Quality Kid Winter Coats! Four Brands Compared Side By Side!

For the entire lifespan of my kids lives I’ve been buying their coats from the same place year after year. Even when grandparents have insisted on buying their coats I have made sure that they came from that same store. After a couple years I didn’t even really put thought into it. The cold came off I went to get their coats.

When I started blogging it was great because this company was one I worked with last year they sent both boys their jackets. This year Johnny was too big and so they sent Gavin a jacket and snow pants. Problem? They didn’t fit. They ended up likely being a perfect fit for next year. I tried bringing them into the store and thy were out of the size I needed and not getting anymore in. What?!?! It was only the beginning of October. Why do stores do this?!?!

So, when the opportunity to test out 4 coats by 4 random brands came my way I was super excited! Here is what we ended up with.

It’s okay to be jealous of his coat wardrobe because I certainly am.

So, it was my job not to pay attention to the brands, prices, etc. I was to look specifically at QUALITY and also take in Gavin’s opinions. This really wasn’t hard for me because in all honesty I’ve never looked at any of these brands for jackets before and 3 of the 4 brands I wouldn’t even normally consider buying for my kids. So here we go.

L.L. Bean Kids’ Baxter State Parka $109

  • Our warmest parka for kids
  • Packed with 650-fill-power down for exceptional warmth
  • Water- and wind-resistant nylon shell is extra rugged for winter’s worst elements
  • Fully insulated hood blocks extreme cold and zips off when not needed

Built to stand up to winter’s worst

Our warmest parka for kids, built to stand up to cold Maine winters. Now filled with even more chill-stopping 650-fill-power down that’s packed in a rugged, water- and wind-resistant nylon shell. Lined with smooth nylon taffeta. Storm flaps and snaps seal out drafts. Velcro®-closure elastic cuffs and internal fleece cuffs keep snow out and lock in warmth. Detachable hood is fully insulated and has a removable faux-fur ruff. Adjustable waist. Zip chest pocket, snap patch pockets and inside stuff pocket for gear. D-ring ski-pass holder at hem. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material back triangle. Imported. Parka: machine wash and dry. Ruff: handwash and dry flat.

This right out of the box was a top pick. It was warm, fit well, and was blue. I like blue on him and yes, I feel color can be a factor and overall choice. My choice of color on Gavin has always been blue.

Insulation Quality
This coat is definitely thick enough to get us through a New England winter. At the waistline it does thin down a bit.

Hood Quality and Features
We aren’t fan of fur so I was thrilled with being able snap it right off. If we wanted to hood off we could even remove the hood. I like that it zips off instead of snapping because that doesn’t leave any wind holes when he is using it. The insulation is super thick and soft in it as well.

Care Instructions
Tag is a bit ridiculous. As in like 6 inches long. I want to cut it out. This coat can be cold water washed and laid flat to dry. Make sure to remove the fur lining on the hood beforehand. Wash fur by hand.

Fit very well. Sleeves are a bit long but they fit that way on all coats.

Wind Resistance/Wind Proof Features
Definitely kept him warm. We haven’t had any severe cold or snow since receiving them.

Snow and wrist cuffs comfort level and functionality
These are the type that are adjustable with a strap. Personally, not the easiest as your child never really ends up adjusting them, unless you do it before they head out. Again, we haven’t had any severe cold or snow since receiving them..

Reflectivity Features
This has a small reflective spot on the back rear. It would be nice to include it somewhere on the front too. The spot in the back is small, but at least it’s there.

Pockets and Stow Details
This coat has no inside pockets but does have 4 on the lower front. Two that snap closed and can hold things and 2 side ones behind for their hands.

J. Crew Boys’ Journeyer Parka $138

When the weather outside is frightful, this parka is guaranteed to keep him cozy. Inspired by a vintage military jacket, we filled it with super-lofty down, then added a hood with removable faux-fur trim, a chill-proof storm flap and deep patch pockets to keep his hands warm when he battles the elements. Poly. “This belongs to” interior name tag. Hidden zip with button closure. Elastic at cuffs. Fully lined. Hits at midthigh. Import. Machine wash.

Gavin immediately went for this coat because he had wanted an orange coat just like last years. I admit I like to buy bright colored jackets. I do it because it makes your child easy to find regardless of if your at a hill sledding or just being in a crowd. I know cars and people can see him. While I think this definitely looks like the nicest coat and as you can tell from the clothing he’s wearing this is the coat we picked for Thanksgiving day when he was dressed nice while the others are all in jeans for school it’s also the least likely one I’d buy. It’s completely out of budget and he’d snag it or put a hole in the material in no time. I also worry about how dirty this coat will look as it’s not as ‘spot clean’ friendly.

Insulation Quality
This jacket is super light weight. Filled with down and feathers it’s sure to keep you nice and warm.

Hood Quality and Features
Another removable fur (yay!) but didn’t like the many brown snaps left behind. It looked messy on such a nice coat so you end up leaving the fur on as a default look. The hood itself is not removable. Warm and lightweight.

Care Instructions
I was surprised to see it was machine washable (cold) and tumble dry low. This jacket is the only one I’d actually be nervous to toss in the wash on fear of leaving a water stain.

It’s puffy and warm without being bulky which in my opinion is hard to pull off.

Wind Resistance/Wind Proof Features
While there is no tough shell I think it does a good job at keeping the wind out.

Snow and wrist cuffs comfort level and functionality
We really liked that the wrists were elastic so they stayed close to the skin keeping wind/snow out. It wasn’t very functional for him though as he is five and it has buttons all over. Unless I constantly buttoned it they’d never stay closed. As you can see even for the photo we didn’t button it. It’s just not practical to use buttons on a child’s coat. Yes, it looks nicer but it’s not easy at all.

Reflectivity Features
No visible reflection

Pockets and Stow Details
The buttoned pockets are function but more for show as they are difficult for Gain to use. When undone they come up like a paper lunch bag folded over instead of just a flap. There are slit pockets behind them for their hands. No inside pockets.

Lands’ End Boys’ Expedition Parka $129.50

Our warmest, waterproof performer — styled for boys.

  • TEMPERATURE RATING: WARMEST -20°/15° Fahrenheit. learn more
  • Waterproof, windproof, 3-ply nylon shell, with DriOff™ finish
  • Exceptionally warm 600 fill power down insulation, nature’s warmest
  • New! Grow-A-Long® sleeves extend up to 1.5 inches to fit them as they grow
  • SnowGuard wrist cuffs: an interior sleeve extension lets them slip their thumb through the cuff, keeping out cold and snow
  • EZ-Zip Tab makes zipping themselves up easier
  • Reflective zipper pulls and logo in back for visibility
  • Parka length hits below the hip
  • Little Boy S 4, M 5-6, L 7
  • Boy S 8, M 10-12, L 14-16, XL 18-20

Looking for our warmest protection? Expedition Parka is it. For exceptional warming power, the parka is insulated with 600 fill down, ounce for ounce the best insulator out there. Plus, the windproof nylon shell with DriOff™ finish has taped critical seams and is fully waterproof. Even better, new innovative features make it an incredible value: Grow-A-Long® arms easily extend for growing kids; SnowGuard wrist cuffs lock out the elements; an interior Stowaway Pocket is great for stashing mittens and a hat; the EZ-Zip Tab helps them zip-up themselves; and a hand warmer sheath in each front pocket secures a hand warmer (sold separately). Other features include: an attached hood with visor, rip-grip adjustable cuffs to cinch out cold and snow, and an MP3 pocket with cord port. Faux fur hood ruff is removable (dry clean, only). 100% nylon shell. 100% nylon lining. Machine wash. Imported.

Surprisingly, this coat was our least favorite at first. At a quick glance I didn’t see anything that impressed me or made it stand out and when we tried it on for this picture he refused to keep it on because he did not like the feeling of the fur. Even when I took the hood off he wanted the coat off because he now had issues with the coat in general as a result. Oh, the fun. I had to unlock the house and everything just to get him a new coat for the day.

Luckily when I looked closer at this jacket I learned the fur was removable. In the posts below you’ll see how this coat went from last place to being tied for first with the L.L. Bean coat.

Insulation Quality
Down & Feathers- need I say more? Gavin said he was warm and not too hot. It hasn’t been very cold around here yet but for now it’s doing great!

Hood Quality and Features
Once again LOVED that the fur was removable. This coat is my husband’s favorite and said it improved instantly the moment it was off. The hood itself cannot be removed. The insulation thickness is the same as the rest of the coat. There is a weird velcro strap on it (you can see in back picture above) and I have no clue what it is for. I’ve asked a few other people and they don’t either.

Care Instructions
Faux fur hood ruff is dry clean, only and the coat is machine washable (cold) and tumble dry (low). No bleach.

This coat fits well but I’m loving that it will likely even fit him next year. It’s equipped with Grow-A-Longs. You just turn the sleeves inside out, cut the red thread and they will extend out an additional 1.5 inches longer. Seriously, how cool is that?

Wind Resistance/Wind Proof Features
Thick and durable.

Snow and wrist cuffs comfort level and functionality
Okay. This coat has these sleeve that come out with thumb slits. It’s the coolest thing and I’ve never seen it before. Gavin ended up LOVING this and got him to give the coat another chance after the whole fur incident. He says he likes it at school for the swings. This coat is definitely not letting any wind or snow in through the arm cuffs!

Reflectivity Features
This coat also had only a small reflective piece on the lower backside of the jacket. The zipper pulls on the front of the coat had strips of it too.

Pockets and Stow Detail
This coat  has 8 pockets on the outside alone! The two big lower ones are velcro. Great for your child to get in and out of easily and independently. Behind these are two for their hands. Then on the top there is a small snap one with a bigger zippered one on the side. There are clips to hold a key or something {???} else. On the inside there is a large mesh pocket on one side and a regular pocket on the other side.

GAP Kids Warmest parka $88.00

fabric & care
  • 100% Polyester.
  • Machine wash.
  • Imported.
  • Water resistant.
  • Long sleeves with storm cuffs.
  • Removable faux-fur trim at hood.
  • Slant pockets at chest, snap-flap patch pockets at hip.
  • Interior pockets.
  • Zip front.
  • Storm guard.
  • Fully lined.

Gavin didn’t jump up and down or refuse this jacket. It’s most like the ones I buy him every year. While this coat didn’t have as many bells and whistles it is certainly the most affordable. It wasn’t missing anything that it needed and is likely the one I’d be most likely to buy just out of the price alone.

Insulation Quality
The materials in this coat aren’t feathers but all polyester so it’s not going to be as warm but it is definitely the thickest which I think makes up for it. I think this is also how they manage to keep the cost lower while still looking as though it is over the $100 price point with the other brands.

Hood Quality and Features
Again, removable fur. Love that it zips out, unlike the others that snapped out. The only fleece lined hoodie. Personally I feel the softest, warmest hood. Velcro’s closed at base near chin.

Care Instructions
Machine wash cold (remove fur) and tumble dry low. Do not dry clean.

Fit well and I really liked the snug, straight army jacket look it held.

Wind Resistance/Wind Proof Features
Gavin had no warmth or over heating complaints.

Snow and wrist cuffs comfort level and functionality
Build in sweatshirt cuffs that aren’t visible. Fits snug and would hold sleeves and gloves down. Would also prevent snow from going up them.

Reflectivity Features
No visible reflection

Pockets and Stow Details
One inside pocket, four exterior ones. All snap closed.

I have no problem not looking at brands when I shop because it’s always about the style and quality but price is also a HUGE factor and some of these coats are truthfully out of my budget when it comes to buying a 5 year old his winter coat. I would struggle spending $138 on a coat for myself and I’d at least be able to wear it for many years.When I look past the BRAND name and the PRICE tag then this would be my choice:

1st: (tie)
L.L. Bean & Lands End
GAP Kids
J. Crew

While the J. Crew was actually the nicest coat I received it was the one I’d most likely not buy because I know he’d dirty it and rip it.

Hope you liked my thoughts on all of these. Based on what I wrote how would you rate them?

The Quality Coat Review was a blind review.  In order to give my unbiased opinions, I am unaware of the company that sponsored the effort.  While the opinions are my own, I am being compensated through MomDot for my time.


  1. Heather Holston says

    Thanks for the information. I hate trying to find a good quality winter coat for my son. He’s impossible to shop for 🙂

  2. royalegacy says

    These look like wonderful coats for kids. I wish my kids were small enough for coats like this, but they only want what they want now.

  3. Maia G says

    My whole family has lands end coats. We love them!

  4. I’m loving that LLBean coat. We need to replace our son’s because he managed to lose it.

  5. Heather Dalton says

    Thanks. I’m in dire need of a coat for our guy and now I can shop comfortably!

  6. Jenny says

    I like the Lands End coat the best. Without the fur though. Why do they even put fur on coats?

    The velcro strap on the back of the hood…I’m wondering if it is to adjust the hood so it sits further back on the head? Like if the hood was covering his eyes and he couldn’t see, you could tighten the velcro and it would pull it back some. I’m not sure though.

  7. Emilie says

    I love our Lands’ End parkas for our boys. Fabulous quality! And Jenny, you are right, the velcro strap in back is to adjust the hood! Works great.

  8. Steph says

    The Velcro on the lands end coat is to hold goggles 🙂

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