Customer Reviews: Alpha Industries Men's N-3B Parka Coat
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I purchased this Alpha Industries N-3B parka from and it was shipped directly from the manufacturer. It is made to the original 1959 military specifications, so you need to order a size up from your usual size. I recommend that you carefully look at the sizing chart found on the Alpha Industries website before your purchase which explains all this and was very helpful. I am extremely impressed with the quality workmanship and materials used. The faux coyote fur edging is attached to the hood with snaps. The only quality problem I could find with my purchase is that a very small amount of paint is scratched from the edge of most of the snaps on the coat and was probably made by the tool used to attach them. The parka is comfortable, practical, light weight and ideal for cold weather. Ten years ago, I had a government-issued parka in the same model while assigned to Alaska for military duty and really missed it when I had to turn it back in. I promised that I would eventually buy one for myself. My parka came carefully packed with tissue wrapped around the large buttons and zippers to protect against damage. I bought a black parka as I find it to be the most versatile color. My coat was made in China.
UPDATE: I had to reattach all five large buttons used to fasten the wind flap (running along the zipper) because the thread attaching these buttons was too weak and several of the buttons quickly came off when I wore the coat unzipped with the buttons fastened. Alpha Industries includes a set of spare buttons with the coat in a small plastic bag in the front left pocket.
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on January 5, 2011
This coat is only lightly insulated with low value polyester. I bought it expecting an extreme cold weather parka but it's just a regular, low-cost parka. I'm happy with all the design aspects which were goverment specified, and Alpha does a decent job of making it. The nylon zipper is troublesome to get together and zip up sometimes which is bad for a piece of techinical gear.

I'm a men's size 36R and ordered size Small. It fits fine but the hood is a little tight to wear a hat inside. If I were to keep this, I might need a medium so I could wear a lot more insulation underneath it.

The main complaint is that the parka is not warm. I need a warm parka to walk the dog in the winter and for field astronomy. I walked the dog yesterday with the parka over my plain office clothes. It was at least 25F and while I was walking there was no surplus of warmth. Had I stopped, I would have gotten cold. For astronomy, I wore long underwear, trousers, two shirts, a fleece, ski gloves and -60 rated boots. I had a watch cap but also tried the hood. It was at least 15F and for 30 minutes the parka was fine, but by the second half hour, I was freezing cold.

Astronomy is a tough test because you're just sitting still. This parka would have been warm if I was snowshoeing or skiing, maybe too warm. But without additional insulation it was inadaquate even for walking the dog in the sun, and the conditions above 0F were hardly extreme.

I compared this parka to my Carhart cotton duck parka that is also lined with polyester. They're about the same except the N3-B has a much more thorough neck closure and snorkel hood -- otherwise it's not much wamer. The Carhart is cotton duck canvas which is much more abrasion and burn resistant than nylon. With a scarf to close the neck, it seems equivalent to this N3-B except the hood. I don't have the optional carhart hood to compare. The Carhart is less than a hundred dollars on Amazon.

Since neither is adaquate for extreme cold weather without a lot of down or wool insulation underneath, I will probably have to look at Canada Goose or something.
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on December 25, 2010
The coat has great style.. I love the look of it.. The only problem I have are the Big buttons for the zipper flap.. They started falling off like 2 weeks after I got the jacket.. They are not sewn on well AT ALL. I called Alpha and emailed them and was told they were sorry but they offered no remedy to correct the situation. I was very dissapointed.. If the buttons even came off after 1 year and 1 winter I would be ok with it. But them coming off after a few weeks just shows cheapness. Alpha should be ashamed to have an American made product that is that shoddy.. I got it fixed.. But still dissapointing

If anyone from Alpha cares please I would love for you to make this right.
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on November 30, 2012
I recently took this out on a full test of my cold weather gear. I had a polypro undershirt, sweatshirt, fleece, and this parka on top. Kept comfortable for 40 minutes at ~0F in low humidity, low wind, and low to no activity.
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on January 4, 2012
First, I've been looking for a military parka for months and this thing is the best. I'm surprised to hear from other reviewers that the coat runs small. It actually runs big, naturally because it is a big parka and if you want to wear a lot of layers under it, you can if you get your normal size you wear. I actually originally ordered a large, but it was huge on me when I got it, way too big. So I sent it back, then went to an Army-Navy store that sells them (it's very hard to find a retailer unless you live in NYC) and tried on a medium and it fits nice. I'm 5-9 and 190 lbs and their sizing chart says I should wear a large, but it was too big for my taste. I talked with a sales rep and they said the coat does actually run a little big, and that the slim fit and the short parka with elastic waist band run standard. Maybe when you get into the Triple-X sizes it runs small, but for a person my size, the regular size you wear should be good. All in all, it is the best coat I've ever owned and it is crazy warm. I was out in 13 degree weather yesterday and was warm. Solid.
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on January 31, 2010
Actually I wear L size, but for Alfa Industries winter things better to choose the one size bigger
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on May 27, 2015
This jacket fits me perfectly and is very warm (withstanding -20 to -30 degrees Celsius weather with not much trouble) but the quality is terrible. It's full of loose threads everywhere and the within its first winter the metal zipper teeth have come off the tread so I cannot zip it up all of way anymore! I did not expect this product to be of excellent quality but I didn't think such problems would occur in its first winter, within 4 months of purchase.
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on December 2, 2013
I have always wanted one of these Air Force Parkas. I was going to purchase this coat directly form the manufacturer because they have more color choices but the shipping would have been too much in light of the fact I have Amazon Prime. this is a really good parka, well made with a good zipper the button down wind flap is nice. I particularly like the tunnel hood get it all buttoned up and unless the wind in blowing right into the hood you don't even feel the cold. The one compliant I have is it sized somewhat smaller then the stated inches. I got a 5X which according to the listed sized should have fit me in the loose fashion I like but in is rather tight around the stomach area.
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on November 14, 2014
Nice warm parka, about the same as one that I had in the Air Force. Since the color representing each branch of the military was a different price, I went with a different color. The Air Force blue was the most expensive, so I went with black.

Important! Order a larger size then you need!
Others on here have said the same thing here. But I didn't read it until after I ordered.
In my case, my old winter coat was starting to feel snug so I ordered this coat one size larger than my old one. This coat came and fits me the same as my old coat. It is warmer then my old coat and less worn so I will be using it this winter. But I will be ordering a new coat next year.
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on January 15, 2012
This coat is great for low temp days with a lot of wind. I live in NY and when the wind blows and its already 20 degrees it feels like its 2 degrees. The coat kept me warm even with only a t'shirt underneath. My only concern is the sizing, which is always an issue for me; I am 5' 10" 200lbs athletic build so coats usually fit tight at the chest but large at the waist, which is why I bought an x-large. This coats fits a bit bigger though so I returned for the large. I would recommend either the slim fit if that is the type of fit you are looking for or go for one size down. You never know until it arrives; but the coat is extremely functional and it looks pretty cool.
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