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Kathmandu: How to choose a puffer jacket

Puffer jackets are a must have in every closet. They're like wearing a big, warm hug, while still being lightweight and packable. But how do you find the perfect one? While all of our puffer jackets will keep you cosy, choosing the best one for you depends on how you plan to use it.

For the travellers and avid hikers out there, a lightweight puffer jacket will keep you toasty when you need it, and will pack away oh-so-small when you don't. But, if you're wanting a jacket for everyday use during winter, a mid-weight puffer is a classic for a reason.


Image source: Kathmandu

Water-resistance & waterproofing

The recycled shell fabrics that we use in all of our down jackets and vests are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish which helps to bead water in light drizzle.

However, in wet conditions, it's essential to have a proper rain jacket to protect you. Feather down loses its ability to insulate when it gets wet (and once wet it can be slow to dry).

If you think your puffer jacket will get wet often, then perhaps opt for a synthetic down jacket instead.

Down vs synthetic down

Synthetic down still keeps you warm, even when wet, and is quicker drying than feather down. However, if you're headed to extreme cold, it can't quite compete with feather down when it comes to insulation value and warmth-to-weight ratio.

Our synthetic down is made from 100% recycled polyester.

Warmth & down fill power

Down keeps you warm by trapping body heat and preventing it from diffusing into the cold air around you. The performance of down fill is measured by 'fill power'.

The numbers 550, 600, 650, for example, refer to the fill’s quality, not the amount of fill in the down jacket as is commonly thought.

Fill power is measured by the number of cubic inches that one ounce of down occupies in a climate-controlled test cylinder.

The more volume occupied by the down, the greater the amount of air trapped and the greater the insulation generated.

Choosing the weight of your down jacket

Fill weight relates to the amount of down in your gear, as opposed to fill power, which indicates the quality of the feathers.

Light-weight down jackets are more compressible, and make sense if you’re travelling.

On the other hand, heavier down jackets are great for cold conditions when you're not exerting energy, such as cheering on the sidelines of winter sport.

The Kathmandu Range

The Heli series was designed to maximise warmth while minimising space in your bag. These lightweight puffers are ideal for travelling with, or for keeping in your hiking pack.

Choose you preferred form of insulation with our Heli Down and Heli novaLOFT (synthetic insulation) versions. Both are available in a range of colours and styles including hooded and non-hooded puffers to suit your needs.

Shop the range of puffers in-store today, and if you want to find out more just chat to one of our friendly staff members.

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