Parkas vs. Jackets and Puffers
When the coldest of the cold weather comes around, you need to be prepared. That's why at The North Face, we offer parkas in a variety of styles.
What makes a parka different from other jackets and puffers? Length. Parkas are long coats that run down to the thighs, while most other jackets stop at the waistline. They were initially adopted for use in the military because they could be worn over uniforms due to their oversized fit. These days, while puffers and jackets are ideal high-intensity outdoor activities like jogging and hiking, parkas are best for protection from cold wind and snow when going about life.
With only a handful of exceptions, parkas come with a hood and are well-insulated. Most puffers omit the hood in favor of a puffy look. Our best-selling Arctic Parka, for example, features 550 fill goose down throughout the body and a beautiful faux-fur lined hood.
Best For Winter, But Also Good In Rain
Because of their design, parkas are ideal for winter weather. Their length helps protect more of your body from chilly wind and their insulation keeps the body warmer when the temperature dips. However, if you live in an area that does not receive a lot of snow, parka jackets can still be a great choice for fall and winter. Many have a waterproof or water-repellant material that, when combined with the hood, makes them a great raincoat.
Some of our waterproof women's parkas include the Arctic Parka, our Dryzzle FUTURELIGHT styles, the Women's New Outerboroughs Parka, and the Women's Snow Down featuring DWR.
What To Wear With A Women's Parka
For the best protection from the elements when outdoors, consider these:
• A moisture-wicking baselayer
• A fleece top
• Pants or fleece-lined leggings
• Waterproof, insulated pants (for snow activities)
• Wool socks
• High-quality winter boots or snow boots
• Winter gloves and scarf
What To Look For When Shopping For Parkas
• Features: Does it have a hood? Is the hood detachable? Is the zipper waterproof? How many pockets does it have?
• Insulation: What kind of insulation does it have? Goose down is often considered the top of the line with 900 fill being the most warm. Synthetic fill is also a great choice but can give your parka a more puffy appearance. Thinsulate is not as warm, but is designed to let moisture from perspiration escape.
• Material: Is it waterproof and windproof? It is breathable? For a breathable but waterproof material, check out our FUTURELIGHT technology.
• Length: How far does it reach? Does it hit just the upper thighs allowing for more movement or does it reach the knees offering more protection?
Looking for men's parkas? We have those as well.