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If you’ve ever excitedly ordered yourself a voluminous puffer, only to take it for a spin and realize it’s really not that warm, well, same. Although I grew up in New York City and spent most of my life there working as an editor and stylist, I’ve since moved upstate and ultimately discovered what cold really feels like. Single- and double-digit temperatures are the norm each winter, so I’ve had to find the best women’s winter coats for extreme cold in order to keep from freezing. After reviewing materials, scanning reviews, and adding a handful of styles to my closet, I’ve found at least 10 outerwear options that I think are worth buying.
What to Look For in a Coat for Extreme Cold
There are a few factors to consider when shopping for puffers, parkas, and topcoats. Insulation is important, whether that means it’s filled with down, feathers, or a down alternative. You’ll also want a coat that’s wind-resistant, and, preferably, water-resistant, protecting you from blizzard conditions (or just really, really cold, wet days). Hoods and standing collars are features that can block the wind from getting in, while heated technology will ensure you’re feeling extra toasty. Plus, it’s always helpful when brands provide you with a range of temperatures a coat can withstand — if it says below-zero or arctic conditions, that usually means it’s pretty warm!
Best Women’s Winter Coats for Extreme Cold, at a Glance
Canada Goose has a reputation for making warm winter coats, but not every design is created equal. Some options are warmer than others, and its Expedition Parka — which was originally developed for scientists working in Antarctica — is one of the warmest. It’s guaranteed to keep you feeling nice and toasty at -22°F and below, which might make the steep price tag feel a little more worth it.
Material: Shell is 83% polyester and 17% cotton, the lining is 100% nylon, and it also contains 625 Fill Power Responsibly Sourced Duck Down Features: Water-repellant, adjustable down-filled hood, interior and exterior pockets, Velcro® closures over 2-way zipper Colorways: 5 Sizes Available: 2XS – 3XL Pros: Made for arctic temperatures (literally) Cons: The high price makes this one a true investment
L.L.Bean Women’s Ultrawarm Coat, Long
A handful of winter coats tend to pop up year after year, earning praise because they’re consistently that good. L.L.Bean Women’s Ultrawarm Coat falls under this category, with tons of reviewers commenting that they were pleasantly surprised at how warm it is. “AMAZINGLY WARM coat even for Minnesota snowy standards,” writes one person. “The fit is perfect just as described. Color is rich and hoodie is the best coverage.”
Material: 100% polyester shell, 100% nylon lining, and 100% acrylic faux fur trim, 650-fill DownTek™ water-repellent down fill Features: Water-resistant, removable hood with zip-off faux fur trim Colorways: 6 Sizes Available: XS – 3X Pros: Aside from being built to withstand midwestern winters, L.L.Bean’s coat is timeless enough that you won’t have to worry about it being “in” next year Cons: Some say it’s a little long, especially for petites, but add that it’s warmer than the mid-length option, so you’ll have to choose wisely
The North Face Women’s Arctic Parka
One thing to look out for when shopping for extreme weather coats? Reviews that include location. While this coat from The North Face has close to a 5-star rating and includes “Arctic” in the name, it’s the fact that customers claim it kept them warm while outside in upstate New York, Minnesota, and throughout the Midwest that has me sold. Plus, there’s no need to worry about a bulky fit — there’s an internal shockcord at the waistband that allows you to adjust the fit.
Material: Shell and lining are 100% recycled polyester, while the faux fur hood is 70% acrylic, 17% polyester, and 13% modacrylic. It’s insulated with 100% recycled waterfowl down. Features: Waterproof, wind resistant, adjustable hood with zip-off faux fur trim, adjustable waistband Colorways: 9 Sizes Available: XS – 3X Pros: At less than $400, it’s slightly more affordable than comparable options Cons: Some say the sleeves are too long and that it fits weirdly if you’re short
The Very Warm Hooded Puffer Coat
If you’re looking for a winter coat that doesn’t have down insulation, The Very Warm has you covered (literally). Its hoodedpuffer is filled with REPREVE®, a recycled material that takes the place of feathers. Despite this small switch, it’ll still keep you from shivering (just like the brand name says) and the water-resistant aspect means it’s safe to slip on for snowy days. Complete with a playful plaid print, this coat is an enjoyable one to rock in the middle of winter.
Material: 100% recycled polyester, REPREVE® down Alternative water-resistant fill Features: Water-resistant, detachable hood Colorways: 3 Sizes Available: XS – XXL Pros: It’s eco-friendly, made from recycled materials, and has an eye-catching print Cons: It runs large and is meant to look oversized, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea
Fuego Water Resistant 800 Fill Power Down Parka
You may be looking for a winter coat that travels well — something lightweight enough to fit in your suitcase or sling over your shoulder while running through the airport. Cotopaxi’s parka checks all those boxes and then some, since it’s able to fold up into a small pouch yet still feels weirdly warm. “Great coat, perfect for recess duty,” writes one reviewer. “Love that it is long and has a hood for those extra windy winters.”
Material: 100% nylon shell and lining, insulated with 800-fill responsibly sourced down Features: Water-resistant, foldable, scuba hood, can unzip from the bottom Colorways: 4 Sizes Available: XS – XL Pros: Folds up into a tiny pouch that makes it easy to travel with, and the colorful design gives it a more fashion-forward feel than similar alternatives Cons: It’s said to run large, so you might want to size down
Mystique Parka Performance Satin
Why is Canada Goose on the list twice? Well, the coats live up to the hype and I’ve been wearing mine for years. While this particular pick comes with all the bells and whistles, made the withstand extreme weather and below-zero temperatures, it also feels a bit more fashion-forward thanks to that shiny material. It’s no wonder celebrities love it — the description itself says it’s a go-to for “protecting cast and crew members on film sets.”
Material: Shell is 100% nylon and it’s insulated with 625 Fill Power Responsibly Sourced Down, 80% Down, and 20% Feathers Features: While it’s still made to combat the elements, it’s not as heavy as other coats and is described as midweight. Plus, this specific colorway has a subtle sheen, so you can feel fancy whenever you slip it on. Colorways: 2 Sizes Available: 2XS – 2XL Pros: It’s not your average puffer coat and it’s long enough to cover your legs — a major plus! Cons: Once again, it’s quite the splurge.
Orolay Women’s Thickened Down Jacket
The “jacket” part of the product name is a bit deceiving — Orolay’s viral winter coat
is actually warmer than most puffers. Perhaps it’s the combination of the fleece-lined hood, windproof shell, and a down fill that has earned it a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. Customers say it feels like wearing a blanket, with one reviewer pointing out that it’s “SO warm! I find myself having to unzip a little while walking my dog in 20° weather! Seriously so warm.”
Material: 100% polyester shell and lining, fleece-lined hood, and a fill made of 90% duck down and 10% duck feather. Features: Wind-resistant, attached hood, side zipper, six large pockets Colorways: 13 Sizes Available: XXS – 5XL Pros: Lightweight and easy to pack yet still super warm. Plus, you can easily order it from Amazon! Cons: While people claim they’ve worn it in snowy conditions, it’s technically not waterproof
ORORO Women’s Slim Fit Heated Jacket with Battery Pack
You may have stocked up on hand warmers and heated gloves, but the smartest way to fight off that winter chill is with a heated coat. ORORO’s option is a fan favorite and it’s neither too heavy nor too light, making it the perfect pick for on-the-go, everyday wear. It takes mere minutes for the heat to turn on and reach its full capacity, although like with most electric clothing, the battery only lasts a few hours depending on which setting you choose.
Material: 93.5% Polyester and 6.5% Spandex shell, 100% Polyester lining and fill Features: Water and wind-resistant, detachable hood, heats across your chest and upper back area, has three different heat settings, and the battery can last up to 10 hours Colorways: 5 Sizes Available: XS – XXL Pros: It’s warm but not bulky, and while you might be worried about how to wash it, it’s able to go right in the machine (as long as you keep it on cold) Cons: The battery can die within a few hours if you keep it on the highest setting
J.Crew New Lady Day Topcoat in Italian Double-Cloth Wool Blend
Just because a coat is fit for extreme weather doesn’t mean it has to be a puffer. If you’re after a sleeker, more polished look, you’ll want to add J.Crew’s New Lady Day Topcoat to cart. Created with below-zero temperatures in mind, this layer is made from a combination of wool and polyamide. Now, you can bundle up in a cute and classic way, without worrying about whether or not you’ll freeze once you leave the house.
Material: 75% wool, 25% polyamide. Features: It’s well-lined with a sweet point collar and button closure. This coat is made to fit snug, unlike a typical oversized parka.. Colorways: 5 Sizes Available: 000 – 24, including tall and petite Pros: This timeless design is not as casual as your go-to puffer, so you can easily layer it over dresses and office attire Cons: Some say it runs small, so size up if you plan on wearing sweaters or other bulky layers underneath. Also, it unfortunately doesn’t come with a hood, so you won’t have that added protection.
Apparis Tilly Reversible Faux Shearling & Faux Leather Long Coat
Apparis’ Tilly coat is reversible, so you’re basically getting two pieces for the price of one. Depending on the weather and how you’re feeling, you can snuggle up with the shearling on the inside, letting the leather show, or switch it up. Either way, you’ll be shocked at how warm it feels — and how cool you look.
Material: The vegan leather is made up of 52% Viscose and 48% Polyurethane, while the faux shearling is 70% recycled polyester and 30% polyester Features: Hidden snap closure, stand collar Colorways: 1 Sizes Available: XS – XXL Pros: This is a classic, elevated design that you’ll continue to reach for every winter Cons: It doesn’t seem to be water-resistant, so probably not the best option if snow is in the forecast
Eddie Bauer Women’s Glacier Peak Seamless Stretch Down Duffle Coat
The main reason I end up outside in freezing temperatures? To walk the dog. So naturally, what drew me to this Eddie Bauer duffle coat is the fact that many people are rocking it for the same reason.
“I purchased this coat to be comfortable on blustery dog walks,” reads one review. “I wish I had this coat years ago when I first started standing on cold sidelines watching youth sports. I wore it today in high winds and a mix of snow and rain, and I was cozy as could be. I can’t believe how terrific this coat is. Winter is suddenly so much more enjoyable.”
Material: 100% recycled polyester shell, 650-fill premium down insulation Features: Adjustable hood with drawstrings, waterproof, and bluesign®-APPROVED Colorways: 3 Sizes Available: XS – 3X, including petite and tall Pros: This coat can withstand zero-degree days — which means its under-$200 sale price is practically a steal. Plus, the fact that it’s waterproof rather than water-resistant is a real gamechanger when you find yourself in the middle of a storm. Cons: While there are plenty of size options, they’re selling out quickly, so if you want a particular color, you’ll have to act fast.
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