Well, its true that Alaska is warming upthe mean low temperature at Barrow has moved up about 5 degrees since 1950but that doesnt mean it has gone tropical. Expect regular lows of near zero, and thats without wind chill. So as much as I love anything from Carhartt, the only thing they have that I think would be adequate is the Carhartt Extreme Coat ($130; carhartt.com). And that might be what you have. It does have an optional hood, which is $30. Its quilt-lined, not fur.
L.L. Bean Baxter State Parka
Baxter State Parka
If it were me, Id get a Baxter State Parka from L.L. Bean ($199; llbean.com). This is a great piece thats insulated with 650-fill down and has a Gore-Tex liner for waterproofing. It has lots of pockets, plus a full, removable hood with synthetic fur ruff. Itll layer nicely over a midweight fleece jacket. Plus it looks pretty cool.
For a more traditional down parka, Marmots Ama Dablam ($180; marmot.com) is a good buy. Its very light but also very warm. But its not very rugged if youre doing construction or anything like that. Carhartt and L.L. Bean offer much better durability.
Id also invest in some good long underwear. I swear by Icebreakers Bodyfit 260 line (icebreaker.com), a midweight merino wool base layer. The long-sleeve crew is $70, so are the leggings. Great stuff. Dont even thank me.
What takes you to Barrow?
Check out the new 2007-2008 Winter Outside Buyers Guide, packed with reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves. Its available on newsstands this month.