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We’ve officially reached the time of year when even the thought going outside elicits an audible groan. Temperatures across the country are dropping—it’s currently 30 degrees in New York—and we’ve still got 10 more weeks ’til spring. While hibernating may be the only genuinely appealing activity on the schedule these next few months, for most, hunkering down and refusing to leave the house until the frost has thawed isn’t really an option (if only!). The sole way to make it slightly more bearable? By investing in one of the best men’s winter coats for extreme cold.
While it’s important to layer up during the winter months, your scarves and sweaters are only as good as the protective layer on top of them—and considering most good-quality coats are on the pricier side, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth in terms of staying toasty. We chatted with an expert to determine what to look for so that you’re adding the absolute warmest men’s winter coat to your cart. Keep scrolling to shop their top picks.
Let’s be clear: When we’re dealing with sub-zero temps, most bets on style are off. Sure, you want to feel good in your winter coat, but ultimately you’ll want to step outside feeling confident that you won’t freeze on your way to work.
“Form beats out function,” says Gab Saper, a stylist based in New York City. “Besides, you’ll be spending as little time as possible outside and take your coat off as soon as you get inside because the heat is blasting everywhere you go.”
With that in mind, she says that parkas are the best option for brutally cold weather. “They’re made of synthetics, like nylon and polyester, that are typically water resistant, and have thick linings made from down or synthetic—or some combination of both—that make them extra warm.”
Of course, that’s not to say it’s impossible to find a warm men’s winter coat that delivers on both the fashion and function fronts. “From a style perspective, I’d recommend a non-quilted parka,” says Saper. “It has a sleeker silhouette than a puffer and a more classic, timeless style. It can also be dressed up when needed. A big quilted puffer would look ridiculous with a suit, while a parka is passable.”
What to Look for in a Men’s Winter Coat for Extreme Cold, According to an Expert
Down has long been a mainstay in warm winter coats, and its for good reason. It’s made from duck or goose feathers, and is effective at trapping heat to create insulation.
2. Synthetic insulation
If the idea of wearing a coat stuffed with goose feathers isn’t quite for you, synthetic insulation (like Primaloft or Thinsulate) is a great alternative. It traps warmth in the same way that down does, but is lighter weight and tends to perform better in wet conditions.
What’s on the outside of your jacket is arguably even more important than what’s on the inside, as it provides the first line of defense against cold air. Goretex—or any similarly breathable, waterproof fabric—can help keep you dry from precipitation while also allowing moisture to escape.
1. Large hood
“A hood that is deep enough to stay on your head is more important than you think,” says Saper. “Some coats have hoods that are more shallow to reduce bulk but they end up falling off your head when you move, so try on a coat and walk around with it to make sure the hood stays on.”
2. High neckline or stand collar
“This is a game-changer on really cold days,” says Saper. “Even with a scarf, your neck can get cold if you have a lower neckline that lets wind through. This type of collar will block your neck and the bottom of your face from the wind.:
3. Deep, Comfortable Pockets
“It’s human instinct to put our hands in our pockets when we’re cold, so make sure yours fit comfortably in the pockets of your coat—both with and without gloves on,” says Saper. “The pockets should be deep enough that your hands fit until at least your wrist and they should be positioned in a place where your arms can hang comfortably—typically around your hip.”
Mackage Edward Water Repellent Down Coat
Sizes: 36-46 Material: Duck down feathers, nylon/polyester Resistance: Water-repellant, wind resistant Colors: Navy
This pick from Mackage is one of Saper’s all-time favorite men’s winter coats for extreme cold. It’s got a stand collar and removable hood (two of the qualities you should look for), and is water and wind repellant while also being breathable enough to prevent you from overheating. What’s more, it’s equipped with a removable hooded bib/storm visor combo and storm cuffs—AKA everything you need to stay sufficiently bundled in even the most treacherous winter weather.
Reviewers love that this Lululemon down parka is sleek, stretchy, and easy to move in. As one fan says, “it’s a well-built, high-quality jacket that’s very comfortable and warm.” The oversized fit is perfect for layering on top of even the bulkiest scarves and sweaters, and the sealed seams will keep you dry as you trudge through the dreaded “wintery mix” that weathermen all over the country are warning us about on the reg.
Though this Amazon Essentials Coat
will only cost you $51 (and can be on your doorstep by tomorrow), it offers a whole lot more than its price point implies. We’re talking fleece lining, an insulated hood, interior knit cuffs, a storm flap… the list truly goes on and on. The polyester shell sits on top of full insulation, and the lining will make you feel like you’re cozied up in your favorite sweatshirt. It comes in 11 colors, but be warned—at this price, you may want to pick up more than one.
Whether you’re skiing or strolling the city streets, you really can’t go wrong with any of Northface’s winter coats (there’s a reason the brand has been around since 1966!). We like the Men’s McMurdo Parka for its sleek look and relaxed fit, and because the removable faux-fur detailing essentially gives you two vastly different looks for the price of one (FWIW: The fur comes off, but the hood itself stays on). The hood has an internal drawcord so you can pull it up tight to keep your face warm.
Your neck will be endlessly grateful for the shearling lining (and drawstring hood cord) in this Patagonia parka, which is made from recycled materials—including the polyester fleece lining and insulation layer. There are plenty of pockets, too—including chest pockets and hand warmer pockets with stylish flaps and a secret internal compartment to hide your valuables.
Another one of Saper’s favorites, this under-$100 option from UNIQLO is made from the brand’s warmest down fabric (which you know has gotta be good considering they’re the people behind our absolute favorite HeatTech base layers) and is lined with aluminum to help with heat retention. It’s coated with a water-repellant agent so that any snow, rain, or sleet will bounce right off.
What we love most about Everlane’ ReNew Puffer is that it’s made entirely from recycled materials (minus the zippers, because apparently that’s impossible). The recycled down that makes up the lining has been repurposed from pillows, comforters, and sleeping bags, which means you can be sure you’re getting one of the coziest coats on the market.
If ever you thought a puffer coat couldn’t be formal or fancy, this J. Crew pick is here to prove you wrong. The button closures and patch pockets add an element of chic to the otherwise technical style, which looks just as good with a suit as it does your sweats.
If you’re on the hunt for a coat that can carry you through October to April, this Helly Hansen 3-in-1 is it. It’s made with two layers—a waterproof shell and a Primaloft insulated liner—which can be worn seperately or together depending on the conditions you’re dealing with. And if you’re headed to the mountain, you’re in luck: It comes with some pretty awesome ski-friendly features, including a pass pocket, a 2-way zipper, and an adjustable powder skirt.
Arc’teryx Macai Insulated Jacket
Sizes: XS-XXL Material: Nylon, tricot (synthetic down) Resistance: Waterproof, windproof Colors: Black, dark red, dark green
There’s a certain kind of cold that comes along with hitting the slopes, and the Arc’teryx Macai Insulated Jacket has everything you need to confront it in style. It’s made using “down composite mapping,” which essentially means it uses real down in spots that require extra warmth and synthetic insulation anywhere moisture tends to build up (like your armpits). The hood is removable, the arms are designed for easy mobility, and the coat’s even got pit zippers with mesh backing to keep you from overheating when the sun comes out over the mountain.
Don’t let the sleek silhouette on this Woolrich Commuting Coat fool you: Hidden underneath it is a down-filled puffer that will keep you warm and stylish all at once (bonus: the puffer coat and outer shell can be worn seperately or together). The high collar will keep your neck warm all the way up to your ears, and the relaxed fit and stretchy fabric will have you feeling genuinely comfortable on your everyday commutes.
Andrew Marc Men’s Shelton Down Parka w/ Shearling Bib
Sizes: S-XXL Material: Nylon, spandex, down Resistance: None Colors: Grey, black, navy
What we love about Andrew Marc’s Shelton Down Parka isn’t just the removable shearling detailing—though that is pretty darn snazzy—it’s the fact that it has a full-blown vest inside of it for an added layer of warmth (which, FWIW, is also removable). It comes in three colors—black, navy, and this olive green—and has a high, shearling collar that will allow you to leave your scarf at home.
Columbia’s Pike Lake Hooded Jacket gets its superior warmth from a thermal-reflective lining (which traps heat) and recycled polyester insulation. It’s equipped with drawcords around the hood, cuffs, and hem, which means you can adjust the fit to your perfect size so that you won’t feel even a whisper of the cold wind whipping around you. It comes in six colors—including this fun camo print—and a range of sizes to fit standard, big, and tall sizing.
Marmot Men’s WarmCube GORE-TEX® Golden Mantle Jacket
City dwellers, this one’s for you. The Marmot Men’s Mantle Jacket is equipped with WarmCube technology, which traps air inside the jacket and moves it around so that it will keep you warm when you’re outside and prevent you from getting drenched in sweat when you’re standing on the subway platform (a feeling New Yorkers know all too well). The GORE-TEX fabric is windproof while still being lightweight, and the down is treated with a “defender” technology that allows it to dry 10 times faster than regular down.
Thanks to its thigh-length design, this Fjallraven Insulated Parka delivers warmth well beyond your trunk. And considering the brand hails from a mountain town in Sweden, where it is currently -20degrees Farhenheit—you can be sure that its coats deliver on their promise of keeping you cozy in frigid temps.
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