A thick and warm casual parka, the Mountain Hardwear Downtown Coat is an ideal layer for a lady looking to stay warm in style. It has slightly higher quality down and weighs a bit less overall than our Editors' Choice winner, the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. Overall we prefer the fit, cut, and look of the Kensington over the Downtown Coat, but it does have some commendable features, such as an internal pull-cord to adjust the fit around the waist, a detachable hood with a removable fur lining, a high pile interior fleece backing, and the newest version features hydrophobic down. Due to its style and weight, it is not a technical winter jacket but one that is best suited to casual, general use. If you are looking for something burlier to keep you warm at belays, check out the Rab Neutrino Endurance - Women's, which has additional wind and water resistance and can pack into a stuff sack.
Mountain Hardwear Downtown Coat - Women's Review
Cons: Baggy fit, heavy
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Our Analysis and Test Results
An attractive, thick, casual winter jacket, the Downtown Coat is a stylish option if you are searching for serious warmth and insulation.
Cut to mid-thigh length, the MHW Downtown Coat makes an excellent outer layer to bundle up in when winter weather is raging. The extra length keeps a woman's rear and upper legs warm, while 650 fill Q Shield down provides loft and warmth. Thicker than both the Patagonia Fiona and Arc'teryx Nuri, the Downtown Coat is one of the warmest casual parka options.
The ripstop fabric that comprises the exterior of this parka is not very absorbent and repels water and wind decently well. The large hood helps to protect the head from wind, but is removable if you don't need or want it. The down used in the most current version of this jacket is Q Shield down, or hydrophobic. It is treated to be more water resistant than regular down, meaning it retains its loft for slightly longer when wet. This could expand the range of use for this winter jacket.
The Downtown Coat is geared for casual use, so more energy has been spent on the style than the function of this parka. It succeeds in being stylish. It has an interior pull-cord to tighten the fit around the waist and give it a slightly more tailored look. It also has a large insulated hood with a removable faux fur lining. Women are likely to either love or hate this look, but since it can be taken off, it can accommodate both taste preferences. The entire hood detaches if you find you don't need a hood at all. The cut and fit is much baggier and puffier than the more streamlined look and feel of The North Face Metropolis Parka - Women's, but overall is relatively flattering. For animal lovers who like the style of fur trim, the Downtown Coat is a better option than the Canada Goose Kensington, since it uses faux fur instead of the real coyote fur found on the Kensington.
The inside of this parka is lined with thick, luxurious, high pile fleece. This adds extra warmth and makes for an especially cozy casual jacket. The large hood feels great to snuggle into and the interior of the hand pockets are lined with soft fleece as well. You will not be lacking for snuggly comfort in this piece.
The removable hood with detachable fur and the hydrophobic down are the stand-out features of this jacket. It is interesting to find one feature that is purely aesthetic (fur-lined hood) and one that is so technical (treated down) in the same jacket. Ultimately, we find this combo to work well and result in a casual jacket that is warmer and more functional than many of the others in this test. It also has a two-way zipper to allow for more leg mobility.
As a casual around town parka, the Downtown Coat is not very compact. A size small weighs almost 2 pounds, so it is not particularly lightweight either. The fur-lined hood and fleece-lined backing, though they add to the style and comfort, also add to the weight and bulk of this parka.
So far in our use and tests, this parka has held up well and has not had any durability issues.
This casual parka is best suited to battling the elements around town or in urban situations.
For $300, this coat is on the low end of the price spectrum for parkas, and is a great deal for what you get. It costs less than half the price of the Editors' Choice parka, the Canada Goose Kensington, but has slighlty higher quality treated down.
For a casual parka, this is a warm and cozy option. It is not as tailored as we like, looking too puffy and boxy, but it does have some fancy detailing such as the faux fur trim along the hood.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 22, 2014
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