Product Review: L. L. Bean Full-length down coat

Quick version – great coat, does what it’s supposed to, water-resistant, order a size up from your usual.

Longer version – I needed a new long winter coat, one for dress and Day Job. I have one that is nice, boiled wool, but it is not wind or water-resistant and really not suitable for serious winter wear. I’ve made do for a while, but it was becoming a safety issue. So I asked for this coat for Christmas.

The coat is knee-length, with a removable hood. The hood has faux-fur trim, alas. Real fur would be better, so it wouldn’t frost, but I wear hats most of the time so it’s not really a big deal. I don’t like how hoods block my peripheral vision and hearing. The coat has a zipper and snaps, a storm-flap over the zipper, zipping outside pockets and two inside pockets. The sleeves have knit cuffs inside the ends of the sleeves, so they are not visible. They are a soft, stretchy material that doesn’t seem as durable as your standard, but we will see how they do.

I got a petite (short woman) large, because of wearing it over layers. There is more than enough room for a jacket over a sweater or heavy vest in the coat, even in the sleeves. The hips are roomy, so the coat does not have to be half-unzipped in order to sit down. It also does not make noise like some putter-type coats do (no rustling).

The down has been treated to make it water-resistant, and the shell is water-resistant. I wouldn’t wear it to stand around in a downpour, but light rain/snow doesn’t seem to bother it. There are internal baffles to keep the down where it should be, but they are not as obvious as in sporty or older puffer coats. The coat doesn’t make me look like the Sta-pufft Marshmallow Man, but it’s not slimming, either. Which is OK. I want to be warm, not trendy.

The coat is light weight compared to some I have (Thinsulate™-lined peacoat, for example.) It slides on easily over other clothes, and has plenty of room to move. It is wind-proof. This is critical down here, and even with just the snaps fastened, it really does a good job blocking the cold air. With everything fastened, it is quite warm, not bulky, and I have full freedom of movement. I’ve worn it over a light blouse and heavier skirt at 20 F with a windchill of 10 F and was comfortable.

I would not recommend this for Chicago-in-Winter-Storm weather, unless you wear more, and appropriate, layers under it. I’d also get a size larger than you generally wear so that you can layer easily. It’s not a survival parka. It’s a nice dressy down coat.

It appears to be durable, but we will see over time how it does.

FTC Notice: This item was a gift from a family member. L.L. Bean did not offer me any reward or remuneration in exchange for this review.

10 thoughts on “Product Review: L. L. Bean Full-length down coat

  1. I like a longer than waist length coat for warmth, but if I’m sitting they are usually tight enough to be a pain, especially for driving or pocket access. I’ll have to look at hip width/ flaring next time I get one.
    Does it have a means to access pockets, like the way some trench coats have a through slit or pocket?

    • I’d never realized how much of a blessing it is to be a runty woman– jackets made to end at the beltline are the perfect length for me to be able to sit easily, and just lift a few inches to get at my pockets.

    • Just the outside pockets. To get to the interior breast pocket, you have to unzip the front. Women’s coats generally don’t have any interior pockets, let alone ones that can be quickly accessed.

  2. I’ve went back to wearing an old Filson wool mackinaw, while not technically water resistant Filson wool is such a tight weave that it takes longer to soak through than most “waterproof” coats I have worn. Of course by the time it does soak through it has gained twenty pounds.

  3. LL Bean is good quality. Also they have a lifetime warranty, if you ever have problems, they will replace it for free! If it’s good enough for Mainacs, it’ll work for the rest of us. 🙂

    • I am still wearing one of their “Hurricane” flannel lines, canvas shirts that I’ve had since I was 16…and I’m 41. Some stuff is VERY durable! And I’m also one of the aforementioned Maineiacs…lol

      • Some of their stuff is great. Some of it… Let’s just say that their quality has gotten rather variable over the past ten years.

    • some of their stuff is very durable. But at one time they were known as a working/outdoor clothing supplier, they have branched rather heavily into stuff that is designed more for fashion than for heavy use and the quality on that stuff tends to be more variable.

    • Not necessarily. I’ve read they’ve stopped that because too many people were sending in Bean gear they hadn’t bought from Bean.

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