Parka vs Jacket

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As the temperature levels start dropping, you begin to take out your winter gear, such as scarves, gloves, boots, and winter coats. However, you come across parkas and jackets, and you wonder whether there a real difference between the two. We will discuss the comparisons between a parka vs jacket below, so continue reading!

In this article, you can learn more about:
– What are parkas and jackets,
– The distinctive features of a parka vs jacket,
– Which one that has better insulation, and
– Which one that is more recommended for the winter.

What is a Parka?
A parka is a type of coat which is windproof and equipped with a hood lined with either real fur or faux fur. Parkas are usually worn in a cold weather to protect both the face and the body against cold wind and freezing temperatures. A parka is usually a knee-length garment.

The first parkas were made by the Caribou Inuit people from caribou or seal skin. These parkas were worn for kayaking and hunting in the Arctic. Parkas became popular in west in the ‘50s, and were adopted for military purposes. Modern parkas today are made from lightweight synthetic materials. You can find some modern parka models from Uniqlo here.

Parkas are different from anoraks although these terms often get mistaken for each other. While a parka has a front zippered opening, an anorak doesn’t have any front opening and is more like a pullover jacket with a hood.

What is a Jacket?
On the other hand, a jacket is a garment for the upper body which comes down only to the waist or slightly below. It usually has long sleeves and closes on the front. A jacket is usually lighter, looser, and less insulated. Jackets nowadays are available in many designs for different purposes, ranging from casual to formal. A jacket may be used for fashion, protection, or both.

The front opening of a jacket may be fastened with zips or buttons. Some models are meant to be left open. Most jackets have lapels, collars, and pockets. Although most jackets have long sleeves, there are sleeveless variations such as the jerkins. Read the comparison between Sport Jacket vs Suit Jacket.

The Differences
First of all, a parka is quite longer than a jacket. A parka typically extends down to the thighs or knees. Also, a parka always has a hood. On the other hand, a jacket only extends to the hips or waist, and may come with or without a hood.

Second, parkas are meant for extreme cold weather and wind. So, they have much better insulation. They can keep you warm better. Because of this, a parka is often heavy and bulky, unless it is a high-tech version that is made from lightweight synthetic material. On the other hand, jackets are generally lighter and less insulated.

Third, parkas are not really meant for fashion, although some modern models have been optimized to look more fashionable. A parka’s top priority is to provide the best insulation and protection from cold temperatures and wind. On the other hand, jackets may serve a wider range of purposes. Some jackets are designed for fashion.

Parka vs Jacket

- Longer, extends to the thighs or knees- Shorter, only goes to the hips or waist
- Always has a hood that is lined with real fur or faux fur- May come with or without a hood
- Heavier, except if it is made from a high-tech synthetic material- Generally lighter
- Better insulation- Less insulated
- Less fashionable- More fashionable

For the best protection against cold temperatures and wind, you should choose a parka. It has better insulation and a protective hood. However, if you prefer a lighter clothing piece that looks more fashionable, a jacket is a great choice.