Down-filled parkas and puffer jackets talk a big talk when it comes to bad weather. But, really, how can you tell the one you're thinking about buying online or trying on in a toasty dressing room will actually hold up to colder-than-cold temperatures and other inclement scenarios? A lot more goes into this purchase than whether or not the jacket looks warm and durable. Of course, looks matter, too.
We sought out expert advice from heavy-duty-outwear designers at Uniqlo, Fjällräven, and Peuterey. They're scrutinizing this shopping process and answering questions you may not think to ask, like: Is real down insulation better than the synthetic kind? Or, vice versa? And, what details should you be extra mindful of when prepping for polar-vortex-like conditions?