February 16, 2017

Best Winter Jackets

Read more about Buying a Winter Jacket
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The right winter jacket is a big purchase that will last for years. It might seem like a large amount of money upfront, but when the wind chill dips below zero, you'll be happy that you invested in the right winter coat. A good coat can make all the difference if you live in a cold climate, if you're on a ski trip, or you're just taking a winter vacation into the mountains. The minute the wind whips off a river during your winter morning commute, you'll wish you invested in a top-of-the-line winter jacket. Finding the right one can be overwhelming at first.

The best winter coats will last a lifetime. They will keep you insulated and warm. They will protect your ears and lips and keep you warm and comfortable without suffocating your skin. They offer protective outer shells to resist water so the insulating materials stay dry. Winter jackets come with hoods, pockets, down and synthetic, so it's good to know what you're getting so you find the right coat for your needs:


  • Down Jackets: The warmest and most breathable jackets will last the longest and have great versatility. The higher the fill number (usually between 400 and 900), the warmer the jacket. Since down doesn't do great when it gets wet, you want to make sure the jacket has a water-resistant shell coated with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) or spend the extra money for water-resistant down. Best for the coldest climates.

  • Synthetic Jackets: Not quite as warm or long-lasting as down materials, synthetic jackets cost less and do better in very rainy climates. Best for wetter climates and people who want a solid coat while shopping on a budget.

  • Hybrids: Some jackets are constructed of partial down, synthetic materials or wool to provide the best of the three at a competitive price. These are great for travelers and warmer climates with cold winters.


If you live in a very cold climate, cost is not where you want to skimp on a winter coat. Spend a little more for a water-resistant down coat with a fill over 700, and you'll get years' worth of use out of your jacket. If you live in warmer climates and only need the jacket on occasion, then you can save money by sacrificing material and features. A good winter jacket can range from $250 all the way up to $1,000.


Consider the primary reason you're going to have a winter jacket. If you live in the Northeast, Midwest or Canada, you are going to have much harsher conditions. However, if you live on the West Coast, you might want something that will do better in the rain. Some of the purposes you might want to consider include:

  • Commuting
  • Skiing/sledding/winter sports
  • Shoveling
  • Running
  • Hunting
  • Kids
  • Winter Vacations

If you'll be spending more time doing outdoor activities in the winter, then you'll want a tougher and more versatile jacket than one that will be primarily for commuting.


The more money you spend, the more features you will find on high-end jackets. You can spend two or three hundred bucks and find a solid coat that will keep you warm. The higher up you go on price, the more bells and whistles you'll find on jackets:

  • Fur-lined hoods
  • Removable hoods
  • Extra pockets
  • Headphone pockets
  • Insulated neck warmth
  • Cuffs

If you have the money to spend and you will get use out of the extra features, it can be worth the price. If you just need something warm to get from point A to point B, then put your money elsewhere.

Best Winter Jacket for Men

Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka

When it comes to the best, all-around versatile men's jacket for any climate and challenge, you can't beat the authentic Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka. This jacket, which can handle -25oF arctic conditions, is used by researchers in Antarctica. It is built to handle whatever challenge you throw at it, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Aside from uncompromising warmth with a 625-fill duck down, the Expedition Down Parka has every feature you could want. It will cinch tighter for a snug fit, comes with a down-insulated hood, a lifetime manufacturer warranty, 11 pockets, water- and wind-resistant material, and a fleece-lined chin guard that prevents chafing.

Best Winter Jacket for Women

Patagonia Tres Down 3-in-1 Parka

An excellent jacket for city dwellers, this 600-fill down parka will cut down any freezing blasts that swarm down urban streets. It also does so with a stylish, comfortable and sleek design. And it comes with a very competitive price tag. It might not be the best option for skiing or mountain adventures, but for a long-lasting and warm winter jacket at a superb price point, it's a formidable competitor.

The Tres Down comes with a removable hood, zippered and insulated hand pockets, and a longer design to keep more of your body protected. It's waterproof and breathable shell (H2No Technology) keeps you dry and warm in any weather. What also makes the jacket great is their ethical commitment to using down materials from birds that were treated humanely. It's the best all-around jacket for city living, especially when considering the price.

Best North Face Jacket

North Face Gotham Down Men's and Women's

With dozens (if not hundreds) of North Face offerings, the Gotham II is the strongest, all-around winter coat at a great price. Stylish for city life, versatile for skiing, and constructed for years of use, this 550-fill down jacket will keep you warm for most activities without breaking the bank.

The faux-fur trimmed hood can be removed depending on how cold the weather gets. The outer shell offers waterproof protection while keeping the insulated down warm and dry. And the ribbing around the waist and cuffs helps to retain heat, keeps your gloves from getting snagged, and offers maximum comfort in your day-to-day adventures. The jacket is available for men and the parka for women.

Best Jacket for Kids

Girls: North Face Greenland Down
Boys: Appaman Pratt Down Parka

The girls' North Face Greenland Down offers all the features of the best winter jackets, just in a smaller size. With 550-fill down insulation, a double-layered shell to protect against snow, and adjustable cuffs, the Greenland will ensure the most comfort and warmth for your little girl at a competitive price.

The Appaman Pratt is pretty adorable while providing all the warmth that your little one is going to need. The Appaman Pratt Down Parka offers a down insulation that is protected with a water-resistant outer shell. The fur-lined hood ensures both cuteness and maximized warmth under almost any weather conditions, for school and adventures.

Best Jacket for Extreme Cold

Arc'teryx Ceres Down Parka

One of the warmest jackets on the market features 850-fill European Grey Goose down. If staying warm in the most brutal conditions is what you're looking for, then you can't beat this jacket under any test. It will come at a price, but you'll get a lifetime of top-of-the-line use out of this stylish and versatile jacket.

The jacket features targeted synthetic material to increase the comfort of the down material in places where condensation develops. The helmet-ready storm hood keeps your face warm in the windiest conditions, while the breathable shell keeps you snug and dry in any weather. It comes with a lifetime warranty and is best for the most challenging conditions.

Best Commuter Jacket

Women's: Canada Goose Shelburne Down Parka
Men's: Canada Goose Langford Down Parka

The Canada Goose Shelburne and Langford mean serious business. Make your way to the office by car, subway, bus or even bike! These jackets are built for the worst conditions, so make your way into the office with this tough, stylish, durable, ultra-warm and comfortable jacket. It will last you for many winters to come.

With 625-fill down insulation (650 on the Langford), arctic-resistant outer shell, coyote fur hood, fleece-lined pockets, and cinched cuffs and hips to seal in warmth, there isn't a stronger jacket for your morning commute that will look great when you walk into work. It comes at a higher price, but you will get a lifetime of use out of these superb jackets.

Best Winter Coat for the Price: Women's

Marmot Montreaux

With a 700-fill down material and a price tag of under $250, the Montreaux Down Coat is nearly impossible to beat for the price. With fleece lining along the torso and pockets, a removable hood with faux-fur and plenty of internal and external pocket space, this jacket does it all. With its sleek, stylish look and length down to the knees for extra warmth, it will get you through the most brutal winter conditions without hurting your wallet.

Best Winter Coat for the Price: Men's

Patagonia DAS Parka

Also coming in at under $250, the Patagonia DAS (the DAS stands for Dead Air Space) is one of the warmest, toughest and most versatile synthetic jackets on the market. It offers the comfort of a down jacket without sacrificing quality, plus it does great in the snow, wind and rain where down jackets tend to suffer. Constructed from the kind of rip-stop nylon outer shell that keeps you dry in a tent, the DAS also features a handy stuff-sack carrying case for when the weather shifts.


Whether you are looking for an arctic jacket for a trip to hang out with penguins and polar bears or you need a tough and stylish coat for your urban commute, there are some excellent offerings for any need. While you shouldn't sacrifice cost for a jacket you'll use for a lifetime, you can get amazing values depending on your needs. Stay warm out there this winter with an excellent winter coat!

Where to Buy Winter Jackets

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