Guide to buying the perfect winter coat
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Dec 30, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Guide to buying the perfect winter coat


When hibernating, bears rely on their one coat (of fur) and a quiet cave to survive the long, chilly winter.

But we humans stay quite busy during the winter months and, luckily, have many options for coats appropriate for all types of cold weather activities.

Below are four winter coat styles for every type of activity and which features to look for:

The down jacket

Defining feature: down insulation is a natural feather found on the underside of geese and ducks which super warm and lightweight

Ideal for: light activity, like a casual stroll

Look for: Fill power (indicative of down quality) and fill weight (amount of down used)

Types of down jackets: the puffer, the bomber, the parka

Drawback: getting wet in a down jacket can turn the insulation from lightweight and warm to soggy and smelly

The hard shell jacket

Defining feature: hard shell jackets aren’t literally stiff, but are built to stand up to wind and precipitation

Ideal for: cold and wet weather conditions, as well as moderate activity that requires water vapor to escape the jacket

Look for: a lining material that reduces friction between the jacket and your clothes, a breathable waterproof membrane, and an external fabric with durable water resistant (DWR) coating

Types of hard shell jackets: parkas, ski or snowboarding jackets

Drawback: not as lightweight as a down or soft shell jacket

The soft shell jacket

Defining feature: soft shell jackets are lightweight, water-resistant and breathable

Ideal for: moderate to heavy activity that requires increased breathability, e.g. cross-country skiing or jogging

Look for: stretchiness and an unrestrictive fit

Types of soft shell jackets: ski jacket or high performance jacket for climbing or running

Drawback: water-resistant soft shell jackets may keep the snow off, but will get soaked in heavy rain since they’re technically not designed to be waterproof

The wool coat

Defining feature: wool is a natural insulator, can be used in many different cuts and style and is durable

Ideal for: formal attire, very light activity

Look for: a durable inner lining that minimizes friction between the coat and your clothes and a flattering fit

Types of wool coats: overcoat, pea coat, duffle coat, cape

Drawback: not suited for wet conditions or frigid temperature

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