Winter is tough as a parent. If your kids are anything like mine, they complain that their winter jackets make them hot. But when temperatures drop into the 30s and below, you can’t be that parent letting your kid run around in a hoodie or fleece. If they’re outside for any length of time, a hoodie or fleece alone won’t cut it. But with how much they move around or get in and out of cars, they’re liable to get hot in a fully insulated jacket. Lucky for you, puffer vests exist. They keep your kid’s core warm, while letting them blow off steam through their arms and pits. The Amazon Essentials kids lightweight puffer vest is a great choice to add to your kids’ winter apparel lineup.

Amazon Essentials kids lightweight puffer vest in camo
My son’s camo vest has held up for a year of frequent use

My son has one of the Amazon Essentials kids lightweight puffer vests and he wears it ALL THE TIME. He loves it. When it’s cold out, but my son will only be outside for the bus stop and then running around at recess, it is overkill to make him wear his full Marmot synthetic down jacket which will invariably make him hot. And with how much my daughter has been complaining about how hot she gets in her North Face down jacket, we’re getting her a puffer vest for Christmas too.

The greatest part about the Amazon Essentials kids puffer vest is that it is affordable! And I mean really, really affordable. If you catch it on sale, it can be “less than a Chipotle burrito” cheap. If your kid hates it, you can easily return it because it’s Amazon. If your kid destroys it from playing hard, you’re not out that much money. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying these puffer vests with your kids. They’re consistently the cheapest option for kids puffer vests on the market.

They’re also great because, for the money, they’re pretty warm! You’re not going to get a fill rating or warmth rating out of Amazon, but they are comparable to other budget synthetic fill vests available for kids on the market. Sure, a North Face or other name brand vest might be warmer. But it could cost you up to ten times as much. Based on anecdotal evidence from my son, it keeps him warm when he’s active or just enduring short stints in the cold.

My son wrecks clothes. From climbing trees to wrestling in the grass, my son puts outerwear to the test. After a year of frequent use, this vest still looks as good as new. No holes, no filling escaping, no stains. For stains, it might help that his is camo. But still, this vest has held up. This vest is durable, and can withstand the beating your kid will give it. Worth every penny!

Extra pocket on the inside of the Amazon Essentials kids lightweight puffer vest
In addition to the external pockets, it has two bonus internal pockets

Most importantly, the Amazon Essentials kids puffer vest is versatile. With a hoodie or fleece (and maybe also a base layer depending on how cold), this vest can be worn in the 30s if they’re not spending a prolonged amount of time outside. Any colder and I would personally make my kids wear a sleeved puffer jacket. Above 40, this vest can easily be worn with a long sleeve t-shirt (or even short sleeve depending on if your kid runs hot). What you have with this vest is a piece of gear that can be used in the fall, winter, and spring in a variety of chilly temperatures.

Another great feature of this vest is that there is a wide variety of colors and patterns available. Amazon has separate listing for boys and girls, but across both listings you have plenty of options to match your kids’ personality. My son chose camo, and we got my daughter pink / ombre to match her plethora of unicorn clothing and accessories. You’re sure to find a color or pattern your kid will like.

Given how affordable this vest is, it’s hard to give any complaints I have much weight. But I’ll share them anyway. As with any piece of outerwear, I wish it had a hem cinch. This would help seal in the warmth a bit. I also wish Amazon stepped up their game and provided some level of technical specs on the filling it uses – us gear heads like to know what we’re working with. It’s hard to compare with name brand competitors when all you have is anecdotal information. It would be nice to be able to compare at a technical level. I’m expecting too much from Amazon I suppose.


  • Affordable
  • Warm
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Lots of colors and patterns


  • No hem cinch
  • No technical specs

Rating: 4.5 / 5

The Amazon Essentials kids lightweight puffer vest is not perfect, thus the 4.5 star rating. But for the price, it is almost perfect. It’s affordable, warm, durable, and versatile. What more could you ask? You won’t feel like you’ve wasted your money on this piece of winter gear for your kids. My son loves his, and I’m sure my daughter will love hers. I must point out that this review is specifically for the lightweight version. Amazon also makes a heavyweight version, but I have no experience with this model. Overall, I highly recommend this vest – you will be pleasantly surprised with the quality!

Do your kids have this vest? How do you and your kids feel about your experience? Comment below to let all of our readers know!