When winter’s temperatures settle into the biting sub-zeroes, your best option for staying warm is the iconic arctic parka. Today’s iterations draw from mid-century military designs, placing equal weight on function and warmth, but utilize modern waterproofing and wind-proofing innovations. Met with down fill and an optional fur hood lining, cold weather doesn’t stand a chance.
On top of its functionality, the parka is an easy design to incorporate into any wardrobe, complementing a wide range of different aesthetics. In the case of cold-weather outerwear, the aphorism “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” readily applies, and the parka is still the best. Shop a few of our favorites below.
Parkas for Men
J.Crew is no technical outerwear company by any stretch of the imagination. It did, however, make a pretty damn nice parka. The Eco Nordic Field Parka is constructed from hard-wearing Econyl (regenerated nylon waste), filled with eco-friendly Primaloft and finished with a faux fur trim (that's just as warm). Plus, it's water repellent.
This 70s-inspired parka from Battenwear — fittingly called the Batten-Down Parka — has horizontal quilting with a 90-percent down, 10-percent feather fill. As such, it's lightweight and warm, and the ripstop polyester shell repels water.
For the price, few parkas can compete with Columbia's Marquam. It's made from a cotton-nylon blend that's both heat-trapping and waterproof. There are pockets at the hips and at the chest; the hood has a faux fur trim; and it's filled with the brand's proprietary Thermarator insulation.
With drawcords at the collar and around the waist, plus 80/20 down fill and a nylon liner, Taylor Stitch's The Whitney Parka will keep you protected from rain, wind, sleet and snow — and a cocktail of all 'em if you're lucky. Elasticated wrists and two big front pockets promise to keep the cold out from up into your arms (and even your hands), while the quilted constructions keep the entire thing lightweight.
Everlane's ReNew collection is a group of puffers and fleeces made using renewed alternatives to polyester. The collection recycled millions of plastic bottles, turning them into a super-fine polyester thread which was knit and woven into polyester fabric. This jacket is minimal and quite affordable, and is filled with recycled PrimaLoft insulation (recommended for 0 to 35°F temperatures).
Made from recycled nylon and filled with responsible-certified down, The North Face's Mcmurdo Parka promises to keep you warm and dry — what more can you ask for?
Todd Snyder's 3-in-1 Wool Parka combines the fabric and feel of a topcoat with the shape and warmth of a parka. Constructed from bonded heavy wool twill, which is water-repellent, it comes in a classic Olive color with a detachable faux fur liner.
Rains makes high-quality, as the name implies, rain gear — jackets, bags, you get the gist. The brand's Glacial Parka doesn't have a heavy liner or a fur-trimmed hood, but it does leave room for layers underneath — and blocks out all moisture.
Ralph Lauren's classic parka combines elegance and durability. How? The design is relatively simple, with a straight down button stack, slant pockets and a removable faux fur hood.
Canadian outerwear brand Pajar makes a parka with a polyester-nylon body and a cinched hood. Pull it tight when winter really hits to keep your head (and neck and...back) warm.
Get winter-ready with Woolrich's Arctic Parka. It was originally designed for Alaskan oil workers, meaning it had to withstand subzero temperatures on top of harsh wind. The updated version has a detachable faux fur trim, duck down fill and a teflon coating for wind and water resistance.
Designed for days when it's between 5 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, LL. Bean's Baxter State Parka is a pillar in the brand's catalog. It's wind- and waterproof and the go-to jacket for those traversing the White Mountains in New Hampshire, where the brand tested its capabilities.
Want a sleeker, city-centric parka? Lululemon's Cold City Parka — as the name says — is designed for cold days downtown. Available in black or navy, it's an appropriate length, waterproof and easy to wear.
Here's an option for the outdoors-oriented folks shopping this list. Outdoor Research's Stormcraft Parka is made from polyester, lined with Gore-Tex and filled with certified-responsible down.
New this season, Seven Layer's L4 Detonator Parka — intimidating name aside — promises comfort and warmth, courtesy of long staple cotton, hard-wearing polyester and British Millerain's dry waterproof finish.
66 North's Drangajokull Gore-Tex Down Parka looks like something a Nordic Bond villain would wear. It's has a high and tight funnel hood that traps heat and blocks wind or rain (or snow), but that isn't the only tech embedded to keep heat in and moisture out: The jacket's made from two layers of Gore-Tex, has taped seams and an attachable faux fur trim.