Most coats are always missing something. Maybe they’re not durable, waterproof or comfortable to wear. That’s why the Therme Parka is something special – it doesn’t lack anything important. This jacket covers the most important aspects of a winter coat: warmth, durability, weather resistance and comfort.
So it’s no surprise that Arc’teryx has announced that the Therme Parka is their favorite jacket out of all their testers. It received the “Editor’s Choice” award for the best winter jacket.
Let’s find out why this jacket deserves the credit.
Because I don’t like to keep you waiting, check out the main pros and cons of this jacket:
Main Pros And Cons
- This jacket manages to offer a lot of insulation while remaining slim.
- It’s very lightweight for its size.
- Uses water-resistant synthetic insulation in spots prone to moisture.
- 2L Gore-Tex provides breathability, but is also waterproof and windproof.
- This jacket is suitable for many sorts of situations.
- Features the necessary pockets and elastic cords to tighten the hood.
- The outer shell has a smooth and textured feeling.
- A nylon outer shell with a 75-denier rating makes this jacket very durable.
- It’s expensive.
- The pockets are not insulated.
- Down jackets require some care.
- This jacket is not designed to be stuffed into a backpack.
Although the Therme Parka isn’t bulky, it still manages to deliver a large quantity of quality goose down. Arc’teryx has thought this through and worked with two types of insulation:
- For the most part, it’s stuffed with 750 fill power grey goose down. Fill power is basically a number that shows you how efficient the down insulates. 750 is certainly not a bad number, and the quality of the goose down that’s spread around the whole jacket makes it one that can be used in very upsetting temperatures.
However, fill power is not the only thing that ensures a jacket to be warm. Fill weight is also something important to consider. Luckily, the Theme Parka features 125 grams of insulation if you pick the medium-sized version. 125 grams of 750 fill power goose down is a lot, and it’s surprising to see that Arc’teryx was still able to make it appear not bulky. But if you look at the price, you know they had their work with it.
- Because Arc’teryx knows that down doesn’t do a good job in insulating when it’s wet, they’ve used something else in places that are sensitive to moisture. The hood, cuffs and underarms are stuffed with Coreloft, which is a water-resistant synthetic insulation. This type of insulation is able to ignore the rain and still insulate when it’s wet.
As for the outer shell fabric, it’s waterproof, breathable and does a great job of trapping body heat. When you touch it, you know immediately that it’s quality material. It feels really smooth and textured, something that many jackets lack.
One of the small downsides that this jacket has, is its pockets. Although they’re lined with the same fabric that’s used for the outer shell, they’re not insulated. However, if you plan on using this jacket in extreme cold conditions, you’re probably going to wear gloves, right?
So is this the warmest jacket out there? No it’s not, but you’ll need to do your best to find a jacket that’s as efficient, clean looking and packable as this one while providing the same level of warmth.
Next, we have its weather resistance, another crucial factor to consider whether a jacket is worth your money.
It’s true that a jacket’s water resistance is not that important if you’re using it in freezing temperatures. But if you’re using it in conditions where rain is possible, it’s always nice to have some water resistance.
One thing to avoid when wearing a down jacket is getting it wet. It’s not really the down that’s keeping you warm, rather the air in between. If all those feathers get soaked, they’ll start to clump together, leaving no space for air. The result? Little to no insulation. Fortunately, as I mentioned in the previous section, Arc’teryx uses Coreloft synthetic insulation in areas vulnerable to moisture. This type of insulation doesn’t care whether it’s raining or not, it insulates no matter the conditions.
You know, I’m writing about the Therme Parka’s waterproofing like it won’t keep you dry in the slightest rain. However, in reality, you’re going to need to do your best to get it wet. That’s also why this jacket is included in my ‘best winter jackets‘ roundup review.
The outer shell doesn’t only look nice, it also features a quality 2-layer Gore-Tex.
Yeah okay, what the hell does that mean?
Remember when I said that the outer shell is breathable, waterproof and is able to efficiently trap body heat? Well, that’s all because of Gore-Tex. The idea is simple, it has small pores that are used to get rid of your sweat. These pores are too big for water droplets, so you don’t have to worry about them intruding.
However, now you may be worried that the cold air has a chance to get in. Fortunately, that’s not how Gore-Tex works. The pores can only do their job if there’s some kind of driving force. And this force can only come from a high level of body heat, which can only be achieved by sweating. So these pores are only breathable when you’re uncomfortably warm! See now why this is such a great technology?
But will the pores still do a good job when they’re wet? Well, that’s the problem, and that’s why every Gore-Tex jacket has a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. If the pores are wet, they won’t breathe very much, and the DWR coating keeps that from happening. The problem is, over time, this DWR coating degrades due to filth. My down jacket care guide teaches you how to solve this problem, and how to generally care for your down jacket.
Then there’s also the 2-layer, which means the jacket has a loose lining to prevent your skin from rubbing against the breathable membrane. While you may think that a 3-layer is better because it’s a bigger number, that’s not true. A 2-layer provides more breathability and a 3-layer makes your jacket more durable.
To find more interesting information about Gore-Tex, like why it’s crucial to wash your jacket from time to time, visit this site.
As I mentioned before, Gore-Tex is only useful when it’s dry, which is why Arc’teryx also uses very small taped seams. Why small? Because it makes it harder for the rain to penetrate. Then they also apply thermoplastic tape under heat and pressure to really make sure water doesn’t have a chance. The seams are not only effective, but also make the jacket look like one solid piece, and not like a couple of pieces sewn together.
There’s also a storm flap, which ensures that no water comes through the zipper when it’s raining. They are secured by buttons, which are best left undone unless in a storm or rain. That’s because they limit your mobility a little and they’re of no use if it’s not raining.
What the Therme Parka doesn’t have that most winter jackets do, are elastic sleeve cuffs. Their purpose is to make sure that the wind, snow and rain don’t find their way in. I think Arc’teryx thought this wouldn’t fit in with the style of this jacket. Fortunately, they came up with a solution, which is the stretchy liner that tightens around your skin. So you don’t have to worry about the cold air creeping in through your sleeves.
Comfort is also something very important, especially if you go skiing or hiking all day. While the outside of a jacket doesn’t contribute a lot to comfortability, it’s still nice to have a soft and textured shell that feels good when you touch it, won’t you agree? Or do you prefer the traditional wrinkled nylon that makes a lot of noise when the sleeves move across your waist? Now that I think of it, this makes it a perfect jacket for sports where you have to be silent, like hunting or photography.
Do you also hate those jackets that are super bulky and make you feel like popeye? When I wear them, I hate that they limit my range of motion. That’s also why I like this jacket: it contains a lot of down but still manages to give you the freedom to move.
Jackets with faux fur hoods, flashy button pockets and 10 useless zippers – you either love them or hate them. Personally, I like it simple, and that’s exactly what the Therme is. However, keep in mind that simple isn’t a synonym for ineffective.
Arc’teryx is a bit shy and doesn’t like to stand out, which is why they hide many of their features, which is also what makes their jackets look simplistic while in reality, they’re not.
Let’s first talk about the pockets, the ones that are hardly noticeable. There are four of them: two large hand pockets, an interior pocket and a Napoleon pocket (remember his famous pose?). Unfortunately, these pockets are not insulated but feature the same fabric as the outer shell, which feels great.
Then there’s also the hidden elastic cord in the hood which makes it possible to tighten it. This feature is especially handy in windy conditions. The hood is also compatible with a helmet, a feature that’s well appreciated among the sporters. Whether you need a jacket for the cold winters in New York City or for your upcoming hike in Patagonia, this jacket is ideal for both situations.
Unfortunately, this jacket lacks some features that I like to see in a jacket, like a removable hood. I guess Arc’teryx didn’t want their clean jacket to look sloppy with extra zippers or buttons.
Although style is completely personal, you can’t deny that this jacket looks clean. It doesn’t make you look swollen as if you’ve just stumbled upon a beehive. Another thing that I like about this jacket, is that the down baffles are hidden. For the most part, this is what makes it look so clean. Of course, that’s entirely personal and you may like the look of baffles.
As for the colors, they’re pretty classic and neutral, nothing flashy. Personally, I think they make you look more mature, and they are a great choice for winter colors. But I know that there are people who like bright colors, and maybe Arc’teryx will introduce those in the future. In fact, Arc’teryx themselves said that you can let them know what color you’d want to see in future collections and that they would consider it.
Check out this video to get a better idea of the Therme Parka’s style.
It seems that this jacket doesn’t have many downsides, because its durability isn’t so bad either. The outer shell that protects the down and Gore-Tex is made of 75-denier nylon. Denier is something we use to measure the thickness of the threads used to make a fabric. The higher this number, the thicker the threats, which also means the fabric is more durable. And the good news is, 75-denier for a jacket is some of the thickest threads used for nylon shells of winter jackets.
And although the Therme Parka is tough and durable, it’s still relatively lightweight. It only weighs 2 pounds and 5.6 ounces.
But honestly, wouldn’t you expect it considering how much this jacket costs?
This jacket scores high in the most important aspects of a winter jacket:
- Weather resistance
And of course, all that comes with an impressive price tag.
Whether you think that’s too much or not, depends entirely on how much you’re prepared to spend.
But one thing is for sure, this jacket is very impressive.
It is more of an investment than a purchase because it will serve you well for many years.
Since this jacket looks both clean and keeps you warm in the freezing cold, you can pretty much wear it wherever you want. It’s both suitable as a jacket to wear on your way to work as well as one to snowboard with.
However, this jacket is not designed to be stuffed in your backpack, so maybe there are some exceptions, like trekking.
But that depends on what temperatures you’re going to encounter. If you go trekking in a place with a lot of temperature swings, you could end up having to carry your 2lb jacket. On the other hand, if you’re planning on hiking somewhere where it’s extremely cold all the time, you don’t need a compressible jacket because you’re going to wear it all day.
Here are some buyers of this jacket who express their experience with the Therme Parka. I reworded them a little but you can find all of them on Amazon. It’s against their policy to copy-paste their reviews.
Review 1: This jacket is made beautifully. It’s warm, modern, subtle and a great one for urban use. The hood is a little too big, but the Therme is unique when it comes to design, hidden features and performance in cold weather. I finally bought it after studying it for years and I don’t regret it. The investment is worth it!
Review 2: It arrived new, waterproof and windproof. The thing that surprised me the most was its weight – it’s so light. It’s even lighter than my jackets for higher temperatures. This coat is fluffy, looks clean and keeps you warm even when it’s -10°F.
If for some reason you don’t like the Therme Parka, maybe take a look at these two alternatives.
The North Face Gotham 3
The Gotham is not a parka but does an equally good job of keeping your body heat in and the cold out. This one is also much less expensive but doesn’t look as clean, sleek and stylish as the Therme.
Still, it’s a great casual jacket to use for commuting or light outdoor activities. It features a special waterproof and breathable material called DryVent. It’s designed by The North Face with a focus on waterproofness, breathability and windproofness.
Besides scoring well in weather resistance, the Gotham is also known for its comfort. The elastic cuffs and hem close well, the outer shell feels nice and the lining is very soft. You can read the entire in-depth review on this page.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2
The Ghost Whisperer 2 is a jacket on a whole new level. This ultralightweight jacket is perfect to bring on your winter hikes. It weighs less than your water bottle and can easily be compressed in its own pocket. What’s left is a small package about the size of your water bottle.
Even with that insane level of compressibility, it still manages to keep you warm in freezing temperatures. The outer shell keeps the wind out and the 800 fill power goose down traps your body heat. In spots prone to moisture, Mountain Hardwear applied treated down that dries faster and insulates even when wet.
It features a durable water repellent coating that protects you from passing rain. Just don’t expect it to last in heavy rain like the Therme Parka can.
Since this jacket is so lightweight, its outer shell is really thin and vulnerable to branches, thorns and other sharp surfaces.
For more info, you can read the in-depth review here.
The Therme Parka is a jacket that stands out, one of much better quality than most winter jackets. Of course, like always, it doesn’t come without a price tag.
But there’s no denying that this jacket is a beast. It has the most important aspects of a down jacket and can be used to go watch a movie in the cinema or to hike a mountain.
If you liked this review, please leave some feedback by using the stars below. As always, if you have any questions, you can contact me on this page.
Stay safe and keep exploring!