Winter is upon us, and it's time to ensure your wardrobe is fully stocked for the inevitable cold weather. Unfortunately, shopping for new winterwear isn't always the easiest or most enjoyable experience, especially considering how many different types of garments there are on the market. So, whether you're purchasing for yourself or securing a holiday gift for a loved one, here are some tips on how to pick the right jacket for the winter.
There are many different types of winter jackets for you to pick from when shopping, making your final decision that much more difficult. Luckily, every type of jacket can fit into one of three classifications – casual, technical, and hybrid. Determining which of these styles you prefer the most will make it much easier to find the perfect jacket.
Casual winter jackets aren't typically suitable for physical outdoor activities; rather, these are coats you wear around town to run errands, commute to work, or grab a bite to eat! Parkas, puffer coats, and down coats are common casual styles and work well with most winter outfits. Typical characteristics of a casual jacket include a large hood, extra-comfortable materials, and lined pockets. Additionally, these garments often focus more on fashion than functionality and often lack many advanced features found in technical jackets, aside from suitable thermal capabilities.
Unlike casual jackets, technical jackets are built for outdoor activities such as hiking, running, walking, camping, and more. While you probably shouldn't go skiing in a technical jacket, these garments often boast advanced cold-weather technology, such as lightweight insulation materials and breathable vents for superior airflow. Basically, technical jackets provide enough warmth for the winter season without weighing you down with excessive amounts of material, which also makes these garments easy to pack! Furthermore, these coats almost always feature waterproofing and moisture resistance. Common styles of technical jackets include down and puffer sweaters, insulated windbreakers, hoodies, training and running coats, and other athletic wear.
Hybrid jackets are designed for extreme winter activities and sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. They're often bulkier than technical jackets and more insulated than casual coats, making them a happy medium between the two products. Most hybrid jackets look like tactical parkas, often featuring many pockets, removable shells, adjustable sleeve straps, cozier hoods, and more.
Surprisingly, hybrid jackets are extremely trendy in today's fashion scene, and many individuals wear them in place of casual jackets. However, these coats are the most expensive type of winterwear, with top-brand products costing hundreds of dollars. If you need something that'll keep you comfortable and protected while conducting outdoor activities, the hefty investment is worth it!
So, casual jackets are good for low-activity situations, technical coats are better suited for light-medium outdoor activities, and hybrids protect you during more extreme winter sports. However, this isn't to say that everytechnical coat is bland, or that nocasual jacket is suitable for extended cold-weather exposure. Rather, there is variety within each classification of the winter coat, and once you've determined your preferred style, you must shop for your desired functionality. More simply put, it's time to find a jacket that suits your daily life, your preferences, and the environment!
Imagine your normal, day-to-day routine, including your commute, exercise, and other daily activities. Does your day typically include a hectic scramble between subway stops on your way to work and back home again? If so, you need a winter jacket, technical or casual, that's lightweight, breathable, and insulated. A puffer or down coat works well in these situations, keeping your body temperature regulated inside and outdoors.
Does your daily schedule include significant amounts of time spent outside? In this instance, you probably need a hybrid garment with superior cold-weather technology and advanced features. Having the necessary protection during the winter is essential to your health and well-being. Ultimately, it's crucial that you understand what your daily needs are before purchasing a winter jacket.
Your personal preferences arguably outweigh environmental and daily life factors when purchasing a winter coat. Finding the perfect jacket isn't always about how well it keeps you protected relative to your lifestyle and hometown. Instead, find the functions that appeal most to you, whether it be waterproofing and removable hardshell garments, or fur-lined leather jackets.
Don't forget about your typical environment! Where you live also determines what functionality you require from a winter jacket. For example, a person living in a city probably needs better moisture and wind protection. As such, a waterproof and lined winter jacket is the best option for this urban setting. In more suburban and rural areas where the weather is exceptionally cold, you may require heavier, warmer garments.
Now that you've determined the ideal style and functionality of your dream winter coat, the hard part is over! The last step involves finding the perfect fit, which is often a larger size than your typical clothing items. A suitable jacket should ride well below your waistband without bunching up when you raise your arms. Additionally, the sleeves should cover your wrists completely.
You must also consider the base layer that goes under the coat. You don't want to purchase a jacket that's too tight to fit a shirt or thin sweater underneath. If your preferred jacket features insulated linings or removable shells, this too can impact how well other clothing fits under the coat. Going to stores in person and trying on different outdoor lifestyle clothing brands is a great way to make determining your ideal fit easier when online browsing!
Now that you know your ideal fit, you can confidently pick the right jacket for this winter! Luckily, we at Escape Outdoors carry a wide selection of quality winter coats and other winterwear to ensure you stay comfortable, protected, and stylish regardless of the season. Browse our inventory today to find the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.
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