Woman in field wearing pink down jacket

How to Care for a Down Jacket

Down jackets often accompany us on our adventures. After standing up to the rigors of the trail, the slopes and untold campsites, puffy coats can start to show wear. You might be facing:

Or maybe you want to know how to properly store your down jacket to maximize its warmth and lifespan?

Here are some tips on taking proper care of your down jacket.

feathers poking out of a jacket

Sometimes the stiff quills of individual down feathers can poke out through the shell fabric of your trusty jacket. Don’t panic – these down plumes can easily be returned to their home inside the jacket without complicated repairs.

  1. First, resist the temptation to pull the feather out.
  2. Grip the offending feather from the opposite side of the jacket’s face and carefully tug it back inside.

Pulling out a feather can create a larger hole which could become a problem later. By using this method, you can minimize any damage to exterior fabric.

holes in a down jacket

If you do end up with a small hole in your down jacket, you can use a product like Seam Grip or other types of seam sealer or fabric glue to bond the edges of the hole together and repair your jacket.

For larger tears, a fabric repair tape product such as Tenacious Tape is more suitable. Make sure to cut the fabric tape larger than the hole you’re trying to repair and round the edges as much as possible to help reduce possible peeling. (Trying to sew a patch on a down jacket is not recommended. Using a standard needle and thread on your jacket’s face fabric can create more holes over time).

stains on a down jacket

The duck and goose feathers that make up down insulation vary in color. Sometimes, darker colored plumes can be seen through the exterior fabric of lighter colored jackets. These dark feathers can appear to be stains.

You can move the insulation around inside your jacket to get the darker-colored down feathers away from the surface fabric with a little hand-massaging. If you find this situation is bothersome, you may want to consider a darker colored jacket.

If you find an actual stain, you may be able to use a down-safe surface cleaner to clean the spot without necessarily washing the jacket.

If spot-cleaning and feather rearrangement doesn’t help, we’ll show you how to safely wash your down jacket.

how to store a down jacket

Down is highly compressible so your jacket may come with a stuff sack or a storage pocket. While squeezing your jacket into a tight little package may work well for backpacking or traveling, it’s important to avoid leaving a down jacket compressed for long periods.

The best way to store your jacket is the simplest:  put the jacket on a hanger in your closet.

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Questions? Talk to a gear specialist.