Best parka jacket

Outerwear

The word "parka" comes from the Nenets language, a Samoyedic language of northern Russia. It simply translates to “animal skin” and was first seen in writing in 1625.

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Which parka jackets are best?

As the weather gets colder, warm clothing is an essential staple in your wardrobe. The parka is a popular winter coat, for both its ability to stay warm and for its arctic style. But since most come at a premium, it’s worth researching which one will be the right investment for you.

The best parka jacket is the Canada Goose Men’s Langford Parka, which is actually made in the USA with natural coyote fur. 

What to know before you buy a parka jacket 

Warmth of design

The parka is effective at retaining body heat, even in the most frigid climates. That’s why it’s used by Inuits and Arctic researchers. This kind of clothing may only be recommended for extremely cold areas, such as the Northern parts of America, Canada, Europe and Russia. In mildly cold climates, you may sweat or overheat if you wear a parka. 

Fur

Most parkas have hoods lined with animal fur, usually coyote fur or faux fur. The fur helps to trap warm air inside and catch falling snow. If you are conscious about buying products that involve animal products, research the materials that the manufacturer used to design the parka. It may even be possible to find parkas without fur at all. 

A worthwhile investment

You may be shocked to see parkas reach over $1,000 in price, but that comes with the territory. Remember that these are not coats you will use once and then throw away: they are with you for at least a dozen winters and must hold up in the most extreme conditions. As a result, it’s worth investing a little extra money in finding a parka that will last you a while. 

What to look for in a quality parka jacket

Insulation

A high-quality jacket needs to be able to retain heat inside and keep the cold outside. This comes down to the insulation technology and materials used. Down is generally considered to be the warmest and most efficient material, but synthetic material can also get the job done, provided the coat is stuffed more than the typical down coat. 

Hood 

The hood is one of the most important parts of a parka, as it keeps your head warm from the cold, snow and rain. Hoods can come in all different styles, including snorkel, turtleneck and jacket. The snorkel has the jacket zipper go all the way up to your face. The turtleneck has a high collar that covers your neck but isn’t connected to the hood. The jacket collar stops at the bottom of the neck and will require you to wear a scarf. 

Durability

Even the low-end coats can be relatively expensive, but if you have to replace your coat constantly, you’ll end up paying more than if you bought one high-end coat. Buy a durable brand-name coat, such as Canada Goose, North Face or LL Bean. Some will even have a warranty for several years, which makes your purchase that much more reassuring. 

Zipper 

Another essential component is the zipper, the main adjustable piece of the parka. Since you’ll most likely be wearing gloves during the winter, having big zippers can be a big convenience. You may even want a zipper that goes two ways, so that you can have control over which areas to vent and which areas to insulate. 

Pockets 

Pockets are essential not only for carrying items but for keeping your hands toasty warm. The best pockets are lined with some special material such as fleece so that you don’t even have to wear gloves. Pockets may sometimes be placed by your chest or by the stomach because these places generate a lot of heat.

Cuffs 

As sleeves can have gaps that allow cold air to seep in, cuffs are important considerations to ensure you maintain a sense of insulation. They also come in different styles, including elastic, velcro, ribbed and snap. Ribbed cuffs are great because they are highly flexible while effective at insulating cold air out. 

Cinch 

Finally, cold air can seep in through the bottom of the parka. A cinch design can help tighten up any loose gaps, limiting the airflow underneath without cutting off blood circulation. You are most likely to find cinches on higher-end jackets. 

How much you can expect to spend on a quality parka jacket

You can find parkas as cheap as $70, but they likely won’t keep you as warm or last as long as the best brands, which can retail for as much as $1,200. 

Parka jacket FAQ

What size should I get?

A. Parka jackets tend to run large, so consider sizing down. However, look at sizing guides or reach out to the manufacturer directly to get a jacket that fits your build.

Are parkas waterproof?

A. With their outer materials and hooded construction, parkas are at least somewhat water-resistant and snowproof. However, because some of them have openings and are made with fur, it’s difficult to say they are all waterproof. Check your manufacturer description to see if the parka you choose is waterproof. 

What are the best parka jackets to buy?

Top parka jacket

Canada Goose Men's Langford Parka 

Canada Goose Men’s Langford Parka 

What you need to know: Made in the USA, this is one of the best parkas you can get with an iconic design and a warm interior.

What you’ll love: The hood is made with genuine coyote fur and can be removed for milder conditions.

What you should consider: The jacket is over $1,000, making it a considerable investment compared to other parka jackets.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top parka jacket for the money

The North Face Women's Metropolis Insulated Parka III 

The North Face Women’s Metropolis Insulated Parka III 

What you need to know: This stylish North Face jacket for women is a minimal and lightweight take on the parka design.

What you’ll love: 550-fill goose down makes this jacket not only warm but lightweight.

What you should consider: The hood does not come with any fur, making it slightly less warm than more premium options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Carhartt Women's Quick Duck Sawtooth Parka 

Carhartt Women’s Quick Duck Sawtooth Parka 

What you need to know: Carhartt has produced a fashionable version of a parka with plenty of pockets and a warm fur hood.

What you’ll love: Plenty of pockets means you can carry several items while still keeping your hands warm.

What you should consider: The coat is on the heavy and stiff side, which can be cumbersome if you need a little flexibility to move.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Leo Herrera-Lim writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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