The gear one chooses to use is what makes the difference between those whose faces are buried in their scarf, as they trudge through the blizzarding snow, and those who cast their eyes upwards, enjoying the beauty that our earth has to offer.
Lace up your boots, put on your hat, and zip up your coat in preparation for the best winter of your life. The right gear is for those who yearn to drain the well of life’s adventures, and the best winter jackets for women are the ones that allow you to bask in all that is her life and her nature.
Looking for a single jacket that will serve all of one’s needs for the winter is a bit like looking for a golden needle in a haystack. Most of the time, it’s really just not there, and if it is, you might have to take out a loan to get it.
Instead, focus on what you need for your body. There are a variety of jackets to choose from, each of which will meet your different needs.
Parkas are ideal for throwing on over the many layers one wears. When using them in active scenarios, most of the time they are used for non-intensive uses. Insulated Parkas will tend to be very puffy and large, which helps to keep you warm. They will have the tendency to get in the way during sporting activity, but for everyday activities and for passive activities such as camping in the winter and fishing on the ice, they are wonderfully stylish and warm.
Puffers often have a lightweight shell which holds its insulating material. The material inside is often a goose or synthetic down and, in recent years, is treated to be water-resistant or waterproof. A down puffer can be worn under a hardshell jacket or be worn by itself.
Be careful though, because, wearing a puffer on its own leaves one exposed to getting soaked and not being able to dry off efficiently. This is not a problem if one has a shell on over top of the puffer or if one’s environment does not dictate moisture protection.
A casual, sleek and classic look. Bomber jackets are often not as insulated or as long as Parkas and Puffers. However, their design has been useful for far more than fashion. Bombers were inducted into use during World War II for fighter pilots.
The ruffled fur around the neck is designed to keep one’s jugular warm, thereby keeping the body warm. Its length is hip high to keep from bunching up while sitting. For users who spend much of their time in the car or sitting in cold weather, this might be ideal.
A woman’s coat must be created for their specific needs, first and foremost. Here are just some of the features you consider:
No matter if you are walking to work or hiking through the snow, activity requires gear that helps your effort. However, many jackets are completely inappropriate or undesirable for cold-weather activities. The ideal winter coat is fitting without being frumpy.
Just because you need to stay warm is no reason to wrap up in a rug. Your winter coat should have enough room in the bust to be non-constricting to your chest. If you are looking for the most effective design elements, discern how much layering ability you will need or desire in your daily life and how much any one jacket allows for.
Some jackets are snug while others are loose, and some snug winter shells are made to accommodate a woman’s layers while others are not. Is the jacket mobile enough for your everyday life, activities and ice mode of transportation?
A good rule of thumb on determining the right fit for you: lift your hands straight above your head; the hem should stay under your waistline and the hand cuffs should not fall down towards the elbow. Any jacket that does is not fitting you properly.
Without breathability as a specifically built in feature to the construct of the coat, your sweat is sponged into your insulating layers which then cools the collected sweat and brings your body temperature down to life threateningly dangerous lows. Of course, this can depend heavily on how much physical exertion one is engaged in while wearing their jacket, but since it is likely your top layer, breathability is an essential feature of a good winter coat.
Are there features specifically incorporated into your coat’s design for the purpose of providing protection from wind and dampness outside? Often, added features are a monkey’s paw. If it has added wind-resistance or waterproofing, is it still as breathable as is needed for the activities you are engaged in? Is it still mobile and freeing to the form or has it become rigid against the elements?
Be sure that the jacket for you is not just the product with the fanciest tassels. The research and development of the technologies that go into our sports-wear is changing every day and to get the most out of your life during the winter, be a woman who cares about the details.
Essentials and Extras
Winter coats will always have a few common features, but it’s important that you disregard the extras and focus on essentials. There is no reason to carry a huge bag through the snow when you have a garment made with huge pockets, for example. A woman needs efficient and durable storage space on her person to get the most out of her winter gear.
Pockets are for storage and comfort. Your activity, professional and recreational needs will dictate what amenities are best focused on and what you will need. If a user plans to become inverted at any point during the day, such as climbers, they might consider a jacket with zippered pockets.
However, if those zippers are not properly designed and treated, they will compromise the integrity of the wind-resistance and water-resistance, so it’s also important to look at whether they are treated with a DWR coating or an integrated seam construction.
Zippers are inherently porous to air and liquid. If you’re in an environment with high precipitation or winds, storm flaps might be useful to keep your jacket properly insulated against the wind, cold and moisture. Hikers should look at storm flaps which also have buttons over the pockets so they might keep out of the way of one’s other gear and storage.
Lining in pockets is commonly found as some sort of fleece or microfleece. Lined and insulated pockets can provide comfort and warmth, which might be perfect for casual and recreational uses. However, they also add mass and constriction to one’s ability to move freely. Most of all, be sure that the pockets will keep your essentials secure and dry.
If the jacket does not come with a hood, you will undoubtedly want one eventually if your activities keeps you in the cold for any duration of time. Hoods may have real fur ruff, faux fur ruff or some mixture of microfleece and wool. The reason for these features is to keep your face shielded from the harsh winds and snow. Women’s winter coats without hoods might look very stylish but a hood is not for fashion, it is for function.
The same reason the rest of one’s body needs warmth is also true with your head, and even more so. The majority of your body heat will escape through your head, seeing as heat rises, naturally. If you choose a jacket without a hood, be sure to plan on carrying a rain or wind jacket with you as well, which, will always feature a hood.
The Top Picks
Keeping in mind the specifications and requirements which your daily life dictates, here are some of the best options out there for a woman’s winter coat.
Canada Goose Women’s Chilliwack Bomber
Materials– Polyester, Cotton
Specific Features– Bomber jacket; 85% Polyester, 15% Cotton, coyote fur; fleece lining; Five exterior pockets, Fleece lined hand warmer pockets, zippered arm pocket, two interior pockets; Heavy duty centre-front YKK 2-way locking zipper. Storm flap for over the front zipper, which is secured with buttons; adjustable hood; 25 Fill Power White Duck Down insulation.
Best Use– Casual, Walking, Hiking
The Chilliwack by Canada Goose is designed to keep the user warm in temperatures as low as ten degrees Fahrenheit. It is windproof, thanks to the storm flaps and rib-knit cuffs and waistband. This winter coat only reaches down to the waist, as it is a bomber jacket style.
The fleece lining in the pockets ensure one’s hands don’t get frozen and the rib knit cuffs and waistband keep the winds from reaching the body by sealing off the entry point in which the natural elements could come in contact with the user. A nice feature of this coat is the coyote fur-lined hood, which will serve to keep the user’s head especially warm and shielded from the wind.
It is water-resistant, however the cuffs and waistband may tend to be less repellent to moisture. A feature to keep in mind is the stylistic decision to design the Chilliwack as a bomber, since this means that women will likely find that it will tend to ride up the waist when lifting one’s arms. Even so, it is a functional and good looking garment, best used for around town and light winter activity such as walking, hiking and casual use.
Sportoli Women’s Longer Winter Puffer Coat
Materials– 100% polyester shell
Specific Features– Belted Puffer. Two zippered pockets in front. Zipper placket is secured by an outer snap flap closure. Hood is micro terry, plush-lined, zip-off detachable hood with faux-fur trim. Insulation is down alternative filling.
Best Use– Casual, Walking, Fashion
The Puffer Coat by Sportoli is a longer length jacket than the bomber style, designed to keep one’s hips and thighs warm as well as the body. With a cinching belt and hook closure, this is a fashionable winter garment for any environment.
It reaches 32 inches to the center of the back and also features a built up neck for warmth. Sportoli seems to have designed this winter coat for fashion first. The down insulation will certainly keep the user warm, however its long length will hinder activities such as skiing.
The jacket has not been constructed with a water-resistant coating of any kind, making its primary function best for low intensity activities. Combined with adequate layering, it may be used as a softshell for moderate hiking and reasonably prolonged walks in the snow. However, the down insulation is not intended as a breathable layer and could become detrimental if it gets waterlogged.
What it lacks in active function, it makes up for in fashionable design and construction. The Belted Winter Puffer could be a great choice for public meetings and outings, or, for daily commuting and formal occasions. It comes in three color options, which are black, white and gray. Each style is simple, elegant and classy, with gold or silver colored accents.
Marmot Women’s Montreaux Down Coat
Materials– 100% polyester
Price– $200.00 – $285.00
Specific Features– Down Puffer. Fleece-lined torso and hand warmers. Two zip hand pockets and two inner pockets with an interior drop pocket. Zippered outer pockets and Two-way front zipper with inner wind flap. Zip-off hood with removable faux fur trim.
Best Use– Casual, Hiking, Skating
The Durable Water Repellent finish coating on the polyester shell acts to shed light snow and rain, and the down insulation is treated to be water repellant. This allows the insulation to dry faster and stay dry longer than down insolation which is untreated.
The Montreaux Down Parka by Marmot features microfleece inner cuffs and the down-insulated hood, with removable fur, can zip off for when the temperature allows for it, or the venue dictates formality. This is a versatile jacket for women, seeing as, it is both functional for heavier winter activity, and highly fashionable.
The Montreaux is designed with a modern straight fit look and is offered in multiple colors, including Black, Midnight Navy and, Dark Crimson. This coat could be ideal for the urban commuter and winter window shopper. It also could serve adequately as a softshell, outer-layer for the winter sportswoman, as it has been known to keep users warm in up to twenty degrees below zero.
The front zipper can be unzipped from the bottom or top of the garment, allowing for increased leg mobility and gate. This might be a good option for users dealing with prolonged exposure to cold temperatures with moderate to high physical output. Keep in mind, because this garment is not fully waterproof, one may need to reapply the DWR coating after each winter season to avoid the material becoming deteriorated.
Canada Goose Women’s Kensington Parka Coat
Materials– Polyester and Cotton
Price– $800.00- $900.00
Specific Features– Parka. 85% Polyester/15% Cotton. Lining of Nylon and Fleece. Two snap-through chest pockets with fleece lined hand warmers, two fleece-lined flap pockets at hips, Interior drop-in pocket with Velcro closure. 2-way Front locking zipper. Fleece-lined down hood with removable coyote-fur ruff. 625 Fill Power White Duck Down insulation.
Best Use– Active, Hiking, Winter Sports, Fashion
The Kensington Parka by Canada Goose is expertly constructed and beautifully crafted for women who need the highest quality function and exceptionally designed fashion. The adjustable webbing at the waist gives this winter shell a more flattering fit than others on the list.
A wonderfully conceived design element is the interior shoulder straps, which allow users to carry their parka like a backpack without removing it from one’s body. This coat’s shell is made with Canada Goose’s very own 195gsm cotton blend with Durable Water Resistant technology, 625fp white duck down insulation, and a 55gsm waterproof nylon-weave lining.
A woman can feel confident to engage in almost any winter wonderland activity while looking sleek, professional and attractive, while feeling warm and cozy. According to Canada Goose’s Thermal Experience Index, the Kensington can keep her warm all the way down to around ten degrees Fahrenheit.
Marmot Women’s Chelsea Coat
Materials– Polyester Herringbone
Price– $280.00- $379.95
Specific Features– Parka. 100% Polyester Herringbone membrane, waterproof/breathable fabric. Polyester and Microfleece lining. Two Micro fleece lined zip handwarmer pocket, Internal zippered media pocket. Zip-off down filled hood with removable synthetic faux fur ruff. 700 Fill Goose Down insulation.
Best Use– Layering, Active, Skiing, High Output
Elegant, breathable and fully waterproof and windproof, the Chelsea Coat by Marmot might be the best option for the high intensity, active woman. This is designed as a true breathable outer-shell that also works well as a layer. Users might find that they don’t need as many under layers as with a classic hardshell jacket, given the 700 fill goose down insulation.
Due to the breathable design, the Chelsea will work to let one’s moisture wicking layer evaporate, keeping the user dry, warm and comfortable. The 2-layer taped seams prevent water from entering and increases the strength of the seams.
The shell might feel more like a raincoat, but with it’s mid-thigh length and feminine shape, this winter parka is all about style, even down to the removable synthetic fur ruff. Effortlessly adjustable snap cuffs and microfleece internal cuffs make for easy and comfortable adjustment while engaged in an activity, sport or recreation.
Mountain Hardwear Downhill Metro Coat
Price– $300.00- $380.00
Specific Features– Down Jacket. 100 % Nylon. Two zippered handwarmer pockets and two interior drop pockets. Front zipper and handwarmer pocket zippers. 700 Fill Down Q+Shield Insulation. Fixed Hood.
Best Use– Casual, Travel, Warmth
The Downhill Metro Coat by Mountain Hardwear is a bare-bones, stylish winter jacket. It might offer little in the way of sporting functionality but what it lacks in function, it makes up for in looks. The idea behind this jacket’s design seems to be purely warmth related. The wrist, neck closures and slender, quilted channels trap and maximize warmth while minimizing bulk.
The Q+ Shield down insulation is infused with a permanent, water repelling chemical. This might be more useful if the AirShield 40D 2L Optimo Ripstop shell was at all designed to be breathable. As it stands, the Downhill Metro might not be the best option for actually going downhill on skis or a snowboard, however, a functional and fashionable option if one is not looking for sporting gear.
The Downhill Metro is specifically and solely designed for insulating one’s own body heat, which, could be perfect for traveling. It provides a simple, all-in-one solution for those looking for a jacket that will simply stay warm without losing the fashion of showing off their feminine physique.
Columbia Women’s Snow Eclipse Mid Jacket
Specific Features– Mid-Length Down Alternative Parka. 100% Polyester Omni-Shield Storm-Lite DP II. 100% Nylon 210T Taffeta lining. One Interior security pocket, Two Exterior Zippered hand pockets. 2-way center front zipper. Removable hood, Faux Fur Ruff. 100% polyester Faux Down 150g insulation.
Best Use– Walking, Fashion, Urban
The Snow Eclipse by Columbia is made with water- and stain-resistant fabric, ensuring warmth and dryness while also ensuring easy cleaning. The synthetic down insulation might not be as efficient as goose down, for retaining one’s body heat, however, the saving on this jacket will allow one to get a goose down insulating layer, separately.
The princess seaming provides for a flattering, feminine fit while the smooth taffeta offers plush softness on the skin. The coat comes to thirty five inches down the back and could be perfect in the city for walking one’s dog through the icy tundra or walking down to the corner store. The fashionable fur hood offers a stylish gleam while also removable if desired.
It may lack excess pockets and storage space but it makes up for that in affordability and function. A no-nonsense yet fashionable design, this jacket provides the essentials and does not require one to remortgage their home to get it. The faux down will keep one warm in below freezing temperatures while the Taffeta pocket lining can offer sanctuary to one’s hands from the arctic temperatures.
The water resistant element to its construction may be a brilliant touch, seeing as it is not sports jacket, but still cannot be drenched and usable. This is a great option for someone looking to stay warm while living their everyday life, traveling, taking a snowy walk and commuting around town.
Once More into the Breech
This winter, do the thing that no one else can do for you and give yourself the gift of comfort. The best women’s winter coats are far more than a fashion statement. They are a tool to make your life better, easier, and more enjoyable. Your life does not stop because of the weather, so it is up to you to outfit yourself with the gear you need to make this winter the most productive, comfortable and anticipated winter of your life.
If you have an opinion on any of the products mentioned above or you’d like to share your stories with us about other products you’ve tried, please feel free to leave a comment down below.