Kids Puffers: Synthetic vs Down Jackets – How to choose?

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So, here we are – that time of year again! It’s cooling down, but all your little adventurer wants to do is get outside and play. The only problem is, they’ve grown out of their old winter jacket, and choosing a new one can be quite a task – almost as hard as convincing them to actually wear one!

Kids Pulsar Jacket in Fuchsia

The best kids puffer jackets should of course be warm – but it also needs to be comfortable. Little ones are constantly moving, and if they feel restricted, they’re not going to want to wear it.  You need something that offers enough warmth that you won’t need to layer multiple heavy garments underneath it.

The first decision on kids puffers you’ll have to make is between down and synthetic insulation. While both offer a great level of warmth, which one you select should really depend on where your child will wear it most.

Astro Hooded Kids Puffer Jacket in Fuchsia

Hanging out in her Astro Hooded Kids Puffer and Pom Pom Beanie

We’re here to break it down for you with some helpful tips to help you make an informed purchase so your favourite mini explorers will be warm and cosy throughout their chilly season adventures.

Down vs Synthetic Kids Puffer Jackets

Kids Down Jackets

Simply put, down will always offer the best warmth-to-weight ratio. It’s the perfect insulator for warm kids jackets such as those in our Astro down range, because not only is it ultra-comfortable and perfect for chilly conditions, but it’s also super compressible and will take up less room in kids backpacks.

Many kids dislike being restricted by multiple layers – and convincing them to put on a jacket can often be met with loud protests. Kids puffer jackets are great because they offer such an excellent level of warmth that multiple heavy under-layers are not usually necessary.

One thing to keep in mind with kids down jackets is that if you them wet, their feathers can clump together and lose their ability to maintain warmth.  Little adventurers, of course, love to play in all kinds of weather – whether they’re running around on a mild afternoon, jumping in puddles or having snow fights. However, while a kids puffer jacket will handle some brief and light showers, it’s best not to  have them wear it if it’s likely to become very wet.

Exploring in their Kids Mini Pulsar Hooded Puffer Jackets, our choice of synthetic jackets

Down also has specific cleaning requirements. When properly cared for, these jackets can last for many years – they could even be passed down to little brothers or sisters when outgrown. However, it’s important to only wash these jackets when necessary – not after each use. For that reason, they’re not ideal for messy activities such as painting at school and muddy winter soccer games.

Kids Synthetic Jackets

Down jackets are considered the ultimate winter warmer, but there are some synthetic alternatives that come very close to offering the same warmth-to-weight ratio as down. Perfect for kids that just aren’t into the ‘puffy’ nature of down jackets, synthetic options such as our Kids Mini Pulsar Hoody are often favoured by particularly active youngsters because they don’t feel as bulky on. However, you may need an extra layer on underneath to achieve the same warmth you’d get with a down jacket.

We use PrimaLoft® in our synthetic insulated jackets – this ultra-fine polyester microfiber is super soft, lightweight and reasonably packable. Like down, it will keep your little ones warm by trapping heat in its millions of tiny air pockets. However, the main difference is that PrimaLoft® retains up to 90% of its insulating abilities when damp. Synthetic insulation is also much easier to clean than down – simply put it through the washing machine on a gentle wash cycle. Its easy-clean nature will appeal to mums and dads whose little adventurers regularly come home with dirty clothes after playing outside.

Kids Synthetic Puffer Jacket - Mini Pulsar

Synthetic Kids Puffer Jacket – Hooded Mini Pulsar

Why choose down?

Why choose synthetic insulation?

✓ Incredibly warm – don’t need as many layers underneath.

✓ Compressible – easy to pack into school bags.

✓ Renewable resource.

✓ Softer feel conforms to body for maximum comfort & warmth.

✖ Loses ability to insulate when wet.

✖ Special cleaning requirements.

✓ Good level of insulation.

✓ Retains over 90% of insulating capability when wet.

✓ Fast-drying.

✓ Easier to wash.

✖ Lower warmth for weight than traditional down.

✖ Not as compressible as down.

Kids Astro Hooded Down Jacket - Diagram

Kids Astro Hooded Down Jacket – Diagram

Kids Mini Pulsar Hooded Jacket - Diagram

Kids Mini Pulsar Hooded Jacket – Diagram