Grateful For: Puffy Jackets

I once heard a comedian say that he didn’t have a problem with bumper stickers because they were a shortcut that screamed, “hey, let’s never hang out.” 

Spotted above: The North Face puffy jacket in Denali backcountry.

Spotted above: The North Face puffy jacket in Denali backcountry.

I don't know how I feel about bumper stickers but if you’ve got A) the confidence (humility) to rock an expensive trash bag in public B) an inkling to purchase products that enable cold weather outings, mountain expeditions, campfire talks or other bad assery, you’re my kind of people.

All those dry-cleaned, perfectly creased blazers and sport coats that only come out once a year? Nah. I’ll take coffee crusted, elbow scraped, campfire cologned, snot nosed cuffs and all the deeper glory of a well-worn puffy jacket. These awkward contraptions fit inside pockets, exist in every color under the sun, and cover the backs of quiet kings and queens who conquer mountains and play near the stars. These puffy contours ebb and flow like the pulse of adventure, they climb and fall like the soothing backdrops that clear our minds. These jackets weigh next to nothing but damn they’re resilient. They’re the swish-swooshing synthetic armor of wanderlust, the purveyors of extra hours outdoors, and they’re often a dead giveaway that you’re in great company.

It might be a guy in the corner of a coffee shop or that girl in I.T., maybe the professor who rides his bike to campus or the lady who always walks her dogs at sun up. Chances are, if they’re rocking a puffy coat, there’s a good opportunity for shared dreams and adventurous outings. They’re a shortcut saying, “Hey I’ve done some things & I’ve seen some stuff; I’m ok with a little dirt under my fingernails; I’m drawn to the ocean; I don’t care what’s in your bank account, I'd rather hear about your memories; That sounds crazy, but we should try it; Sure, I’ll wake up that early to go there; I haven’t but I know someone who could help; Sure you can crash at my place; Yeah, I’ve got your back. Life's definitely about more than spreadsheets.”

Puffy jackets unite.