There's no doubt the summer has come to an end (in some parts of the world), and we're now in the depths of winter, with grey skies and freezing temperatures, and that can only mean one thing – it's time to dig out that winter coat.
The fact is, nothing beats winter blues like battling Mother Nature in a jacket stuffed to the gunnels with down. And so, just for you, T3 has picked out the best winter coats for those looking for protection from the elements.
Whether you're looking for a sophisticated overcoat, technical puffer jacket, or an Arctic-proof parka, we've got you covered.
Best winter coats for men: styles explained
While capsule wardrobes are in-vogue and certainly have their merits, it’s unlikely you’ll only have one coat in your wardrobe that will carry you through all occasions in a season. So, you might want to add a new style to your sartorial arsenal, but where to start?
You may forever associate the Parka jacket with Liam Gallagher and Brit Pop, but it was arguably invented by the Caribou Inuit and its cool-factor will live forever. Technically, a parka is a hip-length coat stuffed with down or warm fibre, sometimes with a furry-edged hood. But there are heaps of different types, meaning you can choose a version that fits with your personal style. Parkas look great with jeans and trainers at the weekend, but not so much with a business suit. So, if you spend a decent amount of time pottering around a park at the weekend, this could be a style for you.
The bomber jacket, or flight jacket, needs little introduction. Coming into its own during World War One, it’s since been embraced by all sorts of subcultures, including punks and hip-hop pioneers. The style recently had a major fashion moment in 2006 but may not be cutting edge at the moment. However, it’s still a great staple in your wardrobe. Once again, it’s not for (most) offices, but is a brilliant style for the weekend, and can elevate the most basic t-shirt and jeans combo.
A classic overcoat is handy for so many situations, from work to winter weddings. There are so many styles to choose from, so it’s important to choose a length that suits you and your style, as well as details you like. The best coats will boast quality materials (perhaps wool or even cashmere) and lovely touches like horned buttons, sumptuous lining and stylish lapels. It’s surprising how much such a classic coat can portray your personality. The classic overcoat can be dashing (think Jane Austen or Richard Gere) or effortlessly cool (James Dean and Bob Dylan) making it a coat worth investing in, that with care, could be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come.
You don’t need to be an intrepid Arctic explorer to benefit from a down coat. More practical for the outdoors than a wool overcoat, down coats are a must if you like winter walks and being outdoors in all weather conditions. If you’re not going to incredibly cold climbs, looks come into play as most of these down coats (with the exception of seriously cheap high street versions) are water and windproof, and filled with ether duck, goose or synthetic down. So, if you’re veggie or vegan, it’s worth looking closely at the filling.
All the rage for AW19, the Teddy coat is bringing the vintage glamour of a bygone era to modern men. The example above is the Motoluxe Alpaca coat – decadent yet practical, it is the perfect purchase if you’re after a coat to truly impress.
Best winter coats for men: what is down and how is it measured?
Traditionally down comes from the feathers of ducks and geese. The more technical down jackets are measured in 'fill power' or quality of the down.
It's calculated by measuring how many cubic inches an ounce of down creates at its maximum loft (or when the down fibres are fully fluffed up). Annoyingly, like tons/tonnes, the measurements are different in the US and Europe, but the range spans from 300 to 900+ with the lower number denoting lesser quality and loft.
So, if you want a seriously warm jacket, plump for more than 550, but if you're throwing on a down jacket in-between visits to shops, a lesser number may keep you cosy enough.
Best winter coat brands
For more than 60 years Canada Goose has been making Arctic-worthy down jackets and other winter woollies worn by explorers and research scientists. The brand is best known for its distinctive red, white and blue circular logo, which is a reverse image of the North Pole, as well as its technical but fashionable coats, which have been worn by supermodels, rappers and tonnes of well-heeled teens. Canada Goose is involved in several environmental and social initiatives but has come under fire in recent years by animal rights groups, especially for its use of coyote fur on hoods. This is a brand for people who really value being warm, but not so much for veggies and vegans.
Unsurprisingly, Shackleton London is inspired by polar explorer extraordinaire, Ernest Shackleton. Launched in 2016, the British brand's speciality is engineering extreme-weather performance apparel that combines advanced technologies with top quality materials. Its parkas and jackets undergo extensive field-testing and have been proven in Antarctica and the Arctic, having been used by record-breaking polar explorers in recent years. Cool.
The most ‘fashion’ of serious performance wear brands, you can see Moncler’s latest down coats on catwalks. The Italian sportswear co. was founded in the 1950s and is known for its distinctive logo and tricolour details. In 1954, Moncler quilted jackets were chosen to equip the Italian expedition to K2, which culminated with the conquest of the earth's second-highest summit, and were worn by French skiers during the Grenoble Winter Olympics in 1968. In more recent times they are the choice of many a model and celeb, but the brand's fashion credentials are backed up by its technical heritage.
Triple FAT Goose
Triple FAT Goose makes supremely warm technical down jackets For Arctic Temperatures (F.A.T.). The jackets look similar to Canada Goose, offer comparable warmth, but are much more affordable. Basically, you're getting a supremely warm jacket, that looks stylish, at an amazing price.
Arc'tryx is a Canadian outdoor high-end clothing co with a distinctive logo of a bird fossil. (You know the one.) The brand often divides its products by the activity they're best suited for, making it easy to buy the right kit to suit your hobbies and it's stand-out jacket if the Alpha SV. Like many of the other brands on our list Arc’tryx treads that fine and difficult line between being practical and fashionable, making it a great option for outdoorsy and city types.
The North Face
If you want some great quality and fashionable outerwear, The North Face offers one of the widest and most reasonably priced selections out there. The brand’s technical fabrics really stand up to scrutiny and its coats are reliably warm and dry while comparably-priced offerings from the high street might not be. Plus, they are fashionable and even a status symbol in some parts of the world, such as South Korea (apparently). Whether you’re looking for a great waterproof for less than £100 or a reasonably-priced synthetic down coat, The North Face will come up with the goods.
Best places to buy winter coats
- Shop coats and jackets at Mr Porter
- Shop coats and jackets at Flannels
- Shop coats and jackets at Opumo
- Shop coats and jackets at Bombinate
- Shop coats and jackets at ASOS
Best winter coats: buying tips
- It might be tempting to tap into current trends, but to get the most use out of your new coat, it’s best to look inside your current wardrobe and work out what you want to wear your coat with. For example, if you’re outdoorsy you’ll probably want to plump for down, but if you have a smart office job, an overcoat is more likely to cut the mustard.
- When it comes to quality, choose warm materials like down, wool or cashmere. A coat is traditionally one of the most expensive items in your wardrobe and quality coat can last for years if you pick a timeless style, so it’s worth investing.
- Work out where you’re planning on wearing your coat. If you spend loads of time in the elements then a super warm down coat is just the business, but it could be annoyingly hot if you mostly peruse shops during a wintery weekend.
- Finally, take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book and choose some outerwear that sparks joy. After all, it can seem like forever until summer, so a nice coat can offer a light at the end of a very long, grey tunnel.
The best winter coats for men
Shackleton's 2019 Endurance Parka is the latest version of the brand's flagship jacket. It's designed to objectively be called the world’s best, with a number of mighty impressive specs under its belt.
The Endurance features extreme cold survival performance, with the ability to withstand minus 30-degree temperatures, whilst weighing just 962g. It can pack down to 2-litres, making it an ideal companion on an expedition to the Arctic, as well as on a European city break, where packing light is essential.
The outer shell is constructed using an incredibly strong and waterproof Japanese technical fabric, and the insulation pockets are filled with 100% pure European goose down. Each garment is hand-made in Manchester.
One of the most popular brands right now is Canada Goose, darlings of the Arctic Circle, streets of London, and the Beckham household. These jackets are made for extreme weather conditions, and it takes 450 hours to make a single Canada Goose coat. All designs are stuffed with Hutterite down (amongst other premium Canadian downs), and features a shearling-trimmed collar.
Fashioned from water-repellent canvas with a snug-fitting quilted lining, this field jacket from Calvin Klein is a reliable cold-weather choice. This long sleeved piece features a multitude of pockets and pointed collar with detachable faux fur trim. Boasting a central concealed zip and button closure, this piece is finished with the brands logo to the sleeve.
Paul Smith's classic camel coat is cut from a wool and cashmere-blend that'll keep you warm all winter round. While the modern straight-cut fit is roomy enough to layer over a suit, it can also be paired with more relaxed clothing, like a hoody, black jeans and stan Smiths. It has a full satin lining and a couple of practical pockets on the inside.
Looking for a winter coat you can wear around the city as well as aprés ski? You need the Chaviolas Jacket fro KJUS. It's filled with 100% duck down and is made from an innovative blend of materials designed with your warmth and comfort as the priority. The raised, padded collar plus elastic hem and cuffs keep the wind and cold out, and the body heat in. DWR coating means light snow or rain won't stick. Keep extra gloves, scarf, or earmuffs in the huge zippered front pockets in case the temperature really drops.
The Mackage Ozzy is a lightweight hooded down jacket with a modern straight silhouette. It uses a super lightweight nano goose down, and features zippered slash pockets at front , stretch cotton lining, a drawstring hooded neckline and a metaluxe central zip. To finish it off the coat has been trimmed in leather and a branded tab detailing to the rear of the hood.
Fit right into nature with this classic winter coat from Fjallraven. Born in the 1970s, this coat has recently been updated with an improved fit and more sustainable materials. The weather-resistant outer fabric, soft teddy-fleece lining and practical details make for a winter jacket that is equally at home in the forest as in town. Its water resistant properties can be enhanced with Greenland Wax, which further increases the durability of an already long-lasting jacket.
The Atom LT is a hybrid hoodie, designed for use as both an active-use insulation layer, or a standalone jacket for when you're in less Artic conditions. Despite being lightweight and packable, the Atom still packs some serious clothing tech, such as Coreloft insulation, Polartec and Hardface for stretch and breathability, and DWR taffeta outer shell to protect from wind and rain.
Musto claims the Siku is "the pinnacle of technical design". It's built to withstand the most extreme weather conditions, but the understated all-black aesthetic means it can be worn anywhere. Dual-layer Gore-Tex protect you from heavy rain, while staying breathable warmth with lightweight PrimaLoft Gold.
Musto have binned the fur hood in favour of a double layer construction, and added a breathable nylon metal mesh face mask that allows water vapour to pass through when exhaling.
Now, don't go thinking the Siku is all style over substance. If the unthinkable avalanche does happen, the jacket features Recco Reflectors which can be picked up by rescue teams using special equipment.
We love this warm jacket from Triple FAT Goose. The Norden Bomber has 700 Fill Power White Goose Down, two fleece-lined handwarmer chest pockets with snap button enclosures, and a DWR coating with an eco-friendly DWR that combined provide optimal cold weather resistance. There are two extra sets of pockets — one set on the side with zipper closures and the other set in the front with snap bottom flap closures — add to this jacket's amazing versatility and practicality.
If you're looking for a stylish and warm parka, that isn't made by Canada Goose, check out this Arctic anorak from Woolrich. It's constructed from classic Woolrich fabric and features a special Teflon coating which makes the garment rain, wind and snow resistant. A multitude of pockets, branded buttons, cuffed sleeves and a branded velcro neck fastening make it as practical as it is stylish.
Reworking the contemporary Engineered Bedale in a robust wax finish, the Ashby is a winter-ready jacket that's as stylish as it is practical. Perfect if you live on a farm and roll around everywhere in a Defender.
No matter where your adventures take you, be it abseiling, hiking, or commuting, the Microlight Alpine Jacket from Rab is a comfortable and warm companion. This lightweight jacket features a mini-stitch through baffle construction to retain as much heat as possible, and hydrophobically treated down, so that if you get caught out in the rain you'll stay as dry and warm as possible.
We love this big puffer from Moncler made from the brand's signature lacquered shell. It's packed with lightweight down, which will keep you warm without feeling too bulky. The jacket features a multitude of pockets, detachable twill-lined hood, concealed central zip, high neckline, and elasticated button cuffs. Of course, it's finished with Moncler's signature logo, and is ready to keep you warm no matter the environment.
Go full on Top Gun this winter with the faux fur hooded version of the famous CWU 45/P flight jacket. It comes with extra warm lining for the colder seasons, and is ideal for those seeking durable construction, warmth, and authenticity. The jacket features a water repellent nylon outer shell, and it paired with two layered quilted nylon/polyester interlinings. The knit cuffs, waistband, and front zipper closure with storm flap ensure that you'll stay dry for the duration, while the faux fur hood keeps you warm.
Introduced in 1981, the Belstaff Roadmaster is a bit of an icon. The recent jacket, with the original four-pocket design comes in a more streamlined fit. Made from cambric cotton, Belstaff has developed the wax finish since 1920s, to be more breathable and waterproof.
Do you spend your Januarys shredding down the slopes of Tignes? Or, at least, pretend you do? Well, this Shreddin' jacket from Columbia is perfect for you. Featuring a helmet compatible hood, Omni-heat thermal reflective insulation, and Omni-tech breathability (essentially little silver dots which reflect heat but let sweet through) this jacket is crammed with fabric tech.
The North Face is brand of choice for BBC news reporters on location everywhere, and now street-style enthusiasts as well. We love this jacket from the company, featuring HyVent technology, and responsibly sourced down, it looks right at home on the streets as well as more remote locations.
The Men's Down Sweater Hoody from Patagonia delivers exceptional comfort and warmth in cold conditions. It features a combination of recycled polyester fabric and 800 fill power goose down that is traceable from the parent farm to the apparel factory to ensure its ethical sourcing. The fabric boasts a durable water resistant finish for a little extra protection in damp conditions and will also block out the wind while the down helps to trap a layer of warm air around your body.
Montane's Icarus jacket features a Pertex Quantum Eco fabric outer, which is both windproof and water resistant, but most importantly of all, the jacket contains ThermoPlume, a synthetic fibre almost identical to natural goose down. It has a 550 fill power down equivalent, and is actually more efficient than traditional down when wet, remaining warm and dry in the harshest weather conditions.
Beat the cold with this affordable cold weather jacket for every day outdoors. The Worth TCZ is a tough jacket, offering protection from showers and wind with a special down-like thermal fill that carefully conserves body heat. There’s a snug fleece-and-taffeta lining plus an adjustable hood with detachable faux-fur trim.