At a Glance
Women’s jacket with iPod integration.
(The following review is an excerpt from a Playlist article on iPod apparel; you can read the full article at the link below.)
JanSport’s black, $180 Wired Puffer Jacket for women, available in black or pink, gets its name from its “puffy” winter-coat design and the (removable) faux-fur trim around its hood. It uses the same LiveWire iPod-connectivity system as the company’s Audio and Alt Packs and Velocity Jacket (reviewed elsewhere on Playlist): A zippered pocket on the left chest holds your iPod, and the LiveWire dock-connector and headphone-jack plugs connect it to the jacket. The LiveWire control panel — which provides Play/Pause, Forward, Back, Volume Up and Volume Down buttons — is located on the outside of the jacket on the left chest, next to the jacket’s front zipper, and the jacket’s headphone jack is positioned on the inside of the jacket just behind and above the control pad. You connect your headphones to the jack and then run the cable through a loop near the jacket’s neckline so the cable isn’t dangling down the front. The control pad works consistently and is easy to use; thanks to its small button size, it doesn’t stand out too much from the design of the rest of the jacket. And because the Wired Puffer is, well, puffy, you don’t get the same lump protruding from your left chest (when you’ve got an iPod in the pocket) as you do with the men’s Velocity Jacket.
The Wired Puffer is also more fashionable than the Velocity, receiving compliments — for both style and fit — from several women who tried on the black version we tested. Like the Velocity, it provides three non-zippered internal pockets; however, the two external hand pockets are also zipper-less. The non-removable hood is lined for warmth but isn’t adjustable.
Overall, the Wired Puffer seems a bit more suited to iPod control than the Velocity, mainly because it’s designed for colder weather — when you’re less likely to want to undo your jacket to access your iPod, and when you’re more likely to be wearing gloves. (The iPod control pad works well with gloves.) It won’t keep you warm in extreme cold, but you should be comfortable in mild winter conditions.–Dan Frakes