Parkas, Puffies, & Powder: Women’s Edition

Words by John Caldwell 

This is the product review for all of you out there who are looking for that warm and super comfortable do-it-all winter jacket that will handle all of your mountain life escapades. Down? Hell yes. Tough and water-proof? Yep. Ridiculously comfortable and stylish enough for a night out on the town? Check and check. Any true mountain town devotee needs a go-to winter jacket that enables you to do any activity in the utmost comfort and style. Below are our picks from five of our favorite mountain clothing brands.

1. Stio Durrance Down Jacket

The female version of the Durrance is a phenomenal blend of high-level functionality and unique aesthetics. On the technical performance side, this jacket is a 100 percent polyester 2-layer shell with a waterproof, breathable membrane that is both soft and quiet. The outer material is all water-repellent down. In other words, this jacket is all soft and cushy while still being tough and fully weather-proof. The Durrance also features a helmet-ready hood and powder skirt which are both removable for hill-to-town versatility. One of the coolest style features on this jacket has to be the subtle flowing diamond pattern of the stitching on the outer surface. It’s very unique and serves to set the Durrance apart from all of the other options out there. $375.00 MSRP. Click here for more info

 2. Fjallraven Nuuk Parka

The Nuuk harkens back to the classic yet timeless style of the form-fitting and long women’s winter coat. Aside from being ridiculously stylish and sophisticated, this parka is extra comfy. Fjallraven uses a synthetic lining that excels at keeping out the wind, moisture, and winter temperatures. One lining utilizes polyester fleece while the membrane keeps you warm and dry with Hydratic polyurethane. The Nuuk also features pockets galore, but all are useful. The outer surface of the jacket includes spacious bellow pockets, hand-warming pockets at the hem, two zippered breast pockets, and a pocket for a media player on the sleeve. On the inside there are two mesh pockets, a pocket for your phone, and a safety pocket. Another cool little feature of the Nuuk is the fixed, fleece-lined hood that has detachable artificial fur. This gives the wearer different options for different occasions. The Nuuk is the ultimate combination of style and functionality and comes in red, black, navy blue, or dark purple. $500.00 MSRP. Click here for more info

3. Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm Jacket (2017 Gear of the Year Award from Outside Magazine)

Patagonia welcomes us to the future of winter mountain clothing technology with their revolutionary Nano-Air insulation and stretchy H2No performance outer shell. The difference between regular down insulation and Nano-Air has to do with weight and breathability. Nano insulation allows this jacket to be less bulky while still keeping you warm. And when you’re breaking a sweat while skinning up the mountain, it allows for remarkable breathability so you won’t over heat. The stretchy and soft material of the outer shell makes this piece tough and waterproof while also eliminating those common noises from all movements that other parkas make. The Stretch Nano Storm is quiet and ultra-comfortable. This makes it the perfect all-around winter jacket for mountain and town. It also features all of the technical details that you expect from a company like Patagonia. Welcome to the future. $449.00 MSRP. Click here for more info

4. Arc’teryx Firebee AR Parka

At first glance, the warmth factor of the aptly-named Firebee AR is highly apparent. This parka might look slightly bulkier than most but Arc’teryx uses materials that keep the weight at an impressively low number. This down jacket features the unique 3D Down Contour Construction’s internal volume pleats. In layman’s terms, the Firebee AR conforms to the body to give you maximum insulation as you move. We think that this is pretty cool, especially when it’s in the single digits and the wind is gusting outside. The outer shell is all GORE THERMIUM for maximum protection from the wind, water resistance, and great breathability. AR at Arc’teryx stands for All Around versatility with multiple activities. This parka definitely fits that description. The outer is a soft yet rugged material that is easily attractive enough for a night on the town. $949.00 MSRP. Click here for more info

5. Flylow Jody Down Jacket

The Jody is advertised as winter coat that appeals equally to both mountain and city girls alike. The cut is long and fashion-forward and is combined with all of the technical features we’ve come to expect from any modern mountain parka. The Jody will effortlessly protect you from the elements with its two-layer waterproof exterior stuffed with goose feather down. This jacket is a true blend of excellent style for the street and technical functionality for the mountain. Features such as waterproof zippers, thumb loops, seam taping, and a helmet-compatible hood round out the versatility. Enjoy the best of both worlds with one jacket and get the Jody. $350.00 MSRP. Click here for more info