FREE GROUND SHIPPING ON ORDERS $150+
(0)
MEN WOMEN YOUTH ACCESSORIES RE:SUPPLY SALE
(0)

Your Bag

LATEST

WAYS TO WEAR: N-3B PARKA

JANUARY 27, 2021

Alpha Industries was awarded the contract for the N-3B Parka in 1959. Originally designed for U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots and ground crews, the N-3B Parka has withstood the test of time as a durable and versatile winter jacket.

Today’s N-3B Parka design was derived from the N-3 parka, which in turn was inspired by the fur coats traditionally worn by the Inuit of North America. The N-3 was developed by the U.S. Army during World War II, a time when U.S. military presence was expanding further into regions with subzero temperatures. The parka was designed to be mid-length and typically constructed with a nylon outer shell and lining; the fit was loose in order to accommodate soldiers’ uniforms underneath. It included a fur-trimmed hood that was lined with mouton for extra insulation.

Throughout the 1950s, different variations of military standard parka jackets emerged and improved upon the original N-3 design. For example, the M-51 (and later, M-65) fishtail parka was created for soldiers stationed in Korea during the Korean War, where winters were especially harsh. It featured a button-in liner and a waterproof outer shell with a split lower hem that soldiers could tie around each leg, trapping heat while allowing for freedom of movement; it was this iconic feature that led to the jacket’s popular name, the “fishtail parka”. This version was later updated to the M-65 model, which featured a detachable hood.

Another example was the N-2B parka. Made for the USAF air and ground crews, this version had a short hem that fell about hip length as well as a split hood, which could be unzipped to lie flat when it wasn’t in use. It also featured pass-through front pockets that were designed to allow pilots to reach their pants pockets without exposing their hands to the cold. In 1963, Alpha Industries began producing the N-2B parka for the Department of Defense.

But arguably one of the warmest and most hard-wearing of these variations was the N-3B Parka, which was a result of several design innovations over a period of time. A few years after the USAAF became the U.S. Air Force, the N-3A was developed for flight crews stationed in cold regions; in the next few years, this was updated to the N-3B model that we know today. The ‘50s design included a silk nylon outer shell, later replaced with a nylon and cotton blend, and a heavy wool blanket padding, later replaced with lighter-weight synthetic materials. The fur-lined hood could be zipped nearly all the way up to leave a small opening for looking out, which is what led to the nickname “snorkel parka”.

The N-3B parka’s extremely functional design has hardly changed over the years. Falling at ¾ length, the Alpha Industries N-3B Parka features a water resistant nylon outer shell and an adjustable, synthetic fur-lined hood. True to the original military specs, the hood zips up to leave a “snorkel” opening for visibility. The storm flap and hood zipper help to trap heat and ensure the utmost protection in extreme weather conditions. Our N-3B heritage parka is available in black and sage green, while more colorways can be found with the rest of our N-3B parka collection, such as the N-3B Alpine Parka, the N-3B Down Parka for women, the N-3B Parka Y, and the N-3B Skytrain Parka.

N-3B PARKA JACKET (HERITAGE)

The N-3B Parka is an ideal cold weather layering piece. Here, @modernmachines styles the Replica Blue Men's N-3B Parka as a top layer over a chambray shirt and tee. This easy outfit is perfect for a day out and about in the city.

N-3B PARKA JACKET (HERITAGE)

In addition to being an ideal layering piece, the N-3B Parka perfectly compliments the athleisure trend. Here, @alexandersvensk wears the N-3B Parka in Black other a white tee with track pants. This versatile parka is the perfect "throw on and go" piece for cold weather.

N-3B PARKA JACKET (HERITAGE)

Taking a more understated approach, @l.l.wood mixes classic colors in this look with the N-3B Parka in Black. Sage trousers and brown shoes, paired with a black turtleneck provide the basis for a staple everyday look.

Whichever way you style it, the N-3B Parka is the perfect piece to have in your winter wardrobe collection.

SHOP THE BLOG

Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Sold out
Something went wrong, please contact us!