The Best New Insulated Jackets

These six new insulated jackets are the greatest cold buffers of the 2014 season.

Ryan Krogh
(Inga Hendrickson)

These six new insulated jackets are the greatest cold buffers of the 2014 season.

Ryan Krogh

Outdoor Research Floodlight

BEST FOR: Unadulterated Warmth

Extremely thin but waterproof and tough Pertex Shield fabric covers the Floodlight’s ($375) top-shelf 800-fill down, affording it the best warmth-to-weight ratio here. Oversize pockets with zippered closures are great for stashing gloves, skins, and goggles. 1.4 lbs.

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(Inga Hendrickson)

Marmot Isotherm

BEST FOR: Moving Quickly

Employing Polartec’s new Alpha insulation, which can be stitched in porous panels rather than traditional tubular baffles, the Isotherm ($200) offers exceptional breathability. It’s a good midlayer, but wind and water resistance make it an effective outer layer, too. 14 oz.

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(Inga Hendrickson)

Patagonia Bivy Down Vest

BEST FOR: Everyday Flair

The Bivy Down Vest is the perfect marriage of warmth—with 600-fill down hugging your core—and retro, with quilted fabric inside and out. Remember to take it off at least once a week. 1.4 lbs.

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(Inga Hendrickson)

Millet Belay Hybrid

BEST FOR: Versatility

In the Belay Hybrid's ($219) torso, synthetic insulation and a breathable Pertex shell keep you warm while allowing you to dump excess heat. In the arms and shoulders, high-loft fleece is covered by soft-shell fabric, which offers protection from the elements. Pit zips add extra venting power. 1.6 lbs.

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(Inga Hendrickson)

The North Face ThermoBall

BEST FOR: Layering

ThermoBall ($199) is the North Face’s new foray into synthetic insulation. Rather than fibers, it’s made of millions of minuscule polyester balls encased in tiny pockets—more like down. It’s a smart idea, and it works well. The ThermoBall jacket is light, warm, and water resistant; its stuffing is nearly as compressible as goose fill but dries quickly and wicks moisture like a synthetic. 12 oz.

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(Inga Hendrickson)

Fjällräven Greenland Down

BEST FOR: Urban Environs

This svelte parka ($500) is warmer than it looks, thanks to 500-fill down, a burly hood, and a tightly woven cotton-poly exterior, which is coated with Fjällräven’s water-shedding Greenland Wax. Like Geraldo, it looks better with age. 2.8 lbs.

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(Inga Hendrickson)

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