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Best Winter Coats for Extreme Cold: Keeping You Warm Even on The South Pole

woman snowdoarder in snow coat
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

Winter coats come in a seemingly endless number of iterations, from light jackets to heavy-duty parkas. For the coldest winter months and most extreme conditions, you will need a coat that is up to the challenge.

In this article, find our recommendations for best winter coats for extreme cold. After going over some of the main features to consider when shopping for a winter coat, we review seven options, which cover a range of budgets and features.

Product NameWeightMaterialsSpecial FeaturesPrice
Canada Goose Snow Mantra Park7.4 lb85% polyester/15% cotton (shell), 100% polyester (lining)675 fill power white goose down (fill), natural coyote fur ruffCheck price on Amazon
Columbia Millennium BunnerN/A86% nylon / 14% elastane omni-tech king stretch (shell), 100% polyester omni-heat reflective microtex light (lining), 100% polyurethane (shell overlay), 50% polyester / 50% recycled polyester omni-heat thermalHelmet-compatible wire brim hood; bonded seams; ski pass pocket; waterproof vislon zippers.Check price on Amazon
The North Face McMurdo4.22 lbHyvent 2L—100% nylon ripstop (solid shell), hyvent 2L—100% polyester twill (heather shell), 100% polyester (lining), 550-fill goose downTwo-way front zipper;velcro-adjustable sleeve cuffs; removable hood with removable (faux) fur trim;Check price on Amazon
Patagonia Tres2.91 lb2-layer 100% polyester stretch twill with a DWR finish (shell); 100% recycled polyester plain weave (shell lining); 100% polyester mini-rip stop (zip-out jacket shell/lining);Adjustable, articulated snap-on hood (shell); 600-fill-power duck down, stand-up collar; micro fleece hand warmer pocketsCheck price on Amazon
Orolay ThickenedN/A100% high-density polyester; white duck downElegant details and figure-enhancing cut; deep pockets; knit cuffsCheck price on Amazon
Phistic Puffer Down3 lb100% polyester (shell & lining); 80% down / 20% feathers, 600-fill power (filling)Removable hood; (faux) fox fur trim; high collar; machine washable; two exterior pockets; knit inset cuffs; YKK front zipperCheck price on Amazon
BGSD Toggle3 lb100% polyester (shell and lining); 80% down / 20% feathers, 600-fill power (insulation)Water resistant; windproof; hidden ribbed cuffs; princess seams; removable hood with faux fur trim; interior pockets; machine washable.Check price on Amazon

Features To Consider Before Buying

In this article we review not only some of the best winter coats for extreme cold, but we go over a number of features that you should seriously consider before buying any jacket.

As you may know, depending on where you live, where you will use it and what you will wear it for, a jacket has different characteristics and suits different needs. Below find the most relevant features to take a look at.

Insulation

Insulation is one of the most important features to consider when you are shopping for a winter coat. There are many different materials used for insulation; the most common are synthetic and down, which generally comes from waterfowl such as ducks or geese.

man wearing parka

Down, which is highly packable and lightweight is generally considered one of the best materials for insulation, offering outstanding warmth (the higher the “fill,” the greater the insulation). Some jackets have a reflective thermal lining that utilizes and reflects the body’s heat.

Waterproofing And Other Features

Many, but not all, winter coats come with some degree of waterproofing. If you expect to be in wet, snowy conditions, look for a jacket that is fully waterproof, or at least has a DWR (durable water resistant) coating that will repel moisture. Winter coats usually have two or more layers, including an outer shell.

Breathability is another important element to look out for, particularly if you plan on doing any movement-intensive activities. Most winter coats have hoods, which are invaluable for blocking out the wind and cold.

Best men parka

Jackets also come in different lengths, which provide more or less coverage. While the additional bulk may increase warmth, it may interfere with your range of movement, which is a possible consideration.

Intended Activity

Jacket-specific features will depend on the primary intended use of the coat. Of course, a great winter coat is very versatile, and useful to have for all sorts of situations. There are, however, some coats that come with more specific technical details.

Winter coats with Insulation

The Columbia Burner Jacket, for example, is a great choice for skiing. It has a built-in ski pass pocket, an athletic fit, and is both breathable and waterproof.

Top Product Choices

In this section, we go over some of the best winter coats for extreme cold. Find options for the most intense and brutal winter conditions (the Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka); for athletic outdoor winter activities such as skiing (the Millennium Burner Jacket); and fashionable styles that are great for urban wear during the colder months (such as the BGSD Quilted Down Toggle Coat).

With a range of different features and price points, you’re guaranteed to find a great winter coat to fit your needs in the list below.

Canada Goose Snow Mantra Park

Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka

Price: Approx. $1195

Weight: 7.4 Pounds

Material: 85% polyester/15% cotton (shell), 100% polyester (lining), 675 fill power white goose down (fill), natural coyote fur ruff (removable hood trim)

Specific features: Insulated nylon snow skirt, double-reinforced elbows, three-way adjustable hood with removable coyote fur trim, fleece hand warmer pockets, multiple exterior pockets, three interior pockets, sleeve utility pocket, adjustable waist; Velcro storm flap over YKK 2-way locking front zipper, stowaway ID window, fleece-lined throat latch, fleece-lined wind guard, Napoleon pocket, 3M reflective tape, recessed rib-knit cuffs, kidney pouches with biodegradable Grabber warmers

Best use: Hiking, casual wear, extreme temperatures

Description: The Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka is one of the most effective coats currently available for the most extreme cold and winter conditions.

Made in Canada, it has an impressive list of technical features, including an insulated nylon snow skirt; double-reinforced elbows; multiple interior, exterior, and chest pockets; a removable coyote fur trim on the 3-way adjustable tunnel hood, which has a bracing wire to protect against strong wind.

Full-bellow Velcro exterior pockets (including two chest and two hand warmer pockets), to name just a few design elements. Available in black, navy, or red, the Snow Mantra Parka features the Canada Goose logo on the right-side chest pocket.

This coat is field-tested and legendary for its unparalleled protection, capable of blocking out the most extreme cold (-30°C and below) and snow. Because it is so effective, this coat is not light – the ultimate choice for serious cold. It has a relaxed fit and falls to about mid-thigh (men’s sizing).

PROS:

  • Extremely warm at any temperature
  • Long lasting

CONS:

  • Extremely expensive

Related: This parka is commonly bought with the Canada Goose Aviator Hat, to keep you even warmer during winter.

Check the price on Amazon

Columbia Millennium Bunner Jacket

Columbia Millennium Bunner Jacket

Price: Approx. $300

Weight: N/A

Material: 86% nylon / 14% elastin Omni-Tech King Stretch (shell), 100% polyester Omni-Heat Reflective Microtex Light (lining), 100% polyurethane (shell overlay), 50% polyester / 50% Recycled polyester Omni-Heat Thermal (insulation)

Specific features: 4-way comfort stretch; removable, helmet-compatible wire brim hood; bonded seams; ski pass pocket; Omni-heat™ thermal reflective lining;waterproof Omni-Tech™ seaming; waterproof; Vislon zippers; adjustable cuff; internal stretch panels; removable powder skirt; and 2-way underarm venting

Best use: Casual wear, outdoors activities

Description: Columbia’s Millennium Burner Jacket is a high-performing waterproof jacket that offers active warmth, insulation, and breathability. It is an ideal jacket to wear whilst doing outdoor activities, such as hiking or even going for a run during colder weather. This jacket is extremely comfortable and adapts to your more sporty activities.

Designed with a trim athletic fit for optimal freedom of movement and performance in the cold, which makes it ideal for skiing and other winter sports, the Burner Jacket features Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Heat™ thermal reflective insulation and lining, as well as breathable Omni-Tech™ waterproof seaming.

Being a Columbia branded jacket, you can be sure it’s going to be reliable and last long; this is a brand that lives off reputation, and this jacket is well reviewed exactly for that reason.

In addition, the jacket shell is made from a four-way stretch material. Other design elements include a removable, helmet-compatible hood with wire brim; a ski pass pocket; adjustable cuffs; removable powder skirt; and 2-way underarm venting.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Good breathing technology

CONS:

  • Not as warm

Related: This jacket can be bought alongside the Duofold’s Thermal Pants, in case you go hiking or for other outdoors winter activities.

Check the price on Amazon

The North Face McMurdo Parka

The North Face Mcmurdo Parka Ii

Price: $340 – $360

Weight: 4.22 Pounds

Materials: HyVent 2L—100% nylon ripstop (solid shell), HyVent 2L—100% polyester twill (heather shell), 100% polyester (lining), 550-fill goose down (insulation)

Specific features: two-way front zipper;Velcro-adjustable sleeve cuffs; removable hood with removable (faux) fur trim; embroidered North Face logo on jacket front and back; optional neck gaiter; Velcro flap pocket; media waist pocket; machine washable

Best use: Casual wear, hiking, extreme cold performance

Description: The North Face Mcmurdo Parka is a multipurpose, waterproof men’s winter parka engineered for maximum warmth, insulation, and breathability.

Providing a close fit, this jacket has the North Face logo embroidered on the chest and back; it is available in six sizes (from small to XXX-large) and numerous different colors.

Additional features include a two-way, full-length front zipper; a removable hood with built-in neck gaiter; and Velcro tabs on the sleeve cuffs for easy adjusting. Insulated with high-fill goose down, this parka by North Face, which is a more affordable option than the Mantra Parka, offers as a high level of breathability.

Providing an extremely high level of warmth and numerous technical features, it is a high-performing choice for braving extreme cold. Furthermore, this parka is one of the best-reviewed parkas and/or jackets by customers, for being extremely reliable in extreme cold weather conditions, as well as being well priced.

PROS:

  • Good price
  • Resists in extreme cold conditions
  • Very comfortable

CONS:

  • Bad zipper

Related: The North Face Apex Gloves are commonly bought alongside this parka; they are a great match and will keep you warm in cold weather.

Check the price on Amazon

Patagonia Tres Parka

Patagonia Men's Tres 3-in-1 Parka

Price: $385 – $550

Weight: 2.91 Pounds

Material: 2-layer 100% polyester stretch twill with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish (shell); 100% recycled polyester plain weave (shell lining); 100% polyester mini-rip stop (zip-out jacket shell/lining); 600-fill-power duck down (zip-out jacket insulation)

Specific features: hand warmer pockets; adjustable, articulated snap-on hood (shell); internal zippered security pocket; stand-up collar; micro fleece hand warmer pockets

Best use: Casual wear, outdoors activities

Description: The Patagonia Tres Parka is a versatile, waterproof men’s combination parka jacket. A two-layer H2No Performance Standard waterproof outer shell offers breathability and protection against the wind.

It has a removable hood, micro fleece-lined chin flap and collar, hand warmer pockets, an adjustable hem; in addition, it is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating to repel moisture; this is a jacket that adapts well to different scenarios.

The inner zip-out jacket features a full-length zipper, a quilted style, microfleece hand warmer pockets, and warm duck down insulation. The shell and zip-out jacket on this unique jacket can each be worn separately on their own; they can also be combined using the built-in zippers and snap loops.

The shell is thigh length, and the zip-out jacket is hip length (men’s sizing). The 600-fill-power duck down insulation is made using Patagonia’s certified Traceable Down, which ensures a high ethical standard.

PROS:

  • Extremely versatile, adapts to different temperatures
  • Hand warmer pockets

CONS:

  • Not the best at very cold temperatures

Related: The jacket will keep your torso warm, but what about your head? We can recommend the same manufacturers, Brimmed Beanie Hat for extreme colds.

Check the price on Amazon

Orolay Thickened Jacket

Orolay Thickened Jacket

Price: $60 – $70

Weight: N/A

Materials: 100% high-density polyester; white duck down (insulation)

Specific features: Elegant details and figure-enhancing cut; deep pockets; knit cuffs

Best use: Casual wear, extremely cold conditions

Description: The Orolay Thickened Jacket is a long, hooded women’s winter coat that’s great for cutting the wind and locking in warmth on chilly winter days.

The white duck down insulation on this coat, which is available in black and bright red, is super cozy, as well as being very elegant and stylish. For women looking to stay warm, but with style it is ideal.

Also, customers constantly review it as one of the warmer coats they have worn, making it ideal for extremely cold winters, although it’s not recommended for snowy or rainy conditions.

Note, however, that several users have noted that the large hood, while stylish, is not close fitting or adjustable, which may not be ideal in very windy conditions. This could be offset, however, with the inclusion of an additional scarf or hat. Also note that the belt is not included.

PROS:

  • Good price
  • Elegant

CONS:

  • Large hood is a bit uncomfortable

Related: The hood of this coat not being the best reviewed by customers, has forced them to look for winter hats. The Dahlia Wool Hat is a very good choice for its style.

Check the price on Amazon

Phistic Puffer Down Coat

Phistic Puffer Down Coat

Price: Approx. $500

Weight: 3 Pounds

Materials: 100% polyester (shell & lining); 80% down / 20% feathers, 600-fill power (filling)

Specific features: removable hood; (faux) fox fur trim; high collar; machine washable; two exterior pockets; knit inset cuffs; YKK front zipper

Best use: Casual wear, extremely cold conditions.

Description: The Phistic Puffer Down Coat is a full-length (falling to about ankle length on an average-height woman,48.5” from center back) down and feather-insulated puffer black winter coat that has a large, removable hood and a high collar that add both elegance and functional protection against the wind and cold.

The jacket’s hood has a stylish, and humane, faux fox fur trim. Ideal for staying warm during the cold winter months, this windproof coat is great for citing living. It features a convenient inner zip-closure vest, comfy knit inset cuffs, two exterior hand pockets, and a quality YKK front zipper.

This is one of the best-reviewed products. Although it is more expensive than most of the other featured coats and jackets, this one is not only reliable and durable, but it can resist very cold conditions as well as wind. Not only that, but it’s very stylish, and according to many reviewers, very comfortable too.

PROS:

  • Comfortable
  • Can take strong winds and very cold conditions
  • Great reviews

CONS:

  • Expensive

Related: The Fownes Leather Gloves are a good match if you want to keep your hands warm but stylish during the cold winters.

Check the price on Amazon

BGSD Toggle Coat

BGSD Women’s Toggle Coat

Price: $180 – $195

Weight: 3 Pounds

Materials: 100% polyester (shell and lining); 80% down / 20% feathers, 600-fill power (insulation)

Specific features: water resistant; windproof; hidden ribbed cuffs; princess seams; removable hood with faux fur trim; interior pockets; machine washable.

Best use: Casual wear

Description: The BGSD Toggle Coat is a warm, water-resistant women’s style that has 600-fill power down and feather insulation.

Effective at blocking out the wind, this trendy black coat has a contrasting brown faux fur trim on the removable hood. Other stylish details include elegant toggle buttons over the front zipper,chevron quilting, and princess seams that ensure a slim, flattering fit. This coat falls to about knee-length (37” approximate length from center back).

Additional features include a YKK front zipper, a knit collar, and ribbed cuffs. Multiple pockets (at the waist, chest, arms, and on the inside of the coat) are handy for storing items.

Last but not least, the previously mentioned removable hood makes this coat a very practical one to use. If it’s not snowing or raining, or simply it’s a cold autumn, you can remove the hood for further comfort or to take it on and off faster.

PROS:

  • Detachable hood
  • Very warm and durable

CONS:

  • Size can be a bit too big or long

Related: The Knolee Gloves are commonly bought with this jacket, being reliable and comfortable gloves to wear during winter.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

When braving the most extreme winter cold, your regular jacket or light coat may not be enough. During the coldest months, it’s necessary to have something warmer and more resistant to the elements, even for everyday casual wear. In this article, we provided a list of the best winter coats for serious cold, with different options for numerous activities.

Best Winter Coats for Extreme Cold

We covered a range of styles, including several long women’s coats, a versatile three-in-one men’s parka, an athletic option (The Millennium Burner by Columbia), a men’s urban style (the Mcmuro Parka II Jacket by North Face),and one of the warmest winter coats available on the market today, the Mantra Parka by Canada Goose.

You can’t go wrong investing in a warm winter coat, especially if you live someplace where the temperature dips significantly during the cooler months!

Think we missed some of the best winter coats for extreme cold that are out there? If so, leave us a comment and let us know!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John C. Porter
John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

  • Kenny Stewart

    There is nothing more beautiful in the outdoor life than winter backpacking, but I have also seen the other side of it. There was that one time I did not carry warm enough gear and the experience was terrible. Anyway, I am in need of a new coat and I want to get the Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka but do you think it is really worth that price?

  • John C. Porter

    This parka is made in Canada – and those guys know extreme winter more than anything else! My brother who lives there swears by the Canada Goose Snow Parka. The price is worth it since your body is really protected from the coldest weather possible. Did I mention that this product is field-tested and offers the best protection (-30°C and below). I also love how they have five different sizes and a variety of colors!

  • Mackenzie Hill

    Does the Phistic Women’s “Lacey” Long Hooded Puffer Coat have down insulation or synthetic. It looks nice and I think it would be comfortable but I prefer my winter gear to be filled with down instead of synthetic. I have a similar winter jacket but it has synthetic feeling hence the need for a new one.

  • John C. Porter

    The coat has 80% down – 20% feather ratio. It’s the real deal. The feel of this jacket is very luxurious and will keep you warm.

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