Updated April 2017
In efforts to keep this review up-to-date year-round, we continue to check on the availability of the products we assessed. New to this review, we added charts and tables to show the comparative differences between individual products in each metric.
The Best Overall Winter Jacket
Arc'teryx Camosun Parka
Our 2017 Editors' Choice Award goes to the Arc'teryx Camosun Parka
. This jacket performs exceptionally well in all weather types, from freezing rain to blustery winds to cold temps. This model is also one of the most stylish of the bunch. You'll feel well-protected and handsome inside this champion contender. The designers at Arc'teryx
used top quality goose down in core areas where warmth is paramount, and strategically placed synthetic fiber insulation where higher than average moisture exposure is expected, such as on the hood, shoulders, and cuffs. It wasn't the absolute warmest and doesn't qualify as formal attire, but the overall solid performance of the Camosun
in all of our test metrics that it became the model we reached for the most. At the moment, this jacket is only sold in gray on the Arc'Teryx website, but other color options can be found at various online retailers, often at a discount.
Read full review: Arc'teryx Camosun Parka
Best Bang for the Buck, Overall
Limited wet weather protection
Costing a relatively slight $250 but offering quality in construction and materials, the Marmot Fordham
earned our first Best Buy Award. It delivers a fashionable coat that will keep you warm and dry using a waterproof exterior insulated with goose down. The Fordham
has some features that impressed us for such an inexpensive jacket, like a comfortable cut and abundance of pockets. It's available in a range of colors so you can decide what suits you best. Comfortable and cozy, the Marmot Fordham
will get you through the winter and last you for a long time at a reasonable cost.
Read full review: Marmot Fordham
Best Bang for the Buck, Coldest Conditions
The North Face McMurdo II Parka
If your winters aren't "normal," your jacket needs to be above average, too. We can't all afford the $1000 Top Pick for Extreme Cold, the Canada Goose Expedition Parka
, but we can afford The North Face McMurdo II
. At a third of the price of the Canada Goose
, but almost as warm, this is an easy choice for a second Best Buy Award. For northerly latitudes, and the coldest days, the McMurdo's
down insulation, long cut, and generous hood combine to protect in day-to-day life; all at a reasonable expense.
Read full review: The North Face McMurdo II
Top Pick for Extreme Cold
Canada Goose Expedition Parka
Too warm and heavy for most users
While bitter cold, feet of snow, and icy sidewalks may not describe winter for some, for those living in the northern latitudes in the Midwest, East Coast and Alaska, there is a need for a winter-specific jacket that protects you from prolonged sub-freezing temperatures. Enter the Canada Goose Expedition Parka
. This parka is the pinnacle of warmth, has abundant features, and is the coziest jacket reviewed. All these traits come at a cost though, and besides being the bulkiest and heaviest parka reviewed, it is also the most expensive. This is a parka for the specific needs of the coldest weather, designed with Arctic and Antarctic applications in mind. On that note, a special Polar Bears International (PBI) edition is available called the Canada Goose PBI Expedition Parka
. This jacket comes in a special royal blue color, has a polar bear patch on the shoulder and is an extra $50. A portion of the sales goes to PBI and their mission of saving the polar bears and their habitats.
Read full review: Canada Goose Expedition Parka
Top Pick for Wet and Dreary Weather
Arcteryx Fission SV
Best hand warmer pockets
Synthetic insulation lacks durability
Extreme weather isn't always the deepest cold. Sometimes it's bone-chilling rain and sleet. In shoulder seasons and moderate latitudes, this version of winter is all too common. We want to remember the crisp cold, but it is the drearier days that often dominate in certain locales. For those conditions, the fully waterproof shell, bomber design and seals, and synthetic insulation of the Arc'teryx Fission SV
is just the ticket. There are warmer jackets in our review, but there are none as well-suited to cold, wet weather.
Read full review: Arc'teryx Fission SV