Winter is tough enough without having the right jacket. By “right,” we mean a jacket that keeps you warm when colder temperatures become more than a little challenging.
That’s why men who live in wintry climates should own a parka. A quality parka – such as The North Face McMurdo III – keep you warm and comfortable during those months when warm and comfortable are necessities.
We’ll review 11 of the best parkas in this post, discuss some tips for wearing a parka, review various types of winter jackets, and kick things off with some parka buying tips.
Table of Contents
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|The North Face Men’s McMurdo Parka III||Check on Amazon →|
|Caterpillar Men’s Heavy Insulated Parka||Check on Amazon →|
|Woolrich Men’s Arctic Parka||Check on Amazon →|
|Canada Goose Men’s Expedition Parka Coat||Check on Amazon →|
|Mountain Hardware Men’s Absolute Zero Parka||Check on Amazon →|
|Boulder Creek Men’s Big & Tall Expedition Parka Coat||Check on Amazon →|
|Arc’teryx Camosun Men’s Parka||Check on Amazon →|
|The North Face Men’s Gotham Jacket III||Check on Amazon →|
|Eddie Bauer Men’s Boundary Pass Parka||Check on Amazon →|
|Alpha Industries Men’s Slim-fit N-3b Parka||Check on Amazon →|
|Rothco M-51 Fishtail Parka||Check on Amazon →|
Before you buy: 6 Things to consider when purchasing a parka
Not all winter parkas for men are built the same or have the same features. That’s becomes fairly obvious the longer you shop for a parka and that’s OK. After all, you need a jacket that fits your needs specifically.
It does make finding the perfect parka a bit challenging, however, and it helps to have some guidance along the way. The following are things to keep in mind as you decide amongst many winter parka options.
The most important reason for having a parka is that it keeps you warm when temperatures plummet. That’s a parka’s most basic function and one that you should never take lightly.
Understanding a parka’s true warmth is tricky because how warm it feels on your body may differ from how it feels on another person.
Your body type is a factor, as is the climate of where you live. And, if a parka has a rating of, say, 15°F, that means it should keep you warm at that temperature. But that’s only a rough estimate.
While temperature ratings provide a rough estimate of a parka’s warmth, fill power and down weight offer a clearer picture of overall warmth and insulation capability.
Fill power measures the quality of a parka’s down. The better the down quality the warmer the jacket, and fill power can range from 300 to 900+. A higher number represents better down quality, and a more expensive parka.
Down weight refers to the amount of down used during manufacturing. More down means greater insulation potential.
No matter how warm your parka or its style, you’ll lose patience with it quickly if it doesn’t fit properly.
The right fit depends on several factors, including your body’s shape. In general, the shoulders should fit a bit snugly while the parka’s body should lightly hug your torso.
A parka’s length should depend on the fierceness of your climate. If you live in a region where heavy snow, wind, and ice are common, it’s wise to choose a parka that extends to your mid-thigh, if not to your knees.
If you live in an area in which the weather gets cold in winter, but not extreme, then a waist or hip-length parka should suffice.
Most parkas for men fall under “technical” or “casual” categories.
Technical jackets are those meant for use during outdoor adventures. They typically feature a trim fit that allows for athletic movement.
They also include features such as water bottle pockets, helmet-compatible hoods, and highly-durable materials placed in areas of high wear.
Technical jackets tend to cost more because they have extra down to protect against extreme temperatures.
Casual parkas place a greater emphasis on style and comfort – not that technical jackets aren’t stylish and comfortable – and will suffice if you need a warmer jacket for activities such as commuting to work in the city or hanging out at the ice rink.
They’re not as ideal for activities like winter hikes in the wilderness, however.
The difference between one winter parka from the rest often comes down to its features. From hoods to zippers to pockets to cuffs, you should consider a parka’s features carefully before you buy.
A hood is an important feature and it may be removable depending on the brand and manufacturer. Removable hoods make it easier to reduce bulk when temperatures start to climb.
Also, many hoods are spacious enough to allow for a helmet – such as when skiing or snowmobiling – and adjustable to help you get the right fit.
Many casual jackets feature loose cuffs considered to be more stylish than tighter-fitting ones. But keep in mind that looser cuffs tend to let in cold air which doesn’t make them ideal for longer outdoor adventures.
A parka’s insulation keeps your body warm from the inside and, as mentioned, the more down a jacket has that better its overall insulation. But many jackets also feature synthetic insulation; the latter has come a long way over the years regarding quality.
One of the drawbacks of synthetic insulation is that it starts to pack down and lose its warmth over time. Then again, moisture doesn’t compromise the insulation qualities of synthetic materials as it does down, and it dries out faster.
Pile fabric, which resembles the wool of a sheep, combines the attributes of synthetic and down insulation.
It’s not as thick, however, so whether you choose pile fabric or not may depend on the climate in which you live and how much time you spend outdoors during a typical winter’s day.
We’ve already touched on it a bit, but it’s worth repeating: the type and style of winter parka you choose depend on how you plan to use it.
If you live in the city, or work in the city and don’t spend much time outdoors in the winter, your needs are different from someone who spends a lot of time in the great outdoors and who enjoys outdoor winter activities.
The 11 best parkas for men 2020
- Down insulation
- Excellent value
- Relaxed fit
The best parka for:
Men who don’t want to spend too much on a parka without sacrificing warmth and comfort
North Face knows a thing or two about winter clothing and it’s no surprise that they offer several quality parkas.
The McMurdo Parka III is among the best of the best in the North Face line and has all the comfort, warmth, and features to help you endure a hard winter.
Warmth comes from down insulation that’s plentiful within the McMurdo Parka III’s construction. But it also comes from a fur-lined hood that’s smaller than previous McMurdo versions, yet still ample enough. The hood is removable.
A breathable, seam-sealed Dry Vent 2L shell provides outer protection and is waterproof. It’s also 100% windproof.
The McMurdo design features eight pockets, including two handwarmer pockets that are definitely welcomed when the temperatures take a nosedive.
The McMurdo Parka III also comes at a very affordable price and offers everything that many expensive parkas do, and even more in some cases.
- The down insulation is exceptionally warm and also more free-moving than a synthetic lining.
- This jacket’s design targets the coldest, harshest conditions, but suitable for all types of weather.
- The cuffs feature an adjustable, Velcro design.
- Some users complain about the quality of the zippers.
The McMurdo Parka III is a winter parka that provides great value for the money. It offers all the warmth and comfort you need to get through a long winter.
- Rugged durability
- Reflective webbing
The best parka for:
Men looking for a well-constructed parka at the right price
Caterpillar has a classic workwear line of clothing, so it’s no surprise that its men’s Heavy Insulated Parka is more rugged than many other parkas – including those that cost a lot more.
While rugged and durable are important, a parka must keep you warm, first and foremost. The Caterpillar parka checks that box, as well. It’s among the warmest parkas for men, no question.
As one Amazon reviewer put it, wearing the Heavy Insulated Parka, “Feels like I’m in Florida.” Anyone who’s been to Florida, where snow falls very rarely, if at all, understands that kind of warmth.
There’s a lot we like about this parka besides its all-important warmth, including a 100% polyester quilted lining and insulation. As mentioned, it’s very durable and can withstand a lot of abuse without tearing or sustaining other damage.
It easy to attain an optimal fit thanks to adjustable drawcords and cord locks located at the waist and bottom sides. It also features a two-way full-frontal zip and double storm flaps for extra protection against the elements.
You’ll also appreciate its reflective webbing on the front and back, which helps to make you more visible during winter’s shorter daylight hours.
- Caterpillar is a workwear brand known for its quality and durability.
- It features a stylish design that looks good practically anywhere you wear it.
- It keeps you warm in even the coldest conditions.
- The fit is a bit oversized.
You’ll love both the quality and durability of this parka – not to mention its overall warmth.
- Overall warmth
- Water-resistant outer shell
Best parka for:
Men looking for a parka that’s suitable for many settings
The Woolrich Men’s Arctic Parka gets a lot of kudos, and deservedly so. For one, it provides the warmth you’d expect from a jacket designed for winter’s extremes.
But, for another, it’s jacket favored by city dwellers and outdoor adventurers alike. It has a nice design that’s suitable for however and whenever you choose to wear it – whether it’s shoveling snow, going to work, or hiking in a winter wonderland.
It’s also similar to all of the parkas in our reviews in that it comes with plenty of great features, including:
- A Teflon finish that provides ideal resistance against snow, rain, and wind.
- A duck down 550 fill that helps keep the warmth in and the cold out.
- A detachable genuine coyote fur hood with a throat latch.
- Ribbed storm cuffs and adjustable cord waist that keeps the wind away.
- It’s also Dupont Teflon treated for water repellency.
There’s more, including – say many wearers – that it’s warm enough that you don’t have to wear an extra layer of clothing beneath it in an attempt to keep warm. And, it features two lower dual-entry pockets with button closure that provide plenty of storage space.
- The Woolrich Arctic Parka is in its fourth decade and remains a favorite of many men.
- It includes upper-zippered handwarmer pockets with button closure.
- The durable, water-repellent finish sheds moisture, whether it’s from rain or melting snowflakes.
- The hood is a bit large for some people’s liking.
It’s hard to go wrong with a product that has a rich history like the Woolrich Arctic Parka. It’s warm, comfortable, durable, and ideal for a variety of cold-weather activities.
- Natural fur lining
- Exceptionally warm
- Designed for the coldest temperatures
The best parka for:
Men who spend a lot of time in frigid conditions
All parkas should keep you warm – and the vast majority of them do. But some parkas fall into a category of best men’s winter coats for extreme cold, such as the Canada Goose Expedition.
The latter’s design is for anyone who spends extended time in the frozen outdoors; if you’re trekking through snowdrifts or in blizzardy conditions, you need a coat that keeps you toasty and protected.
The Canada Goose Expedition winter parka features a (duck) down lining with 625 fill, as well as wind and water-resistant Arctic Tech fabric outer shell. It also comes with a snow “skirt” that keeps you warm and dry in snowdrifts.
Another thing you’ll notice about this jacket is its size. If you’re not a fan of large jackets, then this parka probably isn’t for you: it’s bulky, it weighs just over 4 pounds, and it envelops your body like a blanket.
It also comes with 10 exterior pockets – both zippered and Velcroed – and an interior pocket. Having enough storage space isn’t a problem with this parka.
- The ideal jacket if you consistently deal with the bitter cold and extreme wintry weather.
- The fur-lined adjustable hood is as good as advertised.
- It’s tested for effectiveness in the most extreme conditions.
- It costs more than many parkas.
The Canada Goose Expedition parka isn’t for everyone but it’s for anyone who lives in areas of extreme winter conditions.
- Lightweight design
- Soft and breathable
- Plenty of insulation
The best parka for:
Men who enjoy outdoor winter activities such as climbing and hiking
While parkas such as the Canada Goose Expedition that we just reviewed provide hardcore warmth and comfort in the coldest conditions, they’re often not suitable for outdoor sports and activities.
The Mountain Hardware Men’s Absolute Zero parka, however, is a lightweight parka that’s excellent for hiking and climbing but yet still packs in all the warmth you need. It features 800-fill Q. Shield Down that’s warm, breathable, and feels comfortable at all times.
It’s easy to adjust the fit thanks to one-handed hem drawcords that you can access quickly. There’s also an insulated, fixed hood that has a low profile, as well as zip handwarmer pockets.
But, to repeat, the Mountain Hardware Absolute Zero Parka is lightweight, i.e., more lightweight than many other parkas.
That doesn’t mean it won’t keep you warm, because it will, but it’s a jacket that makes it easier maneuver for certain activities, which many wearers appreciate.
- This parka has exceptional breathability thanks, in part, to its lightweight nature.
- The attached hood features an easy-to-use drawcord for quick adjustments.
- You can use it for hiking and climbing because of its lightweight design.
- The cuffs feel a bit brittle
The Mountain Hardware Absolute Zero Parka offers the perfect compromise between weight and warmth in a fully-functional jacket.
- Relaxed fit
- Plenty of storage
The best parka for:
Men looking for an affordable option among big and tall parkas
Let’s be honest: not all budget-level parkas are worth the investment, no matter how easy they are on the wallet. They may have manufacturing flaws that become apparent after you’ve worn them for a while, or they’re more than a bit ugly.
Have no fear, however, because being budget-minded doesn’t have to mean settling for less.
Boulder Creek’s Big & Tall Expedition Parka is an exception to the rule, in this case, because your comparatively small investment buys you a quality parka that’s comfortable, warm, and durable.
It’s also ideal for you big and tall men who sometimes struggle to find the right fit. It provides excellent coverage when it’s cold, as well as a full cut that’s true to big and tall sizing.
The Boulder Creek Expedition parka generates excellent warmth; it features an inner body lining made from a toasty microfiber shell, while the sleeves feature quilted polyfill that’s similarly warm.
Moreover, it features a detachable hood – also filled with a warm microfiber material – while the overall fit is relaxed, not constricting.
We also like the look of this parka. It features a fashionable design that’s a stylish as many other (more pricey) parkas you’ll find.
- It features Boulder Creek’s Cold Weather Tech that includes a two-way zip front and storm flap.
- The Velcro cuffs provided additional protection against the cold and are easy to adjust.
- It offers plenty of storage thanks to its room exterior and interior pockets.
- The zippers and pockets aren’t as durable.
You don’t have to worry about this relatively “cheap” parka being cheap regarding its overall quality and look. If you’re a man looking for big and tall sizing, you should give this parka serious consideration.
- Gore-tex outer shell
- Ergonomic tailoring
The best parka for:
Men who need a warm parka for city use
It’s not that you can’t wear the Arc’teryx Camosun Parka for traditional winter activities, such as shoveling snow, hauling wood, or hikes in the woods, because you can.
But it’s ideal for the urban landscape when you need alpine performance from a jacket that looks good and offers everything you expect from a quality winter jacket.
The Camosun parka is fully functional in many ways, including that it has a Gore-Tex outer shell that’s waterproof, windproof, and very breathable. It fully protects you from the environment while also being stylish enough to wear in non-rustic settings, i.e., the city.
Insulation comes courtesy of a high-quality 750-fill goose down throughout the torso, as well as CoreLoft synthetic insulation in the hood, shoulders, and other areas of high exposure to moisture.
Because of it’s lighter weight – at least when compared to many of the other parkas on our list – the Camosun parka doesn’t have the bulk of some similarly warm jackets. There’s less insulation in the arms and underarms, which helps to explain its lighter weight.
The Camosun also features a removable hood that cinches tightly around the face for additional warmth, while its cuffs provide excellent protection against the wind.
- The Camosun’s highly breathable materials regulate the temperature inside the parka while allowing moisture vapor to escape.
- It’s a warm parka without added bulk.
- It has a medium-length fit that covers most of the upper thigh for added warmth and protection.
- There aren’t as many pockets as on many other parkas.
The Camosun is a stylish, functional parka that looks good while keeping you protected from winter’s often challenging conditions.
- Quality construction
- Excellent storage
- Nice styling
The best parka for:
Men who need a quality parka for everyday cold
The North Face Men’s Gotham Jacket III is another parka that isn’t necessarily designed for spending long hours in sub-zero conditions. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But the Gotham III is, as some of the other parkas on our list, suitable for day-to-day winter wear in climates that present traditional winter challenges. It’s plenty warm, it looks good, and as you’d expect from The North Face, it consists of quality construction.
One of its key features is its outer shell, made from North Face’s DryVent technology, with sealed seams and excellent breathability which allows water vapor to escape efficiently. The DryVent shell also makes the parka 100% windproof.
Insulation, meanwhile, comes from RSD (Responsible Down Standard) certified 550-fill goose down. It’s warm enough for a day on the slopes or an outdoor outing when winter temps are “normal.”
Its superior construction includes a storm flap with snap closure that covers a durable center front zipper. The design features an attached, fully-adjustable hood with removable faux fur trim that makes it easier to customize your look.
You’ll also appreciate the Gotham’s ribbed sleeves and tight-fitting cuffs that keep cold air out even during strong winds.
The Gotham III offers ample storage space thanks to patch pockets on the chest and bicep, as well as zip hands pockets, and a media-compatible internal pocket.
- The outer shell is durable without feeling too stiff.
- It does an excellent job of trapping body heat.
- It’s made by a company known for the high-quality construction of its outdoor apparel.
- It feels somewhat bulky to some wearers.
The Gotham III is everything you’d expect from a North Face parka. It’s well-constructed, warm enough to protect against winter’s elements, and it looks good.
- Sheds moisture
- Universal fit
- Insulated hood
The best parka for:
Men who don’t live in areas of extreme cold
Winter doesn’t always mean Arctic-like conditions with snowdrifts as high as a man’s waist – if not higher. Many of us, in fact, live in areas where winter is, well, winter: it can snow, still get damn cold, and provide plenty of challenges.
In those cases, you probably don’t need a parka designed for winter’s extremes, which is why parkas such as Eddie Bauer’s Boundary Pass are a popular choice of many men.
The Boundary Pass will keep you warm, no doubt, but you wouldn’t necessarily wear it on a hike in sub-zero temperatures.
The latter has a 650-fill premium down insulation for thermal comfort and that keeps you cozy when temperatures drop during an average winter.
It also features an adjustable, detachable insulated hood with removable faux fur that keeps your head warm and protected from the elements. Additionally, there are two zip hand pockets set behind the down insulation for additional warmth.
We also like the Boundary Pass’s classic, universal fit that’s not too slim or relaxed, and that leaves room for a lighter layer worn beneath it.
- It features a durable nylon shell that’s resistant to wind and moisture.
- The parka’s cuffs provide added protection that helps seal out the cold.
- The fit isn’t too big or too slim, which makes it suitable for men of many body shapes and sizes.
- Could use more pockets.
Eddie Bauer has a strong reputation for producing stylish outdoor apparel that’s very functional. Their Boundary Pass Parka is no exception.
- Classic design
- Sturdy nylon design
- Lined hood
The best parka for:
Men who want a less bulky design
Another parka with origins in the military field is the Slim-Fit N-3B Parka. Designed by Alpha Industries for the military in the 1960s, it became a favorite among air and ground crew members because of how well it protected from extreme cold.
Today’s N-3B retains the look of the original model while including some updated features that help keep it relevant.
The N-3B’s shell consists of 100% nylon that’s durable, while the lining is all-nylon, as well. The fill consists of 100% polyester and helps keep body warmth in and the cold out. The shell also is waterproof.
Other features include knit cuffs, a mouton-lined hood with a removable faux fur lining and buckled hood adjuster, as well as two exterior handwarmer pockets, two lower flap pockets, and an interior patch pocket.
As its name suggests, the Alpha Industries N-3B provides an ideal, slim and athletic fit. You should choose your size accordingly.
- The N-3B’s design is a throwback to classic military jackets.
- The hood provides ample protection for your head against the elements.
- It has a contemporary slim-fit design that looks good and provides excellent mobility.
- Some say the zippers could be of higher quality.
Parkas designed to keep military personnel warm and comfortable in the harshest elements should work just as well for civilians. At least the Alpha Industries Men’s Slim-Fit N-3B Parka does, that is.
- Vintage design
- Easy to layer underneath
Best parka for:
Men who want a modern take on a vintage design
The fishtail parka design dates to the Korean War, when U.S. soldiers needed a coat that protected them from the elements but didn’t restrict their mobility.
Fishtail parkas – such as the Rothco M-51 – feature a three-quarter length design that keeps almost the entire body warm without restricting movement, and an exterior that sheds snow and freezing rain.
The design is unique, however, because of its split in the back of the jacket with a drawstring on each hem. The drawstrings enabled soldiers to tie the flaps to their legs for further protection against harsh winds.
Rothco’s M-51 parka has the vintage design of the 1951 army issue fishtail and, while it might not be as suitable for weather extremes as it was for soldiers during the bitter cold of Korean winters, it’s warm enough for most colder climates.
The M-51 consists of 100% cotton outer construction with a polyester quilted lining that helps hold in the heat. The liner features a button-in design.
The M-51’s brass front zipper features a snap storm flap, while there’s also a snap-up back flap and adjustable cuffs. And, there’s also a drawstring hood that provides another layer of heat retention.
- Drawstrings in the waist, bottom, and hood of the parka makes it easier to get the fit you desire.
- The two front flap pockets are good for storage.
- It’s a great option for milder winters in which temperatures don’t consistently plummet to single digits – or below.
- The sizing tends to run large.
The Rothco M-51 is ideal for everyday wear in typical winter climates and has a vintage look that you don’t see on a lot of other parkas.
6 Tips for wearing a parka
Parkas serve, first and foremost, the necessary function of keeping you warm when the weather outside becomes frightful. As such, they don’t represent formal apparel, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pair and style them carefully.
Plus, parkas come in many styles and you shouldn’t have a problem finding a style that fits your needs and fashion.
We talked about fit earlier and a parka’s length is an important part of its overall fit; the colder the climate, the more length you need. But keep in mind that a longer parka on a shorter man will make him appear even more height-challenged.
While a parka has extra room and bulk when compared to other types of jackets, it should fit approximately the same as any other type.
The length of the arms should fall just above or below the wrist line. You don’t want the sleeves to be too short or a size longer than needed.
Also, traditional parkas were oversized and designed to fit over military uniforms, but modern parkas offer slimmer fits, which is nice because it allows you not to look as if you’re drowning in an oversized jacket.
As a general rule of thumb, put on a light jacket, hoodie, or another type of layer, under your parka when temperatures plummet well below freezing.
The additional layer helps to keep you insulated and warm, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors in very cold weather.
Wearing a sweatshirt under your parka also helps to create a relaxed style with the added benefit of keeping you warmer during the winter.
Parkas come in a variety of colors, including green, blue, and black. Color can make a huge difference in how your overall outfit looks when wearing a parka.
A basic black parka makes styling simple and versatile because black tends to go with everything. It’s also flattering to most body types (it has a naturally slimming look) and can help alleviate some of the bulky appearance that’s inevitable in parkas.
You can complement a black parka with a casual look, including with lighter colored clothing, or choose smart casual with a simple grey sweatshirt and slim-fit jeans.
But black should be your first choice if you wear your parka to the office; black offers a more formal look and, as mentioned, goes with just about anything.
Whatever color you choose, your parka and your suit should blend seamlessly and create a modern, streamlined look. If you wear a black parka, then you should first consider pairing it with a black suit.
Green is another popular parka color and it’s pretty easy to match it with a wide range of colors, including blues and browns. Pairing it with a pair of navy jeans and a lighter denim shirt and brown leather boots give a warm, layered look.
If you choose a bold blue parka, you should tone down the rest of your outfit to avoid excessive contrast. Vibrant colors work better with a darker-toned blue.
You can wear a parka over a suit in business-appropriate settings if your regular coat isn’t warm enough. In that case, it’s best to choose a parka of a neutral color rather than a multi-colored or patterned jacket.
A black or grey parka goes better with a dark-colored suit, for example.
Sweaters pair well with parkas and help create a nice casual feel that’s not too sloppy. A sweater paired with a parka makes for a good business-casual work outfit, or for going out to dinner and running errands.
Your parka should pair well with brogues, Oxfords, and ankle boots, especially if the occasion is a night on the town. Of course, a casual look featuring a parka and sneakers or trainers is always a good option, too.
All bets are off, of course, if you wear parka for outdoor sports and activities in colder weather. In that case, you should wear sport-specific footwear – such as ski boots – or work boots that fit your occupation.
A quality winter hat or a beanie and gloves will help complete your look, and keep your ears and fingers protected from the elements. Match the color of your hat and gloves to your parka, or add some splash to the look with bright colored accessories.
7 Types of winter coats and jackets and how they differ from one another
A parka is a quintessential winter jacket. It provides ample warmth and protection from the elements and presents a casual style that looks good whether you’re in the great outdoors or the urban jungle.
But it’s not the only game in town.
You have plenty of other winter jackets from which to choose, each with unique characteristics and styling.
The parka’s roots trace to the Inuit people living in Arctic regions who needed all the protection they could get from their relentlessly harsh climate. The traditional parka included a baby pouch, a fur-lined hood, and a longer body that’s similar to today’s styles.
The parka gained popularity in western culture in the 1950s thanks, in part, because the U.S. military wore it during the Korean War.
While today’s parkas come in different styles, lengths, and with a wide variety of accessories, the traditional style – which is of a longer design – remains popular (and, not to mention, warm and robust).
Sailors from Great Britain, the United States, and the Netherlands helped popularize the peacoat, and it remains functional today.
Made from a dense woolen fabric, the peacoat is shorter than a parka and features a wide lapel, as well as a double breast front with hand pockets. The peacoat’s bottom is flared to allow an increased range of motion.
3. Down jacket
Many winter jackets, like parkas, include down filling, whether the filling comes from goose down feathers or polyester.
Unlike parkas, however, they often feature quilted or channeled stitching to keep the down spread evenly throughout the coat so it doesn’t clump.
Overcoats come in a variety of styles but, in most cases, are longer than most other winter coats – often extending past the knees.
The best overcoats feature 100% wool or cashmere. Cashmere is soft and warm, but today’s wool overcoats feature all the softness of cashmere. Some overcoats feature a cashmere/wool blend.
An overcoat’s sleeves should cover both your shirt cuff and suit sleeve, and perhaps even extend a bit further. Neither your hands nor your wrists should get cold when you wear gloves with your overcoat.
Topcoats, similar to overcoats, consist of lighter fabrics and don’t extend beyond the knees.
5. Trench coat
The traditional trench coat traces to World War I, when it replaced the heavier jackets worn by soldiers. The first trench coats consisted of khaki-colored cloth – usually gabardine, twill, or poplin – and featured below-the-knee length.
Trench coats also have a double-breasted design, button pockets, a belted waist, and more. But what sets trench coats apart from the rest are its length and cloth.
6. Flight jacket
The original flight jacket was produced in World War II for military pilots who need protection against the frigid conditions at high altitude. Considering that many of the planes had open cockpits, staying warm was a serious concern.
Most flight jackets feature leather construction while high collars, snug cuffs, and hems. The bomber jacket and varsity jacket represent different iterations of the flight jacket.
7. Moto jacket
The edgy moto jacket, usually made from black leather, is more of an all-season coat and often favored, as you might expect from its name, by motorcyclists.
You’ll find a wide array of accessories on moto jackets – from buckles to zip pockets to epaulets. Many of them also come with a lining, such as flannel, that helps keep you warm during the colder months.
How we chose these parkas for our review
As you’ve likely gathered from our reviews, not all parkas are the same. That’s good news for you, the consumer, who has unique tastes and needs for winter apparel.
That said, we tried to provide a diverse list of parkas. Some of the ones we chose best suit men who spend a lot of time in the coldest climates, while others work best for men who spend an average amount of time outside in less harsh environments.
We also looked at each parka’s many features – from hoods to cuffs to pockets – and, of course, the insulation by which it keeps wearers warm. And, we always carefully evaluate the reviews of customers to learn about each product’s strengths and weaknesses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you wear a parka?
We address this question in-depth in our section above on tips for wearing a parker.
In general, however, a parka should have the same fit as other winter jackets, and it pairs best with casual clothing in which colors are coordinated. How you wear also depends on the climate and how you use it.
What to wear with a parka?
Casual clothing generally looks best with parkas, but that’s not to say you can’t wear it over your business wear. If so, choose styles and designs meant for typical winter use, and not necessarily those that you’d use in Arctic-like conditions and adventures.
The parka represents a near-essential type of gear for any man who lives in wintry climes. The best ones provide the warmth you need to get through the cold days and, in many cases, to get through the harshest conditions.
If you’re shopping for a parka, you’ll appreciate the many styles and options available to you, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that fits your needs precisely. We hope our reviews of the 11 parkas above will help you narrow your buying choices.
We’d love to hear from you. What type of parka do you wear? Have you worn, or currently wear, any of those on our list? Let us know.
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