When that first burst of cold air hits you on a sunny Autumn day, you know the snowy days are on their way and it’s time to find yourself some vegan winter coats. Traditionally, most winter coats are made of animal products like goose down, wool, and even leather. However, these days there are many alternative materials that are just as good (if not better than) these typical animal based insulators. Vegan winter coats are made up of highly engineered synthetics to materials made from recycled plastics that were previously polluting our oceans.
Can Vegans Wear Down Jackets?
Most people who consider themselves to be vegan do not wear winter coats containing down. Down is made of goose feathers and vegans do not wear any clothing derived from animal products. Goose down is used in outdoor gear because it is extremely lightweight, it is very efficient at trapping your body heat, and it can be compressed down easily to half its size. Unfortunately, the down industry isn’t great for the geese. They’re either plucked alive or killed for their feathers.
Can You Wear Wool As A Vegan?
Some winter coats are made partially with wool, which comes from the fur of a sheep, and most vegans do not wear any clothing made of wool. Wool is naturally water resistant, anti microbial, and warm. This makes it a popular choice for backpacking base layers and outdoor gear. However there are several vegan alternatives to wool. Bamboo and Hemp are natural materials that are both extremely durable and antimicrobial!
How Can I Tell If I Have a Vegan Winter Coat?
Look at the label of any winter coat. If the tag states “100% synthetic” then you have yourself a vegan winter coat! Some labels will list their materials, so be sure to look out for wool, down, and leather. When shopping online, most websites will list the materials they use. If not, you can always send them an e-mail asking if their products are in fact vegan. In my experience most companies are quick to give a straight forward answer.
Alternative Insulation for Vegan Winter Coats
There are many, many different types of synthetic down used in vegan sleeping bags. Each offers it’s own unique benefits. Some are better than others in terms of warmth, durability, and compressibility. Below I’ve listed some of the top technologies used major outdoor brands.
Prima loft Eco
Prima Loft is used by brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and adidas to name just a few. The newer eco line contains over 55% post-consumer recycled content with zero loss in performance. The fibers in primal loft are super small and they’re designed in such a way to lock in air and lock out moisture. Unlike some synthetic materials, prima loft is “hydrophobic” which means it is completely waterproof! The tiny fibers also allow the sleeping bag to be highly compressed while remaining lightweight.
Spirafil is a unique material blend of thick, hollow spiral fibers for loft, and smaller polyester fibers that are highly efficient at trapping in heat. The small fibers also offer a lot of cushy softness and compressibility. A thermal bonding technique is used in Spirafil to increase tear strength and long-term durability.
Marmot designed Thermal R to carry moisture and perspiration away from the body while keeping heat trapped next to your body. The material has an excellent warmth to weight ratio and it is very resilient. Marmot’s featherless line now accounts for 60 percent of the brand’s sales globally.
Designed by Mountain Hardware, Thermal Q is used in vegan winter coats because it essentially mimics goose down. Like goose feathers, Thermal Q is made up of both thick and thin strands of material. The thicker material creates a strong structure that allows heat in, while the thinner materials work within the structure to trap that heat. The material is also completely waterproof, meaning your winter coat will not hold water when conditions are wet.
The Best Vegan Winter Coats
I’ve rounded up my favorite vegan winter coats for this season. Some are best for backpacking and hiking, while others are designed to be daily drivers. Whatever kind of jacket, parka, coat you are looking for, I’m sure you’ll find one you like from my list that will fit your lifestyle!
|Patagonia||Nano Puff Hoody||PrimaLoft Gold||$$$|
|The North Face||Thermoball||Thermoball Eco||$$$|
|Save the Duck||Lightweight Recy||Plumtech||$$$|
|Save the Duck||Giga Winter||Plumtech||$$$|
|Save the Duck||Smeg Winter Parka||Plumtech||$$$|
|Save the Duck||In Luck||Plumtech||$$$|
|Save the Duck||Giga Stand Up||Plumtech||$$$|
|Alpine North||Vegan Puffer||Polyfill||$$|
|Alpine North||Drawstring Winter||Polyfill||$$|
|Alpine North||Mid-Length Parka||Polyfill||$$|
|Alpine North||Packable Puffer||Polyfill||$|
The Addie vegan winter coat from Noize keeps out the cold with it’s long parka-style cut. The faux fur trim on the hood is removable an so is the fleece lined hood. Ribbed cuffs keep your wrists cozy and trap in heat. Nozie is a fully vegan company and their style is awesome! Check out their full line:
This heavyweight parka from Noize is rated to keep you warm at -30 C! Ribbed cuffs help to insulate and keep you cozy even in blizzard-like conditions. This vegan winter coat is insulated with recycled fill and the shell is made from a water resistant poly fabric.
This has to be one of the most popular puffers for the backcountry (and for good reason). The vegan insulation is Primaloft Gold, which is super lightweight and compressible. The shell is made of durable ripstop nylon and it is coated with DWR for water resistance.
The cheveron baffle design in the Dawa Hooded Jacket keep insulation organized for optimal heat trapping. The hood is lined with a faux fur made of acrylic and polyester. This vegan winter coat is made of from recycled plastic bottles (about 100!) and that is always awesome.
The Expolite jacket is a super light weight puffer, perfect for layering while hiking. As a bonus, it also packs down into a travel pillow! The diagonal baffle traps heat to the body, much like natural down. This puffer is filled with a high loft thermapro material, it’s wind resistant, and the SmartDry tech means it’ll be dry in a jiffy.
The Norwood is made from recycled polyester with a waterproof DWR finish. The ThermoPro insulation and SmartDry tech keeps you warm and dry on those cold and rainy days. There are 5 pockets in this jacket, including a special pocket designed to keep keys and crucial gear safe.
The insulation for this vegan puffy is made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials! The slim fit is specifically designed for those who rock climb, but can be worn in any outdoor situation. The zipper and collar are designed to keep cold air out and trap in body heat.
Save the Duck is one of my favorite companies on this list! They’re a 100% vegan company and they aim to reduce waste in their manufacturing process. Their coats are on the expensive side but the quality is there to back up the price. I love the simple and cozy design of this casual lightweight jacket. Check out this design in several different colors on their site.
This vegan winter coat from Save the Duck protects from both wind and rain. The surface is treated with a waterproofing solution. The jacket is designed to absorb humidity and dry out quickly at the same time. The faux Sherpa lining adds extra coziness in freezing temperatures.
This short parka is designed for everyday use, and warm enough for backpacking adventures. The triple layer polyester creates excellent water resistance and breathability. Additionally, the parka features taped seams for protection from cold drafts, moisture, and wind.
This oversized puffy is made from 100% nylon. The high density outer material is windproof and the interior is made from a lovely soft faux Sherpa lining. This vegan winter coat is more high fashion and high quality. A great everyday jacket for your winter wardrobe.
This reversible puffer from Billabong is stylish and warm. The quilted construction eliminates insulation separation, avoiding cold spots. Elastic wristbands keep heat trapped in and snow out! The large front pocket allows your hands to rest comfortably and stay warm.
This is a wonderful everyday vegan winter coat to keep you cozy walking the streets or snowboarding in the backcountry. The parka style keeps heat trapped close to the body. The poly/cotton shell and polyester insulation is rated for up to -22 degrees F.
The mid length parka from Alpine North is the ultimate vegan winter coat that you can wear everyday. The high collar construction protects the face and neck from freezing temperatures, while the insulated hood traps heat around the ears and head. The shell of this parka is a cotton/poly blend and the insulation is 100% polyester.
Based out of Montreal Canada, Alpine North is a vegan company that has designed their gear to withstand the harsh northern winters. The packable puffer is a great all around jacket for lightweight backpacking and the everyday. The shell is made of nylon and the insulation is a made from dense polyester.
The Avant Featherless hoody also packs down into its own pocket and it’s lightweight. The insulation is made from recycled materials and the baffle construction eliminates any cold spots. It’s just as warm as 700 down fill but it performs in wet weather!
The Solus Featherless jacket’s insulation is made from recycled materials and the baffle construction eliminates any cold spots. It’s just as warm as 700 down fill but it performs in less than ideal weather. Unlike down, the Thinsulate insulation has waterproof properties.
The North Face is not a fully vegan company, However, they do have many vegan options when it comes to insulated jackets and outdoor gear. The North Face recently won a PETA award for their new Thermoball technology. Thermoball is their synthetic alternative to down and it is used in many of their products!
Many vegan winter coats on our list are rated for well below freezing temperatures. The warmest coats are typically the parka style jackets that cover more of your body and trap in the most heat. Vegan winter coats with insulated hoods are also a must for freezing temperatures!
Stylish vegan winter coats can be pricey! However, there are several affordable options on our list above. Alpine North is a company on our list that has relatively affordable vegan winter coats. For under $100 your can get one of their highly rated synthetic down parkas.
Do you have any favorite vegan winter coats that we didn’t include on our list? Let us know in the comments!