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Updated Nov 4, 2022 1:54 PM
A winter jacket is one of the most important pieces of clothing you can have. Winter jackets are typically the outer shells you wear above base- and mid- layers. This is one piece of outdoor gear that you don’t want to skimp on if you plan on being outside a lot during the cold weather months. Not all winter jackets for men are made alike. All winter coats should have some water-resistant and wind-resistant qualities. But they’re made with different types of materials, which perform better in different conditions. Men’s winter coats and jackets also come with different levels of insulation. You should look for a pick that’s geared for the activities you love most and the conditions you’re most likely to face. (And don’t forget style. You’ll likely spend many days wearing your winter coat. Might as well get one that looks good.)
Best Men’s Jackets for Winter: Our Picks
Best Overall: The North Face Men’s Clement Triclimate Jacket
The North Face Men’s Clement Triclimate Jacket is great during fall, winter, and spring. North Face
The North Face Men’s Clement Triclimate Jacket is a one-stop wardrobe option for the winter outdoorsman. The jacket’s synthetic insulation is lightweight, and it will keep you warm and toasty. The North Face jacket is waterproof and features a durable water-repellent treatment and sealed seams. A powder skirt is built to keep the snow out. Best of all, the jacket is adjustable. Removable layers allow you to tailor it to the conditions. An underarm vent can be used to keep you cool in case you start to overheat. The jacket performs well whether you’re going skiing in the heart of winter or going fly fishing on a breezy spring day. North Face is a solid outdoor brand. This men’s jacket may seem pricey, but with the proper care, it should last you a long time.
The Legendary Whitetails Men’s Canvas Cross Trail Big Game Jacket is strong and durable. Legendary Whitetails
The Legendary Whitetails Men’s Canvas Cross Trail Big Game Jacket is a hybrid between a typical hunting jacket and a canvas work jacket. Durable 10-ounce sanded canvas will keep you warm and dry, and 210 grams of insulation give the jacket an extra kick of warmth. Large, double-interior pockets allow you to stash your gear. A removable hood allows you to tailor the jacket to the elements. Camo-patterned sleeves and and linings will keep big game from startling, while the solid color on the body of the jacket gives you a welcome touch of classic style.
Best for Ice Fishing: The IceArmor by Clam Rise Float Ice-Fishing Parka
The IceArmor by Clam Rise Float Ice-Fishing Parka is a phenomenal ice-fishing jacket. It’s waterproof and features 100-gram fixed insulation that will keep you warm during harsh days on the ice. Two-way storm flaps keep the moisture out and a waterproof pouch keeps your belongings dry, too. Zippered chest pockets and other large front pockets keep your gear in reach. Where this jacket really excels is safety. 3M™ reflective material offers safety during low-visibility situations. The jacket comes with internal buoyancy that provides floatation assistance if you fall through the ice. Buyer beware: The jacket is not approved as a PFD. You should still wear a life vest when you’re ice fishing.
Best Down Jacket: MARMOT Men’s Guides Down Puffer Jacket
The MARMOT Men’s Guides Down Puffer Jacket is one of the warmest winter jackets on the market. MARMOT
The MARMOT Men’s Guides Down Puffer Jacket is a high-quality down jacket listed at a reasonable price point. The 700 fill power down offers an admirable amount of insulation that will keep you comfortable during extreme cold. Moisture-resistant Down Defender treatment allows the jacket to keep working during mildly wet conditions, though the jacket isn’t fully waterproof. Velcro cuffs and a drawcord hem allow you to prevent heat leakage. This men’s down jacket is sturdy, dependable, and warm.
Best Work Jacket: Carhartt Men’s Quilted Flannel Lined Duck Active Jacket
The Carhartt Men’s Quilted Flannel Lined Duck Active Jacket is a classic work jacket for a reason. Carhartt
You can’t go wrong with a Carhartt work jacket. The company has made its name by offering high-quality, long-lasting canvas jackets. The Carhartt Men’s Quilted Flannel Lined Duck Active Jacket is the company’s traditional offering. The 12-ounce, firm-hand, 100% ring-spun cotton duck fabric provides warmth and durability. The quilted flannel lining keeps you comfortable. Two large kangaroo front pockets allow you to store your tools, warm up your hands, or both. Rib-knit cuffs and waistband help the jacket fit properly and prevent heat from seeping out.
Best Budget: EQUICK Men’s Waterproof Ski Jacket
The EQUICK Men’s Waterproof Ski Jacket is a great budget option. EQUICK
For under $70, the EQUICK Men’s Waterproof Ski Jacket is a great all-around winter jacket for men. It’s waterproof and windproof, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of insulation. Make sure to layer. The jacket boasts a lot of other nice touches, including adjustable cuffs with a thumb hole, soft fleece lining, and several well-placed zippered pockets.
Things to consider when looking for the best men’s jackets for winter
Want a winter coat that can do it all?
Men’s winter jackets can be versatile. You can get jackets that are made for specific outdoor recreation activities, but you don’t have to. There are plenty of winter coats on the market that do a fine job of standing up to the cold in a variety of winter conditions, from exploring the backcountry on cross country skis to playing with your kids in the backyard.
If you consider yourself to be more of a jack-of-all-trades than a specialist, consider getting a winter jacket that covers all the bases. The trick here is getting a coat that is warm and waterproof but also allows for some customization. This could take the form of vents or removable insulation. Either way, you want something that you can adjust to match the ever-changing conditions you’re likely to endure during the winter months.
On the hunt for a hunting jacket?
Most hunting seasons take place during the fall and winter. That means if you’re sitting in a blind for hours during the end of deer season or chasing elk across the alpine tundra of Colorado, you’re likely going to face some harsh, cold weather. You need to be prepared with a high-quality hunting jacket.
A good hunting jacket is fully waterproof not water-resistant, because hunting often involves mucking around in wet conditions. You should consider getting an insulated hunting jacket, which will not only protect you from wind and wetness but will keep you warm. Hunting jackets differ from regular winter jackets in their design. A hunting jacket will likely come with a camo pattern and may also have some high-visibility orange components. It will have large pockets and storage pouches to help you keep your hunting equipment close by.
Need fishing a jacket for ice fishing?
Ice fishing is not for those who are shy of cold weather. When your winter activity of choice revolves around fishing on top of a frozen sheet of ice, you damn well better expect to face some freezing temperatures. And that’s not to mention the wind. Many frozen lakes and reservoirs are hit by high winds throughout much of the winter. Even if you have a warm ice fishing shelter, you will likely still need to set it up out in the elements. A very warm jacket—and heated gloves—is crucial for ice fishermen.
Today, there are many men’s jackets geared specifically towards ice fishermen. As with hunting jackets, ice-fishing jackets have many large pockets and storage pouches to help you keep gear such as pliers accessible at all times. Many ice-fishing jackets will protect you from more than just the cold. They often feature safety features from built-in ice picks to floating qualities that will help you make it out alive should you fall through the ice.
Want to warm up with a down jacket?
When you’re in the market for winter coats, you’re likely to encounter lots of down jacket options. Whether you need one depends on the conditions you’re going to face. Down jackets, like down sleeping bags, provide impressively warm insulation. Moreover, they compress down into a compact size that makes them easy to store when you’re on the move. Where a down jacket struggles is in wet conditions. Down jackets typically aren’t as waterproof as other kinds of jackets, though there are exceptions to this rule. If the insulation itself gets damp, it’s game over. Down jackets also tend to be quite pricey.
An alternative for those interested in the insulation of a down jacket is to purchase a down midlayer and wear it beneath another winter jacket. This gives you the best of both worlds—the waterproof qualities of a real winter jacket and the warmth of down insulation. Still, so long as you’re not facing down a particularly wet winter, a down jacket is a great every-day option.
Need a work jacket that will keep you warm outdoors?
If you toil outside during the cold weather months, you need a work jacket that will get the job done. Jackets with polyester material will wear out quickly. Consider getting a jacket that has some grit. A canvas work jacket should do the trick.
Canvas work jackets are warm and durable. The canvas outer can put up with a fair amount of abuse, and it’s good for wiping your dirty hands on. The canvas is typically made out of woven cotton. This kind of fabric is generally water resistant but not waterproof. The good news is that you can buy a pre-waxed canvas jacket or apply wax to your jacket that will give it waterproof qualities.
How much do you have to spend?
Winter jackets can be relatively pricey pieces of winter clothing—and for good reason. A winter coat is one item of clothing that you’re going to wear often. It’s a good idea to get a high-quality coat that will keep you warm and last a long time. Still, winter coats don’t have to be expensive. Budget coats provide warmth and water-resistant qualities. If you go this route, you will need to pay extra attention to wearing warm layers under your budget jacket. These jackets also tend to wear out quickly. Don’t be surprised if you end up having to search for a new jacket after only one season.
Q: How do you choose the size of men’s jackets?
To size a men’s jacket, you will likely wear the same size as you wear in a long-sleeved shirt. The sleeves should reach your wrists but not extend past your hands. The jacket should hug your torso without constricting your movement.
Q: What is the best men’s jacket for extreme cold?
The best men’s jacket for extreme cold has heavy-duty insulation. Jackets with gore-tex insulation are a great option. Down jackets can be good, too, but they will struggle in wetter conditions.
Q: Do you need a winter jacket with a hood?
Not all winter jackets feature built-in hoods. Overall, getting a hooded jacket is a good idea, unless you’re wearing your coat in mild conditions only. You can wear the hood over a hat to offer added protection against wind and moisture.
A final word on shopping for the best men’s jackets for winter
Every outdoorsman should have a high-quality winter jacket in his closet. Whether you’re hunting, ice fishing, or working outside, get a winter jacket that matches your own grit. Stay warm, dry, and safe.
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