Winter Coats-Fi
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SilverEars

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Please share your insights into very effective coats you wear to combat sub-freezing temperatures.

I know Canada Goose exists, but I'm hoping for a discussion on hidden gems that's not common knowledge in winter jacket world

I know that Parkas are what's being used in extreme cold conditions and the fur on edge of the hood is for effectively blocking off cold air and snow. Coats like Canada Goose has been proven in Arctic expeditions, and I'm wondering if there are others that are good values in terms of cost.

Two other brands that are most cost effective are Eddie Bauer and LL Bean, and the most obvious, the North Face. What do we look for in a well made winder coats that insulates the best?

So far I know one aspect is the value of down, but I notice Parkas usually have lower down value of 650, but I've also seen light down jackets with 800 fill.
 
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WilcoRoger

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For sub-freezing temperatures basically any coat will do - you don't need "Arctic expedition proven" coats. A Canada Goose Expedition Parka is rated class 5 (-30ºC (-22ºF) or below) but why would you need such for mere sub-freezing (subzero ºC, sub +32ºF) temperatures? What will you put on when it gets cold? :)
 
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megabigeye

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I'm always amazed at the number of Canada Goose coats I see around here. Those things are literally for arctic/antarctic expeditions and I see people wearing them as soon as it drops below 50°F. Yeesh. Pace yourselves, people. I always wonder what the heck they're gonna do when it's actually cold out? And they cost almost a grand!

If I want to / don't mind layering, I love my Rab Xenon. Without layering it's good down to ~35°F for me, so long as I'm keeping active; or 40°F if I'm not. I've worn it down to ~0°F with multiple layers (base layer, undershirt, shirt, sweater, Xenon, hard shell) and been perfectly happy. In fact, that's what I did for four years. It's almost completely windproof, water repellent, and it packs into its own chest pocket, which is great for flights or if I get warm. Love this jacket.

When I don't want to layer, I love the padded Fjällräven Skogsö. I've worn it down to 25°F with only a t-shirt under it and been perfectly comfortable. It'd be uncomfortably warm if I layered it as much as I do with the Rab. It's a great looking coat (just got a compliment on it on Monday), warm, really comfy, has tons of pockets, can be made water resistant (with wax), and the materials are very high quality. Drawbacks are that the sleeves are kind of long and they're mostly designed for tall, slender, Swedish types. If you've got a gut, it might be hard to find a size that fits.

I'm not a fan of The North Face. We have a local North Face store and I tried on almost all of their hip-length jackets. Without exception, their jackets feel much cheaper than my Fjallraven, but they cost at least as much. Coarse, cheaper feeling materials, heavier for the same warmth, unflattering cuts and designs. I had a North Face backpack that was a huge piece of junk and started to fall apart within weeks. My opinion is that when you buy The North Face you're mostly paying for brand recognition.
We also have a Patagonia (Patagucci, as I call it) store locally. The coats seem very nice, but they're generally a bit boxier than the Fjallraven and none of them fit me quite like I wanted (I'm slender and picky). If you have a belly they might work better than Fjallraven.
If you're on a budget, Columbia jackets are supposed to be nice for the price. Just from quickly looking, they seem to be of about the same quality as The North Face, just less expensive.
 
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SilverEars

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I agree with you both, expedition coats are not necessary unless the weather gets supremely cold on many days. I think up north and Canada would be the regions. Most places in the US, there's not many days that go below 20 F..

When I see so many Canada Goose it does seem overkill.
 
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HiGHFLYiN9

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gimmeheadroom

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When it's really cold no single garment is going to keep you warm. You have to layer. The other thing is to know whether you're going to sweat or not. If you're active you need clothing that will wick the moisture off your body. If you get wet and you're out long enough you can die of hypothermia. Cotton kills.. use some high tech underwear. If you're not going to be active (ice fishing, still hunting etc.) then high tech underwear is still a good idea followed by several layers including a down vest and a heavy wool coat (Filson, Woolrich etc.) will work. As always, a hat (and maybe a hat liner) and gloves (and maybe glove liners) depending on how cold.

FYI not all Filson goods are completely made in America like they used to be. A lot of the wool and cotton fabric is imported. Bean has some good stuff too but not all of it.
 
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F208Frank

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G Lab and Parajumpers (Hidden Gems)

Source: I own Moncler and Canada Goose
 
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