What is Parka? Difference Between Parka and Jackets

When it gets cold, you need to wear something that keeps you warm. A jacket is more familiar, but a parka might sound strange to you. So, what is a this? The two are easily confused for the other, but the difference is well defined. 


Both garments are equally important. They have similarities and differences too. A parka can be a jacket, but all jackets cannot qualify to be parkas. The first notable difference is that one is hooded while the other is not. This post will analyze all differences for anyone who wants to learn. 

What is Parka?

They are long coats that are well insulated, and they also have a hood lined with fur. Depending on the brand, the fur can be real or faux factors that influence its price. Parkas are insulated with synthetic padding or feathers, which defines their purpose.

The term Anorak is also used to define a parka, but they are not the same. The latter is open at the front, and Anorak is worn as a jumper, and it is also shorter than a parka. 

Parka’s History

Perhaps a look into the history of parkas will help you understand their features and use. They were created in Canada by the Inuit people, in Alaska, and Greenland. Their goal was to develop an outerwear garment that can withstand very low temperatures to freezing, which is the weather in the mentioned locations. The trimmed fur on the hood helps to protect the face from cold and snowy winds. 

Mothers wore them because they have a baby pouch, which made them essential for their survival. In the west, they came into use by the 1950s in the military before the fashion world caught up. 

The insulation on Parkas is waterproof because they are used as staple shields against cold. Insulation can vary from traditional materials (wool) to modern materials like Primaloft insulation. Although the parka’s design has changed and increased, its original purpose of defying wind and cold still stands.

As with most clothing, many people were made, which relates to today’s era, where parkas vary in design and quality. Their primary purpose is the same, but some designs can be worn during sports practice while others are part of fashion, meaning there is something for everyone.

What is Parka

What is a Jacket?

They are also meant to protect the body from harsh weather. They are hip-long and also insulated. Most of them are made from leather, polyester, nylon, wool, and denim materials, depending on the intended purpose.

Both garments are similar in purpose but fit various requirements. Some are meant for sports, others for fashion, and others are used as weather protectors. Now let us dive in and discuss the differences between parkas and jackets.

What is Parka? Difference Between Parka and Jacket

The major difference between a parka and a jacket is the length of both. Parkas for both men and women are longer fit, which is a feature that guarantees more warmth because it covers most of your body, generating more warmth. 

On the other hand, men’s and women’s jackets are a shorter fit by the waist or by the hip. The kind of fit does not affect the jackets’ quality as they still pack exceptional heat to warm the better part of the body. 

Both garments are well insulated to shield the body. When worn by the same person, the only difference is the length, but the parka will feel warmer because it covers the body to the legs. A jacket only covers the body to the waist or slightly below, leaving a bigger part of the body exposed to the cold. 

Speculations on Both

Originally, parkas were only used in the Arctic as a shield against cold weather. The fur-lined along the hood made them heavier and warmer, and the long fit kept the body well protected as purposed. 


Jackets are lighter, less warm garments that only keep the upper body warm. Today jackets and parkas have no accurate definition thanks to the many different design innovations, some of which have resulted in parkas being lighter and jackets warmer.

The terms jacket and parkas can be confusing when defining, especially in catalogs, blogs, and ads. However, their differences are minimal, and even brands might not know it. In short, now that you know what is a parka and how to differentiate it from a jacket, you can spread the word.


So, what is a parka? Don’t be shocked if one is confused with the other. The bottom line is, both garments differ in appearance but the purpose is the same. Both are coats that keep the body warm, and only your preference might make the difference. 

Whether it’s a parka or a jacket, what matters most is the product’s quality to serve your needs better, be it keeping warm or fashion.

READ MORE: 18V Ridgid Heated Jacket Reviews

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