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Why Do Puffer Jackets Go Flat?

Woman in blue puffer jacket feeding the horses.

Puffer jackets are a popular and stylish choice for outdoor winter wear, especially among younger generations. They offer warmth and comfort while remaining sleek and stylish, making them ideal for cold-weather outings. One drawback to these beloved winter apparel items is that they tend to go flat relatively quickly after purchase.

Let’s find out more about why that happens and if we can do anything about it.

What Is A Puffer Jacket?

Children's red hooded warm jacket isolated on white background. Photograph of Ghost Mannequin.

Puffer jackets, also known as down coats, are outerwear garments designed to provide warmth and comfort in cold weather. Made from thick, insulating materials like polyester or nylon with tiny air pockets that trap heat inside the jacket, puffer jackets are a popular choice for those looking to stay warm without compromising on style. One of the main reasons puffer jackets are so popular is because they retain heat really well and insulate against cold temperatures.

This makes them an ideal choice for outdoor winter wear, especially in colder climates.

Why Do Puffer Jackets Go Flat?

Unfortunately, these jackets can go flat. There is no clear consensus on why this happens, but there are a few possible explanations.

The Stuffing

One theory is that the feathers or other stuffing inside the jacket become compressed over time, leading to a loss of fluffiness. This compression can happen due to repeated wear or simply from sitting in a closet for extended periods.

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The Outer Shell

The outer shell of the jacket loses its shape and becomes less puffy as a result. This could be due to poor quality materials or construction, or just general wear and tear. Poor quality materials often can’t hold up to the wear and tear associated with outdoor activities like walking, skiing, or snowboarding.

Fabric Breakdown

Another possibility is that the fabric of the jacket itself breaks down and loses its ability to retain heat, causing it to go flat. Whatever the cause, it’s clear that some action is needed to restore puffer jackets to their former glory.

How Does Lack Heat Retention Affect Jacket?

Portrait of a stylish girl wearing a yellow headpiece and an orange knit hat.

As mentioned above, the jackets can go flat if they can no longer retain heat. This is a problem because not only does it make the jacket less aesthetically pleasing, but it also decreases its functionality. A puffer jacket that can no longer keep its wearer warm becomes less useful and less desirable compared to other types of winter wear.

When it can retain heat, the materials used in the jacket (usually feathers or other stuffing) work to trap heat inside the coat and prevent it from escaping. This trapped heat is what keeps the wearer warm and comfortable, even in cold temperatures.

What Can Be Done?


One possible solution is to use alternative materials for the stuffing, such as hypoallergenic down or synthetic fibers. A hypoallergenic down is a type of down that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, while synthetic fibers are man-made materials that can mimic the properties of natural fibers. These materials may be more expensive, but they may also be more durable and longer-lasting.

Outer Shell

Another option is to invest in a high-quality outer shell material that won’t lose its shape over time. An outer shell is usually made of an impermeable material that is waterproof and wind-resistant, so it can keep the wearer warm and dry even in adverse weather conditions. This is a good option for those who want to keep their puffer jacket looking new for longer.

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Fill Power

Fill power is a measure of the loft or fluffiness of a down product and is usually expressed in terms of volume (e.g. cubic inches). The higher the fill power, the more insulation a down product will provide. For those looking to restore their puffer jacket to its former glory, investing in a high fill power product may be the way to go.

Compressible Fill

Compressible fill is another option for those looking to plump up their puffer jacket. This type of fill is designed to be compressed without losing its ability to loft or insulate. This type of fill is often found in sleeping bags and other outdoor apparel, so it may be a good option for those looking to fix their puffer jacket.

In addition to these tips, there are also professional clothing alterations services that can help restuff or repair jackets that have gone flat.

Do Some Fluffing

You could simply fluff up your jacket regularly to keep it from going flat. This can be done by putting it in the dryer on a low heat setting for 10-15 minutes or hanging it in the bathroom while you shower.

Can Puffer Jackets Be Relaunched Once It Goes Flat?

Two beautiful model poses a kiss while wearing a down jacket.

Yes, as mentioned above, there are some simple ways to restore puffer jackets that have gone flat. These include using alternative materials or investing in high-quality outer shells, and fluffing up the jacket regularly.

Can I Change The Stuffing In My Jacket?

If you want to change the stuffing in your jacket, you can either do it yourself or take it to a professional. In order to do it yourself, you’ll need to remove the old stuffing and replace it with new stuffing. This can be done by carefully opening up the seam of the jacket and removing the old stuffing.

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Once the old stuffing has been removed, you should be able to insert new stuffing into the jacket. Make sure that you follow any instructions provided by your jacket’s manufacturer or consult a professional for advice.

Where Should I Store My Jacket After Winter?

If you want to make sure your jacket lasts as long as possible, it’s a good idea to store it appropriately when the winter season is over. Ideally, you should store your jacket in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. You could also consider investing in a garment bag or storing it in an airtight plastic bag to help prevent damage.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals During Cleaning

When cleaning your jacket, it’s important to avoid harsh chemicals or detergents that could damage the fabric. Instead, opt for a gentle soap or cleaner specifically designed for down products. Damaging the fabric will cause it to lose its loft, which will impact its insulating ability.

Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s label and be sure to rinse the jacket thoroughly after cleaning. It’s also a good idea to let the jacket air dry or tumble dry on a low heat setting to avoid damaging the fabric.

Final Thoughts On Puffer Jackets Going Flat

Puffer jackets are a winter staple for many people, but they can often go flat after being worn for a while. This can be frustrating, as puffer jackets are designed to be puffy and insulating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to restore your puffer jacket and keep it looking new for years to come.

Think about the type of puffer jacket you have, storage, cleaning, wear and tear, and regular maintenance.