Merrell’s Avalon Parka: The Perfect All-Purpose Winter Coat

Winter coats are expensive, and sometimes it can be tough to justify having a work coat, a going-out coat, a winter-sports coat, a walking-the-dog coat, a running-a-quick-errand coat, etc. (because really, ladies, we all know the list can go on and on).

Thankfully Merrell comes to the rescue with its multi-purpose Avalon. The synthetic coat blends performance and feminine fashion and – most importantly – offers comfort and warmth. Merrell’s Opti-Warm insulation keeps you cozy in the coldest temps, yet the low-bulk coat is about as sleek and flattering as a winter coat can be.

The four snap closures are subtlety sophisticated, yet they are easy to use and offer additional protection to the weather after you’ve zipped up. Pit-zips, molded tab cuff closures and an interior moisture-wicking mesh back panel also help keep you thermally regulated. Two dual-zip waterproof hand pockets keep your fingers toasty and your personal items safe (as does an interior chest pocket).

The Avalon’s Opti-Shell exterior is waterproof from the hood down, which means you’ll stay dry whether you’re walking to work or playing in powder (if the latter, you’ll also appreciate this coat’s stretchy, detachable powder skirt and adjustable hood, which can fit over a helmet).

The dropped tail keeps your derrière mostly covered – and therefore warm. It also allows you to ride a bike – or bend over – without exposing your lower back. If you tend to kick up snow as you snowshoe, your backside won’t get soaked and cold (always a good thing).

The Avalon is available in basalt, heather, Adriatic herringbone and fig herringbone. For $249, sure, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s way cheaper than buying several different coats.

For more information on Merrell, visit

About the author

Whitney Spivey

Whitney Spivey is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is a freelance writer and editor. She is a three-time New Mexico state snowshoe racing champion, and she placed eighth at Nationals in 2014.

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