Picking the Perfect Parka for Sub Zero Temperatures

What should I be looking for?

Searching for The right waterproof jacket for the adventure or an Insulated jacket that is more ethical than Down feather can be seriously hard especially with so much out there on the market. In the modern day outdoor market Parka Jackets encompass water resistance with great insulation properties making a them a great choice for an everyday outdoor coat.

The classic parka has a relaxed shape with practical reasoning behind it, allowing the wearer to layer up underneath it without looking overly bulky or puffy. This means whether you go for a longer length parka coat, or keep it cropped to the hip, you shouldn’t have to be faffing with too much space when it’s zipped up. The length of the arms should also fall on or just above or below the wrist line, keeping you from looking like you’re wearing a jacket that is too small for you! Keep the length of the winter coat just right by ensuring it doesnt come below the knees as this will cut your body up and make you look top heavy. The parka is timeless and holds a classic style that will never go out of fashion so if you choose to buy one – it is an item for life!

Due to it’s over sizing the parka may take up most of your body space, this doesn’t mean you are stuck with a particular type or style. The Parka is extremely versatile and you can wear almost anything, or even nothing, underneath! These days Parka Jackets come in a range of colours and styles so there is sure to be something out there to suit your taste. Winter Parkas look great with classic woollen knits whether that be oversized winter hoodies or jumpers or chunky knit hats, gloves and scarves. If you’re looking for warm items to partner with your Parka, and if you prefer one without a fur hood a classic bobble hat or beanie wouldn’t go amiss with a matching scarf or snood.

How will my Parka fit me?

If you’re purchasing a Parka Coat online it may look a bit limp when you pull it out of the packaging as it will have been compressed to fit efficiently into the smallest parcel imaginable. Make sure you fluff it up like you would a new duvet which will allow the insulation to move to where it needs to be and take on its appropriate shape and/or fit if it still looks a little needy then hang it up on a coat hanger for a day to regain its loftiness and proper shape.

Buying a Bigger Parka isn’t always better as if the coat is too big for you it won’t insulate as efficiently as a coat that fits just snugly. With so much empty space between you and your jacket the cold air will stay cold and make you freeze from the inside out. Equally if the Parka is too tight then it isn’t going to be right either. If it feels a bit too cosy around the pits the down or synthetic insulation may be compressed and have no space to spread out and retain its loftiness and if it cannot trap air to heat you up then you are going to be cold. It’s not just the cold that will stop you moving – if the coat is tight your mobility and flexibility will be reduced – getting size just right is key and whether Pear, Apple, Hourglass or Paper shaped if the size is not right you won’t be happy.

Simple size test check:

Staying Alive Jive – If the dance move of staying alive doesn’t instantly come to mind when you read this you have not lived! Click here for a full dance video that you can follow whilst wearing your parka to see if it fits- go on you know you want to! Ok so if you don’t want to follow the video then I would suggest you try the following 4 things:

  1. Touchdown. Your team have just scored a touchdown and you raise both hands high into the air. Go on give it a try. Does your Parka rise up above your waistline? If your tummy and underwear are exposed then this jacket is not the right length for you. The Parka should cover your bum nicely and fall somewhere between the bottom of your bottom and your knees. If the shoulders ride up so it looks like you’ve just thrown on a pair of football/rugby shoulder-pads, the jacket isn’t a good fit trust me!
  2. Shoulder Shrug. Whilst wearing the Parka take a look at whether the shoulder seams are halfway down your arm (or Biceps for the technical out there) and if this is the case the coat, unfortunately, is not your size or it has an odd cut. A well fitting Parka will have seams that line up with your body shape.
  3. Breast Stroke. Have a go at mimicking a simple breast stroke to see whether the length of the sleeves are a good fit. If when you reach out your wrists are exposed then at some point you are going to get cold as the Parka is a little short in the arms for you. If you are a driver, you can also do the steering wheel test which is similar. You need to be looking for a cold weather coat that has a comfortable sleeve length so you don’t have to layer up with overly long knits or gloves to make up for the 3 inch gap where your skin is exposed.
  4. Hugs all round! Everyday we do simple tasks that we don’t even think about such as opening car doors, fastening seatbelts, picking up groceries and even children. You’re going to have problems doing the everyday if your coat is too tight in the arms or across the chest. Pop on your Parka and give yourself a huge hug reaching for the shoulder blades of your opposite arm.If you get stuck and can barely lift your arms and the Parka feels a little tight on the shoulders or elbows then you may need the next size up.
Oh no! My size is out of stock:

Sometimes we have to realise that the Perfect Parka that ticks all the boxes isn’t in stock and we have to work out whether we are going to size up or size down in order to own the Parka of our dreams. My advice to you is just don’t buy it – don’t be that person who is wearing a baggy sack or squeezing into an undersized garment as you will regret it. The Parka won’t perform well, it wont fit well and you will be even more disappointed that you purchased something that ends up being completely different to your expectations. When trying out winter coats and jackets keep in mind you are likely to be wearing knits and fleeces underneath so take those into account when trying on your Parka. So search around and maybe there will be something else you will fall in love with even more.

Are you looking for the perfect Parka Jacket? Click to browse the full range of Winter Parka’s here at e-Outdoor.

Follow Lesley:

Marketing & Social Media Manager

I love the outdoors and I love good food. So guess what I do for a job? Yep, Marketing & Social Media for e-OUTDOOR and Director of House of Goodness Ltd.