Buying a Parka

A parka is an essential piece of winter apparel for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors in cold weather. A high-quality parka will protect you from snow, wind, rain and bitterly cold temperatures, while retaining warmth even when worn over a base layer of wool sweaters or t-shirts. Modern technology, materials and fabrics have combined with traditional design to produce a truly versatile and highly effective garment that is lightweight enough to be worn without impairing mobility and movement.

Typically extending down to the hips or thighs, a typical parka is lined with insulating material and features fur or synthetic trim and a hood. It also has large pockets and other features that help protect the wearer from the elements. Parkas are a popular choice for hiking, mountain climbing and other outdoor activities in cold weather.

The word parka is derived from the Nenets language meaning “animal skin”. While originally made from animal hide, modern parkas are usually stuffed with down or very warm synthetic fill. The outer shell of a parka is often made from tightly woven nylon, polyester or other synthetic materials and is waterproof. The insulation is often goose down or duck down, and the hood is often made from real fur or synthetic fabric. Many parkas also feature an adjustable cinch cord at the waist and hood to seal in heat and keep cold air out, and interior storm cuffs to prevent cold air from seeping into the jacket at the wrists.

When shopping for a new parka, it is important to consider the type of activity you will be doing and the temperatures you will be facing in order to choose the correct size and style. For example, a lightweight parka is ideal for urban commuters because it will offer protection from the elements without weighing you down on public transportation. If you are planning to use your parka for skiing or other outdoor sports, a burly parka designed to withstand harsh weather conditions may be required.

In addition to choosing the right size and style, it is also a good idea to try on a few different types of parkas to assess how comfortable they are in person. Since a parka will be worn over a t-shirt or light long sleeved sweater, the fit is particularly important as it can affect how well the jacket will function as an outer layer in cold weather. Especially for a down parka, it is crucial to ensure that there is plenty of room in the chest and sleeves to accommodate thick wool sweaters while also maintaining a snug fit.

Stio offers a wide range of premium parkas that are both stylish and functional. Our Huron and Chenega II parkas are examples of how modern materials have merged with traditional styling to create highly-functional pieces of apparel. The goose and duck down used in these parkas has a very high fill power rating and is breathable, so it will not add too much bulk while providing superior cold-weather performance.


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