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Thread: Recommend me a buy-it-for-life down parka

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    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Recommend me a buy-it-for-life down parka

    I'm looking for a high quality down parka. Some requirements are:

    Lifespan measured in decades/buy-it-for-life.
    Genuine fur trim preferred, or no fur trim at all.
    Down insulated.
    Water proof preferred, resistant acceptable.
    I would prefer made in North America/Europe, or produced ethically.
    Long enough to cover a suit jacket.

    I am willing to look for something lightly used. Canada Goose is out of the budget, and probably overkill.
    Last edited by Rocco; January 7th, 2018 at 08:34 PM.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Hard to find something like that that isn't Canada Goose. Spiewak occasionally sells something along those lines... though they are sold out of every size but XXXL right now. I just took a quick gander at Filson and they don't sell any long down coats.

    Woolrich sells parkas but they are almost as expensive as Canada Goose and they are "imported."

    Your best shot at finding something that ticks all the boxes and is still affordable is probably hunting down a vintage military N3B parka - which will be a lot easier said than done, because there are so many cheapo replicas produced these days.
    Ben

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    Varsity Member Nandyn's Avatar
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    Patagonia or Arc'teryx probably has something like what you're looking for in their urban style line.

    Their warranties and repair services are great, and Patagonia has one of the most ethical supply lines of any clothing business.

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    Schott makes some that check most of those boxes.

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    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    Hard to find something like that that isn't Canada Goose. Spiewak occasionally sells something along those lines... though they are sold out of every size but XXXL right now. I just took a quick gander at Filson and they don't sell any long down coats.

    Woolrich sells parkas but they are almost as expensive as Canada Goose and they are "imported."

    Your best shot at finding something that ticks all the boxes and is still affordable is probably hunting down a vintage military N3B parka - which will be a lot easier said than done, because there are so many cheapo replicas produced these days.
    Yea Spiewak is definitely on the radar, and I've been checking Grailed regularly for them. There are some lightly used Woolrich parkas floating around that are made in Canada or USA. Regarding the N-3B, I have done a lot of research regarding them, and I was actually able to try on a genuine current issue N-3B at my local surplus store. Ridiculously puffy. Not really what I'm looking for. I have signed up to be notified when the bright red antarctic surplus Canada Goose parkas are back in stock (~$400), so that's at least something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nandyn View Post
    Patagonia or Arc'teryx probably has something like what you're looking for in their urban style line.

    Their warranties and repair services are great, and Patagonia has one of the most ethical supply lines of any clothing business.
    Yea Patagonia is definitely on the radar, and I'm likely going to them the next time I need a midweight down jacket or a ski jacket. But they don't really have anything in the style I'm looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geo View Post
    Schott makes some that check most of those boxes.
    Unlike their peacoats, unfortunately, their parkas are imported (with no info regarding production).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
    Unlike their peacoats, unfortunately, their parkas are imported (with no info regarding production).
    My bad. They have one that's made in the US but it's not down insulated. I assumed all of their coats are produced in either the US or Canada but I assumed wrong. That's a tough list of criteria to meet. Patagonia would have been my next suggestion but I'm with you on not liking the styling of their parkas.

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    Are you looking for function or fashion? The last two weeks prior to today I left my wool peacoat and tartan scarf in the closet and instead wore my Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero SL parka. Is it overkill? Yes. Will it last me the rest of my life? Most likely, considering it's literally too hot to wear if its much above 10*f. Do I look ridiculous wearing it? Yep. Was I warm when it was -15*f here? Toasty. If you want something that actually works in the cold, buy something similar from any number of the mountaineering suppliers out there. Canada Goose is horridly overpriced for what it is. You can get legit 8000m gear cheaper than that junk. I can't help but chuckle when I see the faux outdoor fashion stuff that people overpay for. Marmot, Arcteryx, MH, NF, RAB, OR, etc all have a range just below their 8000m gear that is complete overkill for average human on the street. Look for box baffles and at least single layer membrane on the shoulders/cape. The seams don't need to be taped, but without a waterproof cape piece the down will easily get wet and lose insulation. A mediocre down coat is worse than a cheap synthetic parka, so do your research. If you want to be warm, that's what you should be looking for. If you want to be noticed, I'm pretty sure there's a ton of comical options at Grailed.

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    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shife View Post
    Are you looking for function or fashion? The last two weeks prior to today I left my wool peacoat and tartan scarf in the closet and instead wore my Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero SL parka. Is it overkill? Yes. Will it last me the rest of my life? Most likely, considering it's literally too hot to wear if its much above 10*f. Do I look ridiculous wearing it? Yep. Was I warm when it was -15*f here? Toasty. If you want something that actually works in the cold, buy something similar from any number of the mountaineering suppliers out there. Canada Goose is horridly overpriced for what it is. You can get legit 8000m gear cheaper than that junk. I can't help but chuckle when I see the faux outdoor fashion stuff that people overpay for. Marmot, Arcteryx, MH, NF, RAB, OR, etc all have a range just below their 8000m gear that is complete overkill for average human on the street. Look for box baffles and at least single layer membrane on the shoulders/cape. The seams don't need to be taped, but without a waterproof cape piece the down will easily get wet and lose insulation. A mediocre down coat is worse than a cheap synthetic parka, so do your research. If you want to be warm, that's what you should be looking for. If you want to be noticed, I'm pretty sure there's a ton of comical options at Grailed.
    Thanks for your input; I'm obviously not very knowledgeable about winter coats. For temps above freezing, I'm getting a peacoat (either vintage Navy issue kersey, or a modern Schott 740), and I have a camel overcoat for when I wear a suit. When I will be spending hours in the cold, I want something insulated and waterproof, long enough to cover a suit jacket, and built to last.

    I have an Eddie Bauer First Ascent down parka right now, but it's too big (here's one for sale on eBay for reference).

    I'm looking for something along those lines, but not made in a sweatshop. It doesn't have to look high fashion, but visible baffles are a turn-off for me.

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    Varsity Member evanparker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
    For temps above freezing, I'm getting a peacoat (either vintage Navy issue kersey, or a modern Schott 740),
    In my personal experience, if you get a 32 OZ actual army/navy issue peacoat, you will be good to 10 degrees F. If yo get a 24 oz one, you will be good to 20 degrees F. or so.


    Food for thought. As long as you're wearing a solid sweater, and maybe a hat, quality wool peacoats are VERY warm.

    I wore mine all around boston all winter, it's been amazing. The only time it wasn't warm enough was that week when it was -5 outside. That required some bigger guns than the peacoat seemed to have!

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    Varsity Member Rocco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evanparker View Post
    In my personal experience, if you get a 32 OZ actual army/navy issue peacoat, you will be good to 10 degrees F. If yo get a 24 oz one, you will be good to 20 degrees F. or so.


    Food for thought. As long as you're wearing a solid sweater, and maybe a hat, quality wool peacoats are VERY warm.

    I wore mine all around boston all winter, it's been amazing. The only time it wasn't warm enough was that week when it was -5 outside. That required some bigger guns than the peacoat seemed to have!
    Yup, I fully intend to go sweater-scarf-peacoat-hat for as cold as I can stand it. I'm looking for a parka for when it is colder than that, and it has been quite cold the last few days here in PA. I also don't want to shovel snow or play in the snow with my (future) kids in a peacoat.

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