Big chill coat test

Once the preserve of skiing holidays or hiking, quilted jackets are now a must-have winter fashion statement, whether you are walking the dog or popping to the shops.

Their popularity is, no doubt, down to the promised pairing of style and practicality, which, on planet fashion, is rare.

With the weather turning very chilly, pop on one of these puffy designs and every day quite literally becomes a duvet day.

But, with so many High Street and designer versions, which one will keep you cosy while still looking cool?

Here, we rate the latest coats for their fashion credentials and put them to the big chill test with a three-minute session in London’s freezing BelowZero Ice Bar (belowzeroicebar.com), where the temperature never gets above minus 5c.

So, how did they fare . . ?

Claire Coleman shared her verdict on a selection of the latest winter coats. She claims Tesco's quilted jacket (pictured) added 20 years to her appearance 

Claire Coleman shared her verdict on a selection of the latest winter coats. She claims Tesco's quilted jacket (pictured) added 20 years to her appearance 

Claire Coleman shared her verdict on a selection of the latest winter coats. She claims Tesco’s quilted jacket (pictured) added 20 years to her appearance 

SHINY, CHEAP BEIGE ADDS YEARS TO ME

£38, F&F, Tesco stores

Compared to the other coats I try, this one feels very heavy. I hate the colour — that drab beige instantly adds about 20 years to me. I’m not a fan of the fabric, either, which looks cheap and shiny.

But I like the inside pocket, which has a hole for your headphones to feed through, and the fake fur inside the collar.

It’s also a good length, covering me to mid-thigh, but still enabling lots of movement.

The hood is weird — the middle of it sort of concertinas into a zip pocket, so you either have an oversized collar or, unzipped, an undersized hood, which means that I get a frozen forehead at minus 5c, but it does keep me warmer than I expected.

Fashion factor: 1/5

cosy factor: 3/5

HAVE A DUVET DAY EVERY DAY!

£670, woolrich.eu

Claire was impressed with the coverage of Woolrich's luxe button up coat (pictured) for staying warm 

Claire was impressed with the coverage of Woolrich's luxe button up coat (pictured) for staying warm 

Claire was impressed with the coverage of Woolrich’s luxe button up coat (pictured) for staying warm 

Unlike many of the shiny coats here, this one has a luxe, velvety-matte finish, which I love. There are no zips, just buttons.

The voluminous collar wraps across the lower part of your face and pulls upwards (although I can feel my skin being pricked by the down and feathers inside, which isn’t that comfortable).

It is pretty shapeless and square — literally like wrapping a duvet around you — but that means it’s super-toasty, as it traps loads of air underneath.

Plus it’s knee-length, so has good coverage! The only parts that feel a bit chilly are my arms.

Fashion factor: 4/5

Cosy factor: 4 ½/5

BOLD COLOUR WINS THE STYLE STAKES 

£190, boden.co.uk

Claire says despite Boden's coat (pictured) being the most stylish it doesn't do a great job of helping to stay warm 

Claire says despite Boden's coat (pictured) being the most stylish it doesn't do a great job of helping to stay warm 

Claire says despite Boden’s coat (pictured) being the most stylish it doesn’t do a great job of helping to stay warm 

This is unquestionably the most stylish of all the coats I try. I like the statement red colour, the grosgrain ribbon detail, the slim fit and the detachable blue faux fur collar, but, for that price, it feels much cheaper than I’d have hoped: the outside pockets are unlined and have no zip and there’s no internal pocket.

Come on, Boden, where’s your usual attention to detail?

Despite getting points for style, the tighter fit means that there’s less insulating air between me and the coat, so, although there’s a feather and down filling, it really doesn’t do a great job of keeping me warm.

Fashion factor: 5/5

Cosy factor: 2/5

PERFECT FOR A WINTER GETAWAY 

£99, marksandspencer.com

Claire says you get a chill around your face when wearing Marks and Spencer's coat (pictured)

Claire says you get a chill around your face when wearing Marks and Spencer's coat (pictured)

Claire says you get a chill around your face when wearing Marks and Spencer’s coat (pictured)

I’m not mad about the super-shiny finish, but the duck down and feather combination is like being wrapped in a duvet.

It’s a bit short in the arms and, once up, the hood looks a little odd. You can’t make it any tighter, either, so you get a chill around your face.

But the length and the lightweight filling mean this coat keeps most of me warm. A great one to take on holiday, too, as it packs down to almost nothing.

Fashion factor: 4/5

Cosy factor: 4/5

PRACTICAL POCKETS BUT IT’S TOO BOXY 

£219, barbour.com

Claire says Barbour's coat (pictured) isn't as warm as she'd hoped and can look boxy

Claire says Barbour's coat (pictured) isn't as warm as she'd hoped and can look boxy

Claire says Barbour’s coat (pictured) isn’t as warm as she’d hoped and can look boxy

Slim-fitting, with practical pockets on the outside (ideal for dog-walkers to carry treats, leads and the like), this is the shortest of all the coats I road-tested.

You could use the toggles and elastic to define your waist, but I wouldn’t bother, as it just makes the coat look boxy.

Another elastic-and-toggle system makes the hood fit snuggly, but zipping the coat all the way up makes it too tight across the throat. Despite this, it’s not nearly as warm as I’d hoped.

Fashion factor: 4/5

Cosy factor: 2/5

FROSTY FEEL TO A CHIC SHADE OF GREY 

£120, monsoon.co.uk

Claire was impressed with the appearance of Monsoon's coat (pictured) but says the hood wouldn't stay up against the wind 

Claire was impressed with the appearance of Monsoon's coat (pictured) but says the hood wouldn't stay up against the wind 

Claire was impressed with the appearance of Monsoon’s coat (pictured) but says the hood wouldn’t stay up against the wind 

Even without the belt, I like the slim fit and muted grey of this coat, as well as the expensive-looking styling, with the visible zip and poppers over the top.

But I can’t really get my head around the voluminous hood that looks better as a shawl collar. It can be slightly adjusted, but it would blow back in a gust of wind.

At minus 5c, the coat doesn’t feel nearly as warm as I’d hoped.

The belt means that there’s less insulation around my waist — and my kidneys feel cold!

Fashion factor: 4/5

Cosy factor: 2/5

TOASTIEST OF THE LOT WITH A HANDY HOOD 

£159.90, uniqlo.com

Claire says Uniqlo's coat (pictured) was the warmest in the selection and the style is flattering

Claire says Uniqlo's coat (pictured) was the warmest in the selection and the style is flattering

Claire says Uniqlo’s coat (pictured) was the warmest in the selection and the style is flattering

I hate the colour of this (although it does also come in grey, black and navy), but the style is flattering. It flares out to allow lots of leg movement and concealed zips on the outside pockets are practical, but keep it looking streamlined.

It’s one of the longest coats I try and by far the toastiest. This is thanks to the cut, in combination with the down-and-feather filling and the fact that this filling sits in pockets that are glued, rather than stitched (so no pinholes for the wind to whistle through).

Plus — hurrah! — it has cracked the hood dilemma. This one can be tightened around your face, so that your ears and cheeks don’t get cold.

Fashion factor: 4/5

Cosy factor: 5/5

BUDGET BUY LEFT ME OUT IN THE COLD 

£38, George at Asda

Claire says the zip on the George's coat (pictured) felt flimsy and she felt cold while wearing it 

Claire says the zip on the George's coat (pictured) felt flimsy and she felt cold while wearing it 

Claire says the zip on the George’s coat (pictured) felt flimsy and she felt cold while wearing it 

This is a nice colour, although perhaps a bit shiny, and, while it nips in at the waist, it’s still not very flattering.

The zip feels a bit flimsy and there are no internal pockets, but I do like the faux fur inside the collar. Tight cuffs help to keep out the cold, but there’s no way to make the hood more snug and the polyester padding doesn’t fare well at minus 5c.

It’s not that long, either, so my knees are cold after a couple of minutes, and my arms feel chilly.

Fashion factor: 3/5

Cosy factor: 2/5

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