One cannot have enough down vests when living in the Pacific Northwest and their utility cannot be beat in terms of layering and usefulness for outdoor activities. Read on for a selection of purely functional vests for under $300.

Old Jansport Ad
Above is a scan of an old Jansport ad from the 70’s, featuring one of their down vests.

Weather Resistant

L.L. Bean waxed cotton down vest – $89.  Link
LL Bean Waxed Cotton Vests

Filson down vest – $225.  Link
Filson Down Vests

Light Weights

Western Mountaineering Flash Vest – $140.  Link
Western Mountaineering Flash Vest

Patagonia Micro Puff Vest – $125.  Link
Patagonia Micro Puff Vests

Everyday Use

Crescent Down Works Vest – cost varies.  Link
Notes: They mostly prefer to make vests just for stores, but if you ask nicely they’re sometimes willing to make a one-off for a regular joe. South Willard carries them (and should be getting in more soon), and you can also find a selection on Rakuten.

Crescent Down Works Vests

Patagonia Slingshot Vest – $125.  Link
Patagonia Slingshot Vests

Expedition Ready

Western Mountaineering Flight Vest – $175.  Link
Western Mountaineering Flight Vest

Feathered Friends – cost varies.  Link
Notes: Like Crescent Down Works, Feathered Friends is also based in Seattle and offers custom options for down vests, jackets, and other mountaineering goods. Their gear is serious business though, some of which is suitable for even climbing Everest.

Feathered Friends Vests

Useless Info

Old Jansport Ad

Another Jansport ad.  In the old days, it was not uncommon for people to either make their own vests with DIY kits purchased from ads in magazines, or from the then outdoor gear giants like REI or Jansport.

DIY Down Vest Kits