Many people love going on treks and hikes in winters. That’s when you don’t have to worry about sweat dripping off your clothes but instead enjoy the cool weather around you. That being said, planning a trip during winters comes with its own challenges. And you’ll need to invest in good jackets to keep you warm and comfortable. Before you make that purchase, read through our comprehensive guide to choosing the best winter jacket for your next trip.
Down jackets should be your go-to choice if you’re concerned about the weight and size of your garment. They will act as a shield and protect you from dry and cold weather. However, these kinds of jackets aren't ideal for wet conditions. In case your down jacket gets wet, you’ll have to use a dryer to dry it off completely to get back its original fluffiness.
Synthetic insulated jackets are generally made from polyester. They prove to be both water and wind resistant and are also breathable and soft. Your body heat is trapped by the polyester fibers of the jacket. Synthetic Insulated jackets are good for outdoor activities like biking, climbing, and skiing.
Fleece jackets are made from wool or tight-knit polyester fibers. They are very popular among travelers for their breathability, style configurations, and lightweight material. Your fleece jacket is usually the second layer of clothing you wear over your thermals.
If you’re buying a fleece jacket made from natural wool, it’ll be costlier than the synthetic jacket. However, the latter comes in handy in conditions where there’s rain and snowfall.
3-In-1 jackets are best for traveling to places where the weather changes frequently. The outer shell (outer layer) of these jackets is breathable and water resistant. It has a fleece jacket inside, to keep you warm and battle the chilly weather outside. These types of winter jackets are a great option for those who need a wide range of winter gear, all in one garment.
When you go shopping for a winter jacket, it’s natural to get confused with the many options you have in the market. After all, there are different types of winter jackets used for different purposes. So, choosing the best winter jacket can be difficult for many. Here are a few factors to consider before buying a winter jacket:
Not everyone would love to enjoy the same kind of activities during their winter vacations. Some would prefer journeying to a calm and serene place like a hill station while others prefer daring things like trekking on rough terrains or mountain climbing. The first thing you need to do is know about the climatic conditions of the places you’ll be traveling to. Consider buying a winter jacket as an investment if you’re an avid traveler. You can use it for your future travels if you maintain it well.
You also need to consider the purpose for which you’ll be needing a winter jacket. Remember that winter jackets will differ for different kinds of travels. You’ll need a specific type of winter jacket for going on treks and hikes. Once you figure that out, you can easily shortlist the many options you’ll get for choosing the best jacket for yourself.
To bear the cold climate during your winter trip, you have two options when it comes to the type of insulations - down and synthetic. Down insulated jackets are great to help you with breathability and its high-loft clusters can also help retain your body heat. These jackets are extremely warm and also help in keeping you comfortable during your travel by wicking away the moisture. If you need a lightweight jacket, down jackets are ultralight and are also known to have a long life span. However, one of the major drawbacks of these jackets is that they can get wet and lose their effectiveness.
For those wanting a winter jacket that’s affordable and water resistant, synthetic insulated jackets can be a good choice. These jackets can retain the warmth even after getting wet and get dried easily. Synthetic insulated jackets can easily be machine washed. But, the problem with these jackets is that they are quite heavy and bulky compared to down jackets.
When you’re choosing a jacket to wear in cold weather, another important thing to consider is its outer shell. The jacket should keep you warm in winters, especially if you’re planning a trekking or skiing trip in mountainous areas. You’ll have to keep in mind the problems you’ll face during your travels in winters. Hard and soft shell jackets are two of your best options to battle the cold weather.
Hard shell winter jackets are meant for people who are traveling to mountainous regions. Along with being waterproof, these jackets are breathable and windproof. So, you can rest assured that you’ll be protected from snow and rain during your trekking, hiking, or skiing expeditions. Soft shell jackets, as their name suggests, are soft and designed in a way to give you breathability and mobility. These lightweight jackets are an ideal choice for activities like a short hike.
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This is one of the things you must look out for when buying a winter jacket. The lining material of a jacket is that layer which is in direct contact with your skin. So, it helps to retain the heat in your body. The warmth of the jacket depends on the material used for lining. You can opt for a winter jacket that has fleece or an added layer of material to keep your body warm.
If you want to enjoy your winter activities, you’ll need a winter jacket that fits you well. The right size of outerwear can make a huge difference when you’re facing obstacles like rain, snow, and freezing temperatures. You need to choose a winter jacket that not only keeps you warm but comfortable enough to enjoy your travel.
If you choose a smaller size, there won’t be any space for air to circulate and the jacket won’t be breathable. Likewise, an oversized jacket can cause the chilly wind to creep inside and make you feel cold. So, you need to pay careful attention to the size of the jacket in terms of its fitting, sleeves, and shoulder length.
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Now, every winter jacket may not always have a hood and pockets. So, if you need a jacket for your upcoming winter trek, it’s good if you choose one that has an adjustable hood. You’ll find several jackets having adjustments in different areas like the back of the hood, center, or at the left side. A peaked hood is the best choice for all kinds of travel, as it helps to keep away the rain and snow from coming onto your face. If any of you are planning to trek in mountainous areas, you’ll need to wear a helmet inside your hood. So, check whether the hood of your jacket has enough room to fit your helmet.
Another important feature of a winter jacket that most people tend to overlook is pockets. Whether you’re going winter camping or snowboarding, you’ll never know when you’ll need things like a compass, map, or torch. You will not always be able to carry a bag for such small items. That’s when those pockets come in handy! You can keep all your tiny winter essentials in your pockets. It’ll be super easy for you to get a hold of your essentials by opening the zip of your pockets. What’s more, they’ll also have enough room to keep your fingers warm!
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Regardless of the type of winter jacket you’re choosing, you also need to consider its weight and lifespan. We’ve mentioned earlier that down insulated jackets have a better lifespan compared to synthetic ones. And if you need a lightweight jacket for your travel, we suggest you go for a down insulated one. Compared to them, synthetic jackets can be heavy in weight.
We’re emphasizing so much on weight because it’ll also add up to the overall weight of your luggage. The golden rule for packing for any vacation is packing smart and less. You wouldn’t want the weight of your winter jacket to be a problem when you’re packing your things. Along with the weight, the way you maintain your jacket also is exceedingly important. The jacket should be kept in a good condition so that you can pack and take it with you for your future winter trips.
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That was all about your comprehensive guide to choosing the right winter jacket. Now that we’ve given you tips on how to choose the right jacket, you can buy one based on your requirements. Who knows, after purchasing one, you’ll actually look forward to outdoor adventures in winters?
How Do I Choose A Winter Jacket?
You can choose the right winter jacket by considering the following things:
What Properties Does A Good Coat Need?
A good coat needs the following properties:
What Type Of Jacket Is The Warmest?
Down insulated jackets are one of the warmest types of jackets. These jackets generally have two layers of stuffing that allow the air to get trapped inside, thereby retaining the warmth of your body.
How Do You Know If A Winter Jacket Is Warm?
The warmth of a winter jacket depends on its fill power. So, the higher the fill power of your jacket, the better the insulation. If your jacket has a fill power anywhere between 500 to 900, it’s definitely of a good quality and will certainly keep you warm.
What Is The Warmest Material To Wear?
One of the best and warmest materials to wear in winters is wool as it’s known to hold more body heat compared to other materials like cotton.
Is Puffer Jacket Good For Winter?
Puffer jackets are a good choice for winters as they come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are known to keep the body warm. Many puffer jackets also come in lightweight options. So, you can easily carry them for your treks and hikes at cold places like the mountains.
How Long Should A Winter Jacket Be?
The length of your winter jacket should be long enough to keep your hands warm. In terms of its hem, see to it that it hits exactly where both your thumb and index finger meet. That’ll ensure that it not only covers your wrist, but also ¼ of your hand. Make sure that you don’t purchase jackets that have a hemline that’s shorter than this.
What Kind Of Jacket Do I Need For Snow?
If you need a winter jacket to battle the snow, you can choose one that’s lightweight. The best jacket for snow can be one that’s made using wool, fleece, or thermals.