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The Best Women’s Winter Jackets of 2023

Whether you're commuting in a snowstorm, spectating at a hockey game, or need a cozy jacket for post-ski relaxation around town, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list of the best women's winter jackets of the season.

Two women walking down street in a mountain townGearJunkie team members Morgan Tilton and Mary Murphy testing women's winter jackets in Colorado; (photo/Eric Phillips.)
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If you live in a wintry environment or plan to visit one, you definitely don’t want to be sidelined for lack of cold-weather protection.

Whatever your cold weather itinerary entails, these winter jackets will help regulate your body heat at just the right level while also shielding you from wind, snow, and drizzle. Here we focus on warm, protective winter jackets geared toward everyday use.

On the other hand, there are plenty of performance-oriented winter jackets, too. That includes shells for skiing and snowboarding, compressible down jackets for backcountry alpine adventures, or active insulation layers for high-output activities like winter running or cross-country skiing.

If you’d like to learn more about the various women’s winter jackets for warmth and everyday use, their nitty-gritty features, and how to choose your jacket based on climate, scroll through our buyer’s guide and FAQ at the bottom of the page. You can also consult the comparison chart below to help steer your decision process.

Otherwise, jump to a specific jacket category below to learn the best women’s winter jackets of 2023:

The Best Women’s Winter Jackets of 2023

Best Overall Women’s Winter Jacket: Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka

Rab Deep Cover Parka - Women's

The Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka ($300) delivers a high level of warmth while being super cozy and a bit roomy with a flattering feminine-leaning touch. Such a mix of high-grade materials made us assume the price would be higher, but this jacket sits at a reasonable $300.

With so many excellent women’s winter jackets, the Deep Cover Down Parka jumped to the top of our list for the overall comfort and ergonomic fit that’s spacious and stretchy enough in just the right spots but not boxy. The shoulders, chest, and bottom hem are tailored and a tad roomy. We never felt restricted.

Pulling this windproof piece on over a long sleeve shirt in blustery conditions always kept us warm yet the jacket could easily slide over midlayers or our favorite sweater, too.

We also love the tall down-filled collar, which is a stylish accent when we opt to remove the hood (that’s also insulated). Over our hands, the well-designed stretchy interior gaiters with thumbholes are a nice attribute that help block wind, snow, and cold — and they’re not cumbersome. Sometimes wrist gaiters can feel too tight in winter jackets — not these.

Rab Women's Deep Cover Down Parka
GearJunkie Snowsports Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing the Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka in frigid temperatures in Colorado; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Dressed with a hydrophobic treatment, the down fill retains its loft even when the conditions are damp and wet. Furthermore, 100% of the down, 20-denier liner, and 50-denier exterior fabric is recycled — helping to keep waste out of the landfill.

The exterior face of this jacket is treated with fluorocarbon-free DWR that prevents moisture from being absorbed by the garment but is free of toxic chemicals. So we can feel good about the eco-friendliness of this jacket in addition to liking the way it feels to wear.

For aesthetic, the sheen fabric isn’t overly glossy and it’s quiet, too. Overall, this jacket is hands-down our top pick for the best winter jacket for women.

Specs:
  • Weight: 824 g
  • Fill: 700
  • Center back length: 35.4″
  • Waterproof: The down fill and the exterior fabric are both treated for resistance against water and moisture
  • Climate: Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
  • Key features: Eco-friendly design, durable YKK zippers, removable hood, detachable faux fur for hood attaches via snaps, bungee cord tightens hood hem
Pros:
  • Two exterior hand pockets and the single interior chest pocket are all roomy
  • Interior chin guard and collar feature a super soft liner
  • Very windproof
Cons:
  • A looser silhouette than the trimmer fit some women might want
  • Not waterproof for those high water-content coastal storms
  • No bungee cord to snug up hood

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry

Best Budget Women’s Winter Jacket: REI Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0

REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0

Cozy, fashion-centric, and comfortable for layering, the REI Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0 ($199) is a fan favorite. With high-quality materials, eco-conscious traits, and attention to small details, the price doesn’t break the bank. Plus, this season’s 2.0 version expands sizing from the XL ceiling through 1X to 3X.

We love the snug-fitting, thick hood, which is lined with fleece for extra warmth and comfort. Helping to alleviate wind, a wide storm flap with snaps covers the front zipper. (We do wish the snaps weren’t so shallow, so they were easier to pin closed, especially with one hand.)

The two exterior hand pockets are well-designed: Far-reaching, deep, and softly lined with buttery fabric. An interior zippered chest pocket is easy to access, too. Thick, long knit wrist cuffs help bar the breeze and snow from sliding up the sleeves.

To help shed moisture, the exterior face fabric is treated with a DWR coating, which repels snow or light rain. With a unique touch, the hem is slightly longer in the back. And there are two 6-inch side zippers, which expand for longer strides or stepping into a rig. We did notice the zippers tend to slide up as we move.

Recycled polyester, which was Bluesign approved, comprises the liner. Inside, Responsible Down Standard-certified down ensures that the duck plumage is ethically sourced. Despite being only 650-fill, this jacket literally feels like walking around in a sleeping bag even in freezing weather. Its oven quality is connected to the slightly heavier weight: That fill is loaded in each baffle. We’re here for it.

Ultimately, the shape of this super warm jacket is roomy and the design is functional. Some women also noted the size runs large, so consider that a bonus if you want the option to layer up beneath (or consider sizing down).

Specs:
  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Fill: 650
  • Center back length: 36.5″
  • Waterproof: No. Features water-repellent DWR coating on exterior
  • Climate: Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
  • Key features: Recycled polyester liner that’s Bluesign-approved, RDS-certified down, two-way front zipper, insulated fixed hood
Pros:
  • Sheds light rain and snow
  • 6″ side vents add range of motion for big strides, climbing stairs, sitting, or stepping into a vehicle
  • Economic price
Cons:
  • Lacks interior pockets
  • The tailored silhouette isn’t as slender-cut as other fitted designs
  • No petite size option

Check Price at REI

Best Convertible 3-in-1 Women’s Winter Jacket: Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka

Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka

With sleek style, the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka ($649) is a fully functional down parka or standalone shell: The two pieces zip together for the most warmth and protection from precipitation.

If you’re running around town, heading to work meetings, or wanting to look good at an outdoor winter (or rainy summer) concert, this jacket has style and function for a range of weather conditions. We tested the jacket in single digits on winter mornings as well as at a monsoon-showered summer music festival at 9,000 feet, and it never got drenched while keeping us very cozy.

The outer shell repelled drops of rain and didn’t soak through, and the shell’s ergonomic hood fit well over our front-brim hat. Its knee-length design also helped protect our thighs and backside from the rain, which was perfect when we forgot rain pants.

Woman wearing Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka
GearJunkie Snowsports Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing out the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Overall, this 3-in-1 layer has a flattering feminine cut. The shell alone also retains a nice amount of warmth — more than a typical lightweight rain shell. And when paired with the down parka, the set is toasty on frigid winter days. Due to the fitted silhouette, consider sizing up for additional space for layering (the jacket felt snug in the arms with a sweater on).

Drawback: We wish the hand pockets were in a slightly different position — our large phone hits our stomach when we walk uphill. For supreme versatility, however, the Tres 3-in-1 Parka is one of the best winter jackets you can find.

Specs:
  • Weight: 1,446 g
  • Fill: 700
  • Center back length: 33″
  • Waterproof: Mostly. The exterior outermost layer that zips into the down jacket has a DWR treatment for repelling water and so does the interior zip-out down parka.
  • Climate: Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
  • Key features: On the exterior shell jacket there’s a removable hood, two exterior zippered hand pockets, two zippers on wrist cuffs for tailored tightness, and a tall fleece-lined collar. The shell is made with 50% recycled polyester and a 100% recycled polyester liner. On the interior parka, there is a collar (no hood),  two exterior zippered hand pockets, and an interior chest pocket. The parka is made with 100% recycled polyester and the down is 100% recycled.
Pros:
  • Fixed brim on shell hood helps block rain
  • Shell sheds rain extremely well and keeps interior parka dry
Cons:
  • No interior chest pocket on rain shell
  • Arm cuffs lack wrist gaiters and could be a tad longer to protect back of hands

Check Price at REICheck Price at Patagonia

Best Hip-Length Winter Jacket for Women: Stio Women’s Colter INFINIUM Down Jacket

Women's Colter INFINIUM™ Down Jacket

At first, we thought this roomier style might be a bit too puffy — but as we pulled it on time and time again, we realized how warm, comfortable, and well-tailored this jacket is.

The Stio Colter INFINIUM Down Jacket ($429) is at a moderate-to-high price point among our women’s winter jackets, but the thoughtful features live up to that tag. This jacket really celebrates the finer details and feminine touch. We just can’t get enough of wearing this coat. We’ve also never received so many compliments on a winter jacket. Nearly every time we wore it around town or on the road, another lady noted how cool it looked.

With an amazing amount of stretch, we could reach over the hood of our rig to clear away snow or wrap our arms around large packages at the post office without issue. The interior is lined with buttery taffeta fabric — our chin loves its guard.

Two-way zippers on each side of the Colter INFINIUM from the armpit to the hem functionally provide a greater range of motion, a looser fit, or some airflow under the pits. A brilliant touch. Beneath the zipper, the uppermost section has a 5.5-inch mesh panel for ventilation beneath the armpits. The remaining lower length of the panel is solid fabric to guard against the elements.

It’s hard to come by a jacket with more stowaway space. Both zippered hand pockets have a very soft brushed tricot liner. There are also two interior chest pockets (one with a zip closure and the other is a snap) and two deep flap-closure lower interior pockets.

We love the length, the angled cuffs that cover our hands, and the huge baffles that ultimately deliver a toasty experience.

Specs:
  • Weight: 737 g
  • Fill: 650
  • Center back length: 27″ (unique length that reaches well below the hips and near the bottom of the glutes)
  • Waterproof: Outer fabric features a GORE-TEX waterproof/breathable laminate plus PFCEC-free DWR finish and water-repellent down fill
  • Climate: Dry to moderately wet winter conditions
  • Key features: RDS certified goose down, down-filled hood, YKK two-way zipper in front, bungee cord tightens hood hem, small 1.5″ wide hood brim for blocking moisture, wide velcro cuffs, fixed hood
Pros:
  • Pockets galore! There are six
  • Innovative, well-designed underarm ventilation option
Cons:
  • No hood cinch for all-around snugging
  • A bit puffier than some folks might want if they’re looking for a trim fit

Check Price at Stio

Best Women’s Winter Jacket for Plus, Tall, & Petite Sizes: Lands’ End Women’s Down Maxi Winter Coat

Lands' End Women's Down Maxi Winter Coat 

This maxi long down coat stands out as one of the most comfortable, functional, and cost-effective plus-size designs out there. There’s no winter-month substitute for the warmth of this maxi-length parka with elegant style.

With a loose, forgiving silhouette that’s comfortable to wear while moving around, the jacket’s size run ranges from 1X to 3X (16W to 26W). The jacket is also available in Tall, Petite, and Regular size runs from XS to XL (except for the Tall silhouette, which starts at size small).

The Lands’ End Women’s Down Maxi Winter Coat ($290) sits in the lower price tier but doesn’t cut corners. Built for super cold conditions, the down jacket is constructed to withstand -25 to 10 F lows.

Filled with HyperDry down, the down is water-repellant and retains warmth. Plus, HyperDry is fluorocarbon-free, and the fill is Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified. The water-resistant shell shields snow and weather well.

Specs:
  • Weight: 1,238 g
  • Fill: 600
  • Center back length: Mid-calf length
  • Waterproof: No. Water-resistant exterior fabric and down fill
  • Climate: Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
  • Key features: Interior chest pocket with snap closure, two zippered hand pockets, interior cuffs add warmth
Pros:
  • Hood is removable and includes a removable faux fur trim
  • Two-way front zipper for ventilation and mobility
  • Low-lying side zippers for mobility while getting in and out of a vehicle or walking
Cons:
  • Liner is not water resistant
  • Polyester shell is not the most durable

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Lands’ End

Best Waterproof Winter Jacket for Women: Arc’teryx Patera Parka

Arc'teryx Patera Down Parka

If you live in a super wet environment, highly consider the premium-grade Arc’teryx Patera Parka ($700) for all of your around-town errands, social outings, and work dates. The sophisticated style and high-end materials provide a ton of protection against the elements while looking sharp.

Robust construction is where Arc’teryx doesn’t ever fall short, as reflected in the price. This 75-denier exterior fabric is extremely durable.

The sleek fit features targeted zones of RDS-certified down fill to reduce bulk yet provide warmth where most needed around the core and arms. Then synthetic insulation is added to areas where moisture often hits including the hood and collar. The arms reach the wrists but no farther, which can be good for certain pairs of gloves.

Arc'teryx Patera Parka
GearJunkie Snowsports Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing the Arc’teryx Patera Parka; (photo/Eric Phillips)

To shield against the elements, the face fabric of the Patera Parka is waterproof/breathable and treated with a bonus DWR. A broad, sturdy brim is integrated into the insulated hood to block rain.

The two-way zipper on the front and two hand pocket zippers are not only well-constructed but also super water-resistant. With fully taped seams, this level of warmth mixed with protection against high water content is hard to find among our favorite women’s winter jackets.

While this slender fit is not the easiest to layer beneath, it’s great to pull on over a shirt, looks classy, and provides superior protection against coastal winter storms.

Specs:
  • Weight: 905 g
  • Fill: 750 (plus synthetic insulation in targeted spots)
  • Center back length: 37″
  • Waterproof: Pretty much. Waterproof/breathable GORE-TEX fabric plus additional DWR treatment and taped seams. The front and pocket zippers are highly water-resistant but not waterproof
  • Climate: Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
  • Key features: Two hand pockets with water-tight moisture-resistant zippers, internal chest pocket with zip closure, insulated fixed hood, drawcords to tighten hood hem and second drawcord in back of hood to increase all-around snugness, high-reaching insulated collar, internal wrist gaiters
Pros:
  • GORE-TEX shell protects against wind, snow, and rain
  • Taped seams for extra moisture protection
  • Hood brim helps block rain and wet snow
Cons:
  • Tiny snaps on front zipper storm flap are difficult to push closed with gloves on
  • Internal wrist gaskets do no have thumbhole
  • Internal collar isn’t rough but isn’t softly lined

Check Price at REICheck Price at A’rcteryx

Best of the Rest

Lands’ End Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood

Lands' End Ultralight Packable Down Coat

The 800-fill Lands’ End Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood ($205) 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 close to $200, this jacket is a steal.

The jacket’s temperature rating is meant to keep you cozy at 3 to 29 degrees, which we found accurate. The jacket is filled with HyperDry down, so the down repels water and retains warmth. Plus, HyperDry is fluorocarbon-free and the fill is Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified. The water-resistant shell and liner shielded snow and weather well.

Drawbacks: The hood is not removable. There’s no soft liner along the interior chin guard (though, it’s not rough). While there are two zippered hand pockets, an interior chest pocket would be a nice addition. Feathers also occasionally sneak out of the seams.

Though not as robust and fancy as pricier options, we found this simple design surprisingly durable and easy to pull on.

Specs:
  • Weight: 376 g
  • Fill: 800
  • Center back length: 36″
  • Waterproof: No. Water-resistant shell and lining plus down have been treated for water resistance
  • Climate: Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
  • Key features: Length reaches just above the knee, hooded, two-way front zipper, packable into its own pocket, bungee cinch on backside of hood for a snugger fit
Pros:
  • Water-resistant shell
  • Down is hydrophobic
Cons:
  • Zipper feels a bit cheap (but hasn’t failed)
  • No cinch along hem of hood

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Lands’ End

Kari Traa Rong Parka

Kari Traa Rong Down Parka

After testing the Kari Traa Rong ($270), we found the parka to be comfortable and a great length for walking and everyday winter use. The fit is relaxed yet has a one-of-a-kind style.

Among our favorite features, two unique side zippers help the jacket’s circumference expand while sitting on a chilly bench, stepping up into a vehicle, or moving around. They also can help improve airflow if we get too warm.

Those two exterior pockets are large, deep, and functional, which we appreciate. Plus, the cozy, large collar and hood help keep our face protected. The wrist gaiters are also comfortable and block wind.

Kari Traa Rong Down Parka
GearJunkie Editor Mary Murphy testing out the Kari Traa Rong Parka in Colorado; (photo/Eric Phillips)

For a unique look and adequate warmth at a very reasonable price, the Kari Traa Rong is one of the best winter jackets you’ll find.

Specs:
  • Weight: 998 g
  • Fill: Unavailable
  • Center back length: 33″
  • Waterproof: No but has a fluorine-free water-repellent finish
  • Climate: Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
  • Key features: Wrist gaiters, one interior and two exterior pockets, OEKO-TEX 100 certified, large fixed hood, longer back hem
Pros:
  • Plenty of insulation for mild to moderate winter conditions
  • The materials are solid quality
Cons:
  • The brand doesn’t disclose the fill amount for shopper comparison
  • Not the most packable option
Check Price at REI

Fjallraven Nuuk Parka

Fjallraven Nuuk Insulated Parka

Well-designed, super warm, and functional, the Fjallraven Nuuk Parka ($500) is among the best winter jackets for women. This top-rated premium build is comfortable and utilitarian for everyday use all winter.

First off, have you ever seen a winter parka with this many pockets? There are two fleece-lined exterior pockets, two chest pockets, two top-loading pockets, a media pocket on the sleeve, two large interior stretch mesh storage pockets, and another interior media pocket plus an interior chest pocket. That’s 11 pockets total.

The fleece-lined hood is comfortable and has an integrated stiffer brim to help shelter against snow and light rain.

Overall, the Nuuk jacket is an excellent choice to pull on for below-freezing and moderate temperatures, especially if you don’t want to carry a purse or need to carry a ton of small items with you around town.

Specs:
  • Weight: 1480 g
  • Fill: Synthetic (polyester fibers)
  • Center back length: Thigh-length
  • Waterproof: Yes — 10,000mm/10,000g waterproof/breathable membrane plus fluorocarbon-free DWR exterior finish
  • Climate: Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
  • Key features: Removable faux fur, fixed hood, cinch for tightening hood rim, two-way front zipper, wide velcro cuff tighteners
Pros:
  • 11 pockets total make this a super functional pick
  • Sturdy, stout construction
  • Long sleeves for hand protection
Cons:
  • Runs large, size down
  • Heavy option
Check Price at Backcountry

The North Face Arctic Down Parka

Women’s Arctic Parka

The North Face Arctic Down Parka ($350) has got to be one of the longest-standing, most popular down parkas available today.

The construction is super durable against a range of elements — it barricades wind and is waterproof yet breathable. A cinch along the lower back adds a slightly tailored fit. And the removable faux fur for the hood helps stop the breeze from reaching the face while adding another hint of style.

Tried and true, this jacket is a staple in the industry. It delivers for the price.

Specs:
  • Weight: 1,290 g
  • Fill: 550
  • Center back length: 35.75″
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Climate: Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
  • Key features: Removable hood, removable faux-fir trim for hood, two exterior hand pockets, one interior pocket that’s media-compatible, rib-knit wrist cuffs, RDS-certified down
Pros:
  • Waterproof and breathable exterior shell
  • Adaptable hood and faux fur
Cons:
  • Not the lightest weight option
  • Not the highest fill quality

Check Price at REICheck Price at The North Face

Askov Finlayson Women’s Winter Parka

Askov Women’s Winter Parka

The Askov Finlayson Parka ($495) is one of our more premium choices among women’s winter parkas and for good reason. This jacket is among the most sustainably constructed and comfortable on the list, and it’s loaded with functional design features. It remains one of our team’s favorite jackets for the winter season.

We give a huge thumbs up to the ample pocket space. There are two on the front with snap closures, two for warming the hands with zippers, and another exterior chest pocket with a zipper closure. Inside, there are two stash pockets.

There’s also a bonus removable pocket insert (shaped like an envelope) called the Afield pocket, which blocks cell and WiFi signals.

Users noted the warmth factor protected them in temperatures well below zero from Minnesota to New York City to Lapland in the Arctic circle. This jacket does all of this without being heavy and bulky, and the aesthetic is top-notch.

Specs:
  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Fill: 100% recycled featherless insulation
  • Center back length: Below the hips
  • Waterproof: No. Water-resistant shell.
  • Climate: Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
  • Key features: 100% recycled nylon liner, 100% recycled polyester shell, 100% recycle featherless insulation, Bluesign certified micro ripstop taffeta pocket lining, insulated interior collar, two-way water-resistant YKK front zipper, five exterior pockets and two internal pockets (including a removable pocket insert that blocks cell and WiFi signals), lifetime warranty, 90-day no-questions-asked return policy
Pros:
  • Very environmentally friendly construction
  • So many pockets!
  • Keeps out wind
Cons:
  • Some users noted the placket puffs out a bit when zippered and buttoned up
  • The sleeves and shoulders felt bulky for some wearers
Check Price at Askov Finlayson

The North Face Women’s Belleview Stretch Down Parka

Belleview Stretch Down Parka

Despite being a slim cut and fairly lightweight, The North Face Women’s Belleview Stretch Down Parka ($330) is malleable and stretches well over layers. Thanks in part to stretchy underarm panels, that pliable construction means the jacket is comfortable to wear while needing to pet the dog or haul in the groceries. All considered, this jacket is also a cozy cocoon on icy days outside.

With a sustainable frame, the jacket features a 90% recycled polyester fabric. Inside, the insulation is 100% recycled waterfowl down. Where the jacket is supplemented with synthetic insulation in the side panels, there’s Heatseeker Eco, which is 70% post-consumer recycled polyester.

Though not as heat-holding as other higher-end parkas, this slender, functional down jacket is a great option for the early winter season and mild to moderately cold temperatures on a snowy day. The design is also a great travel companion for stuffing in a duffle bag and pulling out on the airplane or bus.

Specs:
  • Weight: 590 g
  • Fill: 600
  • Center back length: 33.75″
  • Waterproof: No
  • Climate: Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
  • Key features: Fixed hood, two-way front zipper, two exterior hand pockets
Pros:
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Stretchy fabric offers mobility
Cons:
  • Some reviewers noticed feathers come loose through the stitch
  • Not the best choice for long periods in below freezing conditions
  • Lacks interior chest pocket

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at The North Face

Women’s Winter Jackets Comparison Chart

Jackets Price Weight Fill Center back length Climate
Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka $300 824 g 700  35.4″  Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
REI Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0 $200 N/A 650 36.5″ Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka $649 1,446 g 700 33″ Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
Stio Women’s Colter INFINIUM Down Jacket $429 737 g 650 27″ Dry to moderately wet winter conditions
Lands’ End Women’s Down Maxi Winter Coat $290 1,238 g 600 Mid-calf length Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
Arc’teryx Patera Parka $700 905 g 750 37″ Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
Lands’ End Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood $205 376 g 800 36″ Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
Kari Traa Rong Parka $270 998 g N/A 33″ Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
Fjallraven Nuuk Parka $500 1480 g Synthetic (polyester fibers) Thigh-length Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
The North Face Arctic Down Parka $350 1,290 g 550 35.75″ Dry to the wettest coastal winter conditions
Askov Finlayson Women’s Winter Parka $495 N/A 100% recycled featherless insulation Below the hips Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
The North Face Women’s Belleview Stretch Down Parka $330 590 g 600 33.75″ Dry to mildly wet winter conditions
Woman in winter jacket walks on snowy path with mountain backdrop
GearJunkie Snowsports Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing women’s winter parkas; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our GearJunkie team has tested and reviewed dozens and dozens of women’s winter jackets in a range of cold-weather conditions across the country. For this guide, we examined the fine details of each jacket including comfort, functionality, durability, ergonomics, protection from the elements, ease of use, adaptability, and style. We also strongly considered the most popular, highly acclaimed, legacy, and size-inclusive women’s winter jackets across a range of price points and applications.

We’ve cruised on our bikes, walked in blizzards, sat on park benches, cheered on cross-country ski races, shoveled our rigs out of powder piles, and left the gym in these jackets. We also tested jackets in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley, one of the coldest, snowiest destinations in the United States.

What we like most about this selection of best picks is that each winter jacket can be worn running errands around town or commuting in blustery weather but can also be donned for a night out to dinner. We’re confident these women’s winter jackets are among the best out there today.

Two women wearing winter jackets and sitting in outdoor chairs at a storefront
GearJunkie gear testers Morgan Tilton and Mary Murphy testing women’s winter parkas on a frigid morning.; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Women’s Winter Jacket

Insulation

Many winter jackets for everyday and lifestyle applications are insulated, offering warmth for cold or windy locations, as well as waterproofness to keep you warm and dry.

In frigid conditions, an insulated jacket is perfect for wearing after a gym workout, before you step into a frigid car, and for running errands.

The warmth level and type of insulation varies across each jacket from flannel to down fill or synthetic proprietary fabrics. Some insulated jackets are more water- and wind-resistant than others based on the type of fill, surface fabric, and how both have been constructed or chemically treated.

Down vs. Synthetic

Some jackets are made with down, and others are filled with synthetic insulation that mimics down. A handful of designs blend the two materials.

Synthetic insulation is made from polyester fibers and designed to imitate down clusters and properties with a few key differences. If you compare two equal-weight jackets, down is warmer than this alternative.

But synthetic insulation retains warmth even when wet. It’s also easier to wash and usually comes at a lower price point.

  • Pros of Down: excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, comfort, compressibility, lightweight, high inherent warmth
  • Cons of Down: inability to insulate when wet, more difficult to wash, pricier

Overall, in super-wet or mixed weather and when weight isn’t an issue, synthetics can be a better, safer choice. The North Face Women’s Belleview Stretch Down Parka is a down-fill jacket. In comparison, the Askov Finlayson Women’s Winter Parka is a synthetic insulated jacket.

If it’s cold and dry out, down is optimal despite a higher cost. To go deeper, check out our guide to the best down jackets to keep you covered in the cold.

Fill

Fill power measures the loft and quality of the down. To calculate fill, a one-ounce sample of down is compressed in a cylinder. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the warmer the jacket — though the fill power isn’t the only variable affecting a jacket’s warmth.

But the higher the fill quality, the less down is needed to create the same warmth. This is because it’s able to trap more air and warmth within the jacket. Higher fill power is also more compressible, loftier, more lightweight, and pricier.

Fill power ratings range from 300 to 900 and even higher. Most of the jackets on this list are in the 800-fill range, with a few clocking in above or below. Generally, the quality increases with the fill number:

  • 400-500: fair quality
  • 600: good quality
  • 700: great quality
  • 800: excellent quality
  • 900 and above: highest quality

The other thing to consider is fill weight.

Fill Power vs. Fill Weight

A down jacket’s fill power is the down’s quality and amount of loft. You’ll see jackets labeled as 600-fill or 800-fill, for instance. The fill weight, which is measured in ounces, reflects the density or amount of that down stuffed inside the jacket.

So when two 700-fill jackets have different weights, we know the heavier one is warmer.

On the other hand, if two down jackets weigh the same with different fill power (such as two 15-ounce jackets with 650 fill and 800 fill), the higher fill jacket is going to be less bulky and more compressible.

It’s also trickier to compare jackets with differing fill power. But in general, the lower the fill power, the less loft and warmth are provided.

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GearJunkie Snowsports Senior Editor Morgan Tilton stays warm in the hooded Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Water Resistance & Hydrophobic Down

Down does not perform well when wet. And this is one of the places synthetic jackets tend to win out. In the past decade, there has been a growing use of hydrophobic down.

Essentially, the down feathers are coated in a water-resistant polymer. It still doesn’t match the water-resistance of synthetics. But for light precipitation, hydrophobic down can’t be beat. The face fabric of some down jackets is treated with DWR to help block light moisture, too.

Waterproofness

A waterproof jacket is ideal for being outside in wet snow, rain, or drizzly weather. The top-tier standard for waterproofness is GORE-TEX, which is a membrane integrated into various jacket designs. The material is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. Many brands likewise have a proprietary version of waterproof/breathable fabrics.

Waterproofness is measured by the amount of water that can be placed atop a fabric before it leaks. The rate of waterproof jackets varies from 5,000 to 20,000 mm or greater. The latter end of the spectrum leads to a less breathable fabric.

  • 0-5,000 mm: Resistant to light rain, dry snow
  • 6,000-10,000 mm: Waterproof for light rain and dry, non-heavy snow
  • 11,000-15,000 mm: Waterproof for moderate rain and dry, non-heavy snow
  • 16,000-20,000 mm: Waterproof for heavy rain and wet snow
  • 20,000 mm and greater: Waterproof for heavy rain and dense, heavy snow

Many down and synthetic winter jackets are not waterproof but offer a degree of water resistance, which works fine in dryer winter climates and where the snow water equivalent (read: the amount of liquid water in the snow) is lower.

There are four general snow climates: coastal, transitional, intermountain, and continental. Generally, the closer you are to the coast, the more precipitation you’ll experience and the water content will be higher in the snow: it’ll be wetter and heavier! In contrast, the snow in continental climates is dryer, lighter, and accumulates less compared to the coast. That includes most of the Rocky Mountains, such as in Colorado. Intermountain regions and ranges show characteristics of both and transitional areas are similar to the coast but with less rain and snow.

Examples according to the Utah Avalanche Center:

  • Coastal (wettest): California, Washington, Oregon, coastal Alaska, and coastal British Columbia
  • Transitional (moderately wet): areas and targeted locations in Montana, northern Idaho, and Oregon
  • Intermountain (mildly wet): Utah’s Wasatch Range, most of Idaho, Montana, and portions of Northeast Oregon and Southwest Colorado
  • Continental (mostly dry): Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, interior Alaska, and interior British Columbia

For wetter environments, the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka includes a removable exterior waterproof shell, and the Arc’teryx Patera Parka is likewise waterproof. You can wear waterproof winter jackets in drier climates, too, though they generally cost more.

Other factors that can help make a jacket waterproof or water-resistant are the fill or face fabric treatments, which can be eco-friendly formulas or chemicals that are toxic for the environment. Jackets can also have sealed seams to block moisture.

Collar & Hood

An ergonomic collar and hood are significant features for protecting your face, head, ears, neck, and hair against sun, snow, sleet, hail, wind, or rain. Pulling up a hood can help the body retain heat in chilly conditions while shielding you from the elements.

Jacket collars vary in height and ideally have an interior chin guard that feels snuggly against the face, a key component on a windy day on the sidewalk.

Hoods can be insulated or non-insulated. Certain designs have an elastic cinch in the back to snug up the overall fit or one along the hood’s hem. Jackets that are made for wetter environments might also have hoods with a small integrated rain brim, which is slightly rigid and blocks moisture from dripping down onto the face, such as the Arc’teryx Patera Parka and Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka.

Some hoods are fixed, and others are removable via a zipper. Fashion-centric choices include a removable faux fur that zips or snaps onto the periphery of the hood, which offers a bit of additional safeguard from wind and snow flurries while adding style.

Sleeve Cuffs & Pockets

On some women’s warm winter jackets, the sleeve cuffs have a Velcro or zip closure, so you can cinch them down once you pull the jacket on. But many cuffs are sleek and simply stretch when you slide your hands through, meaning it’s easier to pull the jacket on before you put on your gloves. The shape of cuffs is either tapered or straight across and certain designs are lengthier, offering extended shelter for your hands.

A handful of higher-end designs have an inner wrist gaiter — a stretchy fabric for additional warmth that sometimes has thumbholes to help secure the fabric over the top of the hand.

Most jackets include two exterior hand pockets with zip closures. Often, there is at least one interior chest pocket with a zip closure, which can be great for chambering a credit card, ID, or key.

Woman wearing winter parka sitting on storefront bench
GearJunkie Editor Mary Murphy tests women’s winter parkas in Colorado; (photo/Eric Philips)

Fit & Size

Women’s winter jackets are generally trimmer with a more streamlined fit, or they can be roomier and boxier with a more relaxed silhouette.

Both options can be comfortable. A roomier jacket is better if you need a greater range of movement or if you plan to wear a bunch of layers beneath your jacket. You can still add layers beneath a fitted style, but you might want to consider sizing up, because often the arm, shoulder, or chest areas can get too snug with a midlayer or two beneath.

Size-wise, each manufacturer has its own size charts. Be sure to take your personal measurements and match them up with the size charts, which can differ across brands.

Some companies provide more size inclusivity with broader offerings. That includes The North Face, which has a size run of XS to XXL, and Lands’ End, which offers XS to XXXL including petite and tall options. Everyone’s body is unique, so check the exchange and return policy before you buy.

Weight & Compressibility

A winter jacket’s weight and compressibility can be an important variable for cargo space and airline travel as well as storage and closet space. Otherwise, a jacket that’s used for everyday errands and social events will generally weigh more than a lightweight technical down jacket that’s made for athletic pursuits. Having a lightweight design for an everyday jacket is typically less of a priority, because the comfort, ergonomics, and high warmth factors are the most important.

The longer a jacket is, the more it will weigh and the more space it will take up. The heavier a jacket is, the warmer it will be (read more about fill weight above.) If you don’t need a warm winter jacket that’s built for arctic conditions and need one for milder winter temperatures that hover above or around freezing, then the jacket will most likely weigh less.

The lightest winter jackets in our top picks are the 800-fill Lands’ End Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood, which is 376 g, and the heaviest options are the The North Face Arctic Down Parka at 1,290 g and Fjallraven Nuuk Parka, which is 1480 g.

Ultimately, don’t compromise a jacket’s safety or comfort features and adequate warmth to drop grams.

Length & Zippers

The length of women’s winter jackets varies, which affects the overall warmth, protection from the elements, and range of movement.

On the shorter side are jackets like the Stio Women’s Colter INFINIUM Down Jacket, which reaches a bit lower past the mid-glute.

Many of our top winter jacket choices are longer, ranging from mid-thigh to knee-level to below the knee options. Longer jackets are inherently warmer and insulate our backside and legs from moisture or biting wind, which is nice for bike commuting or staying warm in a cold seat. Some jackets even reach the ankles for a full-on blanket to-go. Even longer versions, like the Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka, can feel like you’re held in a portable mini sleeping bag!

However, we aren’t always looking for a long coat. Shorter lengths offer a greater range of motion and can be more functional, such as when we’re shoveling, climbing into the truck bed, or if we’re stepping onto a cruiser bike without a lower top tube bar.

Jackets that are shorter to mid-length either have a uniform hem that is even all the way around or they feature a tapered silhouette that’s longer in the back and higher in the front. Tapered cuts can look fashion forward and offer a tad more armor for the backside, which we like. The longer and longest designs usually have a level length on all sides like the Lands’ End Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood.

That said, a handful of silhouettes integrate double two-way zippers in the front, as well as zippers on either side near the hips, to offer a broader circumference for a broader range of movement. The smartest design we’ve seen is that arena is on the Stio Women’s Colter INFINIUM Down Jacket, which features two two-way zippers on each side from the armpit to the hem. Beneath the zipper, the uppermost section has a 5.5-inch mesh panel for ventilation beneath the armpits. The remaining lower length of the panel is solid fabric to guard against the elements.

Responsibly Sourced Down

Outdoor industry brands have made an effort to source down ethically without animal cruelty and create transparency in the global supply chain. Various certifications exist such as the Responsible Down Standard, the Patagonia Traceable Down Standard, and the National Sanitation Foundation’s Global Traceable Down Standard.

Without meeting such standards, abuse can become part of the supply chain. Synthetic choices can set some folks at ease.

Eco-Friendly & Recycled Materials

Beyond responsible down, winter jackets have an opportunity to include a bunch of eco-friendly design traits. Some jackets are created with PFC-free DWR treatments or the jacket is designed to withstand elements without a chemical DWR treatment at all.

Other designs are made with recycled materials from recycled down to recycled polyester. A few examples include the recycled polyester liner that’s Bluesign-approved in the REI Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0 and the recycled polyester synthetic fill of the Askov Finlayson Women’s Winter Parka.

Other layers guarantee Fair Trade sewing or Bluesign or Oeko-Tex certified fabrics.

Two women walking in winter coats down the main street in a mountain town
GearJunkie contributors Morgan Tilton and Mary Murphy testing women’s winter parkas in sub 10 degrees Fahrenheit temps; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Price

Our budget picks in this lineup is the REI Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0 ($199) followed closely in price by another top choice, Lands’ End Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood $205). Generally, if you find a warm, dependable, well-made and comfortable winter jacket that’s less than $200, that’s an economic option for an essential cold-weather tool. We get it. That baseline is no small investment.

At full price, the most expensive jacket on our list is among the warmest and offers the most coverage against the elements: the Arc’teryx Patera Parka ($700). As fill power and fill weight increase, the warmth increases, and you’ll see the price of a jacket go up. That’s one reason why super lightweight, durable, technical cold-weather jacket are pricy. On this list of lifestyle winter jackets, the longer parkas also inherently cost more because they require more resources and material to develop.

A huge variety of warm winter jackets exist within those two prices. In the second price tier is the Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka ($300), The North Face Women’s Belleview Stretch Down Parka ($330), Lands’ End Women’s Plus Size Down Maxi Winter Coat ($290), Kari Traa Rong Parka ($270), and The North Face Arctic Down Parka ($350).

Jackets that are more expensive feature more technical design features, materials that are more robust against a range of weather conditions and materials, as well as high-end sustainable materials. That includes the Stio Women’s Colter INFINIUM Down Jacket ($429), Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka ($649), Arc’teryx Patera Parka ($700), Fjallraven Nuuk Parka ($500), and Askov Finlayson Women’s Winter Parka ($495).

FAQ

What are the different types of winter jackets?

After you learn the different types of winter jackets, you might need to get one of each! This guide focuses on warm, functional, well-made choices for being outside during everyday commutes, errands, and casual activity. They’ll protect you in weather on your bike ride to the post office, walking the dogs, or going to and from the nordic center or gym.

To learn more about the various winter jacket options, check out our other down jackets and insulated jackets buying guides.

Here’s how winter jackets as a whole are each a bit different:

Down Jackets

  • Provides warmth — some are warmer than others
  • Good for dry, cold conditions and drier snow
  • Some designs are stylish and tailored to everyday use, while athletic-oriented designs are great for winter activities like ice climbing
  • Length can reach the hip, knee, or ankle
  • Example: Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie

Synthetic Jackets

  • Warmth outerlayer — can also be layered beneath a waterproof non-insulated shell
  • Suited for wet environments
  • A good choice for activity like skiing or snowboarding in very cold conditions
  • Synthetic jackets can also be called insulated shells
  • Example: Norrona Trollveggen PrimaLoft100 Zip Hood

Active Insulation Jackets

  • Lightweight, streamlined, athletic jacket that is breathable yet insulated
  • Nice for cardio activity like nordic skiing or running
  • Some designs are hybrid with two types of visible fabrics strategically placed
  • Typically have panels of synthetic insulation but are more breathable than full synthetic jackets
  • Example: Helly Hansen LifaLoft Hybrid Insulator Jacket

Shells

  • Waterproof or water-resistant and block wind
  • These jackets are most often not insulated
  • Offer more range of motion than insulated synthetic jackets
  • Great for high-output cardio activity like shoveling, backcountry snowmobiling, or powder skiing
  • To clarify, a synthetic jacket is often called an insulated shell
  • Example: Ortovox 3L Guardian Shell Jacket

3-in-1 Jackets

  • A waterproof or water-resistant shell zips into a separate jacket liner
  • The interior jacket could be a fleece, synthetic fill, or down fill
  • You can wear the two jackets separate or together
  • Good budget option
  • Example: Columbia Bugaboo II Fleece 3-in-1 Interchange Jacket

Woman pulling up the hood of a winter jacket
GearJunkie Snowsports Senior Editor Morgan Tilton tests the hood out on the Arc’teryx Patera Parka; (photo/Eric Phillips)

How do I choose a winter jacket?

Take a look at the average temperatures and weather conditions where you most often go outside in the winter. Choose a jacket that has enough fill power and fill weight to keep you comfortable and dry in that environment. Whether you’re carrying heavy luggage or walking to the grocery store or observing an ice statue contest, also consider how much body heat you’ll build during your activity.

You’ll want to consider your preferred length — the longer a jacket, the warmer — but the less freedom you’ll have for big movements like if you’re shoveling the deck. You also might not need the warmth of a knee-length jacket.

Mull over your choice style. Do you want a more tailored fit or a more relaxed profile? There will be features to consider, too, like the hood, wrist gaiters, and aesthetics.

At the end of the day, finding the best women’s winter jacket is a matter of personal style, end use, and budget.

What is the warmest winter jacket?

The warmest winter jackets are down jackets closely followed by synthetic-filled winter jackets.

Among down jackets, the higher the fill power and the higher the fill weight, the warmer the product will be. Also, the longer the down jacket, the more heat it will hold and weather it can barricade.

When should you wear a down jacket?

A down jacket holds heat around your body’s core in order to maintain a comfortable level of warmth when the temperatures drop. Down jacket options exist that are plush, stylish, or longer for everyday use, which we highlight here in this guide.

Though we don’t include them in this guide, there are also lighter, packable, more technical down jacket designs for year-round backcountry adventures.

What’s the difference between a down jacket’s fill power and fill weight?

A jacket’s fill power is the down’s quality and amount of loft. You’ll see jackets labeled as 600-fill or 800-fill, for instance. The fill weight, which is measured in ounces, reflects the density or amount of that down stuffed inside the jacket.

So when two 700-fill jackets have different weights, we know the heavier one is warmer.

On the other hand, if two down jackets weigh the same with different fill power (such as two 15-ounce jackets with 650 fill and 800 fill), the higher fill jacket is going to be less bulky, lighter, and more compressible.

It’s also trickier to compare jackets with differing fill power. But in general, the lower the fill power, the less loft and warmth are provided.

Two women in winter jackets sitting on a bench in front of a fly fishing shop
GearJunkie gear testers Morgan Tilton and Mary Murphy sit in the frigid morning weather testing out women’s winter jackets; (photo/Eric Phillips)

What warmth should I choose for a down jacket?

Down jackets have a huge variance of warmth. We focus on the warmest winter jackets for women in this guide.

While some jackets are constructed to withstand below freezing or sub-zero temperatures, others are a match for summer, spring, and fall backpacking or camping trips.

Here are the broad categories of down jackets depending on their fill weight:

  • Lightweight: 85-113 g (3-4 ounces) of down fill, three-season jacket, skiing midlayer
  • Moderate weight: 141-170 g (5-6 ounces) of down fill, more warmth for sub-freezing temperatures
  • Heavier weight: More than 170 g (6 ounces) of down fill, tenacious design for winter conditions

The combination of the fill weight and fill power changes how warm a jacket is. The higher the fill power and higher the weight, the more heat the jacket retains.

How heavy should my down jacket be?

Winter lifestyle jackets are generally heavier than performance-oriented winter jackets because the priority is warmth.

In contrast, super lightweight and lightweight down jackets are very compressible and a great choice for cramming into your pack for emergency use – you can easily carry one in your backpack, purse, or car. They often cost more.

Those weights range from 226-425 g (8-15 ounces). Midweight options bump up to the 567g (20-ounce) range. Heavier-set down jackets are around 850 g (30 ounces).

Also, the lengthier the parka, the heavier it will be.

How should a winter jacket fit?

You don’t want a winter jacket to fit tight, because activities like sledding, shoveling, unloading groceries from the car, or picking up the kids require a lot of freedom of movement. Plus, it’s nice to wear a comfortable long-sleeve beneath the jacket or even a fleece or wool midlayer or two if the temperatures plummet.

Some winter jackets on our list are more tailored and fitted, offering less room around the circumference of the arms, shoulders, and chest. That includes the Arc’teryx Patera Parka and Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka. They are certainly stylish, too. Relaxed winter jackets have more room for thicker or additional layers beneath like the Lands’ End Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood or Rab Women’s Deep Cover Down Parka.

Size-wise, each manufacturer has its own size charts. Be sure to check the size charts and make your personal measurements to match up your size, which can differ across brands.

How much does a winter jacket cost?

Winter jackets are long-term investments and worth the money for the protection and comfort they provide in a cold, wintry environment. The most economic options usually range from $150 to $300, and the average cost is $300 to $400.

The highest-end, hardiest, warmest, and longest parka designs can reach up to $1,150 or more.

How long should a winter jacket last?

A warm winter jacket breaks down for a multitude of reasons, including exposure to sunshine, rain, and snow. The materials wear due to the rub points of backpack and purse straps, brushing against the bike seat or car door, and even contact with human skin. Frequency of use, roughness of the activity, if children and animals are being held, and overall user care are factors that dissolve a jacket, too.

If you use your warm jacket for every day and live in a place with lengthy winters, the jacket will deteriorate faster. Be sure to follow the care instructions, which are unique for each jacket and located on the interior label.

With so many variables, the exact lifespan of each jacket can’t be predicted. We typically find ourselves using our favorite well-constructed winter jackets for 5 or 6 years but less if we’re harder on it.

If you take good care of your jacket or use it for select activities, you can easily assume the product life will be longer — maybe a decade.


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