Skip to Content

What is a Parka Jacket?

Woman standing on the of the rail way in the middle of the woods.

I don’t know about y’all, but I am personally very fond of parka jackets. Since I live in Texas, I rarely get a chance to wear mine, and it’s enough to make me miss the snow back home in Pennsylvania. If you have never encountered or worn a parka jacket or are unfamiliar with what a parka jacket is, read my article to learn all about parka jackets, their history, and where you can get one of your own. Enjoy! 

Parka Jacket Definition

(from Merriam Webster)

Canada Goose Jackets

parka noun par·ka ˈpär-kə 

1a hooded fur pullover garment for arctic wear

2a usually lined fabric outerwear pullover or jacket

What is a Parka Jacket?

Two young girls wearing a denim and a parka jacket, walking in the autumn forest.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy winter coat or a stylish layer for cooler days, a parka jacket is an excellent option due to its versatility. A parka jacket is a heavy coat, often knee-length or longer, typically made from a waterproof and insulating material to protect the wearer from the elements like rain, wind, and snow. Would you like a jacket for everyday wear?

While they are most commonly worn in cold weather, parkas can also be layered over lighter jackets or sweaters for additional warmth. The inner lining of a parka jacket is often removable. Are you in the market for a stylish option for the coldest weather conditions?

Parka jackets usually have a hood, which can also be lined with fur or other insulation, making these jackets ideal for cold-weather activities like skiing and snowboarding. If you are an avid winter sports enthusiast, the versatile parka jacket might be precisely what you need.

Parka jackets are available in various styles, including short and long coats, and you can find them in a rainbow of colors. They are a popular choice for both men and women.

Related: What’s The Difference Between a Parka and a Jacket?

The History of the Parka Jacket

While the parka jacket may seem like a modern invention, it has a long and fascinating history. The parka first originated with the Inuit people of northeastern Canada. These jackets were made of caribou or seal skin and designed to protect against the harsh Arctic elements. The parka quickly became an essential item for survival in the Arctic region.

In the mid-20th century, parkas began gaining popularity outside the Arctic circle. Military personnel stationed in cold climates began wearing parkas, and the jacket soon became a fashion staple, a popular choice for both function and fashion.

The parka jacket will likely continue to be a friend to many humans thanks to its practicality and style – and climate change, assuming the planet doesn’t catch on fire and burn down anytime soon. 

Military Use of the Parka Jacket

Man in parka jacket and tactical military gloves holding a backpack with travel gear on stone wall background.

The parka jacket became prevalent in the military because it offers many benefits for soldiers. As we know, parka jackets are very warm, making them ideal for cold weather conditions, and they are also waterproof; naturally, these characteristics of the parka jacket come in handy when soldiers need to cross bodies of water or when they are caught in rainy or snowy weather. 

Overall, parka jackets are an excellent choice for soldiers because they are functional and offer substantial protection from the elements. In addition, parka jackets are very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. This durability is vital for soldiers because they often need to do intense physical activity while wearing their coats.

Moreover, parka jackets can be made with numerous pockets (think cargo pants), making them a convenient hands-free means of storing food items or other necessary military gear. Finally, parka jackets can easily be worn over other layers of clothing, such as an army uniform, allowing a soldier to go from drab to fab in a matter of seconds in a fashion emergency. 

Around the time of the Second World War, outdoor gear supplier Eddie Bauer began supplying air force soldiers with flight jackets, which proved very popular with the soldiers, leading Bauer to eventually begin producing the B9 Down Parka jacket for the United States Airforce. These jackets are a sought-after collector’s item today. 

Etymology of the word “Parka”

Since parka jackets were originally designed for Arctic climates, it may come as no surprise that the word “parka” comes from the Nenets language of North Siberia. In Nenets, parka means “animal skin” or “fur coat”.

Parkas were traditionally made from reindeer or seal skin, and some tribes made their parkas (known as a Kamalika) from the intestines of mammals, typically seals or sea otters.

These parkas were heavily water resistant and required regular maintenance with treatments of fish oil to maintain resiliency and keep them waterproof. Thankfully, today’s parkas are more commonly made from synthetic materials. 

Custom Parka Jackets

A handsome brutal man wearing a parka and sunglasses in the countryside in winter.

If you are so inclined, you can have your very own custom parka jacket made to your specifications and delivered to your door. Custom parka jackets are the perfect way to stay warm and stylish this winter. Parkas are made from a variety of different materials, including down, wool, and synthetic fabrics, so you can choose the option that best suits your needs.

Down parkas are especially warm but can be more expensive than other options. Wool parkas are also very warm but may not be as water-resistant as down parkas. Synthetic parkas are a good choice for people who are looking for a budget-friendly option.

Custom parka jackets can be made to order, so you can choose the style, color, and material you prefer. Whether you’re looking for a casual parka to wear around town or a more sophisticated option for formal occasions, a custom parka jacket with your name on it.

Related: Are Parkas Good for Winter?

Canada Goose Outer wear