Unless you’re willing to undergo intensive cold-weather training that conditions your body to withstand freezing temps and nasty precipitation, you have to cope with the rigors of winter like the rest of us. When the chilled get desperate, the desperate seek proper insulation. Not only does it take the right body coverage to thrive this winter, but it also takes the right materials and construction. Don’t think you can opt to look cool and get through these next months wearing a leather jacket because that just ain’t gonna work unless you’re wearing Stallone’s sheepskin number from Rocky IV. There are plenty of great choices out there when it comes to styles and materials. We’ve selected some of the best winter jackets and coats for the impending chill.
The Best Jackets for Winter 2021
prAna Novad Path Jacket
We love the Novad Path because it’s both super warm and totally understated. The cut lands in a sweet spot between slim and full, and the Novad Path also happens to hit below the hip, managing to avoid being too short or too long. The polyester shell has a waterproof DWR coating and taped seams, and it’s packed with high-fill Responsible Down Standard certified insulation without looking like it’s been overstuffed. The dual-entry handwarmer pockets and collar have soft microfiber linings, and the interior arm gussets have 4-way stretch. There’s even a removable hood that provides great coverage and a tall standing snap collar that keeps the elements out.
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Peak XV Down Jacket
Eddie Bauer is a winter staple, making some of the best jackets of the last few decades. EB’s First Ascent line does not mess around, and the Peak XV looks like it welcomes the worst of winter. It’s actually built to withstand severe alpine conditions, so it can easily manage the worst winter in your neck of the woods. The hip-length jacket has a waterproof, breathable, and ripstop nylon exterior, and it’s filled with super-warm 800 Fill Responsible Down. The big hood can take on a ski helmet, and the tall hood collar withstands the elements. There are also plenty of interior and exterior pockets for easy small everyday carry items. We love the fact that the fit is roomy enough for layering but not bulky and cumbersome.
Jack Wolfskin Tundra Hoody
Sometimes winter weather calls for a warm down jacket that’s not overdone, to the point where it can be just as comfortable at 40 degrees as it is at 20. The Tundra Hoody uses recycled poly STORMLOCK fabric that resists wind and precipitation while remaining soft. Insulation comes from RDS-certified duck down, and the wide channels provide a flatter profile than most insulated puffers. It’s a puffer you can easily toss into your backpack for quick warmth, and it’s suitable to wear to the office, thanks to its clean looks.
Vollebak Indestructible Puffer
What do you wear during post-apocalyptic winter? The Indestructible Puffer is aptly named because of the 100% Dyneema Black fabric that’s 15 times stronger than steel but still soft and lightweight. Try to cut it, brush it against jagged rocks, or do a steel-cage deathmatch with your mother-in-law, and the Indestructible Puffer will survive. It’s also warm enough for -40°F with its recycled synthetic insulation, storm flap, and protective hood. There are six pockets for your small gear items, and it’ll have you looking like a winter-ready spec ops bad boy.
Filson 3-Layer Field Jacket
You don’t have to be a woodland hunter to take advantage of this serious shell. It’s fully waterproof, impressively tough, and very warm but still remarkably breathable to prevent you from getting chilled from perspiration. The rugged nylon shell receives a waterproof, breathable membrane laminate. The tricot backer provides warmth while dissipating sweat and moisture. The whole jacket is seam-sealed, keeping the elements at bay and you dry and toasty. Ample pockets inside and out mean easy gear toting. There’s even a zippered game bag in the back, so it’s ready for the weekend hunt. It even accepts Filson zip-in liners for even more warmth.
Fjällräven Övik Eco-Shell Jacket
When it comes to protection against the elements, the Swedes do not mess around. And Fjällräven has earned a reputation for supplying the best winter jackets around. The Övik shell has three layers of protection and a waterproof coating, so it’s both warm and virtually impenetrable. Add more pockets than Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket, a drawstring hood with a waterproof visor, and two protective zipper flaps, and you’re ready for just about anything. Did we mention that it also has two big flap pockets in the back? Talk about thinking outside the conventional winter shell box. This thing has it all.
Uniqlo Blocktech Parka
The Blocktech is proof that you can dole out a pittance to get great winter shell protection. The 2.5-layers of breathable polyester keep out rain, wind, and snow while dispelling moisture to keep you warm and dry. There’s also ample stretch built-in for great mobility. We love the fact that the silhouette and styling are minimalist, so it can be worn to the office without making you look like you’re Sir Edmund Hilary. The Blocktech Parka also comes with a hood, weather-proof front zipper, and five different colors to choose from. If you’re looking for a cheap winter coat that still performs well, this is it.
Schott NYC Wool Melton Peacoat
Don’t scrimp on things when you want a truly great Peacoat that does more than just provide the right nautical look. Schott NYC’s Wool Melton Peacoat is made with super-thick 100% wool melton and is lined with nylon for comfort and easy ingress and egress. The hang glider-sized notched lapels give the coat presence, and they stand up for ideal cold-weather protection. Deep handwarmer pockets and 31 inches of length provide extra warmth, and the fitted cut means you won’t look bloated, even after all that holiday eating. It’s also made in the good ol’ US of A, so you know it’s built to last.
Roark Axeman Wool Jacket
If you want the warmth of wool but don’t want to look like everybody else, this exclusive pattern for Huckberry will work in spades. Inspired by the southern Alaskan landscape, the coat has a unique jacquard pattern to draw the eye. But it’s not all show. It uses a wool/poly blended lining and a soft sherpa collar to provide warmth, and the metal hardware clasps keep the top of the coat secure. The handwarmer and chest pockets snap closed, and there are hidden ribbed cuffs for added comfort.
L.L. Bean Maine Guide Wool Parka
L.L. Bean’s winter jackets and coats have been trusted by worrying moms for generations. And this tried and tested Bean’s staple is refined, warm, and rugged. The wool body is coupled with PrimaLoft insulation for ideal winter insulation, and the classy car coat look can manage dinners out as well as outdoor chores when things get bitter. The storm flap and tab collar that button you up to keep the nasties out. The big pockets make glove and gear stowage easy, and there’s even a back gear pocket to carry a survival kit, making you the go-to guy when things get bad. It just so happens to be roomy enough for layering without making you look like John Candy after Thanksgiving dinner.
Bonobos Italian Overcoat
If your requirements for winter outerwear include style as much as warmth, look no further. This 3/4th length overcoat is rife with beautiful patterns and colors. You can choose Navy Donegal or a Rust Check pattern, both of which look great with jeans or dressier fare. The wool blend fabric is thick and warm, while touches like button-welt pockets and button-tab cuffs add a dose of debonair. It strikes a look like no other coat in this set, and we’re seriously tempted.