If you live in Victoria, you’re used to relatively mild weather. Chances are you own a rain jacket — but perhaps not a winter jacket. If you want to travel to a colder climate, go skiing, or stay warm during those few weeks a year when we actually feel the arctic chill, you’re going to need to invest in a proper winter jacket. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as going to a store and choosing one that looks pretty — there are a few more things to think about before you go shopping. Here are some factors to consider for how to choose the right winter jacket.
Think of What You’re Going To Do
The type of jacket you want will depend on what activity you plan to perform while wearing it. For example, your needs for casual winter outerwear will be entirely different than a proper coat designed for winter sports.
Go for a thicker, more insulated jacket for walking around town and doing light outdoor exercise. Alternatively, participating in active movement will increase your temperature. Therefore, it’s a better idea to get a lighter jacket and wear layers underneath.
Look at The Outer Shell
Since you’ll likely be outside in the rain or snow at some point, you’ll want a coat with an outer shell you can trust to keep you dry. Here are a few terms to determine how a shell will perform and which option will best suit your needs:
- Water Resistant: Suitable for wear in light rain for short periods of time.
- Waterproof: Designed with sealed seams to prevent leaks during heavy rainfall. If you choose a waterproof jacket, check for details on the type of seal it has to find your ideal option.
- Fully Seam Sealed: No leaks here! Tightly sealed seams ensure a completely waterproof shell.
- Critical Seams Sealed : Any exposed seams, such as those on the shoulders, back, and front are sealed — but the rest are not. Additionally, look for wind flaps and a higher collar to give additional protection against extra cold and wet conditions.
Look at The Liner
The inner part of the jacket is what has contact with your skin, and it makes more of a difference than you may think! Look for fleece or moisture-wicking material for an extra layer of warmth. Moisture-wicking materials are incredibly useful for pulling away sweat and keeping you dry, but also for sealing in warmth.
Beware of synthetic materials such as polyester, which will only overheat you and make you sweat. Plus, they can get smelly! If you’re using your winter coat for multipurpose wear, consider a three-in-one jacket. This means you can unzip the liner and wear it separately or together with the shell.
Think About What Features You Require
There are many extra features you may want in a winter jacket. Here are some ideas to keep in mind for your next shopping trip:
- Pockets: Look for deep pockets with zippers and flaps to keep your items safe and dry.
- A Hood: Some people prefer to wear a separate ski mask, helmet, or hat, so they don’t require a hood. That said, most winter jackets come with a built-in hood, so you’ll need to check further for its functionality. Look for adjustability and lining to make sure you get the fit you want.
- Packability: If you want to travel light, or if your activities require frequently taking your coat on and off, you’ll want to stay away from a bulky winter jacket. Look for foldable outerwear options that fit into a small bag to make your life easier.
Visit Capital Iron!
At Capital Iron, we highly recommend the Columbia OutDry line of jackets for both men and women. We have the largest colour selection on all of Vancouver Island! Come on in to one of our convenient locations and take a look. And if you have any questions, our friendly staff is always available to assist you.