The perfect winter jacket does not exist (read in the Mean Girls voice) is something residents of cooler climates often say after feeling defeated by the fickle winter weather one too many times. As someone who calls New York her current home, I can attest to struggling to find a winter jacket I can really count on. Sure, I have ones that will “hold me over,” but as I sat there pondering, I wondered what I would do if I ever needed a jacket to really keep me warm—you know, in a life or death kind of situation—like if I were to climb Mount Everest, for example.
Well, what started as a mere daydream turned into a deeper investigation as I asked a Mount Everest climber herself. Today, you’ll get to hear from the American women’s record holder for Mount Everest ascents, Melissa Arnot, on the three things she looks for in the best kinds of winter jackets for women. As someone who has climbed Mount Everest not one, but five successful times, during one of which she set the record for being the first American woman to ascend and descend Everest without supplemental oxygen, Arnot is undoubtedly an expert on the kinds of clothing that will actually keep you warm. And if they kept her warm while climbing one of the most dangerous mountains in the world, I have a feeling you and I will be just fine.
Ahead, read up on the details Melissa Arnot looks for in a foolproof winter jacket. As an official Eddie Bauer athlete, Arnot clearly has a specific brand preference, but the tips she gives us here are universal.