When it rains, having a waterproof layer that can comfortably fit over your jacket is useful. Some down jackets can be worn over multiple layers as part of an insulation system on extremely cold days.

The truth is that the greatest down jackets strike an ideal blend of warmth, weight, breathability, packability, and wet weather performance; meaning that a nice down-filled jacket will also last a long time and, ideally, will not cost you an arm and a leg.

Reviews of 8 Best Puffy Jackets for Backpacking & Guide

The most essential thing about these jackets is their ability to trap air and keep us warm. Keeping that in mind, we have found the best puffy jacket for backpacking & guide here so that you can enjoy your camping trips with ease.

Let’s get this!

1. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2

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With everything you need for fast and light adventures, and nothing you don’t, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 (Men’s and Women’s) is the perfect companion.

Its major strength is the outstanding balance of warmth to weight it achieves, but its sleek, layerable design is also a significant asset. If you pair it with a lightweight fleece or a rain shell, you’ll be prepared for the lower shoulder-season temperatures. 

Despite the high price, the Ghost Whisperer is an excellent down jacket that is well worth the investment for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors in cold weather.

If you’re prepared to spend an additional $50 for even greater warmth-to-weight efficiency, the Ghost Whisperer UL Men’s / Women’s down jacket is a good choice. It includes an enhanced 1,000 fill power down.

Highlighted Features:

  •  Ultralight
  •  Outstanding warmth-to-weight ratio
  •  Highly compressible
  •  Packs into its pocket
  • Wind/weather resistant (DWR finish)

2. Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie
Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

 Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

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The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie (Men’s / Women’s) is an exceptionally warm and well-rounded jacket that is both stylish and practical to wear daily. It is also available at a reasonable price for the level of quality that is provided. Due to its larger weight than our top ultralight options.

Although the Down Sweater may not be the most technically advanced jacket on my list, the characteristics that make it more durable over time compensate for its lower technicality. In terms of casual use, we recommend the Down Sweater, but it would also be suitable for hiking and backpacking in a pinch.

Highlighted Features:

  • Great quality for the price
  • Packs into its pocket
  • Has a hood and hem adjustments
  • It is  wind and rain resistant (thanks to the DWR treatment)

3. REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0
REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0

REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0

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The REI Magma 850 Hoodie (Men’s / Women’s) is an excellent value for the price. Although it is only 2-3 ounces more than competitor jackets, its warmth, comfort, and efficiency are comparable to those of jackets that cost $100-220 more.

The Magma shines brightest during summer vacations, but it also works nicely as a layering piece during cooler seasons. The most significant disadvantage is that it is only available during the fall season on a seasonal basis.

If the Magma is out of stock in your size, be prepared to jump on the fresh stock as soon as it becomes available because it tends to sell out quickly.

As a terrific deal and one of our favourite coats on the market, we hope that the Magma will be available all year long.

Highlighted Features:

  • Affordably priced
  •  good warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Highly compressible

4. MontBell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka
MontBell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka

MontBell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka

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The MontBell Plasma 1000 (Men’s / Women’s) is one of our favourite jackets for ultralight treks because of its remarkable warmth-to-weight ratio and high level of comfort. The Plasma is the most efficient insulator we’ve ever worn, thanks to its filling of the highest quality down available (1000 fill-power) and its construction.

Even though it weighs roughly the same as some of the other ultralight coats on this list, this garment feels significantly warmer than the others.

The most significant disadvantage of the Plasma, in my opinion, is its cost, which will make it too expensive for many people but this is not an issue as you get to receive enough value for your money.

When it comes to 3-season hikes, the Plasma 1000 is an excellent choice for thru-hikers and wilderness travellers who want the best in ultralight warmth without sacrificing comfort.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ultralight
  • Provides the best warmth-to-weight ratio

5. REI Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket
REI Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket

REI Stormhenge Down Hybrid Jacket

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The REI Stormhenge (Men’s / Women’s) is a one-of-a-kind, two-in-one jacket that provides both warmth and protection from the elements in a single piece of outerwear. While it may not be as adaptable as two separate coats for backcountry excursions.

We found the Stormhenge to be snug and convenient for everyday outdoor wear in freezing, rainy situations, especially when combined with a vest. I appreciate that it includes pit zips for releasing excess body heat while you’re on the go, as well as a two-way zipper for easy access to a belay loop for climbing.

In the front country, I recommend the Stormhenge for people who want a single insulated, water-resistant jacket rather than many layers.

Highlighted Features:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Completely windproof and waterproof
  • Extremely warm
  • Fleece-lined pockets, pit zips (breathable), 
  • 2-way zipper (climbing harness-compatible), 
  • Hem and hood adjustments are sturdy.

6. L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Hooded
L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Hooded

L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Hooded

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IN THE FINAL THOUGHT: The elegant and warm L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Hoodie (Men’s/ Women’s) has earned our highest recommendation. This jacket is well-thought-out, with excellent adjustability, superior weather-resistant fabric, and a generous amount of 850-fill-power down for warmth and comfort.

And the UL 850 is being offered at a fantastic price for a jacket that is both warm and of a reasonable weight. 

On warmer days in the summer, we might choose a lighter jacket, but the UL 850 is our go-to for those chilly spring, fall, and winter days when our minimalist favourites aren’t quite warm enough.

Highlighted Features:

  • Packs into its pocket,
  • Durable and very nice

7. REI 650 Down Jacket 2.0
REI 650 Down Jacket 2.0

REI 650 Down Jacket 2.0

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The REI 650 Down Jacket (Men’s / Women’s) is a wonderful lightweight and compressible solution for individuals on a tight budget who want to stay warm and comfortable. It’s simple, comfy, and incredibly adaptable, making it ideal for use in and about town or in the backcountry. 

Given that the 650 Down is manufactured with a lower fill-power down, it isn’t quite as thermally efficient as some of the more technical jackets on this list.

For the price, I am pleased with the product’s performance, particularly when paired with a lightweight fleece jacket. – The 650 Down is an excellent entry-level down jacket that is reasonably priced.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ultralight and highly compressible
  • Durable

8. Rab Neutrino Pro
Rab Neutrino Pro

 Rab Neutrino Pro

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To begin with, the Rab Neutrino Pro (Men’s / Women’s) is a good choice if you’re searching for a technical jacket that will keep you warm throughout winter camping trips or alpine ascents.

With 800-fill-power down for maximum heat retention, it also has sturdy hardware, a durable high-tech fabric, and outstanding craftsmanship that more than justifies the costly price.

It’s a good investment since in terms of weight and packability, the Neutrino is a little heavier than some other coats, but it’s rather practical,  given the level of warmth it delivers.

The Neutrino Pro is well-made, and it is our go-to choice when we anticipate extremely cold weather.

Highlighted Features:

  •  Outstanding warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Fleece-lined pockets
  • 2-way zipper
  • Climbing harness compatible

9. Patagonia Micro Puff Hoodie
Patagonia Micro Puff Hoodie

 Patagonia Micro Puff Hoodie

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Patagonia’s Micro Puff Hoodie (Men’s / Women’s) is one of the lightest jackets available, making it ideal for cool summer evenings or lightweight hiking and backpacking adventures.

The Micro Puff is insulated with synthetic PlumaFill, which provides lightweight warmth, excellent compressibility, and somewhat better performance when wet than down.

The sleek athletic cut, the elastic form-fitting hood, and the way the jacket flows with you are all things we appreciate about this jacket.

For most warm-season trips, the Micro Puff will suffice; but, for cooler weather adventures in the fall, winter, and spring, you may choose something a little loftier and warmer, such as the Patagonia Macro Puff.

Highlighted  Features:

  • Incredibly compact
  • Wind/weather resistant 

10. Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretchdown
Mountain Hardwear SuperDS Stretchdown

Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretchdown

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The Mountain Hardwear Super/DS Stretchdown (Men’s / Women’s) is a favourite of mine because of its great comfort and durability. We can move freely in it while participating in sporting activities, and it is significantly less likely to catch or tear when we are doing yard work because of the robust stretch fabric. The Stretchdown Jacket is made of 700-fill-power down, which means it isn’t the warmest jacket on this list.

However, it is perfect for all except the most bitterly cold temperatures, and the unique baffle system prevents cold areas from forming. When it comes to casual everyday wear, the Stretchdown is one of the most comfortable coats we’ve encountered.

It’s also our top pick for rock climbing and other physically demanding outdoor professions. This  Hoodie that stays perfect for both Men and Women is a well-constructed jacket composed of high-quality materials that are both stylish and functional.

It’s extremely compressible, making it a fantastic layering garment for three-season wear and travel. Although the Cerium appears to be a little too basic for a product with such a high price tag. It is extremely comfortable (as long as you have a lean body type), but it leaves something to be desired in terms of adjustability.

style=”font-weight: 400;”>I would choose a jacket like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost ultralight hiking because of the price and weight savings.

Highlighted Features:

  • Excellent value for the money
  • Comfortable
  • Soft and flexible

Conclusion

In the end, when looking for the best down jacket, numerous factors must be considered, such as fill weight and fill power, the presence of a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) coating, and if the shell is composed of ripstop nylon.

Thus, I conducted my research and created the above list of the finest down jackets in terms of warmth, weight, packability and these other aforementioned features. I also made sure I walked you through the various factors to consider in your search for something just for your taste and your budget.

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