best puffy jackets for kids

Best Puffy Jackets for Kids

Best Puffy Jackets for Kids

A great way to help keep kids warm in the winter is a puffy jacket, filled with either a down or synthetic insulation, these jackets often give a very “puffy” appearance, hence the name. Puffy or puffer jackets come in all styles, shapes, and budgets.

If you want to skip the info on insulation, click here to jump down to our top picks!

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Down vs. Synthetic Insulation

Down insulation and synthetic insulation both have lots of great properties. However, the type of insulation you choose will affect the price, warmth, weight of jacket, water resistance level, care level, and compressibility.

Down or synthetic jacket comparison

Down Insulation

Down is what is underneath the outer feathers on a bird and is made up of lightweight, soft, wispy filaments. Down is not feathers (although sometimes down and feathers are used together). The down insulates by trapping air which gives the bird its very own mid-layer. Down insulation typically comes from geese or ducks.

Down is very lightweight, easy to compress, and long lasting. When you care for it properly, down gear will last you many, many years. Down is best used in cold, dry conditions.

In recent years, there has ben some developments with making down a little more water repellant. Some companies have started to treat down with a hydrophobic (water hating) chemical to make it absorb less water and maintain loft. Now, the treatment doesn’t make it water proof, but will buy you some time in wet conditions.

Fill Power

When you are looking for a down jacket, you will also see a “Fill Power” number by it. Fill power is the down’s ability loft. Higher fill power means the down lofts more (taking up more space and trapping more air). One ounce of 600 fill power of down takes up less space than one ounce of 900 fill power of down. Goose down can reach a higher fill power than duck down, duck down will max out around 750.

Higher fill power doesn’t always mean warmer or better performing. Make sure to check out the construction of the baffles in the jacket, weight of the jacket, and other features that will affect overall performance.

Responsible Down

When looking at down products, you should also check to make sure that your down was responsibly sourced. For more information check out the Responsible Down Standard.

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm. It is our hope that the standard can be used to reward and influence the down and feather industry to incentivize practices that respect the humane treatment of ducks and geese. We believe that education – through the RDS – is a meaningful way to drive demand for strong animal welfare practices. The standard also provides companies and consumers with a tool to know what is in their products, and to make accurate claims.

https://textileexchange.org/standards/responsible-down/

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation is a very popular choice. It can be very budget friendly, it still insulates when wet, is quick to dry, and is durable. There are many brands of synthetic insulation, but you should pay attention to the insulation type, whether it is a short-staple or continuous filament insulation.

Short-staple insulation has short strands of filaments that are densely packed to minimize heat loss(kind of like down). The fills are soft, flexible, and more compressible, but typically are not as long-lasting as other synthetics. Continuous filament jackets have a thicker continuous filament that is lofty, strong and durable. It is also less likely to have the insulation shift around, but continuous filament doesn’t compress well and can feel stiffer than short staple.

TMM Top Recommendations for Puffy Jackets for Kids

We’ve gathered some of our favorite jackets to share with you. To help you make an informed decision, we have listed the sizes available, the type of insulation, child car seat compatibility, and MSRP for each of the jackets available.

We have included if we believe the jacket would be able to work in a child car seat since that is a common question. We cannot guarantee that every jacket will fit well and it’s important that you do your own test with the jacket before driving off! It is also important to remember how many layers are under the jacket too. Here is a very quick and simple test using chalk from The Car Seat Lady.

We have also listed the MSRP for each of the jackets as a reference point, but don’t let sticker shock steer you away. Many of the jackets were found for well under the MSRP price when composing this article.

Patagonia Down Sweater

This is by far the most recommended from our team and many others out there. The Down Sweater comes in a variety of sizes, so everyone in your family can sport one! It has a super durable recycled polyester shell that has been treated with a DWR (durable water repellant) finish.

Easy to layer and both windproof and water repellant, this jacket will keep you kids toasty all winter long. It works great under a snow shell or on its own on dry days. Also thin enough and compressible enough to work with child car seats.

Patagonia Down Sweater
  • Sizes: Baby and Toddler 6M-5T, Boys and Girls XS-XXL, Mens and Women’s too.
  • Insulation: Baby and Toddler has 700 fill power recycled down. Boys and Girls have 600 fill power recycled down.
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: Baby and Toddler- $99 Boys and Girls- $119

Burton Evergreen Down Jacket

Similar to the Patagonia down sweater, but with a few more color options. This jacket works great for layering or on its own on dry days.

Burton Evergreen Down Kids Jacket
  • Sizes: Kids XS-XL
  • Insulation: 650 fill power RSD down (80% down/20% feather)
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $130

We love the Burton Evergreen down jackets. They’re basically the same as a Patagonia Down Sweater and come in fun patterns. Not super puffy and warm like the Patagonia Hi-loft, but great for 3-season use and layering on very cold winter days. The seams have held up well with 2 years of heavy use, no feathers poking out!

TMM Team Member Sarah

Big Agnes Ice House Hoodie

Another favorite of TMM Amelia, this one ranks on the high end of durability for her. If your kids will be sledding down hills “penguin-style” like Amelia’s kids, this is the one you want!

Big Agnes Kids Ice House Hoodie
  • Sizes: Kids XXS-XL
  • Insulation: 600 fill power water resistant Downtek
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $150

Reima Falk and Fern Jackets

We haven’t discovered many Reima products that we don’t like, and this is no exception. The Falk (a straight cut jacket) and Fern (a more fitted version) are lightweight, breathable, and durable. It comes with a detachable hood and a separate bag for storage.

Use code “mtnmama” for 20% off all Reima products.

  • Sizes: 4T-14Y
  • Insulation: 650 fill power RDS down (80% down/20% feather)
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropiately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $90 (Use code: “mtnmama” for 20% off)

Reima Jord Down Winter Jacket

More durable than the Falk and Fern, but also a little bulkier. It has a water and dirt repellant finish and a detachable hood. It’s very warm and very durable.

Use code “mtnmama” for 20% off all Reima products.

Reima Jord Down Jacket
  • Sizes: 4T-14Y
  • Insulation: down from 60% feathers and 40% insulation
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: No, a little too bulky.
  • MSRP Pricing: $180 (Use code: “mtnmama” for 20% off)

Marmot Kids Slingshot Jacket

Perfect for on the mountain or playing in the backyard. This jacket will keep your kid warm on the coldest days. Built-in powder skirt and plenty of pockets.

Marmot Kids Slingshot Jacket
  • Sizes: Kids XS-XL
  • Insulation: 700 fill-power-down insulation with Down Defender for water repellency
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: No, a little too bulky.
  • MSRP Pricing: $185

I could rave about this particular jacket all day long. We have had one of ours for several years now and it still looks great and has maintained it’s warmth. It has a powder skirt for winter sport activities and the outer shell material does great at repelling rain/snow. My oldest girl freezes in the cold so it may be a little more coat than some kids need but she can last for hours outside wearing it. One drawback is that it is a steeper price but based on how much use it’s received and and how well it holds up over time I don’t feel like it’s overpriced. Plus we’ve always been able to find them on sale.

TMM Team Member Stephanie

Snozu- BUDGET PICK!

Warm, lightweight and budget friendly, Snozu jackets are here for the win! The best prices are typically at Costco, but these are a seasonal item and you can only find them in the fall and early winter. You can also find a limited selection on Amazon. They typically run about $20, but we have seen them priced as low as $12 as the season moves on.

  • Sizes: Toddler 12M-5T and Kids 6-12
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately, although may vary by style.
  • MSRP Pricing: $15-$25 (best price is at Costco, they arrive in the fall)

I think the Snozu Jacket is an awesome coat for the price. I normally buy name brand or well recommended stuff with gear—this was an exception. My husband bought them and the one is still in great condition 4 years later. I would highly recommend for anyone wanting a good, warm jacket at a great price point.

TMM Team Member Stephanie

L.L. Bean Kids Ultralight 650 Down Sweater

Warm and light is what we love about the L.L. Bean Ultralight Down Sweater. Wind and water-resistant with recycled ripstop nylon shell. It even stuffs down small into a stowaway pocket when you need to drop a layer.

Looking for a hooded version? Check out the L.L. Bean Kids Ultralight 650 Down Jacket.

LLBean Ultralight Down Sweater
  • Sizes: Little Kid S/4 to Big Kid XL/18
  • Insulation: 650 fill power DownTek PFC-Free water-repellent down
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $109

Shred Dog Element Kids Insulator Jacket

Finally, a jacket that actually grows with your kid (and can get smaller again for the next). Filled with 3M™ Thinsulate™ insulation and coated with a DWR, this jacket is meant to be zipped into the Elevated Hardshell but works great on its own too. A friendly price point and bright colors make this a favorite.

Use code “TMM25” for 25% off or “TMM35” for 35% off orders of $400+. See our full Shred Dog review here.

  • Sizes: Kids 4-16
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $66
Backcountry skiing in the Element Kids Insulator

Our kids wear their Shred Dog Insulator on a daily basis for school and skiing. They like how it is light and warm. It also zips into the Elevated Shell for a full system. Highly recommended!

TMM Team Member Amelia

The North Face Perrito

Warm and stylish, this reversible jacket looks good on the bus or on the playground.

The North Face Perrito
  • Sizes: Kids XXS-XL, also available in baby 0-3M to 18-24M.
  • Insulation: Synthetic-recycled polyester
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $115

Stio Kids’ Hometown Down Hooded Jacket

This insulated jacket is filled with a 650-fill, water repellent HyperDry™ down and updated in 2020 to a 100% Recycled HTD™ nylon outer for abrasion and weather resistance.

  • Sizes: Kids 4-14
  • Insulation: 650 fill power water repellent HyperDry™ down
  • Child Car Seat Friendly:
  • MSRP Pricing: $169

Quilted Packable Jackets – Budget Pick

Quilted Packable Jackets from ColorKids Denmark, lightweight and affordable- perfect for layering without weighing down, okay in most car seats (always test), perfect for adding a little warmth to any outfit. These are simple and effective, no bells and whistles needed.

Some kids may find the smaller zippers difficult, but the trade off is they help keep the jackets more water/wind resistant and lightweight, with no big zipper pressing into you when layered tightly.

  • Sizes: Kids 3T-12
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $58

Primary Ligthweight Puffer Jacket – Budget Pick

Made with recycled materials, this jacket is perfect for those cool weather days, or layering under a shell.

Primary lightweight puffer jacket
  • Sizes: Kids 2-12
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $45

Best Puffy Jackets for Toddlers

Not much is cuter than watching a toddler bop around in a tiny little puffy jacket. Having a puffy jacket that can compress safely in a car seat is even better! Keep reading for some of our top toddler picks to keep your little adventurer going.


I put river in one (a Patagonia Down Sweater) all winter long. Surprisingly durable for down and well-made (because Patagonia). Very warm and can layer it under a shell or even under a ski jacket if it’s below zero.

TMM Team Member Ginny

Patagonia Down Sweater

One of the top recommended by TMM and readers! It has a super durable recycled polyester shell that has been treated with a DWR (durable water repellant) finish and is windproof. It works great under a snow shell or on its own on dry days. Also thin enough and compresses enough to work with child car seats.

Patagonia Down Sweater
  • Sizes: Baby and Toddler 6M-5T
  • Insulation: Baby and Toddler has 700 fill power recycled down.
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $99

Reima Ayles Down Jacket for Toddlers

This is very similar to the Reima Jord as it’s very durable, warm and puffy. It’s not a great carseat choice, but it’s fantastic for super cold days and just keeping kids warm.

Use code “mtnmama” for 20% off all Reima products.

  • Sizes: 12M -5T
  • Insulation: Responsible Down Standard certified down and feathers 550 fill
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: No
  • MSRP Pricing: $99.95
Skiing on a cold day in the Reima Ayles

L.L. Bean Baby and Toddler Ultralight 650 Down Jacket

Rocking the same quality of the big-kid version, this one is sized for the littles. An added hood and bigger baffles help retain warmth. Lightweight but warm!

LLBean Ultralight Down Jacket
  • Sizes: 6-12M to 4T
  • Insulation: 650 fill power DownTek PFC-Free water-repellent down
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $99

Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Hoodie

A bit warmer than the regular down sweater, this 700 fill power puffer will keep your little toasty warm. Both compressible and warm with a quilt-through construction to help keep down in place. The recycled polyester shell is lightweight, windproof with a high tear-strength and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.

Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Hoodie
  • Sizes: 3-6M to 5T
  • Insulation: 700 fill power 100% Recycled Down
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately. Though thicker than many others.
  • MSRP Pricing: $129

Primary Ligthweight Puffer Jacket – Budget Pick

Made with recycled materials, this jacket is perfect for those cool weather days, or layering under a shell.

  • Sizes: 0-6M to 18-24M
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $35

Baby Buntings and One Piece Puffers

Fluff Down Snowsuit

Fluff Down Kids wear from Poland. Real, high quality anti-allergenic and ethically sourced down. While these jackets are powerhouses at layering, they really shine when worn as the only outer layer. They are thick and have a substantial weight while still not being heavy due to the down. They’re available in two lengths of jackets and a full suit option as well as the buntings. Hoods surround the face and provide a good amount of warmth.

  • Sizes: 6M – 6T
  • Insulation: 750 cuin, 90% natural goose down
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Yes, when sized appropriately.
  • MSRP Pricing: $223 (but on sale right now)

L.L. Bean Infants’ Ultralight 650 Down Bunting

Super warm and lightweight. Your little won’t feel like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” when they are exploring the snow. There are fold over feet and hands and it has an insulated hood.

LLBean Infants' Ultralight 650 Down Bunting
  • Sizes: 0-3M to 12-18M
  • Insulation: 650 fill power DownTek PFC-Free water-repellent down
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Possibly, when sized appropriately- watch for overheating in the car.
  • MSRP Pricing: $99

Snozu Infant Bunting – BUDGET PICK!

Not as warm as the down buntings, but its lightweight and budget friendly. The best prices and selection are typically at Costco, but these are a seasonal item and you can only find them in the fall and early winter. There is a limited selection on Amazon.

  • Sizes: 6M-24M
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Child Car Seat Friendly: Unknown, please test before you drive.
  • MSRP Pricing: $20-$30 (best price typically at Costco, they arrive in the fall)

Taking Care of Your Puffer Jacket

DON’T PLUCK!

With down, its important to try and keep all the down and feathers INSIDE the jacket. Its inevitable that some will poke through over time, but resist the urge to pull them out!! Instead, go to the inside of the jacket and pinch where the stray feather is and try to pull it back in. This will make sure the hole it already poked doesn’t get any bigger and cause more down loss.

Keep it clean

Gear performs best when it is clean. This is especially true with down. If the down is getting dirty, it will not perform as well. Wash and dry your jackets according to the label. For down, you will need to tumble dry with clean tennis balls (or the like) to help restore loft.

We love using Nikwax wash-in products for all our gear. For down, use their Down Wash. You can even add some water repellency to your down with Down Proof. For synthetic fabrics, use their Tech Wash.

Fix that hole or tear

As soon as you notice something, get it fixed. We love using Gear Aid Tenacoiuos Tape or patches for all of our gear.

For a more fun way to patch up your gear, check out Noso Patches (also available at REI)!

Quick Buying Tips

Puffy jackets, especially down, can be pricey. Here are a few quick tips to get the best bang for your buck!

  • Watch for sales! Past season colors will typically be cheaper.
  • Check out Patagonia’s used gear program Worn Wear or join a Patagonia BST group.
  • Buy at the end of the “season”. At the time of this post, we are in the middle of winter but stores are gearing up for spring and are clearancing out winter gear.
  • Check your local Facebook Marketplace or online garage sales.

Related Articles:

Best Puffy Jackets for Kids

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