David Ridderhoff, Contributor
With it being the beginning of December, many students have broken out their old winter coats and are beginning to wear them around campus. But plenty of students either do not have a winter coat with them or have a small windbreaker for the cold days. If you’re in the market for a winter jacket, let this be your guideline. I won’t be looking at business style coats, as those are usually well out of a college student’s budget, and they work better with dress clothes anyways.
First, you need to decide what kind of jacket you want. Dick’s Sporting Goods has a great jacket selection guide on its website. It has plenty of styles, most notable fleece, insulated and 3-in-1 system. Fleece is good for days that aren’t bitterly cold, but wouldn’t be considered warm; they are suited better for autumn or spring. Insulated are better for the cold days that a fleece jacket just won’t keep you warm enough. These are bulkier, but warmer. The 3-in-1 system is a mixture of those two, as it is actually three separate jackets. You can take out parts of the jacket to make it less bulky and less warm, or combine them all for the warmest jacket.
Some brands of jackets have better reputations than others. North Face is known for having warm and fashionable jackets, as is Columbia brand. But some brands are also looked at positively, and are less known.
One of those brands is Land’s End. Land’s End is looked at as an older generational brand, but they still produce quality jackets. The company was formed as a sailboat equipment company, so the original jackets had to withstand cold winters at sea.
Another factor that will go into deciding the jacket you will buy is your budget. While a North Face is nice, the generic type of jacket worn by most people, known as the Denali, runs at retail $180. Columbia has a fleece jacket, which is rated well by buyers, that retails at $35. Similarly, Columbia’s popular down jackets retail at around $150, while Land’s End sells similar jackets for closer to $100.
It will take some research, but there’s a perfect jacket for everyone. There are plenty of factors that go into finding which one is the right one, but there’s at least one jacket that will fit all of your specifications in time for the dreaded cold that will be coming.