While we were visiting Ian's parents I took some time to do a little shopping. I don't know whether or not I've mentioned this before but I've been looking for a warm winter coat to wear while walking Gozer in the winter. I have a winter coat but it just isn't warm enough for me to be out for any length of time when it's really cold out. Add in the fact that I have temperature control issues (I get cold really easily and I start sweating when I'm cold, making me colder) and it's clear that I need a really warm coat.
Over the years I've bought a few winter coats and based on how well those coats worked for me, I developed a list of must-haves for this warm winter coat I wanted. A heavy-duty double zipper is an absolute necessity because a wimpy dress zipper can break too easily or not zip properly in the cold. It's also important to be able to unzip the coat from the bottom for walking or sitting. Storm cuffs - preferably made of ribbing or fleece so that they conform to the wrist and are warm - are also absolutely necessary because otherwise my wrists get cold or I get snow up my sleeves. I love having a hood to keep the wind off of my neck but it has to be adjustable so it doesn't fly off in the wind. For me to stay warm, the coat has to be at least knee length.
The warmest, lightest fill out there is down so I definitely wanted a down-filled coat. I did a bit of research and I found out that there are different fill combinations, with the most common being 50% down and 50% feathers. I read that the greater the proportion of down, the warmer the coat will be, so I decided that I wanted the the fill to be at least 60% down with no more than 40% feathers.
Surprisingly, out of all of those requirements, the hardest one to meet has been storm cuffs. Even the high-end coats that are super-warm with fill made of 90-100% down don't have storm cuffs. What's up with that? Clearly most super-warm coats aren't made for our Canadian winters. The lack of storm cuffs on winter coats has made this search take much longer than I thought it would.
Lucky for me, I finally found myself a coat that meets every one these requirements, including having storm cuffs! I went to Sporting Life and found myself this Canadian Spirit Rosedale coat in black, on sale for half price, making it below what I'd been prepared to pay.
Yep, I'm excited about this coat. On me, it comes down to just below mid-calf or to about the top of my boots which is perfect. There are zippers at the hem on each side to make walking easier, if I need the room. It's also got 90% down/10% feathers fill, making it super-warm. The only thing I was worried about was that it was too shapeless on me, or that it looked too much like I was wearing a down comforter because when I put it on it felt like I was wrapping myself in a down comforter.
I called Ian and described my dilemma. He pointed out that the kind of coat I was looking for would almost certainly be a bit shapeless on me and since this one met all my other requirements, I should buy it. So I did. He was surprised when he saw it because the chevron stitching and vertical lines are flattering. It's less of a shapeless comforter than I thought it would be - and did I mention that it's super-warm?
Because I'll be wearing this coat out in the cold and possibly the dark, I need to figure out a way to add some reflective tape or something to it without compromising the integrity of the coat. That way I'll be more visible to drivers and other people. I might be able to add some around the cuffs and hood. I could also maybe make a belt or something with the reflective tape - we'll see. I have to think about it.
I'm thrilled that I found the coat. I'm even more thrilled that I was purchased it for a reasonable amount and that I didn't have to sacrifice any of my requirements for it. I wore it out today while walking Gozer because it's cold and quite windy out there and I was snuggly warm in the coat. I felt the wind as pressure but not as a cold force on me. This coat is definitely everything I wanted it to be and I'm almost looking forward to wearing it in the deep cold that will be on its way.