Is A Parka The Right Winter Coat For You?


Parkas are one of the most popular styles of winter coats and for good reason. With useful features such as a hood, insulated fill and multiple pockets, parkas offer ample warmth, versatility and protection in almost any condition. But with so many types of winter coats and jackets to choose from, is a parka the right choice for you? We explore the key factors to consider.

What is a winter parka?

A winter parka is a type of long coat that typically has a hood and an insulated filling. Parkas were originally made from seal or caribou skin by the Caribou Inuit, who needed a garment to help them stay warm in the Canadian arctic. These parkas were also often coated with fish oil, which provided added weather protection and water repellency.

Today, parkas are made from a variety of super warm but breathable fabrics such as nylon, polyester and cotton. They can be filled with synthetic insulation or natural fibres like goose or duck down, which helps protect from the cold. Some parkas have additional design features, such as a removable hood or waterproof shell.

Is a parka warm enough for winter?

Most parkas are purpose-designed to provide warmth in cold weather, making them a great choice for winter. Though not all parkas are the same, and some provide more warmth than others. If you’re looking for a parka that will keep you warm and dry all winter, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Fill power: This is a measure of the loft or fluffiness of a parka’s insulating fibre. A higher fill power provides more insulation, and thus more warmth.

  • Weather resistance: Styles can range from non-waterproof to water-resistant to fully waterproof.

  • Synthetic insulation: Innovations such as Heatseeker™ insulation reduce heat loss and regulate body temperature for optimum comfort.

What are the warmest winter parkas? 

Generally, the warmest winter parkas are made from weather-resistant fabric with high-quality natural or synthetic insulation. If you need a winter jacket that will keep you warm in extremely cold conditions, look for a parka with a fill power above 500 or Heatseeker™ insulation technology. A weather-resistant outer shell will also help protect you from windchill and keep you warm and dry outdoors.

What is the best winter parka?

There’s no shortage of men’s parkas and women’s parkas available, and what makes the ‘best winter parka’ depends on exactly what you’re looking for. As with any purchase, it’s worth comparing your options to find a parka that is suitable for your lifestyle and activities. Some of the important features to consider include:

  • Fill type: Parkas can be filled with synthetic or down insulation. Down insulation tends to be lighter and weight-for-weight provides more warmth than synthetic insulation. Synthetic insulation is typically better at repelling moisture and retaining its insulating properties in damp conditions.

  • Fill power: A high fill power provides more warmth, while a lower fill power is lighter and more compressible.

  • Fabric: Fabrics can range from non-waterproof to water-resistant to fully waterproof.

  • Hood design: The hood may be removable, adjustable and/or faux fur-lined.

  • Pockets: Pockets can be zipped or unzipped, with some designs including added features such as storm flaps to prevent wind and rain from entering through the zip.