How to Stuff a Jacket into a Self-Stowing Pocket

How to stuff a jacket into a self-stowing pocket

From lofty down and synthetic puffy coats (men’s/women’s) to lightweight wind shells (men’s/women’s), many of today’s jackets are designed to pack into their own pocket—providing compact storage for stashing in your pack and, in some cases, allowing you to hang the stuffed jacket from a climbing harness. Read on to learn how to stuff a jacket into a self-stowing pocket.

How to find the self-stowing pocket on your jacket 

The first step for packing your jacket in itself is to find its stowable pocket. 

  1. Self-stowing pockets are most easily recognized by their double-zipper tabs.
  2. Double-zipper tabs allow you to open and close the zipper from both the inside and outside of the pocket.

How to stow your jacket in a self-stowing pocket

  1. Unzip the self-stowing pocket on your jacket
  2. Turn the pocket inside out
  3. Stuff the coat completely inside the pocket 
  4. Ensure shell fabric (especially on lightweight jackets) is away from the zipper teeth
  5. Zip the pocket shut

It’s preferable to stuff jackets as opposed to folding them. Repeated folding can stress the same area of a jacket and shorten its lifespan; conversely, the randomness of stuffing better distributes wear. 

Storing a self-stowing jacket

Stuffing your favorite jacket into its own pocket is awesome for tucking into your backpack on a weeklong trek or into your car door for a car camping trip, but isn’t ideal for long-term storage, particularly for puffies. Storing down and synthetic coats compressed can affect their loft and lessen their longevity, so be sure to hang them in your closet between trips (or in the off-season) instead.


Whether you’re packing a raincoat (men’s/women’s) into its own pocket to save space in your backpack or making an impromptu pillow out of your puffy, a self-stowing coat—and the knowledge of how to use one—is handy for any outdoors person to have.

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Questions? Talk to a gear specialist.