Ladies – Stay Warm, Dry & Stylish This Winter…

WARNING: The following blog contains usage of the word coat/jacket interchangeably. I’m aware that a jacket is slightly different to a coat, but when something you’d describe as a ‘coat’ is named as a ‘jacket’ (and vice versa) by the manufacturer you start to get confused and give up ūüėČ

We’re all familiar with the idea of ‘function versus fashion’. A winter coat needs to be functional; it needs to keep the wearer warm, dry, and comfortable.

That doesn’t mean that your winter coat can’t also be fashionable.¬†It is possible to look good while¬†remaining comfortable¬†if you’re out in town shopping or taking a brisk morning walk in the crisp winter. These winter coats tick all the boxes.

This is our list of great looking, practical coats for women this winter. If we may, we’d like to share these with you…

Merrell Women’s Haven Coat


Colour(s): Black, Cinder

Sizing:¬†10-16, 33.5″ Back length (medium)

Materials: ‘Opti Warm’ synthetic insulation, 100% polyester with DWR wall¬†repellent¬†coating

What Merrell have done, in their own words, is to¬†‘combine the look of a harbour coat with the reliable warmth of a winter parka‘¬†to create the¬†Haven.

The Haven is one of our most popular jackets in store and it’s easy to see why.¬†Slimly cut, what stands out about the Haven is it’s looks and sense of style. This is a stunning looking coat that wouldn’t be out of place around the town, closer to nature, or anywhere in between.¬†The ‘toggle’ design, combined with the button cuff and stitching detail, is a really elegant look that simply doesn’t go out of fashion.

It’s filled with 150g of ‘Opti-Warm’ synthetic insulation. Combined with fleece lined hand warming pockets, ribbed cuffs and collar to keep drafts out, quilted liner and a soft chin guard, you’ll definitely stay warm when out in the cold.

Although it’s not fully water proof, the water resistant outer material will protect against all but the very worst rain showers. I’ve spoken to several people that own the jacket and they do not worry about being out in the rain with it, as any water beads off effortlessly.

The brilliance of this jacket is further underlined in its myriad of practical features. Deep snap close pockets, a secure internal zipped pocket for your mp3 player or phone, a two way zip (where you can zip down from the top and up from the bottom!), extra large hood with space to wear a hat underneath and keep the elements out, are just some of the elements that combine to create a stylish, robust and practical coat that should last for years to come.

The North Face Women’s Brooklyn Jacket.

Colour(s): Brunette Brown, Graphite Grey.
Sizing: 10 Р16
Materials: 550 fill Goose down filling, HyVent weatherproof outer shell.

You could think of this as the women’s equivalent of the¬†McMurdo Jacket¬†– the materials used as the same, but the fit is completely different and the jacket has a shaped cut designed to flatter the figure.As The North Face themselves say, this is a ‘deceptively technical jacket’.¬†The Brooklyn Jacket¬†is a classic winter parka that’s filled with a 550 fill power goose down to keep the wearer toasty warm. To protect the down insulation, the Brooklyn has a HyVent shell. It’s totally weatherproof. Waterproof, seam sealed and breathable.

The coat features ‘napoleon’ pockets, hand warmer pockets, and internal security pocket – lots of pockets!¬†The hood is adjustable, detachable and fully insulated – the faux fur trim is also detachable via a zip.¬†There’s an attached fabric belt with branded buckle, a two way zip; and you’ll also find a fleece in the cuffs to protect against the wind and keep those arms warm!To my mind this would be the warmest of all the coats that we’re showcasing here. The goose down filling is the best natural insulation bar none. If you’d like to know more about down, take a look at my blog post on Rab jackets from back in October.Merrell Women’s Wakefield Insulated Jacket

Colour(s): Black, Tuscan Heather, Charcoal Heather
Sizing:¬†10-16, 36″ Back length (medium)
Materials:¬†‘Opti-Warm’ synthetic insulation, ‘Opti-Shell’ two layer outer material.

The Merrell Wakefield is one of our best selling women’s outdoor coats, if not the best selling. The appeal lies in it’s¬†urban styling and a great flattering fit and the fact that it’s long, nicely cut, warm, waterproof; and comfortable.

The Wakefield comes in two versions, a standard model and an insulated model. The insulated version comes with Merrell’s own ‘Opti-Warm’ technology, a lightweight, low bulk, synthetic insulation that will keep you cosy and warm.

Both jackets use Merrell’s own ‘Opti-Shell’ outer material. A fully waterproof, breathable two layer shell with taped seams that will keep you dry and comfortable.

Features include hand warmer pockets, snap adjustable cuffs, an internal zip protected pocket where, for example, a well known brand of mp3 player could be stored. The contoured hood is both adjustable and removable.

This coat is quite possibly the ultimate in style, practicality and performance.

The North Face Women’s Arctic Parka

Colour(s): Brunette Brown, Black
Sizing: 8-16, 38″ Back length (medium)
Materials: 550 fill goose down filling, Nylon herringbone HyVent 2L.

Finally, The North Face Women’s Arctic Parka. Like the Brooklyn, this is a fully waterproof, down insulated jacket. Also like the Brooklyn, it uses TNF’s own robust HyVent membrane which¬†repels¬†rain, and snow while at the same time allowing moisture to escape from the inside to keep the wearer warm and comfortable.

Other features you’ll find on the Arctic Parka include deep chest, side, and internal pockets to keep items safe and secure, ribbed cuffs and collar to keep cold drafts out, a detachable, adjustable insulated hood with detachable faux fir trim.¬†

Where this does differ most starkly from The Brooklyn is in its look. The Arctic Parka is a much longer cut, with a cleaner minimalist appearance that is both sophisticated and stylish. In terms of materials and features this jacket is very similar to the Brooklyn, so it really depends on what look you prefer.

Others to Consider:

If none of those float your boat then it’s also worth considering Berghaus’ Long Glissade, which is slightly more ‘functional’ in appearance, but just as effective at keeping the elements away. With a zipped in IA fleece (available separately) you’ll stay warm in the winter and have flexibility in the warmer months.

If you like the materials and features of The North Face’s jackets look into The North Face Women’s Grace Jacket¬†and¬†The North Face Women’s Boulevard.¬†The Grace is a jacket with metropolitan design features, while the Boulevard is a modern take on the retro Pea Coat look, featuring a double breasted button closure. It is the only one of the jacket featured in this blog that uses the PrimaLoft One insulation – a highly technical, synthetic insulation that will keep the wearer warm at all times. Both of these jackets utilise TNF’s well known robust highly technical fabrics and weather protection in different styles than those that have been featured above.¬†

Hopefully this little guide will give you some food for thought when looking into a getting a nice warm winter jacket. This list is full of great products that will keep you warm, dry and looking good over the cold winter months!

Don’t hesitate to visit any of our stores to try on these jackets and talk to experts who you know about our products inside out. If you don’t fancy leaving the house (because you haven’t yet got your new jacket and it’s too cold!) you can also call our webstore line and chat to friendly, knowledgeable staff who know their onions.

Until then, stay warm this winter!

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To chat to outdoor enthusiasts and experts on our product ranges visit our stores in Taunton, Exeter, or Bristol. They give pretty good customer service too!  

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1 Response

  1. I like North Face Women's Arctic Parka's coat, its simple yet elegant and perfect for the winter. Plus the fact that its hood is detachable, this really can make a fashion statement. Happy 2012!:)

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