Insulated with fill-power white duck down, we were super snug and cozy walking in the Kensington Parka around Lake Tahoe on a blustery day. To help you decide, we assess each jacket for warmth, weather resistance, comfort, style, features, and durability. We also noticed in stormy weather internal cuffs did a great job at keeping precipitation out. Insulated handwarmer pockets are an excellent place to keep cold hands or gloves, and most have a fleece-like liner.
A parka's cut has a significant impact on its comfort. A meticulously designed jacket like the Arc'teryx Camosun Parka fits most bodies better than a generic square-cut design. A longer hem, which many of these parkas use, also keeps the waist from riding up and exposing you to drafts. A notable exception is our Best Buy Marmot Fordham. Despite its bargain price, every tester who tried on the Fordham was impressed to find that it's more comfortable than the competition.
There is also something of a correlation between comfort and warmth. The biggest jackets we tested are the warmest, but they are also the most confining. Lots of insulation and an extended cut keep the heat in and make for a large package.
This bulky package limits your range of motion, also impeding your comfort. The more comfortable parkas reviewed, like the Arc'teryx Camosun , also have elastic rib knit cuffs, which seal out drafts and snow. Unless you cinch them down around your gloves, velcro-closed cuffs aren't as protective and comfortable as the elastic versions. The rest employ velcro cuffs.
We love the cozy feel of fleece lining, especially when it lines pockets and chin covers. When cinched tight, it works as intended to hold in warmth, making you feel like you're at home in front of the fire, albeit with some tickles to your cheeks.
The soft, down-sweater style construction of the OR Whitefish is far more comfortable than it appears. It looks like a rigid "barn coat" style jacket. However, the construction is tailored and materials selected such that you have all the range of motion you need and a light feeling sort of insulation.
Hoods, multiple hand warmer pockets, two-way zippers, and cuff closures work together to protect you from frigid environments.
A hood is mandatory in nasty winter weather, and while it is not a substitute for a warm hat, it certainly makes life a lot nicer. Ideally, these hoods will be highly adjustable to allow for a customizable and secure fit. The best hood in our test is found on the chart-topping Canada Goose Expedition.
The hood is warm, large, and can be cinched down securely and comfortably. The stiff brim also keeps the hood almost out of your field of view.
This is unfortunate, as the latest hood is compromised enough that warmth and weather protection suffers. If you leave the removable fur ruff on and don't have to move your head much, the McMurdo's hood effectively seals out the weather.
Otherwise, the more sophisticated hoods of the Arc'teryx and Patagonia jackets are at the head of the pack, literally. The Woolrich Bitter Chill has a roomy and cozy hood. Only the interior layers of the 3-in-1 jackets do not come with any hood, meaning that a warm hat is necessary. Insulated handwarmer pockets are an excellent place to keep cold hands or gloves, and most have a fleece-like liner. The Arc'teryx jackets have the best hand warmers. All of these feature wrap-around fleece lining.
This not only means that your hand is insulated while in the pocket, but that there is no draft when the pocket is open. The next best hand warmer pockets, like those on the REI Down Hoody , put the user's hand between the outer insulation and the wearer's body.
The pockets are uninsulated, but they are fleece-lined, and there are four of them! With a set at chest level and waist level, there is a hand warming option for every posture. The latest version still has four fleece-lined handwarmer pockets, but the upper, chest-level ones are now situated further from the center zipper.
This means that you have to contort your shoulders and elbows to get your hands into them. So much so, that these pockets aren't comfortably usable. Nonetheless, the jacket is incredibly worthy. We wish that the jackets featuring a single layer of fabric protecting the hands in a warming pocket had a more sophisticated design.
The Canada Goose models, for instance, both have uninsulated hand pockets. When wearing a trench-coat-length parka, the need for two-way zippers becomes apparent. The extended length can inhibit stride, and wearing a long coat while seated can be awkward and uncomfortable without this feature.
The Haglofs Torsang Parka is a long coat with a separating zipper on the bottom. Getting this zipper started is annoying, but once rigged it runs smoothly.
Cuff closures can be simple elastic closures, a snap closure, or Velcro, but a good winter parka needs them. They seal out the snow and cold and integrate well with gloves. Open cuffs with internal gaskets, like those on the Arc'teryx Camosun and Woolrich Bitter Chill , combine fashion and function. The Haglofs Torsang has soft inner gaskets with velcro closed outer cuffs. This is perhaps the best of both worlds. Other features that may be important to you include internal phone pockets with headphone ports, skirts to seal out the cold, or built-in face warmers.
We liked the feature set on the Canada Goose Expedition Parka. It has almost a dozen pockets, a snow skirt, and a drawcord waist, not to mention a fur-trimmed hood. Both come with an array of pockets, including an internal Napoleon pocket referencing the famous pose that has a headphone channel, so your electronics stay dry.
Other jackets, like the REI Co-op Down , are bare-bones models with little more than two hand pockets. Our personalities show through our clothing choices, winter jackets included. This review includes parkas that could be worn to a nice restaurant and a Broadway show, and others that are clean and simple but are more at home walking the dog. While technical jackets might be at home in the mountains, they are easily worn in urban settings and can let some of your outdoorsy personality show through.
Casual urban parkas don't usually work the other way. They are likely missing crucial elements for safe winter adventurings, think hoods or full waterproofing.
Most of the models reviewed have an extended cut, which adds warmth and weather resistance. It also gives them a different look than the waist-length athletic cuts that most backcountry-inspired jackets have. We liked the style of the Patagonia Jackson Glacier and Arc'teryx Camosun , which are both stylish enough to dress up but also perform well while snowshoeing or ice skating. The dapper Woolrich Bitter Chill scores well in this category as well.
Across the board, we tested different "looks" to find something for everyone. Our newest jackets are polarizing in terms of fashion. Except for the OR Whitefish. Its subtle style is unanimously appreciated. Our most fashion-conscious tester roundly approves of the look of the Whitefish.
This same tester did not like the look of the Haglofs Torsang. This tester's summary of the Torsang was as follows — "It looks like a tube. You look like a blood sausage". Not all testers are so disapproving of the Torsang's style, but this opinion is strong enough to be worth noting. With few exceptions, quality winter outerwear is expensive.
For a quality winter parka, expect to invest. On the upside, that investment will pay off for a few years of consistent use, depending on your activity levels. Are you going to be in contact with razor-sharp winter climbing gear, like ice axes?
Or will you only be using the parka to get from home to the bus stop all winter? After investing a large sum of money in a winter jacket, we want to feel like our investment is protected, so we like the lifetime guarantees offered by companies like Canada Goose and Patagonia , who stand by the craftsmanship and materials of their products.
One of the most critical durability considerations is a jacket's outer fabric. Solid, heavy-duty, canvas-like exterior materials can withstand more abuse than the thinner shell of, say, the REI Co-op Down Hood. Zippers, snaps, and Velcro get a lot of use, so we looked at these closures to make sure they are durable enough. We gave our highest score in this category to the Canada Goose Expedition Parka. The large zippers, durable outer material, and quality construction make this jacket last.
Similarly, the Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber is quite rugged. We are concerned about the durability of the technical models tested. These are frequently around sharp ice climbing tools, and the thin shell on the REI Co-op Hooded won't hold up well to a wayward ice screw or axe. Quality options like the Arc'terxy Camosun are less worrisome. It didn't scuff or abraid when loading wood or tossing skis over the shoulder. A winter jacket needs to do a lot of things. And it needs to do them well.
For all around, day-to-day wear, comfort, fashion, and protection need to align in a the whole is greater than the sum of its parts kind of way. The search is difficult. We hope that our efforts here help you. We know that many will take our initial recommendations and purchase an award winner. We also know that many are digging deeper into the information. We are happy to oblige readers on every level, as well as to take your feedback on how we can better help you make your choices.
Select a good winter jacket, hunker down, and enjoy the changing seasons. The Best Winter Jackets for Men of Displaying 1 - 5 of Updated September We justed revisited our selection and added in some familiar old products and some new gear. Currently, we're on the hunt for a synthetic Editors Choice counterpart. We purchased the Haglofs Torsang with this in mind, following up on exciting online reviews. What we found was excellent wet weather performance, but a style, warmth rating, and fit that just didn't light our fire.
We're holding off on granting this second Editors Choice award, but we're out there looking. Patience is a virtue in pursuit of the best gear on the planet. See all prices 4 found. See all prices 2 found. A selection of tested jackets. From time to time we add in new jackets and reconfirm our impressions of older ones.
Clockwise from upper left: The Canada Goose coyote fur hood lining is controversial, it's also really warm. Down Fill Power and Fill Weight — As we discuss more in our Buying Advice article, higher down fill power numbers denote higher quality down feathers. This translates into lighter, warmer down fill that is also more compressible. Ultimately though the amount of insulation, not the quality , is what determines a jacket's warmth. The amount used, usually measured in ounces, is described by a jacket's fill weight.
Manufacturers usually advertise a jacket's fill power but not its fill weight. To get a jump on winter jacket testing we took evening motorcycle rides in mountainous autumnal temperatures to simulate colder, more rugged conditions. We eventually got into some rain and snow as well. Removable faux fur lining and an integrated facemask help you stay toasty when wearing the McMurdo III. Despite its slim appearance, the Editors' Choice-winning Arc'teryx Camosun Parka is very warm, thanks to body-mapped down and synthetic insulation.
Wheather you choose a DWR treated jacket or a layered shell with a waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex and a DWR coating on the outer fabric, you have to take good care of it to keep it waterproof. Detergents strip DWR treatments from the fabric but letting the jacket's get dirty makes the waterproofing less effective.
When you DWR finish wears off they all will , use a wash-in or spray-on waterproofing to restore your winter jacket's weather resistance. A large, comfortable and adjustable hood does a great job of keeping you out of the weather.
If a jacket claims to be waterproof, make sure that the seams are fully taped. Stitches punch tiny holes in the fabric. If they are not taped, they become an easy entry for moisture. The ski skirt on the Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka seems odd since you wouldn't want to hit the slopes in this sleeping bag of a jacket.
But it works wonders to keep drafts at bay. Fleece linings are comfortable, but can be binding. Haglofs mitigates the issue by lining the lower hem and the sleeves with smooth, light nylon. Comfortable knit cuffs keep snow out and your wrists warm. Even if you aren't "working out" in a winter jacket, some range of motion is helpful.
Here, lead test editor watching elk in Yellowstone National Park. If you lose anything while wearing the Expedition, it's not the jacket's fault.
Patagonia Jackson Glacier has one of the best hoods in the review. The McMurdo has both chest mounted hand warmers, as used here, and waist level ones. Two-way zips, like the one found on the Haglofs Torsang Parka, are super useful.
Cuffs like these on the Torsang jacket hold winter winds at bay. Limited features, like the two pockets and a hood on the REI Down Hoodie, keep things simple but don't fight the weather as effectively as more elaborate options. For some, fashion is more important than practicality, but for this review, we focused on both.
We tested a range of contenders with various kinds and levels of insulation, like the knee-length Marmot Montreaux , insulated with plush fill-power down, or the lightweight synthetic Arc'teryx Darrah.
The models we tested delivered varying levels of comfort. Specific comfort features that attributed to high scores were thick and insulating hoods like on the Marmot Montreaux and the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. Plush down that was warm and not restricting was also taken into consideration, such as the down found on the Rab Deep Cover Parka.
The Marmot Montreaux was exceptionally comfortable, despite being insulated with plush down from our head to above the knee; it's also very cozy and warm, which allowed us to be content in the frigid outside elements. The torso, cuffs, pockets, and collar are also lined with fleece; these subtle, but vital features, add a cozy and warm touch. Last but certainly not least, the Canada Goose Camp Hooded earned a perfect score in this metric, provided us with enough comfort to sail through the winter.
You may not realize how important a warm hood is until you try on a contender that doesn't have any insulation at all, like the Patagonia Tres Down Parka ; however, there is enough room underneath the hood for a beanie. Our head to be noticeably colder in stormy or freezing conditions, versus when we were wearing a model that had a toasty hood. Another factor that was important in measuring comfort was mobility.
Jackets that ran small, or were tight on the shoulders, like the Arc'teryx Darrah , weren't as comfortable to wear because they were restricting and hard to fit another layer underneath. Alternatively, a jacket that is too tight or too loose may be restricting, distracting, and not as comfortable as it could and should be. If it's too big for your body, it may not be trapping heat properly. We encourage you to take the time to make sure you are buying a jacket that fits your body type.
A durable jacket has the potential to last you multiple seasons. Often that means having to dish out extra money for better quality construction, but at least you'll know you are getting your monies worth. So what makes a jacket durable? To us, durability means that the jacket can handle what it is intended to do, plus some, with quality construction that will last for years to come. We tested jackets that had soft, polyester or nylon DWR shells, as well as thick, burly two-layer waterproof fabrics.
Obviously, in most cases, the heavy duty waterproof fabric is going to be more durable and will protect against snags and tears more than the DWR shells. If you are someone that plans on adventuring to new levels in their winter jacket, a heavy duty durable coat will be right up your alley. The equivalent of snow bunny armor, the Canada Goose Kensington is highly durable and attractive and is the only jacket to score a perfect 10 out of 10 in the durability metric.
The water-resistant polyester fabric almost feels impenetrable to snags and tears. The lack of stitching on the outer shell helps make this jacket more durable, and this is a model that will last you for years to come. In fact, we'd venture to say it's a solid investment. We loved the Patagonia Tres Down Parka ; however, when we were zipping the outer shell into the down layer, the down kept getting caught in the zipper, and we had to take our time.
There's potential to snag the down on the zipper, compromising the down layer. Fortunately, if you take your time, you can avoid this issue.
The two-layer waterproof fabric on the outer shell is what makes this jacket very durable. Patagonia's signature H2No breathable, waterproof, and stretchy fabric seems almost impenetrable and doesn't have much exterior stitching; because of this, we don't see much room for snags occurring. We tested this jacket in the shower, and the outer shell did a stand-up job repelling water, earning it a near perfect 9 out of We noticed minimal down feathers escaping from the Patagonia Tres Parka's down layer.
While we only tested this jacket for two months, we can tell you that if too much down escapes, the loft and warmth will start to diminish, which will affect your winter investment. If a jacket has a lot of stitching on the outer shell, there is potential for a snag to occur. The Patagonia Tres had a sturdy, durable outer shell that was ready to withstand anything that we threw at it.
Finicky zippers seem to be a common issue with some of the jackets we tested; for example, the primary zipper on the Arc'teryx Darrah gave us problems when we tried to zip it up. The Arc'teryx Patera is highly durable, despite its finicky zipper.
The outer shell is 2-layer Gore-Tex, 75D polyester with DWR treatment and is waterproof, windproof, and breathable fabric. We found the outer shell to be very durable against snags, due to the lack of exterior stitching.
When tested in high winds and heavy rain, this jacket was comparable to the Patagonia Tres Down Parka regarding their level of durability. One of the most overlooked but crucial features when buying a winter jacket is the hood. A thickly insulated hood makes a huge difference in cold weather, as opposed to a thin non-insulated hood.
For someone living in a climate that gets heavy snow and cold temps, a hood with thick insulation and faux or real fur will protect your face and keep you warm. We understand that the real fur can be controversial and not for everyone. Feel free to read more about this in our Sourcing Ethics section of our buying advice.
The Canada Goose Shelburne Parka offers an oversized adjustable hood for an even tighter fit on those extra windy days.
Detachable hoods are common, and offer versatility, but what if you get caught outside in a storm without it? There were certain features we loved, like fleece-lined pockets. Whether the exterior pockets were lined on one-sided or both, fleece pockets are a stand-out feature that attributed to additional warmth and comfort on super cold days.
Not everyone carries gloves with them at all times; because of this, the fleece-lined pockets are super practical. Fleece also was a theme with collars and cuffs. We loved the fleece-lined torso of the Marmot Montreaux , and the nylon cuffs on the Rab Deep Cover Parka were also plush and super warm.
Double-sided zippers were almost a mandatory requirement on all the winter jackets; we found this especially true with the knee-length parkas. While somewhat restricting, we gained a significant amount of mobility with the double-sided zipper when walking. Secured by button snaps, we could feel the cold air leaking in, and the snaps were noticeably uncomfortable when we were sitting on hard surfaces; we honestly didn't find this feature that useful. Even though both offered a tailored look, the cinched waist on the Kensington Parka was more robust than the waist on the Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket.
Another interesting feature that the Kensington Parka offered was internal carrying straps. We didn't find ourselves utilizing the straps all that often, but for the weight close to nothing , it's a good option to include - especially if you are living in a mild climate. The Patagonia Tres Down Parka offers a 3-in-1 option and is the only jacket like it in our review.
If you are in the market for a raincoat, a puffy jacket, and a winter jacket, the Tres may be the jacket for you! We hope that we've been able to help you decide what type of winter jacket is the right style and fit for your life. If you're still wavering between a few contenders and need help narrowing down your selections, consider reading or re-reading the Buying Advice in your quest to determine which model will best suit your needs.
The Best Winter Jackets for Women of Displaying 1 - 5 of Updated January From sunny days where temperatures reach 50F to colder days where the highs are only F, winter weather can be unpredictable. When it's time to buy a winter jacket, it's important that it's the right one for the environment you live in so you can be sure you've covered all of your bases.
For the second year in a row, the Canada Goose Kensington has scored the highest in all of our rating metrics. See all prices 3 found. See all prices 4 found. We wore these jackets every day for months, everywhere we went. Some days we would load the car up with jackets and drive out into the mountains to get a feel for how they handled in even colder weather.
Often, the fit of a winter jacket is what jeopardizes its warmth and style. When taking the time to buy a winter jacket, you want to make sure it fits properly. If you are buying a jacket online, make sure to look at the size guide to ensure the best fit. Winter weather isn't predictable.
We wore each model in a variety of environments, from daily city life to mountain adventures, and rated them based on their Warmth, Weather Resistance, Style, Comfort, Features, and Durability. The Metropolis, pictured here, scored towards the middle of the fleet when it came to warmth. Being outside in cold weather wasn't an issue in the Editors' Choice-winning Kensington Parka.
The Marmot Montreaux is packed with fill-power down, keeping us comfortable and warm even when outside for an extended period of time in frigid temps. This was the warmest jacket in our line-up, earning a perfect 10 out of 10 score. Down insulation has a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Lightweight and highly compressible, down is a great choice for cold climates, but not a super wet climate.
Pictured here is the lead tester wearing the Canada Goose Camp, which scores a 10 out of 10 for comfort and an 8 out of 10 for warmth! Adding internal nylon cuffs to a winter jacket really makes a difference in cold weather. Jackets that lacked cuffs had a hard time keeping warm air in and cold air out. We also noticed in stormy weather internal cuffs did a great job at keeping precipitation out. The Shelburne is loaded with features. These adjustable straps at the cuffs allowed for a tighter fit when it was colder outside or when we were caught out in precipitation.
In snowy conditions, our face remained warm and protected, thanks to the coyote fur ruff around the hood. Unlike the faux-fur ruff of the Marmot Montreaux, the coyote fur ruff of the Kensington, shown here, is intended to do a better job at trapping heat. The coyote fur ruff will do a better job at retaining its loft in wet weather, and it will last longer than a faux fur ruff. The Deep Cover Parka by Rab was one of the more stylish winter parkas we tested, scoring a 9 out 10 on the style scale.
Though not mega warm, we loved the look of the lightweight and sleek Fiona Parka and granted it a 9 out 10 on our style scale. The adjustable cinched waist on the Kensington Parka allows you to tailor the fit, and scored some high style points.
Insulated with comfortable fill down, the Arctic II kept us warm when temperatures started to drop. The thick and durable outer shell did a great job at blocking cold temps and strong winds.
The Camp from Canada Goose goes above and beyond to make your time outside in the winter is enjoyable. Subtle features like an insulated collar made a noticeable difference in cold weather. Super comfortable and warm, it did a great job at trapping heat in and cold air out. We also loved the look that it added to the jacket. Soft fleece-lined collars and chin guards, like the one found on the Montreaux pictured here, added a nice cozy touch and protected our face in cold or stormy weather.
We wore these jackets for months all around Lake Tahoe, Ca and beyond. Rain, snow, wind, and even on sunny days, we brought these jackets out to really get a feel for how each one handled. The features on the Kensington are intended to last you many winters to come. A heavy duty 2-way main zipper is covered by a storm flap and offers extra protection from wind and precipitation. There are military grade buttons on the pockets, as well as on the storm flap. No details are left out on this jacket.
A classic winter parka style jacket with a faux-fur ruff around the hood, fill down insulation, and a waterproof exterior - all for a reasonable price! The Arctic Parka II did a stand-up job against its contenders, especially when it came to durability. The 2-way zipper on the Tres offers better mobility and allows you to access both ends of the jacket. There is also a storm flap that covers the zipper, offering even more protection from wind, rain, and cold temperatures.
Canada Goose is known for high quality and fashion, and the Shelburne Parka is both of those things. We were comfortable when temperatures started to drop below freezing, and the real fur ruff around the hood did an amazing job at keeping us warm and toasty when it was cold and stormy out.
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