There are three main types of winter coats. To find the right one for you, you need to think about the activities you plan to do. Do you need a coat for walking around town and going to work, or are you looking for something to enjoy the snowy slopes?
TECHNICAL WINTER COATS
Technical winter coats are designed for anyone looking for a lightweight, thinner-lined coat that offers maximum freedom of movement while enjoying winter sports. Brands like Arc'teryx or Norrona make coats that are perfect for skiing (alpine or cross-country, depending on the model), ice climbing and mountaineering.
These jackets will include more technical features, such as a helmet compatible hood or underarm zippers for better ventilation during your high intensity activities. In general, technical coats will be lighter, more compact and compressible than everyday winter coats. They are usually 3-layer (3L), which means they offer exceptional protection from the elements. Most 3L coats feature a GORE-TEX® waterproof/breathable membrane and are even more effective when layered with other coats. These details make them attractive to the hardcore adventurer where weight and compactness will play a key role.
URBAN CASUAL WINTER COATS
Some coats, like the Canada Goose Langford Parka or the Vallier Outremont Parka, are warm and chic enough for the office, happy hour or a shopping trip downtown.
These coats will be a bit longer and have features designed for added comfort like a larger hood - sometimes trimmed with fur - and lined pockets. Here, technical details are not particularly necessary because the winter coat will not be used for high intensity activities. Instead, the most crucial element, when it comes to urban coats, is rather the thermal capacity.
VERSATILE WINTER COATS
There are coats that look as good in the city as they do on the slopes! These ones combine both attractive style and functionality, featuring a number of technical details and a clever design. Burton and The North Face are two brands that offer, among other things, models designed for long days in the mountains, but which are warm enough for days spent in the city.
In general, the coats in this category will be waterproof and protect you well from the weather, while being sufficiently insulated. Another interesting detail: it is often possible to get a quality coat at a more than reasonable price. In addition, it is often a coat that can be worn all winter long because of its versatility.