Not all winter coats are created equal. And if you live in a cold climate, you could find out the hard way that you don’t have the right kind of coat for your environment. A good winter coat that is meant for extreme cold should keep your body heat in, keep you and your clothing dry, and keep the cold and the wind out.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to winter coats and some of them can be quite expensive. So, we’re going to help you weed through some of the good choices out there and go over the features that you should be looking for in a winter coat for extreme cold.
The price range for winter coats varies a lot. That’s because the price of a winter coat is based on a lot of different factors including, but not limited to, materials, effectiveness, style, manufacturing process, and brand. For a budget coat, you’ll be looking at spending from about $100 to $300. At the other end of the spectrum, a premium winter coat can cost you over $1,000.
What should I consider when buying any winter coat?
What are the more advanced features that I should consider in a high-end winter coat?
What is the difference between down, synthetic and technical jackets? Which type is best for which climate?
Down jackets are insulated with down from a goose or duck, and are great at keeping you warm. Down shouldn’t get wet so these coats are best in dry, cold climates. Synthetic jackets are very good at keeping you warm as well and can hold up more sufficiently than down if they do get wet.
So, if you’re going to be using your coat somewhere that is damp, then synthetic could be a good choice for you. Technical jackets are coats that are weather-resistant. If you live somewhere that has frequent weather events or unpredictable weather, a technical jacket would be a good choice for you.
How can you tell if a jacket is all-weatherproof?
The coat should be marked as all-weatherproof, which means it should be rainproof and windproof. You need to know, though, that there are varying levels of weatherproofing. There is a rating called the CFM. This indicates how good a jacket is at resisting wind.
How can I tell if a winter coat fits properly?
For a coat to be the right fit, it needs to be comfortable with some small air pockets between the coat and your clothing underneath in some places. You also want to check that the sleeves don’t expose your wrists if you extend your arms out straight in front of you.
And if you raise your arms above your head and the bottom hem of the jacket comes up high enough to expose your stomach, then you probably need a longer coat.
How meaningful or accurate are temperature ratings?
Temperature ratings for winter coats are kind of tricky. The rating is there to tell you how warm or cold you will feel when wearing the coat in certain temperatures.
Well, that’s hard to say because there are so many other factors that would come into play that would make you feel warmer or colder. You can use this rating as a relative guide to compare different jackets, but don’t take the temperature rating at face value.
This weatherproof, down winter coat will keep you warm and cozy and keep the elements out. The North Face makes good quality coats that come with a lifetime warranty for the original owner when you purchase from an authorized re-seller.
The name of the company comes from the coldest side of the mountain, the north face. They’ve been making winter coats for extreme cold for more than 50 years. The price for this coat sits at the upper end of the budget coats range.
The weatherproofing of this coat is quite a standout feature. The premise of the company was to provide a coat to people who want to explore that can go with them anywhere and keep them warm and comfortable. This coat features a shell that has been seam-sealed to keep you dry and an outer shell that is 100% windproof.
The fit for this jacket might be a little different than some. There is some question as to whether the sizes fit as expected.
Also, there is only one large compartment in the back of the coat for the down. That allows the down to bunch up at the bottom and makes the coat not very uniform in its ability to keep you warm.
The Firebee offers a high level of down insulation with a windproof outer shell that serves an important purpose while also maintaining classy style. The StormHood is fully adjustable and has room for a helmet to fit underneath it.
All seams have been seam-taped to keep moisture out. There are also elasticized sleeve cuffs and lower hem adjusters to keep cold air from getting to your body. The Arc’teryx Firebee AR is a premium winter coat that is priced on the upper end of the range.
This coat is definitely a premium option that is meant for people who spend time on the slopes or doing activities out in the cold snowy weather.
Arc’teryx made every detail of this coat work for you to help keep you warm and protect you from the elements while you're doing your winter activities. It has very high quality down with a high fill power rating of 850. The material and the zippers, including pocket zippers, are all water resistant as well.
While the coat is certainly designed to be premium in quality, and gives you a lot for your money, the price of this coat is definitely premium too. The coat is one of the most expensive on the market.
There are only three colors to choose from. Also, this coat may be a little bit too much for anything other than trekking up mountains or other activities that put you out in an actual blizzard.
The Patagonia Downtown Parka is the perfect around-town winter coat. It’s a down filled coat that is extra-long to keep you warm all over. It’s meant to be warm but also stylish.
It has a satin polyester outer shell that is super soft, and it’s finished with a DWR treatment that repels any kind of moisture. This is a women’s winter coat that is priced above the budget range but not by much.
The Downtown Parka isn’t meant for wearing to ski or climb a mountain. This coat is a good everyday kind of garment. The extra-long length means you’ll be warm all the way down your entire torso.
The outer shell of satin polyester makes the coat soft to touch on the outside and the DWR treatment keeps the moisture from getting to the down. The hood on this coat is 2-way adjustable and is also filled with down to keep your head and neck warm.
While this coat does have the DWR treatment to repel water, the polyester that the outer shell is made of is not water resistant. In fact, the coat is not weather resistant at all.
The construction of the coat includes contoured quilting to keep the down in place, which is good, but that makes for a lot of stitched seams that can allow wind to get through. Also, the hood is not detachable, and the coat is pretty heavy.
Marmot’s Fordham Men’s Jacket is designed as a throwback style coat that is part of their “CityTech” collection. They did borrow a lot of the details they work into their ski jackets to make this a really warm coat that looks great too.
The insulation is down while the outer shell is 100% polyester. The price for this coat puts it just outside of the budget range, but not by a lot.
The 700-fill power rating for this coat makes it very well insulated. The details are taken from the company’s ski jackets, and were added to this coat to make it a good option for everyday use in a cold climate.
The pockets are designed to keep your items safe and out of the weather. We also really like the throwback style of the coat and that the hood is fully detachable.
The coat is treated with Marmot’s Down Defender, but this is not a weatherproof winter jacket. The collar area isn’t very comfortable and needs to be covered with something softer that doesn’t itch.
Also, the cuffs at the end of the sleeves don’t easily accommodate winter gloves so those could use some re-engineering.
The Canada Goose Expedition Parka is meant for very extreme weather conditions. It was designed for the use of scientists working at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
The coat is bulky and very warm. It has a fur trimmed hood and an adjustable waist that can be cinched tight. This is an extremely premium level winter coat that is meant for very cold climates. This coat is on the expensive side.
This coat is one of the warmest coats on the market. It was designed for the climate of Antarctica. The number of pockets on this coat makes it stand out from the crowd as well.
Also, the insulated hood is lined with real coyote fur. This coat is very high-end and meant for very specific kinds of environments.
Woolrich John Rich and Bros has made this Arctic Parka since 1972 and it’s the warmest of the coats in that collection. They use duck down padding and a military style hood to help this coat keep you warm all the way down to -40 degrees Celsius.
The outer shell is a blend of cotton and nylon that is good for keeping the moisture out and the heat in. The price for this coat comes in at the middle of the range.
The Arctic Parka is slim fitting and fairly long. It has a style that is iconic and recognizable. The materials are very high quality and were chosen to stand up against cold weather conditions.
Hand warming pockets in the front keep your hands warm even in frigid temperatures. While the price isn’t exactly budget-friendly, it isn’t outrageous, and you get a very high quality winter coat.
Here is a winter coat that gives you warmth and water resistance, but at an affordable price. The coat is 100% polyester and has an inner fleece non-removable bib that can be zipped up separately from the outer shell.
The oversized, faux fur-lined hood can be removed. This coat can be machine washed and features storm cuffs for added protection. The price for this coat makes it a great choice for those on a tight budget.
The price for this coat is the biggest detail that sets it apart from other winter coats on the market. The coat is extremely warm, but costs very little compared to its competitors.
The non-removable fleece bib on the inside of the coat is another standout feature. It allows you to keep it zipped while leaving the outer shell open for varying temperatures.
There’s nothing fancy about this coat. There are lots of reports that the coat is warm, but it wouldn’t hold up well in extremely cold weather conditions.
There’s nothing added for wind block technology. The polyester outer shell may have been treated to be water resistant, but it wouldn’t keep the water out in a rainstorm, as it’s not waterproof.
This is a great addition to the coat closet of people who live where it’s cold. It’s made of a cotton and nylon blend on the outside and filled with a synthetic insulation on the inside.
It’s a thigh-length coat that has been treated to make it weather resistant, and it has a detachable faux fur-trimmed hood for added protection. The price is very low and budget friendly.
Patagonia made the Hyper Puff Hoody to withstand very harsh, cold conditions. This is their warmest hoody that is insulated with synthetic filling.
The outer shell is weather resistant and made of 100% nylon stretch rip material. The materials are all very movable, but still trap heat inside. This coat is priced at the very top of the budget range.
The Hyper Puff Hoody is a budget friendly coat that is able to withstand the harshest conditions. The materials used were engineered to be exceedingly free-moving without tearing.
This is the perfect coat for people who like to participate in winter weather activities. It’s weather resistant and was designed to be extremely warm in the coldest climates.
The Whitefish by Outdoor Research was designed to keep you warm on the side of a mountain where the wind is howling, or walking down the cold, dark street in town at night.
Outdoor Research has been making winter apparel for over 30 years. This coat has a western workwear style that is versatile enough to wear almost anywhere. It’s lightweight and down-filled, and looks very classic. The Whitefish is priced at the upper end of the budget range.
The Whitefish is an all-around winter coat that can be worn in harsh weather conditions. It’s made of durable materials that can protect against wind, rain, and snow, and can keep you warm with the high quality down insulation.
The double-separating zipper gives you added protection from the wind and moisture as well.
Even though there are a lot of options out there for winter coats, they aren’t all made for extremely cold climates and weather conditions.
It’s very important to consider all of the features of the coat. And it's important to look into the ratings and details that will add to the coat's ability to keep you warm and dry when you’re braving the elements of whatever climate you will be using it in.
Prices for winter coats range from very low to extremely high, so just make sure you choose the coat that fits into your budget, but still gives you all the features you are looking for. Hope this guide helps you make a good choice. Happy shopping, and stay warm!