When it comes to finding the perfect jacket for Canadian winters, comfort and warmth take top priority.
As the snow falls and those familiar, but not missed, wind chills come back, the elusive search for a great piece of performance outerwear starts. The problem is that constant tug of war between style and comfort.
With multi-day snowstorms, bitterly cold winds, and temperatures that regularly drop into the minus double digits, many of us don chunky ski jackets and fur-trimmed hoods every year, leaving style — and animal-free material — largely out of the picture.
But coats that belong in the '80s (and not in a good way) and thick down parkas aren't the only options when it comes to tackling tough weather.
Inspired by harsh Canadian winters, the Frank And Oak outerwear collection includes a variety of eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and affordable winter parkas and puffers that combat both blistering weather and fashion's un-eco friendly habits, so you don't need to sacrifice style or your values to stay warm.
The line consists of three new styles for men: the Alpine Parka, the Alpine Field-Parka and the Capital Parka, ranging from $349 to $499, plus five styles for women: the Alpine Parka, the Mesa Puffer, the Hygge Puffer, the Highland Puffer, and the Capital Parka, ranging from $299 to $499.
In the name of fashion and finally finding cruelty-free outerwear that actually keeps you warm, we tried the Women's Hygge Puffer in Bark, a soft beige, but it also comes in black and dusty wine and ranges in size from XS to XL. We also tested out the Men's Capital Waterproof Parka in Black, available in Rosin and ranging from XS to XL.
If you're interested in any of Frank And Oak's winter outerwear, you can use the promo code NARCITY100 until January 4, 2021, to get $100 off* plus free shipping.
It's necessary to preface this review by first saying that the Hygge is one of the most comfortable women's jackets we've ever tried.
It takes the hygge lifestyle — coziness and an overall feeling of wellbeing and wholesomeness — and puts it into a knee-length puffer that rivals the comfort of your bed's duvet.
Although the Men's Capital Waterproof Parka might seem oversized at first glance, it actually fits really well and has enough room in it to wear a sweater underneath. It's definitely comfy and lays on the body nicely.
This parka has a timeless look. It's one of those jackets that you can wear for years and it'll never go out of style. Part of the reason is its simple design that could really work for any occasion, from a casual night out to a dinner party. Its versatility alone makes it worth the price.
With a double-breasted collar and a concealed zip closure that fits snugly and locks in heat, the Women's Hygge Puffer is still roomy enough to wear a thick sweater underneath. Length-wise, it hits the knees (on a 5-foot-5 woman), covering and protecting most of your body from bitter winter winds.
Standout features like an oversized, stylish hood, and four deep, concealed pockets — two for your hands, one for your phone, and one for extras like your face mask and hand sanitizer — complete the comfy look.
s for the Men's Capital Waterproof Parka, one of the features we appreciated the most was its front closure with magnets. No longer was time wasted buttoning up, instead the coat was ready to wear in less than a minute, which is especially convenient for someone who's always on the go.
The pockets on either side of this parka are spacious, close easily, and you feel secure knowing nothing will fall out. As for the media pocket tucked inside to put your phone or AirPods, and the zippered pocket on one sleeve for easy storage without needing to unzip, you can tell how much thought went into the design of this piece.
When it comes to what both coats are made of, Frank And Oak is doing what it can to combat the typically unethical materials found in standard winter jackets.
Like the rest of the Canadian fashion brand's winterwear line, both are crafted from mostly recycled polyester. Adding to the jackets' eco- and animal-friendly appeal, even the zippers, linings, and labels are made from recycled materials.
In other words, both are totally vegan.
The Women's Hygge Puffer is filled with PrimaLoft® Silver Powerplume, a super light, feather-free insulation that still manages to keep your body toasty in freezing cold temperatures.
For those unfamiliar with PrimaLoft® — or skeptical about winter jackets not made from down feathers — it's a loose-fill insulation designed by scientists to mimic all the great properties of down when dry, but it's actually warmer than down when wet.
Soft, packable and lightweight, the synthetic fill retains all its insulating properties when wet and doesn’t clump (unlike feathers), which is why the Hygge Puffer is able to keep you warm up to -25°C, no matter how hard it snows. (It was designed in Montreal, after all!)
Made of two-layer breathable fabric, featherless insulation, and recycled poly lining, the Men's Capital Waterproof Parka has an estimated warmth rating of -30°C and below.
It's actually Frank And Oak's most technical and sustainable parka yet.
The Warmth Rating
While both coats look excellent and respect the planet, the ultimate question is: can they survive Canada's unforgiving winters?
Having been tested on the windy streets of downtown Toronto in -6°C weather during a snowfall, and along the city's waterfront while it rained (with just a t-shirt underneath!), we can confidently say the Hygge is a solid winter jacket.
The Capital Parka was tested on an extremely windy -10°C day in London, Ontario. After a 45-minute walk with one cute little dachshund, the results were impressive: the coat kept everything nice and warm.
Our one minor critique for the Hygge Puffer? In very windy weather, the oversized hood is too large to keep the wind from blowing it off your head. A quick fix is throwing on a toque. While the duvet-style hood doesn't have a drawstring to adjust its size, it's not a deal-breaker.
As one of Frank and Oak's most iconic winter puffers, the Hygge regularly sells out, so we wouldn't recommend waiting for the temperatures to drop to get your hands on one.
The jersey extension with thumb holes built into the Capital Parka's sleeves may not be everyone's cup of tea. We found it a bit frustrating for someone who prefers gloves, but that's purely personal preference.
Frank and Oak isn't misleading anyone with this coat: it really can stand up to tough Canadian winters, and it's a fantastic piece of outerwear overall.
As the holidays approach, you might be looking for a new coat (for yourself or maybe for that someone special.) The truth is that you can't go wrong with Frank and Oak; its combination of sustainability, comfort, and style really is unbeatable.
By using the promo code NARCITY100 on the Frank And Oak website until January 4, 2021, you can get $100 off* all winter outerwear plus free shipping.