Fashion + Function: City Slicker Meets Ready and Rugged

Published on 02/21/2013

by Aly Nicklas

Warmer days are right around the corner, but still a solid spitting distance away thanks to the mercurial nature of spring weather. I’ve always considered this as one of the best times of the years to buy a new winter jacket. Companies are clearing out winter’s remnants to make way for the fresh threads of spring, so you get a solid discount and still get a couple months of wear before packing it up to be pulled out again this fall. Here at Active Junky we’re always stoked to get you the best deal on your duds—both of these f_+f worthy pieces are on sale and light enough for cold spring days while keeping cold at bay. The classic style of both jackets means that they’ll be just as wear-worthy next fall (and the five after).


Sierra Designs - Natasha Parka

Where to Wear:

- Bombing the bike lane in a blizzard - Apres ski at XGames - Sneaking out for an afternoon glass of wine with colleagues

 My housemate borrows this jacket when she wants to look delectable on date night. And for good reason—judging by the effusive compliments I tend to get while wearing it, the Natasha is excellent at making one look hotter than a cup of cocoa on a cold winter day. Little things like an interior draw cord at the waist you can nip it in tight to maximize your curves cinch the deal (pun intended) and make for the sexiest winter jacket I’ve worn yet.

Waterproof and über warm, the Natasha is insulated enough that I tend to need only a tank top under it on my morning walk to work, no matter how cold it gets. This brushed twill–esque pattern is rapidly becoming one of my favorite looks, and all three of the color options wear it well (white, gray and purple are available). On a long jacket it breaks up the monotony of a solid color while maintaining a look that’s easy to match to any outfit. Stand out details include the sleeves—the tapered ends fold out to cover your paws or fold back to snap into place. This style is mad useful when you don’t bring gloves to work and it’s snowing when you leave and you’ve got a dog on a leash so you can’t have your hand in your pockets. Another bit that I loved is the snuggly, super-soft fleece lining in the neck. The hood pops off, also, for an even cleaner look. The smart phone/iPod pocket inner pocket is the perfect size for my iPhone 5, though a larger phone may not fit there. I’d prefer that the 2 waist pockets zipped, since I’ve stuffed a few things into them only to have them fall out (though they do snap, so at least there’s that). The bottom zips up, which is radical for those of us who like to pedal around regardless of weather. And you’ll be psyched to rock the Natasha in all weather from wind to rain to blowing snow—it’ll help you handle it all with class.

Earn cash back on the Sierra Designs Natasha Jacket


Carhartt - Ripstop Active Jac

Where to Wear:

- Hangin around the campfire - grilling in the backyard with the boys - working up a sweat around the house

Carhartt makes clothes that are made for hard work, sweat and those looking to appear as though they work hard and sweat a lot. Just kidding, but only kind of.

The 100% ripstop fabric this jacket is made of is tougher than John McClane, and will fight against rips and tears just as hard as he does. And, noting Carhartt’s reputation for long-lasting products, will survive as long as Bruce Willis’ character has. The whole jacket, including the attached hood, is lined with nylon and a quilted midweight polyester insulation, so you’ll stay warm even in cold temps (provided you keep moving—this is not a full-on winter coat).

There’s an internal pocket for your media device, and a little loop near the neckline to slip your earbuds through—a nice touch for the modern man. The other internal pocket is decently sized, and there are two outside pockets as well. I’ll note that Carhartt seems to run on the large side based on our reviews, so order down if you want a more fitted look.   

The Ripstop Active Jac is a simple coat for the man who likes his coat to be as tough as he is. If you’re digging this style but don’t feel that you’re quite tough enough, check out this somewhat enlightened list. Then go ahead and order the jacket, because with these helpful tips (love #12) you’ll be just like John McClane by the time Carhartt ships it to you. 

Earn cash back on the Carhartt Active Jac


Check out more Fashion + Function style tips!


Contributed by: Aly Nicklas

Aly Nicklas runs a production company, Just Rite Media, that’s based out of Boulder, CO, in addition to being a regular contributor to Active Junky. As equally comfortable in a pair of heels as she is lacing up a pair of climbing shoes, Aly is dedicated to helping you look and perform your best. Expect to get regular (and occasionally ridiculous) style advice from Aly every other Thursday here on Active Junky. Think you’ve got killer outdoor steez and want to be featured? Have beta on a bitchin’ piece of gear Aly should check out? Email Us."

Images by Aly Nicklas


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