London-based outerwear startup Vollebak aims to change the down jacket game with an "Indestructible Puffer."
With enough wear and tear, the feather spines in most puffer coats will inevitably poke through surface layer, leading to that telltale trail of tiny feathers whenever you put it on. Vollebak has solved that annoying problem by constructing their jacket from something called Dyneema, which, according to the company, is currently the "single strongest fiber known to man." Used in everything from bulletproof panels to artificial limbs, the polyethylene material is 15 times stronger than steel on a weight-for-weight basis.
What's more, the Dyneema threads become five to ten percent more rigid as the temperature drops at -58 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Hi Consumption, the jacket is rated for temps as low as -140 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it'll keep you warm in even the most dire situations. Its heat-retaining black color, triple-lining, enlarged baffles, hood and high collar are all also designed to perform in ultra-cold climates.
Instead of traditional bird down, the lining is stuffed with hollow synthetic fibers sourced from half-liter recycled plastic bottles, creating millions of heat-trapping air pockets. A pair of chest pockets are large enough for wallets, cards, passports or keys, while the side pockets are lined with fleece to keep your hands warm with or without gloves on. To cinch everything up, there's a heavy-duty front zipper can be closed from the top or bottom and a military-grade Cordura pull tab on each wrist.
The trade off here is weight. While most puffer jacket weights are measured in ounces, the Indestructible Puffer tips the scales at a 5.5 pounds. It also costs a hefty $995, but hey, you get what you pay for.