Sometimes between last Winter and this Fall, I lost my old, trusty, favorite Winter coat. I was devastated when the weather started turning cold and I realized that my coat was GONE. I must have left it hanging somewhere on the last cold day of the Spring… Sad!
Luckily, I was asked to participate in the Coat Challenge with Mom Spark. I’ve never done anything quite like this coat challenge before, and I must admit it forced me to look closely at details I may have over looked otherwise.
About 2 weeks ago, a box arrived at my house with four brand new name-brand coats. I was not told which one of the four brands was sponsoring the Coat Challenge, so my analysis of each coat is not swayed at all by the sponsor’s name.
The #coatchallenge contenders:
Gap (the dark grey coat – top left) – $99.00
Lands’ End (the black coat – bottom left) – $179.50
LL Bean (the green coat – top right) – $179.00
Nautica (the tan coat – bottom right) – $199.00
Let me start of by saying that every one of these coats is fabulous. They are each well-made and warm. Some have more features than others (such as removable hoods, collars, or sleeve liners) but none of them was a disappointment to me.
Here are my responses to the specific features I was asked to rate on each coat. I was asked to chose the best coat in each category.
Even though the Gap coat was the smallest (not as long in the body or the arms) I felt like the insulation was the most even. Plus, I liked the fact that there was no down poking through the coat.
Hood Quality and Features:
I felt ready to conquer a snow storm wearing the Lands End hood and collar…they are warm and cover really well! I also LOVE the fact that the fur collar can be removed as well as the hood.
Note: The LL Bean, Lands’ End, and Nautica coats all have removable hoods. The Lands’ End coat also has a removable fur collar, and the fur lining on the hood of the Lands’ End and LL Bean coats can both be removed as well. The Gap coat did not have a hood, but the collar was very cushy and warm.
Wind Resistance/Wind Proof Features:
The LL Bean coat seemed to do the best job of keeping the elements out for me. While it was the lightest coat of the bunch, I felt like it really did a good job of keeping the wind away (and the rain, too, incidentally). In fact, I snapped a picture of my sleeve after walking home in the rain. The water drops were just sitting on top of the coat and wiped off once I got inside. The coat did not get wet!
The Gap and Nautica coats were missing wrist cuffs altogether. Sad! This is a feature I really look for in a coat, as I love to keep my hands warm but don’t always like to wear gloves. The LL Bean cuffs fit best for me. The Lands End cuffs were slightly wide and didn’t keep all the wind out.
The LL Bean coat was luxuriously soft and comfortable. I loved the lining and the outer fabric used. It had a higher-quality feel to it and, honestly, I still can’t resist feeling the softness of this fabric while I’m wearing it.
Buttons, Zippers, Pulls and Snaps:
How frustrating is it to try for 5 minutes to try to zip up a coat? The zippers and snaps and pulls on the Nautica coat were the easiest for me to use. I was able to zip up quickly each time.
Pockets and Stow Details:
The Lands End coat had the most wonderful pockets! I love the lining in the main pockets and the fact that there was an inner hidden pocket. I am a huge pocket-user in Winter coats.
Also worthy of note: my daughter Necco and I swear that the Gap coat pockets feel like they are heated. I’ve searched the pockets and can’t find anything extra….all we know is that the Gap pockets keep our hands VERY warm.
Even though the LL Bean coat was the lightest weight, I felt the most warm when wearing it. I think I was able to regulate my own body heat best in the LL Bean coat, as I never felt cold OR hot while wearing it (such as those annoying trips in and out of cars and buildings during the Winter!).
Overall Coat Quality Rating:
I rated the LL Bean and Lands’ End coats as Exceptional. I didn’t rate Gap as Exceptional because the sleeves were short for my preference for a Winter coat and I prefer a coat that goes over my rear end. Likewise, the Nautica sleeves were “missing” an inner sleeve cuff to keep wind out and hands warm.
Which of the coats most exemplifies a high-quality coat
I thought that each of the coats was fantastic. When I received the package, my husband’s initial response was “Which one are you going to keep?” That was a VERY difficult decision to make. How do I decide which one is my favorite?? In the end, I rated the Lands’ End coat as the highest quality coat out of the 4 samples because it had the best combination of features, and it contained MORE of the features that I value and look for in a coat.
An ending note: I enjoy wearing the LL Bean coat the most, and the only reason I didn’t chose it as the winner was because it it’s relative lack of features (like those extra pockets I love). My 12 1/2 year old daughter adopted the Gap coat. She loves it. My almost-15 year old daughter has requested to keep the Lands’ End coat.
I thought it was appropriate to mention that those two coats in particular passed the “teenager test.” Granted, I did not give them the option to keep the LL Bean coat because I love the way it feels so much I knew I wanted to keep that myself. And, honestly, the more I wear the Nautica coat the more I love it. The fake sheepskin collar is so comfortable and the pockets are awesome. In other words, all 3 of us are really happy and ready for the cold weather to stay.
For a few months, at least…
The Quality Coat Review was a blind review. In order to give my unbiased opinions, I am unaware of the company that sponsored the effort. While the opinions are my own, I am being compensated through Mom Spark Media for my time.
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