For a nice, insulated water-resistant jacket made to handle incremental weather conditions, the Patagonia Insulated Torrentshell Jacket is a great, warm option to keep your child happy and outdoors even during cold winter days. There is also a storm flap that covers the zipper, offering even more protection from wind, rain, and cold temperatures. If they are not taped, they become an easy entry for moisture.
We found a general correlation between cost and comfort. More expensive jackets use softer materials and more thoughtful tailoring to achieve maximum comfort.
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.
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. Neither manufacturer provides the fill weight for these products, but given that the Montreal weighs 1 ounce more and uses better down, we can assume that the warmth of that piece is on par or slightly better than Downtown Coat the Downtown does have a little longer back length, however. Perhaps the answer comes down to fit, but overall we give the nod to the Marmot.
See the Women's Mountain Hardwear Downtown. A great value and a clean design overall. Not as warm or soft as a down jacket. The vast majority of jackets on this list use down fill, which is warmer and loftier than synthetic insulation. But there is something to be said for the latter, which costs considerably less and continues to insulate when wet.
What are the downsides of a jacket like the Columbia Snow Eclipse? The jacket does get reasonably high marks for being cozy in cold conditions, but you likely will want to layer up when the temperatures get truly frigid. These issues aside, the jacket looks the part for both outdoor and urban use, comes in a variety of nice colorways, and given the price, remains popular year after year. See the Women's Columbia Snow Eclipse. Perhaps the single most important factor when choosing a winter jacket is its intended use.
Performance jackets, on the other hand, are more technical in nature and often lighter in weight due to the use of premium down and shell materials. These models are designed for mountaineering, climbing, and other cold-weather backcountry use. To help clarify the best uses for each jacket, we list the category in the product specs and in our comparison table.
Nearly all the jackets on this list have down fill, which is the warmest, lightest, and most compressible type of insulation. A few jackets—including the Patagonia Hyper Puff—are made with synthetic, which is heavier and not quite as lofty but does a superior job at insulating when wet. It's also cheaper than down, which is why you'll find it inside some of the budget-oriented designs above like the Caterpillar Heavy Insulated Jacket. We love both types of insulation and each has its purposes, but down wins out in pure warmth and coziness for winter.
For more background on this topic, see our article on down vs. Warmth is a function of many factors: But the two most important factors in determining the warmth of your jacket are fill power and fill weight.
Fill Power Fill power is the most heavily marketed spec among winter jackets and parkas, and refers to down specifically nearly all the jackets on this list are down. The higher the number fill, fill, fill, etc. Performance winter jackets usually are around fill or higher, and casual pieces run from fill to fill. Fill Weight Fill weight is often overlooked but just as relevant as fill power.
Instead of measuring the quality of the down, fill weight is simply the total weight of the down inside the jacket. The calculation becomes more difficult as the fill power changes: Around half the jackets on this list provide fill weight, which is more helpful than not. As discussed above, make sure to take both fill power and fill weight into account. In addition, the shell of the jacket matters, as do the layers underneath. By our best estimation, the majority of the jackets on this list are designed to go well below freezing for use in the heart of the winter months in cold climates like the Midwest and East Coast of the United States.
For more lightweight and midweight jacket options, see our articles on the best down jackets and synthetic jackets. A major contributor to warmth is the layers or lack thereof you wear underneath. Depending on the parka, when the temperature really drops think well below freezing you may want to add a lightweight down or synthetic jacket as a midlayer. The importance of weight in your winter jacket buying decision depends largely on the intended use.
For those looking in the performance category mountaineers, climbers, winter explorers, etc. The type and thickness of the shell fabric matters in overall weight as well. Performance jackets tend to use technical fabrics that are light and thin, while casual pieces use more durable and heavier shells that add weight.
On the upside, the thicker shells are much better at avoiding tears and small abrasions and therefore should last longer. Lightweight down jackets require quite a bit of care and attention. Also scoring a 9 out of 10, cue the Patagonia Down With It Parka, which is insulated with fill-power recycled down.
Both are insulated with plush, thick down from the hood to above our knee and did an excellent job keeping cold air out and heat trapped inside. Most of the jackets offered specific features, which helped improve our warmth on cold days - the main one being fleece-lined pockets! What a lovely, cozy feature on a supremely cold day.
Thickly insulated hoods, like the Canada Goose Shelburne Parka and the Marmot Montreaux kept us toasty and secure in stormy weather. The extra protection and down insulation made a difference when it came to staying warm in frigid weather 10F and below.
If you are someone that is always cold, or you just like to stay toasty warm, we'd recommend considering a knee-length parka. A common misconception is that because a jacket or parka has a higher fill, it will be the warmest. The Arc'teryx Patera Parka has fill European goose down, but is not the warmest contender; in fact, it ranks towards the bottom in regards to keeping us toasty on a cold winter day, scoring a 6 out of While it is not as lofty as the Montreaux or the Kensington Parka , the Patera uses Coreloft synthetic fill in high moisture spots - inner arms, hem, and collar.
We could feel the cold air on our arms and shoulders in cold weather because of this. In a milder climate of F, however, we appreciated the Coreloft synthetic fill while out on a short hike, especially when we started to get hot and sweaty. If you're seeking a jacket that handles breathability and ventilation, we like the Arc'teryx Darrah Coat. We generally found that synthetic and insulated models with low fill powers lacked considerable warmth and were among the lowest, in regards to warmth, in our testing.
The Arc'teryx Patera Parka is a synthetically insulated winter option, complete with g of Coreloft synthetic insulation. It's not the best parka for weather below 25F or super cold snow storms, but we were impressed with how well it performed while blocking wind and keeping our core warm. While they were both surprisingly warm, they were not as toasty as the jackets that are insulated with thick down and high fill powers, such as the Rab Deep Cover Parka or the Marmot Montreaux.
The Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket is insulated with an unknown amount of Omni-Heat synthetic fill, while Arc'teryx Darrah Coat has grams of synthetic insulation which is equivalent to fill goose down. Despite being insulated with the equivalent of fill goose down, the Arc'teryx Darrah Coat was warmer in windy and stormy conditions.
We'd believe that warmth and water resistance almost go hand in hand. Winter weather can range from snow, sleet, wind, freezing rain, or just plain old heavy rain. All the models we tested offered some level of protection from the elements, from DWR durable water repellent coated nylon or polyester shell to full-blown waterproof fabric. Before buying a winter jacket, it's important to consider the climate you live in and the purpose of the jacket.
If you are living in a wet climate like Seattle, having a jacket that is waterproof and warm is important. If cold temperatures and snow are your typical winter conditions, a DWR coating should suffice. To figure out each jacket's degree of Weather Resistance, we put them through an array of tests.
We went on walks on snow days, stood in place for an extended period in windy conditions, braved blizzards in the middle of the night, and we even brought the two-layer waterproof models in the shower. The durable exterior shells kept us toasty and warm in windy weather, as did the thick down of Patagonia Down With It Parka and the Marmot Montreaux.
Whether you're holiday shopping in New York City on a blustery day, or running errands around town in light snow, why not look stylish and warm? The models we tested ranged in length, fit and function. Some had a smooth, sleek outer shell like the Arc'teryx Patera Parka , while others had beautiful chevron baffling, like the Marmot Montreaux.
Everyone has their own preference, but what stood out the most concerning style was the fit. If your jacket doesn't fit you correctly, chances are you won't like wearing it, which sounds like a waste of money. With that said, make sure to know your size and how the jacket fits before buying one, or brace yourself for the impact of reordering and returning until you figure out the best fit.
If you're someone that likes to layer up, a jacket that offers more room in the arms and torso will be perfect for fitting a heavy layer or sweater underneath. While everyone has their own opinion when it comes to style and how a jacket fits, the jackets we found to be the most appealing over our two months of testing were the form-fitting ones, like the Canada Goose Kensington Parka and the Rab Deep Cover Parka ; both scored a perfect 10 out of Oozing with style from head to toe, this knee-length contender is a show stopper.
From the smooth, sleek, water-resistant outer shell to the adjustable cinched-waist, no detail has been left out. The quality construction of the Kensington Parka is apparent across the board. Canada Goose continues to impress and the Camp Hooded was no exception. Compared to The Legendary Whitetails Anchorage Parka , which has many stylish features, the Canada Goose Kensington offers a heavy-duty option that's going to last longer. Military grade buttons and zippers add a durable touch without jeopardizing the classy look of the jacket.
The coyote fur ruff is highly functional in cold weather, as well as super stylish. The Kensington is comparable to armor, but it's also attractive, form-fitting, and feminine. In cold weather and stormy conditions, if your jacket isn't keeping you warm, your level of comfort might also suffer. 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.
Winter jackets for kids do come in many different forms and styles, but really, there are two categories you can fit almost any winter jacket into. Those categories are . So while winter coats for kids can get a little pricey, oftentimes they’re worth the investment. Especially for those of us who live in extreme conditions. Whether your kids spend their winter on the slopes skiing and boarding, or prefer low key snowman-building and sledding – a warm, water resistant jacket is important. Best winter jacket for kids What makes these the best picks? Customers said these are the best for kids.