Arc'teryx Thorsen Parka Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Thorsen performs well in nearly every metric, making this an excellent choice for anyone who likes the style.
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. The entire coat is insulated from the hood to the hem, and the long hem reaches down to the lower thigh. The hood provides good coverage and is roomy enough for a beanie to fit comfortably underneath. The stretch-woven sleeve cuffs provide a warm fit over the wrists to prevent heat from escaping or cold drafts of wind entering through the arms. A down-insulated neck rib 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.
Featuring a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex membrane and a protective design, the Thorsen provides complete protection from the wettest conditions. Our testers stayed dry and comfortable in winter storms through rain, snow, sleet, and windy days. The hood takes design cues from the Arc'teryx climbing and skiing collections, fitting securely and entirely 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 to protect them from long, wet winters.
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. Despite the long hem and protective hood, the whole jacket is well-tailored and doesn't feel constricting. 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.
We love the Thorsen's style. It's tailored in an extended, 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 coat 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 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. One button at the bottom of the front flap completely closes the garment, and three buttons 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, so you may want to invest in a good commute bag to compensate for the lack of storage.
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 easily snag or tear. The zipper teeth are large, and a small internal flap prevents the soft nylon baffling material from getting caught in the zipper. The seams feel solid, and we didn't experience any durability issues in our test period.
Should You Buy the Arc'teryx Thorsen Parka?
The Arc'teryx Thorsen is an excellent winter 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.
What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?
The Thorsen is at the upper limit compared to the price of other jackets, 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. However, we know that it does not fit into every budget. A more affordable parka with equal warmth and weather ratings is the Patagonia Frozen Range. For those on the strictest of budgets, the The North Face McMurdo Down Parka is our favorite affordable option, although you will sacrifice some weather resistance with this jacket.
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