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Why You Should Own a Puffy Vest

From a performance-minded midlayer to an apres statement piece

Wearing a vest gives you more pockets without adding the bulk of a jacket. (Dan Holz/TandemStock)
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Vests are one of the most overlooked pieces of gear. They can be integrated into an elaborate layering system during the cold months, or used as a solo layer on top of a flannel during the shoulder seasons. Even better, wearing a vest gives you more pockets without adding the bulk of a jacket. So we picked five of our favorite down vests. There’s something for you on this list, whether you’re looking for a performance-minded layer or something that makes a statement when you’re rambling about town.


Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer ($170)

vests
(Courtesy Mountain Hardwear)

The Ghost Whisperer is an essential vest because of its warmth to weight ratio and the 800-fill water-resistant down stuffing.

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Fjallraven Ovik Lite ($200)

vests
(Courtesy Howler Brothers)

The high collar and chest pocket give this vest, which is made from Fjallraven’s bomber G-1000 fabric, a sporting look.

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REI Co-Op Down ($40)

vests
(Courtesy REI)

REI packs 650-fill down insulation inside a nylon shell with a DWR coating to give you all of the down vest essentials in a budget-friendly package.

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Howler Brothers Rounder ($135)

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Howler Brothers goes vaguely western with the Rounder, which has a thin fill of Primaloft One insulation in a rip-stop outer shell. We like the touch of corduroy on the shoulders and the front snap pockets.

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The North Face Novelty Nuptse ($180)

vests
(Courtesy The North Face)

This 700-fill down vest with large baffles gives you a retro look without going full “That ‘70s Show.” And we dig the fun colorways. 

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Filed To: Clothing and Apparel / Insulated / Style / Gear
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