9 Best Anorak Jackets: Types, Definitions, Purpose, History

When you hear the word Anorak and you don’t understand what it is, apart from knowing that it is a jacket, you have come to the right place.

Let us in this article find out more about what an Anorak is right from its pronunciation to the types of Anoraks and what type you should wear. So, let us first start with what an Anorak is.

What is Anorak?

Definition from MacMillan Dictionary

  1. a short coat with a hood (the part that covers your head)
  2. someone who is very interested in something that most people think is boring or not fashionable

The above two are the most popular definitions for Anorak, elaborated in some places to the below definition.

  1. a hooded pullover jacket originally made of fur and worn in the Arctic, now made of any weather-resistant fabric
  2. a jacket patterned after this, made of any weather-resistant material, and worn widely

Out of these, we are eliminating the second one, as this does not make any sense as long as this article is concerned, leaving us with the other three.

So, essentially it is something that looks like a jacket with the following conditions.

An Anorak Jacket is a type of jacket that:

  1. has a hood (a part covering the head)
  2. is made of fur
  3. is worn in the Arctic
  4. is now made of any weather-resistant material
  5. is now worn widely

How to pronounce Anorak?

There are two ways of pronouncing Anorak. But let us try to standardize this and check out a more universal pronunciation.

Anorak Synonym

Considering the above definition, we can have the following synonyms, which will anyway not going to make our life any better, as we already know the definition and how to pronounce the word. But still, let us list the synonyms for Anorak. Here you go:

What is another word for Anorak?

  • cloak
  • frock
  • jacket
  • overcoat
  • raincoat
  • suit
  • tuxedo
  • windbreaker
  • wrap
  • cape
  • cutaway
  • flogger
  • greatcoat
  • mackinaw
  • mink
  • pea
  • slicker
  • tails
  • threads
  • topcoat
  • trench
  • tux
  • ulster
  • duffle coat

Wow, so many synonyms. Don’t worry, many of the definitions here are listed considering the popularity of the word. This brings us to the question of what before the popularity of the word.

Let us know about the history of the word, and from where was the word sourced.

Anorak Etymology

It all started in Greenland, where the native Eskimos of this place felt very cold. They had to use a waterproof jacket with a piece to cover the head. It was always cold out there.

This kind of jacket is called in their native language, Kalaallisut language, “Anoraq”. In 1930, this type of jacket became popular in Europe and other western places where it was mostly cold.

This is when the Jacket got an English name with the spelling, Anorak.

What kind of jacket is an Anorak?

To beat the extreme cold, it is sensible to wear such a thing that was initially made of the skin of seals and caribou. As a second layer, they use to coat the jacket with fish oil.

Anoraks of modern times are mainly made of fur or any other warm, wooly material. People who hike (you might need these climbing pants) in cold places (light during the darkness) are the ones who popularized this kind of jacket.

Many anoraks are lined with fur or some other warm, wooly material. Arctic explorers and climbers wear anoraks, as well as Inuits and other native people in very cold regions. Inuits, in fact, invented the anorak for hunting and fishing, from seal and caribou skin coated with fish oil. The Kalaallisut language, from Greenland, used the word “Anoraq“, which became anorak in the 1930s.

What is the purpose of an anorak jacket?

The purpose of the Anorak jacket was to beat the cold. Arctic explorers and climbers (you can read this article about climbing pants), along with the Inuits and other native people from the cold regions, used to extensively use these jackets while they were hunting and fishing(, what other jobs did they have during those days)?

Anorak vs Parka

Though both Anorak and Parka are interchangeably used to refer to the same stuff, originally, there is only one difference between them, that is:

Anoraks have drawstrings at the waist and cuffs, while Parkas are typically longer than Anoraks.

Is an anorak a winter jacket?

From the above section, we can infer that Anorak is nothing but a winter jacket, but wait. Anorak was designed by people from the Arctic, which means, it is made for a biting cold of -30 deg. to -35 deg. centigrade.

So, Anoraks are not just winter jackets. They can handle cold that is as severe as -40 deg. Comparing that to a winter jacket of some other city in Europe would not be right.

However, once it became popular, people from across the places started wearing it, bringing it down to a winter jacket.

Is an anorak a windbreaker?

This is an even worse comparison than the previous section. Let us have a look at the definition of both the jackets, and then come to a conclusion.

Anorak vs Windbreaker

Anorak and Windbreaker are defined in the dictionaries as follows:


a hooded pullover jacket originally made of fur and worn in the Arctic, now made of any weather-resistant fabric.


a thin outer coat designed to resist wind chill and light rain.

  1. While the Anorak is made of fur, the windbreaker, as the name itself indicates, is made of a thin outer coat
  2. While the Anorak can withstand snowfalls (these snow boots can withstand snow too), the windbreaker can withstand only light rain
  3. While the Anorak is worn in the Arctic, the Windbreaker is even worn in the tropics

Is an anorak better than a jacket?

Well, there is no straight answer to this question as it depends on which part of the world are you in. If you are in Greenland, yes of course an Anorak is better than a jacket, but if you are in the tropics, it is a stupid thing to wear an Anorak and start sweating.

Is an Anorak jacket a Rain jacket?

Absolutely not. Though it protects you from rain, it is not to be worn in Singapore when it rains. A Singaporean rain does not bring down the temperature in Singapore.

So, an Anorak Jacket is not just a Rain Jacket, but it is to be worn in cold places.

Until now, we have understood that Anoracks are to be used only in places where the climate conditions are biting cold. But due to its popularity and style, Anoraks have paved their way in all parts of the world.

9 Best Anorak Jackets for both men and women

Now, we can categorize the Anoraks into many types, including based on the season. So, let us go ahead and peep into the categories and the best of the available Anarocks for that category.

1. Best Anorak Wind-proof Jacket

There are Anoraks that don’t allow air into it. It protects the person wearing this type of Anoraks in a dry area where the weather is extremely cold (use these wood-burning stoves). In such cases, the person wearing should be mainly protected from the chilling wind.

This can be tested using your own lungs. If you blow air, the air will not escape from the other side, instead, it just rebounds.

2. Best Anorak Water-resistant Jacket

In addition to the wind-proof anoraks, these water-resistant anoraks not only stop the wind from entering inside, but it stops even water from entering inside. The wettish weather where you have a lot of snow (you might as well need boiling kettles) is where this type of Anoraks is used.

3. Best Anorak Light-weight Jacket

This is water-resistant and lightweight. While its light weight does not compromise on the water gushing in. Made using 100% polyester, this type of Anorak is a holder puffer that keeps the person wearing warm.

4. Best Anorak Military-safari Jacket

This is more of casual wear, which is made of polyester, but is neither a puffer nor has a hood. This can be worn for any occasion, daily wear, work, dating, outdoor, party, school, Christmas, camping (these car mattresses might be of help), hiking (read about hiking boots in this article), running, and vacation.

It has the following features.

  • Stand collar
  • Long sleeve Full zip up
  • Snap button closure
  • Four flap pockets for ample storage
  • Adjustable waist inner drawstring for a better fit
  • Button cuffs
  • Solid color cargo jacket

5. Best Anorak Military-short Jacket

Made using 100% cotton, this Anorak has Long Sleeve, a Drawstring design that provides a slim and modern look, Classic Pockets, and Adjustable Button cuffs for a comfortable fit.

They have collars without any hoods. This is more to protect from mild chill weather (try these down pants too). These are extremely light and can be worn anywhere.

6. Best Anorak Military Jacket

Rugged jacket made using soft shell fabric. It has Fleece Lining, breathable moisture-wicking fabric, and features a waterproof polyester shell, it is durable, waterproof, lightweight, and breathable.

The following few qualities have gotten it the name Military Anorak.

  • Windproof
  • Breathable
  • Heat preservation
  • No fading
  • Anti-wrinkle
  • No shrinkage
  • Better design
  • More comfortable to wear

7. Best Anorak Front-pocket Jacket

Useful in mild cold places, especially when you are not counting on the hand gloves, the front pocket is placed in such a strategic position that the hands can be inserted into the pocket to protect your bare hand from the biting cold.

8. Best Anorak Packable Jacket

Very useful for traveling, sports, hiking, fishing, and hunting. For storage purposes, there is a big pocket where you can store gloves, a wallet, a hat, a phone, or sunglasses.

9. Best Anorak Snowboard Jacket

Specifically built for the snowboard, this type of Anorak has got 15Ks of waterproofing and, a V-science lining system for heightened breathability.

An extra layer shell’s drop tail fit along with much other technical stuff that assists the person to use the snowboard efficiently.

Anorak Comparison Table

Champion Men’s Packable Jacket-Solid$18- $59 8.47 Ounces100% Polyester22 x 18 x 1 inchesTopPouch-like pocket in the front with a zipper pocket.
Helly-Hansen Men’s Loke Packable Anorak$10011.99 Ounces100% Polyester23.62 x 15.75 x 15.75 inchesTopNone
Amazon Essentials Men’s Lightweight Water$10.30 – $54.8024.32 Ounces100% Polyester21.73 x 15.55 x 6.85 inchesTopTwo Pockets
Aisongyuan Womens Military Safari$46.99NAPolyester, CottonNAFrontFour Front Patch Pockets
Womens Military Short Jacket$25.88Light Weight100% CottonNAFrontClassic Pockets
ANTARCTICA Men’s Outdoor Waterproof$49.9932 ouncesPolyester3.94 x 3.94 x 0.39 inchesFrontLarge front pockets
Core 10 Women’s Water-Resistant$7.65 – $31.705.61 Ounces100% Polyester13.07 x 7.72 x 0.79 inchesTopPatch front pocket
Champion Packable Anorak$21.71 – $43.988 OuncesCotton1 x 1 x 1 inchesTopFront pouch pocket
Volcom Men’s Brighton Pullover$89.10 – $280.0034.88 Ounces100% V-Science Stretch Oxford20.59 x 15.98 x 2.95 inchesTopZippered Hand Pockets

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