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Winter Coats - Parkas, Down Jackets - Cold Weather
Extreme cold weather parka, the outer shell layer

Parkas and Down Jackets Men's | Women's | Boys | Girls
Moosejaw Mountaineering
Men's Winter Parkas
Women's Winter Parkas

There's no such thing as bad weather,
only the wrong clothes

The shell layer takes the direct battering from the elements. It should be at least windproof and preferably waterproof too (but see below in very cold temperatures). Antarctica is the windiest place on earth, so don't skimp on this or imagine that you can get by with an outer garment that is "pretty windproof".

Antarctica does proper wind

Proper biting - gets through every nook and cranny - straight to the bones - wind

Some garments such as duvet style puffa jackets have a wind-proof outer nylon layer but are not waterproof. This has the advantage of making the garment softer, pliable and comfortable and of also reducing the cost .

Water-resistant or water-repellent are fine if you will not use the garment in extended wet conditions or and will have the opportunity to dry it out between uses. In cold conditions, waterproof is not necessary as there's not a lot of liquid water about!


500 / 600 / 700 fill down?

What does it all mean? The number is a measure of  "fill power". This measures the amount of space taken up by one ounce of down. Take one ounce of down, compress it and then release it - on release the down will expand and fill up a certain volume. The volume it occupies is measured in cubic inches and is the down's "fill power".

So if a jacket is said to have "550 fill down" for example, it means that one ounce of down in the jacket will fill 550 cubic inches of space. The higher the number, the higher the quality of the down - generally.

As well as down quality, the fill power is what gives the down its insulating properties. The more the fill power, the warmer the jacket - generally.

Generally? It also depends on the amount of down in the garment too. A small amount of the highest quality down won't necessarily be warmer than a larger amount of the next grade down.


Waterproof shell jackets

Waterproofing has come on leaps and bounds in recent years due to the development of new light-weight, soft waterproof fabrics that all importantly are now breathable. Old fashioned coated nylon is now only found in the cheapest of garments and is to be avoided.

Materials such as GORE-TEX mean that being waterproof no longer means that the inside of the garment becomes damp and clammy from perspiration. New ways of using the material mean that the outer surface remains soft and pleasing to the touch.

A fully waterproof shell is not required for very cold climates and is not appropriate in that the breathable characteristics become less effective at very low temperatures. For coastal and maritime Antarctica in the summer such fabrics are ideal and I unequivocally recommend the use of an outer layer garment that is made using GORE-TEX  in such conditions. This also has the advantage of being useful in the less cold, but often wetter conditions in everyday life back home, so the garment continues to be very useful for many years to come. Gore-Tex is also an excellent windproof barrier too and in appropriate conditions (above about -15°C / +5°F in my experience - though my Gore-Tex jacket is several years old now and the fabric has advanced since then) performs excellently.

See all Gore-Tex jackets - Men's  Women's

Choosing clothing for cold and extreme weather

The ankles, wrist and neck area should also be covered with no chance of exposing bare flesh when stretching, reaching or otherwise moving around. A scarf of some kind around the neck makes all the difference to losing warm air that can be "pumped" out by even small movements.

Dressing should follow the "layer principle". The number of layers can be adjusted according to how cold the temperature is and the activity of the wearer. A three layer system is most typical:

Men's Down Jackets
More men's down coats

Canada Goose Westmount Down Parka - Men's $894.95

Staying in control when the elements are extreme requires poise, strength, and the cold-zapping power of the Canada Goose Westmount Down Parka. Designed with a longer, knee-length cut, the Westmount helps you stand down the storm without batting an eye. A generous helping of premium 650-fill white duck down insulation keeps your precious body heat next you your skin, and an array of field-ready pockets shelter your trusty optics, note pad, phone, and leather-bound flask from the swirling cold. more...

Fjallraven Men's Polar Parka
On sale - now $678.99

- was $849.95

Fjallraven Men's Polar Parka Down Pullover with G-1000 Original reinforcements on front - sleeves and back bottom At front a big fleece lined kangaroo pocket and additional compartment pockets with zippers Fixed hood with adjustment and detachable fur Reflective band Leather details SPECIFICATIONS of the Fjallraven Men's Polar Parka Weight: (M): 1651 g Fill Weight: (M): 550 g Fill Power: 700 cubic inches Fill: 95% goose down - 5% feather - 100% polyester Supreme Microloft Lining: 100% polyamide more...

Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero Down Parka - Men's
On sale - now $639.96

- was $799.95

Mountain Hardwear designed the Absolute Zero Parka to keep you warm in the coldest environments on Earth. Packed with 800-fill goose down, the Absolute Zero does its job with some of the very best insulation found anywhere in nature, and its fully welded construction is tough, lightweight, and waterproof. more...

Mountain Hardwear Men's Absolute Zero Parka
On sale - now $639.96

- was $799.95

Mountain Hardwear Men's Absolute Zero Parka Waterproof Down: welded - watertight Baffle construction Low profile - insulated - fixed hood with one-handed drawcord for quick fit adjustments One-handed hem drawcords for quick adjustments Soft - stretchy - internal cuffs seal in warmth Zip handwarmer pockets Internal water bottle pocket and mesh stash pocket Two large alpine pockets accommodate a harness and pack The SPECS Average Weight: 2 lbs 13 oz / 1.28 g Center Back Length: 31 in. / 79 cm Body more...
Women's Down Jackets
More women's down coats

Burton Flack Parka - Women's $85.95

Don't take any grief from chilly spring and fall weather; just grab Burton's Flack Women's Parka and let the crisp days know you're not overly concerned. Soft canvas with a cotton lining keeps the Flack light and comfortable, and the drawstring hood lets you batten down the hatches against those insidious fall breezes. more...

Canada Goose Expedition Down Parka - Women's $794.95

Whether you're planning an expedition to Antarctica or just braving the commute through another brutal northern winter, the Canada Goose Women's Expedition Parka provides heavy-duty warmth thanks to its high-quality duck down insulation. The Arctic-Tech shell features a DWR treatment to shed snow and moisture, and four fleece-lined front pockets hold your camera, extra gloves, and energy bars. Canada Goose added a strip of coyote fur to the hood for insulation and wind protection, and an interna more...

Canada Goose Dawson Down Parka - Women's $749.95

You've waited your whole life to watch orca swim and glaciers calve from the deck of an arctic cruise ship. Bundle up in the Canada Goose Women's Dawson Down Parka so you don't miss out on the most majestic vistas on the planet because you're too cold to leave the inside of the boat. Plus, while this cozy, Arctic-worthy parka has been field-tested for the coldest places on earth by Canada Goose, it also sports a fashion-forward look that will keep looking your best for the all of the photos you' more...

Fjallraven Women's Kyla Parka
On sale - now $628.99

- was $699.95

Fjallraven Women's Kyla Parka Down filled parka Wind and water resistance Drawstring at waist and bottom Adjustable fixed hood lined with polyester fleece Detachable fur Extra rib collar at back neck 2 big front pockets - 2 chest pockets with zipper - 1 small zipped pocket and Napoleon pocket On the inside there are 2 big storage pockets in mesh Leather details SPECIFICATIONS of the Fjallraven Women's Kyla Parka 100% Polyamide Lining: 100% Polyamide - 100% Polyester Fill: 80% Foose down - 20% Fe more...

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