*This post was sponsored by North Aware, meaning I received product/compensation in exchange for my honest review. As always, opinions are 100% my own. View our Disclaimer for more info.*
I thought it would be a bit premature talking about parkas in October, but here I am. Having just experienced our first real snowfalls in the Toronto area this weekend, the timing seems (grudgingly) impeccable.
And since we’re apparently bypassing Fall altogether this year (sigh…), it’s probably sent moms everywhere scrambling to get all the wintery gear + accessories in order, so I’ll cut to the chase about why I’m feeling mom-powered in this Smart Parka 1.0 by North Aware and why (after making sure you got your kiddos all cute & stylish for the cold) you might want to add this one to your outerwear line up this Winter, mamas.
The Smart Parka 1.0 series for Men & Women is the second edition of their original Smart Parka which was brought to market after one of Canada’s most successful Kick-starter campaigns.
The coat was designed by a Canadian engineer who wanted innovation to meet fashionable outerwear. No one knows Winter like Canadians, so putting my trust in a Canadian innovator? You got it.
I’ve been wearing this beauty – the Vogue 1.0 style for women – on colder days since the start of October doing all the mom life things – errands, school drop-offs, the rink hustle.
The things I love:
– The length – I’m a shorty and find the length great. It also covers the derrière nicely watching our boys play on the cold rink bench.
– It’s warm! Temps haven’t dipped below -5 Celsius around here yet, but the coat is said to protect up to -40-degree Celsius temps. The Vogue 1.0 for Women has 700+ fill power 90/10 white duck down (Responsible Down Standard) – notably higher than a similar premium coat style on the market by a leading Canadian competitor.
– Style options for every woman: the Smart Parka 1.0 Women’s coats are available in 3 different styles: Classic, Expedition & Vogue and all the coats in their collection are available in 4 colours – Black, Candy Red, Galaxy Blue & Hunter Green (colour trend for 2018/2019)
– The built-in scarf that can be raised over the face to avoid frozen nostrils and is removable for washing!
– The tear-drop faux fur trim with the look and feel of real fur
– 10-year warranty on workmanship & manufacturing defects
– While the Vogue style is slim fitting, I found it true to size (wearing a Medium)
– The heavy-duty YKK Zippers – because what mom has time for cheap, split zippers! The zippers around the cuffs are lockable so you won’t poke yourself or your little ones in the eye taking a swig of coffee!
– The coat just feels very high quality – water repellant, windproof exterior fabric, lined pockets, tight, well-sewed seams, coated & branded buttons and more. I’ve spilled coffee, water & milk on my coat and it runs right off…
The SMART Compartments for All the Mom Life Things:
All the built-in pocket practicality for holding tech and winter accessories are perhaps the most distinguishing features of the Smart Parka 1.0. It’s being called the “world’s first complete Winter coat”, and with so many neat features, I can see why.
As a mom, I love that there’s a place for all my take-a-longs (cell phone, sunglasses, charger, earbuds, and more), even a tablet pocket for bringing work on the go, or when our kiddos are done playing with theirs. Taking a purse along is optional with this getup.
Another fabulous part of the design? Compartments built-in to hold your Winter toque and gloves! Say “bye-bye” to cold weather accessory Mom brain. It’s like having your own coat closet and accessory drawers go walking around with you. Note: your Parka will come with 100% leather, 100% cashmere gloves in your appropriate hand size. My coat was sent without, so I cannot comment on the quality/feel as yet.
Room for Improvement:
1) The Cost (retails $700 USD) – for a new-to-market manufacturer, the price can be off-putting, but I will say with distinguishing features like tech pockets, built-in scarf, duck down fill (RDS) count higher than comparable competitor styles, high quality finishes in the seams, buttons, zippers, lining, etc., the price may be substantiated. I’ve gone through 2 cheaper Winter coats in the last 3 years, so I was definitely looking for a higher quality coat that can withstand our busy lifestyle and blistering Winters.
2) The Built-In Scarf: I found it a bit constrictive when the hood was up over my head. A bit more “give” in this position would be a suggestion.
Note: the order process has switched from “pre-order” (through their kick-starter campaign) to set order via their website. I researched customer reviews and did notice there were some issues with orders getting to customers in a timely fashion and some kinks with returns. Wanted to note this as customer service is important to us, and while receiving my coat was no issue, I haven’t gone through the web order process as you or your family will. Visit their FAQ page for up-to-date info on order processing and return policies.
Overall, I’m really smitten with this coat…a nice blend of functional & fashionable. North Aware has Men’s styles also, and they’d make a great holiday gift idea for those who don’t have “freezing their butts off” on their wishlist ;). International shipping available.
I hope you and your wildlings are all set for our chilly Winter ahead. If you have any questions about this coat, feel free to reach out in comments!
Love & light,