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The Bushbuck Polar X Canvas Down Puffer Jacket is known 'round here as "The Tougher Puffer". The unique canvas outer fabric makes the Polar X much more hard-wearing than regular puffer jackets, making it an excellent choice for farmers, tradies, hunters, hikers, and anyone who wants a warm down jacket that can take a bit of punishment. In this Tech Talk blog, we'll cover the key features of the Polar X as well as some general care instructions to help you get as much life out of it as possible.
The Bushbuck Polar X Canvas Down Puffer Jacket was created to solve several major problems with puffer jackets. It all started when we noticed our friends' thin, down puffer jackets covered in duct tape and leaking feathers everywhere. We realised this was a widespread problem in the outdoor industry and set about coming up with a solution. It was clear that the traditional thin nylon that other brands were using for their puffer jackets wasn't cutting it. They could barely handle the hard knocks of everyday life, let alone rugged outdoor environments. We thought, Why not create a down puffer jacket with a more durable face fabric that can stand up to the pressures of the outdoors? The other problem with regular puffer jacket was they were useless as soon as it started raining. We thought, What's the point in a warm winter jacket that you can't wear in the wet? So our product team got to work... After months of experimentation, we came up with a winning combination of warmth, water-resistance and durability and the now famous Polar X Canvas Down Puffer Jacket was born. In 2022, we released a kids' Polar X Jacket, which is engineered to the same high standard as the adult version. A few outdoor brands have attempted to emulate the durability of the Polar X over the years, but we reckon you'll be hard pressed to find a tougher puffer.
There are many decent fabrics we could've used for the Polar X, but we really wanted to make a statement with our first durable puffer jacket.
We decided on canvas for the face fabric as it's well-known in the outdoor industry as a hard-wearing, long-lasting material. We knew it would perform in seriously challenging conditions in the wild and on the worksite. But it also just looks really cool. A lot of our customers say they wear it as a "nice" jacket for going out.
For the jacket's inner lining, we went with nylon taffeta. It's feels great to wear, but it's also durable and 100% waterproof. It's a major reason why the Polar X is so darn comfortable.
Seeing as the Polar X was our first puffer jacket and our whole mission was to leave other puffer jackets in the dust, we had to ensure it was seriously warm. We tested a few different combinations of down weight and fill power, but ended up settling on 260 grams of 800 fill power RDS duck down. We reckoned this would provide enough warmth for freezing temperatures without being too bulky for wearing on adventures. And after years of testing by thousands of customers, it turns out we reckoned right.
The Polar X is advertised as a water-resistant down puffer jacket, but it's pretty close to waterproof. Canvas is naturally water-resistant and we've also treated it with C6 DWR for additional water repellency. The nylon taffeta lining is also 100% waterproof. The only way water can get in is through the stitching as the jacket's not seam sealed. The Polar X is going to perform pretty well in the rain, but if you're wanting a fully waterproof puffer jacket you may want to go with the Bushbuck Furnace or Igloo.
We weren't creating a puffer jacket for around town wear (although it absolutely can be used around town) so we made sure to add features we knew were important to hikers, hunters, and people who work outdoors.
Pit zips: We added underarm zips to allow you to offload heat on the go. For example, even when you're hiking up a hill in freezing weather, you're still going to get hot. Rather than taking the jacket off completely, you can just open the armpit zips to regulate your temperature.
Removable hood: We made the hood removable and adjustable so you can adapt the Polar X to your needs and preferences. A lot of people don't like hoods and they're only really necessary when it's seriously cold or raining.
Spandex dual cuffs: We added spandex and velcro adjusters to the cuffs to prevent water rolling up your sleeves because it's one of the only ways (aside from the stitching and neck) that water can get in.
Quality Hardware: We've used YKK zippers, which have a reputation for long-lasting functionality. They should last for ages, just like the jacket.
The Polar X Canvas Down Puffer Jacket is one of our most popular products — and for good reason. Out of 500+ reviews, it has a 4.9 out of 5 rating. Even though we've released a few other puffer jackets since the Polar X, it still remains a favourite.
Our down puffer jackets are built to take plenty of punishment, but you’ll need to give them a wash every once in a while. Make sure to follow these instructions to keep your jacket in top shape for years to come.
Before we get to the DOs, here are a few DON'Ts.
Don't use fabric softener: Fabric softener and regular laundry detergent will strip the natural oils from the down fibres, making them less effective. We recommend using one that's designed for down such as Granger's Down Wash.
Don't dry clean: The chemicals and process are too intense for down jackets.
Don't wring your jacket out: It might be tempting to give it a squeeze when it's heavy with water, but resist the urge. You're just going to ruin the integrity of the down.
Don't use a top-loader with agitator: A lot of outdoor brands say this. We're pretty sure our puffer jackets are tough enough to cope on a gentle cycle, but it's probably safer to use a front loader or top loader without an agitator.
Wash your jacket at 30°C on a gentle cycle using a gentle detergent, ideally one that's made for down. If your machine has an "extra rinse" option, use that.
Make sure to skip the spin cycle (the last stage of the cycle). It's better to drip dry your down jacket or dry it in a machine.
Follow the drying instructions below.
In a sink or large bucket, soak your jacket in warm water (about 30°C) for an hour with a gentle detergent, ideally one that's made for down.
Rinse it out by gently squeezing out excess water. Make sure you don't wring it out as that will damage the down.
Follow the drying instructions below.
We recommend using a machine dryer. Turn your puffer jacket inside out and set the dryer to the lowest heat. You can chuck in 2-3 tennis balls or dryer balls as they help to fluff up the down as it drys.
Check your jacket every 30 minutes or so to make sure it's drying evenly and the down baffles are starting to puff up again. It might take a few hours for the jacket to dry completely.
Once it's dry, store it somewhere uncompressed until the next time you need to wear it.
Alternatively, you can let your puffer jacket drip dry by laying it flat on a drying rack, ideally in the sun or a warm room. However, we recommend putting it in a dryer at the end so that the down gets nice and fluffy again.
Our down puffer jackets are much tougher than most, but they're not indestructible. If you get a small rip or tear in your puffer jacket, follow the instructions below to repair it yourself and keep it in action for a whole lot longer.
You'll just need to get hold of a gear repair patch or some ripstop nylon repair tape. These solutions are super heavy-duty and are used to repair the likes of tents and boat sails. They should only cost about $10 and they're handy to have in your pack so you can repair your jacket immediately.
Clean the area around the rip or tea using an alcohol swab or a clean cloth.
Cut your repair tape or patch to a suitable size and round the edges.
Apply the repair tape or patch to the rip or tear so that it's completely sealed.
Continue using your puffer jacket for many more adventures to come.
All of our puffer jackets are treated with a DWR water-repellant coating, which can wear out over time. To restore the water-resistant or waterproof qualities of your puffer jacket, you can use Granger's Clothing Wash and Repel Waterproofing, or a similar product, when you wash your puffer jacket (see wash instructions above).