The warmest winter coats for men combine hard-working insulation with comfort and style, so you’re covered even in the most frigid conditions. During winter—which, if you live in a cold climate, basically means from November through March—layering is essential, whether you’re dealing with bitterly cold temperatures, arctic winds, freezing rain or sideways snow. We spoke with outdoor specialists to find out what technical details matter most, and what the pros look for in the warmest men’s winter coats.
At the top of the experts’ list: a technical water-repellant and windproof shell, high-loft insulation and practical details, such as an insulated hood, sealed cuffs, waterproof zippers, venting and adjustable drawstring cords. Our top pick overall, the Arc’teryx Therme Parka, and the most affordable option, the Carhartt Super Dux Relaxed Fit Insulated Traditional Coat, meet that criteria, and more. Whether you’re looking for a parka, puffer or all-weather topcoat, below are the warmest winter coats for men to protect you from the elements.
- Warmest Winter Coat For Men Overall: Arc’teryx Therme Parka
- Warmest Affordable Winter Coat For Men: Carhartt Super Dux Relaxed Fit Insulated Traditional Coat
- Warmest Winter Coat For Extreme Cold: Canada Goose Langford Parka Heritage
- Warmest Parka For Men: Patagonia Stormshadow Parka
- Warmest Jacket For Men: Outdoor Research Super Alpine Down Jacket
- Warmest Puffer For Men: The North Face ’73 Parka
- Warmest Down Coat For Men: Rab Neutrino Pro Jacket
- Warmest Work Coat For Men: Herno Storm System Coat
- Warmest Waterproof Jacket For Men: Columbia Barlow Pass 550 TurboDown Jacket
Arc’teryx Therme Parka
Sizes: XS-XXL | Main materials: 2L Gore-Tex shell, 750-fill-power goose down insulation and synthetic insulation| Design: Parka with attached hood | Colors: 4 total, including Black Sapphire and Smoke Bluff
- What’s notable: This jacket is a standout for both technical features and style, making it a great jacket for cold, wet environments when you want to look sharp.
- What could be better: There’s no drawstring cinch at the bottom, which would be helpful to prevents drafts.
This warm, durable and well-designed coat is built to last: Its durable Gore-Tex shell is waterproof, windproof and breathable, and it features down insulation and well-placed synthetic insulation in wetness-prone areas. The adjustable hood is insulated, so you’re covered even if you forget a hat. Additional details we include a two-way zipper, internal cuff gaskets and zippered hand and chest pockets.
What the reviews say: Many praise this coat for being lightweight yet very warm, and they say it accommodates a variety of clothing underneath—“enough room for a suit jacket, yet great over a sweater or mid layers.” But reviewers also comment that the fit of this coat is generous so you may have to size down, and some say the two-way zipper can be a pain to engage.
Carhartt Super Dux Relaxed Fit Insulated Traditional Coat
Sizes: S-3XL, as well as tall sizes| Main materials: 97% nylon/3% elastane shell with 3M Thinsulate insulation | Design: Parka with hood | Colors: 2 total, including Black and Coffee
- What’s notable: The soft-shell fabric has flex so it stretches and moves with you.
- What could be better: There’s no hidden interior drawcord at the hem, so icy winds can creep in.
Carhartt’s Super Dux line was initially made for hunters in the 1930s. This jacket is constructed from lightweight, durable nylon that’s notoriously good at blocking wind, and it has a DWR finish to repel rain and snow. Other key details include storm cuffs, front pockets with side entry to keep hands warm and an adjustable hood.
What the reviews say: Overall, reviewers praise the roomy pockets and warmth of this coat. According to one reviewer, “the zipper works effortlessly, and the interior sleeve cuffs do a great job of keeping arms warm.” Some don’t love the Velcro closures on the pockets and say they would prefer snaps. Others comment that this coat is too roomy for thinner builds.
Canada Goose Langford Parka Heritage
Sizes: XS-3XL | Main materials: 83% polyester and 17% cotton shell, 625-fill-power duck down insulation | Design: Parka with adjustable hood | Colors: 6 total, including Graphite and North Star White
- What’s notable: The down-filled adjustable hood protects your head and neck from extreme weather.
- What could be better: The price makes this a serious financial investment.
Canada Goose offers a lot of standout cold weather options—their Snow Mantra and Expedition jackets offer Arctic-level warmth—but this particular jacket brings the heat in a more streamlined design that’s more practical for frequent wear. It’s intended to endure temperatures up to -13 degrees Fahrenheit, with rib-knit cuffs that trap warmth and prevent drafts, an interior drawcord to retain warmth and a down filled hood that’s adjustable two ways. It has four exterior pockets and two interior pockets, and it comes in eight colors, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find one you like.
What the reviews say: Many reviewers say this jacket’s durability and street style are incomparable, but comment that the fit runs a bit large.
Patagonia Stormshadow Parka
Sizes: XS-XXL | Main materials: 100% recycled Gore-Tex shell partially made from Bionic marine plastic, 100% recycled down insulation | Design: Parka with fixed hood | Colors: 3 total, including New Navy and Nouveau Green
- What’s notable: Solid weatherproof construction means this is an investment that will last.
- What could be better: The fit is boxier than some others, and the hood can feel tight.
This jacket—constructed in large part from ocean-bound plastic—is a winner because of well-thought features that keep out cold and trap heat. Made with 700-fill-power recycled down insulation and a DWR (durable water repellant) finish, it has a hidden drawcord hem to trap body heat, storm cuffs to keep out drafts, an insulated hood that cinches for increased warmth and zippered hand warmer pockets.
What the reviews say: Reviewers praise the fit, saying “it’s roomy, providing adequate space for bulkier sub-layers and stowable items like gloves, beanies, water bottles, etc.” Others rave about its next-level warmth, commenting “the performance is sublime. I don’t even need to zip it up, it’s so warm.” One reviewer, however, found it constricting, saying, “sizing is tighter in the chest and shoulders than normal for Patagonia jackets.”
Outdoor Research Super Alpine Down Jacket
Sizes: S-XXL | Main materials: Ripstop nylon shell and 800-fill-power down insulation| Design: Puffer with hood | Colors: 4 total, including Black and Topaz
- What’s notable: It’s ultralight and packable, and the brushed fabric at the chin makes this style comfy when the hood is up.
- What could be better: The roomy fit can be tricky for some, and if you don’t have a close-to-the-body fit, you may lose heat.
Seattle-based Outdoor Research was founded in the early 80s with the promise of creating research-based technical wear. This jacket offers a generous fit alongside serious adjustability: The hood has a drawcord to trap heat—it works over most helmets if you’ll be wearing this on the mountain—and it has an adjustable drawcord hem and Velcro cuffs. To keep belongings secure, it has a chest zip pocket, zip side hand pockets and two internal stash pockets.
What the reviews say: Reviewers praise the warmth of this jacket without it having excess bulk (“keeps me warm during the cold days -20F up in Alaska!” says one user), but some point out that it can run wide in the chest and waist.
The North Face ’73 Parka
Sizes: XS-XXL | Main materials: 94% recycled nylon, 6% polyester shell, 600 fill recycled down insulation | Design: Puffer with detachable hood | Colors: 3 total, including Summit Navy/Summit Gold and TNF Black/Khaki Stone
- What’s notable: The highly wind resistant shell blocks icy wind gusts and the hood is removable, which is not the case with many other styles.
- What could be better: While it has a DWR finish, it’s not completely waterproof and the material can snag easily.
The North Face nails street style plus functionality, and this retro-inspired coat will keep you looking good while battling the elements. It features pockets with both top and side entry, knit inner cuffs at the wrist to keep out wind and snow, and it has hook and loop adjustability at the wrist.
What the reviews say: This jacket is praised for comfort and ease of wear, with reviewers saying it’s “super comfortable and keeps me warm” and “great jacket, I would buy this again.”
Rab Neutrino Pro Jacket
Sizes: S-XXL | Main materials: Recycled Pertex with 800-fill down insulation | Design: Puffer with hood | Colors: 4 total, including Army and Black/Graphene
- What’s notable: For something that’s extremely lightweight, warm and packs down, this is a top choice.
- What could be better: This vaguely resembles wearing a sleeping bag, so it won’t win as many style points.
Mountain climber Rab Carrington founded his business in the UK in 1981 and began by making performance sleeping bags. His products quickly expanded to lightweight, highly insulated outerwear meant to withstand freezing temperatures. The Neutrino Pro features a water-resistant shell, lofty 800-fill down insulation, articulated sleeves to allow for better ease of movement, a two-way front zipper, and an adjustable hood, hem and cuffs.
What the reviews say: Universally praised for warmth, one reviewer says this is “like wearing an electric blanket.” It also packs down to the size of “a small loaf of bread.” However, one reviewer comments that this runs big in the arms, saying, “the arm diameter is HUGE.”
Herno Storm System Coat
Sizes: 38-46 | Main materials: Wool exterior, polyester fill bib | Design: Overcoat | Colors: Charcoal
- What’s notable: A removable bib offers extra protection at the chest and neck while commuting.
- What could be better: Interior quilting would add additional warmth.
Italian luxury brand Herno is legendary for their quality and construction. This coat, made from thermoregulating, breathable wool offers a traditional overcoat design with a zip-out bib for blustery days. It also has Storm System waterproofing, which means the fibers are treated to repel moisture without sacrificing their look and breathability.
Columbia Barlow Pass 550 TurboDown Jacket
Sizes: S-XXL| Main materials: 100% polyester shell, 450 fill power down insulation | Design: Parka with a hood | Colors: 3 total, including Black and Collegiate Navy
- What’s notable: This jacket features a trifecta of heat-retaining features: down insulation, synthetic insulation and a thermal reflective lining to trap warmth.
- What could be better: Some say it runs long even on tall frames.
A standout trait of this jacket is that it’s critically seam sealed, which means it’s completely waterproof and no moisture can creep in, even in the most wet conditions. To ensure a better fit, it has an drawcord waist as well as an adjustable attached hood that has removable synthetic fur. While the feel of the thermal reflective lining can be off putting to some, it harnesses your body’s warmth and acts as a furnace, without making the jacket bulky.
What the reviews say: This style scores major points for versatility, with users saying it’s “rugged, functional and warm,” although many comment that it runs large, with one person saying, “an XL fits like and XXL.”
Best Of The Rest
Columbia Marquam Peak Fusion Parka
Sizes: S-XXL | Main materials: 100% nylon shell, 100% synthetic down insulation | Design: Parka with removable hood | Colors: 7 total, including Delta/Black and Metal/Shark
If you’re looking for a coat that transitions easily from city streets to mountain trails, this consistently highly-rated parka is a solid choice. It’s made from a water-resistant nylon, insulated with warm performance synthetic down and it features thermal-reflective technology that traps body heat (without making you sweat). Other stay-warm details include an adjustable hood, hem and cuffs, and multiple easy-access pockets. Note: This coat has a roomy fit and many reviewers say it runs large.
Extra Details For Inclement Weather
The North Face McMurdo Down Parka
Sizes: S-3XL | Main materials: 100% recycled nylon shell and 600-fill recycled down insulation | Design: Parka with hood (faux-fur trim is removable) | Colors: 6 total, including TNF Black and Pine Needle
This parka checks every important box: It’s windproof, waterproof, breathable and insulated with 600-fill power recycled down. This coat’s extra length offers more warmth, and the two-way center front zipper makes it easy to adjust for comfortable sitting. Additional features that make this parka excellent: It has lots of thoughtfully-placed pockets—alpine chest pockets and two front patch pockets with dual entry—an adjustable drawcord hood, a draft flap and adjustable cuffs.
Protection For The Coldest Climates
Fjallraven Expedition Down Jacket
Sizes: S-XL | Main materials: Polyamide shell, 700-fill power insulation | Design: Puffer with hood| Colors: 4 total, including Green and Navy
Originally designed in 1974, this iconic down puffer now comes in an updated, thigh-length silhouette. It also has purposefully configured insulation: Its 700-fill power down is placed in two offset layers to prevent heat loss, and shoulders are reinforced with synthetic padding to hinder moisture from creeping in. The polyamide exterior is wind-resistant with a durable water repellant finish, and it has a two-way front zipper with a protective flap to keep arctic air from getting to your core. Some reviewers note this coat is on the bulkier side, but that it’s extremely warm.
Marmot Guides Down Hoody
Sizes: S-XXL | Main materials: 90% nylon, 10% elastane shell, 700-fill power down insulation | Design: Puffer with hood | Colors: 8 total, including Cobalt Blue/Blue Night and Bronze/Stargazer
Marmot produced their first prototypes in 1973 and the company has been fine tuning high quality outdoor jackets ever since. Reviewers like this hardy down hoody because it’s equal parts warm and lightweight, and while most down coats lose their warmth when they become wet, this jacket is equipped with specially treated, water-resistant down. The hip length allows for mobility, the hood is down-filled for extra warmth, and a zippered chest and hand pockets are convenient for stashing things like a phone and keys.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
The writer for this story, Forbes Vetted contributor Molly Calhoun has spent her life withstanding brutal Chicago and New York winters, so she knows the difference between critical must-have features in a winter coat to nice-to-have details that can elevate your outdoor experience from barely tolerable to comfortably pleasant in the great outdoors. For this story, she spoke with gear experts that have extensive knowledge of outdoor apparel and got their insight on all the nit-picky details that will keep you toasty and warm whether you’re skiing, hiking, dog walking or commuting.
How We Chose The Warmest Winter Coats For Men
When evaluating warm winter coats, each product had to first be expert-recommended or have overwhelmingly positive user reviews. We took special note of jackets from established outdoor apparel companies because they have years of research and development behind their fabrics as well as their product constructions. To ultimately choose the warmest winter coats for men, we assessed if each coat had key components such as high-loft insulation (at least 600 fill or higher), a tough exterior fabric, such as a wind-resistant technical polyester, nylon or wool, a waterproof or durable water repellant (DWR) finish, seam sealing, adjustable waists or hoods, adaptive, easy-to-use zippers and thoughtfully-placed pockets.
Expert Advice For Buying Men’s Winter Coats
When choosing a warm winter coat, look for a warmth factor and features that will complement your activities. “The technology in jackets varies depending on the use of the garment—be it skiing, running, or everyday wear,” says Susan Boyle, outerwear buyer at Paragon Sports in New York City. “You wouldn’t buy a running jacket to wear as your everyday winter coat. Urban coats tend to be warmer and have a higher insulation rating because you are moving around in them less. Ski jackets are designed for performance on the mountain, keeping you both dry and warm.”
The exterior fabric of your coat is critical, because it’s the first barrier between you and the elements. Most technical outerwear is made from performance polyester or nylon. According to Wilma Riedel, outdoor apparel buyer at Pedigree Ski Shop in White Plains, NY, guys typically prefer a winter jacket that’s windproof, waterproof and breathable. “A durable water repellant (DWR) coating is on 99% of jackets you’ll buy,” says Riedel, and many top outdoor gear companies make their own waterproof, breathable fabrics—for instance, North Face has Hyvent and Patagonia has H2No—while others use waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex or Dermizax in the construction of their coats. To be completely waterproof, “jackets should be fully seam-sealed or at least critically seam sealed, which you can find on the product’s description,” says Boyle. “This is especially important for areas of the jacket where you can experience a draft of wind or water can penetrate,” she says.
With puffer jackets, most have an exterior fabric that’s meant to be lightweight and easily compressed; however, the tradeoff is that also usually means the jacket isn’t fully waterproof and can potentially be snagged or ripped. Dressier coats tend to be made from thermo-regulating wool or cashmere, which is water-repellant and extremely warm.
Insulation in a coat helps contain the heat produced by your body. “It traps body heat and basically creates the equivalent of a climate controlled little greenhouse on your body,” says Riedel. To do that, warm winter coats are insulated with down or synthetic fill, and both work on a similar principle of trapping pockets of warm air between the down or fibers.
- Down: You can determine the potential warmth of a down insulated jacked by looking at fill power, which is typically between 600 and 800 grams. “’Fill power’ is the rating used to determine the quality of down in a garment,” says Boyle. “It is determined by how many grams of down the jacket has in a specific location. Higher down fill means that it is a better quality of down resulting in less down needed to stay warm.” Down is extremely lightweight and compressible and has a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than synthetic insulation; however, one major drawback is that it doesn’t insulate when wet.
- Synthetic: Alternatively, many brands use synthetic fill as insulation, which is more breathable, hypoallergenic, less expensive and still performs well when wet. It’s typically made of polyester, and while it may contain recycled materials, it’s likely not biodegradable. One common synthetic insulator is PrimaLoft. “It’s soft and adaptable but it’s not as puffy as down and it comes in different levels of insulation,” says Riedel. Some other popular synthetic fill names include Plumtech, 3M Thinsulate, ThermoBall Eco and Repreve.
- Other: A variety of companies are using lesser-known materials for insulation, including llama wool and bison fiber, and a company called Pangaia has even created an insulator called Flwrdwn, which is made from dried wildflowers and a biopolymer.
Fit And Length
For the most part, when you buy a winter coat, you’ll wear the same size as you do in regular clothing. “Every brand runs a little differently, so understanding their fit is key,” says Boyle. “If you buy a coat that’s snug-fitting, wearing a large sweater under it probably won’t be comfortable.” For the most accurate fit, make sure to try on a winter coat with the layers you’re most likely to wear underneath it, Boyle recommends.
In terms of length, longer coats tend to be warmer simply because they offer more coverage, but the length you choose in a warm winter coat is really about personal preference. In general, most people look for shorter length coats for active days, and longer coats for everyday situations or the office.
What Features Make A Winter Coat Stand Out?
In addition to a technical exterior fabric and powerful insulation, there are lots of little details that make a winter coat exceptionally warm and functional. Knit inset cuffs can prevent drafts or snow from going up your sleeves; and strategically placed pockets keep cell phones, lift tickets, keys, tissues and lip balm handy. “Try on jackets with gloves to see if the zippers and pockets are easily accessible while bundled up,” says Boyle. “Two-way zippers allow greater comfort while sitting, and for higher intensity sports like skiing or snowshoeing, ventilation can make a big difference.” Finally, take the area around the hood into account. “Check for insulation, adjustability and a brushed lining around the neck,” Boyle says.
Are All Winter Coats Waterproof?
No. However, pretty much every winter coat has what’s called a durable water repellant (DWR) coating that repels water and makes it bead and roll off of fabric, but this wears off over time. One hundred percent waterproof jackets not only have to be made from a waterproof fabric (such as, for example, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Pertex or Futurelight), they also need to be seam-sealed and have waterproof zippers to prevent leaks. This additional detailing usually makes breathable, waterproof winter coats expensive.
Do I Need To Layer Under A Warm Winter Coat?
Yes. “Even with the warmest coats, it’s crucial that you wear the correct layers underneath,” says Riedel. “If you’re skiing, you’ll need long underwear, and you’ll need a mid-layer like a sweater or fleece that traps heat but moves moisture away from the body so you’re warm and comfortable. If you’re being active and produce sweat and you don’t move it away from your skin, you freeze.” Don’t expect to wear a t-shirt under a winter jacket and still be warm.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Warm Winter Coat?
It depends. You’ll often see new winter styles hitting retailers by end of summer, but the best time to find deals is when winter is coming to an end. The challenge with late-season shopping can sometimes be finding sizes and colors you want.