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The Best Winter Jackets and Coats for Men of 2017

We loved the burly shell fabric of the Canada Goose for hard-working chores in brutal cold temps.
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor
With so many winter jackets, selecting the right one is tough. To help, we researched 70 popular models and tested the best 14 side-by-side for three months. We wore these products during various cold weather activities, like shoveling snow or walking from the bus stop to work on a stormy day. Our expert testers combined outdoor experiences and unique tests to investigate key factors, such as which models actually keep you the warmest in bitter temps, winds, and precipitation, which ones look good around town, and which ones you can expect to survive many winters. Whether you're looking for casual or technical, a great bargain, or protection in wet and dreary conditions, this review will guide you to the right jacket for warmth in the cold.

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

camosun parka
Editors' Choice Award

at CampSaver

Clean look
"Crinkly" shell fabric
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

Marmot Fordham

Marmot Fordham Down Jacket
Best Buy Award

at Backcountry

Super comfortable
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

The North Face McMurdo II Down Parka
Best Buy Award

at MooseJaw

Long hem
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

Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka
Top Pick Award

at Backcountry

Incredibly warm
Many pockets
Great features
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

Arcteryx Men's Fission SV
Top Pick Award

at Amazon

Wet-weather ready
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

up to 5 products
Score Product Price Baffle Type Total Weight Down Fill Power
Arc'teryx Camosun Parka $649
Editors' Choice Award
Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric 2 lbs 3 oz 750
Canada Goose Expedition Parka $1,000
Top Pick Award
Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric 4 lbs 9 oz 625
The North Face McMurdo II Parka $330
Best Buy Award
Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric 3 lbs 11 oz 550
Arcteryx Fission SV $649
Top Pick Award
Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric 2 lbs 1 oz Synthetic Coreloft 100 (100 g/m² ), Coreloft 140 (140 g/m²)
Marmot Fordham $325
Best Buy Award
Sewn-through 2 lbs 12 oz 700
Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka $549
Sewn-through innner layer 2 lbs 15 oz 600
Patagonia Isthmus Parka $249
Not applicable 2 lbs 3 oz high-pile 100% polyester fleece
Fjallraven Greenland $300
Not applicable 2 lbs 10 oz 100% polyester insulation
The North Face Gotham II Jacket $299
Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric 3 lbs 1 oz 550
Rab Neutrino Endurance $375
Sewn-through 1 lb 7 oz 800
Mountain Hardwear Therminator $350
Sewn-through 2 lbs 6 oz Synthetic ThermicAero
REI Stratocloud Hoodie $169
Sewn-through 1 lb 3 oz Synthetic/Down blend "as warm as 650-fill-power down"
Helly Hansen Dubliner Parka $260
Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric 2 lbs 3 oz PrimaLoft Black insulation, 100g/m²
Columbia Gold 650 TurboDown Hooded $165
Sewn-through 1 lb 7 oz 550

Analysis and Test Results

A winter jacket is designed to provide you with warmth and protection from winter. But that "winter" weather is variable depending on where you live. The model that works for a rainy but not too cold Pacific Northwest winter is not the same one you'll need for a frigid day in Chicago. While all contenders have some insulation and some means to act as a barrier to the weather, selecting the right one for you is determined by your needs, including the type of weather you are expecting and the types of activities planned. Visit our Buying Advice Article to learn different tips and tricks to selecting your next model, or keep reading below to see what different types are available and how the different models that we tested fared in our comparison.

Types of Winter Jackets

When you walk into an outdoor store, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the ski jackets, down jackets, winter parkas, technical coats, rain shells, and more. They each have strengths and weaknesses, so let's define what some of these jackets do for us to determine which is going to suit our needs.

Down Insulated

Down insulation is derived from either duck or goose feathers, and is graded on its quality. This quality number, or fill power rating, goes up with the loftiness of the down. As the loft of the insulation increases so does the garment's ability to trap body heat, and you stay warmer at a given temperature range. Down insulated jackets are lightweight, highly compressible and will their loft for years if cared for. This warmth-to-weight ratio is what makes down jackets so useful to backcountry travelers.

The main downside of down is its loss of insulation properties when wet. When inundated, down will clump up and can only be revived when dry. While many of the jackets reviewed feature down insulation, they feature materials of a heavier variety than those you would want to take on a backcountry trip. If you are looking for a lightweight or backcountry activity oriented jacket, look at our Down Jacket Review. Some of the down models tested include the Canada Goose Expedition Parka and the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka.

The down Rab Neutrino Endurance is a good technical parka for backcountry skiing and mountaineering.
The down Rab Neutrino Endurance is a good technical parka for backcountry skiing and mountaineering.

Synthetic Insulated

Synthetic jackets feature man-made, plasticized fibers that mimic down feathers. These fibers, which go by names like Polarguard, Primaloft or CoreLoft, trap body heat in the same way that feathers do. Synthetic insulation is less susceptible to wetness than down and will regain its full insulation value faster once wet. Since it does not ball or clump like down when wet, it still has some, though not all, insulation properties if soaked through. Also, since synthetic insulation dries out more efficiently than down, a Coreloft insulated jacket like the Arc'teryx Fission SV won't necessarily require you to put it in a dryer to dry.

In wet climates, like the maritime winters of the Pacific Northwest, down insulation can be tough to take care of. Synthetic fiber-filled garments will not last as long as their down counterparts, though, as repeated compression of synthetic fibers breaks them down, decreasing loftiness. For this reason, the warmth of heavily used synthetic jackets declines over time.

We tested only three jackets that featured full synthetic insulation: the Arc'teryx Fission, the Mountain Hardwear Therminator, and the Helly Hansen Dubliner Parka. If you are looking for more choices for an insulated jacket in a wet environment, check out our Best Insulated Jacket Review, which features all synthetic materials.

Synthetic insulation jackets like the Arc'teryx Koda are great for when the weather looks cold and wet.
Synthetic insulation jackets like the Arc'teryx Koda are great for when the weather looks cold and wet.

Pile Insulation

New to our review this year, but hardly new to the market, are jackets insulated with synthetic fleece insulation. Replicating the fleece of a sheep, pile insulation is durable, comfortable and warm against the skin, and relatively inexpensive. The drawbacks are that pile is inherently limited in terms of insulation value, and the sleeves must be lined with a different material for easy on and off. Pile insulation is the easiest to maintain and longest lasting insulation available, but it has drawbacks. The least warm jackets in our test were insulated with pile. In the latest iteration of our multi-year, comparative review, we tested the pile-insulated Patagonia Isthmus and Fjallraven Greenland.

The fleece pile lining of the Isthmus is durable  warm enough for mild temperatures  and comfortable against thin layers or a t-shirt.
The fleece pile lining of the Isthmus is durable, warm enough for mild temperatures, and comfortable against thin layers or a t-shirt.

Hybrid Insulation

Blending the attributes of the different options, hybrid insulated pieces match the function of one type to different parts of the user's torso for a jacket that is better tuned for performance. In our review, almost half of the jackets now feature some sort of hybrid insulation. The pile-insulated jackets, for instance, feature undefined synthetic puff insulation in the sleeves, behind smooth nylon linings.

The Arc'teryx Camosun features both down and synthetic insulation mapped to the user's body and likely wet spots. The REI Stratocloud Hoodie uses a synthetic/down blend that is reported to be "as warm as 650-fill-power down." Finally, the Columbia TurboDown contains 550 fill power down and 100 grams of synthetic insulation in an unclear orientation. The hybrid nature of these various jackets doesn't seem to change the performance all that much. If we split hairs we could probably find subtle differences. However, we didn't find any obvious pros or cons to hybrid designs.

Technical Parka

A technical parka is a jacket that will keep you warm and protected from the weather, but which places higher importance on features and functionality designed to support its use in extreme environments or during athletic activities. Technical parkas tend to have larger coverage and are built for harsher environments than the average down or insulated jacket, which is why they are not featured in those reviews. Technical parkas can be either down or synthetic.

The technical fit and features of these parkas lend themselves to winter mountaineering, ice climbing or ski touring, but are usually available in neutral colors that can be worn in casual settings as well. We tested two technical parkas, the Rab Neutrino Endurance and Columbia Gold 650 TurboDown. Both are insulated with high fill-power down.

Technical jackets have purpose-driven designs to help them perform in the winter environments for which they are meant.
Technical jackets have purpose-driven designs to help them perform in the winter environments for which they are meant.

Casual Parka

A casual parka is a warm jacket that will protect you from the elements but places more emphasis on comfort and style while keeping you dry and warm. It is designed to be used during activities like ice skating, walking the dog on a cold day or commuting to work.

Casual parkas can be insulated with either down or synthetic, though the lightweight benefits of down tend to be overshadowed by heavier materials used to make these parkas more comfortable. One of the main differences between casual and technical jackets is the activities they are designed for. The technical parkas reviewed, for instance, have only a thin outer shell with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, allowing them to be used for high-output athletic activities; the casual parkas use a heavier duty, style-oriented material that looks great, sheds snow and rain, but would be ill-suited to moving vigorously and sweating. These casual coats are designed to keep you warm on their own, not while exercising.

The hearty fur hood ruff and knit waist and cuffs of the Gotham present a bit of a throwback look.
The hearty fur hood ruff and knit waist and cuffs of the Gotham present a bit of a throwback look.

Our selection contains a mixture of technical and casual parkas, with most fitting into the casual subcategory. The key attributes all of these jackets share is that they keep you warm if you're active or not. Most of the models in our Down Jacket review or Insulated Jacket review are designed to be used as part of an active layering system. The parkas reviewed here will be adept at keeping a stationary user warm. Each parka has its intended uses and users, however, so read on to see which ones we liked best and for which application.

We tested these jackets in winter conditions and then rated them on the following criteria: warmth  weather resistance  comfort  features  style  and durability.
We tested these jackets in winter conditions and then rated them on the following criteria: warmth, weather resistance, comfort, features, style, and durability.

Criteria for Evaluation

The following chart details the Overall Performance score of each winter jacket reviewed. Read on for specifics on each metric that helped comprise this overall score.


Warmth is the most important metric we used to rank these winter jackets. Warmth is determined by the amount of insulation, no matter if it is down or synthetic insulation. The more insulation a jacket contains, the more loft it provides. We looked at the fill weight to determine how much insulation each winter jacket had, and then compared that weight to the cut and length to see how that insulation was distributed. If we have two jackets with an equal fill weight of 10 ounces, but one has a waist length hem while the other has a mid-thigh length hem, these two jackets will not be equally warm.

As we discuss more in our Buying Advice article, the higher the down's fill power number, the higher the quality of the down feathers. This only translates into lighter down and more compression. The amount of insulation, not the quality, is what determines a jacket's warmth. The Rab Neutrino Endurance features high quality, 800-fill down to keep the weight down and packable size small. The rest of the down insulated parkas feature down below 750 all the way down to 550-fill for The North Face Gotham II Jacket.

This number should not dissuade shoppers, though, as the casual parka can get away with using a heavier down product than a technical parka that you might be carrying in your backpack with you. The Canada Goose Expedition Parka has an average quality 625-fill down, but it has so much that it was the warmest model reviewed. The Patagonia Tres also kept us warm, as did the Arc'teryx Camosun Parka. Competing with the warmest jackets in our review, the Mountain Hardwear Therminator deserves mention. It is the warmest synthetic insulated piece reviewed. After the Canada Goose jacket, the next warmest earned a Best Buy award. The North Face McMurdo is nearly an expedition parka, with the price tag of a casual jacket.

On the whole, except for the Mountain Hardwear version, the synthetic insulated models tested were not as warm as the down models. The Arc'teryx Fission SV and Helly Hansen Dubliner were less warm than the down models reviewed. This is likely due to less insulation in the garments overall rather than a fault of the synthetic fibers, though it did reinforce the idea for us that if you are looking for warmth, you should opt for down. Some parkas reviewed feature a combination of down and synthetic insulation.

The Editors' Choice winning Arc'teryx Camosun uses a synthetic material in areas exposed to moisture, such as the shoulders and hood, and down in the core. The Columbia Gold 650 TurboDown Hooded Jacket contains a mixture of 550-fill down and an additional 100 grams of synthetic fiber. Columbia used its proprietary OmniHeat fabric to line the inside of the parka, which gives it an emergency blanket feel. This fabric may add warmth without much weight, but we have not independently tested it. We do feel as though the TurboDown Jacket was warmer than other, similar thickness jackets, in a given temperature range.

Our Editors' Choice winner  Arc'teryx Camosun Parka  is very warm despite its slim appearance  thanks to body-mapped down and synthetic insulation.
Our Editors' Choice winner, Arc'teryx Camosun Parka, is very warm despite its slim appearance, thanks to body-mapped down and synthetic insulation.

Finally, in terms of warmth, the pile insulated jackets are the least insulating products reviewed. Well-suited to more moderate climates, the Patagonia Isthmus and Fjallraven Greenland are durable and stylish, insulated with synthetic fleece, that just don't stack up to the rest of the field in terms of warmth.

Weather Resistance

Since all of the parkas feature insulation, and 8 out of 13 use at least some down fill, we need a weather-resistant outer fabric to protect ourselves from winter weather but also to protect the insulation from becoming wet. All of the parkas have some kind of resistant fabric, from basic durable water resistant (DWR) coated nylon to a fully waterproof membrane with taped seams, but they have a wide degree of resistance to soaking through, depending on the weather.

No matter if you choose a DWR treated material or a layered shell like Gore-Tex, proper care is essential for it to stay waterproof. Use of detergents strip the waterproof treatment from the fabric, so try to use a DWR or Gore-Tex specific cleaner, then a wash-in or spray-on waterproofing to restore your winter jacket's weather resistance.

If you live in a low elevation or low latitude area where the winter precipitation tends to fall as rain rather than snow, you should look at a parka with a waterproof outer shell, such as the Patagonia Tres with its H2NO fabric, or the Arc'teryx Fission SV that uses Gore-Tex. These waterproof/breathable fabrics shed water quicker and for a longer duration than a typical DWR treatment. But, if you'll be wearing your jacket in lower temperatures where it tends to snow, then the parkas with DWR treatments such as the Canada Goose Expedition Parka, or the Rab Neutrino Endurance will be more than adequately protected.

The Rab Neutrino Endurance  and other DWR coated parkas  shed water well  though not as well as two- and three-layer membranes.
The Rab Neutrino Endurance, and other DWR coated parkas, shed water well, though not as well as two- and three-layer membranes.

Special mention must be made here of the shell fabric of the Fjallraven jacket. The cotton/poly blend is a traditional shell material that requires more maintenance than the nylon shell materials on the other jackets. Fjallraven sells a special "Greenland Wax" that is used to treat the fabric for water resistance and durability. You can modulate the amount of treatment applied in the interest of tailoring your protection.

The Rab Neutrino Endurance uses hydrophobic, coated down feathers, which will not save the jacket from soaking through in the event of a downpour, but can add a bit more latitude in going out in wetter weather.

Even though a jacket might claim to be waterproof, you should make sure that the seams are fully taped. Why? When a shell jacket is put together, it is stitched through (or in some cases welded together using high-frequency microwave technology). This stitching leaves small holes in the fabric, and if they are not taped they will become an easy entry for moisture.


Wintertime is uncomfortable enough for many, so you shouldn't have to put on an uncomfortable winter parka, too. Most of the models reviewed have added in extra ways to make braving the cold and wind more forgiving.

Fleece lining on the inside of the pockets and where the chin flap meets the face add coziness to the parka. The North Face Gotham and McMurdo parkas, as well as Helly Hansen's Dubliner and the Canada Goose Expedition, include a fur (or faux fur) hood trim. When cinched tight it makes you feel like you are at home in front of the fire. The cut of the parka also keeps comfort in mind. A meticulously designed jacket like the Arc'teryx Camosun Parka is going to fit your body better than some of the other square cut designs, and the longer hem, which many of these parkas use, keeps the waist from riding up and exposing you to drafts.

The more comfortable parkas reviewed, like the Arc'teryx Camosun, also have elastic rib knit cuffs, which seal out drafts and snow the best. In assessing the comfort of various products, we found a general correlation between cost and comfort. More expensive jackets use softer materials and tailoring to achieve maximum comfort. A notable exception, however, is our Best Buy Marmot Fordham. At a bargain price, every tester who tried on the Fordham was impressed to find its basic, initial comfort to exceed basically the rest of the field. The only more comfortable jacket was the REI Stratocloud Hoodie, which is more of a specific function "down sweater" than it is a full-featured winter jacket. The Stratocloud is comfy, but it requires a separate shell layer for full protection.

The integrated stretchy liner that is sewn to the sleeve on the Camosun prevents any air or moisture from sneaking inside. This feature greatly adds to the comfort of this jacket.
The integrated stretchy liner that is sewn to the sleeve on the Camosun prevents any air or moisture from sneaking inside. This feature greatly adds to the comfort of this jacket.


It is the addition of winter-specific features that have already set the jackets in this review apart from the rest. Features such as a hood, multiple hand pockets, two-way zippers, and thought out cuff closures are important attributes of a good winter jacket. A hood is virtually mandatory during nasty winter weather, and while it is not a substitute for a warm hat, a hood makes life a lot nicer.

Only the non-hooded version of the Columbia Turbo Down (we have, over the years, tested both hooded and non-hooded versions) does not come with any hood, meaning that a warm hat is necessary. Additional hood adjustments to get a customizable and secure fit are necessary for a well-rounded parka. The best hood in our test is on the chart-topping Canada Goose. The hood is warm - it's also large, but can be cinched down securely and comfortably, and the stiffness of the brim keeps it out of your view, largely.

A salient attribute of the McMurdo is the integrated neck gaiter. This flap of fabric lives unobtrusively against the hood until you need it. Then  it is indispensable.
A salient attribute of the McMurdo is the integrated neck gaiter. This flap of fabric lives unobtrusively against the hood until you need it. Then, it is indispensable.

Handwarmer pockets are a good place to keep cold hands or to keep gloves, and most have a fleecy liner. The best hand-warmers are on the Arc'teryx jackets. Both of these award winners feature fully insulated hand warmer pockets with fleece lining the fabric the back of your hand touches. There is insulation between your hand and body, and between your hand and the outdoors. 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 Therminator, put the user's hand between the insulation and the wearer's body.

Finally, while better than nothing, we wish for a more sophisticated design than the jackets that feature a single layer of fabric protecting the hands in a warming pocket. The Canada Goose and Patagonia Tres, for instance, both have basically uninsulated hand pockets. Special mention must be made of the hand warmer pockets on our Best Buy, The North Face McMurdo II. The pockets are uninsulated, but they are fleece-lined and there are f four of them! With a set at chest level and at waist level, there is a hand warming option for every posture.

When wearing a trench-coat-length parka, the need for two-way zippers becomes apparent as the long length can inhibit stride, and wearing a long coat while seated can be awkward and uncomfortable without this feature. Cuff closures can be simple elastic closures, a snap closure, or Velcro, but a good winter parka needs to allow you to seal out the snow and cold and to allow you to use gloves. Open cuffs with interior gaskets, like on the Patagonia Wanaka Down, combine fashion and function.

Other features that may be important to you are internal phone pockets with headphone ports, snow skirts to seal out the cold, or built-in face warmers. We liked the features 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. We also liked the features on both The North Face Gotham II Jacket and our Best Buy Marmot Fordham. Both come with an array of pockets, including an internal Napoleon pocket that has a headphone channel so your electronics stay dry. The Gotham and McMurdo jackets add removable fur hood lining and unique integrated face mask/neck gaiter. Other jackets, like the Columbia Gold 650 TurboDown and REI Stratocloud, were barebones models with little more than two hand pockets.
The McMurdo has both chest mounted hand warmers  as used here  and waist level ones.
The McMurdo has both chest mounted hand warmers, as used here, and waist level ones.

The Mountain Hardwear Therminator leads the pack in features. With a full suite of pockets, great hood and cuff seals, and an integrated powder skirt, we can't ask for any more features.


Style is personal, and we allow our personalities to show through some of our clothing choices, including a winter jacket. This review includes parkas that could be comfortably worn from a nice restaurant to a Broadway show, and ones that look clean and simple, but are more at home walking the dog or taking the gondola. We have already talked about the differences between technical and casual parkas, and 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, though, as they may be missing crucial elements for safe winter adventuring, such as hoods or waterproofing.

Most of the models reviewed have a longer cut, which adds warmth and weather resistance, giving a different look than the waist-length athletic cuts that most of the backcountry-inspired jackets have. We liked the style of the Patagonia Isthmus and Arc'teryx Camosun, which are both stylish enough to dress up with but can be worn while snowshoeing or ice skating and still perform well.

In the wild or around town  the look of the Camosun is smooth and clean.
In the wild or around town, the look of the Camosun is smooth and clean.

The technical Rab Neutrino is a different style than the city cut of the Fjallraven Greenland. The snowboarder-inspired Mountain Hardwear Therminator contrasts with the practical bulk of the Canada Goose. The Marmot Fordham and Patagonia Tres are neutral products. Across the board, we tested subtly different "looks" to find something for everyone.

One reviewer commented that the form fitting cut of the Dubliner appeared a bit feminine.
One reviewer commented that the form fitting cut of the Dubliner appeared a bit feminine.


With few exceptions, quality winter outerwear is not inexpensive. For a quality winter parka, expect to make an investment, but you should expect that investment to pay off for a few years of consistent use, depending on the activity. 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 during the 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 of companies like Canada Goose and Patagonia, who will stand by the craftsmanship and materials of their products.

One of the most important things we looked at is outer fabric. The heavier duty, canvas-like outer material of The North Face Gotham II will withstand more abuse than the thinner Pertex shell of the Rab Neutrino or the whisper thin shell of the REI Stratocloud. Zippers, snaps, and Velcro receive a lot of wear as well, so we looked at these closures to make sure they were durable enough. We gave our highest score in this category to the Canada Goose Expedition Parka. The large zippers, durable outer material, and solid construction make this jacket last. We were concerned about the durability of the technical models tested. These will be used around sharp ice climbing tools, and the thin shells on the Rab Neutrino Endurance and Columbia Turbo Down don't hold up well to a wayward ice screw or axe.

We loved the burly shell fabric of the Canada Goose for hard-working chores in brutal cold temps.
We loved the burly shell fabric of the Canada Goose for hard-working chores in brutal cold temps.


Even with a hood and insulated pockets, a pair of gloves and a hat may be a good idea. Consider the Bird Head Toque and the Outdoor Research Sueno Beanie to prevent heat loss.

For gloves, check out our review of The Best Ski Gloves.


We put 14 top rated winter jackets to the test to help you find the best one  whether you're commuting to work  hanging in a mountain town or heading out into the backcountry. We rated each model on its warmth  weather resistance  comfort  features  style  and durability.
We put 14 top rated winter jackets to the test to help you find the best one, whether you're commuting to work, hanging in a mountain town or heading out into the backcountry. We rated each model on its warmth, weather resistance, comfort, features, style, and durability.
A good jacket in this category should protect you from winter's harsh elements by keeping you warm and dry. The challenge is finding the right type of jacket for your individual needs. Depending on your location and lifestyle, you may be in the market for something casual and stylish to keep you warm when going outside, or you may be looking for something more technical with features designed for an athletic lifestyle. Regardless of your preference, we hope that this review has helped you find the best for you. Check out our Buying Advice article for more detailed advice on sorting through the different types of jackets available.

Jediah Porter
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