The appeal of buying a winter parka is very real – you can imagine yourself as an explorer, hiking through vast canyons in knee-deep snow, living off of canned food and the warmth of your fire, and taking in life to the fullest.
The reality of it? You’re probably considering buying a winter coat, and parkas look cool. They have their uses, but it’s important to determine if a parka will actually be useful for you, or weigh you down – literally.
What makes a good parka?
A parka is a big coat with a lot of insulation. It usually extends past your waist, and 99% of the time, it’s hooded.
Because of its size and the amount of insulation, a parka is heavy. We’re not talking a big winter coat, here – we’re talking an enormous winter coat that will have a noticeable weight to it. You can’t just take it off and toss it over your shoulder.
A normal winter coat will have a couple ounces of insulation, whereas a parka will have substantially more than that – over a pound in most cases, which is 16 ounces. That might not seem like a lot in itself, but when you factor in the rest of the coat aside from the lining, you end up with something that’s heavy compared to the rest of your wardrobe.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
The weight and size of the parka is unmatched in terms of warmth and consistency. A lighter winter coat might be fine in mild winters, but during those blazing snowstorms where you can’t even get out of your driveway without doing a half hour of shoveling, they’ll protect you fully. You don’t risk snow infiltrating your outer layer at all.
But it’s not something that you throw on willy-nilly. Let’s imagine that you’re going out on the town, and it’s freezing outside. You put on your parka on top of your button up Polo shirt, and you’re completely warm until you enter wherever you’re going – maybe it’s a bar, or a restaurant, or a club… whatever.
Suddenly, you’re faced with a problem. You now have this hulk of a coat following you around all night. Most chairs won’t be able to hold it without it touching the ground, and you’ll look like a buffoon trying to finagle it with whatever else you’re doing.
The conclusion: why you’d get a parka
You want a parka for those circumstances that call for it, but nothing less than that.
If you live in a cold region and you get cold winters for a considerable amount of the year, then a parka is right up your alley. In fact, most of the people around you will be rocking them, so there will be accommodations for them – a coat room, for example.
But if you’re in a warmer climate and considering it for the “look”, don’t pull the trigger. You’ll end up with something that you never wear because of its bulkiness.