Buy It For Life: Winter Jackets

I woke up this morning to find the ground outside covered in snow. There isn’t a whole lot yet, but it’s coming. After all, I live in Montreal, Canada; the weather doesn’t mess about here. This is just the beginning.

Last year I managed to suffer through the frigid winter with a layering of heavy thermal long-sleeves and hoodies, but never again. This year I’m doing it right. I’ve spent the last few days researching winter jackets, and I’ve amassed a list of what I believe are some of the best winter jackets on the market. I want something I can buy once and have it last me “forever.” I want something so good, even Aaron Cross (The Bourne Legacy) would wear it.

Which Brands Are Best?

Remember Aaron Cross’ jacket in The Bourne Legacy? No, not the leather one, but the one he wore in all those arctic scenes? The jacket you saw is an Arc’teryx Alpha SV jacket. It just so happens that Arc’teryx makes some of the most advanced, rugged garments on Earth. So starting with Arc’teryx, here are some of the best winter jacket brands I’ve found through my research.

Arc’teryx – One of the best brands on the market, hands down. They’re extremely innovative, beautiful, and exceptionally well designed. They’re very expensive, but they’ll last you forever. They also happen to have the best best warranty in the business. Their products are covered for the practical lifetime of the product.

Outdoor Research – Excellent gear designed in Seattle, WA. Smart designs, good materials, and their gear tasting team “the lab rats” abuse their products like no one else. Climbers, skiers, and mountaineers, they punish their gear and then improve on it. They also have an excellent warranty.

Mountain Hardware – Though they’ve moved most of their manufacturing overseas, their high end stuff is still extremely impressive.

I’ve read that the “Ghost Whisperer” jackets are some of the best winter jackets created in the last 10 years. They’re lighter than almost anything on the market, and extremely insulating.

The Quality Dilemma

High quality winter jackets are expensive, no doubt about that. Arc’teryx in particular seems to top the charts, with jackets costing up to $1,000. It seems like a lot, but as I’ve been saying for years, there’s something to be said about buying an expensive thing once instead of a cheap thing over and over again.

I hope you found these suggestions useful, and if you have any additions of your own, please leave me a comment.




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I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

3 comments on “Buy It For Life: Winter Jackets”

  1. I too believe that Arc’Teryx is one of the better brands. I wear a Alpha LEAF Parka and a Atom Lt in colder weather with their Bravo AR gloves. One other brand I recently ran into and have now acquired is Triple Aught Design, (TAD). Their Stealth Hoodie over a Ranger Hoodie LT and a their merino wool henley keeps me warm down into the mid 20’s. Now I usually switch between the two depending on activity and weather.

  2. Recently a friend told me he spent $400 on his winter jacket, but he regrets nothing because its still perfectly intact after 5 years of constant use. I am researching the topic of buy it for life (“permabuy”) winter jackets and I stumbled upon your excellent post. A lot of useful info here.


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