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 Parkas were originally made from seal or caribou skin by the Caribou Inuit, who needed a garment to help them stay warm in the Canadian arctic.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.