Within a month I will be standing in a giant snowdrift in Oslo, probably complaining to the zero people around me that it is incredibly cold. Without getting into too much detail, I am psyched about this. Not psyched to potentially lose my fingers to frostbite (if anyone has good, warm glove recommendations holler at me in the comments), but psyched because I will be wearing this ridiculously warm Penfield Summit Classic jacket.
This is a big move for me for a few reasons. Mainly, I've never been one to wear a puffy coat. Like all my personal hangups, I can only assume this came as a result of that episode of Seinfeld where George gets the really puffy coat and breaks like every bottle in a liquor store just because he turns around. But I'm 25 years old. It's time to stop living my life according to things I see on Seinfeld (I will never stop this).
My first thought when searching for the right puffy coat was that it needed to be sleek, it needed to have a classic feel, needed to look like something I could wear in virtually any decade. My dad lived in Alaska for ten years, and looking at the coats he wore then, they seem just as good now as they ever were. The Summit Classic achieves that because it doesn't try to be more than it should be. It doesn't have too many pockets, it doesn't have stereo speakers in the hood or heat-activated hyper-technology (I definitely just made that up). It's just a coat, and like any classic and timeless coat, it's the small details that make it stand the test of time. The hood is detachable, and it actually looks good with or without, although I prefer with. There's a small flash of red and black check lining the zipper and hood. It's not intrusive enough to clash with any shirt pattern I might be wearing, but it makes it more than just another jacket full of feathers and whatever else goes into puffy coats.
It remains to be seen if the coat will keep me warm at a never-before-heard-of level when I touch down in Oslo, but I know I'll feel like a classic mountaineer either way.