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Best women’s puffer jackets UK 2022: down, insulated ladies hiking jackets from Patagonia, Helly Hansen

The Scotsman logo The Scotsman 16/06/2022 Sian Lewis

Our top-rated insulated and down puffer jackets are perfect for keeping cosy all winter long

© Best ladies’ puffer jackets: insulated women’s hiking jackets

The key to staying warm in cold conditions? Try the ‘onion method’, and get layering.

Wearing multiple layers is a great way to trap in body heat effectively, and one of the most useful pieces you can add to your wardrobe is an insulated jacket.

A warm insulated mid layer is ideal for wearing under a thick coat in winter or with a waterproof shell in a storm, and can be worn alone once spring comes.

Which puffer/insulated jacket is the right one for me?

You’ll see a range of insulated jackets for women on the market, from lightweight, packable down jackets to thicker padded coats.

The former are best for active sports such as hiking and climbing, and the latter are ideal for dog walking, camping and keeping cosy when the temperature really drops below zero.

What features does it need to have?

Some insulated jackets pack down into a small stuff sack or into their own pocket – these are ideal for carrying in your backpack or popping in a bicycle pannier bag so you can sling a jacket on and off as you go.

Look for a jacket with zipped pockets and an adjustable hood, and that feels snug enough around the body to trap in heat but still leaves space to wear base layers underneath. Insulated jackets aren’t usually fully waterproof – you’ll need to pop a waterproof shell over the top in heavy rain – but water-resistant jackets are handy for wearing in light rain.

Should I choose animal or synthetic down?

Insulated jackets either use animal down or synthetic down as warm padding.

Animal down, which usually comes from ducks or geese, is very warm and very lightweight.

The downside is that it is useless if it gets wet – plus, cheaper down is sometimes harvested unethically from live animals.

Stick to brands that use traceable down (look for the R.D.S, or Responsible Down Standard), or just avoid animal down all together and pick synthetic insulation.

Synthetic is rapidly catching up with traditional down when it comes to warmth and performance, and it’s also quicker to dry and still provides some warmth when wet.

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