Can I still find a puffer jacket in Calgary?
June 10, 2024 8:16 AM   Subscribe

We're from Atlanta, Georgia (where it's already warm), and we'll be travelling with our children to Calgary next week. The problem is that our kids have outgrown this year's winter jackets and the stores around us all have beach gear for sale instead of any remaining winter apparrel. Can anyone tell me if there's any place in Calgary where we might still be able to buy puffer jackets for them? I've checked Wal-Mart's website, but it doesn't look like they're still in stock :(. Any suggestions would be helpful, thanks!
posted by richmondparker to Travel & Transportation around Calgary, AB (17 answers total)
Response by poster: I should point out that I know it's warmer in Calgary, as well...we're headed to Banff to hike, so still want jackets for the higher elevations.
posted by richmondparker at 8:20 AM on June 10

The places to go would be:
- Mountain Equipment Co-op. Check out what they have in stock at This is a Canadian chain that is much like REI. So always lots of good all-season gear in, but not cheap.
- The Bay (kind of like a slightly more upscale Sears) may have some items in stock:

The temperature isn't bad right now, but it is cool. You could definitely get by with fleece jackets and some sort of windproof shell over it. I am always warmer if I throw a pair of tights on under my pants.
posted by sonofsnark at 8:23 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]

made mistake on answer with lack of preview
posted by LionIndex at 8:23 AM on June 10

LLBean has kid's gear on sale. Sign up with email to get a discount. They have a Canadian site and should be able to ship to where you're staying if time is tight. Rather than puffers, fleece + a rain shell is probably more useful.

This is also a great time to try your local Buy Nothing group; they excel at kids' clothing.
posted by theora55 at 8:28 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

Mountain high outfitters in Atlanta appears to have them in stock online, i would give them a call to see if still in store. You might also want to check with REI, high country outfitters and Patagonia locally to you, since hiking/outdoors specific stores usually carry things more out of season than a walmart. (But of course it probably costs more, but for higher quality).
posted by TheAdamist at 8:30 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'd second the suggestion to find an REI or other outdoorsy store in ATL and get a packable puffer jacket so it'll fit easily in your luggage and you won't have to worry at your destination.
posted by TwoStride at 10:19 AM on June 10

I was at Kohl's yesterday and they had some coats so if you want to find something local, that might work.

Also, I've had good luck going to thrift stores for stuff like ski pants/bibs/coats because 1) we're not going to use them again (the kids will outgrow them by the time we ski again) and 2) because of how kids grow like crazy, most of the stuff like that in kid sizes is often barely worn. And C) thrift stores in places like that usually have that stuff year round.
posted by dawkins_7 at 10:41 AM on June 10

In particular, for kid resale clothes in the Atlanta area I like Kid to Kid.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:02 AM on June 10

If you have a car, the Deerfoot Meadows shopping area in Calgary has sports / outdoor stores that look like they may have children's winter jackets in stock: Mark's, LL Bean, SportChek, Atmosphere. Adding a second recommendation for Mountain Equipment Co-op.
posted by Robocat at 12:02 PM on June 10

Footnoting that Mountain Equipment Company is no longer a co-op as it used to be. Somehow it voted itself to turn into ordinary retail a couple of years ago.
posted by zadcat at 1:44 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]

I don't think MEC made any kind of election. I have a low-6-digit member # and wasn't consulted.

Since the acquisition the two articles of rain gear I've bought there turned out to be unbreathable crap. But then I'm an REI member and the same goes for a rain jacket I bought there. If anyone ever invents a time machine forget the missed concerts and cheap tech stocks – I'm going back to the '80s to stock up on gortex.

And nothing wrong with getting down jackets for the kids while you're in the mountains in the summer. They'll work up a sweat while hiking, but if you're stopping for a break you'll want them to layer up in case the wind comes up, or more (use your VPN to bypass Atlanta google and look up "hypothermia"). Same with star-gazing at night.
posted by morspin at 2:01 PM on June 10

Amazon has lots of options with 1 or 2 day shipping available.

morspin, MEC is indeed no longer a co-op. The company is now privately held by Kingswood, and MEC has become an acronym for Mountain Equipment Company.
posted by keep it under cover at 4:09 PM on June 10

I was in the (Northeast Expressway) Atlanta REI yesterday. Although I didn’t look at sizes closely, they had puffer jackets in what I think was the children’s section.
posted by LiverOdor at 5:41 PM on June 10

Every REI I've ever been to always has insulated jackets, no matter the season. Maybe not super-heavy ones meant for winter, but definitely right now they'd have the light, packable kind that one might bring on a hiking trip in the mountains. Their store brand is very good and lots of it is half price right now.

There are also lots of options online at REI which you can have delivered to your local store to avoid shipping fees. If they don't fit, there's a very generous return window (90 days for non-members and 1 year for members).
posted by theory at 7:31 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

Calgary stores will sell puffs year round. Exchange rate is in your favour, only one tax (5% GST).

Decathlon has a few choices at good prices, as do MEC and Mark's mentioned above. If you will be anywhere near Market Mall, you can check out Decathlon, Atmosphere, and Sport Chek in one building.

If budget is a concern, you will be fine with a base layer, fleece, and windproof layer on top. If you are going to be outdoors, especially near the mountains, it is smart to pack an extra layer (i.e. a puff). Even in summer it cools down fast at sundown and is chilly well into the morning if you are in the trees or shadows.

Have a wonderful trip!
posted by variella at 7:53 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

I live in Atlanta, borrowing/sharing kids ski gear is huge on my local Buy/Nothing, as suggested above. Barring this, definitely Lands End or LL Bean.
posted by pearlybob at 3:10 AM on June 11

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