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Fjallraven Nuuk Parka Review

A stylish, durable parka that is well-equipped for extended exposure to snow, wind, rain, and cold
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Fjallraven Nuuk Parka Review
Credit: Jason Wanlass
Price:  $500 List
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Manufacturer:   Fjallraven
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 28, 2024
84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 16
  • Warmth - 30% 9.0
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 8.0
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Versatility and Style - 10% 7.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 9.5

Our Verdict

The Fjallraven Nuuk Parka is a hardy trench-style winter parka with a stylistic flare that lands somewhere between trendy urban and untamed wilderness. All fashion aside, this Swedish-born jacket is no joke. It's our favorite because it's dense, heavy, warm, and waterproof. Its recycled polyamide shell is backed with a polyurethane membrane, allowing it to do battle against wind and rain, while a proprietary synthetic insulation provides exceptional warmth by mimicking down fill. The Nuuk's faux fur hood cinches tight over the head to protect the face from the coldest temps, while the drawstring waist, extended collar, and adjustable cuff straps effectively trap warm air against the body. Admittedly, it's not on par with a grade-A polar expedition parka; however, it does provide substantial coverage for the everyday user who is seeking a higher level of protection from the elements.
REASONS TO BUY
Warm
Tons of pockets
Unique style
Fits most body types
Faux fur hood
Rugged
Cozy
Drawstring waist
REASONS TO AVOID
Bulky
Difficult to pack or stow
Stubborn main zipper
Expensive
Editor's Note: This review was updated on February 28, 2024, after testing the most current version.

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Bottom Line A cold weather parka that can meet nearly any winter climate head-onExtreme cold weather protection with a relatively affordable price tagWith long-lasting down insulation, cozy construction, and a value price, the Fordham is a competitive all-around contenderThis warm down parka is great for cold winter climates, in the city or in the hillsAn affordable jacket that performs well enough and offers a surprising array of features
Rating Categories Fjallraven Nuuk Parka The North Face McMu... Marmot Fordham Rab Neutrino Pro Wantdo Waterproof Snow
Warmth (30%)
9.0
9.0
7.5
7.0
5.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
8.0
7.5
7.5
6.0
7.0
Comfort (25%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.5
Versatility and Style (10%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.5
Construction Quality (10%)
9.5
8.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
Specs Fjallraven Nuuk Parka The North Face McMu... Marmot Fordham Rab Neutrino Pro Wantdo Waterproof Snow
Shell Fabric Polyamide DryVent 2L 100% recycled nylon NanoPro (100% post-consumer recycled polyester) Pertex Quantum 100% polyester
Insulation and Fill Power 100% recycled polyester 600-fill down 700-fill down treated with Down Defender 800-fill goose down with Nikwax fluorocarbon-free hydrophobic finish Synthetic
Measured Interior Temperature 80.2 °F 79 °F 78.6 °F 74.2 °F 72.6 °F
Fill Weight 250 grams/ sq meter Not specified Not specified 212 grams Not specified
Removable Hood No No Yes No Yes
Hood Adjustments 2 side drawcords, 1 rear velcro tab 2 side drawcords, 1 rear drawcord 2 side drawcords 2 side drawcords, 1 rear velcro tab 2 side drawcords
Pockets 2 zippered breast pockets; 2 buttoned breast pockets; 2 top-loading bellow pockets; 2 fleece-lined handwarmer pockets; 1 media pocket on sleeve, 2 internal zippered chest pockets, 2 internal button-closure stash pockets, 2 internal mesh stash drop-in pockets. 2 zippered chest, 2 top-entry Velcro flap, 2 zippers side-entry waist, 1 zippered interior media pocket 2 zippered handwarmer, 2 flap waist, 1 zippered internal media 2 zippered waist, 1 internal media 2 zippered waist, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered interior media
Weight 4.64 lb (2XL) 3.31 lb (XL) 3.24 lb (2XL) 1.38 lb (L) 3.29 lb (2XL)
2-Way Front Zipper Yes Yes No Yes No
Weather Resistant Features Faux fur lined hood, cinchable hood and waist, adjustable cuffs, heavy exterior shell, rugged front zipper flap, water-resistant shell, Faux fur lined hood, cinchable hood, DryVent waterproof membrane, adjustable cuffs Integrating hood flaps, cinchable hood and hem, adjustable fleece lined cuffs, rugged front zipper flap, water-resistant shell, Cinchable hood and hem, adjustable cuffs Water-resistant shell, cinchable hood and hem, adjustable straps, spandex interiior cuffs, powder skirt
Available Sizes XS - 3XL S - 3XL S - 2XL XS - 2XL S - 3XL
Social or Environmental Certifications Shell, lining, and filling made from 100% recycled polyester Non-PFC DWR finishes, 100% recycled waterfowl down insulation Shell is 100% post-consumer recycled polyester Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified down and feathers, fluorocarbon-free hydrophobic finish None specified

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Fjallraven Nuuk Parka was designed by people who understand winter. This jacket is unique because it holds fast to its Swedish roots while blending style, tradition, and performance. In honor of its Fjallraven name, we decided to test it in its country of origin.

Performance Comparison


fjallraven nuuk parka - checking off a bucket-list item in the northern-most wilds of...
Checking off a bucket-list item in the northern-most wilds of Sweden's Lapland. Temperature: -8 degrees F.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Warmth


There's nothing like the feel of a cozy down comforter, but sometimes you just want the security of an extra heavy handmade quilt to keep you warm. That's exactly the kind of warmth the Fjallraven Nuuk Parka offers. Its super-dense recycled polyester materials layer together to provide a noticeably higher level of warmth when compared to most of the jackets we tested. The star of the show is this parka's Supreme Microloft insulation, a proprietary polyester battening that traps air similarly to down feathers.


We gave the Nuuk top marks for warmth based on a combination of personal experience and simple science. We wore this parka extensively while hunting for the northern lights in Sweden's Lapland, where December temps barely eked above

0°F during the day and plunged to -15°F at night.

fjallraven nuuk parka - taking a chilly evening stroll through the small town of abisko...
Taking a chilly evening stroll through the small town of Abisko, Sweden. The Nuuk was always our go-to parka for spending extended periods of time in frigid temps.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

The Nuuk is not a professional-grade expedition parka, but it teeters on the edge of looking like one. On its own (without extra layers), it kept us plenty warm down to 15°F. When we combined it with ski pants, gloves, a beanie, and some serious top layers, it helped keep us warm enough to spend hours outside watching the northern lights at -15°F.



Its cold-weather abilities were backed up by our temp tests, where we used a Bluetooth thermometer to record the temps inside our Nuuk. We conducted this test twice. Once on the outside stern of a ferry in the middle of the Gulf of Finland, where the outside temp was 9°F (internal reading 78.2°F), and then again at home, where the outside temp was 18°F (internal reading 80.2°F). Both tests were conducted in normal street clothes without extra layers. In the end, the Nuuk recorded some of our very best internal temperature scores.

Testing our Nuuk's interior warmth while on the stern of a ferry the middle of the Gulf of Finland. Outside temp: 9 degrees F. Interior temp: 78.2 degrees F. Toes, fingers, and nose: very unhappy.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

The trench-style coat extends to the upper thigh, which provides heat to the lower body. The fleece-lined removable hood is also insulated and lined with faux fur. Two easy-to-reach drawstrings allow it to be cinched tight around the face, which reduces vision significantly but keeps the wind off the sensitive skin of the face.

fjallraven nuuk parka - enduring a solo windy stern ride as our ferry docks in tallinn...
Enduring a solo windy stern ride as our ferry docks in Tallinn, Estonia. The Nuuk's faux fur liner adds an excellent layer of warmth for the face, especially the cheeks. Passengers, looking on from inside of the ferry, thought we were nuts.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

This jacket's dense polyamide (recycled polyester) shell feels like canvas and offers an excellent first line of defense against the cold. This super dense fabric is laminated with a polyurethane barrier which allows the Nuuk to be waterproof and windproof, and it also works well to keep warm air trapped inside the insulation and cold air on the outside. One minor drawback to this densely layered system is it traps a little more moisture from the body. During our warmth tests, we also measure the internal humidity of each jacket. The Nuuk's humidity registered 27.6 percent, which was close to two percentage points higher than the average. Interpretation: you're going to sweat a little more in this jacket if you're overly active while wearing it. We feel the Nuuk is an all-purpose jacket that is well suited for nearly any winter activity; however, we enjoyed it most for mild to moderately physical activities with longer exposure to the more extreme cold — walking, bonfires, ice fishing, sledding, winter camping.

fjallraven nuuk parka - playing "tag you're it" with a few of the local trees. it was too...
Playing “tag you're it” with a few of the local trees. It was too cold for precipitation, so we decided to make our own blizzard. The Nuuk's polymide shell can handle everything from rain to snow.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

As stated, the Nuuk is warm, but if you live in an extremely cold climate, it may not keep you completely warm on truly frigid days when temps are well below zero. To stay protected, you will definitely need to layer up. See our favorite men's base layers if you need some recommendations. The parka's one weak spot is its hem. It lacks a drawstring, so it can't be cinched tightly around the lower body. However, in temps above 0°F, we didn't feel this was much of an issue, as long as the wind wasn't blowing. Our favorite feature was the massive fleece-lined collar that extended well beyond our nose.

Showing off a few of our favorite features. Each played a key role in keeping us warm and dry.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Weather Resistance


Designed for cold and wet Scandinavian winters, the Nuuk does a good job at keeping out the worst winter weather. The recycled polyamide shell is waterproof, and its synthetic insulation stays warm and lofty even if it gets wet.


The long hem, deep handwarmer pockets, and huge fur-lined hood help keep the elements at bay. However, the shell fabric loses its DWR coating over time and wets out during the fiercest deluges. Even so, we never felt a drop of moisture during our water tests. Although this water doesn't penetrate the shell material, it does feel heavier when the jacket is saturated.

The Nuuk's outer shell absorbs water, but an interior polyurethane liner prevents it from touching the jacket's insulation or interior liner. Our only complaint were the open side pockets. They unfortunately took on water.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

We also conducted our wind tests aboard the open stern of the Tallink Silja while crossing the Gulf of Finland, where temps were 9°F, and wind speeds were about 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. These conditions were a bit more extreme than a typical city jaunt to the local java stop, but we thought it was a perfect opportunity to put our Nuuk to the test. Overall, it blocked the wind very well. Our face would have been happier had we cinched the hood fully; however, the rest of our upper body stayed protected from the stout breeze. As already mentioned, the only weak spot on the Nuuk is its open hem. We feel a drawstring would allow the jacket to more effectively protect the lower body from the wind.
Luckily, it does have a nice drawstring waist.

Same old ferry in the Gulf of Finland. Testing our Nuuk's wind resistant. Wind speed: approximately 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph. Results: Nuuk passed with flying colors.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Comfort


The Fjallraven Nuuk is a moderately comfortable garment to wear. The soft interior polyester liner fabric lays gently against the skin. Every key peripheral feature of the jacket — the hood, collar, and pockets — are lined with soft fleece.


The hood effectively creates a micro-climate of calm around the face while still allowing enough room for a beanie underneath. One slight downside to the jacket's comfort is its weight. We measured our size 2XL at 4.64 pounds, making it the heaviest jacket in our review. This added weight and bulk does not lend itself well to highly physical activities. However, we certainly weren't cussing the extra heft during extended stays in cold while sledding, winter camping, or standing for hours watching the aurora borealis.

fjallraven nuuk parka - an evening gaze at over tallinn, estonia. despite its length and...
An evening gaze at over Tallinn, Estonia. Despite its length and bulk, the Nuuk's fabrics are pliable and accommodating. Sitting, reaching, twisting, and bending were never a problem, even with extra base layers.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Although roomy enough to accommodate additional layers, the Nuuk doesn't overdo it when it comes to size, a feature we really enjoyed. Even when sporting a base layer, long sleeve shirt, and a thin down puffy underneath, we never felt overly confined, while at the same time, we didn't feel like we were wearing a circus tent. We did, however, have two consistent complaints when it came to comfort: the Nuuk is not the best travel companion, and the main zipper can sometimes be as difficult as an ornery bridge troll. Carrying our Nuuk under one arm was our only option when it came to hotel lobbies, train stations, and airport terminals. It's simply too bulky to pack in a duffel or carry on bag. We also got the evil eye from the flight attendant when we shoved it in the overhead compartment. Additionally, the main zipper connects on the opposite side (more common in Europe or Scandinavia) and it almost never connected the first time, making it nearly impossible to get started while wearing gloves.

fjallraven nuuk parka - the ol' nuuk-ster is not a very good travel buddy. we grew tired of...
The ol' Nuuk-ster is not a very good travel buddy. We grew tired of lugging it through airports and finding space for it in the overhead compartments. We absolutely loved its warmth when we needed it, but boy this parka takes up a lot of space.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Versatility and Style


Despite its somewhat bulky polar expedition vibe, the Nuuk somehow pulls off a kind of urban-native look that allows it to be utilitarian but stylish. It didn't garner our highest marks in this metric, but its scores were still strong. Given its heavy, parka-length design, the Nuuk is slightly less versatile than your average everyday winter coat. However, its numerous pockets, long hem, straight cut, fur-lined hood, drawstring waist, and leather accents effectively combine to produce a unique style immediately recognizable as Fjallraven.


It is a fashion-forward jacket and helps the user stand out in a crowd during winter weather. In achieving high style points, the jacket lacks some practical designs and it might come off as flashy in specific contexts. That said, we think this jacket looks great, and we like the versatility of wearing it in the wild, at the local public square, or just cruising around town. It also comes in a wide variety of color options.

The perfect choice for extensive exposure to cold and wind.
The perfect choice for extensive exposure to cold and wind.
Stylish enough to wear to the local Christmas market in Tallinn...
Stylish enough to wear to the local Christmas market in Tallinn, Estonia.
Comfortable enough to wear all day -- roaming through big cities or...
Comfortable enough to wear all day -- roaming through big cities or small towns, like Porvoo, Finland.
The Nuuk is quite versatile: warm enough to brave the winter wilds, stylish enough to hit the town, and comfortable enough to wear all day doing normal everyday things.

We like mentioning value-adding features, especially those that perform two functions at the same time. A drawstring waist allows the Nuuk to be both stylish and warm. Cinching this somewhat bulky jacket at the waist gives it a more contoured, stylish appearance and is one of our favorite fashion features. Likewise, the ability to lock the Nuuk's midsection closer to the body effectively holds in warm air, keeping the upper body toasty.

The Nuuk's drawstring waist is a contouring feature that creates a bit of style, but also adds serious function by trapping warm air around the upper body's vital organs.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Where did I put that?… We routinely mumbled this to ourselves while donning our Nuuk. It certainly is not short on pockets. It has several interior zipper pockets which are perfect for phones or other valuables that need to stay dry and warm. Likewise, there are four massive exterior cargo pockets (two chest, two bellows) both with large, snap close storm flaps. Our favorite pockets were the two fleece-lined waist hand warmers. These were our first choice for warming up cold bare hands during a nighttime stroll through the woods or around a city block. Comically, our only pocket-related drama resulted in trying to count them all. The manufacturer's site says there's eight, we counted 13 (and we're still wondering if we missed one). It's safe to say, you'll never lack for a place to put something.

Whatever it is, it's safe to say the Nuuk has a place for it... finding where you put it is a completely different issue.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Worth specific mention are this parka's two side-zip breast pockets. Simply put, they are massive, measuring 11" X 12". While traveling, we chose to use them for storing valuables. Their chest-height side access and leather zipper pulls make them super easy to access, while their deep reservoirs allow items to settle safely below the zipper opening. This is an excellent design that gives quick access to important cargo, but also makes them a difficult target for pickpockets.

Securing our wallet before heading into the Christmas market.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Construction Quality


The Nuuk's polyamide shell feels thick and canvas-like. It slides easily over rough surfaces without scratching or snagging. Likewise, upon close inspection, we found an obvious attention to detail. Leather zipper pulls, quality materials, excellent stitching — we didn't find much to question or complain about.


In looking at the details, we were pleased that the Nuuk is held together with quality stitching. This detail is often overlooked, but is an important feature that can be the difference in how well an outdoor garment holds up over time. Nearly every seam of the Nuuk contains 12 stitches per linear inch. This is the norm for higher-quality products. During our scratch tests, the exterior shell showed no signs of damage, but the Nuuk's silkier polyester liner was more prone to snags.

Using a paper clip to test fabrics and count stitches.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

On the negative side, the Velcro cuff straps may eventually wear out over time, and we feel they should be metal snaps instead, since every other connection point on the NuuK uses premium metal snaps. Additionally, we didn't like that some of the polyester fill appeared to bleed through onto the liner after repeated use. We were not overly concerned, just slightly annoyed.

fjallraven nuuk parka - pointing out small balls of synthetic insulation that seemed to push...
Pointing out small balls of synthetic insulation that seemed to push through the liner near key rubbing points. This particular area is in the rear of the the jacket along the hem.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Should You Buy the Fjallraven Nuuk Parka?


The Fjallraven Nuuk Parka is a relatively expensive winter parka designed to withstand colder temps and harsher elements. If you live in a cold climate and need a jacket to get you through winters with temps in the single digits, the Nuuk is a great option. It isn't designed for 20 below, but it certainly will keep you warmer than the average winter coat. Likewise, if you simply want a well-made garment or you like your clothing to have its own unique style, this Swedish parka ticks all of the style boxes. This jacket will fit most body types and is a great option for lengthy exposure to winter conditions — winter camping, Christmas markets, braving the urban jungle, and ice skating.

Strolling along the frozen Porvoonjoki River in Porvoo, Finland. Our Nuuk kept us toasty for four hours as we roamed about the city's old town.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?


If feathers are your insulation of choice, we highly recommend the The North Face McMurdo Down Parka. It performs just as well as the Nuuk but is stuffed with 600-fill down protected by a nylon shell and waterproof membrane. If you routinely face the worst Mother Nature has to offer and are willing to splurge, the Canada Goose Expedition Parka will keep you warm and dry.

fjallraven nuuk parka - standing in -10 degrees f gazing at the northern lights. with the...
Standing in -10 degrees F gazing at the Northern Lights. With the help of insulated ski pants and a few extra base layers, our Nuuk allowed us to brave the cold for several hours.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Jason Wanlass