Winter is coming. Shopping for your winter coat sometimes turns into a headache. Luckily, here are our expert tips for making the right choice. Whether you are a fan of skiing, snowshoeing or looking for a coat for the city, this article is made for you.
The right coat for your lifestyle
To find the perfect coat, take an inventory of the activities you do. This will help you determine your needs. Also consider your lifestyle and where you travel.
Sports and outdoor activities
For your winter activities, you need a light, warm, waterproof and windproof jacket. For better freedom of movement, choose a model that reaches above the knee.
The car or public transport?
Prefer a compressible and light coat. You will often open and close your jacket, so check the quality of the seams and the zipper. For riding, opt for a knee-high model or a two-way zipper.
Focus on style or comfort?
There are a multitude of choices to face the bad weather and spend the winter in style. For this, bet on a cut close to the body. However, be careful not to confuse adjusted and too tight. You risk packing the insulation and altering its action.
Choosing a coat for winter sports
Many choices are available to you. To find the one that's right for you, think about the activities you do. You need to stay warm, dry and have optimal freedom of movement.
Freedom of movement
You need maximum freedom of movement. Technical coats are ideal, as they have the advantage of being light and having a very thin lining. Prefer models with an adjustable hood and cuffs as well as sealed seams.
Sweat and moisture management
Patented technologies, such as Thermolite fibers or DryVent fabric, keep you dry at all times. Humidity being the enemy of athletes in winter, turn to a model equipped with special ventilation under the arms.
Types of cold insulation materials
There are two families of insulators: natural and synthetic. Your choice will depend on how you will use your coat and where you live.
To know the quality of down, look at the fill factor. It is generally between 450 and 900. The strong point of this insulation is that it is light and compressible. It is ideal for a cold and dry climate.
The weak point: the evacuation of humidity. To alleviate the problem, some brands, such as North Face, combine down insulation with synthetic insulation.
There is a wide variety of synthetic insulation. The main benefit is moisture wicking and heat retention. They are generally less expensive than down coats and hypoallergenic. They are ideal for winter sports activities and cold, wet climates.
The weak point: it is heavier than a down-insulated garment.
Nobody wants to interrupt their activity because of the cold or the humidity. Is not it? So let us guide you to face all climatic situations.
Thermolite and DryVent technologies cut and insulate from the wind. Certain elements of the jacket can also make a difference: adjustable cuffs, a fur or flap hood, a stand-up collar.
Garments with a durable water repellent treatment (such as DryVent technology) are weather resistant. Make sure all seams and pockets of the coat are fully sealed.
Resistance to cold
To stay warm at all times, choose a jacket with thermo-reflective Thermolite, Primaloft, Heatseeker, Thermoball or Omni-Heat™ insulation.
Versatility in the face of temperature changes
Some models have removable equipment, such as a hood, a snow skirt or even a lining. They make it possible to adapt to the weather of the day and to wear them in autumn, winter and spring.
Do not forget the secondary characteristics of your winter coat
It's the little extras that make all the difference in terms of your daily comfort.
What types of pockets do you need?
Security and utility pockets can make all the difference. Ideally, they should be big enough to fit your hands in and warm them up. Think about your habits. What do you regularly carry in your pockets?
Cap or not?
Detachable or fixed hood, it's your choice. But, cap you need. The hardest part is finding the right size. A hood that is too big falls off at the slightest gust of wind. Too small, it does not protect enough and does not allow you to put on a helmet.
What is the ideal length of your winter coat?
The perfect length will depend on your usage. However, we advise you to choose a model that covers the buttocks, at a minimum. The length helps minimize cold infiltration.
Should we consider buying two winter coats?
If you are a winter sports enthusiast, the answer is yes. Whether it's snowshoeing, snowboarding or skiing, even in very cold weather, a thin, windproof coat is advisable. For the rest of the time, a long, well-insulated coat will be more comfortable.
Not to mention that having two winter coats makes it easier to maintain and adapt to the weather.
The best Quebec brands of winter coats
Are you concerned about having a wardrobe that encourages local companies? Our selection of favorite brands for locally designed winter coats are Vista, Duty nine and Chlorophylle.
Caring for your winter coat
To be sure not to make a mistake, ask for a recommendation from the specialist who is advising you on your purchase. You can also rely on the label for care instructions.
Some accessories not to forget
Mittens, toques and neck warmers are often found in the accessories category and yet they are essential to face the Quebec winter.
Warm and waterproof mittens
The size of the mittens matters. Too big, you will have less dexterity. Too small, they block air circulation and your fingers will be cold. Choose a waterproof model with a down or synthetic (Thinsulate..) lining and adjustable cuffs to keep snow out and keep you warm. You are now ready for a warm and comfortable winter. We wish you that it will be made of adventures, laughter and joy.
A neck warmer to keep warm
For maximum comfort for all your winter activities, wear a neck warmer fleece or merino wool. These two materials have the advantage of regulating temperature and humidity.
Keep your head protected with a tuque or hat
About 30% of our heat loss escapes through the head. For mild temperatures, an acrylic wool toque will be sufficient. For extremely cold days or prolonged outdoor activities, you can choose a toque lined with fleece or with an Omni-Heat™ type reflective lining.
Be prepared for winter
You are now ready for a warm and comfortable winter. We wish you that it will be made of adventures, laughter and joy. Do not hesitate to stop by the shop, our advisers will be happy to guide you in your choices.