A man standing in snow, wearing a green winter jacket, with two large dogs at his side.
(Photo/Steve Graepel)

The Best Winter Jackets of 2021-2022

Whether wandering your favorite winter town or heading out for a mountain adventure, we’ve found the best winter jackets to keep you warm and cozy.

Our team has spent many seasons sifting through the winter jacket market in search of the best and warmest styles. After extensive trial and error in frigid Rocky Mountain and Midwestern climates, we’ve selected our choices for the best winter jackets of 2021-2022.

From style-forward thigh-length coats to purely practical expedition-weight parkas, there are many kinds of winter jackets, each with its own design, features, and purpose. With this list, we’ve organized our selections into distinct categories to help you make an efficient and informed decision.

If you’re looking to prioritize affordability and value, check out our pick for the best budget winter jacket. If looking good is most important, scroll to our most stylish selection.

In 2021-2022, the winter jacket market is stuffed with innovative designs, cutting-edge insulation, and high-tech materials. To help you decide which winter jacket is best for you, we’ve also included a comprehensive buying guide at the end of our list.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:

Best Winter Jackets for Men

Best Overall: Patagonia Frozen Range Parka

patagonia frozen range parka

The Frozen Range Parka ($699) from Patagonia combines style, function, and high-end warmth into one outstanding jacket. Though this jacket leans a little more toward everyday use in frigid urban environments, it’s also great for moderate active use.

We love that the Frozen Range contains evenly distributed 700-fill power down and zero thin spots. Because the down-filled baffling continues through the uniquely designed “snorkel” hood, this jacket is well-known for its ability to keep the head and ears warm and toasty. An interior rib of insulation wraps around the neck and prevents cold air from seeping in.

With its rugged GORE-TEX shell and fully taped seams, the Frozen Range is one of the most effective waterproof jackets on our list. However, because this is a down jacket, any water that does make its way past the outer membrane will significantly decrease its insulative effectiveness. For this reason, we don’t recommend it for severe rainstorms.

For most winter conditions, the Frozen Range is plenty warm enough to keep you comfortable from the thighs up. However, it isn’t designed for expeditions or high-intensity active use.

Other notable features include a two-way zipper, stretch-knit cuffs, and handwarmer pockets. Overall, this is a durable and comfortable winter jacket that can easily meet the needs of cold winter daily wear. For city dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, the Frozen Range is easy to love.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 700-fill down
  • Weight: 2.76 lb.
Pros:
  • Warm and highly protective “snorkel” hood
  • GORE-TEX shell and fully taped seams
  • Stylish urban wear design
Cons:
  • Stiff shell mildly restricts mobility
  • More expensive than other similar jackets

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Patagonia

Best Lightweight Winter Midlayer: Arc’teryx Atom LT

arcteryx atom lt

The Arc’teryx Atom LT ($239) is an insulated active midlayer jacket. Relatively thin and lightweight, the Atom LT is significantly less insulated and warm than a true winter jacket.

Instead of maximum warmth, this nifty jacket offers a unique balance of breathability, comfort, and freedom of movement. From running to nordic skiing, the Atom LT is great for those who refuse to slow down when the weather turns cold.

Any winter jacket designed for active use should also be highly breathable. The combination of trapped sweat and frigid conditions can quickly lead to discomfort and possibly hypothermia.

The Atom LT combines areas of warm insulation with panels of breathable stretch fleece. This hybrid design is perfect for working out in cold weather. For example, on intense winter runs, the jacket is able to keep the core warm while the fleece panels allow sweat to evaporate out. Both the fleece and the synthetic insulation will retain heat when wet.

In extreme cold and/or wet conditions, this jacket will not be enough to keep you comfortable — especially if you aren’t moving your body. However, the Atom LT can easily be paired with a warm base layer and a heavy-duty shell when the weather turns stormy and severe.

Overall, we think the Atom LT is one of the best active-use insulated jackets on the market.

Specs:
  • Insulation: Coreloft Compact synthetic insulation with fleece side panels
  • Weight: 12.2 oz. (S)
Pros:
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Breathable
Cons:
  • On the expensive side for a lightweight jacket
  • Does not stuff into itself

Check Price at evoCheck Price at REI

Best for Wet Conditions: Arc’teryx Therme Insulated Parka

arc’teryx therme insulated parka

On the soggiest of days, there is no substitute for a fully waterproof jacket. From the chilly city streets of Seattle and Chicago to the ski-in lodges of Aspen and Vail, the Therme Insulated Parka ($699) is warm, weather-resistant, and uncommonly stylish.

Compared to other winter jackets on this list, the Therme has a simple and streamlined appearance. However, behind its clean lines and understated design is a long list of well-considered features.

We were specifically impressed by the internal cuff gaskets that effectively seal in heat and keep cold air and moisture out. Because the Therme is a thigh-length parka, it comes with a two-way zipper that enables improved movement when walking and sitting. Some users report that this zipper is prone to sticking, especially in cold temps.

The main drawback of the Therme is that it comes with a large open collar that tends to leak precious warmth. This issue could be easily fixed by accessorizing with a thick scarf, and the large hood can be adjusted for extra protection from wind, sideways-blowing rain, and snow.

We recommend the Therme for everyday urban use and low- to moderate-intensity winter sports, like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Though it falls on the more expensive end of the spectrum, Arc’teryx is known for its high-quality construction and long-lasting durability.

With 750-fill down on the inside and a rugged waterproof shell on the outside, the Therme is a wearable antidote to cold weather.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 750-fill goose down
  • Weight: 2 lb. 4.5 oz.
Pros:
  • Well-made
  • Attractive styling
  • Practical features
Cons:
  • Large collar lets warm air out and cold air in
  • Small pockets

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Best Budget: Columbia Boundary Bay Long

columbia boundary bay long

Quality winter jackets are expensive, and price tags of $500 or more are simply not accessible for many shoppers. Enter the Columbia Boundary Bay ($142-208), a well-made and reasonably warm jacket available for much cheaper than any other jacket on this list.

With quilted synthetic insulation throughout, this parka is a bit less warm but ultimately more versatile than a comparable down-filled jacket. Even in a severe downpour, the Boundary Bay will not lose all of its insulative properties. Its stretchy wrist cuffs also go a long way in retaining warmth in all conditions.

Overall, we were wowed by the warmth and protective capabilities of this jacket — especially considering its lightweight feel and low bulk.

A long, thigh-length cut and plush neck rib prevent heat loss and cold spots. Columbia’s OmniTech waterproof/breathable membrane is its proprietary equivalent to GORE-TEX, and we find it works almost as well on this jacket. We wish all of the interior seams were sealed, but Columbia has opted to only include seals in the shoulders and other key areas.

For an affordably priced jacket, the Boundary Bay includes a respectable set of features. Handwarmer pockets with waterproof zippers are a welcome addition to an already impressive jacket.

Specs:
  • Insulation: Quilted synthetic insulation
  • Weight: 2.86 lb.
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Good heat retention
Cons:
  • Not fully waterproof

Check Price at Amazon

Most Stylish: Canada Goose Langford Parka

canada goose langford parka

Canada Goose down jackets are made to withstand freezing Canadian winters. The company uses closely compacted down plumage known for its ability to store and maintain warm air. From the removable fur-lined hood to the lower torso and thigh area, the Langford Parka ($1,150) provides serious warmth, even in sub-zero temps.

The fleece-lined handwarmer pockets built into this jacket are some of the warmest ever incorporated into a down jacket. A wide storm flap prevents heat from seeping out through the main heavy-duty YKK front zipper. Elasticized wrist cords and the coyote fur neck lining also function as a defense against warmth loss.

Because this jacket is designed with freezing conditions in mind, we don’t recommend wearing it in heavy rain or slushy sleet. Though it is built with a water-resistant shell, it’s not able to keep water from penetrating the down insulation in anything more than a light sprinkle.

We recommend the Langford Parka for everyday use in colder-than-average winter conditions — think Fairbanks, Alaska, or Fargo, North Dakota. Yes, this is an expensive parka. But for everyday reliable warmth, it’s an effective and stylish tool.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 650-fill down
  • Weight: 3 lb. 4 oz. (S)
Pros:
  • Very warm
  • High-quality materials and construction
Cons:
  • Expensive

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Canada Goose

Best for Extreme Cold: The North Face McMurdo Jacket

the north face mcmurdo jacket

If you want a winter jacket that prioritizes warmth above all else, look no further than The North Face McMurdo ($350). With urban styling and a relatively affordable price, the McMurdo is built for people living in the coldest cities on earth.

Though the McMurdo’s down insulation has a relatively low fill power rating of 550, the physical amount of down included more than makes up for this. With a total weight of 3.5 pounds, the McMurdo is one of the heaviest jackets on this list.

Bulk doesn’t always translate to superior warmth, but in the case of this jacket, thick down baffles throughout equal toasty comfort. Thanks to an extra-long hem, the McMurdo extends down to the upper thighs to preserve warmth throughout the length of the torso.

This jacket is most effective in freezing conditions, so it’s difficult to rate its weather resistance according to how well it would keep you dry in a rainstorm. Frankly, if it’s cold enough to wear the McMurdo, you probably won’t be dealing with liquid precipitation.

With that said, this isn’t the most waterproof jacket on this list. It does have a waterproof shell, but if you are caught in a heavy downpour, moisture will likely soak through. Ultimately, the primary purpose of the McMurdo is to keep cold air out and retain heat, and it does so beautifully.

Other noteworthy features of the McMurdo include a two-way front zipper, detachable faux fur hood lining, and fleece-lined handwarmer pockets.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 550-fill down
  • Weight: 3.55 lb.
Pros:
  • Incredibly warm
  • Stylish
Cons:
  • Heavy

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at The North Face

Best Value: Marmot Fordham Jacket

marmot fordham jacket

With an attractive price tag and supreme comfort, it’s easy to fall in love with Marmot’s Fordham Jacket ($325). Thanks to its high-quality 700-fill down insulation, the Fordham offers more than an appealing look and feel — it’s also super warm.

Instead of the thigh-length cut of many other down jackets on this list, the Fordham features a standard waist-length fit. Of course, there are pros and cons to both styles, but we like that this jacket allows for leg mobility while sitting, walking, or running.

Also, we found the Fordham holds its own against almost any other jacket when it comes to maintaining a comfortable core temperature. Still, longer jackets are generally the better choice for everyday use in extremely cold temps.

The Fordham really shines in cold and dry conditions. Though it does have some taped seams, it will soak through quickly in a heavy downpour of rain or sleet. For brief spurts of storm exposure between the car and the house, the Fordham will keep you dry. But for anything worse, we recommend a more waterproof option.

First impressions of jackets are telling, especially when it comes to comfort. Donning the Fordham for the first time feels like hugging a friendly down-feathered grizzly bear. When it’s cold out, you simply won’t want to remove this jacket.

Other key features of the Fordham include fleece inner sleeve cuffs, handwarmer pockets, and a snug removable hood. Though it isn’t the most feature-packed option on this list, its simple frills-free design offers everything you need in a reliable jacket.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 700-fill down
  • Weight: 2.75 lb.
Pros:
  • Comfortable
  • Great value
Cons:
  • Not fully waterproof

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Best Winter Jackets for Women

Best Overall: Dark Peak NESSH

dark peak nessh

Dark Peak NESSH ($206) snuck in as a dark horse in our testing and it impressed. This Kickstarted brand hit the scene with a bold promise to be “the warmest jacket in the world.”

But an Arctic expedition jacket this is not. Rather, for every jacket purchase, Dark Peak donates another jacket to someone in need without a home. (“Each jacket sold keeps two people warm,” hence, the warmest jacket in the world.)

But beyond its charitable commitment, Dark Peak makes a stunningly capable and good-looking puffy. The outer and inner fabric use 10-denier ripstop nylon, and 850-fill goose down provides both high-loft warmth and packability. Two-way zippers accommodate belays, and the hood is both cinch-able and helmet-compatible.

Plus, Dark Peak uses those designs and materials in a very thoughtful way. The fit is a good compromise between athletic and roomy, so it’s great for layering under a big shell, or with a midlayer underneath.

A DWR coating on the outer is a standard but also welcome addition. And a pair of wrist gaiters with thumb loops make a unique, comfy, and useful addition. There are also two hand pockets, two big interior stash pockets, and a zippered chest pocket on the inside. You can bring all your stuff!

What’s more, the NESSH comes in five color options (we’re partial to maroon), and the price beats out many competitors thanks largely to the brand’s direct-to-consumer model. If you’re looking for something that does everything well, this should be among the options you consider.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 850-fill goose down
  • Weight: 320 g
Pros:
  • Five pockets
  • Modest price
  • Philanthropic mission
Cons:
  • Down is not hydrophobic

Check Price at Dark Peak Gear

Best Lightweight Winter Midlayer: Arc’teryx Cerium SL Hoody

arc’teryx cerium sl hoody

This light, packable, 850-fill lofty down jacket is exemplary for adventuring and hiking in the winter or any time of year. It’s a solid layering piece to stuff into the backcountry ski pack.

One tester used this jacket as an outermost layer for backcountry ice climbing in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains in zero- to 10-degree temperatures. Her routes included multipitch and mixed (rock and ice), vertical and overhanging frozen faces, and chimney moves.

The jacket and hood’s insulation effectively defend against the cold and gusty wind. The Cerium SL Hoody ($359) gets top marks for range of motion. We also really liked the elastic cuffs on the sleeves, which our hands can easily tuck into.

The exterior fabric is supple, fairly durable, and DWR treated to repel moisture — though in a blizzard or rain, it’s a safer bet to wear this jacket beneath a shell. There’s one interior chest pocket and two hand pockets to hold a few items.

After several years of testing, the small, robust zipper has yet to fail. The Cerium SL Hoody is a solid choice to keep on hand for emergency scenarios and outdoor missions.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 850-fill down
  • Weight: 204 g
Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Tear-resistant
  • Super warm
Cons:
  • Not ideal for super-damp and rainy conditions

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Arc’teryx

Best for Wet Conditions: Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket

patagonia powder bowl jacket

The Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket ($399) handles a heavy load of moisture, yet is supple and roomy for midlayers. The recycled 150-denier fabric is tough and treated with a DWR finish.

In various snow conditions and climates, this eco-friendly 100% recycled polyester face fabric kept us completely dry and comfortable. On Colorado powder days, the jacket never absorbed snow while making deep powder turns on a snowmobile in a blizzard.

When snowboarding on Vancouver Island, the damp chairs and high humidity at Mount Washington Alpine Resort never soaked our back or arms thanks to this two-layer GORE-TEX jacket. The windproof and waterproof/breathable design has watertight zippers.

With the underarm vents, helmet-compatible hood, and visor, this shell is a solid, environmentally conscious choice for inbounds or uphill exercise. It’s prepared to meet all conditions from blizzards to rain. The interior feels soft, and the exterior is supple.

Specs:
  • Insulation: Non-insulated shell
  • Weight: 814 g
Pros:
  • Highly waterproof
  • Supple fabric
  • Durable
  • Eco-friendly face fabric
Cons:
  • Not the best for frigid wind
  • Pricey

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Patagonia

Best Budget: Land’s End Ultralight Packable Down Coat

land’s end ultralight packable down coat with hood

The 800-fill Land’s End Ultralight Packable Down Coat ($186) is a warm hug on a freezing day. This knee-length jacket protects our pants from getting soaked when we’re knocking snow off the rig and keeps us warm when running errands.

It’s the perfect choice for heading to the gym or riding a bike around town in cold or snowy weather. For this amount of protection at less than $200, this jacket is a steal.

The jacket’s temperature rating will keep you cozy between 3 and 29 degrees, which we found accurate. It’s filled with HyperDRY down, so the down is water-repellant and retains warmth. Overall, we found the jacket was surprisingly durable and shielded snow and weather well.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 800-fill HyperDRY down
  • Weight: 400 g
Pros:
  • Water-resistant
  • Down insulation is hydrophobic
  • Reasonable price tag
Cons:
  • The zipper feels a bit cheap (but hasn’t failed)
  • Inherently less packable than other hip-length jackets

Check Price at Amazon

Most Stylish: Basin and Range New Wingate Down Jacket

basin and range new wingate down jacket

Looking for an around-town winter jacket that will keep you warm and stylish? Then you need to meet the New Wingate Down Jacket ($190). The 550-fill down is lofty and warm, and the nylon outer shell is durable enough to withstand years of use. We’ve worn this during blizzard conditions and stayed toasty running mountain town errands.

We especially like that the adjustable storm cuffs keep the cold wind out. And the insulated hood kept our ears warm even when we forgot our hat at home. The hood has a faux fur lining, which is removable if that’s not your style.

We’ve heard concerns about this jacket being too narrow through the hips, but our testers had no such problem. We were easily able to layer a sweater underneath and zip it fully.

This isn’t the jacket to choose for light packing or backcountry adventures. But for après-ski outings and in-town adventures, it’s a wintertime winner.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 550-fill down
  • Weight: Unavailable
Pros:
  • Super stylish
  • Durable fabric
  • Blocks wind
  • Deep hand pockets
Cons:
  • Not very packable
  • Front snaps atop the zipper can be cumbersome to use

Check Price at Amazon

Best for Extreme Cold: Canada Goose Shelburne Down Parka

canada goose shelburne down parka

Canada Goose is known for its high-end and incredibly warm jackets. Though the brand tends to be on the more expensive end of the winter jacket spectrum, the ability to stay comfortable in extreme cold is invaluable.

The Shelbourne Down Parka ($1,095) features 625-fill duck down and a thick, durable Arctic-Tech shell. Canada Goose claims this jacket can be worn in temperatures down to -4 degrees. Though this rating does not account for other factors (including the wearer’s individual cold tolerance), the Shelbourne is undoubtedly the warmest jacket on this list.

In addition to plentiful warmth, the Shelbourne also offers high-quality craftsmanship and elegant style. We recommend this jacket for everyday use in super-cold urban environments. This is not a piece of activewear. The bulky weight of the Shelbourne will be immediately noticeable should you attempt to hike or ski in it.

Specs:
  • Insulation: 625-fill duck down
  • Weight: 4-5 lb.
Pros:
  • Super warm
  • Well-made
  • Stylish
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Best Value: Helly Hansen LifaLoft Hybrid Insulator Jacket

helly hansen lifeloft hybrid insulator jacket

The Helly Hansen LifaLoft Hybrid Insulator Jacket ($200) is wind- and water-resistant and kept us warm while glassing for animals. This lightweight synthetic insulator fared well in a frigid environment while hunting in 6- to 26-degree temps, snowfall, and 30mph gusts.

While hiking altitudes from 9,000 to 12,000 feet, we were impressed with the breathability of this jacket. The side panel stretch allowed us to comfortably layer the jacket over a belt’s knife and pistol.

The zipper is backed so cold air doesn’t leak in and when closed, the collar offers face protection. Plus, the jacket is super-compressible with large, zippered hand pockets.

Specs:
  • Insulation: Synthetic
  • Weight: 350 g
Pros:
  • Water-resistant and windproof
  • Very lightweight
  • Hybrid design dumps heat while providing insulation around the core
Cons:
  • Shell fabric is extremely loud

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Amazon

Best Winter Jackets: A Buyer’s Guide

Types of Winter Jackets

The term “winter jacket” is very broad and should really be divided into a few key subcategories.

Everyday Use

Jackets made for casual wear and everyday use are best for low-intensity activities such as commuting, walking the dog, and going out on the town. Usually, these jackets are made from heavier materials that are more likely to restrict movement and are less likely to breathe well.

You can think of everyday jackets as winter casual wear. While they aren’t ideal for activities like running or hiking, they probably have extra style points. On this list, our favorite everyday use winter jackets are the Canada Goose Langford Parka and The North Face McMurdo jacket.

Performance/Active

The second major category of winter jackets is for active use. When you’re running, hiking, or cross-country skiing, you want to wear materials that will support you. Technical materials like polyester, goose down, and breathable fleece provide lots of warmth without weighing you down.

Also, active jackets should not restrict your body movement. To stay active all winter, it’s essential to wear layers that will keep you warm and support you during your activity of choice. On this list, our favorite active wear winter jacket is the Arc’teryx Atom LT.

man holding skis in the woods while wearing winter jacket

Hardshell Jackets vs. Insulated Midlayers

Hardshell jackets are designed for harsh conditions. Like wearable shields that defend against wind and rain, hardshells are meant to be your outermost layer. Usually, jackets in this category are specifically designed for use in cold and unpredictable conditions.

Skiers, mountaineers, and everyday users utilize hardshells for their windproof and waterproof protection. Depending on where you live, a burly hardshell may be the most sensible jacket option.

Insulated Jackets

All of the jackets on our list include integrated insulation. Insulated jackets are designed to keep you warm, just like a wearable blanket. We’ve included insulated jackets with varying degrees of insulative capability.

Some of our selections, like the Arc’teryx Atom LT, are relatively thin and light and are best deployed in moderate conditions or as a midlayer in the extreme cold. Meanwhile, puffy expedition-style jackets like The North Face McMurdo jacket come with lots of high-powered insulation and are most useful in truly frigid environments.

We should note every person has a different tolerance for cold, so the best uses of any jacket are really dependent on the preferences of the wearer.

Types of Insulation

Down Insulation

Made of goose or duck plumage, down is the warmest, lightest, and most compressible type of insulation on the planet. Most of the insulated jackets on this list are made with down.

When considering the warmth-to-weight balance, down continues to be a better insulation material than anything humans have been able to create. However, due to a few key drawbacks, down does require careful ownership and handling.

Down does not repel water, and it becomes useless when wet. Many down jackets on this list are made with water-repellent outer fabrics. Still, it’s extremely important to keep all down-filled layers out of the rain and water.

If you choose to wear a down jacket in wet conditions, we recommend pairing it with a durable waterproof hardshell. On this list, the Canada Goose Langford Parka and the Patagonia Frozen Range are some of our favorite down jackets.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation is designed to replicate the light and insulative qualities of down and retain them when wet. The quality of synthetic insulation is constantly improving, but it still generally lags behind in its warmth-to-weight ratio.

The main benefit of synthetic insulation is it’s far more resistant to moisture. Even when synthetic does become wet, it often still provides some insulative warmth. And it dries quickly, especially when exposed to wind and sun. For those on a budget, synthetic insulated jackets are usually more affordable than down.

If you know you’ll be wearing your jacket in soggy environments such as the Pacific Northwest, consider purchasing a synthetic-filled jacket instead of down. On this list, our favorite synthetic jacket is the Columbia Boundary Bay Long.

Fill Power and Fill Weight

Fill power is a technical specification that refers to how much warmth and loft a jacket provides. The higher the rating, the more loft and warmth you can expect. For the most part, only down jackets receive a fill power rating.

Most down jackets have a fill power rating somewhere between 100 and 1,000. Casual-wear down jackets generally have a fill power rating between 400 and 700, while high-end performance jackets have a 700-fill rating or higher.

Fill weight refers to the total weight of the down insulation inside a jacket. While fill power is often marketed more prominently than fill weight, both are equally important to the performance of a jacket.

Down jackets are available with anywhere between 4 ounces and 20 ounces of fill weight. Comparing fill weight is most useful when all jackets in question have a similar fill power rating.

Weather Resistance

When selecting a winter jacket, it’s important to choose based on the kind of protection you will regularly need. While the best jackets are useful in a variety of conditions, certain styles, features, and materials are better suited for certain kinds of weather. Hood size, jacket length, and pocket design are some of the variables that will determine how well your jacket protects against the elements.

For wet conditions such as rain and sleet, prioritize a jacket with a waterproof shell. On this list, the Arc’teryx Therme stands out for its outstanding ability to keep the wearer dry. Waterproof jackets come with taped seams and heavy-duty exterior material. Jackets in this category are also great for wind protection.

man lying in snow taking photos

If you plan to wear your jacket in freezing conditions where it’s more likely to snow than rain, a fully waterproof shell may not be necessary. Many highly insulated jackets, while not completely waterproof, come with a quality DWR treatment that sheds moisture.

On this list, The North Face McMurdo is one of our favorite options in this category. With down insulation and a lack of taped seams, this jacket isn’t ideal for rain, but it absolutely thrives in sub-zero temps.

Features

Useful features can be the difference between a good jacket and a great jacket. Hoods, handwarmer pockets, and cuff closures are some of the winter jacket features we consider the most versatile and valuable. When combined, these features add significant warmth and protection from cold conditions.

Hood

Winter jacket hoods come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. During stormy weather, a protective hood is mandatory. Well-designed hoods offer ample customization and adjustability. Additional hood features such as a fur lining and a stiff brim are also worth seeking out.

On this list, we especially recommend the effective and comfortable hoods on the Patagonia Frozen Range and the Marmot Fordham Jacket.

Two-Way Zippers

Two-way zippers allow you to open the front of your jacket from both the bottom and the top. In extra-long and thigh-length jackets, two-way zippers are essential for enabling leg mobility while walking and sitting. On this list, the Patagonia Frozen Range is a great jacket with a two-way zipper.

Handwarmer Pockets

Some winter jackets are built with heavily insulated and fleece-lined handwarmer pockets. We recommend handwarmer pockets for the coldest conditions when a pair of gloves is not enough to keep your extremities comfortable. Usually, handwarmer pockets are located in the torso area of the jacket just below the chest.

On this list, we like the handwarmer pockets featured on The North Face McMurdo.

Cuff Closures

Cuff closures allow you to create a seal around your wrist that prevents wind and snow from entering through your sleeves. Types of cuff closures include inner gaskets and Velcro closures.

On this list, the Arc’teryx Therme jacket comes with reliable gasket-style cuff closures that fully seal out the surrounding conditions.

FAQ

What Is the Warmest Winter Jacket?

Warmth is perhaps the most important consideration when choosing a winter jacket. If you’re seeking maximum warmth, you’ll want to pay attention to the length, insulation quality (fill power), and insulation quantity (fill weight).

On the fill power spectrum, any rating over around 550 can be considered high-end. On this list, we’ve featured jackets with a fill power rating of up to 750.

When comparing jackets of equal fill power, it’s likely the one with the greater fill weight will ultimately be warmer. However, other factors and features including baffling, cuff closures, and outer materials will also play a role in total warmth. On its own, fill weight is not the best indicator of warmth.

Regarding length, extra-long and thigh-length jackets will be warmer than standard jackets of equal fill power. Of course, the best way to measure warmth is to actually wear different jackets out in the elements and compare how they feel.

After testing many different jackets, we’re confident the Patagonia Frozen Range and The North Face McMurdo are among the warmest winter jackets on the market.

Are Winter Jackets Waterproof?

Some winter jackets are waterproof, while others are only water-resistant. The key difference between these labels is truly waterproof jackets have fully taped seams and a waterproof membrane. Jackets like the Arc’teryx Therme are excellent waterproof options that can reliably keep you dry, even in a severe downpour.

Should I Get a Winter Jacket With a Hood?

It depends on your style and function preferences. With that said, hoods can offer lots of protection against various weather conditions including wind, rain, and snow. While hoods aren’t a substitute for a warm hat in terms of insulation, they are very useful — especially during storms. All of the jackets we’ve included on this list come with hoods.

Are Winter Jackets Expensive?

Winter jackets can be expensive relative to other kinds of jackets and winter clothing. On this list, we’ve included jackets that range in price from less than $200 to over $1,000.

Though it’s not strictly necessary to buy a top-end and expensive jacket, you should consider that higher-quality jackets often prove to be a better value in the long run. Features such as taped seams, handwarmer pockets, durable DWR coating, and two-way zippers will increase the price of a jacket.


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