Puffy jackets are a key component of the wardrobes of both adults and kids who spend time outdoors. They have also become a key, popular fashion item. These fluffy, toasty jackets can be found relatively inexpensively, but higher-quality jackets cost a bit more and should be maintained.
Puffy jackets can be made from synthetic materials or filled with down. So, how can you patch a puffy jacket to extend its life?
The easiest method on trail will be to use tenacious tape to cover the hole, patching a puffer on the trail can help you keep warm and maintain no loss in down. They are a sign of trail life and are badges of honor!
Although modern-day puffy jackets are made stronger than they used to be, and many are made of tough outer material, all puffy jackets, especially those that are down-filled, can still show signs of wear and tear.
If a down jacket gets damaged or torn, it is crucial that it is repaired as soon as possible. This will ensure that down does not escape the jacket, and as much as possible is retained.
Tears on clothing can happen many ways. Whether it’s a hole created by contact with a sharp surface in an office, a rip made while climbing a ladder, or one made by snagging the jacket on a rock while climbing, even the smallest scrape can damage a puffy jacket.
Wearers should not just toss the jacket out, or make an unsightly repair. There are many ways to patch a puffy jacket.
With the right techniques, a synthetic or down jacket can be repaired, extending its life for months or even years. Many quality repairs can be made that don’t even require sewing. Even people with limited equipment, money, and skills can make repairs.
For simple, if not attractive, repairs while still on an outdoor adventure, holes can be patched quickly and easily by using tenacious tape, adhesive patches, or repair tape.
Tenacious tape has a reputation on the trail as a material that can fix anything. Using tenacious tape to fix a tear in a puffy jacket is a quick and easy fix, even if it is just a temporary measure.
The first step before patching with tenacious tape, which most adventurers carry in case of emergencies during outdoor activities, is to make sure all of the down or other filling is pushed back into the hole of the jacket, to ensure that no more escapes.
The area to be repaired should then be cleaned as much as possible, preferably with an alcohol swab, if not wipe to clean off any dirt, dust, mud, grit, or other materials.
A piece of tenacious tape should be torn or cut off to cover the hole. Make sure that the outside of the jacket surrounding the tear is clean and dry before carefully applying the tape over the area of damage.
Smooth the tape as much as possible to ensure effective adhesion. While this type of repair may not look fashionable, it is a quick fix until a more permanent repair can be made.
Temporary repairs with tenacious tape should be done with as little tape as possible, as it will be difficult to remove should you choose to later.
Another repair option is adhesive patches. Premade adhesive patches can also be used to patch a puffy jacket. The same technique used with gaffer or duct tape should also be used when using an adhesive patch.
Any loose down or other fillings should be poked back into the jacket. An appropriately sized adhesive patch should then be applied.
Users should follow manufacturer instructions. Manufacturers recommend that the torn area be flattened out as much as possible before application.
In general, most patches are self-adhesive and do not require heat sealing with an iron, or any glue or adhesive to be applied.
Weatherproof repair tape is readily available online and in a variety of locations. One highly rated and popular brand is Gorilla Clear Repair Tape.
Repair tape is widely available, and there are many manufacturers that produce quality repair tape. Weatherproof repair tape comes in a variety of colors and fabrics. The most common fabrics and materials used for repair tape include regular nylon, ripstop nylon, and PVC.
As with adhesive patches and duct or gaffer tape, the filling should be poked back through the tear. The jacket should then be smoothed out around the rip.
To patch a puffy jacket, cut a piece of repair tape to size, rounding the corners. Many weatherproof repair tape manufacturers recommend rounding the corners to keep a strong seal when applying.
Rounding the edges also helps the repair tape adhere, and prevent it from lifting up or fraying. The tape should be smoothed out carefully from the middle to the edges to eliminate any creases or folds.
One type of highly recommended repair tape is Tenacious Tape. Tenacious Tape instantly seals tears, seals seams that may be leaking, acts as a shield on areas that are prone to high wear, and stops rips and tears from spreading.
This adhesive tape sticks to almost all surfaces and can be used for long-lasting and flexible repairs.
If a do-it-yourself repair isn’t up your alley, some manufacturers offer official repair services. Some repair services offered by reputable manufacturers include restitching or replacing portions of the jacket, and small hole or tear repairs.
Additionally, some manufacturers offer repair services for puffy jackets other than their own. While using an official manufacturer repair service may be costly, it ensures that the manufacturer has products available that match the damaged jacket.
If you choose to go an alternate route, or your jacket manufacturer does not offer repairs, there are specialist independent repair companies.
Many independent specialist repair companies are well-versed at repairing puffy jackets made of a variety of fabrics containing different fillings. Specialist repair companies are adept with repairing tears and rips, replacing damaged fabrics, and fixing holes.
There are simple steps that can be taken to keep puffy jackets in great shape and prolong the garment’s life. Puffy jackets, especially those that are down-filled, should not be stored crushed up. Jackets should be hung on a quality hanger, or stored flat in a drawer, but should not be compressed, or folded up.
With all puffy jackets, whether down-filled or synthetic, manufacturer cleaning instructions should be followed first and foremost. Some manufacturers may recommend dry cleaning, while others allow hand washing at home.
Washing a puffy jacket should only be done when necessary. For small stains or areas of grime, spot cleaning should be used. However, in cases of dirt, mud, grime, or other wear, washing a down jacket may be needed.
Hand washing should be the go-to choice in these situations as washing machines and detergents can quickly wear out the jacket.
Most puffy jackets, even down-filled jackets, can be dried and fluffed on the low or cool setting with some wool dryer or tennis balls. Keeping a puffy jacket clean and free from dirt and grime can increase the length of time
A good, quality jacket is an investment to be taken care of. A puffy jacket that is cared for can last for years and years. They are a key part of the wardrobes of active adventurers, adults on the school run, and cool kids around the globe.
With proper care, storage, and repairs, the life of a puffy jacket can be extended, and enjoyed for years to come.