What Is A Puffer Jacket?

Puffer jackets, or down jackets as they are sometimes called in the manufacturing industry, have become increasingly popular in recent years.

What Is A Puffer Jacket?

With their incredibly stylish, oversized look, that helps us to remain fashionable whilst simultaneously keeping warm, what’s not to love? 

If you’ve been wondering however, what they’re actually made from, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Just what is it that gives these jackets that puffy look and feel that we all know and love?

We’ve got the answer below, simply keep reading to find out more. 

The History Of The Puffer Jacket 

Before we take a look at what exactly puffer jackets are made of, first let’s take a brief look at their fashion history. 

The puffer jacket was first invented by a man called George Finch, who himself, was a mountaineer who was interested in creating warmer, insulated clothing for his exploits.

It was made from materials that differ greatly from those manufactured today, specifically eiderdown and balloon fabric. 

Eventually, in 1937, we got a design that is far more closely related to the puffer jackets seen today.

Charles James is credited with designing a puffer jacket with heavy padding, and a satiny feel. It was at first called a pneumatic jacket. 

In the 1940’s, it became an incredibly popular choice of clothing for those participating in winter based sports. 

Nowadays, hip hop culture has ensured that puffer jackets are seen primarily as items of fashion and style, with celebrities such as Drake and Kanye West commonly seen sporting these garments. 

What Kind Of Filling Is Used For Puffer Jackets? 

If you’ve been wondering what kind of filling is used to give puffer jackets that classic look and feel, there are actually two different types.

Both of these have their pros and cons, and are used at the same frequency by manufacturers. To find out more about puffer jacket fillings, keep reading below. 

Synthetic Fillings 

One of the most popular types of fillings for puffer jackets consist of synthetic materials. This synthetic material is known as polyester, which is one of the most commonly used synthetic fabrics on the market. 

The synthetic material helps to trap warm air inside, giving the puffer jacket that heat trapping quality we’re all familiar with. Polyester is a popular choice for filling puffer jackets, because it’s incredibly moisture resistant. 

This means that if you take your puffer jacket out in the rain, the polyester will guarantee that it won’t take too long to dry.

Because polyester is quite thin, quite a lot of the material is used for the filling, and it’s packed into the jacket very densely. 

Another reason why polyester is such a popular choice for filling puffer jackets is that it’s incredibly cheap to come by, which makes it a tempting choice for manufacturers who don’t want to use down insulation. 

What Is A Puffer Jacket?

Natural Fillings 

Next, let’s move on to look at some of the natural fillings that are used to give puffer jackets their classic appearance.

As you may have guessed, natural filling will be far more expensive to produce, but are simultaneously far more sustainable for the environment. 

The filling is typically made from real feathers which have come from either goose or duck. It is by far the best quality filling for puffer jackets.

It is an organic, natural material, and is therefore more adept at keeping you warm, as opposed to a synthetic material such as polyester. 

Another great thing about natural filling, or rather down insulation is that it’s far more lightweight than polyester. This means that even the jacket won’t feel overly heavy or cumbersome in any way. 

The only drawback of down insulation is that when it gets damp, it can make the jacket feel more uncomfortable to wear.

Feathers aren’t as quick drying as polyester material, so if it gets damp, you’ll have to hang it up for longer. As soon as it gets wet, it also loses its inability to insulate itself. 

Which Is Easier To Pack? 

If you’re planning on taking a camping trip, or going for a long walk with your puffer jacket, you might be wondering which of these two fillings is easier to pack up.

After all, puffer jackets can be incredibly dense and therefore difficult to compress. 

In terms of which is easier to pack, the downs insulation is by far the easiest. This is because the feathers feel far less dense than the synthetic polyester. 

How Do I Take Care Of My Puffer Jacket? 

If you want more information about how you can best care for your puffer jacket, this is completely dependent on the filling inside.

If you have a puffer jacket with polyester as the filling, this will take little to no effort to care for. 

When it gets wet, simply hang it up to dry before your next use. 

On the other hand, if you have a puffer jacket with a natural filling, you’ll need to take more precautions when caring for it.

You don’t want to risk ruining the jacket by taking it out in the rain all the time, rendering it useless in the process, so it’s best to avoid taking it out in the rain altogether. 

Final Thoughts 

Puffer jackets, or downs jackets as they are sometimes known, are an incredibly popular choice for those who are looking for a warm, durable jacket, whilst still maintaining a fashionable appearance. 

These jackets can be filled with two different types of materials, both synthetic and natural.

Synthetic filling is far less costly and more fast drying, whereas natural filling is more expensive and is more sustainable for the environment. Both are popular choices for manufacturers. 

Latest posts by Jessica Strouss (see all)