The table above displays the Overall Performance score of each jacket in our review, ranking from highest to lowest. 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.
This coat is long, warm, and still fairly light and not bulky. When I wear it on very cold days I only feel the cold where the coat stops. North Face does make something: I live in a place where winter temps of F and below even before wind chill are normal, and this coat has worked for everything: When I bought a coat a few years ago, my number one priority beyond being super warm was that it was as far below the knee as possible.
Many down coats seem quite short, ending somewhere at the thigh, and to me that defeated the purpose. I have no regrets about this purchase. I have only worn it in around 18F and not in Chicago!
The length really makes the coat, for me. The only thing is that it's not waterproof a little bit water repellent, but that's it. Also, and I know you don't care about this, but the shape is extremely flattering. You want the Arctic Program collection from Canada Goose. For extreme weather protection. On preview, what lafemma said! I'd definitely say the Downtown Loft coat is mid-calf on me, but then again, I'm only about medium height. Maybe better to try it on in your case, but I'd definitely recommend.
That is where for me a lot of the cold feeling came from, and was one of my big stipulations when I was looking for a coat. Things feel a whole lot warmer when the coat is actually sealed the whole way down. I meant to add, since you mention you do not want a coat with natural fur, you can order Quartz Nature coats with natural or synthetic fur or no fur at all. Would you consider vintage or 2nd hand fur? I own and wear a full length fur coat; my thoughts on it are here and as I say there, it is wind proof, water proof, spill proof and stain proof.
I went on a tirade a couple years ago about not wanting to layer up and a friend in Chicago recommended it! The fake fur is removable as well. I'm only 5'4" and it hits me at lower thigh. I live in Madison, WI, and when I'm walking my dog for an hour at wind chill which has been a lot, this winter!
I am thrilled to be wearing the Marmot Chelsea coat. It comes down to right around my knee, so I do usually wear 2 layers on the bottom either long underwear under my jeans or something windproof over them but I never wear something more than what I intend to wear inside all day at work on top.
The fur is faux, and its cut nicely to be about as flattering as a fill down coat can be. I bought this thing 3 years ago when I didn't really have the money, and I still think it was worth every penny.
It is hands down the warmest coat you will ever own. I had a mid-calf one that I only brought out if it was -0 degrees F plus wind chill. For standing around or sitting outside in that weather it is perfect. It was easy to get overheated, so I only wore a t-shirt underneath if I was going to be walking much.
The drawback is that it was very heavy, like a lead weight and it had to be treated gently. From the style, I would say it was from the '30s and it had not been well-kept. The skins tore from the weight of it and needed to be sewn back together although the rips didn't show through the long-haired fur; neither did my hasty mending. In the end, I passed it on to a charity shop and moved to a warmer climate. The problem is that any coat's comfort -- which is what you really want, not just 'warmth' -- is dependent 1 on the outside temperature 2 and the activity you're engaged in.
For example, you say you experience arctic temps -- but 15 below is not that. That's important, because you can buy a coat for the true arctic winter -- but you may find yourself sweating at 15 below, and even more 0 or 15 above, which are common temps in Chitown. That's why I would reconsider a layered approach. A coat that will keep you warm at 0 will serve at 15 below with the right hood, hat, and down vest.
These are broad strokes, admittedly. The answers here offer a lot of good info -- but you have to look at the specs of any particular coat. For 20 minutes outside in 15 below, with no more effort than a slow stroll with doggie -- there's a coat for that. But it's not just anybody's memory of a 'warm coat. Mackage from Quebec are warm depending on the style you buy. I have the North Face Arctic and it doesn't come to mid-calf even on me and I'm only 5' tall. 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. 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.
This fill goose-down coat is frumpier than others, and we would have preferred a zip-off hood and snaps instead of buttons over the chest zipper. But the insulated hood cinches to keep wind out. $ BUY NOW. This 3/4-length style is a warm and comfy coat that's perfect for the coldest months and is also available in full-length or shorter jacket options making it suitable for all heights. Compared to the Columbia Heavenly Hooded Long Jacket, with only synthetic down % polyester fill, the Arc'teryx Patera Parka was much warmer, but not as waterproof. The Arc'teryx Darrah Coat and the Columbia Heavenly Hooded Long Jacket were two other synthetic jackets we tested.