Is anyone else out there beginning to have a strained relationship with their weather app? Just me? I’m not the most pumped to be seeing cold weather make a comeback, especially living in NYC. There’s obviously no way to avoid being out in the cold and wind here in the city, so I went on the hunt for the ultimate parka.
The top two brands that made it to my final testing round were OROS and Patagonia. I lived life out in the cold with winter coats from both brands and found my clear winner. Read on to see who that winner is (and psst, while you’re here, I may as well let you know they’re having a Black Friday Preview Week Sale with 70% off select styles… just saying).
If you’re looking to layer without bulk… OROS
Call me extreme, but now and then I daydream about astronauts in their space suits and think, dang, I need whatever's keeping them warm. Turns out what's keeping them warm is called Aerogel, an ultralight insulation that was developed by NASA to insulate against the -450°F temps out in space. And OROS adapted that technology into something they call SOLARCORE, which is put to work here in my new favorite coat for temperatures up to 0°F.
If that isn't enough to convey the magic this coat brought into my life...let me know and I'll geek out about it for as long as needed. As far as the Patagonia coat goes, I mean, it's puffy to begin with and then it also requires extra layers underneath. It's not Pagatonia's fault for being merely mortal by comparison.
If you just want to be warm, dang it… OROS
I had read about this thing called "thermal mapping" that OROS uses and I was a bit unsure. The concept is that they use their SOLARCORE technology only in the zones they identify as needing it. I want to be warm all over, not just in some areas.
Well, after wearing my parka for a day, I'm totally bought in. The SOLARCORE insulation is strategically placed in areas that are most prone to getting cold, and the areas they aren't placed are the ones you really want to retain mobility (like your armpits and your hood). After testing out both the OROS parka and the Patagonia parka, I can confirm that SOLARCORE is the way to go.
If you want a coat that does it all… OROS
Maybe you’re a snow bunny who lives in a resort town (and wants one coat to transition you from slopes to dinner). Maybe you’re traveling somewhere cold and want a reliably warm layer that doesn’t take up all your suitcase space. Maybe you’re like me and just trying to survive the winter in a city you love. Or you’re an all-weather hiker, or an ice skater… okay, you get it. If it involves cold weather, it’s a good fit for OROS.
Having tried the Patagonia coat, I see it being a fit for some people, but its puffiness means it’s not a do-everything outer layer like the OROS coat is.
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option… Patagonia
I’m always on the hunt for a sustainable option, which is what brought me to OROS and Patagonia in the first place. Patagonia has a self-imposed Earth tax, 1% for the Planet, which provides support to environmental nonprofits working to defend our air, land, and water around the globe. They also have a used clothing trade-in program where they’ll pay you for old clothes so they can recycle them. While that’s all well and good, I’d rather just invest in a coat I love and keep it for life.
Luckily, with OROS, I’ve finally found that forever coat. OROS’ SOLARCORE technology is completely vegan and cruelty-free and uses recycled poly to reduce CO2 emissions and PFC-free DWRs to repel water, which I love.
My clear winner is… OROS
Because of my OROS parka, I’m actually (dare I say it?) excited for winter this year. Who needs to hibernate when you can have the warmth of your bed rolled into a coat without the bulky appearance? Walking around NYC can finally be a year-round hobby.