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How to choose a Down Puffy Jacket

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

800 fill, box walled vs stitched, $150 vs $400?? let’s break it down!

ask yourself:

is it going to be dry or wet conditions?

if dry, then down is the way to go

what’s the warmth needed? aka what type of adventure are you hoping to bring this down puffy on?

for an in town layer, a layer to throw on at the summit push, and a mid-layer add on than a stitch-through down construction is the way to go

stitched-through simply means the outer and inner layers are stitched together to create baffles where the down is held. this is why a lot of puffies have those horizontal lines throughout! stitched-through are usually cheaper, normally lighter and pack down smaller than box-wall.

now if you’re looking for a big layer to throw on at camp during the winter months or an expedition-type parka, box-wall is your winner.

box-walked puffies have a third layer perpendicular to the inner and outer shells, creating a 3D build. this gives the down more space to loft, making it warmer. this makes them more expensive and potentially heavier.

if you’re really trying to save weight and packability, the stitched-through will be your best bet.

in terms of fill, the higher grade of fill means more insulation. look for something 650-fill or higher, I typically always shoot for 800-fill! keep in mind, the higher grade fill (750-1000) are more compressible and last longer!

last thing (arguably should be the first thing) to think about is price! a day-to-day puffy doesn’t have to break the bank while the expedition type should be thought of more like an investment

the 4 down puffy jackets I’ve accumulated and shown here are

Outdoor Research Helium Down Hoody / 800 fill / 15.4 oz

Code THEFROZENNUGGETT gets you 20% off all Stio

Other down jackets I'd consider depending on what you are looking for:


Stio Pinion Down Pullover / 800 fill / 10 oz.

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody / 800 fill / 12.1 oz.

Cotopaxi Fuego Hoody / 800 fill / 14 oz.

Rab MicroLight Alpine / 700 fill / 14.6 oz.

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Down / 700 fill / 14 oz.


Patagonia AlpLoft Down Parka / 800 fill / 14.8 oz.

Rab Positron Pro / 800 fill / 9.7 oz.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom Parka / 800 fill / 1lb 3 oz.


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