Everyone owns a puffer jacket of some sort at the moment. It's the must have fashion item of the decade. I love mine. It's definitely my go to item on a cold Melbourne morning. Its also the most asked about clothing item in our store for those who are looking to save a little money on snow gear. Everyone wants to know, can I wear my puffer jacket at the snow? The short answer is yes. We are all for saving you money but there are a few things you should consider first before hanging that technical ski or snowboard jacket back on the rack.
We can't deny that the puffer jacket is warm. Their down or synthetic fluffy insulation stitched between quilted pockets traps in your body heat keeping the wearer warm and toasty.
We know they look great!
They are generally lightweight, compressible and therefore easy to pack
Most brands are not waterproof and therefore the down or insulation gets wet and heavy quickly when it is raining or snowing.
Once the insulation is wet it can take a long time to fully dry out
The high warmth of the puffer jacket can make you sweat when you are doing physical activity. If the jacket lacks sweat-wicking technology or breathability your own sweat can end up making you wet and cold.
The zips and fabric joins are not generally taped or seam sealed. What this means is that cold air and moisture can enter the jacket via any stitched joins potentially making you damp. Technical snow gear is seam sealed meaning that any joins have been internally covered with a fully waterproof tape stopping any moisture or water from seeping in.
Puffer jackets don't have a powder skirt. Powder skirts line the bottom inside of a snow jacket and act as a barrier to cold air and snow entering underneath your jacket. These are particularly useful if you are expecting to slide, play or fall in the snow as they stop snow going up your back.
There are many more features of a good ski or snowboard jacket that I could mention but I wont go into them here. We should also note that there are many different brands and quality of puffer jacket so you should always look into the features that your jacket offers.
In short, my opinion is that your puffer will keep you warm at the snow as long as it doesn't get wet. It will be ideal for a little snow sightseeing on a nice winters day but if you are planning to spend a full day, weekend or week at the snow (rain, snow or shine), skiing or snowboarding then you might want to look into buying a purpose built jacket that is durable, waterproof, breathable and fast drying. If the weather turns bad you wont regret your purchase.
You can find lots of quality affordable snow gear at our store www.backtotheslopes.com.au.