As the Northern hemisphere approaches winter, some of the biggest outerwear manufacturers are laying down a marker for the season ahead. Whether you’re navigating alpine slopes, climbing over mountain ranges or city-hopping in the lead up to Christmas – it’s essential that you choose warm, reliable winter wear that is fit for purpose.
There has never been so much choice in terms of both quality and budget as there is right now. However, the general consensus has shifted away from harmful synthetic materials to keep us snug, and more towards natural progressive products that lessen our impact on the environment – as we aim to preserve the longevity of our beloved winter seasons.
There are three main categories of winter jackets to consider in total – Technical, Casual and All-Rounder. Technical jackets are often light and thin to allow for maximum flexibility when skiing/snowboarding, mountaineering or climbing. They are also highly breathable, meaning you stay warm and moisture-free when the challenge heats up.
Casual jackets are made for the man-about-town and offer total comfort and warmth when a touch of winter style is needed. These pieces are often bulkier, with a longer leg cut helping you feel cosy and protected when temperatures plummet, along with excellent wind protection to help eliminate the chill factor.
These jackets tend to come with large hoods and high collars to add to your defences against wintery elements, but if you’re expecting lots of snowfall or showers it would be a sound decision to check overall water resistance, as casual designs are often made using down insulation which can react negatively to moisture.
The third category is the All-Rounder, a multi-functional layer for all occasions. It’s the type of jacket that offers genuine practicality whether you’re out in the mountains or taking the edge off a cold morning commute.
All-Rounder jackets tend to offer great warmth and moisture resistance ideal for a range of winter climates. They’re also well insulated and provide a good level of breathability to elude overheating.
Top brands also use a number of products and sub manufacturers to create layers that allow fabrics to withstand the winter freeze. A few to look out for are Gore-Tex, DWR coating and Pertex Quantum Insulation.
Gore-Tex jackets offer complete water resistance, perfect for snowy or rainy conditions at higher altitude. It is a technology used by some of the biggest outerwear brands around, across high-performance disciplines such as skiing and mountaineering.
DWR (Durable Water Repellant) coating is added to fabrics, offering protection against light sleet and showers, but will not stand up against persistent moisture.
Another technology you’ll regularly come across is Pertex Quantum insulation. Layers that use this are lightweight and provide both wind and rain resistance for great all-round practicality. Pertex Quantum products are also efficiently easy to pack, meaning they’re great for multi-day mountain excursions with contrasting daily conditions.
Now that you know the basics, check out our standout guide below and make sure you get the most out of your next cold season adventure.
Men’s Outerwear FAQ
Should I size up for winter coat?
With winter coats and jackets, it is best to buy one size bigger to give space to those important layers. If it is too big, there will be room for the warm body heat to escape.
How should a winter coat fit?
Your winter coat should be long enough to cover your backside. For the sleeves, your wrists must be covered, even if you stretch your arms and reach out in front.
Which material is best for winter jackets?
Wool is your best option since it is moisture-resistant and long-lasting. If wool coats are beyond your budget, you can try wool-blends, or wool combined with rayon and polyester. Faux fur and down winter jackets are also popular choices.
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For the past 40 years, BLACKYAK and Dongjin Leisure have developed in mountaineering, outdoor apparel and gear. From the first brand store „Dongjin Mountain“ in 1973, we have been striving to become one of the leading companies in the outdoor industry. Make no mistake, Blackyak is the brand that will take you to the top of Everest.
Surfers need winter and rain protection too you know, and that's where Outerknown comes in. The US fashion brand from Kelly Slater himself not only produces an incredible range of board shorts and other surf-related gear, but has a highly capable collection of outerwear to back it up too.
The Hooded Puffer, for example, features a 700-fill power down insulating layer, and an attached hood helps keep your head dry. It's reversible too, so you're essentially getting two jackets for the price of one. Bargain.
Arc'teryx takes its unusual name from Archaeopteryx Lithographica, the first reptile to develop feathers for flight and free itself from the constraints of the horizontal world. The brand sets its goals at similarly lofty heights: to build the finest products possible for alpinism, climbing, snowsports, hiking, running, and life in between. Their pursuit of perfection means that not only do athletes and industry professionals test out new gear, even the designers themselves test products in real world conditions for a comprehensive assessment.
Luxe down jackets & sportswear for men, women & kids are the focus of this French-Italian brand. With flagship stores located around the world, Moncler is the brand to have.
Patagonia got its start in 1973 as an offshoot from a small company that made tools for climbers. Its early days were devoted to making clothes for climbers, but in the intervening years the brand has expanded to include clothes for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. At least 1% of sales go to grassroots environmental groups around the world, because the brand believes that a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them.
As outdoor enthusiasts located in LA, the founding team behind Aether felt out of place. Shopping options were limited to performance-driven brands that looked lost in the city, or design-oriented labels that sacrificed functionality for looks. The concept for Aether was born out of the belief that design and function should be equal. Today the brand's performance outerwear blends technical fabrics with sophisticated forms for a refined, modern aesthetic.
The Mackage mission is clear: to elevate outerwear with a unique balance between fashion and function. Mackage collections combine the finest leathers, down, and wool with tailored silhouettes and precision detail.
One for the hard-core is Blauer. Blauer is the premier manufacturer and online store for police, law enforcement, firefighter, and EMS / EMT uniforms, outerwear, and other tactical gear for public safety professionals.
Founded in a small warehouse in Toronto almost sixty years ago, Canada Goose has grown into one of the world's leading makers of luxury apparel. Canada Goose is currently the most wanted outterwear brands on the planet.
Born out of founder Giuseppe Marenzi's desire to create the perfect raincoat in 1948, today Herno still combines practical functionality with cutting-edge fashion. Having vastly expanded its range of outerwear over the past few decades, Herno is the go-to brand for stylish quilted jackets and padded coats, which are made with the finest goose down to unequivocally protect against unpredictable weather.
San Francisco-based Mission Workshop knows a thing or two about weatherproof materials, so it's no surprise it's transferred that knowledge to its outerwear range. With a range of styles on offer including parkas and bombers that will serve you during the working week as well as laidback weekend. They're sure to keep you warm and dry in even the harshest of conditions.
Save The Duck
Ethical and environmentally conscious, Save the Duck produces 100% animal-free fashion. Designed with the globetrotter in mind, their award-winning jackets are made with innovative recycled textiles and guaranteed to keep you warm when the mercury dips.
Woolrich products have embraced the authentic outdoor lifestyle since 1830. As the oldest continuously operating woolen mill in the United States, the Woolrich Mill provided wool blankets to Civil War soldiers. They also make great outerwear.
In 1916 Luigi Minardi founded Hetrego a small craft business dedicated to the processing and trade of ornamental feathers. Thanks to this long experience, today, Hetrego offers a collection of unique outerwear garments.
Founder Andrew Lever comes from third generation tailors; founder Philip Bull has worked within the outerwear market for more than twenty years and after forty eight seasons working together, they leveraged their collective knowledge of the market to create 49Winters.
This Swedish company was founded in 1960 and has been producing upscale outerwear ever since. In true Scandinavian fashion, Fjallraven's jackets are minimalist and made from sustainable materials and in sustainable ways. The company has eco-shell jackets for lightweight protection against wind and rain, going all the way up to fully kitted out parkas designed to withstand all the elements.
British label Belstaff has been in business since 1924 and has an illustrious association with motorcycle culture. Perhaps best-known for its leather jackets, Belstaff is a pioneer of wax cotton, being the first company to use it as a material in the development of waterproof motorcycle clothing. Belstaff's jackets might not be suited to snowy mountains, but as a protector from wind and rain at the weekend, they're hard to beat.
The North Face
Quite literally named after the coldest and harshest side of a mountain, The North Face has made it its fundamental goal to provide high-quality gear to those who love to explore the outdoors. The North Face jackets range in use, from simple rain jackets, to snowsports jackets to technical climbing jackets. Its proprietary Futurelight technology is one to look out for, as it rocks an ultra-thin membrane that allows air to flow through to provide breathability, but keeps water and moisture out.