Winter Jacket

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Winter Jacket

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.


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 the 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”, explains Sophie Racine, Department Manager at SAIL. “However, if the down has had a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment, its resistance to humidity and rain will be more high-functioning”.

On the other side of the spectrum is 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 for doing active winter sports, or rather for a light-to-moderate activity?

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 baselayer 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.”


3. What little “extras” should you look for when choosing the right winter jacket for you?

According to Sophie Racine, 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 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 favourite 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. Should you buy local or ecofriendly?

Kanuk, Quartz Co., Indygena…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 Québécois as well as Canadian brands in its stores. Something else that customers like to consider is making an environmentally-conscious choice. “When we think about synthetic filling, most of the polyester that makes up jacket fillings is made of recycled material”, Sophie Racine clarifies.


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”, Sophie reassures.

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, Arc’teryx, Columbia, Lolë, and many more.

Winter jackets for men Winter jackets for women Winter jackets for kids



Written in collaboration with the La Presse+ Team

Also available in: French