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history N-3B "Snorkel" parka

The N-3B Parka was developed for U.S. flight crews stationed in extremely cold, windy climates. Also known as the ‘Snorkel Parka’, they could zip it closed all the way past their noses, leaving just a hole to see out of.

history N-3B “Snorkel” parka

n-3b-parka

history N-3B “Snorkel” parka

The original N-3B parka was developed in the 1950s for U.S. flight crews stationed in extremely cold, windy climates. Also known as the ‘Snorkel Parka’, they could zip it closed all the way past their noses, leaving just a hole to see out of – like a snorkel.

The N-3B was made to withstand frigid temperatures down to −51 °C with a three-quarter-length, wind-proofed outer shell made of silk, a dense wool lining and large attached hood. The design of the parka soon shifted to nearly indestructible nylon with a polyester lining – just as warm as the original, but lighter and softer. A few decades later, it was reproduced for civilians, becoming popular all over Europe and the U.S.