It’s not easy when you arrive in Quebec to choose your winter coat. Faced with all the brands and the offer in store or online, it is a total vagueness. Especially when you want to be sure to be warm during the 5 months of the season. In this article, you will find all the important criteria to help you with your next purchase as well as five local brands that I recommend.
Winter in Quebec
Ah, winter in Quebec, an inexhaustible topic of discussion that feeds the craziest stories but, it must be admitted, can sometimes prove to be a big challenge for us, poor expats. Yes you will face temperatures down to -30C, yes your nose hairs and your eyelashes will freeze as soon as you step outside but no it will not be like that for 5 months! In truth, winter days in Montreal are more around -10C, the atmosphere is dry and the sun is often present with a big blue sky. I often tell my relatives in France that the Quebec winter reminds me of beautiful days in a ski resort. The first snows (those that stick to the ground) arrive in mid-November, the average is 200cm per winter and the last big storm is often at the end of April.
One thing is certain: a coat suitable for Quebec winters can be bought on site and not in France!
I never thought that buying a winter coat would be such a big headache. I remember my first fall, I was already stressed to find THE right coat, the one in which I will be warm, which would be beautiful and stylish so as not to look like a bag. I would go to Simons or The Bay downstairs almost every day to try out all makes and models, and then read online reviews for hours. The dream was to buy me a Kanuk, a Pajar or a Rudsak. I told myself that I was going to invest in a beautiful piece that I would keep for several years, then I chickened out more than once at the checkout. Ridiculous pressure, as if I were going to buy a house… I finally think that I had a hard time trusting less “known” brands and more affordable prices.
The important criteria for choosing a winter coat
It is not necessary to buy coats over $ 800 to be assured (e) of having a good winter in Quebec, after if that is your choice, indulge yourself. The most important thing is to check that the winter coat you have fallen for meets a list of essential criteria to ensure that it does the job as soon as the temperatures drop below zero.
I have two coats: one for everyday in the city to which I attribute the following criteria, and a ski jacket / down jacket bought in 2017 from Decathlon for hiking and winter outdoor activities. Temperature indicators (“resistant -20C or -30C”) mean nothing if they do not check all of these boxes.
In my opinion, here are the important criteria to take into account when choosing a winter coat in Quebec: