Published on December 13, 2012  |  Written By

Happy holidays everyone! I know ’tis supposed to be a time for red and green, but that’s a terrible combo on any day other than Xmas. Scratch that, Christmas included. For some reason this season I’ve been getting into a funk searching for the right coat that is versatile enough for Canadian climates (unpredictable and all over the place). Here are five of my favourite outerwear options for the holidays from labels: Alpha Industries, Owner Operator, Saturdays NYC, Crescent Down Works and Engineered Garments. As you can tell I’ve got the blues, or more specifically, a hankering for navy. Don’t be alarmed though, most of these jackets are also available in multiple colours.


A. Alpha Industries has been around the block forever. They are the basic of basic for all your military surplus needs and they are likely the best bang for your buck besides searching through thrift shop racks. I’ve tried this M-65 on in person and for what it’s worth, it does the trick as a mid-weight field jacket that will hold up fairly well against the elements. Size down for a more contemporary fit. Purchase.


B. From what I can see, Saturdays NYC is stepping into uncharted territory with there latest trench coat iteration. Its style comes straight from the folks at Mackintosh but runs you less than half the price. Its bonded cotton fabric and taped seams make for a fully waterproof jacket. With a lengthy body, detachable hood and arm ventilation, this trench laughs in the face of the dampest, rainy days. Purchase.


C. The descriptive word “packable” always gets me intrigued when looking at outerwear. Lightweight, easy to store and ready for travel are three big pros. Our Pacific Northwest is very much a place that requires layering, but also mobility in your outfit. For year round wear, this DWR Anorak shell is just the ticket. Got to love the sheer minimalism of it from afar, until you realize that this thing has all the drawstrings, velcro cuffs, zippers and snaps that you need for all your necessary adjustments. Purchase.


D. Seattle based, Crescent Down Works, has got to be my favourite outdoors company on the westcoast, along with Arc’teryx. Last year we were able to visit CDW’s old factory to touch and feel these fabrics firsthand (see this), and I’ll tell you they are among the elite down jacket companies worldwide. Three words: Superior Insulating Properties. You in your shabby bubble goose have never looked so good. Purchase.


E. To call this coat by Engineered Garments my default option would be so wrong, but so right in my mind. Sigh…it’s a silhouette and style that’s been done over and over again by plenty of outdoor/workwear brands, but I guess as the adage goes, “you can never have too much of a good thing right?”. I’m a perpetual sucker for the corduroy collar and EG’s put just the right amount of work utilitarianism into this jacket for me to online window shop everyday. The ripstop fabric shell is also widely known for its water repellant properties. Purchase.