You pretty much know that winter jackets from the usual suspects are gonna be great: Mountain Hardwear, Outdoor Research, Columbia, Marmot, REI, Eddie Bauer (maybe our fave of the big manufacturers), etc. But, and you know there’s a but coming, this is a jacket that you can easily have for the rest of your life. I’d rather pay $500 for this jacket once, than buy a new shell for $200 every five or so years. • BUY $529Then, for truly, truly cold weather, I’m a very big fan of the Minnesota-based Askov Finlayson Winter Parka. The Patagonia Isthmus 3-in-1 jacket is a parka that has a removable outer shell with a fleece jacket below that can handle just about any weather you throw at it.