Looking for winter jacket advice

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  samiam32 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #29777

    Rob
    Keymaster

    Looking for winter jacket advice

    #29778

    samiam32

    If you’re from a tropical country, note that to combat the cold, you will want more than just a jacket/coat. You will want warm socks, gloves, hat, and maybe a scarf. Folks from warm climates tend to run colder when they come up north… but with the right clothes, you’ll be in good shape.

    #29779

    septicgeek

    Hello, this is my first time posting here so please let me know if I make a mistake.

    I am going to be starting University in the US (located in New Jersey) this January. Since I live in a tropical country I have little to no experience buying a winter jacket. The region I am moving to experiences regular snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. My budget is around 100-200 USD (I am not sure if this budget is too low, like I said I have 0 experience buying winter clothing. But if possible I would like to remain in this price range). I have a friend in the US who is travelling home (to my country) so shipping is no issue.

    Advice regarding sizing – I understand people buy larger sizes since they wear layers – is appreciated. Any other advice/suggestions are welcome too!

    Thanks in advance!

    Before reporting me for reposting a question whose answers exist please consider that all those answers are either out of my budget or don’t explain the basics of choosing a winter jacket.

    #29780

    snicub

    I’m from nj! Which college are you going to if you don’t mind me asking? Also, your budget is fine and I think that uniqlo’s ultra warm down jacket will fit your needs. Super dry also has good jackets.

    #29781

    Orange-V-Apple

    **RUTGERS**: Former Rutgers student here. Rutgers is uniquely annoying in that it has four campuses, so to get to your classes you’re forced to take buses between the campuses. So unlike a lot of colleges where you just walk or bike to your classes, at Rutgers you have to wait for buses, and often the bus will be full so you have to time it right to get one that has space. This means you’re not only walking everywhere like a normal college but you’re also standing still anywhere from 5 minutes to 35 minutes. You’re gonna get cold standing still, so just popping on a jacket like you would anywhere else is not going to cut it. You’re going to have to layer up.

    **TORSO LAYERING**: You might want to wear an inner layer, Uniqlo’s Heattech undershirts might do the trick. This next to skin layer will keep you warmest I think. Then wear a t shirt, long sleeve t, or button up shirt. Wear a sweater or hoodie over that, and then your jacket. I tend to just wear the three layers. The hoodie/sweater layer is very important. A lot of people just put a jacket on over a shirt but that won’t cut it here.

    **LEGS AND FEET**: You’re going to have to layer up for your legs and feet as well. Your legs will feel cold because they’re not as covered up as your torso. You could buy wool pants or heavyweight jeans or corduroys, pants suited for winter, but honestly just buy some Heattech tights from Uniqlo and wear them under your regular chinos and jeans, they should keep you relatively warm. Socks are also VERY important. Swapping out my cotton socks for merino wool socks was one of the biggest quality of life changes I’d made at Rutgers. They’ll keep you warmer but will also wick away sweat, and they’re really comfy. They also will prevent your feet from overheating. They can be a bit expensive so you’ll most likely have to upgrade your socks one pair at a time. Darn Tough is the go to brand on this sub but People Socks can be bought on Amazon for cheaper if you need some socks to start with as you save up for the good stuff.

    **SHOES**: For shoes you’ll want to wear sneakers that aren’t mesh, Ultraboost and Flyknits are not ideal. If possible try and alternate between two pairs of sneakers or shoes, they’ll last much longer.

    **HEAD AND NECK**: Scarves add a lot of warmth by covering the cold space around your neck and chest, but hats aren’t necessary if your jacket has a hood.

    **JACKETS**: Alright so the point of all of that was to show you that dressing for the cold, especially at Rutgers, is more of a system than an individual jacket. When it comes to jackets, though, you’re going to want down. It’s pretty much the warmest thing you can get and a parka is the warmest form you can get it in. It’ll cover your butt and thighs, which can get quite cold, and the hood is a life saver. It can be a bit bulky, especially when you’re on the bus, but that’s the trade off. In class you’re probably just going to have to sit on your jacket. I actually asked for jacket advice a while back because I’m a coldboi so [here’s that thread with some good recommendations](https://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/77xi6g/perpetually_cold_college_student_looking_for/). Uniqlo has some nice low profile slim jackets this season, I like the look of the seamless down parkas. FYI I keep recommending Uniqlo because they have affordable clothing that’s quality.

    **WRAP UP**: Dressing for the weather is more than just a jacket, and you’ll be warmer if you spread your money around to these different areas. Jacket and hoodie/sweater should be top priority. Also, I wouldn’t bike around Rutgers, you’ll have to load your bike on to the bus because the campuses are too far apart. Also also, Rutgers football sucks, that other guy is smoking. My freshman year we set the record for biggest loss in a D1 game twice, week after week.

    Edit: forgot to mention I have the Eddie Bauer Superior Down Parka in black. It’s fine but it’s quite bulky (not fashionable) and is only worth it at half price. A less heavy duty jacket with layering will serve you better I think but if you’re really cold the Eddie Bauer will serve you pretty well.

    #29782

    Miguel3962

    Peacoats are very versatile from formal to casual and I think they’re a very stylish option, go for a classic navy color if you are thinking of buying one

    #29783

    Estebanzo

    I’d personally split winter jackets into two general categories: performance jackets and casual/fashion jackets.

    Performance jackets are what you find at a typical outdoor recreation focused brand – stuff like Patagonia, North Face, Marmot, REI, etc. There’s some advantages and disadvantages with performance gear. One big advantage is that, while fashion/casual jackets have plenty of warm options, performance gear is going to offer similar warmth with significantly less bulk/weight, because a lot of this gear is designed for use where keeping weight low is important (like alpine backpacking). That means it’s going to be very easy for you to pack down your gear, which is pretty useful being able to just toss your jacket in your backpack or bookbag as a college student.

    Another advantage is that performance gear tends to offer a lot of warmth while still being pretty breathable – keeping you more comfortable while active (like biking to class). For wet snow, there’s great options on the performance orientated jackets for waterproofing with light, breathable fabrics. I’m not familiar with New Jersey climate, but guessing what I’ve heard about East Coast winters, they tend to be both cold and wet. In these conditions, performance gear is going to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable – especially while being active – in a way that fashion coats will not be able to compete with. And then when you get to class, it’s easy to pack this sort of stuff down into your bag.

    Advantages of casual/fashion coats – I guess the obvious one here is fashion. But besides style, I’d say generally good quality casual coats tend to be longer lasting than performance gear. Lots of performance gear uses fabrics that sometimes have to sacrifice durability for being lower weight and less restrictive/bulky. As a contrast, a heavy duty wool coat or casual parka can last decades.

    If it were me, I think performance orientated jackets make more sense for a college student. It’s just going to be more practical to keep a packable puffer jacket in your bag for whenever you need it and not have to lug around a big heavy coat all the time.

    I’d recommend checking out the jackets recommended on this website. There’s some recommendations here that are way overkill for what you need, but there’s great options in your $100 -$200 price range.

    [Down Jackets](https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-down-jackets). Packable, lightweight, warm. I have a marmot down jacket that pretty much has covered me in any non-backcountry or skiing situation, living in the mountains in Colorado. These are a great all around choice. Usually not very water or wind resistant option, but you get a hard shell to toss over your down jacket and you’ll be pretty solid for any kind of weather.

    [Overall winter jackets](https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-winter-jackets). Mix of more casual and performance options here.

    Consider looking at used gear in decent condition to save on budget, like Patagonia’s [Worn Wear](https://wornwear.patagonia.com/) website.

    #29784

    tim12602

    NJ Represent!!

    #29785

    Onyxcrest

    If you’re looking for a cheap warm jacket I def recommend uniqlo ultra warm down jacket. I go to school in upstate New York and it kept me warm in less than 30 degree weather. I’m 5’9 and 140 pounds and the xs has a slim fit on me

    #29786

    Washableaxe

    Check Eddie Bauer. They are running big sales now. You could get a parka for under $200.

    #29787

    BFfF3

    Just like orange said, LAYERS. And tuck in your first two layers of shirts. You’d be surprised how much warmer you can be by simply tucking in your shirt! And scarfs are cheap and can really help along with a hoodie.

    #29788

    DevilishGainz

    North face parkas

    #29789

    keepcalm86

    Canada Goose!!

    GET THE GOOSE BABY YEA!

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