Mic/Amazon

The best down vests

When the weather is chilly and crisp, a puffy vest is a great way to add some extra warmth without the bulk of a full-on jacket. The best down vests are lightweight and packable so you can easily tuck them away into a bag or backpack when they're not in use.

One of the first things to consider when you start shopping around is the shell material. Polyester and nylon are typically the best options because they're extremely durable but also lightweight. Not only that, but they're naturally water-resistant, to a degree, and flexible, the latter of which makes them easier to fold and pack away.

Another quality to look at is the fill power. This indicates how efficiently the loft traps heat and keeps you warm. Although a higher fill power doesn't necessarily mean the vest is warmer, it does mean that it doesn't have to be as thick to do its job.

Finally, there's the style factor. This is largely a matter of personal preference, so think about how long you'd like your vest to be and whether you prefer a looser fit or a more tailored cut. When it comes to the baffling (aka the rows of stitching that prevent the insulation from bunching up), you'll find some vests have a classic horizontal design, while others have diagonal patterns for a more distinct look.

Now that's you've got a starting point, take a look at the best down vests below.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

The tried and true one

Men's:

Fill power: 650

This versatile men's down vest, which is made with a polyester shell, offers a fantastic combination of style and durability. The material is strong enough that it won't snag or tear easily but it doesn't look thick or bulky. The shell fabric is also super lightweight and the whole thing packs down easily. The vest features 650 fill power natural down and Amazon reviewers noted that it's ultra-warm. With a long cut and a loose-fitting design, it's available in gray, black, and navy blue colors, as well as plus size options.

Women's:

Fill power: 650

This lightweight insulated vest combines warmth, style, and durability. It features a length that extends just below the waist with a slightly tapered fit. It boasts 650 fill power down loft with a rugged polyester construction, combined with a unique zig-zag baffling pattern. The vest's collar stands up on its own and it has a smooth, snag-free zipper. This one is available in four colors, including pale lilac, black, and Malbec (picture above).

  • Available sizes: X-Small to 3X

The wallet-friendly option

Men's:

Fill power: 650

If you're hoping to save some money, this wallet-friendly down vest delivers warmth and durability without a hefty price tag. It's built with wind-resistant nylon that's soft against your skin, plus a lightweight design that makes it convenient to travel with. The compressible vest packs down into a tiny ball, so it's easy to throw in your bag, and the 650 fill power down insulation provides warmth without excess bulk. Available in black, dark blue, and avocado green, this vest hits below the waist and features horizontal baffling for a classic cold-weather look.

  • Available sizes: Small to XX-Large

Women's:

Fill power: 650

Made with a 100% nylon shell, this sleek, ultra-warm down vest is just like the men's version except with a slightly more tailored cut. The slim-fit design tapers in at the waist with similar horizontal baffling. It's packable and impressively lightweight, according to reviewers, meaning it's easy to stash in a large bag or backpack when it isn't needed. The wind-resistant vest is offered in black, dark purple, and dusty blue.

"This vest is great!" wrote one reviewer. "I bought four for each of my coworkers and they loved them. Very form fitting and the length is perfect."

  • Available sizes: Small to XX-Large

The hiking vest

Men's:

Fill power: 550

If you're into the outdoors, this lightweight hiking vest has your name all over it. Although it works great around town too, the vest is made for things like hiking, backpacking, camping, snowshoeing, and other outdoor pursuits. It's ultra-lightweight and packs down extra well so you can easily store it in your hiking pack. The 550 fill power down is fluffy but not too bulky, and the roomy design won't restrict your mobility on the trail. This water-resistant vest also has a stylish panel near the pockets that breaks up the horizontal baffling. It comes in your choice of black, brown, gray, and yellow.

  • Available sizes: X-Small to 2X

Women's:

Fill power: 550

Similarly to the men's version, this North Face down vest is an excellent choice for folks who spend a lot of time outside. It works well for everyday wear, too, but the convenience and packability make it a dependable option for wilderness adventures. It has 550 fill power down insulation that's soft and not bulky, along with a DWR (or Durable Water Repellent) coating that protects you from rain, too. Best of all, the lightweight vest is available in seven colors: navy blue, black, white, khaki, rose, taupe green, and pink clay.

  • Available sizes: X-Small to 1X

The down-alternative vest in plus sizes

Men's:

Fill power: N/A

Unfortunately, plus size options are pretty limited when it comes to genuine down vests; however, this down alternative vest is still a fantastic choice. It's constructed with a nylon shell that's strong and durable with warm, fluffy polyester insulation inside. The water-resistant vest is incredibly packable and it has elasticized armholes for an extra comfortable fit. It's available in five colors: blue, red, black, gray, and navy.

  • Available sizes: 2X-Large to 6X-Large (regular and tall)

Women's:

Fill power: N/A

This down alternative vest from Woman Within is a warm, comfortable option that comes in a range of plus sizes. The stylish vest is filled with soft nylon insulation that will keep you toasty, according to reviewers. It has a convenient drawstring pouch and comes in six color options. "It's been a great layering addition to get me through the cold weather [especially] if you don't want to wear a bulky jacket," wrote one fan.

  • Available sizes: Medium Plus to 5X-Large