Hands-on Gear Review

Flylow BA Puffy Review

Flylow BA Puffy
Price:  $290 List | $124.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Versatile styling. Excellent hood. Great ventilation.
Cons:  Moderately insulating. Simple construction and detailing.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Flylow

Our Verdict

The Flylow BA Puffy is a well-styled, weather resistant insulated ski and snowboard jacket. Flylow brands themselves as a bridge between ski resort demographics and the backcountry crowd. When it comes to their styling and shell jackets, that balance is easy to see.

The BA Puffy has been discontinued. If you're in search of a ski jacket that is readily available at major retailers, check out the Best Ski Jacket review to compare all of the models tested and to find one that gets you psyched.

Our testers found this jacket to be a well-built, warm and protective dedicated in-bounds piece. As compared to the Editors' Choice Patagonia Primo Down the BA Puffy is slightly less warm and slightly less weather ready. Durability seems on par and the price is less than half. As compared to the jackets in its price range, most notably the Best Buy The North Face Vortex Triclimate, the BA Puffy offers more "legit" styling and a more durable feel.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ski Jackets for Men

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter

Last Updated:
Thursday
February 20, 2014

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The Flylow BA Puffy stands out for its solid function, lightweight feel, and versatile look.

Performance Comparison


Late in a stormy day on Mammoth Mountain  testers and photographers alike tired of the "work"  we decided to wind down with some fast laps. The BA Puffy seen here pulls on quickly and virtually disappears  even on a discerning tester.
Late in a stormy day on Mammoth Mountain, testers and photographers alike tired of the "work", we decided to wind down with some fast laps. The BA Puffy seen here pulls on quickly and virtually disappears, even on a discerning tester.

Warmth


When it comes to warmth, the Flylow BA Puffy fell solidly in the middle of our reviewed jackets. It comes insulated with the widely recognized Thinsulate insulation.

Ventilation


All of the jackets in our test came equipped with some sort of dedicated venting system. The best venting jackets, aside from those offering the option to remove entire layers of the jacket, had long pit zips that can be opened in either direction. In our experience, each person prefers slightly different positioning of the pit zip opening. The Patagonia Primo Down and BA Puffy both have long pit zips with two zipper pulls on each. However, something in the construction of the rest of the BA Puffy makes the vents open wider than on the Editors' Choice winner. These wide openings seem to virtually pull in cool air when the rider is overheating. And, importantly, the vents seal right back down for wet and windy conditions.

Weather Resistance


Flylow's BA Puffy offers an excellent hood, secure cuff velcro, and a well-designed, zip-out powder skirt. Flylow's proprietary two layer Intuitive shell fabric and what tested to be an effective DWR coating augment the construction to provide excellent weather protection. One chink in the armor of the BA Puffy was the large and floppy main zipper flap. This strip of fabric protecting the main zipper, held down by velcro and magnets, comes open and catches powder snow more than other similarly built jackets in our test. The closest comparison in construction and function is the Patagonia Rubicon Rider. However, the Rubicon Rider's fabric and construction is stiffer and, as a result, the flap catches less snow.

Ski Features


Many people like matched outfits that integrate together. If you are looking for the one-piece experience without the one-piece stigma, Flylow, along with many of the other brands we tested can equip you with pants and jacket that clip together to keep the drafts out. Ironically, the Flylow Baker Bib pants do not integrate with the BA Puffy

Fit/Comfort


The BA Puffy has a loose and unrestricting fit that stays out of your way. The soft-feeling shell fabric and thin insulation moved with our testers and felt light. The sleeves are a bit short, repeatedly pulling the cuffs off of the gloves of one long-armed tester.

Style


In our opinion, and the experience of our testers, the Flylow BA Puffy nails versatile styling in a high performance package. Whether you are a leather-glove-wearing wannabe ski patroller, a pants-sagging terrain park rat, or pulling the jacket on over your race suit at the Thursday citizen series, the BA Puffy will complement your look. Our green Flylow jacket was the only jacket to earn random comment in the lift line during testing.

Best Applications


The BA Puffy is a great all-around, insulated jacket for virtually any skier or rider. The fit, style, and insulation is tuned to be versatile.

Value


Among the dedicated single-layer jackets, the BA Puffy comes in near the lower price point. Construction feels sound and the detailing is focused and spartan, in a good way. Reviews elsewhere on the web cite long-term durability and pleasure with the value the users have gotten.

Conclusion


We do not hesitate to recommend the BA Puffy for the average ski resort skier or rider. The construction is solid and design is spot on.

Other Versions


Flylow's Dolce Vita jacket is probably the closest thing to a womens version of the BA Puffy.
Jediah Porter

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 27, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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Feb 27, 2014 - 11:13pm
 
Gordon · Backpacker
The Flylow goes from a Top Pick, second only to the Patagonia, to fourth place? Dude, what's going on?


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