Two people sitting in the snow wearing warm jackets

MEC winter jacket guide: warm, waterproof, do-it-all

Winter is on the horizon (and in some parts of Canada it’s arrived early), which means you’re slowly starting to pull out all your winter jackets and getting excited about various activities like snowshoeing, skiing, or simply commuting to work or school. To get you prepped for whatever weather gets thrown your way – heaps of snow, wet slush, sideways rain or blasts of wind – we grilled Anthony and Natasja, our technical product developer and  apparel designer, to get their picks for the jackets to wrap yourself up in:

Our warmest winter coats

Calidity Parka and Coldtreader Jacket
MEC Calidity Parka

MEC Calidity Parka: for the coldest cold.

These jackets are for you if: You endure really cold winters (double digit negative temps), you spend a lot of time outside in chilly weather (for example, waiting for the bus or walking your dog), or if you live in a climate with rain or slush and need a coat that’s also breathable.

Why they’re great: Ultra-warm down, removable faux fur trim cuts wind, 2-way zipper so you can sit comfortably. The Calidity Parka has curved seams for a feminine silhouette. The Coldtreader Jacket is waterproof with fully taped seams.

MEC Coldtreader Jacket

MEC Coldtreader Jacket: bring on (way) below zero.

What members are saying:

  • “Bought this coat for the Montreal winters and I’m finally warm – I wear it every day for my 30 minute walk to work.” – Mtlwinter review on the Calidity Parka.
  • “Toasty warm duck down and very competitively priced for all the sweet pocket features…” – iliveinlondonontario review on the Coldtreader Jacket

Our most versatile jackets

Chill Shed 3-in-1 Parka

These jackets are for you if: You want a jacket that does it all, you want a coat that can be worn for at least three of the four seasons (or, if you live in a moderate climate like Vancouver, the whole year-round), or if you do a lot of travelling or deal with unpredictable weather.

MEC Chill Shed Parka

MEC Chill Shed 3-in-1 Parka: a warm jacket that’s secretly also a raincoat and light down layer.

Why the Chill Shed is great: Fully taped seams to keep any wetness or slush out, ultrawarm down to keep you toasty, and a waterproof-breathable top fabric so you’re warm but not sweaty. The first layer is an insulated jacket that keeps you warm on dry chilly days around the city. The second layer is a fully-waterproof shell that you can wear on its own on warm rainy days or layered over the insulator for warmth and waterproofness.

MEC Chillshed Parka for men

MEC Chillshed 3-in-1 Parka: one coat, three ways to wear it for different weather.

What members are saying: “This is the coat of my dreams. I was looking for a casual but warm jacket that could get me through the fall and winter and had a hard time finding something that would be good for rain, as well as cold/snowy weather. I figured I’d likely need to buy two separate coats but then I stumbled upon THIS! I’ve never found a long down coat that I loved because I always felt like a giant sausage when I tried them on. This down is the perfect weight to be warm but also not look too chunky. This shell is super versatile and even wearable for work. And together they make the perfect combo for cold Alberta winters. As far as fit, I felt like I was between sizes and ended up sizing down so the shell wasn’t too bulky. Thank you MEC!” – Kasia on the Chillshed 3-in-1 Parka

Our most durable waterproof shell

Synergy Jacket
MEC Synergy Jacket for women

MEC Synergy Jacket: for getting outside in all kinds of conditions.

The Synergy jacket is for you if: You ski or snowboard, you like being out in the rain (but not getting wet), you have an insulated layer you can wear underneath when the temperature drops, or if you run hot and don’t need insulation.

Why it’s great: It’s our burliest, most feature-rich mountain shell. The Synergy Jacket has been part of our roster for several years, and ready for howling conditions – its GORE-TEX®, 3-layer waterproof-breathable shell feels light and supple, and it has lots of alpine-specific features.

MEC Synergy Jacket - men's

MEC Synergy Jacket is solid for skiing, and great for hiking too.

Our most versatile insulator

Tremblant Lite Series
MEC Tremblant Lite down jacket for women

MEC Tremblant Lite Jacket: no stitch lines where down can escape.

The Tremblant Lite Jacket is for you if: You camp, hike, ski or snowboard and need an extra layer to keep warm, you want something to dress up or down, or if you have a rain shell that needs a little extra warmth underneath. It comes in a vest version too.

MEC Tremblant Lite jacket for men

MEC Tremblant Lite Jacket (men’s): slim enough to stuff in its own chest pocket.

Why it’s great: It uses a no-stitch construction to help keep the down from escaping (and to keep you warm), and it packs down super small to toss in your bag or luggage. Plus it works as a layer or a jacket on it’s own for crisp, dry days.


Ever wonder how all that down gets into your puffy jacket? Check out this video from one of our factory partners in Tianjin, China:

Looking for other ways to stay warm this season? Check out our guide to layering.

Missy Shana
Missy Shana

A social media specialist, Seinfeld-quoter who repeatedly travels vast distances for good food. Has probably creeped your Instagram profile.