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, there are many brands that offer outerwear that is both functional and trendy.
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.
Below I’ve included some of the most popular, trusted jacket brands, and those that offer exceptional quality. You get what you pay for when it comes to outdoor gear. So while some of these brands can tend towards the pricey side (especially since you’re looking at jackets—one of the most expensive pieces of outdoor clothing, you know you’re getting gear that will last a lifetime rather than just a season.
- 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 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. Arc’teryx: Best Quality Jacket Brand
Arc’teryx is a Canadian brand known for its high-quality, durable outdoor clothing. In fact, they’re one of the best outdoor clothing brands in the world. Their winter jackets do well in protecting the user in a multitude of challenging climates.
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. And like many of its competitors, the brand uses only premium-quality fabrics and materials. This ensures that their jackets and other outdoor gear items are durable, long-lasting, and provide the best possible performance.
Another innovative feature included in many of the brand’s outerwear products is Gore-Tex. This is a waterproof fabric permeable to air and water vapor, making it very breathable, too. 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.
2. 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 amongst 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.
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.
Patagonia has 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 winter jackets by this brand are the Nano Puff Jacket and the more lightweight Down Sweater.
3. Triple F.A.T. Goose: Best Winter Coat Brand
Founded in 1987, Triple F.A.T. Goose is America’s original premium urban outdoors 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 winter coats on the market.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, Triple F.A.T Goose was a popular jacket brand amongst 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 jackets and parkas are a favorite amongst 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 jackets for extreme cold weather.
4. Columbia: Best Waterproof Winter Jacket Brand
Columbia has been producing gear for outdoor activities 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 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. 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. 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 which occurred 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 gear 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 most 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 this list for other great rain jacket options). And for something thicker and warmer, the Marmot Wiley Fleece is a good option, too.
6. 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 jackets 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.
Some of my favorite jackets from this brand are the Apex Bionic 2 softshell jackets and the Arctic Down Parka. Like many of the brand’s other jackets, these are weatherproof and offer great insulation, helping you keep warm and dry no matter where your adventure takes you.
7. 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 one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury apparel.
There are few brands that can integrate arctic-level performance with stylish city outerwear like Canada Goose. 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 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 down, often used in Canada Goose jackets.
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 of Canada Goose’s jackets will keep you dry and have you feeling extra snug.
Amongst 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.
8. Mountain Hardwear: Best Lightweight Winter Jackets
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 apparel 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.
Mountain Hardwear offers everything from lightweight jackets to insulated snow shells. For those looking for a good-quality jacket that is functional and versatile, the Ghost Whisperer is a good option. This hooded down is the lightest in its class and maintains an impressive loft, even when wet, to keep us warm and cozy.
9. 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.
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.
A popular item that is ideal for most outdoor adventures is the Singi Down Jacket. It features a waxed G-1000 shell for wind- and water-resistance, and its down insulation ensures the lofty coziness of a puffy jacket.
Summary of the Best Winter Jackets
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 amongst these brands. From the iconic Patagonia and The North Face to the luxury Canada Goose, there are plenty of jackets to choose from.
To help make your search easier, be sure to check out the products suggested above or check out the articles below for more information.
I love how this article highlights the importance of investing in a quality jacket for travel. A good jacket can make all the difference in staying comfortable and protected in different climates. The breakdown of brands by specific features, such as waterproofing or insulation, is incredibly helpful for narrowing down options based on individual needs. I would be curious to know if the author has any recommendations for sustainable or eco-friendly jacket brands.
Why are not Helly Hansen and Haglöfs in this list? They are actually my two favorite coat brands.
Which light jacket do you recommend for exotic locations?
Thank for this list. I will go to the shop and try Patagonia Jacket 🙂