Ten tips to ensure you get the warmest coat for your money this winter.

Are you looking to buy a winter coat? Do you feel the cold and and want to make a good investment in your warmth by choosing the right coat or jacket but don’t know where to start because there is so much choice?

This post may help you!

Here are some things to look for when choosing a WARM winter coat.

Last year, as someone who suffers pathetically in cold weather (think uncontrollable shaking, turning blue and actual pain in my lower back muscles) I researched winter coats – I still made a bad choice.

This year, having experienced a friends coat that changed everything, I have researched some more and am on the point of investing in my ultimate coat.

Last year, after a process of online research and doing a survey of friends opinions into ‘warm parkers for women’ – I decided to buy a parker from a Norwegian company called Didriksons at a cost of £270, the price of… well whatever you’d like to buy for £270.  It was a big spend for me but I’d done my research and figured, as an adult I easily get five years out of a good coat, that this coat was actually only £50 a year (or a £1 a week) and so a bargain!

I was impressed with the quality when it arrived (very late from Blacks) it was sheep-style fleece lined, with waterproof outer and fur trim and I liked the flattering fitted shape and the in-fashion khaki colour… It had built in wrist warmers, and was designed not to let the wind in. What I hadn’t realised at the time was the need to consider the type of insulation – I had gone for wind and waterproofing rather than insulation quality.

This year, still feeling the cold painfully and subsequently having been ‘diagnosed’ by ancestryDNA as more Iberian than English – I am back to the drawing board.


This is what I have found:


Ten tips to ensure you get the warmest coat for your money this winter.

1. The best insulation comes from Bird Down vs Synthetic.  Down is the fluffy underlay to feathers and is usually from ducks or geese. Real down is lighter and warmer than synthetic but synthetic is more water resistant than down.  Ask: ‘Is the insulation down or synthetic?

2. The best down for warmth is goose rather than duck –Ask: ‘Is it Goose Down or Duck Down?’

3. Choose only Responsibly Sourced Down (RSD) which is made from the down of birds already processed for the meat market therefore is a by-product rather than stripped from living birds who suffer pain, fright and sores from continuous stripping. Ask ‘Is it RSD?

4. If you are likely to get wet then consider synthetic insulation rather than down – it is not as warm but will withstand showers better – if warmth is still your priority ie. you want the highest level of warmth AND to be shower proof then ask if the down jacket has a water repellent coating. Some have others haven’t so do ask. If not, then you must buy a thin waterproof jacket to go over your down jacket. Some parkers have a down coat topped with a sturdy rain-proof outer shell. Ask: Is the outer fabric water resistant, water proof or neither?

5. Go for big chunky rolls of insulation rather than the fashionable diamonds or small thin flat rolls. The more compressed the down or synthetic fibre in the sections the less heat (air)  it will hold also the excess stitching will result in greater heat and feather loss through seams. Look at roll size and chunkiness and amount of stitching.

6. The tighter the weave of the outer fabric the fewer feathers will be lost too. Look at the tightness of the weave, ruffle the coat a bit, can you see any down poking through?

7. In the same way duvets are rated with togs, down jackets have ratings that (those who have bothered to list i.e. those who think their product is worth boasting about seem to range between 500 – 700) Always go higher than you think you need. Ask: What is the down rating?

8. Does the jacket just have  a pop-out shell hood? For an all round cocooned-in warm feel the hood should be insulated too. The neck of the jacket, which also should be insulated, should funnel right up to the hood so you can bury your face into it against the cold. Check the hood.

9. Its all well storing your built-up heat behind all that insulation but if the coat is not sealed at the base or waist and at the wrists and neck, the wind will blow it all out. The worst part of this is the wind will replace your warmth with cold air. Check Access points for wind

10. You will be spending a lot of time with this coat and relying on it so, like a good friend, you must love it! The colour, the fit, the style – will you actually enjoy wearing this coat? Can you look after it in the way it needs caring for? You will probably also be spending a fair bit of money on it! So, Ask: Do you love it?



Some of those jackets on the market at the moment that me