Arc'teryx Koda Parka Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Long hem, articulated design.
Cons: Loose fitting cuffs, no hem adjustment.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The fit of the Arc'teryx Koda Parka is described as athletic, but compared with the Camosun, the fit felt roomier and with a longer cut which ends at the mid-thigh.
This is one of several synthetically insulated jackets in our review, and is most appropriate as a warm overcoat for temperate winters such as in the Pacific Northwest, or for the autumn and spring in colder winter climates. Body mapped Coreloft insulation is placed strategically to provide warmth in important areas, while reducing the bulkiness of the jacket. The stylish look of this jacket does not make compromises for function, and includes a three-way adjustable hood cinch which keeps snow and rain out, and Gore-Tex Windstopper material to make the jacket impervious to the warmth robbing effects of a cold wind. The mid-thigh length keeps drafts from coming up the back of the jacket, but we would have appreciated having an adjustable draw cord on the hem to tighten up the fit in colder weather.
Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric is windproof and water resistant, but not waterproof. This is an important distinction when considering what material you want for the climate you live in. During our tests we found that the Windstopper material locks out the cold wind and sheds snow when we took it out to the ski hill, but the outer shell did not hold up as well to consistent wetness as the waterproof materials used on the Patagonia Wanaka Down or Mountain Hardwear ZeroGrand Trench. One of the few casualties of the stylish look that this jacket has is the loose fitting wrist cuffs. The cuffs have only two sizes, changed by means of a single snap, and while they fit well over the wrist of a glove, they are much too wide to use with gauntlet style gloves and leave a wide gap for cold air to enter if gloveless.
The patterned, articulated design of the Arc'teryx Koda Parka allows for ease of movement and is comfortable to wear. Body mapped insulation disperses the bulk of the synthetic fibers, so that you have more insulation where you need it, less where you don't, and have a much less cumbersome jacket as a result. Since fit impacts comfort, we felt that the Koda ran large in the size we tested, even against other Arc'teryx models. Consider trying a smaller size than usual if you are looking for a slimmer fit.
The Arc'teryx Koda Parka has enough features to make it able to cope with the damp, cool climate that it is intended for, but not too many that it disrupts the clean and casual exterior appearance that Arc'teryx is known for. The feature we most liked was the amply cut hood and its three-way cinches which are concealed under small flaps to keep them out of your face. This hood is not removable like the one on the Camosun, but we do like the short inside collar which is visible when the hood is not up.
The zippered pockets are spacious and fleece lined, and there is a single interior chest pocket for carrying your wallet or phone where it won't get too cold. The biggest improvement we would like to see is to the wrist cuffs, which fit us rather loosely even with the two snaps for adjustment. An internal knit cuff, such as on the Patagonia Wanaka Down, gives a lot more warmth and compatibility with different glove styles.
A casual jacket that can block a cold North wind on your way to a dinner date or to the office, the Arc'teryx Koda Parka is a stylish addition to your wardrobe. We like the articulated, patterned design of the jacket, which did not add much bulk to our appearance even when wearing heavy layers underneath on colder days. We like the neutral yet earthy tones available; Black, Hinto, Anaconda and Loam are all subtle enough to blend into whatever outfit you are wearing them with. The fit of this jacket felt roomier than most other Arc'teryx models we have worn, so you may find sizing down will help you if you are looking for a slimmer look or don't plan on wearing many layers beneath the jacket.
Arc'teryx has a reputation for making quality gear, and we found nothing on this jacket that gave us trouble. The Windstopper fabric used as the outer shell is abrasion resistant, the wrist snaps are large enough to be used often, and the zippers are high quality and can take lots of abuse. Windstopper material does lose its DWR coating over time, so use of a spray on treatment such as ReviveX Durable Waterproofing will ensure that you remain just as protected from the elements over the years that this jacket should last you.
The Arc'teryx Koda Parka is best used as an overcoat when the air is cold and you have a need for a jacket that looks good in casual as well as professional situations.
Clothing from this manufacturer is always near the top of the list when it comes to price, and we feel that the premium they charge is often worth it for higher quality tailoring, materials and craftsmanship. At $449, this jacket is more expensive than The North Face Gotham II Jacket, but for the price you get a great looking and performing jacket that will last a long time.
If you are looking for a jacket that will keep you warm in a cold breeze, or you live in a climate where rainfall will be light, this stylish design that will take you from business to casual settings without missing a beat.
— Ryan Huetter