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The Best Winter Jackets of 2023

The REI Stormhenge Parka offers plentiful insulation and a streamlined style at a reasonable price; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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Whether wandering your favorite winter town or heading out for a mountain adventure, we’ve found the best men’s winter jackets to keep you warm and cozy.

Our team has spent many seasons sifting through the winter jacket market in search of the best and warmest styles. After extensive trial and error in frigid Rocky Mountain and Midwestern climates, we’ve selected our choices for the best men’s winter jackets of 2023.

From style-forward thigh-length coats to purely practical expedition-weight parkas, there are many kinds of winter jackets. Each design has its own features and purpose. With this list, we’ve organized our selections into distinct categories to help you make an efficient and informed decision.

Check out our pick for the best budget winter jacket, if you’re looking to prioritize affordability and value. Or scroll to our most stylish selection if looking good is most important.

The winter jacket market is stuffed with innovative designs, cutting-edge insulation, and high-tech materials. To help you decide which men’s winter jacket is best for you, make sure to read our buyer’s guide and frequently asked questions for helpful tips. Also, have a look at our comparison chart to help steer your decision-making.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best Winter Jackets for Men of 2023

Best Overall Men’s Winter Jacket: Patagonia Frozen Range Parka

Patagonia Frozen Range Parka

The Frozen Range Parka ($749) from Patagonia combines style, function, and high-end warmth into one outstanding package. For all those reasons, this top-tier jacket gets our vote for the best men’s winter jacket this season. This design leans a little more toward everyday use in frigid urban environments yet is also great for moderate activities.

We love that the Frozen Range contains 700-fill down that’s evenly distributed, resulting in zero thin spots. The down-filled baffling continues through the unique “snorkel” hood, so this jacket is well-known for its ability to keep the head and ears warm and toasty. An interior rib of insulation inside the collar wraps around the neck and prevents cold air from seeping in.

With its rugged GORE-TEX shell and fully taped seams, the Frozen Range is one of the most effective waterproof jackets on our list. However, because this is a down jacket, any water that does make its way past the outer membrane will significantly decrease its ability to insulate. For this reason, we don’t recommend it for rainstorms.

For most winter conditions, the Frozen Range is plenty warm enough to keep you comfortable from the thighs up. However, it isn’t designed for expeditions or high-intensity use. With a non-technical profile, this jacket has large plastic buttons and weighs almost 3 pounds.

Other notable features include a two-way zipper, stretch-knit cuffs, and hand-warmer pockets. Overall, this durable, comfortable and stylish winter jacket can easily meet the needs of cold winter days when we’re not on an expedition. For running around town in the elements, the Frozen Range is easy to love.

  • Insulation: 700-fill down
  • Weight: 2.76 lbs.
  • Pockets: 2 zippered internal hand warmer pockets, 1 zippered security pocket, 1 drop-in pocket
  • Warm and highly protective “snorkel” hood
  • GORE-TEX shell and fully taped seams
  • Fashion-forward
  • Stiff shell mildly restricts mobility
  • More expensive than other similar jackets

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Patagonia

Best Budget Men’s Winter Jacket: REI Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka

REI Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka

The REI Stormhenge Parka is a whole lot of jacket for $299. With 850-fill power goose down and a generous thigh-length cut, this jacket is fully equipped for mega-cold conditions.

We tested this jacket while roaming around the frozen streets of Crested Butte, Colo. The Stormhenge kept us nice and toasty from our heads to our knees while walking through town on a bitter windy day. The sleeping bag-style draft tube at the neck effectively prevents cold air from seeping into the core.

Though ultimately an around-town jacket, this layer would also work quite well for low-output activities such as hiking on groomed winter trails. The semi-slim tailored cut is quite stylish. The Stormhenge is perfect for a night out or an afternoon of shopping.

When the temps suddenly warm up, the two-way front zipper is effective at dumping heat. Other noteworthy features include the insulated adjustable hood and the roomy zippered chest and hand pockets.

  • Insulation: 850-fill down
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.
  • Pockets:  Internal zippered pocket, internal drop-in pocket, zippered chest and hand pockets
  • Excellent warmth at a fair price
  • Effective pocket layout
  • Slightly limits shoulder mobility

Check Price at REI

Best Men’s Winter Jacket for Wet Conditions: Arc’teryx Therme Insulated Parka

Arc’teryx Therme Insulated Parka

On the soggiest of days, there is no substitute for a fully waterproof jacket. From the chilly city streets of Seattle and Chicago to the ski-in lodges of Aspen and Vail, the Therme Insulated Parka ($699) is warm, weather-resistant, and looks sharp.

Compared to other winter jackets on this list, the Therme is streamlined. Behind its clean, understated design is a long list of functional qualities.

We were impressed by the internal cuff gaskets that effectively seal in heat and keep out cold air and moisture. As a thigh-length parka, the Therme comes with a two-way zipper that improves range of motion when sitting down or stepping up into a vehicle. Some users report that this zipper is prone to sticking, especially in cold temps.

The main drawback of the Therme is it comes with a broad collar that tends to leak precious warmth. This issue could be easily fixed by accessorizing with a thick scarf. For extra protection, the large hood can be adjusted to block wind, sideways-blowing rain, and snow.

After testing out the jacket, we highly recommend the Therme for everyday around-town use. Though it falls on the more expensive end of the spectrum, Arc’teryx is known for its high-quality construction and long-lasting durability.

With 750-fill down on the inside and a rugged waterproof shell on the outside, the Therme is an antidote to cold weather.

  • Insulation: 750-fill goose down
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 4.5 oz.
  • Pockets: 2 zippered hand pockets, 1 external zippered chest pocket, 1 internal zippered chest pocket
  • Well-made
  • Attractive styling
  • Practical features
  • Large collar lets warm air out and cold air in
  • Small pockets

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Arc’teryx

Most Stylish Men’s Winter Jacket: Canada Goose Langford Parka

Canada Goose Langford Parka

Canada Goose down jackets are made to withstand freezing Canadian winters. The company uses closely compacted down plumage known for its ability to store and maintain warm air. From the fur-lined hood to below the hips, the Langford Parka ($1,495) provides serious warmth, even in sub-zero temps.

The fleece-lined hand warmer pockets built into this jacket are some of the warmest ever incorporated into a down jacket. A wide storm flap prevents heat from seeping out through the main heavy-duty YKK front zipper. Elasticized wrist cords and the coyote fur neck lining also function as a defense against warmth loss.

Because this jacket is designed with freezing conditions in mind, we don’t recommend wearing it in heavy rain or slushy sleet. The water-resistant shell is not able to prevent water from penetrating the down insulation in more than a light sprinkle.

For adaptability, the hood is removable, too.

We recommend the Langford Parka for everyday use in colder-than-average winter conditions — think Fairbanks, Alaska, or Fargo, North Dakota. Yes, this is an expensive parka. But for everyday reliable warmth, it’s an effective, reliable, and stylish tool.

  • Insulation: 650-fill down
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 4 oz. (S)
  • Pockets: 2 hand-warmer pockets, 2 chest pockets, 2 internal pockets
  • Very warm
  • High-quality materials and construction
  • Expensive

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Canada Goose

Best Men’s Winter Jacket for Extreme Cold: The North Face McMurdo Jacket

The North Face Mcmurdo Jacket

If you want a winter jacket that prioritizes warmth above all else, look no further than The North Face McMurdo ($400). With urban styling and a relatively affordable price, the McMurdo is built for people living in the coldest cities on earth.

Though the McMurdo’s down insulation has a relatively low fill power rating of 550, the physical amount of down included more than makes up for this. With a total weight of 3.5 pounds, the McMurdo is one of the heaviest jackets on this list.

Bulk doesn’t always translate to superior warmth, but in the case of this jacket, thick down baffles throughout equal toasty comfort. Thanks to an extra-long hem, the McMurdo extends down to the upper thighs to preserve warmth throughout the length of the torso.

This jacket is most effective in freezing conditions, so it’s difficult to rate its weather resistance according to how well it would keep you dry in a rainstorm. Frankly, if it’s cold enough to wear the McMurdo, you probably won’t be dealing with liquid precipitation.

With that said, this isn’t the most waterproof jacket on this list. It does have a waterproof shell, but if you’re caught in a heavy downpour, moisture will likely soak through. Ultimately, the primary purpose of the McMurdo is to keep cold air out and retain heat, and it does so beautifully.

Other noteworthy features of the McMurdo include a two-way front zipper, detachable faux fur hood lining, and fleece-lined hand warmer pockets.

  • Insulation: 550-fill down
  • Weight: 3.55 lbs.
  • Pockets: 2 zippered chest pockets, 2 zippered hand pockets
  • Incredibly warm
  • Stylish
  • Heavy

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

Best of the Rest

Marmot Fordham Jacket

Marmot Fordham Jacket

With an attractive price tag and supreme comfort, it’s easy to fall in love with Marmot’s Fordham Jacket ($325). Thanks to its high-quality 700-fill down insulation, the Fordham offers more than an appealing look and feel — it’s also super warm.

First impressions of jackets are telling, especially when it comes to comfort. Donning the Fordham for the first time feels like hugging a friendly down-feathered grizzly bear. When it’s cold out, you simply won’t want to remove this jacket.

Instead of the thigh-length cut of many other down jackets on this list, the Fordham features a standard waist-length fit. Of course, there are pros and cons to both styles. But we like that this jacket allows for leg mobility while sitting, walking in big strides, or riding a cruiser in cold temps.

Longer jackets are generally the better choice for everyday use in extremely cold temps. Yet we found the Fordham holds its own against almost any other jacket when it comes to maintaining a comfortable core temperature.

The Fordham really shines in cold and dry conditions. Though it does have some taped seams, it will soak through quickly in a heavy downpour of rain or sleet. For brief spurts of storm exposure between the car and the house, the Fordham will keep you dry. For anything worse, we recommend a more waterproof option.

Other key attributes of the Fordham include fleece inner sleeve cuffs, hand warmer pockets, and a snug removable hood. Though it isn’t the most feature-packed option on this list, its simple frills-free design offers everything you need in a reliable jacket.

  • Insulation: 700-fill down
  • Weight: 2.75 lbs.
  • Pockets: 2 hand pockets, 2 chest pockets, 1 internal pocket
  • Comfortable
  • Great value
  • Not fully waterproof

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Backcountry

Columbia Boundary Bay Long

Columbia Boundary Bay Long

Quality winter jackets are expensive, and price tags of $500 or more are simply not accessible for many shoppers. Enter the Columbia Boundary Bay ($240), a well-made and reasonably warm jacket available at a lower price than any other jacket on this list.

With quilted synthetic insulation throughout, this parka is a bit less warm but ultimately more versatile than a comparable down-filled jacket. Even in a severe downpour, the Boundary Bay will not lose all of its insulative properties. Its stretchy wrist cuffs also go a long way in retaining warmth in all conditions.

Overall, we were wowed by the warmth and protective capabilities of this jacket — especially considering its lightweight feel and low bulk.

A long, thigh-length cut and plush neck rib prevent heat loss and cold spots. Columbia’s OmniTech waterproof/breathable membrane is its proprietary equivalent to GORE-TEX, and we find it works almost as well on this jacket.

We wish all of the interior seams were sealed, but Columbia has opted to only include seals in the shoulders and other key areas. The tradeoff helps keep the price docked.

Hand warmer pockets with waterproof zippers are a welcome addition to a simple, impressive jacket. For an affordably tagged option, the Boundary Bay includes a respectable set of details.

  • Insulation: Quilted synthetic insulation
  • Weight: 2.86 lbs.
  • Pockets: 2 zippered hand pockets, 1 internal security pocket
  • Affordable
  • Good heat retention
  • Not fully waterproof
Check Price at Amazon

Mountain Hardwear Men’s Phantom Down Parka

Mountain Hardwear Men Phantom Down Parka

The Mountain Hardwear’s Phantom Down Parka ($400) is lighter and far more mountain-ready than most of the jackets on this list. Designed for expedition mountaineering, this parka is the perfect choice for hanging around on a frigid day at high-altitude base camp. This jacket also makes a great compressible option for commuting around town with limited space on your back or bike.

We recently used the Phantom Down Parka during a 3-day ascent of the Grand Teton, and it proved the be the perfect layer for the chilly late Fall conditions. After a flurry of snow shut down our summit attempt, we donned the Phantom and managed to wait out the storm in toasty comfort.

At just over a pound, the Phantom is quite fragile – it does not possess burly materials or non-essential style elements. That said, you could wear it in town and feel plenty warm, despite that its feature set is finely tuned for more technical uses.

This jacket is all about maximum warmth and minimal weight, and it certainly delivers. So if you are tight on space and need to be able to stuff a jacket into the small corner of your work bag or pack, look no further.

The extra long cut of the Phantom is much appreciated. On most wearers, the jacket’s hem will cover the thighs and butt, providing plentiful coverage that warms the entire core. The harness-compatible hand pockets are zippered, well-placed and spacious, even while wearing gloves.

Plus, the DWR finish will keep the jacket’s insulation (and the wearer) dry in light rain or snowfall.

  • Insulation: 800-fill down
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs.
  • Pockets: Oversized chest pocket, 2 harness-compatible zippered hand pockets
  • Very warm and lightweight
  • Ideal for minimalist travel
  • Semi-fragile outer material

Check Price at Mountain HardwearCheck Price at REI

Helly Hansen Tromsoe Jacket

Helly Hansen Tromsoe Jacket

The Helly Hansen Tromsoe Jacket ($320) is a versatile layer ideal for everyday use in cold climates. We tested this jacket while skiing and exploring in the Canadian Rockies, and it provided a rare combination of warmth, style, durability, and technical features.

Insulated with synthetic fiber rather than down, the Tromsoe is a bit heavier than some of the other options on this list. Still, the high loft insulation is among the warmest we’ve ever tested. Aside from the weight difference, the Tromsoe insulates as well as any comparable down jacket.

Two large front cargo pockets give the Tromsoe lots of storage utility and a uniquely stylish appearance. We managed to carry a phone, wallet, keys, snacks, and a notebook in the jacket with plenty of space left over.

In frigid and stormy weather, the Tromsoe’s built-in neck gaiter retains heat and keeps snow out. This isn’t the most waterproof jacket on our list, but the DWR-treated fabric won’t absorb small raindrops or melting snowflakes.

Ultimately, the Tromosoe’s greatest strength is its adaptability. It isn’t the most technical winter jacket on the market, but it thrives in a variety of scenarios. From cross-country skiing to daily commutes on public transit, the Tromsoe is a perfect go-to.

  • Insulation: 60% polyester, 40% recycled polyester
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs.
  • Pockets: Dual large cargo pockets, oversized zippered chest pocket
  • Adapts well to variable weather
  • Stylish
  • Heavy

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Helly Hansen

Men’s Winter Jacket Comparison Table

Jacket Price Insulation Weight Pockets
Patagonia Frozen Range Parka $749 700-fill down 2.74 lbs. 2 zippered internal hand warmer pockets, 1 zippered security pocket, 1 drop-in pocket
Arc’teryx Therme Insulated Parka $699 750-fill goose down 2.5 lbs. 2 zippered hand pockets, 1 external zippered chest pocket, 1 internal zippered chest pocket
Columbia Boundary Bay Long $240 Quilted synthetic insulation 2.86 lbs. 2 zippered hand pockets, 1 internal security pocket
Canada Goose Langford Parka $1,495 650-fill down 3.25 lbs. 2 hand warmer pockets, 2 chest pockets, 2 internal pockets
The North Face McMurdo Jacket $400 550-fill down 3.55 lbs. 2 zippered chest pockets, 2 zippered hand pockets
REI Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka
$299 850-fill down 2.2 lbs. Internal zippered pocket, internal drop-in pocket, zippered chest and hand pockets
Marmot Fordham Jacket $325 700-fill down 2.75 lbs. 2 hand pockets, 2 chest pockets, 1 internal pocket
Mountain Hardwear Phantom Down Parka $400 800-fill down 1.2 lbs Oversized chest pocket, 2 harness-compatible zippered hand pockets
Helly Hansen Tromsoe Jacket $320 Synthetic 3.4 lbs. Dual large cargo pockets, oversized zippered chest pocket
Deep hand warmer pockets and an insulated hood are key features on all quality winter jackets; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Why You Should Trust Us

Many of the folks behind GearJunkie dwell in Colorado, Minnesota, Wyoming, and other regions known for serious winter conditions. We’ve spent many seasons testing out men’s winter jackets in sub-zero temps and bitter winds, and the styles on this list are straight from the top drawer.

During our systematic testing process, we pay careful attention to warmth, insulation quality, durability, comfort, functionality, and style. From daily commutes in Minneapolis to mountaineering in the Tetons, we’ve put dozens of men’s cold-weather jackets through the wringer.

In addition to our first-hand experience, we consider the most popular, top-rated, innovative, sustainable, and legacy products across a range of price points.

Most of the men’s winter jackets on this list are designed for everyday urban use, so we conducted most of our testing while walking the dog on brisk January mornings and strolling through mountain towns in the Rockies. When testing jackets designed for mountaineering and other technical uses, we roamed deep into the mountains to conduct a thorough assessment.

As new men’s winter jackets hit the market each season, we’ll be sure to test and compare against our existing favorites. At any given time, this list will include the best of the best.

The Best Men’s Winter Jackets: A Buyer’s Guide

The term “winter jacket” is very broad and should really be divided into a few key subcategories. In this guide, we focused on winter jackets for everyday use without crossover into sport-specific winter jackets such as shells or active insulation layers.

Everyday Use

Jackets made for casual wear and everyday use are best for low-intensity activities such as commuting, walking the dog, and going out on the town. Typically, these jackets are made from heavier materials that are more likely to restrict movement and are less likely to breathe well.

You can think of everyday jackets as winter casual wear. While they aren’t ideal for activities like running or hiking, they probably have extra style points.

On this list, our favorite everyday use winter jackets are the Canada Goose Langford Parka and The North Face McMurdo jacket.

Performance Use

The second major category of winter jackets is for active use. When you’re running, hiking, or cross-country skiing, you want to wear materials that will support you.

Winter jackets designed for high movement do not restrict your body. To stay active all winter, it’s essential to wear layers that will keep you warm and support you during your activity of choice.

Within performance jackets, folks typically grab a non-insulated shell (also known as a hard shell or shell) or an active insulation layer.

Active Insulation

Within synthetic jackets, active insulation is another progressive subcategory to know.

These technical garments are designed to dump extra heat and dry fast, so you don’t have to remove the jacket during vigorous activity.

But these layers also need to be durable, warm, and wind-resistant. They ultimately won’t be as warm as a straightforward down jacket. It’s a tricky balance.

Shell Jacket

Shell jackets are designed for harsh conditions. Like wearable shields that defend against wind and rain, hard shells are meant to be your outermost layer. Usually, jackets in this category are specifically designed for use in unpredictable conditions.

Some shell jackets include insulation but many do not have any at all. For warmth, recreationists can stack a base layer and midlayer beneath that is tailored to their activity, personal needs, and the surrounding climate.

Skiers, mountaineers, and everyday users utilize hard shells for their windproof and waterproof protection. Depending on where you live, a burly hard shell may be the most sensible winter jacket option.

Insulated Jackets

All of the jackets on our list include integrated insulation. Insulated jackets are designed to keep you warm like a wearable blanket. We’ve included jackets with a range of insulation values.

Some of our selections are compressible and lightweight while others are denser, heavier, and offer more oven quality. The beefiest builds are best deployed in harsher conditions and during mild or moderate activity levels when the body isn’t generating as much heat.

Puffy expedition-style jackets like men’s The North Face McMurdo jacket come with lots of high-powered insulation and are most useful in truly frigid environments.

We should note every person has a different tolerance for cold, so the best uses of any jacket are also dependent on the preferences of the wearer.

Types of Insulation

Down Insulation

Made of goose or duck plumage, down is the warmest, lightest, and most compressible type of insulation on the planet. Most of the insulated jackets on this list are made with down. The other option is synthetic or a blend of the two.

When considering the warmth-to-weight balance, down continues to be better insulation than any human-made alternative. However, due to a few key drawbacks, down does require careful ownership and handling.

Down does not repel water, and it becomes useless when wet. Many down jackets on this list are made with water-repellent outer fabrics. Still, it’s extremely important to keep all down-filled layers out of the rain and water.

If you choose to wear a down jacket in wet conditions, we recommend pairing it with a durable waterproof hardshell. Some 3-in-1 down jackets are even sold with a compatible outermost rain shell.

On this list, the Canada Goose Langford Parka and the Patagonia Frozen Range are some of our favorite men’s winter down jackets.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation is designed to replicate the light and insulative qualities of down and retain them when wet. The quality of synthetic insulation is constantly improving, but it still generally lags behind in its warmth-to-weight ratio.

The main benefit of synthetic insulation is it’s far more resistant to moisture. Even when synthetic does become wet, it often still provides some insulative warmth. And it dries quickly, especially when exposed to wind and sun.

For those on a budget, synthetic insulated jackets are usually more affordable than down.

If you know you’ll be wearing your jacket in soggy environments such as the Pacific Northwest, consider purchasing a synthetic-filled jacket instead of down. On this list, our favorite synthetic jacket is the Columbia Boundary Bay Long.

Fill Power and Fill Weight

Fill power is a technical specification that refers to how much warmth and loft a jacket provides.

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.

For the most part, only down jackets receive a fill power rating. Most down jackets have a fill power rating somewhere between 400 and 1,000. 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

Casual-wear down jackets generally have a fill power rating between 400 and 700, while high-end performance jackets have a 700-fill rating or higher.

On the other hand, fill weight refers to the total weight of the down insulation inside a jacket. While fill power is often marketed more prominently than fill weight, both are equally important to the performance of a jacket.

The higher the fill power or 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, lighter, and pricier.

Down jackets are available with anywhere between 4 ounces and 20 ounces of fill weight. Comparing fill weight is most useful when all jackets in question have a similar fill power rating.

Weather Resistance

When selecting a winter jacket, it’s important to choose one based on the kind of protection you will most need. The best jackets are useful in a variety of conditions. But certain styles, features, and materials are better suited for certain kinds of weather.

Hood size, jacket length, and pocket design are some of the variables that will determine how well your jacket protects against the elements.

For wet conditions such as rain and sleet, prioritize a jacket with a waterproof shell. On this list, the Arc’teryx Therme stands out for its outstanding ability to keep the wearer dry.

Waterproof jackets come with taped seams and heavy-duty exterior material. Jackets in this category are also great for wind protection.

If you plan to wear your jacket in freezing conditions where it’s more likely to snow than rain, or you’ll be in a dry cold, a fully waterproof shell may not be necessary. Many highly insulated jackets, while not completely waterproof, come with a quality DWR treatment that sheds moisture.

On this list, The North Face McMurdo is one of our favorite options in this category. With down insulation and a lack of taped seams, this jacket isn’t ideal for rain, but it absolutely thrives in sub-zero temps.


Useful features can be the difference between a good jacket and a great jacket.

Hoods, hand warmer pockets, and cuff closures are some of the winter jacket features we consider to be the most valuable. When combined, these design details add significant warmth, versatility, and protection from cold conditions.


Winter jacket hoods come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. During stormy weather, a protective hood is mandatory.

Well-designed hoods offer ample customization and adjustability. Additional hood features such as a fur lining and a stiff brim are also worth seeking out.

On this list, we especially recommend the effective and comfortable hoods on the Patagonia Frozen Range and the Marmot Fordham Jacket.

Two-Way Zippers

Two-way zippers allow you to open the front of your jacket from both the bottom and the top.

In extra-long and thigh-length jackets, two-way zippers are essential for enabling leg mobility while sitting or stepping into a vehicle.

On this list, the Patagonia Frozen Range is a great jacket with a two-way zipper.

Hand Pockets

Not all hand pockets are created equal and can vary greatly in size. External hand pockets are located in the torso area of the jacket below the chest. Some designs offer a zip closure while others remain open.

A portion of winter jackets are built with heavily insulated and fleece-lined hand warmer pockets. We recommend lined hand pockets, especially for the coldest conditions when a pair of gloves is not enough to keep your extremities comfortable.

Hand pockets can also be a convenient place to stash your glove liners or keys while on the go.

On this list, we like the hand pockets on The North Face McMurdo.

Cuff Closures

Cuff closures allow you to create a seal around your wrist that prevents wind and snow from entering through your sleeves. Cuff closures include a Velcro attachment point and widths vary.

Jackets can also include interior wrist gaiters for extra warmth and protection, some of which have a thumbhole while others do not. Wrist gaiters can be difficult to wear with a wristwatch or bracelet but definitely help the insulation value, especially for halting wind.

On this list, the Arc’teryx Therme jacket comes with reliable gaiter-style cuff closures that fully seal out the surrounding conditions.

GearJunkie editor testing the insulated pockets on the REI Stormhenge Parka
Roomy hand warmer pockets are crucial; (photo/Eric Phillips)



What Is the Warmest Winter Jacket?

Warmth is perhaps the most important consideration when choosing a winter jacket. If you’re seeking maximum warmth, you’ll want to pay attention to the length, insulation quality (fill power), and insulation quantity (fill weight).

On the fill power spectrum, any rating over around 550 can be considered a relatively high insulation value. On this list, we’ve featured jackets with a fill power rating of up to 750.

When comparing jackets of equal fill power, it’s likely that the one with the greater fill weight will ultimately be warmer.

However, other factors play a role in the overall warmth including baffling, cuff closures, and exterior materials. Fill weight is a good start point for research but not the only indicator of warmth.

Extra-long and thigh-length jackets will be warmer than standard jackets of equal fill power.

Of course, the best way to measure warmth is to actually wear a variety of jackets out in the elements and compare how they feel.

After testing many different jackets, we’re confident the Patagonia Frozen Range and The North Face McMurdo are among the warmest winter jackets on the market.

Are Winter Jackets Waterproof?

Some winter jackets are waterproof while others are only water-resistant.

The key difference between these labels is that truly waterproof jackets have fully taped seams and a waterproof membrane. Jackets like the Arc’teryx Therme are excellent waterproof options that can reliably keep you dry, even in a severe downpour.

Also, winter jackets with synthetic fill are more resistant to moisture than down, which becomes ineffective when it wets out.

Should I Get a Winter Jacket With a Hood?

It depends on your style and preferences. With that said, hoods can offer lots of protection against various weather conditions including wind, rain, and snow.

While hoods aren’t a substitute for a warm hat in terms of insulation, they are very useful — especially during storms. All of the jackets we’ve included on this list come with hoods.

Some winter jackets include hoods that are removable, which is the best of both worlds.

Are Winter Jackets Expensive?

Winter jackets can be expensive relative to other kinds of jackets and winter clothing. On this list, we’ve included jackets that range in price from less than $300 to over $1,000.

Though it’s not strictly necessary to buy a top-end and expensive jacket, you should consider that higher-quality jackets often prove to be a better value in the long run.

Features such as taped seams, hand warmer pockets, durable DWR coating, and two-way zippers will increase the price of a jacket.

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