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TFG readers have been asking, “What is the best winter coat to wear? Wool-based, down-filled, or non-down?” Here’s a round-up of the top women’s winter coats that encompasses all three, plus some tips on how to choose the right one for you!
Womens Winter Coats and Jackets
Written By: Niki Landry
Table Of Contents
TFG readers are always asking what are the warmest winter coats for women?
When it comes to buying a jacket for the cold months of travel, it depends on your activities and the severity of the weather you’ll encounter. One thing to note, when taking a trip in chilly weather it’s best to wear your heaviest items on the plane, such as your coat and boots, so that frees up space in your carryon suitcase.
But, to answer that question of which type of coat is best, let’s break it down:
- Down coat – When you plan on spending a lot more time outside or visiting a particularly frigid destination, down is a terrific option because it will always keep you warm and any wind or water-resistant properties will stave off chill and wet. Down coats are also more lightweight than other jackets, therefore, easier to roll and pack down! You can source a jacket that has the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), to ensure that the feathers were responsibly sourced. For a high-quality coat that will be warm and comfortable, seek one out that has a minimum 550-fill rating.
- Non-down coat – If down is not something you’d want to choose, you can opt for a well-insulated nylon or polyester coat that has been treated with weather protection. This could be wearable for more outdoor excursions like cross country skiing or out and about.
- Wool coat – While some wool-based jackets can feel heavy, a lightweight one that’s durable is a wonderful choice for city travel, where you may be in and out of places, and not doing tons of walking outside. Wool is naturally water-resistant too so when there is snow, you’ll stay dry. Another benefit of wool is how it looks—it’s timeless and adds polish to any winter wardrobe.
- Features of a coat – Always look for things like a hood (even better if detachable), sealed cuffs, and faux fur lining. Storage in a jacket is also important, so having interior pockets, as well as exterior ones, makes it easy to bring essentials.
While, yes, you’d probably be wearing your jacket on the plane, aim for something packable if you’re opting for a smaller coat, so in practice, you could squeeze it into a packing cube. If you want to check out some packable down jackets, visit this post!
Ultimately, layering beneath your coat and clothing will also help keep you warm, such as adding thermal underwear, silk underwear, a merino wool sweater or cashmere sweater. In fact, this is actually one of the secrets to traveling carryon only in winter. Choosing certain fabrics like merino is another pro travel strategy to packing light in the cold.
Layering strategically allows you to pack less without sacrificing warmth. Learn how to layer.
It’s important to note that bulky fabrics won’t necessarily make you feel warmer! You have to choose the right cold weather fabrics and layer your items strategically as explained below (and also check out the preparation video below too!).
Get started on preparing for winter travel with this video!
We also created a three-part YouTube series on packing light for winter travel that could be helpful to you. Below I’ve amassed a roundup of statement coats to inspire you to be bold and beautiful this winter.
You can also read these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
If you’re on the hunt for outerwear that’ll tick off all the boxes, take a look at these top winter coats women travelers return to again and again for their warmth and style factor!
Best Womens Down Winter Coats
Eddie Bauer Cirruslite Women Winter Coat (Regular, Petite, Tall, and Plus Sizes)
Lightweight and packable, the Eddie Bauer Cirruslite hooded winter coat is a toasty 650-fill made with responsibly sourced down and is water repellent due to the DWR finish.
The sturdy hood, zippered pockets, lightweight materials, and slim fit are the perfect ingredients for style and comfort while traveling.
A reviewer says, “It’s lightweight, and it seems like somehow it adjusts to regulate temperature because, on days that are just cool and not cold, I’m still comfortable in it. It has a flattering, feminine cut.”
Read this review to learn why we, and our readers, rave about Eddie Bauer’s waterproof jackets.
The North Face Arctic Womens Parka Winter Coat
Get ready to make tracks in the snow! This North Face down winter coat with fur hood is insulated with 550-fill goose down and made to handle serious winter weather. Readers who own it, vouch for its effectiveness.
Looks-wise, the jacket offers a removable hood, adjustable elastic at the waist, and a variety of different colors. While it has a slim look, fans of this coat say it fits well, with room enough to add layers underneath.
If you’re looking for an investment piece that you can wear daily, then the Arctic Parka is the jacket for you! You can grab this in sizes XS-3XL.
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Patagonia
Patagonia Silent Down Women’s Winter Coat
Whether you’re sipping piping hot cocoa in Lake Louise or filling your belly with steaming borscht in Moscow, these stylish winter coats from Patagonia will keep you warm and comfy for your travel experiences.
It has a slim fit, multiple color options, and is made from 100% recycled down, at a 700-fill power. You’ll definitely look chic and be super toasty at the same time!
This jacket can even withstand extreme temperatures and is fitting for active travelers. “I traveled to Iceland and needed a warm jacket. I hiked to a glacier and a lot of waterfalls with a variety of weather and this worked for me.” This is available in some great basic neutrals and sizes XS-XL.
TFG readers rate these winter down parkas as the warmest for cold weather!
Shop XS-3X: Amazon
Marmot Packable Down Long Winter Coats Style
This Marmot knee-length down jacket could be the warmest womens winter coat that’s actually lightweight! With high-quality down, a detachable, faux-fur hood, and microfleece cuffs, this traps heat in all the right areas.
A versatile jacket that can handle rain, wind, or snow, it can easily be layered with cozy sweaters and thermals underneath. The sizing ranges from XS-XXL and 1X-3X, and comes in a variety of pretty colors to pick from!
One reviewer happily shares, “This coat is AMAZING!! It’s so sooo warm, soft, and lightweight. And it’s actually flattering which was a bonus since I was really just looking for the warmest I could find. I would absolutely recommend this coat!”
Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Long Winter Coats Womens Style (Regular, Petite, Tall, and Plus Sizes)
This best-selling Eddie Bauer Sun Valley long winter coat is ideal when you need more leg coverage and it delivers with a plethora of features! Made with a moisture resistant DWR finish, it comes with a chic, detachable faux fur hood, two secure zip pockets for safekeeping items, and super warm fleece-lined pockets.
When it comes to long winter coats for women, you heard it here ladies… one happy user says, “It’s comfortable and stylish! It’s hard to find a parka that doesn’t look like you’re wearing a sleeping bag. This is it.”
It boasts flattering lines that will keep you fashionably toasty for many cold trips to come! It’s offered in rich neutrals and sizes regular (XS-XXL), petite (XS-XL) tall (M-XXL), and plus sizes (1X-3X).
Whether you’re hiking the snow trails, snowshoeing, or exploring some parks by foot or on cross-country skis, these outdoor jackets will keep you warm in frigid weather.
Best Womens Insulated Winter Coats (Non-Down)
Shop Sizes XS-3X: Amazon
Editor’s Pick: Columbia Carson Pass II Womens Winter Coat (Regular and Plus Sizes)
The Columbia Carson Pass II is one of the most popular ladies winter coats on the blog! It’s durable and water-resistant, which makes it perfect for adventurous trips and cold, wet weather. And since the fabric is reinforced, it won’t easily rip or snag!
It’s waterproof and breathable at the same time, so it doesn’t feel too bulky to pack. The adjustable storm hood keeps you covered yet on those chilly-sunny days you can easily remove it.
Alex feeling cozy in her Columbia Jacket
Editor-in-chief Alex offers a mini-review, “I wore it myself during my National Parks road trip earlier this year when I transitioned from chilly Colorado to more desert climates like Vegas and Utah, and it kept me SOO warm!”
Overall, it has a modern but classic fit, which means it’s suitable for a range of motion and is ideal to wear outdoors to explore or hike around.
A reviewer agrees with how awesome this jacket is. “I love this! it’s very warm and waterproof. I love the look of the belt and how you cinch it so you actually have a defined waist and it’s a good length so you get more coverage. The hood is nice and deep and can be better secured using the buttons at the neck and the hood can be removed. This is a quality winter parka!”
Available in numerous colors and sizes XS-XXL and 1X-3X, right here.
If you want to read more about the Columbia Carson Pass II jacket, see our review!
Columbia Heavenly Womens Hooded Winter Coats (Regular and Plus Sizes)
A women long winter coat like this Columbia pick is the way to go if you want extra coverage for a snowy Alaskan adventure or to tour the European Christmas markets. Equipped with their trademark Omni-Heat, it’s made to keep warmth in, repels water, wind, and rain yet remains breathable as you walk around and your body begins to heat up.
Besides the flattering silhouette that fits a variety of women, it’s extra toasty with a fleece-lined hood and collar, and thumbholes to keep hands warm (but don’t forget gloves!). And don’t fret about storage, because there are plenty of pockets, both a secure interior pocket and zippered external ones to hold all your winter essentials!
This highly popular jacket comes in sizes XS-XXL and 1X-3X, and in numerous lovely colors!
Alpine North Womens Winter Coats Parka Style (Plus Size)
This Alpine North winter coat women pick is a non-down alternative that has 100% polyester fill in a cotton-polyester shell that’s designed to keep heat inside. You can stay toasty up to -22° F (-30°C) and dry as it also has a water repellent finish.
Ideal for anyone on-the-go, this coat is full of handy pockets to store possessions like your phone, cash, cards, and keys. There are four front pockets, one sleeve pocket, and two interior pockets.
This brand is based out of Montreal, Canada, and knows cold winters but has also made a flattering, non-bulky-looking jacket and the faux fur trim adds extra oomph. A review says, “ Love this coat. It’s super warm, waterproof, comfortable, and of high quality, It’s a flattering fit and the perfect length. Expect lots of compliments – I’ve had several people ask where I got it.”
Some reviews say this coat is a little heavier than a down version might be, but also reiterate it’s very warm and worth it! Comes in sizes 1X-4X and in five gorgeous colors.
Best Womens Wool Winter Coats
Shop Sizes 0-16: Nordstrom
Lauren Ralph Lauren Womens Wool Winter Coat
This sturdy, chic, and single-breasted Lauren Ralph Lauren long winter coat women style is resilient enough to withstand the blustery wind strolling Michigan Avenue in Chicago (while looking cute doing so!).
The rich wool blend will keep you ultra warm, and the deep front pockets can be used as an extra layer of protection to either keep your hands warm or keep your phone securely snug.
A satisfied user notes, “Love this coat! The neutral color allows me to pair it with anything. With cinched wrists and a hood, this heavier coat is great for cold winters. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great jacket to wear all season.” You can get this in sizes 0-16.
Shop Sizes 0-16: Nordstrom
Sam Edelman Womens Long Winter Coat With Notch Collar
For something completely versatile, the Sam Edelman long winter coat has a sleek notched collar that looks flattering while keeping you warm, being a wool blend. It’s a classic look with modern touches and would last year after year.
There’s enough room beneath to layer with a sweater or cardigan, but not appear or feel bulky. One happy purchaser doesn’t mince praise, “I love it and feel fab wearing this coat!” This cute number is available in sizes 0-16 and has three colors to choose from.
Here are even more cozy wool coats that our readers adore!
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Amazon
London Fog Double Breasted Womans Winter Coat
If you’re seeking versatile and warm fashionable winter coats, this London Fog wool coat lacks any boxy tailoring and has a nice cinch in the waist, as well as two front buttons that give it a swing-coat look. It’s long enough to keep you cozy through the coldest months, and you can easily pop thermals and a merino wool sweater underneath on particularly chilly days.
If wool can be irritating on your skin, you’ll be excited to know that the blended material of this coat is soft, while still maintaining that classically tailored pea coat styling. “Really nice soft material,” says one review. While another woman notes, “Looks great and can be dressed down or up!”
Comes in sizes XS-XL and in some gorgeous neutrals to liven up your winter wardrobe!
Women Winter Coats Product Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Best Womens Down Winter Coats|
|Eddie Bauer Cirruslite Women Winter Coat (Regular, Petite, Tall, and Plus Sizes)||“It’s lightweight, and it seems like somehow it adjusts to regulate temperature because on days that are just cool and not cold, I’m still comfortable in it. It has a flattering, feminine cut.”||Check Price|
|The North Face Arctic Womens Parka Winter Coat||If you’re looking for an investment piece that you can wear daily, then the Arctic Parka is the jacket for you!||Check Price|
|Patagonia Silent Down Women’s Winter Coat||“I traveled to Iceland and needed a warm jacket. I hiked to a glacier and a lot of waterfalls with a variety of weather and this worked for me.”||Check Price|
|Marmot Packable Down Long Winter Coats Style||“This coat is AMAZING!! It’s so sooo warm, soft, and lightweight. And it’s actually flattering which was a bonus since I was really just looking for the warmest I could find.”||Check Price|
|Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Long Winter Coats Womens Style (Regular, Petite, Tall, and Plus Sizes)||“It's comfortable and stylish! It's hard to find a parka that doesn't look like you're wearing a sleeping bag. This is it.”||Check Price|
|Best Womens Insulated Winter Coats (Non-Down)|
|Editor’s Pick: Columbia Carson Pass II Womens Winter Coat (Regular and Plus Sizes)||It’s durable and water-resistant, which makes it perfect for adventurous trips and cold, wet weather. And since the fabric is reinforced, it won’t easily rip or snag!||Check Price|
|Columbia Heavenly Womens Hooded Winter Coats (Regular and Plus Sizes)||Equipped with their trademark Omni-Heat, it’s made to keep warmth in, repels water, wind, and rain yet remains breathable as you walk around and your body begins to heat up.||Check Price|
|Alpine North Womens Winter Coats Parka Style (Plus Size)||This Alpine North winter coat women pick is a non-down alternative that has 100% polyester fill in a cotton-polyester shell that’s designed to keep heat inside.||Check Price|
|Best Womens Wool Winter Coats|
|Lauren Ralph Lauren Womens Wool Winter Coat||“With cinched wrists and a hood, this heavier coat is great for cold winters. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great jacket to wear all season.”||Check Price|
|Sam Edelman Womens Long Winter Coat With Notch Collar||“I love it and feel fab wearing this coat!”||Check Price|
|London Fog Double Breasted Womans Winter Coat||“Looks great and can be dressed down or up!”||Check Price|
Final Tips on Choosing a Winter Coat
A jacket is one of the most important things you can choose for a trip, especially when encountering rain, cold, and snow, so it has to be of decent quality to withstand the elements and keep you warm and dry.
While on a winter trip to Paris, there was a two-hour wait to enter the Catacombs, even with tickets! I observed countless travelers shivering in misery as we stood in line in the pouring rain with 40℉ weather.
One girl said, “This sucks,” as she stood in line behind me, wearing a light military jacket, capri leggings, and white knit sneakers. She was one of many visitors unprepared for the wintery Paris weather. However, I was prepared! My Columbia Carson Jacket kept me warm and dry while waiting in the rain and cold. (Learn more about this excellent jacket in my review.)
The proper clothing for winter is vital, which encompasses more than coats. You can get more tips in the video below on the right clothing to blend with outwear, including the awesome Columbia Carson Pass II jacket which works well with winter fabrics.
Learn our hacks with packing cubes in the video above!
How Editor-In-Chief Alex Rocks Cute Winter Coats
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A waterproof jacket is surely a must have item when traveling; getting caught in the rain with no appropriate cover up can be a nightmare. ?️ If you’re in need of inspiration for this season’s best waterproof jackets, look no further -> http://bit.ly/2QM09sH Check out more of our winter clothing tips over on the blog! ? #TravelFashionGirl #WinterPacking #WinterCoat
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One of my favorite ways to have fun with winter fashion is through accessories! They make it easy to add your own personal touch of color, print or pattern to your cold weather wardrobe. For tips on how to play up your look, check out my roundup of best winter accessories for travel here! -> https://bit.ly/2V3NpNm For additional layering and winter packing tips, (because no matter how cute your accessories are, they won’t matter if you’re freezing at the same time!) check out my cold weather packing list here -> https://bit.ly/2G24PX4 What’s your favorite type of winter accessory? Beanies? Scarves? A cute pair of gloves? Let me know in the comments below! #TravelFashionGirl
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SO excited to be in NYC for @womenstravelfest 2019! ❤️❤️ In addition to going to the event and mingling with so many fabulous blogger, I’m honored to be one of their speakers this upcoming Sunday. I had some free time today so I spent the day taking in quintessential NY sights, such as Central Park, Times Square and Rockefeller Center! Layers were a must with the chilly temps – a faux fur vest, sturdy coat, black H&M blouse and J. Crew’s Tippi merino sweater underneath everything did the job perfectly. Major thanks to @trvlporter for curating the perfect NYC looks! Are you going to Women’s Travel Fest? Have any sights in NYC you suggest? Let me know in the comments! #wtfest19 http://liketk.it/2An8T #liketkit @liketoknow.it
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Just came back from a quick weekend trip to Paris and I'm more in love with the city than ever before! ? Due to the extremely cold weather, I made sure to bundle up in my thickest blanket scarves, thermals, hats, scarves and a waterproof jacket. I also stuck to a neutral color palette (with the exception of the suitcase, of course!) and quickly noticed that local outfits followed the same route. Such a great trip overall – full post and video coming soon!
What are your tips on finding the best winter coats? Please share in the comments below!
For more winter fashion tips, please read:
- How to Pack for Cold Weather Like a Boss
- Best Winter jackets for Outdoor Adventures
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather
- Best Waterproof Boots for Travel this Season
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Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs. nikilandry.com nikilandrydesigns niki-landry-designs-llc