Also available in: French
An absolute must to enjoy winter days to the fullest, a winter jacket has got to be durable, high-quality, and well-adapted to the activities you’ll be doing. We’re highlighting 5 things to consider when choosing the right winter jacket in order to brave the elements.
Check out our winter jacket buying guide to simplify your search and find out which one that best suits your needs.
What are the right questions to ask yourself before buying the new winter jacket you’ll want to keep for a long time?
Read the answers to these five frequently-asked questions.
- Should you opt for a down winter coat, or one filled with synthetic material?
- Will you be wearing your winter jacket during high or light to moderate intensity outdoor activities?
- What little “extras” should you look for when choosing the right winter jacket for you?
- How to shop for a winter jacket in an eco-friendly way?
- How important is style?
1. Should you opt for a down winter coat, or one filled with synthetic material?
The first thing to ask yourself when it’s time to pick a men’s winter jacket, a women’s winter jacket, or even a warm coat for kids is what type of insulation the jacket is filled with. On one hand, down is a force to be reckoned with for warmth. It’s made from ultralight and compressible materials that can satisfy even the pickiest person’s need for comforting warmth. On the other hand, once it’s wet, down loses its puffiness, and therefore, its thermal properties. However, if the down has had a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment, its resistance to humidity and rain will be increased.
Next to down stands synthetic filling. Designed to replicate the thermal capacities of down, synthetic materials have the advantage of being very effective – even when wet – and they are also quick-drying. For their high breathability, water-resistance, and comfort, winter coats that are synthetic-filled are the natural choice for most sports enthusiasts.
As these two types of winter jackets each have their own distinct features, read more about their characteristics and how to maintain them well, whether you go for a down coat, or a synthetic one.
2. Will you be wearing your winter jacket during high or light to moderate intensity outdoor activities?
It’s essential to ask yourself the right questions in order to select the perfect winter coat, since the way that you will use it is an extremely significant factor to consider. How intense will your outdoor activities be? Will you be doing a sport that requires lots of energy and endurance where you’ll sweat and get hot, or, will you be more static and calm in what you have planned?
Winter jacket models that are used for layering are the optimal solution for sports lovers, as they allow you to do any activity without getting too hot or too cold. It’s the famous onion principal: simply add or remove a layer to achieve maximum comfort. When layering, start with a base layer that breathes really well. Next, add a middle layer – either down or synthetic – and, finally, an outer shell with a Gore-Tex membrane, which makes your shell both windproof and waterproof. Some winter jackets include the mid-layer and the shell. Otherwise, you can buy everything separately.
3. What little “extras” should you look for when choosing the right winter jacket for you?
People looking for a men’s winter jacket, a winter coat for women, or even one for children generally prefer lightweight, versatile styles, in which they can do a variety of activities, from cross-country skiing, to snowshoeing, to mountaineering…or even taking a walk through town on a Sunday. Among some of the most popular features, the ever-popular “thumb hole sleeve” – a favorite among skiers – and zippers under the arms, which allow for more aeration, are to be considered as well. Another little “extra” feature would be a removable hood, some of which are also adjustable for optimal comfort and style.
4. How to shop for a winter jacket in an eco-friendly way?
Kanuk, Quartz Co., Boréalis, Ookpik, Indyeva…in store, more and more customers are opting to support local brands by purchasing winter jackets that are designed and made close to home. Founded in Canada, SAIL is proud to offer several Canadian brands in its stores. You can minimize the impact of transportation by choosing one of these brands. In addition, to make an environmentally-conscious choice, consider the materials and their origin. Synthetic insulation, such as polyester, is sometimes made from recycled materials for most jackets.
5. How important is style?
An important factor to consider when selecting a winter coat (of course!) is style. Thanks to a vast selection of men’s, women’s, and children’s winter coats ready to help you take on Canadian winters, SAIL offers a plethora of options for outdoors enthusiasts. . If you’re looking for a more versatile, urban look, you can get it, and easily go from the mountains to the city, or anywhere.
Finally, before heading to play outside this winter, take the time to shop and check out the different models that are available to you, from brands such as The North Face, Columbia, Lolë, and many more.
This article was written in collaboration with La Presse+.
Also available in: French