A jacket’s insulation determines its ability to retain body heat. A high CLO rating (the measure of an item’s thermal resistance shared by LifeLabs) is a good indicator but length and other features also matter.
One of our writers from chilly Michigan says this jacket has the right mix of warmth and versatility to handle everything from cross-country skiing to daily commutes on public transit. It’s also water-resistant to prevent soaking from rain and snow.
The North Face McMurdo
The North Face McMurdo is one of the warmest insulated winter jackets in the world. This parka uses a thick and cozy 850-fill power down that is treated with water resistance, keeping you toasty dry in snow or rain. This is a great winter jacket for outdoor enthusiasts who want to keep warm while doing their favorite activities.
While fill power is a good indicator of warmth, other factors like extra-long jackets and hoods are also important. The North Face McMurdo is a fantastic example of this – it features a roomy hood that blocks out extreme elements and even has removable faux fur along the chin.
The North Face McMurdo is ideal for those who will be using their jacket for general winter use. While it doesn’t have the waterproof protection of some other options on this list, its lightweight and comfortable design makes it perfect for walking around town in freezing weather. This jacket is also a fantastic choice for those who aren’t going to be doing intense activities in sub-zero temperatures.
Canada Goose Expedition Parka
The Canada Goose Expedition Parka is one of the warmest jackets available on the market. Originally developed for scientists in Antarctica, it can withstand temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit. The bombproof shell and 625-fill duck down are designed to withstand extreme cold weather and wind chill. The insulated tunnel hood and real coyote fur trim are also added for extra warmth. Other features include recessed rib knit cuffs, storm flaps, snaps, and velcro to ensure that you are fully protected against the harsh elements.
Despite its amazing qualities, the Expedition parka isn’t ideal for all activities. It’s bulky and uncomfortable to sit down in for long periods of time. It’s also not suitable for strenuous activity, as exerting yourself can make you feel overheated. However, for those who face arctic conditions on a daily basis, the Expedition parka is well worth the investment. For anyone who doesn’t, the price may be a little too steep.
The North Face Aconcagua Women’s Jacket
Named after the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, this jacket was made to be a warm winter companion for any adventure. It is insulated with natural and recycled synthetic insulation to conserve body heat, whatever the conditions.
One of our writers who lives in a cold climate wears this jacket daily, calling it “really warm” without feeling too heavy. She says the thigh-length fit and recessed elastic cuffs keep the chill off her arms, and the stand-up collar offers extra warmth for her head.
The North Face describes this coat as an “active layer,” which means it is built to be comfortable for hiking and other strenuous outdoor activities. It is also great for walking or commuting on public transit, as stylist and lifestyle director Donnell Baldwin has found. The fabric’s DWR finish keeps precipitation at bay, and the 550-fill goose down in the body provides plenty of warmth. The sleeves and shoulders use a hybrid fill of Heatseeker insulation for wind and water protection.
If you’re going to be in frigid conditions for extended periods of time, you want a jacket that’s ready for it. Arc’teryx offers a range of hard shell jackets with weather-resistant properties like wind and water protection, as well as insulated jackets that provide warmth without the bulk.
The Therme is a long parka that’s designed for comfort and protection from the elements. It uses a GORE-TEX membrane and breathable laminate that keeps rain, snow and wind at bay. It also has a Coreloft insulated hood that provides additional insulation.
While the Therme doesn’t have as many pockets as some of the other jackets on this list, it does offer a number of useful features. The hood is ample, and the jacket has a no-lift gusset that allows for more movement. It also has a waist cinch that helps you keep the cold out. The hand pockets are large, and the jacket is made from a durable fabric that’s easy to clean.