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Puffer Jacket vs Trench Coat – Differences? Similarities?

Stylish woman wearing her brown trench coat.

Winter has rolled around and it is time to find a new coat. If you live in a cold or snowy area or are even preparing for a vacation in such a place, you will need a coat that will last you and keep you warm. I personally enjoy something that has a simple aesthetic and can go with any outfit.

A coat that will last a long time will keep me prepared for each winter, so I have less to prepare for. Choosing the ‘one’ jacket for your winter season can be a tough one. You want a jacket that will fit your style and color palette, and keep you warm through the season.

When you are looking for a coat, you will find several different options. There are two very popular coats, such as the puffer jacket and the trench coat.

What is a puffer jacket?

Smiling woman wearing a puffer jacket on a blurred background.

A puffer jacket, also known as a down jacket, is a quilted jacket that is usually lined with some sort of feather. However, there are vegan and animal-friendly puffer jackets that are lined with different types of insulated fabric. According to Vogue, the puffer jacket was created in the 1930s by Eddie Bauer.

He was an outdoorsman who was faced with hypothermia in the winters. To solve this, he created the down jacket.


The puffer jacket is long-lasting and made to withstand heavy winters. Since its humble beginnings in the 1930s, it was made specifically to keep people warm and survive subarctic weather. With insulation made to keep heat inside, the down jacket is usually the go-to for outdoor adventures when it comes to exploring in the cold weather.

It usually has pockets for your hands or items and is made for outdoor exploration.


Down jackets are usually quilted with their down or synthetic fabric. This gives off the “puff” style, naming it the puffer jacket. Some jackets come with horizontal stitches or diagonal stitching to create different aesthetics.

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Some people may not believe that the puffer jacket is the most fashion-forward type of jacket. It normally is not worn during formal meetings or events. That being said, it is made specifically for the winter and is quite practical.

The puffer jacket is made to keep you warm rather than having fashion in mind.

What is a trench coat?

Woman in trench coat standing beside garden plants.

The trench coat has a long history, being first used during World War I. The trench coat got its name from its use in World War I, as the British military wore them in the trenches. While it is rumored that the trench coat was made specifically for World War I, this is simply not true.

In the 1820s, the trench coat was created by two chemists who were inventing a waterproof coat. According to Vogue, people that did wear the coat in World War I were usually high officials rather than any soldier wearing a trench coat. The trench coat has evolved since its beginnings, from first being made out of rubberized cotton to only using a rubber coating for waterproofing.

The coat is usually made of cotton, wool, or canvas, with a coating.


When it comes to warmth, the trench coat is primarily made for style and rain. If you plan on wearing a trench coat during the winter or in the cold, be prepared to layer up so you can keep your warmth. The trench coat is usually a thinner fabric but can be found to be thicker.

However, the heavier the coat is, the heavier the price. Some of the coats can come with a removable liner, so they are more practical to wear in the winter. It is typical to wear a trench coat in the fall when it is not cold enough to freeze.

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Handsome man wearing trench coat in the park.

The trench coat is famously seen in a khaki color since it is an easy color to camouflage during a war or crisis. The coat is usually double-breasted and fitted at the waist with a belt. It is also flared and is knee-length.

The belt that accompanies a trench coat is in the shape of a ‘D’ or an ‘O’. The coat itself has deep pockets on the inside and outside of the coat. The way the coat is designed is to allow water to bead off by having a caped back.

The trench coat is usually ventilated with a storm flap, and the cuffs can be tightened.  During World War I, some coats were specifically designed to protect people from poisonous gas by having buttons on the neck. Since the coat was warned by high-level people in the military in the 1800s and also by upper-class people, the trench coat is almost seen as a status symbol in fashion.

The trench coat has been known for being fashionable since World War I as it has been seen worn by many celebrities dating back to the 1930s. While it may be difficult to find one that is worth wearing throughout the winter, it is a simple jacket that can be worn for any occasion.

How are they different?

The puffer jacket and the trench coat are quite different. One is made for winter and one is made for rain and style.

How are their materials different?

The trench coat is usually made of cotton or wool that is then waterproofed with a rubber coating. This material is quite different from the puffer jacket, as the materials chosen for the puffer are specifically for the winter. The puffer jacket is usually made with down feathers or synthetic insulation for a more animal-friendly production.

Which one is better for winter?

Woman in brown hoodie sweater and brown puffer jacket.

The puffer jacket is much better for a subarctic or very cold winter. If you live in the north and face constant snow, the puffer jacket may be a better option than a trench coat. The trench coat comes with a cap that has ventilation flaps within it.

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Not every trench coat is made this way but the majority of them are. The ventilation flaps let heat escape easily. If you wear a trench coat in the winter, you will find yourself layering up quite a lot.

With a puffer jacket, you will only need one or two layers and stay warm.

Is one more durable than the other?

Since the trench coat was made for durability in the rain and outdoor activities, and the puffer jacket was made to handle extremely cold weather, both jackets are equally just as durable. They are both made for different reasons, so the trench coat may not be as durable in the winter as a puffer jacket might be. However, the puffer jacket is usually made to be water-resistant, so they are both made to repel water rather than absorb it.

Which one is more cost-friendly?

Puffer jackets are slightly more cost-efficient than trench coats. A trench coat is usually 200 dollars and up, while a puffer jacket starts at around 100 dollars.

Which one is better?

When it comes down to price and use, the puffer jacket may give you more bang for your buck. It is more friendly to your wallet and you will spend less on layering up. The puffer jacket is a consistent jacket for the future winters, as it is made to last and keep you warm.

The trench coat is a strong contender. However, the jacket may not do the trick for a cold winter. The puffer jacket does not have the fashion-forward style that a trench coat has.

You can also get a coat with a liner that will create more insulation. As both jackets continue to be innovated, there are puffer jackets that are more aligned with aesthetics in mind. If you are preparing for a cold winter and need a new jacket, a puffer jacket is a great option.