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How to choose winter jacket?

11/16/2022 | Hints and tips | Ondřej Krotil | Reading time: 6 minutes
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Choosing a winter jacket ? It is not easy, but with our help you will manage it. Let´s read this article where we will give you few tips what is good and what not. Be smart and do not spend more than you have to. 

There are some rules and principles when choosing a winter jacket. Everyone wants to be a smart buyer, but we need some knowledge, because there is no jacket like a jacket. 

Don´t worry about long and boring theory. We will try to explain everything simply and rationally. Everyone will be then theoretically prepared to go shopping winter jacket.

A group of adventurers in winter clothing

What is the right selection and what is not ?  

If you make the right choice, then you jacket will provide you with thermal comfort, it will not restrict movement and you will feel great even when the temperature goes below the zero. 

However, if you opt for the wrong piece you can experience some of the unpleasant things.

such as :

  • hypothermia 
  • overheating 
  • sweating 

Keep in mind, that our body acts as a radiator that can produce body heat. Therefore the right jacket must be : 

  • breathable 
  • wind resistant 
  • water resistant 
  • have proper insulation 

Let´s talk about some essential characteristics. 

Loft

Loft helps to keep retain the air. The larger the loft the more the fabric that can keep retain the air. We produce this warm air with our body heat, which helps us maintain thermal comfort.

Water resistance 

Water resistance is indicated in milimetres, for example 5 000, 10 000 and so on. The water column indicates how much water pressure the material can withstand before water penetrates it. Water column also called waterm column pressure, accumulates at certain places during the rain and if exceeds the stated limit, water starts to penetrate. 

We also have to take into the account that when carrying the backpack, there is a more pressure and therefore the water may start to penetrate earlier.

However, the high water column may be counterproductive, because it affects breathability. The jacket with high water column will have great insulation properties, but you will also sweat a lot so think about it when purchasing your gear. In our conditions, ideal water column is around 5 000 mm.

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Breathability 

The higher breathability, the better. Thanks to the good breathability your outerwear can wicks out the excess heat into the outer layers as well as it wicks the moisture away. 

Wind resistance

Here it is clear. Even a gentle wind at temperatures around zero can be a problem if your jacket is not a wind resistant. The feels-like temperature can go down even with light wind and there is a risk of hypothermia. 

What do I use the jacket for ?

For work ? Casual wear ? Outdoor ? This should be your first question and maybe the most important, because there are different technologies used for casual wear jackets opposite to for example outdoor jackets. 

Man wearing winter clothing during cross-country skiing

Synthetic or down jacket ?

It is not easy to answer this question as everyone prefers something different and there are pros and cons to both of them.

Down insulation pros : 

  • better ( great) insulation properties 
  • the best warmth to weight ratio 
  • highly compressible 

Cons :

  • when wet, it loses ability to insulate 
  • more expensive than synthetic 

Synthetic insulation pros : 

  • cheaper than down 
  • fast drying 
  • insulates even when wet 

Cons :

  • more difficult to compress
  • worse insulation properties 

Pockets and zippers  

The more pockets the better. You can store all of the needed items inside them and at the same time place your hands there, which helps to keep thermal comfort. 

Most of the today´s winter jackets feature two zippers, which is appreciated mainly during physical activity, where you can undo one of them without worrying about loosing thermal comfort. The zippers are important part of you jacket. They should be water and wind resistant and their handling smooth. 

Adjustable drawcord and cuffs 

Adjustable cuffs or drawcord at hem come in handy. Especially during cold weather you can adjust them and prevent heat loss. 

Hood 

The greatest heat loss is through the head and that is why a proper hood is the basis as it can have amazing insulation properties. They can be detachable or stowable, that packs into the collar. 

Another tips 

Try the jacket on when wearing a jumper or similar top. It is always better to have larger size than smaller, but at the same time you know if it doesn´t restrict your movement. 

Try some basic movements, do some arm stretches and squats. The jacket must fit perfectly.

Once again, try the zippers. They are highly important. 

Conclusion 

With some practical tips, it is not that difficult to choose the right winter jacket. We believe, that from now on, you will make the right choice and you will never be cold again.

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Author
Ondřej Krotil
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