The M90 Parka is a classic piece of winter wear that is synonymous with high latitude travel and in particular extreme cold weather bushcraft.
It’s a very practical jacket that in conjunction with other appropriate layers can keep you warm and toasty in very cold conditions. Its collection of deep warm pockets and high collar along with a true expedition fit that seems to go over any amount of layers you are wearing beneath makes this jacket an indispensable item to have with you in these cold environments.
The M90 Parka is a one-piece outer jacket with an extra long tail. The outer is made of a quick drying gabardine (which means very tightly woven) cotton blend which provides some protection against wind. The parka is lined throughout with a nylon enclosed quilted polyester.
A high collar helps to reduce draughts around the neck. The collar also conceals a hood which is a single layer material. This helps to reduce the bulk of the collar and also prevent interference with other headwear, scarves or fleece caps already being worn. The jacket zips up with a double chunky zipper, and this is covered over with a button-down storm flap. The zip is very tough and burly.
The M90 Parka is not a jacket for high energy level activities as you overheat so quickly, it is instead a layer to be used when one is more static in extreme cold. When the body is not generating much heat and you need a big warm jacket to trap all that warmth.
The advantage of using the M90 Parka over a big down jacket is the durability and expedition fit of the parka that most down jackets simply don’t offer. Most super technical down jackets are made using such thin lightweight materials that are punctured easily and seldom are cut in a way that fits over many layers. Also the length of the M90 Parka allows the user to keep a warm bum!
In temperatures of -20C I was using merino wool layers, a soft shell and a synthetic mid layer along with the M90 Parka. This combination worked flawlessly and I was very warm indeed, for colder temperatures I would simply add more wool and with the M90 Parka as your main warm layer you would be able to cope with temperatures much lower.
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