I'm from northern Indiana and deal with a lot of cruddy…
Price Paid: $98.65
I'm from northern Indiana and deal with a lot of cruddy weather. November, December, and March mean big cold fronts with near freezing rain and driving wind every week or two (ironic that its Nov 4 and 75 degrees today). January and February are brutal here with temperatures typically ranging in the mid 20's to 10 below freezing some nights, and oh so much wind (any of my fellow Purdue students will tell you how windy our campus is).
Anyways, to the point...I give this jacket only 4/5 stars simply because I haven't tested it out yet. It definitely feels heavy enough, and it is certainly warm, but I have been deceived before by weight judgment (dang you Merrell apparel!).
Fit-wise, the jacket is amazing. I am a lanky 6'2", 165 pounds and I always have trouble finding something with a good sleeve/waist length. I bought a large and the fit seems excellent, though perhaps a bit roomy inside. It comes down plenty low, and the sleeves are more than long enough for me. The hood also seems plenty big, perhaps even too big, and it slides up and over the head easily and stays where you leave it.
Furthermore, the jacket comes up high on the collar, enough to cover all of your neck, which I appreciate but am not used to (it will grow on me I'm sure). It also has a few features I don't really need, such as a goggle wipe and goggle storage pocket, but more power to the people who will use them.
Overall the jacket is very spacious (enough to layer underneath) but not exceptionally big, puffy, or heavy. This Triclimate model (like most) also has the nice feature of the zip out lining, which can be replaced by many other coats (I picked up a Khumbu fleece from North Face dirt cheap too, and it zips right in).
My only real complaint is the lack of insulation in the pockets. I always forget/lose my gloves in the winter and like to bury my hands in the pockets, which may be lacking in this coat.
Overall, I have to admit that I'm extremely impressed by the fit and feel of this coat. Most other winter coats will either be extra heavy or extra puffy to retain heat, but this one has a nice mix of the two. I will post again later in winter once I've fully tested this beast of a jacket to its full potential, and let any readers know whether or not I believe the jacket is worth the actual $279 price tag, as well as any problems/hidden features I am missing right now.