The best down vests are a warm hug you can wear

The best down jackets for men will make you believe in the power of stratification at expert level. Vests we give you may be a bit unsafe. They have their pitfalls. The fleece variety has been forever co-opted and destroyed by finance bros. Dressed in them you will want to Justin Timberlake from 2009…but actually looks McLovin’ from 2007. But down jackets? The worst passing remarks you’ll hear in a down vest will all be incredibly stupid. Like, “Aren’t your arms cold?” Or: “Nice coat. But where’s the rest of it?” The worst (only?) pop culture reference anyone can make about your down vest is Marty McFlywho is easily the coolest, best dressed the teenage friend of a disgraced nuclear physicist in film history. Oh, right, yes—and they also happen to be exceptionally useful and portable and stylish.

And in contrast to e.g. a full-on parka, the down vest is exponentially more versatile. Some are light on the “breath” and heavy on the “vest”, perfect mid-weight layers to throw on between a worn vintage t-shirt and a beefy-as-hell jumbo fleece. Some fully tap into their après-ski energy via explosive prints that will transform you into the king of any mountain. (We’ll let you decide if said mountain is literal or metaphorical.) And in the middle are a whole range of understated, solid-colored options designed to keep you warm without making a big fuss about it.

Which means they fit perfectly under yours tailored topcoats and trucker jacketsor look fly like hell worn over suit and thick sweaters and thick flannel shirts. In other words, the best down vests for men are foolproof—the one member of the vest family you can always count on no matter how you want to, ahem, come down. These are 19 of our favorites you can buy right now.


The best shopping guide for down vests


The best blizzard ready down vest

The North Face 1996 retro “Nuptse” vest

The North Face’s legendary Nuptse jacket routinely ranks at at the top of our lists for a couple of reasons. First, it’s ridiculously warm, packed with the brand’s coziest 700-degree down filling, the kind designed to keep Arctic expeditioners toasty while climbing Mt. No matter what. (Needless to say, it’ll do the same for you while you browse the frozen foods section at Trader Joe’s.) Its sleeveless relative offers the same unmatched blizzard-blasting qualities in a not-quite-bulky silhouette. Plus, the retro-inspired version we’re digging comes in a perfectly boxy cut, all the better to sync with baggy double knees or just a pair of wide laces.

The best down vest for layering

Todd Snyder Italian Quilted Nylon Waistcoat

Todd Snyder’s 650 fill power down joint is warm enough to carry alone when the temperature hovers around sixty degrees, but it really shines as a jack-of-all-trades layered piece. The appeal here isn’t just the forty-green shade of nylon or the flannel-lined pockets – although of course those are great too: it’s the vest’s deceptively light, perfectly cropped silhouette, ideal for layering under a trucker jacket at the weekend or a cocooning topcoat on the go the office.

The best down vest for stunting at Finance Bros

Patagonia reversible bivy down vest

Patagonia’s vests earned a little bit of a bad rap over the past decade as the layer of Wall Street du jour— So much so, in fact, that the company announced a few years ago that it would no longer supply financial institutions with its fleeces. Which is a real shame for your junior analyst friends (cry us a river, Brent), but a blessing for everyone who knows the brand still makes killer outerwear, much of it much cooler than the stuff you’re used to seeing in FiDi. Take, for example, this meaty, Western-inspired number, outfitted with a contrast mist and reversible faux shearling lining. Two extremely nice vests in one? That’s an ROI even Brent can appreciate.

The best dressed down vest

Thom Browne herringbone waistcoat

If you tend to associate down jackets with the outdoors, Thom Browne would like to have a word. His beautiful herringbone number cheekily remixes one of his signature gray suit, down to the heavy tweed body and rep-inspired back yoke. Of course, you could Wear this with jeans and a pair of luxe alpine boots, but it would look more at home layered over a shrunken suit than anything you’d break out for your annual trip to the Poconos.

The best “Westward Ho!” Dun vest

Rocky Mountain Featherbed heritage down puffer vest

Since the 60s, Rocky Mountain Featherbed has been making premium down jackets that could go toe-to-toe with any of their technical counterparts today. By 2022, the once Wyoming-based brand was manufacturing all of its goods in—where else? – Japan, but its vests are still a standout. Its nylon body offers weather protection in spades, and the rugged leather yoke, a nod to the brand’s western roots, adds just the right amount of at-home edge (and plenty of textural contrast) to help stand out from the fleece-clad crowd. None of it comes cheap, but painstakingly recreated classic Americana rarely does.


Plus 15 more down vests we love

Carhartt raincoat insulated vest with relaxed fit

Because when you need a hard-working, easy-wear layer to anchor your beat-up jeans and work boots, there’s really only one brand you should turn to.

RRL suede yoke vest

Ralph Lauren’s entire MO centers around transforming Americana staples into luxury must-haves, and RRL is to the American West what Polo is to the American East—but exponentially more exclusive. If you herd cattle in this guy, you probably own the whole damn ranch.

Sid Mashburn cashball quilted padded shell gillette

Sid Mashburn’s moss green number perhaps see like down, but it’s actually filled with an absurdly luxurious cashmere blend that’s too good not to focus on here.

Mountain Hardware “Mt.Eyak” down vest

Most down vests aren’t that suitcase-friendly, but this ultra-warm number comes with its own little pouch so it’s easy to carry.

Uniqlo ultra light down vest

Uniqlo’s expected utilitarian option is on the thinner side, making it perfect for layering under a suit when you need a few extra degrees of warmth.

Orvis puffer vest in waxed down

Cold, rainy days are no match for the weather-beating union of hard down fillings and waxed cotton.

Buck Mason “Cascase” Down Expedition Vest

A down-to-earth down vest with bonus chest pockets for storing life-saving camping equipment or, for example, an extra phone charger.

Ader Error expedition down vest

There are vests designed to provide a lightweight barrier between you and the fresh fall air. Then there’s this big boy who looks more like an impenetrable fortress.

Saturday NYC “Chester” Reversible Puffer Vest

The lack of a traditional stand collar makes this minimally sloped reversible number ideal for over-hoodies.

Barbour cord baffle gillette

Not a fan of swishy fabrics with names you struggle to pronounce? Corduroy always feels a little more natural.

J.Crew Nordic puffer vest

It was Professor Plum in the sick vest with the candlestick!

Rick Owens Quilted Down Vest

Goths need to layer up too, even if that just means throwing this vest over a draped Rick tank top.

Parajumpers “Wilbur” down vest

Made with abrasion-resistant Cordura fabric, packed with premium duck down and equipped with a toasty shearling collar, the Parajumpers’ riff on the genre is ideal for actual climbers and gorp-minded style gods alike.

The whole Studio’s pillow vest

The sleek, cloud-colored nylon and lack of visible hardware make this vest feel like a vision into the future of menswear. If this is what lies ahead, we like what we see!

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