Jackets are one of the primary staples of a man’s winter wardrobe, and if you’ve been around the proverbial “block” more than once, you’ll realize that finding the perfect garment to round our your collection can be difficult. This isn’t due to the lack of options; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are many shapes, styles, and genres of outerwear, and each of them lays claim to its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of overall versatile. One of the rare few that incorporates all of the strengths of its compatriots, and very few of their weaknesses, however, is the parka.
As the quintessential winter garment, the parka is a well-rounded contender that could (and should) put the rest of your outerwear to shame. Not only does it boast the warm, insulated fill of its puffy counterparts, or the technical, waterproof textiles that you’d find in the genre’s more expeditionary pieces, but it’s also inherently good looking, thanks to its unique cut, fur neckline, and draped silhouette. While owning a wide range of jackets is the mark of a true style connoisseur, we understand the need for simplification. That’s why we’d recommend parka for any guy who’s looking to cut the fat from his wardrobe this upcoming season and focus on an outerwear piece to replace their most-utilized garments. Below, we’ve curated a selection of favorites from around the industry, placing an emphasis on utility, structure, and weatherproofing. Without further adieu, let’s dive right in.
Alpha Industries N-3B Heritage
Alpha Industries is one of the most iconic outerwear brands in the world, and its militaristic garments are second to none. They’re so beloved, in fact, that many of their silhouettes have been adopted as trademarks within branches of the armed forces, including the N-3B Heritage — a dependable example that derives its design from the USAF Snorkel parka. Like any good parka model, it features a protective hood with removable faux fur for added comfort and warmth, a full-length storm flap, and channel-quilted lining for increased reinforcement against wear and tear. A tough nylon shell helps to deter the elements, making the N-3B a surefire pick for those who are looking for a (surprisingly) affordable alternative to some of the genre’s more expensive models.
Filson C.C.F Arctic Down
Filson’s heritage garments are always a welcome addition to any of our outerwear guides, and the C.C.F. Arctic Down parka is no exception. This utility-focused piece boasts all of the hard-wearing durability of the brand’s workwear models, but takes on a supple cotton duck fabric, down insulation, and corduroy lining to keep it well within the realm of everyday wear. If you’re looking for a jacket that you can utilize in a variety of different ways, the Arctic Down is a viable option, thanks to its detachable hood, mobility-focused “action back,” and triple-stitched shoulder seams, which provide improved reinforcement at the parka’s primary stress points.
Patagonia Maple Grove Down
Patagonia’s Maple Grove Down parka is a testament to its outdoor roots, and that says a lot in terms of its overall composure. Instead of taking on a complex and cumbersome silhouette like some of its counterparts on this list, the Grove boasts a sleek, minimalist structure that’s catered toward cleanliness. It features a durable, smooth-faced outer shell to protect against rain and snowfall, an insulated, adjustable hood for increased coverage, and a storm flap/insulted draft collar to keep the billowing winds from sending an uncomfortable chill down your spine. To round things out, a stand-up collar and recycled down fill provide the ultimate protection against the cold, making this simple offering much more formidable than meets the eye.
Flint And Tinder Sherpa-Lined Waxed Ridge
Flint And Tinder’s Sherpa-Lined Waxed Ridge parka isn’t your traditional, everyday model. Instead, this unique variation takes on a burly waxed canvas, helping to battle against rain, snow, and wind with its weatherized exterior shell. Since the brand’s legacy in outerwear has already been established, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the British Millerain-sourced canvas does its job in terms of dependable diversion, but does it stand up to alternative models in terms of aesthetic? Interestingly enough, it excels in that department, as well, thanks to its stylish modern structure, storm hood, and ultra-soft Sherpa lining.
Helly Hansen Barents
Helly Hansen’s Barents parka might be the golden standard of the genre, and that’s not an understatement. It takes on a more traditional aesthetic, thanks to its pile-lined hood and detachable faux fur liner, but boasts a handful of contemporary upgrades that have earned it the title of “swiss army knife” among its connoisseurs. To ensure that the parka is prepared for every season of the year, Helly Hansen went out of its way to provide the jacket with a waterproof, windproof, and breathable fabric, strategically-taped seams, and an additional Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment — leaving nothing to chance in terms of inclement readiness. To round things out, the outerwear piece is fully insulated, calling upon high-loft synthetic insulation to keep things as warm as (in)humanly possible.
L.L.Bean Maine Mountain
L.L.Bean continues to enamor with its heritage-focused outerwear pieces. This time, we’re focusing on its Maine Mountain parka — a tasteful model that pairs traditional design cues with modern fabric technologies to create the quintessential garment for outdoor exploration. Each example boasts a sleek, simplified appearance, complete with abrasion-resistant, waterproof TEK canvas, 650-fill DownTek insulation, and an adjustable snorkel hood for increased protection from the elements. Of course, it’s difficult to call it a “parka” without the addition of a removable faux fur ruff, so L.L.Bean decided to throw one in as an added bonus.
Backcountry Gore-Tex Down
Backcountry has earned its stripes as one of the finest outdoor gear providers in the world, but what many people don’t know is that it also creates its very own offshoots of the outerwear genre’s most iconic pieces. As you might have guessed, the brand has taken on the traditional parka with an interesting example dubbed the “GORE-TEX Down.” This waterproof wonder features a breathable and efficient GORE-TEX membrane, a windproof shell, and responsibly-sourced insulation to keep unparalleled warmth at the forefront. Pair that with an adjustable hood, interior comfort cuffs, and a tall, chill-blocking collar, and you’ve got a formidable — albeit, fur-less — offering that’ll stand up to almost anything you can throw its way.
Houdini’s technical proficiency is a godsend for the outerwear world, and its parkas are truly one-of-a-kind. While other brands are more interested in perfecting the formula of construction and utility, the outfit’s One parka seeks to transcend the boundaries of traditional function, resulting in a decidedly pleasing garment. This sleek, technical piece features a waterproof and breathable 2.5-layer shell, which takes the place of the genre’s lined options. As a result, it’s lighter (and more breathable) than your average outdoor jacket, allowing you to utilize it at various points throughout the year. To accent its slim persona, the One has been crafted to be a bit more spacious than other models, giving you the opportunity to layer-up from the inside, should the need arise.
Fjallraven’s Yupik is strikingly close to the original model, and as far as we’re concerned, that earns it one of the top spots on our list. Drawing upon the large, recognizable silhouette of the traditional garment, this winterized essential features a synthetically-lined interior, Supreme Micro Loft padding, and a detachable, fleece-lined hood, complete with the genre’s trademark faux fur trim. It’s also inherently utility-focused, thanks to a bevy of internal and external pockets — many of which boast a unique, mesh construction. Velcro cuffs help to seal in warmth during the colder seasons.
Arc’teryx continues its utilitarian rampage with the Therme parka — an urban essential that’s equally-as-viable in the outdoor environment. To keep it as functionally-sound as possible, the brand has incorporated a waterproof, and windproof GORE-TEX face fabric, as well as an innovative Down Contour Construction that allows the garment to form to the body for more efficient heat retention. Utilizing a specialized Down Composite Mapping system, Arc’teryx has pinpointed the areas of the parka where synthetic insulation provides the most benefit, introducing lofty, high-performance 750-fill European goose down throughout. To offset this, a synthetic Coreloft substitute is used in the jacket’s cuffs and hood, enhancing moisture control in some of its most prominent areas.
Norrona Oslo Gore-Tex Insulated
Norrona’s Oslo GORE-TEX Insulated parka is a lesser-known garment within the outerwear world, but don’t let its understated following deter your opinion. The fact is, it stands at the top of the parka range, thanks to its waterproof and insulated GORE-TEX shell, recycled PrimaLoft insulation, and sleek, eye-catching design. While this classic model features a fully-protective hood, fleece-lined front pockets, and storm-guard flaps, it becomes abundantly clear that where the jacket truly shines is in its visual appearance. When compared to the busier, more complicated models on our list, it stands apart with a simplified exterior, inlaid pocketing, and protected zippers, allowing it to maintain its streamlined aesthetic.
Mission Workshop Rhite
Mission Workshop’s attention to detail is second to none, especially in terms of technical pleasantries. As part of the company’s Advanced Project Series, which deviates from its already-established utility pieces, the Rhite Parka has been dubbed a state-of-the-art outerwear example that usurps a large portion of its expeditionary lineup. Each garment is crafted with an ultralight four-way-stretch textile, which has been water- and wind-proofed with a specialized, high-performance laminate. At its heart, a Mectex stretch fabric helps to battle against moisture, pairing nicely with the parka’s Hi-Loft Cross Core Primaloft Gold insulation, which has been used by NASA in a variety of space-faring projects as the world’s lightest insulating material.
There’s not much to say about Woolrich’s Polar parka, and that’s completely fine. This simplistic offering tops our list due to its competence as a design-focused piece, and nothing more. However, if you’ve been acquainted with Woolrich’s garments in the past, you’ll know that each and every example is crafted with the utmost care, allowing their premium materials to shine through and weather the years at your side. To finish off this minimalist wonder, the brand has incorporated a comfortable fur-lined hoody, playing to the strengths of the parka name.
Todd Snyder Made In New York
Todd Snyder’s tasteful designs never fall short, and the Made in New York parka is no exception. Not only does it boast one of the most phenomenal looks on our list, but it’s also relatively well-outfitted thanks to its Olmetex materials, water-, and wind-repellent outer shell, and military-inspired traits, including envelope pockets, melamine buttons, and drawcord-clad openings. To keep things warm during the year’s coldest seasons, each example has been treated to a channel-quilted lining, PrimaLoft insulation, and removable interior that allows for adaptable use, regardless of the temperature.
Canada Goose Expedition22
Canada Goose rounds out our list with the Expedition — an extreme-weather model that was developed specifically for scientists stationed in one of the world’s coldest environments. Drawing inspiration from the snowy expanses of Antarctica, this unique garment is as close as you’re going to get to a surefire expeditionary garment, thanks to its adjustable, down-filled hood, fleece-lined chin guard, and hide-away nylon snow skirt, which can be deployed at a moment’s notice when the weather takes a turn for the worse. To remain in-line with the parka aesthetic, a removable fur ruff and 625-fill Power White Duck down have been added to keep the elements at bay.
The Best Snowboarding Gear For Every Rider
Now that you’ve found the perfect parka to accompany you on your next trip to the mountain, head over to our guide on the best snowboarding gear for every rider, where we outline everything you’ll need to create the perfect winter-ready powder setup.
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