The Warmest Coat on the Market Is Also One of the Most Travel-friendly

Meet LifeLabs, the outerwear brand of the future. 

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warmest jacket in the world
Photo: Courtesy of Life Labs

When I think about the warmest winter jacket, it's a completely anecdotal and haphazard judgement call based on whatever parka or puffer looks the most like a mountain expedition sleeping bag. But it turns out there is actually a scientific rating known as CLO that measures the insulation of a material, or in other words, how much warmth it maintains. And by that standard, a brand called LifeLabs just created one of the warmest jackets that currently exists — meet MegaWarm.

When it comes to the aforementioned CLO measurement , the higher the rating, the warmer something is; LifeLabs' MegaWarm design has a rating of 9.25. To put it in perspective compared to other popular winter coats, The North Face's Summit AMK jacket has a 6.06 rating, Canada Goose jackets are at 6.7, and Arc'teryx's jackets reach 7.91, according to data shared from LifeLabs.

Related: The Best Cold-weather Gear, According to Travel + Leisure Editors

The MegaWarm jacket is made with the company's own fabric technology that's designed to "help radiate body heat and allow the outerwear garment to sustain a higher CLO value with a lower overall garment weight," according to LifeLabs CEO Scott Mellin. Essentially, you'll get maximum warmth with lighter insulation, less material, and less bulk.

warmest jacket in the world
Courtesy of Life Labs

To buy: lifelabs.design, $699

I live in New York City, where it's been around 30 degrees Fahrenheit the last few days. So when the brand offered me a chance to test out the MegaWarm jacket for myself, I was eager to give it a try — and it has been a savior. I am famously adverse to puffers and down coats; although I understand they are about practicality, I find myself feeling like the Michelin man or George Costanza clad in Goretex. With other puffers I've tried, the relative warmth is compromised by an inability to move my arms or be mobile — but that's not the case with this one. Despite its warmth, the MegaWarm is also somehow the lightest (in terms of weight) jacket I own, which also makes it packable and travel-friendly.

Because the jacket is made with the goal of being the warmest in the world, it's not meant for everyday wear in moderate climates. As someone who runs warm, I have found myself sweating in the MegaWarm if the temperature wasn't low enough for me to be wearing it — but if you live in a frigid cold climate, partake in mountain sports, or spend your winters at mountain-side chalets, this is for you.

While recently wearing the jacket on a freezing New York night, I was made acutely aware of how poorly the rest of my clothes were insulated. My torso and arms were toasty and comfortable, while my legs felt like they were going to freeze and snap off. The sensation of this winter coat is difficult to properly articulate, but the best I can do is to describe it as a mobile, light weighted blanket. It's like a comforting hug.

The $699 price tag is certainly not cheap, but it's actually a little more affordable than some of its aforementioned competitors. If you're a mountain dweller or just someone who runs cold, consider getting yourself the world's warmest jacket.

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