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Your guide to the warmest jackets from MEC

October 2, 2020

Found in Activities, Gear

If there’s one thing the MEC Label design team knows, it’s Canadian winters. Knee-deep snowdrifts, face-numbing wind, west coast downpours – they’ve seen it all.

To get you ready for whatever weather and activities you’re planning, we spoke to MEC Label designer James for the inside scoop. Here are his top picks for the warmest jackets and the best insulators to layer up.

Bonus: every jacket on this list has bluesign® approved material to keep sustainability as top of mind as performance.

Our warmest winter jacket

MEC Great Northern Down Parka

MEC Great Northern Down Parka

The Great Northern Down Jacket is for you if…

  • You live in a place with icy winters – we’re talking double-digit negative temps – and you do a lot of moving from point A to B
  • You want a hood to buffer howling winds and wet-weather protection for sleet
  • You want to know that the down you’re wearing is responsibly sourced

Details that make it great

Check the reviews: this jacket has kept people toasty in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Montreal and Yukon winters. The waterproof-breathable exterior is designed to shut out snow, sleet and wind blasts. Plus, you’ll be wrapped in a plush layer of 550-fill down. Fleece-lined pockets are a nice touch to warm icy fingers.

“This is our warmest, most burly jacket. Full-weather protection, and you can slip it off and wear it like a backpack if you’re waiting for the subway.”

Our warmest, most lightweight winter jacket

MEC Tremblant Jacket

MEC Tremblant Jacket

The Tremblant Jacket is for you if…

  • You spend a lot of time outside, even when it’s super cold – camping, snowshoeing, snow shoveling
  • You want a warm down layer without feeling weighed down by a massive jacket
  • You’re looking for a jacket you can trust, season after season

Details that make it great

Years of reviews on from Tremblant wearers reveal what makes this jacket a hit. There’s a lot of love for layering with this coat, either on top of a light sweater or under a shell for mega protection from the elements. The 700-fill power down meets the Responsible Down Standard, and smart touches like overstuffed shoulders and elastic binding at the hems surround you in warmth.

“The Tremblant Jacket has our best warmth to weight ratio. It’s like a lightweight furnace – excellent on cold, dry days.”

Our premium packable jacket

MEC Radiator Lite Down Hoodie

The Radiator Lite Down Hoodie is for you if…

  • You’re active in the backcountry all winter long
  • You want a high-end down layer at an excellent price point
  • Your trips may involve some wetness in addition to coldness

Details that make it great

Our favourite features start with the baffles that hold the 850-fill power down; the woven baffle chamber construction keeps in heat better than traditional stitch lines. The ultralight nylon fabric has a DWR finish and the responsibly sourced down is DWR treated to keep loft and warmth when damp.

“Take it alpine climbing, backcountry skiing or hiking, and you’ll be grateful for two things: the small space it takes up in your pack, and the layer of warmth when it’s on.”

Our best ski jackets

Centre Point Insulated Jacket and Khione Insulated Jacket

These insulated ski jackets are for you if…

  • You want to stay warm on ski runs, the chairlift and lift lines
  • You like the option to vent when you’re working hard
  • You want your ski jacket to do double-duty when you’re in the city

Details that make it great

Nothing cuts a ski day short like feeling freezing cold, and this jacket is designed to prevent just that. The 2-layer waterproof-breathable fabric and taped seams keep wetness out, and the synthetic Hyperloft insulation throughout wraps you in toastiness. One nice touch? The soft fleece-lined chin guard.

“Ski specific features like a goggle pocket and a powder skirt are designed for the hill. But it also looks like a jacket you could wear around town too.”

Our most lightweight down puffy

Boundary Light Down Jacket

The Boundary Light Down Jacket is for you if…

  • You camp, hike, ski or snowshoe in cold weather and want an insulating layer
  • You have a rain shell that needs extra warmth underneath (West Coast: we’re looking at you)
  • You want a versatile shoulder season puffy

Details that make it great

Amazing value for the quality of down in this jacket (and it’s certified to the Responsible Down Standard). It’s an excellent crossover piece and the reviews show just how many places people wear it, everywhere from late-season hiking to bike-packing in Kananaskis. You’ll reach for it again and again on cold, dry days in the city too.

“We expect West Coast folks to get a lot of use out of the Boundary Lite. But we also know the rest of Canada can make good use of an extra light layer, especially in spring and fall.”

About MEC Label

Designed in Canada, tested in our big backyard. We have decades of experience creating clothing and gear with sustainability in mind, and publish a full factory list so you know exactly where your MEC Label gear is made.

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