Best Winter Coats

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago area is experiencing a deep freeze this month. Just about everyone is scrambling to get their winter gear together.

Chicagoans have strong opinions about the best ways to keep warm in the winter. But when it comes to finding the best coat to brave the elements, there are a few do's and don'ts to winter coats.

"It still comes down to basic science and engineering," said Pat Slaven, the textile expert at Consumer Reports.

Her recommendation? Look for your coat to be water resistant, wind proof, with even insulation.

"You want a coat with what we call baffles, you want even layers of insulation all around you," Slaven said.

High-fiber down is warmer and lighter, but there's nothing wrong with polyester fiber fill, Slaven said.

Of course, material alone won't cut it. So we asked Crains Chicago Business style contributor Jackie Bender to factor in price and fashion. Here are her top picks at different price ranges.

Lowest range for men: Columbia Frost Fight

"This is synthetic, water resistant, $150 warmest option you can find," she said.

For women?

"This is North Face, similar to Columbia men's, but this is goose down, thinner, Bender said.

$200-300 range: London Fog, 3 in 1

"It has this exterior shell, water, wind resistant," Bender said.

And - North Face, $299, goose down, water proof

For $350, Bender picks a goose down, full length coat

If price is no object for a men's coat? How about a $695 Polo Ralph Lauren with a fur hood.

"This is a thick, burly coat, going to be very warm," Bender said.

Slaven says goose down is the premium fill and much lighter when you wear it, but there's nothing wrong with synthetic fill. It may be heavier, but constructed right, it will keep you just as warm. All these coats can be found at Macy's.

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