How to Wash and Dry Puffer Jackets

How to Wash and Dry Puffer Jackets

When it comes to finding the warmest winter coats, the puffer coat is a staple for outdoor adventurers. Whether hiking, skiing, or backpacking, the puffer coat provides a thick, lightweight layer against extreme temperatures. Normally filled with synthetic or down insulation, puffer coats require care when it comes to cleaning them, storing them and protecting them. Here's how to wash and dry puffer jackets properly and keep them at their warmest in cold weather.

Pack Your Puffer Coat Last

Puffer coats, winter puffer vests, and parkas are extra fluffy, and their filling makes them one of the warmest coats available. The insulation's thick filling can make these coats hard to store, especially when traveling or packing. Prevent crushing your puffer coat by simply packing your coat last, at the top of your luggage. This makes the coat easily accessible during commutes and stops the insulation from breaking down and losing its height. Packing your puffer coat last also saves it from any accidental leaks from water bottles or pesky lotion lids that pop open during longer travels.

Avoid Long-Term Storage in Pockets or Bags

Many puffer coats and vests come with handy small pockets or bags for storage. While these fun extras and accessories can seem like a good idea when trying to maximize your space, folding and squishing your puffer coat into a tiny ball for extended periods of time can actually severely damage the filling and prevent it from expanding evenly next season. To prevent flat spots in your coat, avoid storing your coat in storage pockets, storage cubes, or bags for long periods of time. Instead, hang your puffer up in a dry place after every wear. This will ensure your puffer coat redistributes filling properly and dries thoroughly.

Be Extra Careful With Sharp Objects and Make Smart Repairs

You've just purchased a new, fluffy puffer coat, but you didn't realize that handrail had a sharp edge, and now you've got a small hole in your favorite winter coat. It's easy to respond with a quick fix, like the old go-to, duct tape. However, fixing any holes with short-term tape will only damage your coat more when you remove the tape. Instead, stuff any loose insulation back through the hole and patch the hole with a needle and thread. Avoid washing the coat before you patch any holes, but if the area around the hole is extra dirty, spot clean the surrounding area, then patch.

If you're planning to wear your puffer coat for more strenuous activities like skiing or climbing, we recommend wearing a lightweight jacket over it to add an extra, and more durable, layer.

Cleaning and Drying Your Favorite Puffer Coat

Cleaning your favorite puffer coat is inevitable after a long winter season. However, washing your coat should only be done when absolutely necessary because detergents and machines can wear down the insulation and protective Durable Water Repellent (DWR) shell. When it's time to clean your coat, here are some easy-to-follow recommendations and tips for the best results.

How to Wash Puffer Jackets

Use a front-loading or newer top-loading machine to wash your puffer jacket, or hand wash if necessary. Typically, these types of washing machines don't have the center agitator that can catch and tear materials, like the delicate top layer of a puffer coat. When cleaning your puffer coat, always use the gentle cycle no matter what type of machine you have. If you'd rather be extra careful, simply handwash your coat in a bathtub or sink. When in doubt, always check the tag for guidance on how to wash your puffer jacket.

Use Special or Natural Detergent for Delicate Fabrics

The fillers of puffer coats are made of delicate material, whether it be down or synthetic insulation. Take extra care when using strong or chemical detergents on your coat. We recommend choosing a detergent made with natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals, or a traditional detergent for delicate fabrics.

Dry on Low Heat and Use the Tennis Ball Trick

Cue the shock! You can dry your puffer coat on low heat, and in fact, it is recommended! Pop your clean puffer coat in the dryer on low heat and let it run for a few cycles. Although tempting, don't try to speed up the process by using a higher heat setting. This will melt the insulation and damage the external shell. A pro tip is to throw a few new, clean tennis balls in the dryer with your coat. The movement of the tennis balls will make your coat extra fluffy and redistribute the filling. If you prefer to air dry your puffy coat, simply lay it flat on a towel in a warm area, out of direct sunlight. Once dry, use your hands to break up any insulation and "re-fluff" the coat.

Treat your favorite puffer coat with extra care, and you'll stay warm and comfortable for seasons to come with a fluffy, full coat.


Related Articles