The 13 Best Winter Jackets for Extreme Cold, So You Won’t Be Left Shivering

·10 min read

There’s cold and then there’s cold. We’re talking single digit temperatures—or possibly even lower—with gusts of frigid wind and Jack Frost chomping on your nose rather than just nipping at it. The kind of cold that makes you want to curl up in head-to-toe cashmere and sit by a fire with a piping hot cup of cocoa. Unfortunately, our schedules don’t always allow for such indulgences and sometimes we’re forced to endure the bitter winter air. For such occasions, you’ll definitely want to be sporting one of these ultra-warm coats. These high-tech toppers are the absolute best winter jackets for extreme cold, to give you that “warmed by a fire” feeling while you’re still getting things done outdoors. Now all that’s left to do is accessorize with some cozy mittens, don a wool cap and slip into some fabulous snow boots.


Scroll down for in-depth reviews of each.

RELATED: Here’s What Makes the Perfect Winter Boot According to a Podiatrist (With 10 Styles to Shop Now)

1. Triple F.A.T. Goose Sophie Puffer Down Jacket

Best Overall

This coat checks all our boxes—super warm, waterproof, windproof, stylish—and is made from high-quality materials that feel incredibly luxe to the touch (like the plush fleece-lined pockets, for example). The hood is also removeable and comes with multiple adjustable cords and an extended visor to keep snow or rain out of your eyes. Yes, it is expensive, but there is a lot of technology that’s gone into making such a supremely cozy and chic design, so if you live someplace that regularly hits single digit temperatures (or lower), it’s definitely worth checking out.

Buy it ($475)

Available in sizes XS to 3XL

2. REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka

Best Under $200

You don’t need to break the bank to find an ultra-warm winter coat. This REI design is long enough to cover your hips and bum, and the insulated hood is lined with cozy fleece for extra comfort around your face. It’s also made from recycled polyester, as an eco-friendly bonus. The materials have been treated with a water repellant finish to help maintain that intense warmth even in rain and snow. And while the overall look may be simple, the Norseland has a flattering silhouette that’s neither too puffy nor too cinched and works well on a number of different body types.

Buy it ($199)

Available in sizes XS to XL

3. L.L.Bean Ultrawarm Coat Long

Best Maxi-Length Option

Insulated pants make sense for ski vacations and outdoor adventures, but for simply strolling around the city (or quickly shuffling from your car to the front door to avoid the cold) you’re unlikely to sport such a bulky item. This does not, however, mean your legs must be forced to endure the wrath of Jack Frost. L.L.Bean’s Ultrawarm coat goes all the way down to mid-calf, right about where your cozy shearling-lined winter boots would end, and is rated for temperatures as low as -50° F. A double zipper allows you to adjust the fit to accommodate your stride, and both the hood and the faux-fur trim are removable, giving you multiple stylish (and warm) options to wear.

Buy it ($279)

Available in sizes XS to 3X, also Petite

4. Canada Goose Expedition Parka Fusion Fit

Most Splurge-Worthy

Canada Goose is the outerwear of choice for explorers and scientists working in Antarctica, as well as film crews the world over, oddly enough. The brand makes some of the absolute warmest winter puffers and parkas, with multiple options rated to keep you warm at temperatures below -25° F. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive brands on this list. This is definitely an investment piece, however it does come with a lifetime warranty and a bevy of rave reviews. The Fusion Fit parka comes with an impressively high neck (plus a detachable hood) to ensure no gusts of cold air sneak down your collar, and an inner drawstring that gives you the option to cinch the waist if you like.

Buy it ($1,495)

Available in sizes XXS to XL

5. 66° North Jökla Parka

Best for *Truly* Extreme Cold

This Icelandic outdoor brand is one of the absolute best and most popular options for serious mountaineers, guides, explorers and researchers, so you can bet it will hold up to anything Mother Nature might have in store for you this winter. As the website explains, “Around the solstice, northern Iceland experiences near 24-hour darkness, with temperatures falling as low as -30°C (-22°F). The Jökla was created because it had to be.” It even warns that locations with temperatures that can still produce rain are likely too hot for the incredible warmth this coat provides. Of course, such an advanced and technical item of clothing does not come cheap, but if you live somewhere as cold as northern Iceland, it is definitely worth the splurge.

Buy it ($1,200)

Available in sizes XS to XXL

6. Eddie Bauer MicroTherm 2.0 Down Jacket

Best for Layering

This compact zip-up is rated for temperatures as low as -5 °F and comes with a water-resistant finish. While it would certainly work well on its own for most scenarios, we love how compact and thin the down is, making it an ideal layering piece that can be worn under your favorite Gore-Tex rain jacket or an even warmer parka for double the insulation. It also comes in both petite and tall sizes, so no one has to stress about rolling up sleeves that are too long or feeling exposed in a jacket that’s too short.

Buy it ($229)

Available in sizes XS to 3X, also Petite and Tall

7. prAna Sayama Long Jacket

Best Eco-Friendly Design

Prana is one of our favorite places to find high-quality workout and outdoors clothing all with an environmentally conscious design. This particular parka uses fill that’s Responsible Down Standard certified (meaning it’s been ethically sourced) and has a faux-fur trim around the hood. Despite a handy waterproof finish on the outer layer, the coat is still breathable enough to keep you dry and comfortable even if you’re working hard to shovel the driveway or stomp your way across an icy field.

Buy it ($349)

Available in sizes XS to XL

8. Burton Lelah Insulated Jacket

Best for Skiing or Snowboarding

When hitting the slopes in the Northeast, you run the risk of skiing through sub-zero temperatures and nasty winds. And while we don’t recommend risking frostbite just to score another run, this jacket should keep you toasty warm throughout the day without trapping in moisture. It does come with pit zips—so you can wear it on warmer days too—and the expected inner snow skirt to prevent flakes from sneaking up your back should you fall. The pockets are also lined with microfleece to give your hands some extra insulation between runs, and Burton provides a lifetime warranty should a zipper stop working or another issue arise.

Buy it ($230)

Available in sizes XS to XL

9. Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka

Best for Cold Wet Climates

Just because a coat is warm doesn’t mean it will hold up well in wet conditions. In fact, most traditional down filling becomes fairly useless when wet. But this Patagonia design was made specifically for areas that experience both low temperatures and lots of rain or snow. Its 3-in-1 design comes with a waterproof, windproof outer parka and an inner 700-fill-power layer made from 100 percent recycled down that can be zipped into or out of one another depending on how bundled up you want to be. We love the clean, fuss-free design of the outer shell and longer hemline, both of which make this a good option for day-to-day activities in addition to outdoor excursions.

Buy it ($599)

Available in sizes XS to XXL

10. The North Face Stretch Down Parka

Slimmest Design

Most puffer coats and parkas are so chock full of down and insulation that it’s hard to retain full range of motion, let alone maintain any semblance of a waist. But this slim-fit parka from The North Face manages to deliver incredible warmth without turning you into a marshmallow. It comes with the brand’s highest warmth rating, and the baffled material is stretchy to allow for better movement despite a longer hemline. It’s also water resistant, and that comfy down hood is great for protecting your ears. Because this coat is meant to fit closer to the body, we recommend ordering your size based on your widest measurement for maximum comfort.

Buy it ($300)

Available in sizes XS to XL

11. The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket

Most Stylish

We adore this throwback North Face style, which was reissued last year and is back in the same retro hues you loved in 1996, plus a few more modern options. But more than just feeling trendy, this coat is also supremely warm. In fact, it comes with the brand’s highest warmth rating and is also water repellent, all while maintaining a lightweight feel that won’t bog you down. Our only gripe is that, while there is a removable hood to add more warmth around your ears and head, the cropped cut leaves your hips and booty exposed to the elements (unless you opt for a pair of insulated pants, too).

Buy it ($280)

Available in sizes XS to 3XL

12. Apparis Myra Coat

Warmest Faux Fur

Apparis makes some of the highest quality faux-fur coats out there—which is in itself a mega warm and animal-friendly material—but we’re big fans of this style in particular for two reasons. One is that big cozy hood, which can be pulled up to cover your ears and head for additional warmth without worrying about ruining your ‘do with a beanie. Second, it comes with a series of hook and eye closures at the front rather than a tie waist, like most faux-fur styles, meaning you don’t have to worry about your coat flying open should a cold gust of wind hit.

Buy it ($450)

Available in sizes XXS to XXL

13. Lululemon Another Mile Jacket

Best for Winter Runs

We’ll start by saying that, yes, it can absolutely be too cold for you to safely go for a run. But for the dedicated miler that still actually wants to head outside mid-February, this Lululemon topper will help keep you warm and dry, even as you approach 10° F. The outer shell is water repellent and the PrimaLoft insulation will continue to keep you nice and warm even when wet. It also comes with an extra fleecy dickie zipped into the collar for additional warmth on truly frigid days, but that can be removed once spring starts to creep in. We also deeply appreciate the reflective details which help identify you as a runner on the road, since you’re more likely to be running in the dark during winter’s shorter days.

Buy it ($228)

Available in sizes 0 to 14

RELATED: The Best Winter Running Gear, According to Those Who Regularly Brave Below Freezing Temperatures

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