I am an amateur astronomer, and I spend hours outside at night while I am relatively inactive. I need a very warm parka to wear over wool and fleece. Water protection is not important and wind protection only slightly so. What is your warmest men’s parka for a cold-natured inactive astronomer?
@SkyRanger Thanks for reaching out!
We have several options that should serve you well on your astronomy adventures! I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and during the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race we can find ourselves standing around in frigid temperatures for hours waiting to see who will be the first team to finish. From that experience I know that having a warm jacket is important, but there are certain features of a jacket that can dramatically affect how warm it feels, particularly when you are out in the cold and not moving around a lot.
I have found that the most important feature of a jacket is the ability to close down any openings in the waist, wrists, and neck of the jacket. Often on the wrists you will find a hook-and-loop closure (or elastic) but many people do not think about the waist or neck openings. If those are left open your jacket can actually create a 'chimney' effect that draws cold air up from the bottom and releases heat through the top. A draw cord around the waist and a neck opening that minimizes airflow when you zip it up fully will make a huge difference! Additionally, some jackets will contain a baffle or additional insulation on the back of the neck for this very reason.
Here are a couple of good options for cold weather parkas/jackets:
I hope this helps, thank you!
p.s. My 4 year old son LOVES space and looking at the stars! If you don't mind he is wondering if you have ever seen another planet? And if so, which is your favorite? Thanks!