@RPL Thanks for reaching out!
@Philreedshikes provided some really solid insight in his response, and we're going to tag some of your fellow Minnesotans who may be able to provide some insight for you as well. @TomV @ruthsbluemarble @ojlenaghan @bayleemiller @DougSC @Austin @waterstrider @NicoleNJohnson any thoughts or suggestions here?
I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for six years and similarly to Phil's suggestion, I found that layering was the key to staying warm in extremely cold conditions. I used a down jacket similar to the Stormhenge, however, I used a base layer, light fleece layer, and a mid layer jacket underneath the down jacket in order to handle temperatures well below zero. I found that I was able to stay warm while standing outside and waiting for the finish of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race in temperatures around -20° F. I do tend to run warm, however, so that is a consideration.
A couple of other things to think about: being able to seal off areas where heat can escape is a critical step to staying warm. Whatever jacket you go with, make sure you can cinch the bottom around your waist and close the cuffs at your wrist. I also really appreciated that the down jacket I use had a baffle at the neck to help keep warm air from escaping upwards. Lastly, the REI Stormhenge 850 Down Jacket uses 850 fill down, which means that it is warmer for its weight than a lot of other jackets. While it may not feel as 'thick' or as 'puffy' as other down jackets, the 850 down means that it will be more insulating than a 'puffier' jacket that uses 600 fill down.
All of that being said, there are some great heavy-duty jackets out there that you can check out if you'd like. These are some of the jackets that were customer favorites in Fairbanks, AK:
- The North Face McMurdo Down Parka.
- Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoodie.
- Fjallraven Expedition Down Jacket.
Hopefully this helps, please let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks!