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Best coat type/style for Northwestern U. winter?

t-boneParentt-boneParent Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
edited September 2010 in Northwestern University
Greetings! I am a parent of a class of 2014 wildcat (guy) from the South where our winters are relatively mild. We are trying to order a coat appropriate for the windy, icy winters at Northwestern. Needless to say, any coat we find locally will not be warm enough, sooo - any recommendations on what to buy, what not to buy, etc. in terms of being comfortable walking to and from class from the NU vets out there? Thanks in advance for your help!
Post edited by t-boneParent on

Replies to: Best coat type/style for Northwestern U. winter?

  • arbiter213arbiter213 Registered User Posts: 3,572 Senior Member
    Best value would be an Army Surplus parka. My best friend is from N. Carolina and goes out in just stacked sweaters and a northface fleece pretty regularly- I like thermal underwear and a full winter jacket. Just pick something up here in the fall at the Northface store in town, is the easiest way. You won't need a winter coat till at least November.

    The key to staying warm is layering. One other tip: A layer that stops the wind on the outside is the most important. I'm a fan of leather.
  • t-boneParentt-boneParent Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Hi Arbiter - thanks! The reason I am trying to look around a little now is for him to try and find something on sale during the summer rather than paying full price in Nov/Dec - North Face gear is pretty pricey but I know that brand is good for the Lake Michigan area cold. Thanks for the advice about the layering, too - do the guys like the jackets there with hoods or is wearing a hat preferred more at NU?
  • arbiter213arbiter213 Registered User Posts: 3,572 Senior Member
    Varies from person to person. Generally, I find a hood to be insufficient. My jacket has no hood, so I use a hat. Scarves and earmuffs are key- hats are less important. Also, generally a hoody under a jacket will provide a sufficient hood.
  • NUraiderNUraider Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    Northface for sure. The ones that havethe zip in feature are the best and they last for a long time-- a good investment
  • suppasonicsuppasonic Registered User Posts: 400 Member
    You can also kill two birds with one stone if you get a coat that has an insulated hood -- either with fake fur or fleece. Even better if it is really easy to adjust with drawstrings or something to scrunch over your face. Really the most important thing headwise is keeping ears, lips, nose out of the wind.

    Also do your kid a favor and get one that looks halfway decent. My parents got me one for christmas (I'm a californian), and while it certainly has done the job for 3 years, I wear it a lot and it isn't that attractive.
  • t-boneParentt-boneParent Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Thanks to everyone! All of the input really helps and the two of us will go on line tomorrow to start looking. Thanks again!
  • t-boneParentt-boneParent Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Just an update - got the most amazing North face coat on line, the TriClimate - really 2 jackets in one that are zipped together or can be work separately - great hood and outer layer is wind/rain/snow proof! Normally $276. and found online after some shopping for $130. Now a great scarf (got a hat, too for under the hood), gloves and long undergear and he's ready for the windy city's winter! Also found a great pair of NF lightweight snow boots! Thanks to each of you for your help.
  • Skywalker23Skywalker23 Registered User Posts: 901 Member
    Look like I'm a little late but it's ok, because what I was going to say was to get one of the coats that is an inner jacket and an outer jacket, which is what you did.
  • t-boneParentt-boneParent Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Thanks, Skywalker. Not long now - my son is sooo ready to be at NU!
  • psychmommapsychmomma Registered User Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    My son has a coat similar to that - and we live in the Chicago area. His coat is really heavy, but it definitely keeps him warm. Congrats on the great find. (My son is soooo ready too!)
  • oceanangeloceanangel Registered User Posts: 658 Member
    Is it better to have a longer coat, or will a short one suffice? I mean, it's great to have a nice warm NorthFace Triclimate jacket for the top, but don't your legs still freeze?
  • morgan27morgan27 Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member
    Nah, I'm from MN and yeah your legs get kinda chilly if you're just wearing jeans but when it's really really cold out and you know you're gonna be outside for a while (football games, skating, etc.) you wear like three layers of pants anyway. For example, I sometimes wear leggings under jeans under yoga pants. Haha seriously...
  • arbiter213arbiter213 Registered User Posts: 3,572 Senior Member
    Long coats can be really nice, actually. But thats optional. Thermal underwear is not.
  • Skywalker23Skywalker23 Registered User Posts: 901 Member
    I just wear one pair of pants most of the winter and it's okay. For exceptionally cold days (like the 10 coldest days of the winter or whatever) I'll wear a pair of athletic pants under jeans or cargo pants. This is in Omaha, though.

    Something covering head and especially ears is also nice but not a total requirement here. However, I'm predicting that it will be a requirement in Evanston because of the higher wind levels.
  • PerididdlePerididdle Registered User Posts: 223 Junior Member
    I've grown up in Missouri and I've always hated thermal underwear...generally my combination jackets (I've always had Columbia ones that have the zip-out layers, they are spectacular...soooo warm) and jeans are enough to get me through. But I'm generally just dashing to and from the car to various buildings, so it's not prolonged. Horseback riding or other sports that force me to be outside generally calls for layers on the lower half.

    However, I went to Chicago this past December. It was about 0 with massive wind in Missouri when we left, and even just a couple degrees colder and a few more MPH on those wind gusts in Chicago made a world of difference as we went from the train station to our hotel. That stuff will slice straight through denim like you're not wearing anything. My upper half was overly toasty (scarves and those stretchy knit headbands are definitely suggested!) while my legs started to hurt from the cold. Definitely need something under the jeans for the worst winter days if you're going to be out longer than 15 minutes.
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