Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket - Women's Review
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Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket - Women's
$65.97 at Amazon
$249.93 at REI
|$379 List||$194.97 at Backcountry|
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$118.93 at REI
|Pros||Inexpensive, comfortable, decent waterproofing, quite warm||Incredibly warm and weather-protective, deep hood, amazing pockets||Warm, light, soft, great hood||Warm, flattering, cozy, double-sided zipper, functional pockets||Warm, comfortable, simple, inexpensive|
|Cons||Short, no wrist cuffs, questionable quality||On the bulky side, face fabric holds onto water||No cinch at the waist, not the most stylish||No front snaps, not as warm when compressed, not waterproof||Shallow hood, no internal pockets|
|Bottom Line||This low-cost winter jacket is warm and waterproof but much shorter than others we tested||A beast of a winter parka that took on arctic blasts and trips around town with ease||This soft, extra-long down parka with a cavernous hood is a dream to wrap up in when the temperatures drop||Serious warmth is packed into this lightweight, flattering, and reasonably priced parka||Cute, streamlined, and warm enough for almost any winter weather, this jacket is a great value|
|Rating Categories||Wantdo Waterproof Snow||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||Marmot Montreaux||REI Co-op Norseland...|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Wantdo Waterproof Snow||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||Marmot Montreaux||REI Co-op Norseland...|
|Insulation and Fill Power||Unavailable||Supreme microloft (100% polyester)||700 fill down||700 fill power duck down with water resistant Down Defender||650 fill duck down|
|Hood||Detachable, insulated hood, with removable faux fur trim||Insulated with detachable faux fur trim||Adjustable||Insulated, removable, detachable faux fur trim||Fleece lined|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand warmer, 2 internal - 1 zippered chest, 1 drop-in pocket||6 external - 2 chest, 2 hand warmer, 2 catchall. 5 internal - 2 zippered, 1 button, 2 mesh catchall.||2 zippered hand warmer, 1 internal zippered security, 1 internal pouch||2 zippered hand warmer, 2 internal chest (1 zippered)||2 zippered hand warmer|
|Weight (size small)||2.5 lbs||3.7 lbs||2.0 lbs||2.3 lbs||2.0 lbs|
|Weather Resistant Features||Waterproof||Waterproof, windproof||Water and wind resistant||Water resistant down, DWR treatment||DWR treatment|
|Sizes Available||S to XXL||XXS to XXL||XS to XL||XS to XXL||XS to XL|
|Social or Environmental Certifications||None||Fluorocarbon-free impregnation||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), Bluesign approved, 100% recycled nylon shell||None||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), 100% recycled polyester lining, Bluesign approved|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Wantdo is more of a ski jacket than a parka. Since this winter category is all about warmth, we tend to include longer options that will keep your thighs warm in a snowstorm. This jacket, though, is much less expensive than many of the other options in the test. And, while short, it does hold warmth well around the core, head, and face. It's also waterproof, thus providing a fair bit of cold-weather safety at a reasonable price point.
The Wantdo is impressively warm. We couldn't find information on the type or amount of insulation used, but the core is fleece lined and does a lot to hold onto warmth. In our more moderate warmth tests, we stood outside for 10 minutes in 20°F weather that felt like 17°F. While our legs felt cold, our core stayed cozy, and an internal thermometer stayed at 74°F, which was about mid-range for our tests. Additionally, when New England experienced the most extreme cold snap in recorded history, this jacket was warm enough to let us wander around outside. That said, while the hood is deep and lined with warmth-retaining faux fur, the collar isn't tall enough to protect the face, so we couldn't stay outside in extreme temps for long.
Engaging the snow skirt, which helps keep snow and cold out when you're on the slopes or in the middle of a snowball fight, really helps hold in the heat. The wrists, however, can be a bit drafty. Unlike many of the jackets in our test, there are no real cuffs. You can still tighten down the wrists with a strap, though, and they are long enough to help retain most of your warmth.
From a warmth perspective, the most concerning aspect of this jacket is that it doesn't breathe well. It retains enough heat to make it easy to work up a sweat on warmer days, but that moisture seems to hang around instead of evaporating. This can leave you feeling chilled, so for this reason, the Wantdo isn't a good option in life-threatening cold.
We wore the Wantdo into the shower for two and a half minutes to test its waterproof claims and got mixed results. The water worked its way through the jacket to our cotton t-shirt underneath, though it was just two places. The hood isn't quite deep enough to keep water out of the face, so some of that water likely came from it dripping down our chin. A bit more water worked its way through the zipper, even though it was covered with a protective flap. A shower forces water at an aggressive angle, and we directed it at the zipper for a good 20 seconds to test that obvious weak point. While the Wantdo did allow some water in, it's unlikely that you'll face that much water pressure in the wintertime.
What concerns us more is how much water the face fabric of the jacket absorbed. This jacket certainly couldn't stand in for a rain jacket, but if you need to get out of a wintery mix quickly or are roughhousing in wet snow, it should keep you warm and dry enough to make it to shelter.
On the other hand, the Wantdo performed well in windy conditions, effectively blocking a -30°F windchill from reaching our core. The hood also worked well in these conditions — as long as the wind was to our back or side. If we faced into the wind, our entire face and the top of our neck were exposed to the cold.
When we pulled on the Wantdo for a walk in the snowy woods, it left a comfortable first impression. It has a pleasant weight and is quite toasty with its high-pile fleece interior and warmth-retaining ski skirt. The pockets are placed at a comfortable angle and are lined with microfleece. The short length works best when you're walking, and your legs are bundled enough to stay warm on their own.
However, on closer inspection, there are many little devils in the details of this jacket. For instance, when you sit down, that short length does nothing to keep your bum off a cold bench or the ground. When you zip the collar closed, the top of the coat jabs uncomfortably into the underside of the chin. This is a common issue with winter jackets, but many other jackets have a bit of fleece or fabric to keep the zipper from directly contacting the skin — the Wantdo does not.
The hood is deep enough to protect the face when the ruff is attached. Unfortunately, the ruff has an odd feeling that can feel ticklish against the skin and obscure your vision. It's an uncomfortable feeling that is exacerbated if you tighten it down around your face. To do that, you tie two fat shoelaces together, and they cinch right under or across the chin. Not ideal.
While this jacket fit our testers through the shoulders, arms, and hips, its proportions make it look small. We think this is mostly because of the short length — 27 inches from top to bottom on our test model — and its style is quite different from the many parkas in our lineup.
The Wantdo has a laid-back sporty vibe, but it doesn't really pull off a specific style, and it's not particularly flattering. There are drawstrings to cinch in the waist, but they only create definition in the back of the jacket. They are also made of poor-quality shoestring material and don't do the jacket any style favors. The nonfunctional fake leather fasteners and disheveled faux fur ruff also don't help.
To get a sense of how long these jackets may last, we wear them as much as possible for at least a month and test out the features that are most likely to fail, such as zippers, seams, and face fabric.
The zippers on the Wantdo seem sturdy, zip smoothly, and never gave us trouble. The fabric tolerated being scratched with the tip of a paperclip without damage. However, when we checked the seams, they didn't fare as well. This jacket is built out of multiple panels, and several of them have largely spaced straight stitches that were loose enough to easily snag the paperclip. The stitching was also loose enough for the paperclip to slide easily between the panels. We're not confident that those stitches will hold up to much stress over time.
Should You Buy the Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket?
Though this jacket keeps the core warmer than other jackets in our review, its short length leaves the thighs and bum out in the cold. If you tend to layer up your legs and don't need the lower body warmth, this inexpensive jacket may be a good option for you. That said, with its questionable stitching, it might not last as long as other jackets, though it will certainly save you money in the short term.
What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?
If you can't afford much more than this jacket but would like a longer version that is more likely to last, consider the Legendary Whitetails Anchorage Parka. If you have a little more to spend and want even more warmth in a lightweight package, consider the REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka.
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