How to Choose the Best Winter Jacket for You
With colder temperatures in the forecast, you’ll want to be prepared by making sure you and your little ones have the right jacket for the winter weather. For starters, a winter jacket must be durable, high-quality, and well-adapted to the activities you’ll be doing. Knowing how to choose the right winter jacket is essential to not only surviving cooler climates but thriving in the snow. Source for Sports is here to help you find the one that can help you stay warm, even when the temperatures drop. Here are 5 things to consider when choosing the right winter jacket to brave the elements:
What type of winter jacket do you need?
Before you look at all the specifications and styles of the different jackets available, you should ask yourself what type of activities you are planning to do and how intense your outdoor activities will be. Will you be playing a sport (i.e. skiing or snowboarding) where you’ll sweat and get hot? Or are you looking for something warm to simply wear around town? Apart from this, knowing what kind of weather conditions you'll be using the jacket in is also an essential part of selecting the best jacket for winter. There are 3 main types of winter jackets:
1. Technical Winter Jackets
For those looking fora jacket with light weight warmth that allows full range of movement when engaging in outdoor activities, technical jackets are the best choice. At Source for Sports, you’ll find brands (like Columbia and Killtec) who make jackets that are suitable not only for cold weather, but for various activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and road hockey. These jackets are designed to reduce bulk and weight while maintaining total weather protection and will include more technical features like helmet-compatible hoods and special zips to increase airflow during high-intensity activities. Generally, technical jackets are more lightweight than casual around-town winter jackets, and will be more packable and compressible.
2. Casual Winter Jackets
The key characteristic for casual, around-town winter jackets is exceptional warmth. These types of coats will offer different styles and silhouettes and will include features targeting comfort, like large hoods with fur trims, and lined pockets.
3. All-In-One Winter Jackets
Some people may be in the market for one winter jacket that can do it all, but what does that look like? These versatile jackets are often mixed with both synthetic and down insulation and will have features that are functional for winter activities but are still fashionable enough to “hit the town”.
Insulation: Synthetic VS. Down
When shopping for a winter jacket to help protect you from the cold, you’ll generally only find two types of insulation to choose from: synthetic and down. Here’s the breakdown:
Synthetic Insulation Vs. Down Insulation
||Wicks away moisture
|Retains warmth when wet
||Retains body heat while maintaining breathability
||Not meant for wet conditions
|Can be bulky and heavy
|Less durable than down insulation
||Can be easily packed/compressed
While each type of insulation has its benefits, at the end of the day, your needs will dictate which one to go with.
Weatherproofing: Water resistant vs. Waterproof
Looking for the jacket’s specific waterproofing properties, such as a weatherproof outer shell or a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating treatment, while knowing the difference between water resistant and waterproof, will aid in choosing the best winter jacket for you.
Water Resistant: Can keep out light precipitation for short periods
Waterproof: Can keep out precipitation for longer periods of time (sealed seams)
The lining layer of a jacket is the one that has the most contact with your skin and by retaining heat, it is a major factor in your overall jacket’s warmth. Selecting a jacket with lining material that wicks away moisture from your skin (keeping you warm and dry), can be particularly helpful if you plan on doing any physical activity while wearing your jacket such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
Find the right fit
When looking for a winter jacket to simply wear around town, you can get away with a form-fitting jacket that will provide the warmth you need but, if you’re searching for something to wear for winter sports or extreme cold weather, you’ll need room for layers.Think about what layers you’ll be wearing underneath and how thick they are so you can get areal feel for what it’s going to be like.You could even consider trying the next size up and compare that with your usual size. Allow yourself enough room to move, while feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing. At Source for Sports, we’re experts in helping you find the right fit, whatever your game.
Other features to consider
There are numerous winter jacket features to choose from, depending on what you’re looking for. Here are a few other features you’ll want to remember to look out for:
Waterproof and breathable outer shell
Warm, fleece-style jacket on the inside
Worn separately or zipped together, perfect for changeable weather.
- Hood adjustment
- Draw cords (waist, wrists, hood)
- Zippers (water-resistant or storm-flap)
- Security pockets
- Drop-in pockets
- Flaps or water-resistant zippers
At Source for Sports, our experts will help you choose the best winter jacket that fits your needs, style, and budget so that you can start enjoying your winter!
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