In my opinion, there's performance gear and, well, luxury performance gear. The former is the stuff novices wear, whether planning hikes in colder places or dressing for daily life in an outdoors-centric city. It's functional, wallet-friendly and typically the product of known, reputable brands, like Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear or Cotopaxi. To put it nicely, it's crunchy — what the unfussy find fashionable — but that doesn't mean it's bad. In fact, you can find options from each brand in our buying guide to down jackets.
But there are other options out there — namely in the "fashion" space, where jackets are described less by their function and more by their aesthetics. Case in point? Fashion brands' tendency to call down jackets puffers, instead of down jackets. This subtle linguistic switch often signals technical inferiority, at least at lower price points.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, though, you'll find plenty of pricy (but impressively warm) jackets. Options from Canada Goose, for example — the quintessential Canadian luxury coat brand with famous (and filthy rich) fans aplenty. But there's another Canadian brand at this level, albeit only as of late: Nobis, which was co-founded in 2007 by former Canada Goose VP Robin Yates. His brand's jackets are similarly sleek and modern, but with fresher energy and a logo that's less recognizable — just look at the Supra Performance Puffer.
At least that was the feedback I got from friends when I wore it out: "Who makes this?" one asked. "Is this Lulu?" another implied, although I'd argue Yates would take that as an insult. There is something undeniably athleisure about the Supra, though, whether it's its gray-ish hue or its elasticated neck and cuffs. That being said, it isn't just show — it does perform.
Nobis Supra Performance Puffer Review
- Origin: Canada
- Temperature Rating: -22 degrees Fahrenheit
- Fill Power: 650
- Down: Canadian origin white duck down
- Length: Hip
- Waterproof: Yes (DWR finish + Nobis laminate membrane)
- Care: Machine washable
What's Good About the Nobis Supra Performance Puffer
It's incredibly warm, and well-equipped to keep you dry.
Rather than follow industry-wide standards like fill power, a pillar principle by which down jackets are (in a way) graded, Nobis uses a proprietary system it calls Down Density Indicator. On this scale, the Nobis Supra Performance Puffer is equipped for temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit. That's nearly 10 degrees colder than comparable Canada Goose jackets are graded for.
That being said, this isn't a "lightweight" jacket. It uses a minimum of 80 percent premium Canadian origin white duck down insulation, which is only makes up one part of its heat retention and waterproof protection systems. There are five components to the Nobis Supra Puffer: the Nobis laminate, which is a breathable but wind- and waterproof membrane; the seam sealed edges; the aforementioned duck down fill; a free-hanging down-proof liner that keeps the insulation in place and distributing heat properly; and the water-repelling DWR finish.
These work elements work in tandem to keep you both comfortable and dry, even at a higher overall weight. It doesn't pack down too well, nor would I want it to be what I wear should I ever scale Everest. (Spoiler alert: I won't.) I like Nobis's Supra Puffer because it's warm, sure, but because it's a fashionable luxury jacket, too — one that competes with better-known brands in its competitive set.
The magnetic pockets are a plus.
When it truly cold conditions, you're probably wearing gloves, which makes pockets you have to unbutton or unsnap entirely impractical. The big bucket pockets on the front of the Supra, however, open and close magnetically, with two invisible anchors on the inner panel.
Like a fidget spinner, they're fun to flip open and closed, and you probably won't exhaust them any time soon. I haven't had them accidentally open on me once, and even in torrential rain, what's inside stays dry.
The hood helps block it all out.
When up, the hood is a hell of a hideout. It's both non-removable and down-filled, meaning it makes quite the statement. But that's okay, especially in places where you really do need the hood. Often, I find myself needing both a beanie and my hood, possibly even the hood of a sweatshirt, too. With this jacket, though, the hood is more than enough on its own, making defrosting my ears upon arrival a thing of the past.
The smaller details make this puffer well worth the price.
Often, when I venture out in too weak of a coat, I find I'm most cold at my neck and wrists, where the jacket misses the mark most. On the Supra, however, there are tight, elasticated cuffs, and a jersey collar reminiscent of the ones you find on bomber and varsity jackets. It wraps tightly around the base of your neck, essentially where most tapered haircuts end.
These alone, combined with the magnetic pockets, the plush hood and the fact that it's fully machine washable, make this a serious upgrade over similarly simple styles from, say, Everlane or even Aritzia.
What's Not Ideal About the Nobis Supra Performance Puffer
The jacket is hard to wear zipped all the way up, unless the hood is up too.
While wearing the jacket fully zipped seems like the best way to stay warm, it's unfortunately uncomfortable in this use case — that is, however, unless you wear the hood up, too. At least for me, if you wear the jacket fully zipped, the panel that juts up over your chin is simply too in the way. It presses against my lips, gets tucked under my chin and snags on the facial hair that I do have (which isn't much, to be honest).
If I put the hood up, however, it's as comfortable as can be, even if it's a little insulating. I have to take the hood down when I enter stores or get in the car, since keeping an eye out for fellow shoppers or seeing out of my sideview mirrors prove difficult with it up.
It has an undeniable athleisure slant.
Just as I probably wouldn't ever wear a Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser with sweatpants, I probably wouldn't ever wear my Nobis Supra Puffer with double-knee work pants or even trusty blue jeans. It absolutely looks best when paired with similarly synthetic trousers. I've found success wearing it with performance chinos from Flint and Tinder, hiking pants from Pleasures and even flared sweatpants from Pangaia. My Levi's jeans, though, looked unbelievably out of place, especially in contrast to the semi-black model I've been wearing. (It's not really black, but more gun mental or grey).
Nobis Supra Performance Puffer: Verdict
If you're seeking a sleeker alternative to more abundant, and overtly-branded brands, albeit at a higher price point, this is where to look. They're a reputable brand with insiders, even if they're not so known at the commercial level. But they compete technically, and I think they make — see: the Supra Puffer — good-looking outerwear.
This model in particular is rated for temperature drops all the way down to negative-20-degree Fahrenheit, and the finer details — elasticated cuffs, a bomber collar — help keep heat in, on top of the duck down, windproof membrane and sealed seams. The best part about this Nobis jacket, though, is that it's all of the functional elements in a premium package.