For getting outdoors on cool fall and spring days, it’s hard to beat a vest. This simple layering piece is cozy, adds warmth to your core, pack-able, and less bulky and cheaper than a full jacket. But the vest market is diverse, ranging from casual to performance and including a number of possible insulation types.

As the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to start breaking out the cold weather gear. From wool hats to down jackets to thermal underwear, the key to staying warm in the winter is layering. A down vest is a great option to add warmth on chilly days.

Patagonia Down Sweater Vest

It’s popular for both casual and active use. Patagonia brings it all together with the Down Sweater Vest. Talking of warmth, the vest is filled with 2.4 ounces of premium 800-fill down that will keep your core nice and comfortable. The recycled polyester shell fabric looks and feels great, repels light moisture, and comes in a wide variety in different colors. It’s the best option from wearing around the city to hiking and use as a mid-layer for skiing.

Icebreaker Mt Elliot Vest

This vest is made of merino (sheep Wool). Merino is warm, super soft for wool, regulates temperature well, and doesn’t soak up moisture. For active pursuits like hiking, biking, and skiing, it makes a fantastic outer layer or mid-layer. And for wearing around town, it dresses up fairly well, too. And Icebreaker’s Mt Elliot Vest is a perfect all rounder in chilly season. Made with Real FLEECE, Icebreaker’s proprietary ultra fine merino blend, the Mt Elliot is soft and cozy but decently durable with its nylon core.

Arc’teryx Cerium LT Vest

This vest is high end in just about every way: you get 850-fill goose down for warmth. A super soft face fabric and lining, and Core-loft synthetic insulation in areas lying on your front to getting wet like the shoulders and collar. The result is just about all you can ask for in a vest from weight and warmth to functionality and looks.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Vest

The Ghost Whisperer from Mountain Hardwear is a classic. The jacket version was one of the first ultralight down pieces to really push the cover in terms of warmth-to-weight ratio. At just 5 ounces in the men’s version, it will provide you with a surprising amount of warmth while barely putting a dent in the weight of your pack. And because the vest stuffs down into its own pocket for storage, it’s truly minimalist in nature.

The North Face Novelty Nuptse Vest

The North Face Novelty Nuptse Vest is the polar; it’s warm, with heaps of 700-fill goose down. The Nuptse is one of the warmest and most significant vests on the list and built to withstand cold conditions. It meant for the daily use, cold weather hiking, or for any other activity of cooler days or night, the Nuptse is a nice option. Moreover it has strong nylon face fabric, which helps in cutting wind and will withstand more rough use than many of the thinner shells.

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