When it comes to braving the cold, the best place to look is in nature, where making it through crappy weather is a matter of life or death. Sure, geese may be flying south for the winter, but even if we can’t migrate (because of something called a “job” or whatever), we can certainly benefit from their source of natural heat.  

What you need most from a winter coat is equal parts protection from the weather and versatility for your closet. Today’s puffy coats aren’t as puffy as the North Faces of yore, which means they'll match your Chelsea boots just as well as your wheat Timbs. If you like to layer, down vests are also a clever option. 

Copping a toasty down coat can burn through your wallet faster than logs on a fire. Before swan diving into the market of goose, duck, or synthetic down jackets, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into—and how to get the best value for your money. Neither you, nor your bank account, should be left out in the cold. Here's what you need to know.

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