Stargazing isn’t the warmest of hobbies, so a good winter coat is an essential piece of kit for every astronomer. Pitching up on a dark, cloudless evening can mean for a chilly night ahead, so we’ve gathered the best winter coats on the market so you can wrap up warm and enjoy a cosier – and longer – evening under the stars.
In our selection of the best winter coats for men and women, we’ve taken a number of factors into consideration to ensure you get the most out of your stargazing experience. So whether you’re after a hooded, windproof coat to keep the chill at bay, or a jacket brimming with pockets for all of your essential astronomy accessories, we’ve got you covered.
So take a browse, and find a winter coat to suit your style, budget and stargazing needs.
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Best winter coats for astronomers
Best winter coats for men
Berghaus Men’s Ghlas Softshell Jacket
This Berghaus softshell jacket is ideal if you’re looking for a warm winter coat that’s not overly bulky in style. The windproof design features a high collar and two hand-warmer pockets to help battle cold winds. The adjustable cuffs and drawcord hem are also sure to come in handy when you’re trying to keep in the warmth.
Thanks to its slimline design, this winter coat is a solid choice for layering and if the rain cuts your observing short, you’ll have plenty of room to chuck an anorak on top. You shouldn’t be too restricted for movement either when you’re setting up astronomy kit as it’s not too thick, and with three pockets there’s enough space to keep smaller tech within easy reach.
A versatile option too, wear this Berghaus jacket in the spring months over a T-shirt when the weather starts to warm up.
Patagonia Men’s DAS Light Hoodie
While many winter coats are dark in colour, you may prefer to opt for a brighter design – for the look, as well as to increase visibility. This orange Patagonia jacket is primarily for mountaineering, climbing and hiking which suggests it’ll be easy to move around in – perfect for when you’re manipulating equipment. There’s an insulated hood with a single pull cord adjustment so if you forget your hat, you can still keep your head warm.
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The jacket is filled with a synthetic insulation which is designed to offer ‘down-like warmth’ and water-resistant protection. A huge bonus is the nifty design – this winter coat weighs a mere 320g and packs into its chest pocket. If you’re camping it’ll take up no tent space at all. This also means you can easily layer up if necessary.
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Rab Men’s Original Pile Fleece Jacket
For those clear, dry evenings, a heavyweight fleece is an excellent option. This Rab design features a windproof inner lining as well as a chin guard to help keep you snug. It’s a great option for layering as there’s room to wear thicker items such as hoodies and fleeces underneath. Stylish enough for everyday wear too, you’re sure to get your money’s worth with this timeless fleece.
Another plus is the roomy pockets – ideal for stashing those all-important astronomy accessories.
The North Face Men’s Diablo Down Jacket
Offering a classic look, and featuring elasticated cuffs and an adjustable hem, this North Face puffer jacket is all about locking in the heat. Best for a dry night – as it’s neither waterproof, nor features a hood – but perfect for chucking over a mid-layer, whether you’re stargazing or simply popping to the pub post walk. It is however highly water resistant, so the odd shower should be fine.
As a robust winter coat, it probably won’t offer as much flexibility as other more slimline jackets but it’s ideal for wearing when you’re settled in for the night and in need of instant warmth.
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Fourier Insulated Parka
To keep your legs warm when you’re sat still for most of the night, a longer parka could be what you’re after. Finisterre’s Fourier insulated parka is designed for those who love life in the outdoors. You’ll find microfibre hand warmer pockets, a water-repellent finish and a long, parka design.
With both buttons and a zip, you can trap in as much warmth as possible. There are also plenty of pockets for midnight snacks and astronomy kit. This is a pricey option, but Finisterre is renowned for its high-quality, sustainable gear so if you’re looking to invest in a solid coat to see you through many winters, this could be your winner.
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Best winter coats for women
Rab Valiance Waterproof Down Jacket
It’s a hefty investment, but this Rab design ticks plenty of boxes. What really makes this winter coat stand out is the fact it’s a down jacket that’s also waterproof. You’ll be covered for all kinds of blustery, wintry conditions with this design.
Other desirable features include the wired peak, and insulated, hood – so you can really tuck yourself in for the night – and taped seams. As well as the outer pockets, there’s an internal security pocket for your valuables. We also like the style of the jacket. While it’s packed to the brim with practical features, it also offers a smart look.
This design comes with its own stuff sack, so it’s more lightweight and compact than you may think, making it an ideal choice for weekends away.
The North Face Women’s Triple C Parka Jacket
If you’re looking for a duvet jacket to hunker down in all evening, this down parka puffer from The North Face could do the job nicely. While you may feel more restricted with a long winter coat like this, it’s essentially a walking sleeping bag which is perfect for astronomers who are often sitting in the same place for long periods of time.
The coat has a water-repellent coating and a removable hood so it’s a great choice for drizzly winter strolls as well as stargazing.
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Peter Storm Women’s Paloma Parka
For a brighter parka, this yellow Peter Storm winter coat is a lovely choice. With five pockets – including two spacious below hand pockets to store a neat pair of binoculars – this design is ideal for storing astronomy accessories. This winter coat features a soft quilted lining and there’s a removable fur trim hood – perfect for keeping your ears warm.
You can also find this design in grey or blue if you’d prefer a more subtle look.
Marmot Women’s Montreal Coat
Marmot is a go-to for many outdoor enthusiasts, and the brand’s Montreal coat has plenty of astronomer-friendly features. The microfleece-lined handwarmer pockets and cuffs are great for when you’re manipulating equipment in nippy conditions and the knee-length puffer is fleece-lined for a cosy wear.
What’s more, the Down Defender technology aims to keep you warm, even if you get wet. As a regular fit with a straight, rather than tapered, waist, this is a top design for layering up. You’ll be well-prepared for a night under the stars with this one.
Bella 3 In 1 Puffer Jacket
A jacket for all seasons. This 3 in 1 jacket from FatFace features a removable fluffy gilet so you can style as you wish, depending on the temperature. Wear the quilted jacket on its own over a jumper, or layer up with the gilet too when you’re feeling the chill. You can also wear the gilet on its own, so this is a versatile option for a decent price.
It’s not a down coat so it may not provide the same level of warmth as some of our other options if you’re out all night, however it’s a flexible design that lets you control your own temperature. We also like the relaxed look of this style – a lovely pick for everyday wear.
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