An anorak is also called a parka. Traditional anoraks are heavy, hip-length coats with a wide hood that helps shield the face from the wind. The Inuit peoples of the Arctic invented the anorak as wind chill protection to wear when hunting; the hood and body section of these traditional anoraks are often lined with animal fur to add extra warmth. Fish oil is used on the outside to create a water-resistant finish. Today, many manufacturers produce different types of winter coat and hooded jacket anoraks made from an assortment of materials.
The pullover jacket type of anorak has an opening for the head and it may have a snap or button closure at the neck. Partial zippers are another, often more fashionable, option for pullover anoraks. These may be sold as "1/4 zip" or "1/2 zip" styles, depending on the zipper length. Sporty stripes and bright colors are often features of pullover anoraks. The most common fabric used for pullover anoraks is waterproof nylon.
Down filled ski jacket anoraks can be especially warm. Down is the under layer of soft feathers of geese and ducks. Many other winter weight anoraks have synthetic filling, but they may have microfiber fleece lining for added warmth. Microfiber fleece is known for being warm without adding bulk; it has a soft feel to it and is used for blankets and sleepwear.
Winter anoraks are typically worn with snow pants and boots. While most heavy anoraks are hooded, the types without hoods can be worn with a knitted cap and scarf. Fuzzy fabric that looks like fur, modeled after the original Inuit anorak, is featured as trim on some hooded anoraks.
A drawstring waist can give an anorak a stylish look. It's also a flattering style on most people, as it adds a pulled-in waistline to an otherwise bulky jacket. Drawstring waist anoraks also tend to look less casual than the other types. Anoraks with a drawstring waist also tend to be longer for added wind protection; many of these are almost knee length rather than just reaching the hips or thighs.
Anorak styles of raincoats are much lighter in weight than the traditional parka type. These lighter weight, water-resistant rain anoraks are made of many different fabrics, from plastic to gabardine. Gabardine is a long-lasting, tightly woven material known for its toughness. Its fibers may contain wool, rayon or cotton. Plastic raincoat anoraks are less expensive than the gabardine type, but typically don't last nearly as long.