nobis Review: Fashion, Function, or Both?

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by  Kiev Broadwater | Last Updated: 

Fashionable outerwear often comes at a high premium, and it isn’t always as functional as it is stylish.

nobis makes coats and jackets to bridge the gap between function and fashion, but is it any good? Read on to find out.

Fashion or function?
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: nobis

nobis

Bottom line: nobis offers a wide range of parkas and jackets that offer a tailored fit without sacrificing functionality. Their parkas are well-made and warm, and their tactical vest has a unique look and more compartments than Batman’s utility belt.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service

Pros:

  • Both jackets and the vest had a solid construction that I would feel confident wearing in rough weather
  • Added functionality details like the bills on the hoods and the hidden mask in the neck lining of the vest boost wearability and make their pieces more practical
  • High-tech components like the Sympatex® waterproof membrane, zippable armpit vents, and taped seams contribute to garments that last longer while keeping you warmer and drier
  • nobis jackets are completely machine washable, which is almost unheard of with products in the same category of a similar quality

Cons:

  • While their garments are extremely convenient with the added pockets, the design of the vest seemed to prioritize pocket space over wearability and comfort

I’m not an alpine adventurer or an ice climber. I’ve been on skis once, and I hate being cold.

However, I do live in Chicago, and most days I’ll put around two miles on the sidewalk.

Weathering the storms and the bitter winters here while still retaining the mobility to fast-walk a mile through icy wind and sleet requires the right gear. Here, outerwear is an art form, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish there were better-looking options for the extreme cold.

I picked up a few pieces from nobis because their coats have a tailored look and claim to perform down to some pretty frigid temperatures. 

In this review, I looked at the Geo Short Parka, the Atlas Performance Parka, and the Vulcan Unisex Tactical Vest. Keep reading to get the lowdown on this brand and whether they’re worth shopping with.

What is nobis?

nobis is a Toronto-based outerwear brand that is dedicated to making highly-fashionable pieces that are just as technically adept as they are stylish. 

The down they use in their coats and jackets is ethically-sourced, and they use performance textiles like Sympatex® waterproof membranes and seam tape for pieces that are eco-friendly and high-quality. 

They offer a full range of parkas, puffers, bombers, and other outerwear, along with a full line of accessories like hats, scarves, and gloves. They offer plenty of pieces in the standard neutral colors, but some more fashion-forward floral, color block and geometric prints round out their inventory for those looking for something to turn a few heads.

Things to Consider Before Buying Outerwear from nobis

Nobis white jacket detail

One of the things that sets nobis apart from other outerwear brands is the tailored fits they offer. While I’m a fan of slim, tailored fits in basically everything except the odd oversized sweater, this can be divisive when it comes to outerwear.

There isn’t a ton of room to layer under their jackets and parkas, especially in the sleeves. This is great for me, since my winter obligations rarely require more than a single layer, but wearing a suit under one of these parkas could be an uncomfortable (and sweaty) affair.

nobis

Based out of Canada, nobis aims to infuse style with functionality with their high-fashion outerwear. They offer everything from jackets and parkas to small accessories like hats and gloves.

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If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

nobis Review

Geo Short Parka

Man wearing black Nobis jacket in park

The first item we’ll take a look at from nobis is the Geo Short Parka. Let’s take a look at the specs: three-ply waterproof/windproof shell, sealed seams, Canadian white duck down fill, magnetic pockets, underarm ventilation, lined front pockets, two interior pockets, heavy-duty zippers, and two chest pockets.

Whew. 

This thing is jam-packed with features, and it doesn’t look half-bad either. It’s been years since I’ve had any outerwear that wasn’t a heavier material like wool or canvas, so I’m accustomed to a slimmer winter silhouette. 

Although this parka has plenty of filling to keep you warm (and boy does it), it still has a tailored look and I actually prefer the shorter fit over the Atlas Performance Parka. It doesn’t give you that poofy, 1980s ski resort bully look that some down-filled jackets have.

man wearing black Nobis parka

On their five-point coldness scale, the Geo Parka is rated as a three, which they claim can handle temperatures as low as -4° F. I spent several days walking around a very windy downtown Chicago in sub-freezing temperatures and actually had to unzip it because of how warm it was. I wouldn’t trek up Everest in it, but for pretty much everything else it has me covered.

Overall, the Geo Short Parka is a solidly functional, warm, and stylish short parka. It’s a great intro to nobis as a brand and one of their more stylishly-conservative pieces. If you want a tailored fit without a flashy print or a shawl collar, this jacket is a great option.

nobis Geo Short Parka

The Geo Short Parka offers a tailored blend between fashion and function with a hefty list of features like Canadian white duck down, pockets galore, and a lightweight down-proof lining.

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Atlas Performance Parka

man wearing white Nobis jacket

Technically, the Atlas Performance Parka is quite similar to the Geo Parka. However, I opted for the white floral print, and the fashion-forward look and longer length give this winter coat an entirely different look and purpose in my outerwear inventory.

One of the features that sets this parka apart from the Geo Parka is its removable hood. I’m really into this feature because the hood is filled with down and designed for winter, which means it’s a bit bulky. On a day when it’s sunny but bitterly cold, I can zip off the hood and sub in a beanie or a hat.

I also like the chest pocket design on this parka. They’re not as easily accessible as the vertical-zip pockets on the Geo Parka, but they’re more concealed, which leads to a sleeker look.

And although the Atlas Performance Parka is also rated a 3/5, the extra length definitely makes a difference on the chillier days. If you’re not keen on suiting up with a base layer under your slacks and you’re facing frigid temperatures, the longer length on this parka can be a lifesaver.

man in green sweater wearing white floral Nobis jacket

Also, I’d be remiss not to mention the print. Unless it’s a t-shirt or sneakers, I’m pretty guilty of steering clear of white. However, this floral print, while subtle, is a real head-turner. Not everyone is looking for a statement outerwear piece, but if you’re unsatisfied with the blacks, blues, and beiges, this is a bold, interesting alternative that will help you stand out in a crowd.

Because of a few key features, this parka serves a different purpose than the Geo Parka. This parka is for those days where you have a little pep in your step and you’re up for something a little jazzier than a plain parka. And a fashion-forward print without sacrificing function at this jacket’s price point is a surprisingly-good deal.

nobis Atlas Performance Parka

The Atlas Performance Parka pays equal attention to fashion as it does warmth and functionality. The jacket features Canadian white duck down insulation and a wind/water-resistant outer shell.

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Vulcan Tactical Vest

man wearing black Nobis vest

This piece took me a second to wrap my head around.

The Vulcan Tactical Vest represents the more fashionable side of nobis. Has function totally gone out the window? Not at all, but it’s an ambitious concept, and I think the execution fell slightly short of what they were envisioning.

When you look at the features of this vest, you can hardly believe it. 7 pockets on the front, a built-in backpack, a hideaway face mask, and Primaloft Gold insulation wrapped in their nobis water and windproof liner. 

The look of this vest was surprising at first, as it looks kind of like a thin flak jacket with a hood. However, it grew on me, and it’s not often that I see pieces like this from outerwear brands. 

The front pockets are all easily accessible; and while I’ve primarily used them for snacks, they’d be great for keys, wallets, your dog’s poop bags, camping gear, and pretty much everything else. The magnetic closures are a game-changer here, as I’m sure I’m not alone in getting frustrated while fiddling with snaps with cold fingers.

Man with hat wearing black Nobis vest

One thing I think would have made this vest a real winner is a removable hood. You can easily wear this vest over a sweater and it will keep your vitals toasty while housing any accessories you care to carry, but the non-removable hood makes it a pain to wear under anything.

The built-in backpack is also more of a novelty than a practical function, as you have to take the vest completely off to access it. The built-in mask is a really interesting idea, but it slips off with any head movement due to being secured in the collar. However, I have found it useful as a built-in scarf. 

The Vulcan Tactical Vest is a stylish way to boost your outfit’s warmth on a winter day. Its look isn’t going to be for everyone, but an all-black, tactical, athletic fall look would make this vest pop. A removable hood would do wonders for its versatility, but I can definitely still see myself getting some use out of this vest.

nobis Vulcan Tactical Vest

The Vulcan Tactical Vest from nobis proves to be a unique offering with many cool, functional features like a built-in backpack, seven front pockets, and magnetic closures.

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What Do Other Reviewers Say About nobis? 

Nobis vest detail

There are a ton of nobis reviews floating around the internet ether, and I haven’t found one that’s negative. 

The first thing shoppers generally remark about is the way these jackets look, with “stylish af” being a common comment. And also one that I happen to agree with. These jackets are stylish af. Reviewers also praise the quality and the fact that the jackets are machine washable, which is a fact that surprises me more and more every time I say it.

Overall, nobis is extremely well-received among shoppers. Normally I’m suspicious of a lack of negative reviews online, but I’m honestly having a hard time faulting their pieces myself, so I can’t say I’m all that surprised.

My Thoughts Overall On nobis

What I Like

  • Elastic wrist cuffs, waterproof liners, duck down fill, reinforced seams, and pockets aplenty make the parkas extremely functional. These jackets will keep you warm and dry while holding a surprising amount of stuff.

  • Despite having a generous amount of fill and pocket space, the parkas offer a tailored fit that stands out from the bulky puffers that make you look like the younger brother from A Christmas Story.

  • The tactical vest is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from an outerwear brand. I’m still unsure of how much functionality it actually offers, but it displays an interesting style and I commend nobis for offering some bolder fashion choices in a historically unfashionable clothing category.

  • Their Canadian-origin white duck down is sustainably sourced, bringing you a high-quality product while minimizing their impact on the environment.

What I Don’t Like

  • While their branding certainly isn’t as hamfisted as some of the other brands out there, I generally go for a minimalist style that shows as little branding as possible. Their logo is just a touch too big and too prominently placed for my liking.

Who is nobis for?

When it comes to outerwear, a high level of performance and a stylish look generally don’t go hand-in-hand.

nobis is for those looking for extremely functional outerwear and unwilling to sacrifice style. Their tailored designs and fashion-forward prints offer a more interesting look than a good deal of the other outerwear out there, and their price point is more approachable than designer outerwear from brands like Moncler.

The Verdict

I’ve always been a stickler for style, but it can be tough to do when Chicago’s umpteenth polar vortex hits and it hits -25° F outside. 

Based on wearing the absolute hell out of the Geo Short Parka (and the Atlas Performance Parka to a lesser extent) during days with temperatures just below freezing, I’m confident in the ability of both of these jackets to keep me toasty during frosty days without making me look like a marshmallow.

I was impressed with the style and utility of these jackets, each with a tailored fit and their own myriad of hidden pockets and functional features.

The Vulcan Tactical Vest I wasn’t quite as sold on, as a khaki field jacket is about as tactical as my look gets, but I can see it being a knockout with the right outfit. The hideaway mask is also a bonus for windy days as long as you don’t move your head too much.

Overall, you don’t have to twist my arm to get me to recommend nobis as an outerwear brand worth checking out. It’s not the most affordable brand out there, but their prices are pretty approachable when you compare them to other pieces of similar quality—especially more fashion-forward alternatives.

nobis

Based out of Canada, nobis aims to infuse style with functionality with their high-fashion outerwear. They offer everything from jackets and parkas to small accessories like hats and gloves.

Shop nobis
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Does nobis have physical storefronts?

There are nobis flagship stores in Toronto and Paris.

Who founded nobis?

The brand was founded by Robin Yates, former Vice President of Canadian outerwear giant Canada Goose. He left in 2006 and founded nobis in 2007 with the mission of offering a more tailored silhouette that would satisfy customers.

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nobis Geo Short Parka
A tailored, functional, and fashionable jacket
nobis Geo Short Parka
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nobis Atlas Performance Parka
An extra warm, extra fashionable parka
nobis Atlas Performance Parka
Check Best Price
nobis Vulcan Tactical Vest
An ambitious addition to your winter wardrobe
nobis Vulcan Tactical Vest
Check Best Price
If you click these links and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
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