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Serious Help Needed: I Need a Winter Coat!!

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    Serious Help Needed: I Need a Winter Coat!!

    I'm not sure what to get, and the temps here in Iowa are sure to stay frigid for a while.

    To fully disclose, I own:

    a Bayswater pea coat
    a J. Crew garrison field jacket
    a j. Crew x British Millerain field coat

    All are pretty good but none really qualifies as a tough coat for extreme cold.

    Please give me your recommendations. I've been leaning toward an N3B or something like the LL Bean Baxter State Parka (which is about all sold out, apparently).

    #2
    If you don't care how they look nothing beats a parka for warmth. But for style and ability to move in the damn thing (I can't fit in my Fiat 500 with mine on) they are a big loss.

    This year I thrifted a Gloverall duffel coat and I am pleasantly surprised at how warm it has been (down to -25C so far here).

    The big thing I find is no short coat is ever warm enough except a ski jacket so go for something that covers your chest properly and your knees.

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      #3
      I've got my brother's hand-me-down L.L. Bean parka, circa 1998, that I really love for super cold temps. That's what I'll wear if I know I'm going to be outside in sub zero temps for prolonged periods. I also keep it in my car with me if I end up doing any significant driving in winter. It's obviously not the sleekest or most stylish piece of outerwear, though. If you know you're going to be living in the Midwest for the foreseable future, a decent parka is probably a sensible investment. You won't need it very frequently, but you'll be glad you have it when you do. Outside L.L. Bean, Cabela's might be another source for a heavy-duty parka, though their stuff fits HUGE. Unlike most modern parkas, they actually use real fur ruffs, which are very functional in terms of retaining heat around your face. Canada Goose also makes an excellent parka, but their stuff is also absurdly expensive.

      My general recommendation is to get something with a hood. It's easy enough to keep your head and torso warm by layering up with multiple hats and coats, but there's nothing worse than that feeling of cold air blasting through the gaps onto your neck and face. A decent hood makes a big difference. A couple weeks ago, the temps here stayed below -5°F for an entire week, dipping down to -25°F at points (wind chill was something like -50°). With proper layering and the right accessories, I actually felt totally fine in my hooded wool Filson coat.

      Another option to maximize the stuff you already own is to buy something like a lightweight down "sweater" or jacket. Most of the big outdoor brand names make a version of it. That extra layer of insulation can winterize just about any midweight coat. Ultimately, though, I think you'll be happier getting something with a hood than trying to winterize a non-hooded jacket.
      Ben

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        #4
        I've got a down filled leather snowboard jacket for when it hits -20(Celsius) and lower here.

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          #5
          Thanks. I'm finding it hard to judge the quality of parkas online. I do like the looks of this J. Crew snorkel parka: http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/o...5671/05671.jsp, but I'm not sure how good it is.

          I also like the looks of the Spiewak stuff but I'm unfamiliar with that brand. And I really wish that LL Bean parka was still in stock. I've heard a lot of good things about it.

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            #6
            In general I would avoid "fashion" stores and stick to "outdoor" stores/brands. LL Bean, Cabela's, Columbia, etc. AmEx has the $20 off $100 promo, use more than one card if needed.

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              #7
              I'm not an American Express cardholder, but thanks.

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                #8
                And I'm sure you noticed, J Crew is offering 40% off sale items today, so the snorkel jacket you linked becomes $178.80. I posted a separate thread about the Ludlow jackets for $179.99 with the coupon, which is pretty wild.

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                  #9
                  Yes, thanks, saw the J. Crew sale. Basically that's a $400 coat for under $200, but I'm still not sure if it's worth it. I might do it anyway--I don't think this is final sale so I could still return it.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by marathon View Post
                    In general I would avoid "fashion" stores and stick to "outdoor" stores/brands. LL Bean, Cabela's, Columbia, etc. AmEx has the $20 off $100 promo, use more than one card if needed.
                    If you are following this, I would seriously consider signing up for theClymb.com. If you're thinking about the N3B, it seems like you're going for maximum warmth, and theClymb has great deals on jackets from the really great outdoor companies.

                    As an aside, how cold would you rate the British Millerain? Can it handle some cold (30s F), or do you use it more as a fall jacket?

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                      #11
                      PJ, actually the B.M. is fairly good for cold weather. I think it's the waxed cotton that makes a big difference, and it has some thickness. I've worn it with a medium-weight sweater, like a lambswool crew neck, in 20-degree temps and it's been very adequate. I don't think it's quite enough for anything much below 20 though.

                      & thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.

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                        #12
                        Also in Iowa, but this is my first winter here. I also wore the Millerain in the low 30s with a lambs wool crew neck and it seemed to do a decent job. Although when the wind really started blowing I definitely could have used another layer.

                        @Duvel-- Does your Millerain smell musty? Mine does and I can't seem to get rid of it. Any thoughts?
                        Last edited by MarkB; December 19, 2013, 08:30 PM.
                        Countryside Man of Letters

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by MarkB View Post
                          Also in Iowa, but this is my first winter here. I also wore the Millerain in the low 30s with a lambs wool crew neck and it seemed to do a decent job. Although when the wind really started blowing I definitely could have used another layer.

                          @Duvel-- Does your Millerain smell musty? Mine does and I can't seem to get rid of it. Any thoughts?
                          YjTja

                          That's how it is, I think. It's the waxed cotton. I've had two of these and both have been a little musty smelling. I like the smell.

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                            #14
                            Actually, I'm thinking of getting this, using it as a layer with my existing outerwear: J. Crew summit fleece track jacket. Plus it would be versatile, etc.

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                              #15
                              I've worn the J.Crew Bayswater w/ Thinsulate in 11 degree weather and I was fine. Not sure where you're located, but I can tell you that warmth is about layering, not just one thick outer layer.

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