Traditionally, parkas are meant for winter. The original form of the jacket was conceived by the Inuits, who made it from the skin of caribou and seals, lined it with fur from the same animals and sometimes coated it in fish oil for water resistance. The parkas we know today trade those organic materials for lab-created synthetics, but the idea is the same — these are jackets designed to help humans survive outdoors in the harshest cold environments.
They don’t have to be though — Outlier’s new F.Cloth Sun Parka is for warm weather. The jacket is made in New York City using Swedish F.Cloth fabric, which is a blend of nylon and elastane. These ingredients give the Sun Parka an impressive amount of stretch, making it ideal for activities involving a lot of movement, like climbing, hiking and paddling. It’s also treated with a light DWR finish for water-resistance.
But why would you want a parka in the summer? Well, in this case, “parka” is used flexibly; think of it as a lightweight jacket instead. As for the reasons, there are a few notable ones worth mentioning — it’ll be more breathable than a raincoat and provide a suitable amount of protection (except in heavy deluges), and it’ll help guard against the wind, which can have a quick chilling effect. It’s also a skin-friendly way to block the sun — the parka permits less than 1/50th of UV rays to pass through its fabric. And, as can be expected of any Outlier garment, it looks pretty damn good.