The Warmest Coat Of Them All!

REVIEWS | | November 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I live in New England so the chance of getting snow each year is, I don’t know, 100%  If you assumed that winter wear is actually a huge part of our clothing collection you would be correct In fact it would be safe to say that winter wear is actually one of the most expensive season, hands down. Whats up with those hats, mittens, scarves and jackets the cost easily mounts up. For kids it is double frustrating because not only do they outgrow it so easily, they also remove it even more so. Nothing like putting on those mittens on teeny tiny hands a gazillion times.

 In spite of it all I insist that we buy the best quality. Come middle of winter, when the stores are pretty empty of winter gear, and I am always happy that I took the time to invest in proper attire. I can barely think when I am cold so I definitely need to feel warm through Boston winters. When I was asked if, as part of a campaign, I would test run jackets, I thought how perfect. I mean who better since I have been weathering the icy winters for over a dozen years.

Down Jackets From L.L. Bean, GAP, Nautica and Land’s End

I had no idea who was behind the campaign but when I saw the jackets were from these big brands I knew they would be of high quality. Then I opened them up and was surprised to see them all made of down. Down Jackets, if you’re not in the know, are made up of feathers and basically super warm. The amazing thing is it is also super warm and very light. Light may not seem like a big deal, until you start walking around shopping mall and see how the weight bears down on you. Anything made of down, be it jackets or comforters, is expensive – so I knew I would be dealing with all good quality jackets. Of course that would make it a bit of a challenge finding what I would not like or actually comparing them.

As part of the campaign I filled a survey as to the finer details of the jackets and that really helped me notice details that may have skipped my attention. Truthfully this whole campaign has actually taught me a thing or two about how I judge by labels, and how that is not always a good thing.

L.L.Bean Jacket

The LL Bean jacket was the prettiest green ever, and knowing that the brand usually designs outdoor “everything” well I knew this would not disappoint me. Of all the down jackets this was the lightest of them all and was the only one with a belt. The A-line design made it very ladylike but the lightness made me wonder how rugged it could be in a Nor’easter. Pockets and cuffs were adequate but nothing fancy, also having the hood being able to be tightened an added advantage when the icy wind is hitting on your normally exposed head. If you knew the wind chill in these parts you would know hoods are nothing to sneeze about. Sadly I don’t do belts so this one was definitely out.

GAP Jacket

The GAP jacket was a surprise to me. You recall me mentioning judging by brands earlier, well GAP is one those brands I was crazily in love with. In fact when I was pregnant I remember stalking the Baby GAP stores for sales EVERYDAY. Good thing (or bad thing) I worked directly across the mall and still had a software engineer salary to blow. This jacket missed having a hood, and reminded me more of a bomber jacket. Not sure if the cut was smaller (have you noticed how GAP’s sizes seems to be getting smaller?) but the fit seemed too short to offer more protection than one that would be longer. For sure I thought I would choose the GAP jacket as my favorite but it was not so. Being as I am really short, save me the jokes, short jackets just don’t do well with me.


Nautica is enough of a fashionable brand that it itself would have assured me that the jacket would be trendy if not practical. The creme type color was a nice change and even the super soft hood were pretty convincing. I love that in spite of it being stylish it was pretty warm. In fact the big pockets in front not only added to the design, were decently roomy too. The extra warmth in the hood was really a nice addition. Small details make a huge difference and that color really was a breath of fresh air in the sea of black.

Land’s End Jacket

Land’s End is what I normally consider my “practical” brand. I love it but I won’t assume to go out shouting “Look, I am wearing Land’s End” so I assumed it would be decent. Well that was until I put it on. The tailored fit and the press stud over the zipper made it feel sleek and straight. The zipper that opens from the top or bottom is what I call “essential for driving”. There was a pocket for everything and its friend and boy were those pockets super warm too. Sure it was black and no matter how I may flirt with other colors, I remain faithful to my black.

Disclosure: The Quality Coat Review was a blind review.  In order to give my unbiased opinions, I am unaware of the company that sponsored the effort.  While the opinions are my own, I am being compensated through Mom Spark Media for my time.

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