The shell is a high-end Pertex Quantum Pro, which is reasonably tough yet lightweight and weather resistant. The extended length can inhibit stride, and wearing a long coat while seated can be awkward and uncomfortable without this feature. A large, comfortable and adjustable hood does a great job of keeping you out of the weather. These include anything from overcoats to pea coats. Shortcomings of the Ghost Whisperer are that the 7Dx10D shell fabric won't stand up well to abuse, and the curious cuff design is somewhat loose around the wrist we appreciate the top-of-hand coverage, but it does allow for more cold air to enter.
Analysis and Test Results
Its look is iconic and easy to spot, usually with a hood, square pockets, wooden buttons and a unique cut and design. The parka has surged in popularity as of late. I highly recommend you pick one up in either black or green. Uniqlo Non-Quilt Down Jacket. Alpha Industries Fishtail Parka. The puffer jacket is an excellent jacket for when you want to keep warm and still look good.
The puffer jacket really leans towards the side of function because it will definitely keep you warm for those harsh Canadian winters. Keep in mind that this coat runs large and should allow plenty of room for layering, which can be a good thing but impacts sizing. Warm; excellent materials and build quality. Slightly heavier and more expensive than the Rab Neutrino Endurance. Montane makes premium performance products and the Deep Heat is no exception. First, you get 9.
The shell is a high-end Pertex Quantum Pro, which is reasonably tough yet lightweight and weather resistant. And the jacket comes with a host of other handy features for serious adventurers including a helmet-compatible hood, water resistant zippers, and a waterproof dry bag make sure to remove the jacket from the dry bag for long-term storage. Both use premium fill down but the Montane has a little more of it. The two jackets offer tons of warmth and excellent coverage around the head and face, and both are built for climbing yet have a clean enough look for everyday use.
See the Men's Montane Deep Heat. A waterproof winter parka. Pricey and fit can be a bit roomy. And some people find the hood to be a bit large and the pockets to be small for gloves. For a women's-specific model with a very similar overall design, see Arc'teryx's Patera Parka below. See the Men's Arc'teryx Therme. Super warm and great coverage. Design can be a bit polarizing. Most importantly, this jacket is super warm with 9.
For protection from snow and rain, the jacket has wax and polyurethane coatings that will help moisture bead off. And this parka offers great coverage: To be sure, the design of the Kuhl Arktik Down Parka can be polarizing.
The zippers, buttons, and shoulder panels are meant to stand out, and particularly in the Raven colorway the Carbon is a bit more muted. Tough yet looks good. Not super warm and fit is a bit snug. This burly winter parka uses fill down, which is high for its category, has a super durable denier polyester shell, and reinforced elbows to help avoid wear and tear.
And although the Whitefish is not waterproof, it resists moisture and wind fairly well. It is, however, one of the toughest models around and great for those who plan on putting their jacket through the ringer. See the Men's Outdoor Research Whitefish.
A decent value for a winter-worthy piece. Winter jackets are an expensive bunch, but budget-oriented brand Columbia offers some interesting options in this category. However, the Barlow Pass is far from perfect and you get what you pay for here. In addition, Columbia tends to run a bit big and boxy and the Barlow Pass in no exception. But we do like the feature set, which includes plenty of pockets, a generous hood with a removable faux fur collar, and even some fleece lining on the interior around the back of the neck for added comfort.
Synthetic insulation polyester Weight: By far the cheapest winter coat on this list. Heavy, stiff, and could be warmer. How is this jacket so inexpensive?
The insulation and shell of the Caterpillar Insulated Parka are straight polyester—no lightweight insulation or modern waterproof fabrics here. In addition, you get ample storage with four large front pockets and one on the sleeve.
Is this jacket for climbing mountains? A little lacking in warmth; slim fit. Starting with design, it has an H2No Performance shell on the outside, along with a removable fill down liner on the inside. Moreover, the outside is waterproof and seam taped, which results in excellent weather protection in wet snow and rain. And even the liner has a DWR treatment for use in light precipitation. What are the downsides of the Patagonia Tres Parka?
In addition, the down insert is decently warm and the outer shell does a nice job at cutting wind, but in the coldest of conditions you still will want to add layers underneath.
See the Women's Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka. Super soft liner; premium look and feel. Arms are a bit short for some people. When shopping for a down winter parka, you have a number of similar looking options from respected outdoor brands. This jacket is warm with fill down, has good length, and a super cozy hood with a removable faux fur liner. The inside of the jacket has a fleece liner that is noticeably soft to the touch, and the outside has a DWR treatment to help with light precipitation.
Add in some classy colorways, and the Montreal is a really nice all-around parka for the cold. Coming back to the all-important fit factor, a number of people have complained that the arms on the Marmot Montreal are on the short end. But if you can get the fit dialed, the Montreal is a winner. Zipper and hood are subpar. Updated for last winter, this popular parka performs well in tough weather but also looks the part for everyday wear.
Like the Tres, the Arctic II is fully waterproof to keep you dry in a range of winter weather conditions, yet also packs a decent punch in terms of warmth. Along with the good value come a few compromises. And like other products from The North Face, fit is a bit boxier than we would prefer although this can be good for layering. Clean design, easy to move in, and a good amount of down for the price.
Less leg coverage than a parka. The Down With It from Patagonia is a good-looking and versatile jacket at a very reasonable price. We like the length, which works well for city wear but also can double down for light adventuring like winter hiking and snowshoeing. What do you sacrifice by going with a jacket instead of a parka? The obvious answer is leg coverage—the Patagonia Tres and other options on this list end around the thigh, which can make a pretty big difference when wearing jeans or other non-insulated pants in cold weather if you want more length, Patagonia does offer a Down With It Parka version.
Warm, waterproof, and looks great. The sleek Patera is the whole package: The biggest hurdle in choosing the Patera Parka is price. However, you do get some serious return on your investment. The full waterproofing is a very nice feature, and few casual pieces use best-in-class Gore-Tex. You also get a tough yet smooth denier shell, which can handle everyday wear and tear much better than the thinner options above.
And we appreciate the non-puffy style of the Patera: See the Women's Arc'teryx Patera Parka. Better arm length than the Marmot Montreal. More expensive than the Montreal with inferior down fill. Both share a similar design: And both weigh just a hair over 2 pounds. In terms of differences, the Montreal has a DWR coating while the Downtown does not, and we like the length of the sleeves on the Mountain Hardwear better, which are longer than the Marmot and can accommodate a wider variety of people.
We have the Marmot ranked higher because it uses better down fill vs. If your winters are hardcore, your jacket needs to be above average, too. At a third of the cost of the Canada Goose, but still incredibly insulating, this is a natural choice for a Best Buy Award. For northerly latitudes and the coldest days, the McMurdo's down insulation, long cut, and generous hood combine to protect you during day-to-day life.
This newest iteration makes improvements that have their pros and cons but don't alter the overall scoring and award ranking. This is something you'd expect of a budget piece of equipment. The McMurdo, while warmer than many jackets in our review, isn't nearly as insulating as the Expedition. Again, this is what you'd expect at a budget price point. While bitter cold, feet of snow, and icy sidewalks may not describe winter for some, for those living in the northern latitudes in the Midwest, East Coast and Alaska, a winter-specific jacket that protects you from prolonged sub-freezing temperatures makes sense.
Enter the Canada Goose Expedition Parka. This model is the pinnacle of warmth, has abundant features, and is the coziest jacket reviewed. This is a parka for the coldest weather, designed with Arctic and Antarctic applications in mind. A portion of the sales goes to PBI and their mission of saving the polar bears and their habitats. The primary drawbacks of the Canada Goose Expedition are weight, bulk, and price.
This is a large jacket, in every way. The quality and performance are impeccable, but such specialized performance comes at a cost. This is not your everyday winter jacket. Only those exposed to truly bitter cold will justify these drawbacks. But if you need the insulation, you won't do better than the Expedition Parka. This is the gold standard among polar researchers and adventurers for good reason. Canada Goose Expedition Parka. The table above details the Overall Performance score of each winter jacket we reviewed.
Read on for specifics about how the jackets faired in each metric that helped comprise this overall score. Additional details can be found in each contender's individual review. Every purchase is an exercise in value assessment. What am I getting for what I'm paying? With winter jackets, you consider your climactic needs, your metabolism, comfort and stylistic factors, how much you'll wear it, and your budget.
Thankfully, there is a vast range of options, in terms of price and value, on the market. See the chart below to compare each jacket's score with its price.
The best values have the highest scores and the lowest prices. They show up in the bottom right corner. To see which jacket a dot represents, hover over it with your mouse. As you assess your value needs, here are a few thoughts for your consideration. First, comfort in uncomfortable conditions is a rare blessing.
The right jacket turns the gnarliest of weather into a pleasant romp through a snow globe. Suitable materials will last longer, and you will get more bang for your buck. Insulation materials vary in both price and durability. Goose down insulation keeps its loft and insulating value much longer than synthetic insulation does. Within down insulation, the rating systems describe weight and insulation value, not durability.
More expensive down is warmer per weight, but it won't necessarily last longer than less expensive down. Finally, good weatherproofing is costly. Sealed seams, tight pockets, and protected zippers take effort, design, and pricy materials. If you really want and need to guard against wet and wind, you will pay for it. Warmth is the most important metric we used to rank each competitor and is a factor of how much insulation is in a jacket, regardless of if its down or synthetic insulation.
That said, down fill feels warmer than synthetic The more insulation a jacket contains, the warmer it is. We looked at the insulation quality fill weight and quantity fill weight of each jacket and then compared it to the jacket's cut and length to gauge how the insulation is distributed.
If two jackets have an equal fill weight of 10 ounces, but one has a waist-length hem while the other has a mid-thigh length hem, they are not equally warm. The most useful measurement for warmth is, of course, comparative testing in actual conditions. We spent a lot of outside comparatively test, swapping jackets among the test team and comparing notes. The top-scoring Arc'teryx Camosun features high-quality, fill down. Such lofty, efficient down keeps the jacket's weight down and its packable size small.
This low number should not dissuade shoppers though. Using heavier, lower quality down brings the cost down and a casual parka like this doesn't need to be as light and compressible as more technical options that need to fit in your backpack. The Canada Goose Expedition Parka is filled with average quality fill down , but it has so much of it that it's the warmest model reviewed. It's also pretty bulky. The second warmest jacket earns a Best Buy award.
The North Face McMurdo is nearly an expedition parka, with the price tag of a casual jacket. It offers the best value in our test. The Patagonia Jackson Glacier also kept us warm in most wintry conditions. The Woolrich Bitter Chill deserves mention for being on the warmer side of the fleet. The Woolrich is the warmest non-down insulated piece reviewed. Woolrich insulates the Bitter Chill with a lofted batting that blends wool and synthetic fibers. Overall, jackets with synthetic insulation are not as warm as the down models.
The Arc'teryx Fission SV provides less insulation than most of the down models reviewed. This is likely because the garment has less insulation overall, though it did reinforce the idea that if you are looking for warmth, opt for down. REI's jacket is a down-insulated layering piece that has insulating value a little below that of the Arc'teryx Fission. The fleece jackets are the least insulating products reviewed. Well-suited to more moderate climates, The North Face Arrowood Triclimate is durable, versatile, and affordable, but not incredibly warm.
Insulated with synthetic fleece, it just doesn't stack up to the rest of the field, which may be just what you're looking for if you live in a warm climate.
When we talk about weather resistance, we're talking about wind and water. These jackets are thick enough to cut the wind, so you just need to look out for drafts. Longer jackets or those with ribbed hems will protect you from below. Inner cuffs and hoods will also keep warm air in and cold out. That leaves us with water. Water-resistant outer fabric helps keep you and your jacket's insulation dry in wet winter weather.
All of these models have some type of water resistance, from basic nylon with a durable water resistant DWR coating to a fully waterproof membrane layer with taped seams. These strategies provide varying degrees of protection. If your winter precipitation tends to fall as rain or wet snow instead of the West's dry powder, consider a winter jacket with a waterproof outer shell, like The North Face Arrowood Triclimate with its DryVent fabric or the Arc'teryx Fission SV that uses Gore-Tex.
These waterproof and breathable fabrics shed water faster and for much longer than a DWR treatment alone. If a jacket has an inner waterproof membrane, you can be sure the outer face fabric is treated with DWR. This knocked the jacket down in the ratings.
If you wear your jacket in lower temperatures where it tends to snow instead of rain, and if that snow is relatively dry you know who you are , then the competitors with DWR treatments such as the Canada Goose Expedition Parka , Patagonia Jackson Glacier , or the REI Co-op Down Hoodie are adequately protected.
It's not incredibly water-resistance due to its untaped seams, but it's warm enough to excel in genuinely sub-freezing conditions. Luckily, in those temperatures, precipitation is always solid, and the compromised weather protection isn't a problem. However, in our testing, the outer fabric to soaked in more snow and water than the others, making it a bit heavy and uncomfortable.
This is the cost of style. The external material is attractive, but not as weather-proof as the smooth face of something like the Marmot Fordham or the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Camosun. We dig the Haglofs Torsang Parka's weather protection. This is a fully waterproof, taped-seams rain shell with light insulation. It isn't warm enough for many winter climates, but the wet and sleety corners of North America are just the place for it. In terms of weather protection, it is similar to the Editors Choice and the Patagonia Tres.
Wintertime is uncomfortable enough. Don't put on an uncomfortable winter parka, too. Most of the models we reviewed work hard to make braving the cold and wind more forgiving.
We found a general correlation between cost and comfort.
Heavy Winter Coats
Whether you're in the market for a weather-ready parka or a topcoat you can wear to the office, we've got you covered with the 10 best coats to wear this winter. The second warmest jacket earns a Best Buy award. The North Face McMurdo is nearly an expedition parka, with the price tag of a casual jacket. It offers the best value in our test. From puffer jackets to peacoats, these are the best men's winter coats you can buy in If you need a new winter coat, these are the 8 styles you should be considering this year.