As winter approaches and temperatures begin to fall, you will need a good jacket. Whether you need a jacket to wear on a tough trail or for your daily commute, the best jacket brands offer outerwear that is both functional and fashionable.
With so many brands to choose from, it can be challenging to find the best winter coat or jacket that will have you feeling warm and looking stylish.
I’ve tested dozens of jackets to see which brands consistently offer the best performance, durability, and value. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you get what you pay for when it comes to outdoor gear. So while some of the best jacket brands on this list can tend towards the pricey side, you know you’re getting gear that will last a lifetime rather than just a season.
It’s taken years of real-world use to dial in this list of the best jacket brands. I’ll share what each brand excels at and include a few of the best models. Now, here are my top ten:
- Warmest Winter Jackets: Fjällräven
- Best Winter Coat Brand: Triple F.A.T. Goose
- Budget-Friendly Winter Jacket Brand: Marmot
- Best Waterproof Winter Jacket Brand: Columbia
- Luxury Name Brand Jackets: Canada Goose
- Best Eco-Friendly Brand: Patagonia
- Best Quality Jacket Brand: Arc’teryx
- Best Ski Jacket Brand: Helly Hansen
- Best Winter Parka Brand: The North Face
- Best Lightweight Winter Jackets: Mountain Hardwear
Tip: While your outer layer is important, so is your base layer. For something to wear underneath your winter jacket while you explore the outdoors, here are some of the best hiking shirts and best midlayers.
1. Fjällräven: Warmest Winter Jackets
Fjällräven is an outdoor clothing and equipment brand from the small town of Örnsköldsvik in Sweden. The brand’s mission is to make nature more accessible for everyone. This is achieved through the development of functional, durable, and timeless outdoor gear, making them one of the best jacket brands out there, especially for the best winter jackets.
Fjällräven uses nature as the brand’s inspiration. This is present in the materials they choose to use in their products. Whenever possible, Fjällräven sources materials directly from the environment. With these high-quality materials, the brand develops products that stand up to the rigors of the trail and outdoors.
Materials used include wool, cotton, down, and synthetic materials inspired by nature. A core synthetic material seen in many of the brand’s products is Eco-Shell. Eco-Shell is a breathable outer layer that provides protection from rain, sleet, and snow. Another is G-1000, the brand’s cornerstone material designed to be hardwearing, ventilating, wind-resistant, and water-resistant.
These features occur throughout many of Fjällräven’s products, including their jackets. The brand offers a wide range of outerwear, including down jackets, parkas, anoraks, and plenty more. Each of these products are thoughtfully designed, focusing on simplicity and practicality.
The Fjällräven Expedition Down Jacket is a thick, well-insulated down coat that’s ready to keep you warm in even the coldest conditions. This expedition parka is durable, comfortable, and one of the warmest winter coats you can get.
2. Triple F.A.T. Goose: Best Winter Coat Brand
Founded in 1987, Triple F.A.T. Goose is America’s original premium urban outerwear brand. With the ethos, “For Arctic Temperatures”, the brand set out to provide customers with protection against even the coldest climates. The initial idea was to put an extra batch of down filling into each coat. This resulted in some of the warmest jackets on the market, ideal for frigid winter months.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Triple F.A.T Goose was a popular jacket brand among many urbanites living in severely cold areas. Today, the brand has retained its popularity by establishing itself as a direct-to-customer brand. By building closer relationships with customers, the brand is able to gain valuable insights to create higher-quality products.
Triple F.A.T Goose’s down puffers, parkas, and bomber jackets are favorites among consumers around the world. Each of these jackets use high-quality materials and are insulated with premium down. Down is a natural material that is breathable, durable, light, and provides excellent insulation. With this, the brand’s products ensure comfort and unparalleled warmth, even in sub-zero temperatures.
Triple F.A.T Goose’s luxury outerwear is available to both men and women. From their product range, two favorites of mine are the Triple F.A.T Goose Verso Puffer jacket and the Reizen Men’s Puffer Down Jacket. It is versatile and is one of the best winter coats for extreme cold weather.
3. Marmot: Budget-Friendly Winter Jacket Brand
Marmot was founded in 1974 by three friends united by their love of the outdoors. They chose to name the brand “Marmot”, after the loveable and hardy ground squirrel that lived in their favorite mountains. Later, the brand landed a starring role in a Clint Eastwood film, The Eiger Sanction. Following this, the brand’s reputation for innovative and cutting-edge outdoor equipment began to soar.
Marmot produces a variety of innovative products comprising a number of advanced technologies. This includes tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, and of course, their incredible range of affordable jackets. Like many of its competitors, the brand offers everything as far outerwear is concerned. From warm fleece jackets to breathable and waterproof raincoats, there is something to suit almost any outdoor adventure.
What sets Marmot apart from other jacket brands is the way they implement technology into their outdoor apparel and gear. This includes waterproof NanoPro coating to keep you dry, Featherless insulation to keep you warm, and several more features.
A good winter jacket that incorporates many of these features is the Marmot PreCip Eco Jacket. This is a good lightweight rain jacket made for hiking, backpacking, and casual everyday wear (check out my full roundup for other great rain jacket options). And for something thicker and warmer, the Marmot Wiley Fleece is a good option, too.
4. Columbia: Best Waterproof Winter Jacket Brand
Columbia has been producing high-quality outdoor clothing since 1938. The brand manufactures high-quality jackets, among other gear, and operates out of Portland, Oregon. These products are reflective of the company’s heritage and innovative spirit.
At its core, the brand aims to create innovative products that enable people to enjoy the outdoors for longer. One of the product ranges that Columbia is most renowned for is its high-quality winter wear. The brand offers a variety of jackets, including fleece, windbreakers, parkas, softshell jackets, rain jackets, and more. These will see you through a range of activities, from running errands to hitting the slopes.
Many of Columbia’s jackets offer additional features to ensure you are well-protected against various cold weather conditions. A notable feature seen in some products is the Omni-heat lining, which provides great insulation to keep you warm. Some jackets also have a chin guard designed to trap heat, while others are longer to give you maximum protection against frigid temperatures.
Columbia offers a range of jackets for men, women, and children, making it one of the best jacket brands for the whole family. A couple of my favorite jackets are the Columbia Delta Ridge down hooded jacket and the Columbia Men’s Tipton Peak II Insulated Jacket.
5. Canada Goose: Luxury Name Brand Jackets
Canada Goose was founded in a small warehouse in Toronto almost sixty years ago. It originally produced pieces to meet the needs of workers in the Canadian Arctic. The brand has since grown into a leading outerwear brand.
There are few jacket brands that can integrate arctic-level performance with stylish city outerwear like Canada Goose. They offer spot-on styling in their down puffer jackets and bomber jackets. Not to mention the exceptional quality of each piece, ensuring a product that is durable and long-lasting.
Quality is paramount to the company. Each Canada Goose product is hand-made and passes through 13 production stages before packaging and shipping. The brand also prides itself on its slogan “Made in Canada”, which is a promise to its customers that every piece is sewn in the same country from which it draws its inspiration.
As they’re built to last, countless individuals cherish their Canada Goose jackets, particularly at arctic temperatures. They are also made using high-quality and ethically sourced materials. This includes merino wool from Argentina and responsibly-sourced down, one of the key materials for Canada Goose coats.
Down is the light, fluffy coating clustered beneath the feathers of waterfowl that helps to keep them warm through natural insulation. Paired with a water-repellent finish, most Canada Goose coats will keep you dry and have you feeling extra snug.
Among the many jackets on offer, one of my top picks is the MacMillan Down Parka. This is a great option for anyone seeking something that is both functional and fashionable.
6. Patagonia: Best Eco-Friendly Brand
Patagonia was originally founded in 1973 by an accomplished climber, Yvon Chouinard. Along with a band of climbers and surfers, they grew a brand that reflects the minimalist style promoted in their lives and in their sports.
Today, Patagonia is a leading brand among outdoor enthusiasts and offers many sustainable and innovative products. Their range includes backpacks, bags, camp foods, and gear care products. However, their jackets are their big seller and always have been. They make everything from urban-styled coats for everyday wear to serious jackets for adventure athletes.
Through research and development stemming from the brand’s love for the outdoors, Patagonia has produced a wide range of outerwear. Whatever the weather, there are jackets and fleeces up to the task, including everything from a morning stroll to a trek to the south pole.
My favorite thing about Patagonia is there commitment to having a positive impact on the planet; this isn’t something you see from most of the best jacket brands. They have committed to contributing 1% of their total sales towards preserving and restoring the natural environment. So for the eco-conscious consumer, this brand is a good option. A couple of my favorite Patagonia jackets are the Nano Puff Jacket and the more lightweight Down Sweater. It’s hard to beat Patagonia when it comes to a classic puffer jacket.
7. Arc’teryx: Best Quality Jacket Brand
Arc’teryx is a Canadian brand known for its high-quality, durable outdoor wear. In fact, they’re one of the best outdoor clothing brands in the world. Their winter coats do well in protecting the user in severe conditions.
Arc’teryx believes that the only way to build the right gear for such climates is by building the brand in the climate itself. As such, British Columbia’s Coast Mountains have served as the inspiration and testing ground for many of the brand’s products.
Through plenty of rigorous testing and research, Arc’teryx is able to provide some of the highest-quality outerwear on the market. The brand uses only premium-quality fabrics and materials, which ensures that their jackets are durable, long-lasting, and provide the best possible performance.
Arc’teryx also uses GORE-TEX waterproof breathable membrane that seals out water but also lets vapor from your body escape. GORE-TEX is the industry standard when it comes to waterproof clothing, so you can expect top-notch performance from Arc’teryx waterproof jackets.
From the brand’s broad range of jackets, some of my top picks are the Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket (men’s/women’s) and the insulated Atom LT Hoody (men’s/women’s). Both of these jackets are windproof, waterproof, and durable, ensuring adequate protection when exploring the outdoors.
8. Helly Hansen: Best Ski Jacket Brand
Helly Hansen has a long history in making warm, protective jackets, starting in 1877 when a Norwegian sailing captain (Helly Hansen himself) invented waterproof “oilskin” fabric to better shelter his sailors from the elements. The company he and his wife created grew massively over the next century and continued to develop technical jackets and outerwear for the world’s harshest environments, from sailing around the globe to submitting Mount Everest.
True to their roots, Helly Hansen continues to build high-performance outerwear for professional and competitive sailors, but they also make some of the best ski jackets in the business.
Helly Hansen’s LIFALOFT is designed to be the most advanced synthetic insulation for high-intensity activities like skiing. While down jackets are still the undisputed champion when it comes to pure warmth-to-weight, things get a little trickier when you’re sweating a lot. While there are water-resistant down treatments, good synthetic insulation still performs better when wet, period.
LIFALOFT uses highly engineered fibers to offer insulated jackets that keep body heat in and cold air out without the bulk you typically expect. This means you get the same warmth as standard polyester insulation in a thinner, lighter package. This means more comfort and agility on the slopes.
The Alpha Ski Jacket (Alphelia for women) is Helly Hansen’s iconic resort jacket that combines LIFALOFT insulation with Helly Tech waterproof breathable performance for a lightweight, warm jacket for long days on the hill. You get great warmth and waterproofness without the bulk of a full puffer jacket.
9. The North Face: Best Winter Parka Brand
The North Face brand’s name comes from the north face of the Half Dome in Yosemite, California. This face of the mountain is one of the world’s most formidable climbs. Fittingly, The North Face focuses on creating advancements within outerwear and equipment for serious climbers and hikers. (If you need other suggestions, check out this article on what to wear hiking.)
The North Face has a reputation for its high-quality mountain wear. Since the 1960s, the brand has endorsed and sponsored expeditions to undiscovered regions like Shishapangma and the Towers of Tigray. By doing so, the brand was able to research and test the best materials, structure, and construction for their jackets and other gear.
The North Face offers some of the best winter-season coats and parkas for men and women. From lightweight jackets to 3-in-1 parkas worthy of Mt. Everest, there’s something to suit various occasions and style preferences.
One of the best parkas from The North Face is the Arctic Down Parka. Like many of the brand’s other jackets, this parka is weatherproof and offers great insulation, helping you keep warm and dry no matter where your adventure takes you.
10. Mountain Hardwear: Best Lightweight Winter Jacket
Mountain Hardwear was founded in 1993 by a small group of outdoor enthusiasts. These individuals noticed the industry change as it began dumbing down products to serve less technical users. Mountain Hardwear was then introduced to buck this trend and stay true to the needs of lovers of the outdoors.
Today, Mountain Hardwear is a renowned outerwear brand that aims to create outdoor gear that empowers outdoor athletes. The brand defines outdoor athletes as anyone who enjoys the outdoors. From experienced climbers to weekend day-hikers, the brand offers something for every individual.
Mountain Hardwear believes that the best performance is due to purposefully designed products using the highest quality materials and technologies. This occurs in many of their products, including their jackets. Mountain Hardwear jackets provide users with better experiences outdoors through fit, temperature regulation, weather protection, and moisture management. Their light jackets are ideal for anyone who likes to go fast and light in the outdoors.
Mountain Hardwear offers everything from lightweight jackets to insulated snow shells. For those looking for a good-quality jacket that is functional, versatile, and impressively light, the Ghost Whisperer is an awesome choice. These hooded down puffer jackets are the lightest in its class and maintain an impressive loft, even when wet, to keep us warm and cozy.
Summary of the Best Jacket Brands
Whether you’re looking for the best winter jacket or simply an outer layer for your next outdoor adventure, you are sure to find something among the best jacket brands. There are plenty of jackets to choose from, so the most important thing is to figure out what you really need. Do you need thick insulation for sub-freezing temps? breathability for high-intensity activities? waterproof materials?
Also remember that staying warm in winter is about more than just your jacket. The layers underneath can have a huge impact on keeping you warm and comfortable in the worst conditions. Choosing a good baselayer and midlayer is just as important as a good jacket.