I married into a ski family, so while most people are spending time stringing cobwebs across the trees in the front yard or planning for Thanksgiving, they’re all waiting for the first snow of the season to fall. It’s only a matter of time before the whole family is rounded up for the first chance to hit the slopes. And whether that mass exodus to the chairlift is in Tahoe or Vermont or Whistler for you (check out social media’s favorite ski slopes here), it’s all about the gear you have once you get there.

Since I might as well accept that winter is settling in, and it’s going to get cold…I decided to use the NetBase Insight Workbench to look at coat brands hoping to discover some social insight on the best way to keep warm. Several brands have risen to the challenge of keeping serious snow-sports fans warm this winter – and with this group, it’s less about fashion and all about warmth and quality. I came up with these six brands to explore: Arcteryx, North Face, London Fog, Patagonia, Columbia and Spyder.

In this graphic, the amount of chatter about a brand is indicated by the size of the bubble, while the placement of the bubble shows the intensity of passion.

Winter coat fashion has never been my forte; however I found this chart’s metrics and the supporting verbatim to be pretty interesting and overall high in sentiment.   In looking at the results, the lesson here is, “it pays to advertise.”  Undeniably, the buzz winner here is the company who does the most of it:  North Face, who generated over 67% of the overall chatter. However, the big brand fell short when it came to its other metrics; its Net Sentiment score of 80 (which is actually high) placed it merely in the middle of the pack relative to the other brands as well as a relatively low Passion Intensity score of 55. Verbatim showed that whereas consumers talk extensively about how popular the brand is, they also find them expensive and not always warm enough.

Everyone knows that North Face is regarded as the popular brand for younger people

Each and every year it seems that the North Face jacket line gets a little more popular


I’ve been rocking a North Face Denali like 78% of the population, and it’s just not warm enough

And a simple North Face just isn’t warm enough

Though Arcteryx generated a fraction of the chatter that North Face has, it won across the board in the other metrics, generating a Net
Sentiment score of 81 and the highest Passion Intensity score of the group, at 87. Verbatim showed that online consumers love the brand because of the fantastic quality of Arcteryx products, indicating that the company has a great handle on the needs of their consumers, the activities they engage in and the versatility they desire.

The incredibly good-looking Arcteryx Alpha LT jacket for men is amazingly lightweight and great for all kinds of snow sports

Arcteryx has made some of the most incredible gear on the planet, and in the spring and fall this tiny thin little jacket is all you need

While Arcteryx is expensive, you can get last seasons color jackets for a pretty big discount and their jackets are incredible

The Arcteryx insulated jackets are great to wear when the temperature drops really low. They are warm and breathable

And, finally, I dug more deeply into the verbatim and metrics for Patagonia. Though this brand also had less of a share of buzz, it put up solid scores with the other two metrics, generating a Net Sentiment score of 81 and a Passion Intensity score of 82. And while consumers talked
very positively about the jackets themselves, they also applauded the company’s customer service and policies.

This Patagonia rain jacket was one of my best purchases ever

Patagonia’s Traverse jacket is one of the most comfortable and versatile jackets I’vetested this winter

ThePatagonia Nano Puff Jacket is essential for your wardrobe

Love Patagonia’s iron clad guarantee

Patagonia has a great return policy J

I hope this gives you some insight on what jacket to warm up with for your winter sports.  What are your other winter must-haves? Check back in next time – we’re gearing up for the holidays, and I couldn’t be more excited!