From lightweight to sustainable pieces, here are the best men’s insulated jackets from The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Equipment and more
Whether you’re heading into the mountains or hanging out in the city, a good insulated jacket is your first line of defence against the cold.
This type of lightweight outerwear is packed full of either down or synthetic insulation (or sometimes a combination of both), often using a baffled construction to keep the filling evenly distributed.
Insulated jackets offer huge amounts of warming potential while weighing very little and occupying a relatively small space in your backpack. They can also be used either beneath a waterproof shell as part of a layering system, or on their own as an outer layer in cold, dry conditions.
Cela dit, all of the insulated jackets featured below offer some degree of water repellency, thanks to a durable water repellent (DWR) coating, which enables them to easily shrug off all but the heaviest of rain.
Comment nous avons testé
To bring you a selection of the best insulated jackets on the market, we put lots of options to the test over several weeks and whittled it down to our favourites. We did this in rural Northumberland and the Lake District, where we hiked, camped, slept and even bikepacked in these jackets, all in both locations’ famously changeable conditions.
Lire la suite:
The best men’s insulated jackets for 2021 sont:
- Idéal pour la polyvalence – Arc’teryx atom lt: £220, Arcteryx.com
- Best for style meets function – Fjällräven expedition pack down hoody: £275, Fjallraven.com
- Best for high-performance sustainability – Arc’teryx agrium hoody: £360, Arcteryx.com
- Best for lightness and packability – Montbell superior down parka: £225, Outsidersstore.com
- Best for retro styling – The North Face nuptse 1996: £269, Endclothing.com
- Idéal pour la simplicité – Patagonia down sweater: £184.99, Ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk
- Best for forward-thinking design – Klättermusen farbaute jacket: £600, Klattermusen.com
- Best for cold weather – Mountain Equipment lightline jacket: £220, Mountain-equipment.co.uk
Arc’teryx atom LT
Meilleur: For versatility
Arc’teryx’s endlessly versatile atom LT hoody was our best buy in 2020, and we’re yet to find a better all-rounder here in 2021. We’ve been using ours regularly for a year and a half now and it’s still one of our favourite pieces of kit.
The atom LT is super lightweight (that’s what the “LT” stands for), packable and looks great too. It’s essentially a technical hoody that uses coreloft synthetic insulation to trap body heat. This acts like down, but unlike down it’ll keep performing even when wet. There’s also an adjustable hood, drawstring hem, two-zip handwarmer pockets, a zipped inner pocket and an anti-slip zipper.
Like most Arc’teryx gear, the atom LT has a trim fit. It’s low profile and not in any way bulky, which means it fits nicely beneath a shell without feeling restrictive. One thing to note, mais, is that it is not windproof. This jacket is designed to be insulating but also breathable for high-output activities, but we’ve found it to be perfect for everything from outdoor pursuits to just general day-to-day duties – there’s very little it can’t turn its hand to.
Fjällräven expedition pack down hoody
Meilleur: For style meets function
Fjällräven’s Arctic-ready expedition parka (£1,375, Fjallraven.com) is nothing short of an outerwear icon. pourtant, its sheer robustness renders it a tad hot and unwieldy in anything short of polar conditions. That’s where this smaller, slimmer, stripped-back version comes in. It shares its looks, performance and build quality with its big brother, but is much more at home here in UK conditions.
The expedition pack down hoody is a great example of what Fjällräven does so well. It’s a modern, technical piece of kit, brought to life with subtle retro details that give a nod to the brand’s rich heritage in outdoor-gear design. Things like the leather toggles for the hood adjustment, the contrast lace drawcords and the woven patch on the inside document the story of the original expedition jacket.
Performance wise, things only get better. This is a warm, comfortable jacket that works equally well as a midlayer or a standalone piece. We found the hood to be particularly comfortable, and appreciated the front adjustment where many brands simply opt for a strip of elastic to cinch it in. One thing to bear in mind, mais, is fit – Fjällräven stuff runs BIG, so we’d definitely suggest going down a size.
Arc’teryx agrium hoody
Meilleur: For high-performance sustainability
The agrium hoody is a brand new jacket from Canadian outdoor-gear master Arc’teryx this season, featuring all the quality and attention to detail we’ve come to expect from such a consistent brand.
This great-looking insulated jacket is heavily inspired by the bestselling cerium hoody (£340, Arcteryx.com), redesigned with sustainability at the fore. It’s packed with a mix of Responsible Down Standard (RDS – a body that ensures down doesn’t come from animals that have been subjected to unnecessary harm) fill and Bluesign-approved synthetic insulation, “dope dyed” for colour, which is better for the environment than traditional dyeing, and features an eco-friendly biopolymer liner.
Despite all of its sustainable updates, the agrium doesn’t sacrifice performance. It’s still supremely warm, lumière, packable, and boasts lots of cool features also found on the cerium, like the no-slip zipper and built-in stuff sack.
Montbell superior down parka
Meilleur: For lightness and packability
You may not be familiar with Montbell, which is a shame. This Japanese brand specialises in high-quality, ultra-lightweight outdoor equipment, but despite being a household name in its home country, it’s pretty hard to find anywhere outside of Asia.
Heureusement, there are a handful of UK stockists, which means it’s now possible to get your hands on what we think is one of the best insulated jackets on the market: the superior down jacket. This clever layer is unfathomably light and feels delicate to the touch, but is actually extremely durable and very warm.
We love the sewn-through box construction, which eliminates the cold spots that can sometimes occur when down moves and becomes misplaced during activities. We also think this jacket looks and fits great, and the fact that it’s not widely available here in the UK means you’re unlikely to see anyone else wearing one… if you’re bothered about that sort of thing.
The North Face nuptse 1996
Meilleur: For retro styling
The North Face’s iconic nuptse puffer jacket is bigger and beefier than most other jackets featured here, but it wouldn’t feel right to write a round-up of the best insulated jackets and not include it. This is perhaps the most popular insulated jacket of them all, and for good reason. It’s stylish and functional in equal measures, and even warmer than it looks, which is saying something.
This is no midlayer. The nuptse’s heavyweight design and bulky silhouette mean you’ll be hard-pressed to find a coat big enough to fit over it. But you don’t buy a jacket like this to layer with, you buy it because you want something you can just throw on over a T-shirt in the darkest depths of winter and still be warm, which is exactly what it allows you to do.
Ours has seen several winters now, including plenty of scuffs, scrapes and a close call with a bonfire on the beach, and it still looks as good as new. It’s a truly well-made piece of kit and that’s apparent from the moment you lay your hands on it. The boxy cut won’t be for everyone, but we’re big fans and can see why this retro puffer is as popular today as it ever was.
Patagonia down sweater
Meilleur: Pour la simplicité
The down sweater is one of Californian outdoor brand Patagonia’s bestselling garments, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a simple down jacket that doesn’t need to shout to be heard and makes its statements via functionality and build quality rather than styling and design gimmicks. En bref, it’s a classic.
The jacket features a trim fit which makes it great for fitting under a shell, but it is more than capable of holding its own as an outer layer too. En fait, we found it to provide ample warmth on all but the coldest of days when worn with a T-shirt and jumper or fleece underneath.
Best of all, it comes with Patagonia’s ironclad guarantee, meaning the brand will replace, repair or refund your jacket if it displays any sort of manufacturing defects. De cette façon, you can be sure your jacket will last, making the investment all the more worthwhile.
Klättermusen farbaute jacket
Meilleur: For forward-thinking design
Swedish brand Klättermusen’s highly stylised take on outdoor gear makes it, selon nous, one of the most exciting and refreshing names on the market. The farbaute jacket is a great example of what the label does so well: taking a classic piece of outdoor kit – in this case the insulated jacket – and completely reimagining it.
The first thing you’ll notice is Klättermusen’s trademark asymmetric zipper (the brand doesn’t do symmetry), lequel, aside from looking good, aids comfort when worn with other zipped layers, the idea being that the zips on the other garments will be placed differently and won’t interfere with one another. The fabric is also quite unusual to the touch – thick, weighty and slightly rough. This is down to the organic-cotton construction, which we found to be extremely durable and abrasion resistant when compared to most other down jackets.
En fait, this jacket is made exclusively from natural materials, including RDS-certified goose down, held in place by the box construction that eliminates cold spots. Make no mistake, this is one very warm jacket, and a great option if you’re looking for something heavy duty and a little bit different. The only thing that we would change would be to add press studs to the storm flap, as it has a tendency to blow around in high winds. That’s by no means a deal-breaker, mais.
Mountain Equipment lightline jacket
Meilleur: For cold weather
The lightline jacket from Mountain Equipment is a substantial down jacket that will keep you warm when the temperature tanks. It’s robust and well put together, and bears all the hallmarks of a piece of kit that will last for decades, such as a chunky two-way zipper, durable face fabric and high fill power down insulation.
It’s just a good, solid insulated jacket and although it’s very warm, it’s not too warm to whip out in the transitional months when paired with a T-shirt. We’ve found it to be very versatile.
One thing we really like is the hood design. The high neck combined with the easily adjustable hood front means you can really batten down the hatches when the weather takes a nosedive. It’s super cosy and perfect for braving winters in the UK and beyond.
Le verdict: Men’s insulated jackets
le Arc’teryx atom LT is still our favourite insulated jacket on the market. It’s a piece of high-performance kit that is casual enough to wear every day and works great for layering or as a standalone piece on dry, still days.
If you’re after something more robust to use exclusively as an outer layer, we’d have to point you in the direction of Mountain Equipment’s lightline jacket plutôt.
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