Five Stand-Out Puffer Coats I Actually Like



Mamas, I have needs.  And right now, these needs involve being warm.  I am sick of standing outside, freezing, and stomping my feet to get warm.  I am sick of huddling my face down into my jacket and tensing every muscle in an attempt to produce more body heat.  I am sick of shivering.  And it's only NOVEMBER.  Madness, Mamas.  I will be driven to madness by January 1.

The alternative, I suppose, is to simply keep the physically-minded, tree-climbing-obsessive boy of almost five indoors.  Along with his slightly insane, but surprisingly strong almost-two year old brother.  You know…just until it gets warmer out.  In our dinky twin.  We'll read books, bake some cookies,do some art…then emerge from our hibernation in the Spring, happy and peaceful.  


As it stands, I can set my clock by my two little guys' antics.  If they are exploding off the walls and driving me F-ING CRAZY…it must be 10AM.  I have until 10AM to get them out of the house, or all kinds of hell breaks loose.  Hence my long hours standing outside, freezing.

Mamas, do you remember my cute Lands' End puffer from last year?  I am seriously regretting my choice of length.  If you recall, I picked one that barely covered my bum.  And I paid for it, dearly.  I froze all winter, and am now freezing again.  So.  I've been doing a little puffer "research" (my husband calls it "shopping" how dare he)….and thought you might like to see my favs?  (Some of which, incidentally, are on sale.)


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Steve Madden Packable Down Walking Coat, on sale for $129.90 (down from $198)

This is the one I took home.  Primarily because it is much longer than my Lands' End, without being overwhelming.  However, I'm not in love with how it looks on the model.  So I attempted to take my own pic:



And it still looks a bit…puffy.  Hunh.  This is one of those coats that looks much better in person.  Anyway, the color is gorg, the detail around the hood is really cool, and the seaming on the sleeves is well-placed and flattering, making the coat look much more expensive than it is.  The extra length was key for me. 


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Ellen Tracy Quilted Walking Coat, on sale for $169.90 down from $228

I may end up wishing I had brought this one home.  Unlike the model (who must be 7' tall) this coat hit well below my knees and was easily the warmest coat I tried.  It is also the most gorgeous soft olive color (much prettier than the pic) and much, much sleeker than pictured.  I ended up leaving it behind because it looked…fancy? Or something.  I think I just wasn't ready to cave and buy the floor-length puffer yet.  But this will be my first purchase should we ever move to Chicago or back to MI.  (And I may end up with this coat yet, if my neighbor's predictions for a horrible winter come true.)


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Patagonia's Ultralight Fiona Parka, $399 

The color of the Fiona parka is amazing.  It manages to feel bright, without being overwhelming. Also, this parka is paper thin and insanely comfortable.  Literally paper thin.  Personally, I wouldn't be warm enough wearing just this all winter…but it's thin enough to easily layer under a stylish wool coat (think J. Crew) – the kind that aren't nearly warm enough on a cold day.


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Marc New York Medal Quilted Jacket, on sale for $119 (down from $178)

The cut on the Marc New York puffers is pretty amazing.  It's sleek, it's fitted, it's….not puffy.  Like I said, amazing.  I particularly love this color, but it also comes in basic black, brown, orange, and a gorgeously bright blue.  If the neck scares you a bit, try his hooded version.  Equally great fit, with a hood instead of a huge neck in black, red, or white.  This is a good coat for petite gals who tend to be swallowed up by puffers.


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Moncler Chou Zip Pocket Down Coat, $1295

I tried this on just for giggles and…sigh.  It was everything you'd expect from a $1000+ coat.  It was, in short, crazy fabulous.  I'm sure a pretty good price-per-wear argument could be made here, depending on where you live…but this was out of my budget.  If you can swing it, however, you won't be sorry.  This is truly a forever coat.


Mamas, what are you wearing to stay warm?  Any other finds to share?  I know many mainline moms seem to love this cream one….




  1. 4 months preggers with #2, I am seriously considering a new puffer of my own; The M Coat. Anyone have one? I couldn’t bring myself to do it last time around, but I’m so tempted now. More for the baby wearing piece than the maternity style. I don’t know… It’s pretty great, but is it $426 great?

  2. I really like the coat I bought last year, a red Lands End Luxe puffer coat. Before that I had a white one and it lasted a season before it looked like I had rolled around in a ditch and I couldn’t get it clean. Mamas, do *not* buy white coats, especially if you’re still carrying little ones wearing muddy boots!

  3. I have a lands end down parka. I’ve been wearing it (here in NYC, yes) a lot, and it’s actually a little too warm, even in this freezing weather. Great come January, tho.

  4. I have the Patagonia Fiona (regular not Ultralight) and I love it. I live in Michigan with some very cold winters and this coat keeps me very warm. It is still very “thin” so not overly puffy, but very warm. Plus you can’t beat Patagonia for quality.

  5. Have you tried leggings under pants in the winter? I live near Chicago and double up on pants from December through February. I just bought a pair of fleece lined leggings. Those under jeans are a little bit of heaven in the freezing months.

  6. One can never have too many coats if you live in a cold climate (ie Upper MI & Western Canada) I bought a long puffer coat from jcrew with a tie to cinch in the waist last yr. while I love it, it’s too dressy for sledding and can easily be punctured by say a skate blade. I suggest a puffer for errands, work etc and a 600 down filled coat with some sort of gortex or tear proof layer over top. I have both NorthFace & Patagonia versions and am trying to decide which one to keep.

  7. I bought the North Face Metropolis Parka last year in navy blue, and I love it. Have received many compliments. It’s warm, light, and very flattering. I typically look like a tamale is most parkas/puffers because I’m pear shapped and 5.3′ but not with this one. I’ve seen this coat everywhere in Boston (the black version seems to be the most popular). Anyway, the picture on the North Face website is not great so I recommend going to a store to check it out.

  8. At the end of last winter I got a puffer at Kohl’s on super-sale for $12.99 (!!) – it is a dead ringer for your Marc New York jacket – in chocolate brown. The sleeves are cut fairly slim, and the seaming gives it nice shape. I love the cool neck – I don’t always have to wear a scarf.
    Stay warm!!

  9. I have actual snow pants (for downhill skiing) and a pair of Salomon snow pants, too (made for xc skiing) They have wind proofing front and breathable backing. They are slim fitting so I wear them all the time. Expert I am not. Freezing, however, I am no longer πŸ™‚
    Ps- 10 am for us too πŸ™‚

  10. @Meg (in case you look at these comments again!)–are the leggings from Meijer thick enough to wear on their own? I bought a pair of leggings elsewhere but they look more like tights when they are on my body. I’d like something like the ones you described that are thick enough to wear on their own. And your price is perfect.

  11. So I had decided that I need a long puffer coat since one direction of my work commute is on the bus and then along comes your post… and I just impulse bought the Ellen Tracy Quilted Walking Coat – thanks! Yay sale! I had looked at REI and most of the athletic puffers are $250+. I hope it looks good on me! At least there is free return shipping πŸ™‚

  12. Thanks! For the great and timely post. Was shopping (online of course) for puffer coats! Just ordered the Red one. Stay warm!

  13. S! you are cracking me up! Maybe its the lack of sleep but I’m dying right now. My hubs is wondering what the heck I’m reading over here! the whole 7 ft model, floor length coat mental pic is too much right now. And your description of Pax, hilarious, I have one of those boys too, little Zeke. Oh I love my crazy little man. Thanks for the giggles, needed it tonight.
    Love the hood witht the black border on the red coat. wish I coukd have the black one though, so Euro.

  14. Awesome! I’ve been thinking about a longer puffer myself. Shana, what size did you take in the red coat? I’m always on the cusp of petite at 5’4″ and usually a 4-6 so I’m between a small and medium it seems…

  15. They are very thick, you could definitely wear them on their own. I still prefer them with tops that cover the bum, but that’s a personal preference.

  16. I bought the Triple C puffer from North Face for my Chicago train commute. It’s amazing!! Super long so maybe the Metrolpolis would be better for you? I love how thin the North Face parkas feel yes they are incredibly warm! Love it. I don’t commute anymore so I kind of want the shorter puffer now. Also, I love Cuddle Duds soft wear with stretch to layer under my jeans and tops during the really cold days. Great base layers and super soft.

  17. Whoa – that does look pretty sleek! I’m always worried about the length…but on really cold days I want a walking sleeping bag, so a sleek one like this might be perfect. Hmmmmm….

  18. Oh, man. I don’t…know. I just don’t know. I hated the light green on the website, but once I saw the other colors I liked it more and more. But I’m with you…it’s great, but $426 great? Hunh. Am thinking no.

  19. I think each Puffer Jacket here looks great. I just bought a stylish looking puffer at Burlington Coat Factory and it cost me $50 less than it would have in the department stores. I am already wearing it everywhere.

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