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The 7 Best Down Vests for Skiing & Snowboarding of 2024

By: Kevin Katsafanas: Men's Techwear Buyer | October 28, 2023


Down vests are a super versatile techwear piece that you can utilize for just about any activity, including layering for skiing and snowboarding. They can provide warmth right where you need it on your core while allowing you to maintain flexibility. When shopping for a puffer vest, it's important to consider factors such as insulation, water resistance, and breathability. In addition, look for vests made with high-quality down filling, either natural or synthetic, as well as those with durable exterior materials to withstand harsh winter conditions. It's also important to consider the fit and style of the vest and any additional features with pockets being a big one, there's never enough space for stashing extra snacks.

New This Year:

Down vests continue to be a favored choice for those seeking a balance between warmth and freedom of movement. Without any notable shifts in trends this season, the emphasis remains on the vest's core function: providing core warmth without the bulk. Whether you're layering up for a brisk morning hike or seeking a stylish addition to your urban ensemble, down vests have solidified their position as a versatile wardrobe staple. Their lightweight nature and adaptability make them perfect for transitional weather, ensuring you're prepared for whatever the day brings.

Patagonia Nano Puff® Vest

Patagonia Nano Puff®

Wear it as a mid-layer or wear it on its own; the Patagonia Nano Puff® Vest is a classic for a reason. It's windproof and water resistant, and filled with lightweight, compressible yet super warm PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation. Once you go Nano Puff®, you never go back.

Insulation MaterialOriginal Price
60 g PrimaLoft® Gold$179.00 - $189.00

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Patagonia Down Sweater Vest

Patagonia Down Sweater

The Patagonia Down Sweater Vest sets the standard for lightweight, packable warmth that doesn't weigh you down. Now with a shell and lining of NetPlus® 100% postconsumer recycled Nylon ripstop made from recycled fishing nets, and with the best down insulation available, this vest is indispensable for the outdoor enthusiast.

Insulation MaterialOriginal Price
800-Fill Power 100% Virgin Goose Down$229.00

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Patagonia Reversible Bivy Down Vest

Patagonia Reversible Bivy Down

One vest, two unqiue styles. The Patagonia Reversible Bivy Down Vest is water-resistant, super warm, and makes any outfit pop. Featuring a drop tail hem for additional backside coverage and plenty of pockets for all your goodies.

Insulation MaterialOriginal Price
600 Fill 100% Recycled Down$229.00

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Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Vest - Women's

Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT - Women's

Made for all four seasons, the Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Vest is made from a durable and abrasion-resistant material that also protects you against wind and light precipitation. Thanks to the VerticalX™ SuperStrand Insulation, this nifty little vest warms your core the same as a 700-fill down jacket could but it packs down to the size of your palm. Magic? Maybe. Pair it with a lightweight base layer for your chilly morning runs, or use it as a mid-layer with your shell jacket for adventures in more inclement weather. Wherever your passion for the outdoors takes you, this high-tech vest is ready to see it all.

Insulation MaterialOriginal Price
100% Polyester VerticalX™ SuperStrand Insulation$149.00

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Cotopaxi Trico Hybrid Vest

Cotopaxi Trico Hybrid

Durable by design with a sustainable state of mind, the Cotopaxi Trico Hybrid Vest delivers just the right amount of warmth with 100% recycled synthetic insulation that seamlessly mends with the repurposed shell and lining to bring you a vest that ain't afraid to get a little scuffed up in pursuit of exploration. With two cozy hand pockets, and a contrasted, zippered chest pocket, there's no shortage of convivence with this quilted quest-finder.

Insulation MaterialOriginal Price
100% recycled polyester (80gsm)$144.95

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Kari Traa Eva Down Vest - Women's

Kari Traa Eva Down - Women's

For your nordic and alpine adventures as well as more casual trips around town, the Kari Traa Eva Down Vest has the stylish and slim fitting core warmth you need. Complete with secure hand pockets, an insulated hood, and stretchy, breathable fabric on the sides for unrestricted mobility, the Eva Down Vest is an active gal's winter season BFF.

Insulation MaterialOriginal Price
80/20 Down$160.00

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Rab® Microlight Vest - Women's

Rab® Microlight - Women's

Core warmth is key when you're dabbling in the mountains and the Rab® Microlight Vest provides some of the most reliable warmth yet. A perpetual best-seller, the Microlight Vest is insulated by hydrophobic 700 fill-power recycled down that's housed within a durable yet lightweight Pertex Quantum nylon ripstop outer fabric. Pack it into the included stuff sack and stash it in your pack.

Insulation MaterialOriginal Price
Recycled 700 Fill-Power Down Nikwax Hydrophobic Finish$189.95

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The Selection Process:

Our techwear buyers have an endless amount of knowledge on all things outerwear stemming from years of experience in the outdoor industry in tandem with their countless hours spent outside in all conditions around the world. From hot to cold, snow, rain, wind, and even sunshine, they know what clothing will keep you comfortable. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Kevin Katsafanas

Growing up in the northwest I took to snowboarding when I was 13 and spent most weekends up at Snoqualmie riding the park. As I grew as a rider I traded out rails and jumps for more freeride terrain found on the other side of I-90 over at Alpental. With evo in my backyard, I spent countless weekends hounding the shop staff about gear. Finally, when I was 19 years old I found my way into a full-time position selling snowboards at the Seattle store. In the decade since I've worn a number of hats in the outdoor industry in addition to talking gear, including spending time as the Seattle store's marketing and events coordinator. 9 years later and I am still here at evo in my role as the Buyer for men's techwear, and ski/snowboard bags.