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Igloo Tech Talk - Header

Tech Talk: Bushbuck Igloo Waterproof Down Puffer Jacket


The Bushbuck Igloo Waterproof Puffer Jacket is our most high-spec puffer jacket to date. It's 100% waterproof, seriously durable, and ultra-warm — it's not called the "Igloo" for nothing. In this Tech Talk blog, we'll cover the key features of the Igloo as well as some general care instructions to help you get as much life out of it as possible.

The Pinnacle of Puffer Jackets

Igloo Tech Talk - Igloo Mountains

Our mission with the Igloo Puffer Waterproof Puffer Jacket was to pull out all the stops and create the ultimate outdoor puffer jacket known to man. We'd already proven we could engineer a durable puffer jacket with the Polar X. But we wanted to create a fully waterproof puffer jacket that was made for uncomfortably cold conditions. We always felt it was wrong — and totally unnecessary — that regular puffer jackets are useless in the wet. We'd managed to make the Polar X mostly waterproof, but we wanted to turn things up a notch. Our product team got to work on creating a seam-sealed solution for the down baffles. This meant no water would be able to get in through the stitching, protecting the down from the wet. We also decided to load the Igloo up with more down than our other puffer jackets to create our warmest puffer jacket to date. We wanted this to be the go-to puffer for hikers, hunters and adventurers who are exposed to freezing alpine conditions in the middle of winter — hence the jacket's name. We're really proud of what we've achieved with the Igloo and we reckon it sets the standard for durable, waterproof puffer jackets.

Igloo Puffer Materials and Features

Igloo Puffer - Down Insulation Blog

Engineering the Igloo Waterproof Puffer Jacket required us to re-imagine what a puffer jacket could be. We already had the Polar X as a starting point, but the challenge was making a fully waterproof jacket.

The Outer Layer

We'd had such great feedback on the Polar X that it made sense to stick with a durable nylon canvas face fabric for the Igloo. It's naturally water-resistant and it's plenty tough enough for bush bashing and grunt work.

The Inner Layer

This is where things start getting technical and we can't be divulging all our engineering secrets. We created a unique inner membrane for the down baffles that's fully waterproof and breathable. The inner lining of the jacket is a soft waffled ripstop nylon, which is comfortable and durable.

The Down Insulation

We wanted the Igloo to be warm and toasty in extremely cold temperatures so we loaded it with 290 grams of 800 fill power, RDS (ethically sourced) duck down. Earlier versions of the Igloo had 320 grams of down, but we found it was actually too warm for most use cases.

Waterproof Rating

Igloo Tech Talk - FuseArc

The Igloo Puffer Jacket is considered fully waterproof and has a 10,000mm waterproof rating. This is unique for a puffer jacket. We achieved this by developing what we call FuseArc Technology. Essentially, it's a way of fusing the down baffles together without using stitching, so water is unable to penetrate from the outside. Each of the down baffles are essentially watertight pockets of insulation.

The nylon canvas face fabric is naturally water-resistant, but we treated it with C6 DWR to boost its water-repellency.

Anywhere stitching was required — such as attaching the hood and sleeves — we've used a waterproof seam tape.

The Igloo has undergone extensive testing to achieve its 10,000mm waterproof rating. But more importantly, our customers have plenty of stories about how it's held up in heavy rain.

Igloo Features

Igloo Tech Talk - Features

  • Adjustable Hood: We made the hood adjustable so you can adapt the Igloo to your needs and preferences. If it's cold and wet, you can tighten the hood around your face to trap more heat in.

  • Dual Cuff Seals: We added spandex and velcro adjusters to the cuffs to prevent water rolling up your sleeves because it's pretty much the only way water can get in to this jacket.

  • Chet Pockets: There are two chest pockets for storing your essentials close at hand.

  • 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 Igloo Waterproof Puffer Jacket is our most weatherproof puffer jacket. We reckon it's probably one of the most high-performance puffers on the market. The Igloo is created for freezing cold weather and rugged conditions. It can be too warm and bulky for some people's needs. If you're after a more lightweight waterproof puffer jacket, check out the Furnace LT.

How to Wash Your Down Puffer Jacket

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.

How to machine wash your down puffer jacket

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Follow the drying instructions below.

How to hand wash your down puffer jacket

  1. 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.

  2. Rinse it out by gently squeezing out excess water. Make sure you don't wring it out as that will damage the down.

  3. Follow the drying instructions below.

How to dry your down puffer jacket

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Once it's dry, store it somewhere uncompressed until the next time you need to wear it.

  4. 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.

Down Puffer Jacket Repair Instructions

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.

How to repair your down puffer jacket

  1. Clean the area around the rip or tea using an alcohol swab or a clean cloth.

  2. Cut your repair tape or patch to a suitable size and round the edges.

  3. Apply the repair tape or patch to the rip or tear so that it's completely sealed.

  4. Continue using your puffer jacket for many more adventures to come.

How to restore your puffer jacket's waterproof coating

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).

Jonathan Carson

Jonathan Carson is a Content Writer and Copywriter at Bushbuck. He's a wordsmith who handles most of Bushbuck's website, marketing copy and oversees our blog, The Campfire. 

Outside of work, he's big on hiking and dabbles in surfing and bouldering. His favourite wilderness area in New Zealand is Nelson Lakes National Park, particularly the Blue Lake, home to the clearest known freshwater in the world.

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