Another factor that was important in measuring comfort was mobility. All the jackets we tested delivered some degree of warmth. The 2-way zipper on the Tres offers better mobility and allows you to access both ends of the jacket. We also loved the look that it added to the jacket. 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.
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 2 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. A two-way zipper is a necessary and important feature on a long parka. Knee and even thigh-length coats limit your mobility, but a two-way zipper allows for better mobility, as well as access from each end of the jacket.
A unique feature, the kick pleats allowed for better mobility and ventilation, but we could feel cold air seeping in, and they were also noticeably uncomfortable when we were sitting on hard surfaces.
Shown here is the Kensington Parka by Canada Goose. A unique feature the Kensington Parka offers is the carrying straps. They are perfect for warm spring days, or when going in and out of shops when you don't want to carry your jacket and want your hands free. As an added bonus, the Co-op packs down into its left-hand pocket, making it easily stuffable in your backpack or suitcase.
The highest quality build of any down sweater. The Patagonia Down Sweater is the biggest seller on this list and ubiquitous from ski resorts to city streets.
Compared to the top two picks above, the Down Sweater is decidedly more casual. The down fill power is a little lower quality, but you get a more sturdy 20Dx30D shell along with less compressibility for backcountry pursuits like backpacking and climbing.
It also has a more casual design and fit. If you need a down jacket for everyday wear and weekend skiing or hiking trips, the Down Sweater is an excellent choice. For the highest levels of performance for the weight, we prefer the Cerium and Eos Incredible warmth for the weight and good feature set.
Ultralight zippers and loose cuffs. Mountain Hardwear led the ultralight charge with the numbers-defying Ghost Whisperer, and it still wows us to this day. You don't have to sacrifice on features either: Some daily usability is lost in making everything so light, but it remains a top choice for minimalist backpackers and climbers.
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. In addition, the zipper is among the flimsiest of the ultralight jackets we tested and failed to align the teeth on occasion.
These are real sacrifices for casual use, but the Ghost Whisperer is a standard among backcountry enthusiasts looking to shave ounces while staying warm. And for those who want to push the ultralight envelope even further, check out Montbell's Plasma series Super warm, looks good, and a great value. Lower fill power than many of the premium options. There is a lot to like about the Lightline jacket from Mountain Equipment. First, it has the highest fill weight on this list at Second, it offers excellent protection from the elements with a windproof and water resistant Drilite shell.
Many jackets with a fraction of the down cost quite a bit more. How does the Mountain Equipment Lightline compare to other cold weather jackets on this list? Comfy, durable, and well-priced for what you get. In many ways, the Transcendent is a less expensive version of the Patagonia Down Sweater above. It provides solid warmth with 4. For , Outdoor Research updated the Transcendent with wider baffles, more down the older version had 3. All told, we like the look of the new version, which is more modern and less tired while retaining all the basics that has made the jacket so popular.
Lots of premium down. Heavy for a performance piece and the left-hand zip can take some getting used to. Most importantly, it packs in a ton of down—8. It also has a tough 30D Pertex shell, which has a quality feel and good weather resistance.
What are the downsides of the Neutrino Endurance? Second, Americans may have problems with the European-style left-hand zipper, which can take a while to get used to. These issues aside, the Rab is an exceptionally warm and comfortable winter piece.
Large fit and a drop in build quality. As the name implies, this jacket uses premium fill down, which is much more packable and warm for the weight compared to the fill version. The Magma also includes a soft-touch 15D Pertex Quantum shell, adjustable waist hem, and small interior zippered pocket—all features missing on the cheaper REI Co-op model.
The Magma impressed us with the high quality down and materials, but falls short in a few key areas. Performs like a high-end down jacket but with better water resistance. A little heavy; poor cuff design. The Black Diamond Cold Forge breaks from tradition with a hybrid down and synthetic blend, but earns a spot on our list because it delivers what you want in a premium down jacket: The use of synthetics also means the Cold Forge will continue insulating when wet and dry much faster than pure down fill.
At 20 ounces, there are lighter and more packable options that deliver similar levels of warmth. Besides these minor complaints, the Cold Forge is a fantastic down piece, and the unique insulation is a major selling point for those in wet climates.
More expensive and no warmer than the cheaper Rab Neutrino Endurance. You get approximately 8 ounces grams of fill down along with a Pertex Quantum shell for moisture protection. It has some advanced features like a helmet-compatible hood, a two-way main zipper for belaying, and elasticized cuffs that do a good job staying out of your way during physical activity.
But the jacket still looks the part for city wear in the frigid months, making it a nice option for just about any type of winter use. Patagonia also offers a standard Fitz Roy jacket, but we recommend steering clear as it only has 4. Impressive warmth for the weight.
Thin 7D shell is too fragile for our tastes. Montbell is at the forefront of lightweight warmth, and you will have a hard time finding down jackets with a better ratio of fill weight to total weight Western Mountaineering and Brooks Range are contenders.
The Mirage Parka weighs less than 13 ounces yet packs an impressive 5. What makes the Mirage Parka undesirable for generalists is the 7D shell, the thinnest on the list. This means that you really have to be careful when wearing the jacket for everything from avoiding snags on protruding twigs to tearing the shell on a climbing harness.
And if you are the careful type who babies their gear, go for it. But there is a sacrifice with this kind of warmth at this low of a weight, and that generally is a shortened lifespan for your jacket. See the Men's Montbell Mirage Parka. Innovative design and very comfortable feel. Down jackets are known more for warmth than range of motion, but Mountain Hardwear is aiming for a game changer in this regard. The StretchDown line was launched a couple years ago, featuring a flexible polyester shell material with welded seams for comfort that is reminiscent of a synthetic layer.
In our testing, however, it became clear that the jacket is not a backcountry piece. Despite good looks and comfort, we found that the StretchDown falls short of the options above in terms of warmth to weight and packability. Where the StretchDown excels is as an everyday jacket.
The knit shell fabric is very tough, and the clean styling wears well around the city even the logo is very understated. Stylish design and burly shell fabric.
Low quality down and expensive. As mentioned above, the Ovik Lite has a decidedly casual build that limits its appeal for backcountry use.
Waterproof and very warm. Heavier and bulkier than a typical down jacket, which makes it less versatile. It features premium fill down, a fully waterproof 2-layer shell a rarity in the down jacket world , and nice touches like pit zips and a two-way front zipper to regulate heat. As with the Magma above, REI does not provide the fill weight here, but the Stormhenge is one of the warmest options on this list.
As a result, it lacks in versatility for uses like backpacking or climbing, but the waterproofing and warm build make it viable for everything from cold winter walks to downhill skiing. High-end look and feel. For commuting, urban use, and après-ski, the Lodge Jacket is a very attractive option. See the Men's Canada Goose Lodge. Can feel drafty in cold conditions and the fit is a bit trim.
At less than 7 ounces total, the SL is an ultralight jacket for fair-weather spring, summer, and fall backpacking trips, as well as a midlayer for winter sports. We recently took the new hoody version on a trekking and bikepacking adventure through Mongolia and came impressed with its packability and build quality.
Keep in mind that the Cerium SL does have its limitations. Given the meager 1. A casual piece from Marmot at a reasonable price point. Low fill power and sheds feathers. Marmot is known for outerwear, and rain jackets in particular.
With fill down, it does have one of the lowest fill powers on this list competitors like the REI Co-op Down Jacket and Outdoor Research Transcendent use fill down. Aside from price, the Marmot Tullus is pretty bare bones. But if you can find it on sale, the Tullus is one of the cheaper down jackets available from a top brand. Down Sweaters The down sweater is the most casual category of down jacket. But they perform well for everyday use, travel, light adventuring, and layering for winter sports.
The temperature range for these jackets depends on factors like layering and exertion, but we find that down sweaters are suitable for approximately 35 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit 2 to 15 degrees Celsius. Ultralight Down Jackets Ultralight down jackets are designed for backpacking, climbing, backcountry skiing, and other outdoor pursuits where every ounce matters. These down jackets generally have similar fill weights as down sweaters, but are ultralight due their use of premium down fill power , thin shell fabrics denier , and minimalist zippers and pockets.
They are high quality jackets in general, and if you are willing to take a little extra care to avoid damaging the shell, we prefer ultralights over down sweaters due to their warmth-to-weight ratio and athletic fit that's easy to layer. They still look great too, although the designs do have more of a performance cut. They also are far puffier than the other categories with more down, and as a result take up quite a bit more space in your pack.
Because of this, we only bring them along if the extra warmth is absolutely necessary. At the warmest end of the spectrum are heavyweight winter jackets and parkas.
It all starts with that lofty and premium warmth that can only be found in a down-filled product. Down insulation functions so effectively because the loose clusters of feathers are great at trapping body heat. But unlike down sleeping bags, which have an official EN rating system that tests and measures their warmth on a concrete scale, down jackets are more like the Wild West. Below is information that should help you fill in the gaps. Fill Power Fill power fill, fill, fill, etc.
The number is calculated based on how much space one ounce of down clusters takes up in a cylindrical tube.
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