The Best Fleece Jackets to Keep You Warm (and On-Trend!) This Winter
The past few years, fleece has gone from outdoor-adventure-only material to full-blown fashion trend. So whether you’re a sartorialist trying to imitate Bella Hadid’s gorpcore style or a mountain (wo)man just looking for some new gear, there’s a fleece jacket for you. Since there's a lot out there to choose from, we pared it down to the top-notch picks for every purpose. Trying to be eco-conscious? We’ve got you covered (literally). Prefer a lightweight layer for hiking or a zip-up for skiing? Gang's all here. Embrace the outdoors—or just look like you do—with the best fleece jackets on the market.
Best Fleece Overall
For a fleece you can wear from sunrise hike to sunset cocktails, you can do no better than this zip-up from Patagonia. Not just because of the fit, which one reviewer called “perfect,” but also because of the company’s commitment to sustainability. The sweater is made of recycled polyester fleece, which provides the same warmth as the real stuff but helps cut down on trash and wasted materials. Patagonia also moved and flattened the seams so they don’t rub when you’re carrying a backpack (so smart!) and added three zippered pockets for easy storage. Some reviewers found it a bit tight, so if you plan to move around a lot, you may want to size up.
Best Pullover Fleece
“Another Patagonia pick?!” Yep, and for good reason: The brand is leading the market in not only sustainability but also innovation. Its Woolie Fleece uses a super-soft combo of recycled wool, cotton, and nylon to keep you warm but also comfortable (no hot, itchy fabrics here). The gearheads over at Gear Patrol say they want to live in the material, while other reviewers swear it wicks sweat better than other fleeces. The only noticeable downside is there aren’t pockets, so you’ll want to have gloves on hand.
Best Fleece Jacket
If zips are a must but you can’t quite swing our #1 pick, the Marmot Reactor is a solid choice for men. The sleek jacket is super lightweight—perfect for mild climates or for layering when temps dip—and uses sweat-wicking Polartec technology to keep you toasty and dry. For ladies, we like Columbia’s Benton Springs, which packs a big punch without doing big damage to your wallet. A classic fleece with flattering lines, it can also be cinched at the waist to cut down on drafts. Reviewers say it’s so thick and warm, they’ve bought it in multiple colors.
Best Fleece Jacket with Hood
This hoodie feels like petting the softest animal you can imagine. Even cozier is the kangaroo pouch, where you can warm up your hands on bone-chilling days. While not quite as eco-friendly as the Patagonia option, it does contain recycled polyester and comes with a lifetime guarantee (how’s that for customer service?). Reviewers say it’s seriously warm, so most of the time you won’t need a top layer, but some found it a little small. For max snuggability, size up.
Best Hard-Core Heavy Fleece
Similar to the Campshire, this zip-up is extremely fluffy—and extremely warm, since it has fleece on the outside and the inside (um, yes please!). Details on the back and elbows help protect it from rips and tears, and the hand pockets are so toasty, you might have to finally start using voice-to-text. Reviewers say it’ll keep you warm down to freezing, but do keep a lint roller handy, since it has a tendency to shed.
Best Fleece for Hiking
If there’s one place you don’t want to be cold, it’s the middle of the nowhere. Uniqlo’s plush Fluffy Yarn Fleece is warm enough for a spring or fall hike but lightweight enough that it won’t drag you down. It’s also cheap (like really cheap), so you won’t feel bad when it gets covered in mud, pine needles, or—let’s be real—BO. Old Navy’s Micro Performance Fleece for women, on the other hand, is more streamlined. Still, reviewers say it’s surprisingly warm for its weight, thanks to nifty thumbholes and Old Navy’s proprietary Go-Warm technology. TBD on what that actually is, but if it works, it works!
Best Fleece for Skiing
When your feet are locked into ski boots, you want the rest of your body to be as free as possible. The men’s Marmot Variant jacket blends the flexibility of fleece, which lines the inside of the jacket, and the warmth of a puffer to keep your core toasty but your body movable. One ski-patroller reviewer says they wear it regularly as a mid-layer, so you know it’s legit. The women’s Columbia Basin Butte is similar in design but also has a puffy outer layer on the back and a heat-reflective liner for extra warmth.
RELATED: The Best Winter Coats on Amazon
Best Affordable Fleece
When you’re on a budget, you can’t beat Amazon’s in-house fashion line. This fleece jacket for men and women has more than 3,000 reviews yet maintains a 4.5 rating because of its warmth and durability. Some reviewers even say it’s a real competitor to name-brand options. Even better: It comes in tons of colors and patterns, from neutrals (navy, charcoal) to playful motifs (camo! plaid!). If you need a solid zip-up fleece with a few hand pockets—but still want to be able to afford groceries and rent—this is for you.
Best Status Fleece
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Arc’teryx, a brand known for making some of the best technical gear on the market. This jacket is no exception: Breathable but warm, it looks more like wool than fleece and fits in just as well on the mountain as it does at a nice dinner. Because it weighs less than a pound, it’s a good option for travel or wilderness excursions. Reviewers say the relaxed fit makes it comfortable as a mid-layer too. Some folks have complained about pilling, so to make it last as long as possible, wash it inside out.
Best for Layering
The outside of this medium-weight jacket is a sweater-knit, which makes it easier to slide in and out of an outer layer, but the inside is soft and warm, without being too bulky. Reviewers appreciate that it doesn’t shrink in the wash and say it looks great on its own, but women say you’ll want to size up if you plan to wear anything long-sleeved underneath. We love that it comes in a range of colors, so you can easily coordinate it with the rest of your closet—or buy one for (almost) every day of the week.
Most Stylish Fleece
Want to feel warm and snuggly but look like a street-style star? This fun yellow-floral fleece from L.A.-based label Hot Lava will have you feeling like you’re still in bed even if you’re running around Chicago in winter. (And if you do rock it on the trails, rest assured your fellow hikers won’t know what hit them.) Same goes for this cool colorblock pullover from Canton Cotton Mills, which is as equally at home in Acadia as it is in downtown Seattle (where it will certainly incite jealous glances from Arc’teryx-clad tech bros).
Best Classic Fleece
The very same jacket that haunted the halls of your high school, The North Face’s Denali is a classic for a reason. This updated version is made from 100% recycled polyester but is just as warm and durable as the original. While it probably won’t survive a blizzard on its own, it is water- and wind-resistant should you find yourself in an unexpected drizzle. Abrasion-resistant fabric around the chest, zipper, and forearms also keeps you from snagging it on a branch (or a suitcase zipper). No wonder several reviewers say they’re repeat buyers.
Best for Wind
Real talk: No fleece is going to be as good as a waterproof or windproof layer when it’s gusty outside. That said, reviewers claim Arc’teryx’s Kyanite hoody does a darn good job of protecting against the elements, while still allowing for breathability. The Polartec Power Stretch fabric is durable but not restrictive, and the sleek profile makes it easy to add outer layers as necessary (though layering underneath would be a challenge). If you hate when your ears get cold, you’ll love the so-called “ScubaHood” design, which fits snuggly around your noggin. Pet owners will also appreciate that it doesn’t seem to attract hair as much as most fleeces do.
- The Ultimate Arc’teryx Winter Gear Review
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