September 6, 2021

7 Best Winter Jackets

September 6, 2021

7 Best Winter Jackets

The best winter jackets are an essential piece of clothing for outdoor goers. Backpacking and hiking under the frigid weather would remain convenient if you are wearing a reliable jacket as an external layer. Keep in mind that this particular gear can keep you dry and comfortable throughout the trip.

Of course, various factors should be considered when choosing these winter jackets. Their waterproofing, fit, and durability are among the things that you need to take into account. 

In the meantime, you should check out the following top-rated winter jackets for outdoor use. 

7 Best Winter Jackets

1. REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 - Women's

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The REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0 is an excellent outer shell that women should wear during cold conditions. It provides adequate insulation to regulate your body's warmth while on an icy trail. Specifically, this jacket is tailored from recycled nylon shell fabric for maximum durability. Moreover, it also includes durable water repellent that can shed off light snow and rain. 

This down jacket has a 650 fill power and offers an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio for the female body. It also has a drawcord-adjustable hem that prevents your body warmth from escaping. Interestingly, this jacket is highly compressible. You can pack and unpack it conveniently, making it an ideal choice for backpacking and hiking applications.

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material - Recycled nylon taffeta
  • Insulation - Down
  • Insulation type - Down
  • Waterproof - Yes
  • Windproof - Yes
  • Hood - Not available
  • Fit - Women's 
  • Weight - 10.8 ounces

2. Arc'teryx Atom LT Insulated Jacket

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With the Arc'teryx Atom LT Insulated Jacket, you will be able to combat low temperatures during a winter hike. You can wear this jacket as a mid-layer or outer layer, making it extremely versatile. Keep in mind, though, that it has light insulation and semi-permeable side panels. Hence, this clothing is only ideal for moderate outdoor pursuits. This unit is crafted from the soft Tyono 20-denier nylon, with side panels tailored from polyester and elastane. They work together to ensure that you are receiving the right levels of insulation. 

Of course, it also includes a durable water repellent finish to repel snow, water, and moisture. Its insulation, the Coreloft Compact 60, elevates the warmth and comfort you feel while wearing the jacket. Meanwhile, its mid-height collar has insulation as well and features a fleece line for guaranteed comfort. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material - Tyono nylon, polyester, elastane
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation - Coreloft Compact polyester
  • Waterproof - Yes
  • Windproof - Yes
  • Hood - Not available
  • Fit - Men's 
  • Weight - 12.2 ounces

3. The North Face Ruby Insulated Jacket

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You'll definitely love the masterful craftsmanship integrated into The North Face Ruby. This fully-insulated, waterproof clothing has been patterned from professional mountaineering jackets. It comes with a mechanical stretch that fully optimizes your movements while hiking or backpacking. It has a DryVent 2-layer shell fabric that is both rugged and breathable so that you can remain protected against the elements. 

Its main insulation is PrimaLoft Black; the latter provides a body-mapped design so that it can conform to the body of its users. Moreover, this type of insulation is lightweight enough so that the jacket will never be cumbersome. This unit has a helmet-compatible hood for added protection against unfavorable weather. It also got underarm vents for heat regulation and wrist gaiters so that your sleeves remain in place. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material - Nylon
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation - PrimaLoft Black synthetic fibers
  • Waterproof - Yes
  • Windproof - Yes
  • Hood - Available
  • Fit - Women's 
  • Weight - 29 ounces

4. Fjallraven Skogso Padded Insulated Jacket

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You should check out the Fjallraven Skogso Padded Insulated Jacket if you want a piece of outdoor shell that can resist the cold season. It has sufficient resistance against water and water. It can dry on short vertical rivers while ensuring that your body has enough ventilation so that you don't get hot. This jacket has a unique construction. Specifically, it's made from G-1000 Original fabric, which is a combination of polyester and cotton. It has been embedded with G-Loft Supreme synthetic insulation for superior warmth provision. 

Interestingly, this jacket has an adjustable hood that can provide a snug fit in your head. It can effectively protect your upper regions from cold spots. Meanwhile, its two-way front zipper has a seamless and snag-free design. It also has two chest pockets, two hand pockets, and an interior mesh pocket for glove storage. Its bottom hem has a drawcord adjustment for easier fitting. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material - G-1000 Original 
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation - G-Loft Supreme polyester
  • Hood - Available
  • Fit - Men's 
  • Weight - 39.5 ounces

5. Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Jacket

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One of the striking features of the Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Jacket is its compressibility. Despite its buffed synthetic insulation, you can still pack it compactly. This one is tailored from a two-layer H2No Performance Standard shell, which is both breathable and waterproof at the same time. It has a durable water repellent finish, as well, to ensure that snow and rain won't cover the entire jacket. 

This Patagonia winter jacket features Thermogreen insulation (80 grams in the body and 40 grams in the sleeves). It is fully efficient in preserving your body heat without adding significant weight to the jacket. It can even insulate even if it gets wet. This cold-weather clothing also has a polyester lining that disperses moisture and sweat away. Interestingly, it has a RECCO reflector that optimizes radio signals that are using RECCO detectors. It is a beneficial feature during emergencies. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material - H2No Performance Standard polyester
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation - Thermogreen insulation
  • Hood - Available
  • Fit - Women's 
  • Weight - 31.1 ounces

6. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated Hoodie

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The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated Hoodie is arguably one of the best winter jackets that you can get today. It is a high-performance shell that you can use as a mid-layer or outer layer, depending on the level of the coldness of your destination. This one offers PrimaLoft synthetic insulation that has been integrated into its recycled ripstop nylon. It can keep you warm in snowy and damp conditions without restricting your movement. The said insulation is breathable, compressible, and lightweight, as well. 

The construction of the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow allows hassle-free fitting. Its standard model is not too loose and too tight. It can cater to your base layers without feeling any form of stiffness. Its hem drawcord has a single-pull adjustment that lets you seal the warmth as quickly as possible. The jacket also includes zippered handwarmer pockets and low-profile cuffs for added low-temperature defense. 

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material - Recycled ripstop nylon
  • Insulation type - Synthetic
  • Insulation - PrimaLoft synthetic fibers
  • Hood - Available
  • Fit - Men's
  • Weight - 11.7 ounces

7. Arc'teryx Cerium LT Down Hoodie

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You can also improve the quality of your winter adventures with the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Down Hoodie. This cold-weather shell boasts a lightweight construction and superior warmth provision. The jacket has unique insulation; specifically, it features a down and synthetic insulation blend that offers up to 850 fill power. The down used on this clothing is compliant with the Responsible Down Standard, so that's something that you should appreciate. 

Meanwhile, its Down Composite Mapping has placed the synthetic insulation to strategic points of your upper body to prevent moisture and cold air drafts. By the way, the Arc'teryx Cerium LT Down Hoodie is tailored from the breathable Arato 10-denier nylon shell. It is lightweight, rugged, and compressible. Moreover, the fabric has a durable water repellent finish for shedding water and snow. It also features the proprietary insulated StormHood with customizable drawcords for hassle-free adjustments.

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Material - Nylon
  • Insulation type - Down / synthetic
  • Insulation - Goose down / Coreloft fiber
  • Hood - Available
  • Fit - Men's
  • Weight - 10.9 ounces

How To Choose The Best Winter Jacket

Wearing the correct layers can help you conquer the low temperatures brought by winter. They can also help you deal with the snow. 

One should know that there are different types of jackets that you can wear during winter. But this doesn't mean that you should get all of them. Sometimes, you only need one jacket to rule frigid conditions. It may really depend on the things that you do. 

Types Of Winter Jacket

Fundamentally, winter jackets differ based on their intended use. For instance, a winter jacket for city walks is different from a jacket that you use to explore the outdoors and backcountry. 

  • Technical jackets - A technical jacket is the ideal option if you are searching for a lightweight exterior shell that allows flexibility in your movements. You can use this jacket for various outdoor activities, such as mountaineering, hiking, and skiing. We call them technical jackets because they have intricate features such as pit zips, adjustable hems, and hoods compatible with helmets. 

Keep in mind that technical jackets are lighter than your casual winter jackets; they are compressible, too. They also possess waterproof and windproof architecture to fend off the elements. 

  • Casual jackets - These jackets are the ones you wear when it is cold outside, and you want to tour around town. One of their notable features is their stylishness; perhaps, that's the primary selling point that these urban-based jackets have to offer. Of course, they also provide comfort and insulation, given that they have spacious hoods, edges with fur trims, and aesthetically appealing hand warmers. Their warmth provision is definitely exceptional. 

Insulation

The most important thing about any type of jacket is its ability to keep you warm. A jacket's insulation can be divided into two kinds: down and synthetic. Each of these insulating materials has its respective advantages and downsides. 

  • Down - Down is an excellent choice for those who like to travel light. This material has been used since ancient times due to its high level of thermal efficiency. However, it does not provide much protection against water or wind penetration. In addition, it tends to lose loft over time. 
  • Synthetic - Synthetic fabrics are more durable than down but less efficient at keeping warm. However, they excel in damp conditions. They can still retain their insulating capabilities even if the terrain or weather is wet. Keep in mind, though, that jackets with synthetic fills tend to be bulky and heavy. When it comes to price, synthetic winter jackets are cheaper.  

The Exterior Shell

There are different materials that can be used to construct the outer shell of a jacket. It might get confusing. But once you align your focus to your intended application, you will be able to refine your choices. 

For a winter jacket, it is essential that it is made from waterproof fabric. Alternatively, it should have a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment. In this way, the jacket can shed off the water, moisture, and snow. With a DWR finish, the jacket's heat retention can be improved. In a nutshell, such a treatment can keep you dry and insulate your body. 

Before we proceed, let us differentiate between "water-resistant" and "waterproof." What we want here is a waterproof jacket; that's the ideal choice. Hence, a water-resistant jacket should just be our last option. 

  • Waterproof means that the jacket or clothing can prevent precipitation from getting inside for extended periods. If it rains hard, waterproof jackets will keep your inner layers and body dry. 
  • Meanwhile, a water-resistant jacket can still provide decent water protection. But most of the time, it is only light rain and splashes. Moreover, you can't really expose them to damp and watery conditions for extended periods. 

Aside from DWR treatments and waterproof fabrics, there is another way to waterproof these jackets, and that is through sealing. A fully seam-sealed indicates that all the seams and gaps of a jacket have been sealed tight so that water can't breach in. Meanwhile, "critical seams sealed" is a term that suggests that only the exposed and susceptible parts of the jacket have been sealed. These parts could be the front, back, and shoulders of the garment. 

You should pick a winter jacket that can offer protection from strong gusts of wind. Here, we have wind flaps installed in most of the top-rated jackets in the market today. 

In Summary

The best winter jackets can improve your overall experience when you are hiking or backpacking in low temperatures. These jackets can provide you ample insulation and ventilation so that you can move in the cold without discomfort. Moreover, they have a superb defense against precipitation and chilling winds. In short, they offer a complete package that you should get, especially if you love the ice and snow! 

That's it for now. For other inquiries, feel free to ask me in the comment section below.

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