When winter arrives we are all rushing to put new jackets in our closets. In my experience, you can't go wrong with a down parka - they are lightweight, incredibly warm and you can often find them in a variety of colors, sizes and designs.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Women's Down Parkas
So, it will be easy for all of you to find something you like. In this review, we will check out the top ten down parkas for women that money can buy. We'll talk about their quality, sizing and all the additional features that they have.
What are you waiting for? Scroll down to find the best parka for women for the winter!
Columbia Sportswear Hexbreaker
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Beinia Valuker Puffer
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Colombia Heatzone Turbodown
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North Face Gotham Parka II
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Columbia Polar Freeze
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Jessie G. Down Parka
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Haven Cire Down Jacket
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Sportoli Quilted Down Jacket
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Marmot Montreaux Down Coat
BGSD Tisha Down Parka
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Now that you know what to look for, I'm pretty sure you have a good idea of what the perfect down parka for you looks like. So, let's check out the top ten options, and hopefully you will easily spot yours!
The Hexbreaker jacket is one of my favorite choices of all. It is incredibly lightweight, it has 80-20% ratio of down to feather, and it is filled with 7 ounces of 600 fill down insulation. The parka is 37” long across center back, and it is definitely long enough to keep you warm up to your knees. And it’s not even too expensive – only the Large version of the parka has a high price tag. All other sizes are under $150!
Now, I have to say that I don’t really like how this winter parka looks, in terms of how stylish it is. If I’m being 100% honest, it kind of looks like a quilted trash bag, due to the black shiny color. But that is just my opinion, and it is coming from someone who really doesn’t like wearing jackets at all. Also, it is pretty much the only bad thing I can say about this jacket. And since the winter parka is black, it will go nicely with everything else in your closet, and it won’t get dirty too easily.
There is a removable hood on this jacket that doesn’t have a faux fur trim. And the collar is so high that it will be snug around your neck and ensure that absolutely no cold can get inside it. In addition to that, the interior of the Hexbreaker features Columbia’s Omni-Heat technology, which retains body heat and reflects it, in order to keep you warm at all times. Overall, I would say that this jacket is a pretty good choice for really cold weather.
Most of the high-end parkas are pretty expensive. And that’s okay, because you are paying for quality and durability. But if you are on a budget and you’re trying to get a really warm coat at an affordable price tag, then I can’t recommend this one from Beinia enough. It’s under $100, which is perfect if you can’t afford to spend a lot. And it has a 90-10% down to feather ration, which will keep you really warm even when it’s below zero outside.
The jacket is mid-length (above the knees), so it’s not really the best choice for extreme colds – unless you’re okay with wearing multiple layers on your legs. But it is wind-proof and water resistant, and it’s great for some mild winters. Since it is not 100% waterproof, I would not recommend it for heavy rain.
One thing that I really like about this parka is that it is structured. That just shows that even large and bulky jackets like this one can look flattering on a women’s body – they just need to hug your curves. And the faux fur trim on the hood actually looks pretty stylish, in addition to being really high-quality. Plus the trim is removable, so you can always detach it if you don’t like it. Overall, this particular parka is an awesome affordable option, and if you decide to get it you will definitely get your money’s worth!
Are you perpetually cold? Do you need a parka that is the equivalent of a space heater? Do you want to feel warm even when skiing in sub-zero temperatures? If you do, then I’ve found the perfect jacket for you. This Columbia parka is filled with 900 fill power down – the warmest and highest quality down that exists. And that is in addition to their revolutionary Omni-Heat reflective lining.
This winter parka is so warm that you could basically wear t-shirt underneath it and still stay warm. As such, it’s great for people who live in areas where it tends to get extremely cold in the winter. Especially because it’s water-resistant, and it won’t get too wet in the snow. However, it’s definitely not a good choice for heavy rain.
It is a mid-length jacket, since it measures 35 inches across the center back. You get several zippered external pockets, and an internal one. Overall, this is probably the warmest jacket on the market. Especially in the category of sports jackets, since it is not too tight and it allows for mobility of your body. I’d say that the biggest downside to this jacket is its high price tag. But you would be getting it for life.
*Note: The Heatzone jacket is also available in a short version, which is a lot cheaper than the long version.
The Gotham parka is a great choice for really cold weather. For one this it is pretty long, and it measures 33” across center back. And it is also filled with some North Face synthetic insulation, in addition to the 550 fill down. Both of those promise to keep you really warm, even in the dead of winter.
The jacket is also hooded, which is always a bonus for me. But you can’t remove that hood, and that’s a downside in my opinion. Additionally, the Gotham parka features a full length front zipper, several zippered hand pockets and a really convenient media pocket inside. I’m a big fan of that last feature, since we all know how rare it is to find a good women’s jacket with internal pockets – for some reason, this feature is much more common on men’s jackets.
Overall, I would recommend this jacket for women who are looking for outerwear that will keep them warm even in some extreme temperatures. I wouldn’t recommend this for fall, since the winter parka isn’t 100% waterproof, and it’s not really ideal for heavy rain. But it’s great for snow and slush, if that’s what you are looking for.
When you see a parka that’s called ‘Polar Freeze’, you expect a lot from it. Or at least I do. And luckily, this Columbia parka does not disappoint! First, the down-feather ration is 80-20%, which is great for really cold weather. Second, the jacket is filled with 650 fill down that is high-quality and does an awesome job at keeping you warm. Especially since it is a really long coat.
In addition to that, this parka also features Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Heat lining. This is actually reflective and breathable material, designed to retain and reflect body heat, in order to keep you as warm as possible. But still not that warm that you will sweat bullets, which is the perfect middle ground.
One downside of this jacket is that the hood is pretty wide, and you can’t really tighten it. So, there’s a good chance that a really strong wind would just blow it off, which doesn’t make it too functional. But at least it is removable, if you prefer to wear hats or beanies. And there are also two large zippered pockets that great for both your necessities and just keeping your hands warm.
*Note: The Polar Freeze winter parka is also available in a short version, which would be a great choice for autumn. You can check it out on the link below.
The Jessie G. parka is another great affordable choice. It’s completely inexpensive, which makes it awesome for all of you are on a budget. And the 80-20% down to feather ratio means that it will keep you pretty warm in the cold, especially because down with 600 fill power was used for this jacket. It’s not too long (35”), but it does end just a little bit above the knee which is perfectly fine for winter.
I really like that the collar of this jacket is so high. That means that it will keep the cold from sneaking in, and that it will retain body heat pretty well. Plus, you also get a detachable hood with a faux fur trim – but keep in mind that the fur itself is not removable. So, you’ll either need to learn to love it, or loose the hood completely (if you generally don’t like faux fur trims).
The parka is water resistant, which means it’s fine to wear in some light rain or snow. But it is not waterproof and it’s not really a good choice for heavy rain. One more thing I don’t really like is that the external pockets are pretty small and they are not even zippered. But at least you get one interior pocket, which is so small most people never even notice it! It is in the upper left part of the parka, right next to the zipper.
The Haven down parka is a short jacket. The down-feather ratio is 60-40%, which means that it will keep you moderately warm. That is great for autumn weather, or if you live in a place where the winters aren’t ridiculously cold. Generally, short parkas have the advantage of being much lighter and easier to pack, which also makes them a good choice for travel. This will take up a lot less space in your suitcase then a full-length parka.
One thing I really like about this winter jacket is the faux fur inside the collar. It is not really visible when the parka is zipped up, and it will feel really soft on your skin. Plus it will do a great job at keeping you warm around your neck! Additionally, the pockets are lined with microfleece, and your hands will be snug and toasty inside them.
I am not a big fan of the design of the jacket – the shiny black polyester is just not my style. However, the color will definitely go with pretty much any outfit, which also makes it great for travel. And I actually love the cuffs – they have thumb holes that ensures they will stay in place no matter how much you move. Just keep in mind that the jacket runs small, so go one or two sizes up, depending on what you plan to wear underneath it.
If you are on the prowl for a mid-length parka, I think this one from Sportoli is one of the best ones you will find. For one thing, it is affordable and really lightweight, and it comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Everyone will be able to choose a version that fits their personal style best, which is always a bonus.
What I don’t like about this jacket is that the down-feather ratio is not stated anywhere. However, since it is a mid-length jacket, let’s just call it a moderate weather parka – it is definitely warm enough for autumn and some mild winters. And I really like the fact that the inside of the jacket is not only lined with fleece, but also features an inside vest. Which also means that there are two zippers – one on the vest and one on the jacket itself.
This is awesome for keeping you warm. In addition to that, it gives you an option to choose how you want to wear your winter jacket. If it’s kind of warm outside, you can always zip just the internal layer. And if it gets really cold, zip up both layers of the parka for ultimate protection from the cold. Overall it is a good choice, especially if you are looking for something affordable and stylish.
If you are looking for a coat that will keep you toasty warm no matter how cold it gets outside, I think this is just the one for you. For one thing, it is filled with 700 fill power down, which is really high on the quality scale. Plus it is a long parka – it measures 39 inches across center back, and it will cover the better part of your body.
One thing that you will love about this jacket is that it’s coated with DWR finish. So, it is pretty water resistant and it will manage to keep you warm even if you get wet. Oh and if you are still not convinced, consider the fact the torso area is lined with plush. Which pretty much means that you could wear a thin shirt underneath this winter jacket and still stay toasty in extreme cold – perfect for work!
You also have two zipped external pockets on this parka, as well as two internal pockets. Overall, this is definitely one of the best down parkas you can get for the winter. I also really like the fact that the collar is pretty high, so you won’t be cold even if you remove the hood. It is on the expensive side, but I think that it is worth every penny.
This is a really long down parka – one of the few that goes below your knees. It is actually 44 inches long across center back. As such, it’s perfect for all of you who are pretty much always cold, and turn on the heater in the chilly August days. And it’s not all in the length; the parka is filled with 80-20% down, which has the fill power of 600. Overall, those are some pretty warm specs right there!
One downside of this coat is that you can’t really choose a color – it is available just in black, and in the three basic sizes. But it does run true to size, so at least you shouldn’t have any issues getting the right fit. However, it is a bit tight in the chest, so you should order up if you need extra space in that area.
You get a couple of deep pockets on this parka, which don’t really have high-quality lining. It is polyester and it’s pretty thin, so it won’t keep your hands that warm. But I think you’ll like the closure of the jacket – it’s a long YKK zipper, plus a snap placket for double the warmth. Overall, this parka is a good affordable choice. It’s definitely not my top choice out of the bunch, but it will do a good job at keeping you warm in the winter, considering its price tag.
It’s no surprise that you can find hundreds and thousands of different iterations of the classic winter jacket. And that includes a cropped parka, which is ridiculous, I know. Talk about a non-functional piece of clothing, right!
But generally, there are two main parka lengths that you’ll find in most stores. You can choose between a short and a long parka, so let’s talk a little bit about that. A short parka ends a little above your hips, and it’s a good choice if you are looking for an autumn jacket. It will keep you warm even when the temperatures drop slightly below zero (Celsius), and if it’s cut right, it is really flattering to wear.
On the other hand, if you need a jacket for the dead of the winter, then definitely go for a long parka. And the longer the parka, the warmer you’ll be – if you live in a really cold area, your best bet is getting one that covers your knees.
Just think about your legs – a short parka will do nothing to keep your thighs warm. And unless you are okay with wearing three layers on them, you will freeze in extreme cold. This is coming from personal experience – as someone who despises wearing tights underneath pants even when it’s 15 degrees Celsius below zero, I’ve discovered that a knee-length parka is my best friend.
This goes without saying, but the more down your parka has, the warmer it’s going to be. The down-feather ration should be heavily in favour of the down for best results. Obviously, parkas that have a 90-10% ration of down-feather are the warmest and best parkas you can get. But keep in mind that they also tend to be more expensive that 60-40% parkas, so you will obviously need to pay more for a really warm jacket.
If you need a jacket for really cold weather, then definitely get a park with a high percentage of down. On the other hand, if you are looking for a jacket to wear in October and November, a 60-40% parka will keep you warm just fine.
I will do my best to list the percentage of down vs. feather in every jacket, so be sure to check out the product info boxes. And definitely choose a jacket according to the type of weather that you need it for!
You will notice that every jacket has a certain down fill power. And that actually refers to the quality of down in the jacket – fill power refers to the loft of a down product. So, if you see a jacket that has 400 down fill power, that means that one ounce of down can cover 400 cubic inches.
Naturally, the higher the fill power, the warmer your jacket is going to be. If you are on the prowl for a really warm jacket, definitely go for one that has a fill power higher than 650. They might be more expensive than jackets with 350 fill power, but they are also more comfortable to wear and much warmer.
One other thing to look out for is the weight of the down. Say a jacket has 5 ounces of 700 fill power down – the 5 ounces refer to the actual weight of down insulation inside your jacket. And, a jacket that has 10 ounces of 500 fill power down is going to be warmer than the previous one, simply because there is more insulation inside it, even if it’s lower quality.
You can look for this info in the product boxes below each review. Keep in mind that this is not stated with every jacket – some manufacturers tell you only about the down-feather ratio, while others only tell you about fill power, and only a few will list both.
Yes, down jackets are really warm on their own. However, lining still plays a big part in retaining body heat and keeping the cold out. Polyester and fleece are my personal favorites, just because they feel so soft and warm.
But, you will also see that some brands use their own patented technologies for the lining. Columbia, which is pretty much a champion of down jackets, uses Omni-Heat technology. This is lining that is made of little reflective dots that are designed to reflect your body heat and retain it inside the jacket. Which will keep you really warm, even in extreme colds. In fact, this technology is also used in their jackets for skiing, snowboarding and mountain climbing.
Other jackets will have a simple nylon lining, which won’t really do a great job at retaining body heat. Anyway, I will tell you about the type of lining in each parka in the product info boxes, so be sure to check those out.
Well that was a lot of women's down parkas. So, let's talk about the ones that stood out for all the right reasons!
My overall favorite is definitely the Columbia Hexbreaker parka. It has a high percentage of 600 fill power down in the insulation (80-20%), which will without a doubt keep you warm. Plus it is really lightweight and compact, so it is also a great choice for travel. And the addition of the Columbia proprietary Omni-Heat insulation will ensure that none of your own body heat can escape, even in sub-zero temperatures. Also, it is still great value for money, since this one of the cheaper Columbia jackets you'll find!
I would say that the overall best value is the Beinia Valuker parka. It is one of the most affordable parkas out of the bunch, but the low price does not mean low quality at all! The jacket has a ratio of 90-10% down to feather, which will keep you toasty even in some nasty cold temperatures. Plus it is a pretty stylish jacket, and you can choose from a variety of colors. Oh, and have I mentioned that sizes range from XS to 3XL, meaning that there is definitely something for everyone.
Without a doubt the warmest jacket is the Columbia Heatzone 1000 TurboDown parka. It features a unique combination 900 fill power down and Columbia's propriety synthetic insulation, in addition to the Omni-Heat reflective lining. It will keep you warm pretty much anywhere - except maybe the North Pole, but that's yet to be tested! It is a pricey jacket, but if you can afford it then I cannot recommend enough. You will use it for years to come, and your friends and family will beg you to loan it to them.
So, those are my top three choices. But keep in mind that all of the parkas featured in this review are really the best of the best, and any one of them will do a great job at protecting you from the cold this winter. You can check out their prices on Amazon - and you can snag a great deal on almost any one of them!
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!