Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket review: a stylish multitasker fit for a variety of activities – and the bar

Lightweight and warm, the Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket is a versatile down-alternative jacket

Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket
(Image: © Kim Fuller)

Advnture Verdict

It’s the ideal puffer for winter trips if you’re planning to do a variety of activities and need a go-to outer layer or a warm mid layer, and it looks stylish in social situations too. Once Nathan puts a hooded option on this jacket, all the boxes will be checked.

Pros

  • +

    Insulation and outer shell made of recycled materials

  • +

    Alternative down is lightweight with up to 600 fill power

  • +

    Fill doesn’t clump when wet

  • +

    Outer shell is windproof and water resistant

  • +

    Zippers on fleece-lined front hand pockets and interior chest pocket

  • +

    Very packable with ideal warmth to weight ratio

Cons

  • -

    No hood

  • -

    5% feather content in the insulation makes jacket unsuitable for vegans

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Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket: first impressions

Not every puffer jacket is created equally, and the Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket (available direct from Nathan (opens in new tab)) is a great down-alternative option for anyone looking for an all-round outer layer. The 600 fill power alternative down is lightweight, recycled and water-resistant, while the Pertex shield shell is water and wind resistant (here are some more tips when it comes to choosing a down jacket).

Specifications

• List price: $200 (US)
• Weight: 495g / 17.4oz
• Materials: Outershell: 100% recycled polyester; Insulation: sustainable 95% recycled polyester, 5% feathers; Lining: 100% polyester
• Sizes: XS-XXL
• Colors:
Men’s: Dark Charcoal / Peacoat / Aster Blue / Black; Women’s: Dark Charcoal / Peacock Blue / Peacoat / Raspberry Wine / Black

An interior chest pocket is zippered so valuables stay safe, and the two zippered hand pockets on the jacket are lined with a soft fleece, so ideal for keeping your hands cozy. 

The Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket can be worn as a more sporty outer layer but also works for running errands and going out to dinner. When the weather does turn chillier, the elastic-bound cuffs create a snug fit around the wrists so wind doesn’t get through. 

This down-alternative jacket works well for daily use in colder climates and also as a warm travel companion, but annoyingly, a hooded version of the Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket is not yet available.

Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket: in the field

We tested the Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket during a winter trip to Minnesota, and found it to be lightweight and versatile. We were able to easily carry it through the airport, have it on the plane to fend off chill, wear it daily amidst cold temperatures, warm up with it before and after outdoor trail runs, and also rock it during sledding sessions. 

Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket

We really wish there was a hooded version of the Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket (Image credit: Kim Fuller)

Overall the BFF Puffer delivered more than expected. It’s good looking, but initially the jacket seems much like any other black puffy. It would be nice if the Nathan Sports BFF Puffer Jacket was available in a hooded version, but other than that it’s ideal for most situations where you need to fight chilly temps.

The warmth of this puffy jacket is supplied by 600 fill power, a sustainable and recycled down alternative (although it contains 5% feathers). The outer shell has a soft feel to the touch, while the Pertex shield provides a windproof and water-resistant barrier. We found the BFF to be very lightweight for the warmth it supplies, and since the down alternative is water resistant, there is no loss of warmth, loft or insulation when the jacket gets a little wet.

Testing this jacket during a cold Minnesota weekend also revealed the jacket’s wind resistance. One of our favorite features of the puffer is its fleece-lined hand pockets, which really helped to keep fingers warm during any to-and-from activity.

While this jacket does have a sporty look when paired with running tights or snow pants, when worn with jeans and even with dress pants, the Nathan BFF puffy comes in classic color options and is versatile enough to wear out do dinner or on the town (so if you want to keep it looking smart, here’s how to wash a down jacket and other tips for keeping your puffer in top condition.

Freelance writer