Winter Coats with Primaloft Insulation

Has anyone had any experience with these? I’ve just had to replace an 8+ year old parka, and the two coats I ordered from LL Bean are light as all hell and don’t feel like they’d do the job. One is rated ‘Warmer’ and the other ‘Warmest’. Helpful.

I think the Warmest one will do the job and possibly be overkill. The Warmer one is more of a Carhartt type coat that is much more unique and nicer looking. But the bottom line is both feel insubstantial. Is this insulation just super thin and really good at its job?

I don’t think I have any experience with that specific type of insulation, but the absolute warmest article of clothing I own is an insulation-layer jacket that is roughly as think as a rugby shirt. I cannot wear it without sweating unless it is near or below freezing. I bought it for hiking / light mountaineering in the winter but have used it occasionally when outside for periods of time in more casual settings. It is standard for these types of clothing to be thin because they are meant to be layered.

So, fabric thickness is not the best judge of how warm it is going to be.

For example:

Thanks. I guess I’m just not down with the new technology. My older coats have a serious weight to them that says, “I will keep you warm.”

Thanks, now I want that hoodie.

I’ve worn Obermeyer coats for years here in #frozenyankeehellhole (aka Northern Vermont). Even when it’s -20 F (as long as you are sensible about layering) they are very warm, weather-resistant, have lots of cool pockets, and look good. You can get them for discounts if you go for a previous year’s model and shop around. Bought my latest one last summer, when it was a great time to buy winter stuff.

The whole point of primaloft is that it is less bulky. What temperature rating do you need? Pretty sure Bean defines those terms somewhere.

Also, land’s end has a solid sale going right now. I was looking for lightly insulated, waterproof, with a hood, which turned out to be harder than expected. Spent more than I’d intended, but got a jacket for half price that should be great.

If you like that, let me tell you about their shells! This is the absolute best article of clothing I’ve ever purchased in terms of how impressed and satisfied I am with it. If you’re looking to stay dry, match one of these to the activity and Poseidon (and/or whoever the snow god is) himself couldn’t bother you.

Edit: Fixing my wrong/janky links.

I have one of these:

It’s a 3-season puffy, but with layers performs fine down to well below freezing. It can be wetted in rain (unlike down) and still perform. And it weighs less than half a pount.

Why are they called shell jackets?

At least back in my more stupid/semi-athletic days, it was all about layering and these were the top layers. They were called hard and soft shells; hard shells were waterproof, soft shells more for warmth. Pretty sure that’s changed as materials sciences have advanced, however.

It’s a ‘shell’ because it protects you from the elements. These days, soft shells and hard shells perform the same function (as noted, keeping wind, snow, and water out) the difference being the soft shells are meant for more active scenarios (hiking, climbing, skiing, etc.) while hard shells are meant for periods of inactivity or severe weather. This is because soft shells are more breathable, but hard shells do a better job of keeping you dry. You also have the option of putting your hard shell over your soft shell in a pinch (a sudden wind storm or blizzard that the soft shell can’t handle and when it is not practical to remove the soft shell first). Increasingly, the line between them is becoming blurred, at least in most situations. I use a ‘hybrid’ that sits somewhere between and should suffice unless you are in a blizzard in the arctic or the Himalayas. Not that I do much hiking or mountaineering these days, but it works fine when out in the rain too.

They do not keep you warm, though. That’s what the insulation layer is for, so don’t go buying one of those if you are looking for an all-purpose winter coat or something. The layer beneath the insulation layer is the base layer, which wicks sweat away from your body. This is so you do not freeze to death from your own sweat, which happens more than you’d think!

Bean does define their warmth ratings. I was just so taken aback by how thin and light both coats felt. I’m just going to go with the Utility Parka I bought from them and add a layer, if needed. But I’ll keep the other coat that is rated as the Warmest on standby and return it if I decide I don’t need it.

OR … we’re all just tacos adding some welcome flavor and heat in the cold.

Anyone have advice on good gloves? Hiking and dog walking in the northern US where it’s going to be below freezing, windy, and occasionally wet.

I did get an arcteryx hoodie last month (Atom AR hoodie) and loved it so much I got one for the wife. Her review: “I’d never think to buy this, but it’s the nicest, warmest, most comfy coat I’ve ever owned.”

All we need now are gloves and we’ll be outside all winter.

I’d recommend looking at Black Diamond’s offerings. They are very high quality and do their job well. If you don’t need to move your fingers much, their shell gloves are perfect.

However, since you probably will want to move your fingers, you probably want something from their lightweight series which should give you good warmth and some protection from the elements. This should work unless you’re digging around in snow or walking around during an ice storm. That said, I don’t have any personal experience with their lightweights. There’s a pair of Eddie Bauer First Ascent lightweight gloves I love, but they’ve long since been discontinued (and that brand has gone all to hell). When I need to replace those though, I’ll probably get Black Diamond lightweights since I like their shell gloves so much.