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MassWineGuy

Advice on Parka Size

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MassWineGuy

After an overly exhaustive couple of months trying down jackets and parkas I’ve decided on the Mountain Equipment K7. At least I think so. As with many British companies, M.E. jackets can run small. Another model in large (my usual size) was incredibly small. So I bought a K7 x large. Feels good, not loose or huge, and more than adequate room for layering. Shoulders and sleeves are good.

But I was curious and ordered a large for comparison. Certainly more form-fitting, mildly snug but not tight. I could definitely live with it, but just as definitely wouldn’t be able to add a lot underneath without it being tight and compressing the down a bit.  I don’t go ice climbing or winter camping. But I do get cold during winter in New England. 

Exactly how should a down jacket/parka/whatever fit? I’d be grateful for advice.

As a side note of interest, the M.E. Expedition parka is a heat machine. I cannot imagine many scenarios where it wouldn’t keep a person really warm and comfortable. Just shy of one pound of high goose down, compared to the K7’s 10.5 ounces.  Thank you. 

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Mark

To a certain extent, at least for me, it depends on what season I'm wanting to use the parka for.

For the down jackets (a term which I'm using interchangeably with "parka", which probably creates another set of confusion) that I use in spring/summer fall/ I usually have them fit fairly close with just room for a light layer underneath (baselayer, maybe a button up, but that's usually about it).

For the down jacket I use for deep winter trips, I got a larger size that I can wear over a thicker fleece jacket or insulating midlayer to keep even more warmth in. This has worked well in cold temperatures (single digits and right around 0) but one hand I do wish I had just gotten a more slim size, but oh well . . . it works!

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Aaron

Personally if I’m in between sizes on something I’ll usually size up, more comfortable if anything else! The extra room can be nice when wearing the jacket at night in a sleeping bag as well. I don’t usually layer much under my down jacket, just baselayer type items. I do like to layer a rain jacket over the down jacket from time to time though for extra warmth, so I always try to make sure my rain gear is sized large enough to not compress the down.

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IPv6Freely
On 3/7/2019 at 7:48 PM, Aaron said:

Personally if I’m in between sizes on something I’ll usually size up, more comfortable if anything else! The extra room can be nice when wearing the jacket at night in a sleeping bag as well. I don’t usually layer much under my down jacket, just baselayer type items. I do like to layer a rain jacket over the down jacket from time to time though for extra warmth, so I always try to make sure my rain gear is sized large enough to not compress the down.

That was a mistake I made. I bought a Helium II rain jacket, and while it was fantastic it didn't fit over my down jacket. That was fine until I went on a trip where the snow was a bit wetter and the down started getting damp. Exchanged it for a size up (thank you REI return policy!)

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