Layering up for winter weather – or any brisk breeze in general – is about striking the right balance. A situation that’s just right for your favorite waxed field jacket might not be well-suited for a parka, for instance.
Somewhere in the middle is the sort of thing we like to call a jack-of-all trades: That’d be one of the best fleece jackets, with a cozy interior and exterior build and helpful features aplenty.
Fleece jackets find their roots in the outdoors world, be it trail hiking or alpine skiing, with the ability to function as a useful outer layer or a mid-layer in especially frigid weather.
And these days, there’s a crop of fleece jackets that are both technical in nature and stylish enough for a few brewery beers. Shop these favorite fleece jackets ASAP.
In my experience, Taylor Stitch tends to take the classics, like the alpine-inspired fleece jacket, and spruce them up a bit. That’s certainly what they’ve done with the Carson Jacket, which is actually two jackets in one.
There’s the poly-blend navy fleece exterior, and then a recycled nylon lined interior, and you can cycle between the two easily. The stand-up collar delivers supreme coverage, too.
Is it possible for a fleece jacket to be elevated outside of casual territory? Taylor Stitch certainly thinks so, crafting a cozy fleece jacket with a reversible nylon interior and a useful stand-up collar, the kind that you can wear easily with a flannel shirt and classic chinos for winter outings. Lower patch pockets allow for easy EDC access.
At least in my book, Patagonia is a brand that springs right to mind when thinking of the best fleece jackets. The windproof exterior (which blends in recycled polyester) is cozy and made to stand up to brisk breezes, but it’s touches like the logo contrast patch pocket that drive home the classic nature of this piece.
You shouldn’t have to worry about whether a fleece jacket will deliver adequate warmth – at least, that’s my opinion. Columbia’s revamped take on the Steen Mountain Fleece doesn’t compromise, using two shades of polyester fleece for a stylish touch that’s also cozy, all at once.
Fleece jackets, by their nature, have a fun and vibrant appeal – it’s a nice way to add some casual color to the doldrums of winter. Cotopaxi hits the mark with this pleasingly ‘70s-inspired fleece, with contrast chest stripes and recycled materials top of mind.
Tracksmith takes what you know and love about the fleece jacket – namely, the warmth of high-pile fleece – and turns it into a winter running-ready design. They’ve done so by alternating high-pile fleece panels with ribbed panels for moisture-wicking performance and comfort. It’s a seriously souped-up fleece jacket.
Some fleece jackets are more casual, and some are made for the wilderness (or just a log cabin weekend). The North Face’s acclaimed Denali Jacket is outdoor-ready in every sense of the word, boasting heavyweight Polartec fleece and elastic cuffs that allow it to zip into the brand’s GORE-TEX Mountain Jacket.
Patagonia always strikes the right balance between technical specs and sustainability, rarely sacrificing one for the other. Here, they’ve lightened up the typical fleece jacket using stretchy, made-to-move 100 percent recycled polyester. The hood and customizable full zip make it ideal for active pursuits.
I trust Vuori workout clothing implicitly in terms of stretch, durability and comfort, but things sometimes need to be leveled up from technical T-shirts in terms of warmth. That’s where the Morrow Jacket comes in, blending soft fleece with durable woven overlays for weather-ready functionality.
Channel throwback vibes with this fleece jacket, which uses boa fleece for that signature textured, chunky look. Contrast piping and zippers also give this fleece a sporty, retro appeal, while the patch zip pockets provide essential daily carry storage space. Hemp cotton twill reinforcements add a sustainable touch.
Filson has long delivered uncompromising gear with heirloom design details built right in, which is something I surely appreciate.
They’ve applied that same ethos to this tough-as-nails fleece jacket, which uses hard-faced exterior fleece for weather-ready performance (and lofted fleece on the interior). They’ve thought of everything to craft one of the best fleece jackets.