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Arc'teryx Thorsen Parka Review

A beautiful parka with a long hem, plenty of down insulation, and Gore-Tex
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Price:  $850 List | $729.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Warm, weather resistant, very stylish
Cons:  Light on features
Manufacturer:   Arc'teryx
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 22, 2020
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82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 9
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Style - 20% 9
  • Features - 10% 5
  • Durability - 5% 9

Our Verdict

The Arc'teryx Thorsen Parka is a stylish and warm parka built for wet and cold urban conditions. It features tons of down insulation underneath a burly Gore-Tex shell, providing excellent protection from the elements. The style is sleek, sharp, and somehow makes a statement without sticking out in a crowd. It's also very comfortable to wear and performed well throughout our testing period. The only downside to this jacket is that it only has three pockets, which is plenty, but other jackets have more. Also, the hem comes down to a few inches above the knee, which is longer than some users prefer. This well-built parka came very close to winning our Editors' Choice Award.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Thorsen performs well in nearly every metric, making this a great choice for anyone who likes the style.

Performance Comparison


The Thorsen Parka is well-styled and sleek  and yet also provides some of the best weather resistance and warmth on the market.
The Thorsen Parka is well-styled and sleek, and yet also provides some of the best weather resistance and warmth on the market.

Warmth


Boasting tons of 750-fill power down insulation, this jacket is very warm. The down is packed into small baffles, keeping the insulation in place and minimizing bulk. From the hood to the hem, the entire jacket is insulated, and the long hem reaches down to the lower thigh. The hood provides good coverage, and the stretch-woven sleeve cuffs provide a warm fit over the wrists to prevent heat from escaping or cold drafts of wind from entering through the arms. There is a down-insulated neck rib that effectively keeps warmth in the torso chamber when the parka is worn without the hood. Overall, we are very impressed by the warmth of this parka, and trust it for use in all winter conditions in the coldest cities.

High quality down baffling provides lots of warmth in a comfortable package.
High quality down baffling provides lots of warmth in a comfortable package.

Weather Resistance


Featuring a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex membrane and a protective design, the Thorsen provides complete protection from the wettest winter conditions. Through rain, snow, and sleet, our testers stayed dry and comfortable in winter storms. The hood takes design cues from the Arc'teryx climbing and skiing collections, fitting securely and completely over the head without compromising movement or vision. We enjoy the stretchy cuff gaskets, which seal out the elements from the sleeve openings. Arc'teryx treats the outer shell fabric with a good DWR finish that lasts a decently long time. This parka is a great option for users who need a parka that will protect them from long, wet winters.

The Thorsen's Gore-Tex membrane and DWR finish easily repels water and wet snow.
The Thorsen's Gore-Tex membrane and DWR finish easily repels water and wet snow.

Comfort


The Thorsen is a dream to wear. Soft down baffles are exposed on the inside of the parka, with thin nylon fabric that rubs comfortably against skin or other clothing layers. The whole jacket is well-tailored and doesn't feel constricting, despite the long hem and protective hood. Soft stretch-woven cuff gaskets keep the wrist opening sealed comfortably, without being too tight or constricting. The handwarmer pockets are lined with fleece on the palm side and soft nylon on the back of the hand, making them comfortable refuges for cold hands on winter days.

An insulated neck rib keeps the torso warm when the hood is down  and also provides a comfortable snug feeling.
An insulated neck rib keeps the torso warm when the hood is down, and also provides a comfortable snug feeling.

Style


We love the Thorsen's style. It's tailored in a long, straight cut with minimal curvature, and the handwarmer pocket zipper flaps run parallel to the front zipper flap, reinforcing the straight-cut look. The front flap takes an angular turn around the exterior chest pocket, adding an accent to the otherwise linear look of the garment. It is overall sleek, understated, and yet artistic and refined. The logo is placed discreetly on the left sleeve, embroidered with dark grey thread, and goes mostly unnoticed. This is a great piece for people who want a sleek and beautiful parka without the accents and flair provided by shoulder straps, horizontal pocket flaps, and curved hems.

The Thorsen Parka features a sleek and urban style  with a hint of edginess. We like it.
The Thorsen Parka features a sleek and urban style, with a hint of edginess. We like it.

Features


The Thorsen is light on pockets, featuring only two handwarmer pockets, one exterior chest pocket, and one interior chest pocket. The two chest pockets are right on top of each other, limiting the usefulness of either. The handwarmer pockets have fleece linings on the palm side, but not the back of the hand, which is often the coldest part of the hand. There is one button at the bottom of the front flap to completely close the garment, and three buttons to fasten the top of the front zipper flap under the chin. The hood features three adjustable pull cords, and the two side pull cords are discreetly adjustable from the inside of the hood. The jacket has no large internal stash pockets.

The Thorsen's hidden external chest pocket is large and useful.
The Thorsen's hidden external chest pocket is large and useful.

Durability


Featuring a thick outer shell fabric, down insulation, and large zippers, the Thorsen is a durable jacket that will last a long time. It is well-designed, with no seams or flaps that can get easily snagged or torn. The zipper teeth are large, and a small internal flap prevents the soft nylon baffling material from getting snagged in the zipper. All of the seams feel solid, and we didn't experience any durability issues in our test period.

Tough external shell fabric and clean surfaces make the Thorsen a very durable garment.
Tough external shell fabric and clean surfaces make the Thorsen a very durable garment.

Value


The Thorsen is an expensive jacket, but its excellent warmth, weather resistance, style, and construction merit the price tag. You'd be hard-pressed to find a higher performance and better-styled parka at a similar price. Compared to winter jackets from other outdoor gear brands, the price tag is high, but compared to the elegant and stylish parkas from Fifth Avenue fashion houses, this jacket is a bargain. Arc'teryx has a great warranty program that will protect your investment.

Conclusion


The Arc'teryx Thorsen is an excellent parka with a long hem and superb styling. It is also extremely high-performance, packing high-quality down insulation into a burly Gore-Tex shell. The result is a stylish urban parka that performs as well as an alpine climbing or expedition parka. We recommend this jacket to anyone who wants a top-of-the-line urban winter jacket for the coldest and wettest environments, provided that you like the long hem styling.

The Thorsen is a warm  waterproof  and stylish parka with a long hem.
The Thorsen is a warm, waterproof, and stylish parka with a long hem.

Jeff Dobronyi