CAMPING & HIKING

Best 3 in 1 Jacket: Choosing Your Classy Cold Clothing!

Man and woman with 3 in 1 jackets
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Do you need a jacket that can work all year around? Are you having a hard time even finding one?

Finding a great jacket is like discovering a treasure that is both protective and classy. This is because most of the best 3-in-1 jackets are made to be worn all throughout the year. The good ones are made with high quality materials that perform well in any circumstances, and are well designed too.

Affordability and pricing power may vary for different people. However, you do not need to worry because virtually all the products we have discussed in this article are durable and have been argued by customers to be well worth the price.

Man with 3 in 1 jacket

Not only are we going to tell you what you need to look for in a 3 in 1 jacket, but we are going to give you several reviews so you can know what to look for when you go shopping. You will be able to figure out what features you like so you can find a great jacket. Are you ready to shop? Let’s go!

Product nameWeightMaterialWaterproofSpecific featuresPrice
Columbia Bugaboo 1 lbNylonYesBreathes well, durableCheck price on Amazon
Patagonia Snowshot1 lbPolyesterYesQuilted, adjustable hoodCheck price on Amazon
The North Face Momentum1 lbPolyesterNoBreathes well, stretchesCheck price on Amazon
The North Face Carto2.6 lbPolyesterNoMany colors, insulatedCheck price on Amazon
Patagonia Better Sweater1 lbPolyesterNoEco-friendly, versatileCheck price on Amazon
Marmot Ramble3 lbPolyesterYesMany colors, breathes wellCheck price on Amazon
Trespass Alamosa1 lbPolyesterYesAdjustable cuffs and waistCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

You can find all of that in these jackets, as they do combine two of the important layers (the insulating mid layer and the outer waterproof layer) to give you that protective cover. Although the two jackets can actually be worn disjointedly, they are made to be hooked or zipped together to give that classy, yet impeccably warm feel. Now, we are going to discuss the features you need to know about.

Waterproofness

Although we stated that the jackets should serve as waterproof shields, the protection can actually be attained by the use of a membrane or waterproof coating. Membranes are breathable and usually more durable.

Waterproof 3-i-1 jacket

However, if you must go for coatings, ensure that they are reproof-able. Because over time, they will lose efficiency as they’re exposed to the elements.

Breathability

This is another interesting and absolutely important feature that should not be overlooked. This feature allows your skin to breathe, which is important both in hot and cold weather. You may question why you need breathable material when it’s cold out: the trapped air should keep your body warmer.

However, breathability isn’t the same thing as insulation. Your body still sweats even when it’s snowing, and if the clothing you’re wearing can’t let this moisture out, it will stay on your skin and leave you feeling much colder than you realize.

Insulation

This purpose is based on the inner layer. This could either be a fleece or a soft shell and they both serve their various purposes. You want a warm, soft, and very cozy effect?

Insulation of 3-in-1 jacket

The fleece is your ideal. However, if you want a lightweight, stretchable, windproof effect? The soft shell will be a better choice. Go for jackets with inner layers of fleece that have about 200 grams of insulation or more, as they’ll most likely offer the protection you need.

Layer

Three-in-one jackets come with a variety of layers that can sometimes be unzipped from each other so that you can wear them separately and regulate your comfort more effectively. Nothing is more of a hassle than having to pack a wide variety of jackets just to counter any bad weather that comes your way.

That’s why these jackets are definitely the way to go when it comes to hiking or camping during the chillier months of the year, or if you’re planning to hike up a few summits.

  • Waterproof outer layer:This layer is designed to combat the rain and snow that you might encounter on your hiking trip. The moisture will just roll off this layer, leaving you dry and warm on the inside.
  • Midlayer: This is designed to retain body heat, as well as keep you dry by allowing the body’s natural moisture to evaporate from the skin. It’s usually made of fleece for insulation, or it can be a soft shell body.

Jacket with Different Layers

The great thing about these different layers is that you can wear them both together, or you can detach them and wear them separately. That adds variety to your looks, as well as your comfort levels.

Style

When it comes to 3-in-1 jackets, there are only two main styles for you to choose from. Your choice depends on how you want to look and feel when you’re out and about in colder climates, as well as what kinds of activities you’re going to be doing while hiking. These styles are:

  • Traditional style:The traditional style of jacket has a very straight-cut design to it. They’re more appropriate for general walks and hikes in temperatures that aren’t super cold.
  • Alpine style:The Alpine style, on the other hand, is much more fitted to the body. This provides a lot of room for comfort, moving around, and retaining heat better if you want to protect yourself against the cold. It’s best for hiking up mountains.

Alpine style of 3-in-1 jacket

It’s best to try on both kinds of jackets to see which ones fits more comfortable, but remember to keep their purposes in mind so that you can be adequately protected.

Top Product Reviews

Next, this article will explore some top rated gear that will help you to make the best decision when it comes to finding the right jacket for your needs.

Columbia Bugaboo 3 in 1 JacketColumbia Sportswear Mens Bugaboo Interchange Jacket

Price: Approx. $80

Weight: 1 pound

Material: 100% nylon legacy twill

Color: Dark compass

Specific features: Storm hood, adjustable hem

Best use: Mainly for skiing

Description: The Columbia Bugaboo 3-in-1 Jacket provides fantastic protection for the winter because it is made with a nylon waterproof-breathable outer material that is durable. It is also insulated with a liner that is soft and skin friendly.

It is suitable for several outdoor activities ranging from shoveling snow to a fun filled skiing. The jacket has an easily modifiable and removable storm-hood with a drawcord adjustable hem. The soft lining of the gear is an Omni-Shield advance repellent liner.

This liner keeps the body insulated and can be worn on its own too, especially in warmer temperatures. It can hold a lot of your personal items in its zippered security pocket, media and goggle pocket, and its zippered chest pocket.

The sleeves of the jacket have Velcro on the wrists’ ends, making it perfect for adjustments. Also the bottom of the Bugaboo Interchange is finely held in place with an elastic adjustment.

The best thing about this big and extended Columbia Bugaboo Interchange 3-in-1 Insulated Men’s Jacket, is that, it is warm, soothing, breathable and easy to pack.

PROS:

  • Comfortable, breaths well
  • Velcro at the wrists
  • Several colors to choose from

CONS:

  • Can run big
  • Feels stiff

Related: Since your hands will be exposed as with any other jacket, you need to keep them warm. You can do that with the HiCool Touchscreen Gloves, as they are made to be warm. You can use your touchscreen phone as well and enjoy the weather.

Check the price on Amazon

Patagonia 3 in 1 Snowshot JacketPatagonia Men's 3-in-1 Snowshot Jacket

Price: Approx. $200

Weight: 1 pound

Material: 90% recycled polyester

Color: Arbor & lemon green, classic red, underwater blue, and black

Specific features: Quilted, breathes well

Best use: For activities in the snow

Description: The Patagonia 3-In-1 Snowshot Jacket is an amazing product. It is so unique with its lightweight, quilted, zip-out liner which is insulated with 60 g Thermogreen that can stay warm even while it is wet, and is also compressible. It also has a helmet-compatible zip-off, which is a 2-way adjustable hood that has a visor that is laminated to seal snow off the wearer’s face.

The Patagonia Men’s has underarm venting for added breathability, and also has an embedded avalanche rescue reflector. This embedded reflector is a great attribute, because, it can mean the difference between life and death when you’re out in the snow. It is meant to make it easy for snow rescue teams to support the wearer in an emergency.

It has an outer shell that customers say is, without doubt, very waterproof. Overall, this is a warm jacket that will last a while!

PROS:

  • Zip out liner
  • Thermogreen
  • Rescue reflector

CONS:

  • Can feel bulky
  • Quite pricey

Related: In the bitter cold, you can keep your face warm with the Winter Thermal Face Mask as it is designed to fit over your face. It’s great for all winter sports and can be machine washed.

Check the price on Amazon

The North Face Momentum Triclimate JacketThe North Face Men's Momentum Triclimate Jacket

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 1 pound

Material: Polyester

Color: Tnf red

Specific features: Warm, has a little stretch to it

Best use: As a mountain jacket

Description: Going for the The North Face Momentum Triclimate Jacket is a choice that would be absolutely in the right direction. This is because the Momentum Triclimate is stylish outdoor gear that is stretchable and completely breathable.

It is designed to be seam-sealed and has zip-in-compatibility style that enhances its integration with the complementing materials that are used to boost the warmth. It is waterproof and has a fuller, very easily adjustable hood. The Momentum Triclimate has a brushed chin guard lining and two self-Velcro cuff tabs.

Made of a comfortable polyester fabric, you will not only stay warm, but also have a little stretch to your jacket with the small amount of spandex fabric added in. Users like the hood and the fact that they can take out the liner when the day is a little warmer. The price isn’t too bad either, as it will last you a while so you don’t have to buy a new coat next year.

PROS:

  • Velcro tabs
  • Seam sealed
  • Comfortable and stylish

CONS:

  • Moderately priced
  • Can get dirty easily

Related: If you are out at dusk, when it is getting dark, you can wear something reflective so you can be seen. The B-Great Reflective Ankle Band fits around your ankle and has reflective material so you can be seen in harder to find areas.

Check the price on Amazon

The North Face Carto Triclimate JacketMens The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket

Price: Approx. $230

Weight: 2.6 pounds

Material: 100% polyester and 100 g insulation liner

Color: Black, burnt olive/black ink green, high rise/vanadis gray, red/gray, snorkel/cosmic blue, sulfur yellow/black ink green, and vanadis gray/vanadis blue

Specific features: Relaxed fit, insulated liner

Best use: Boating and snow activities

Description: The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket is an example of class in the world of outdoor 3-in-one jackets. We can describe the jacket as a great gear for snow, rain and chilly fall or winter day.

It fortunately does not show stains and it has this ability to be unzipped apart so that the various layers can be worn separately. This jacket has been designed with very good sleeve lengths. At least, the sleeve arms are at wrist length, even when your arm is stretched out straight.

To provide softness, cozy warmth, unlike with all those rigidity and uneasiness you find with poorly designed jackets, the Triclimate Men’s Jacket zips up neatly.

Another unlikely great feature of this lovely jacket is that the hoods fit nicely, cover the entire head warmly, and shields the ear from harsh winds. Interestingly, it is easy to machine-wash the Carto Triclimate.

PROS:

  • Warm and comfortable
  • Waterproof, breathes well
  • Nice color choices, and fit

CONS:

  • Very expensive
  • Lining feels thin

Related: Keep your ears warm with some ear muffs! The Winter Wear Fleece Ear Muffs are under $10 and loop around your head. Easy to use, they collapse to be very small, which is easy to store.

Check the price on Amazon

Patagonia Better Sweater 3 in 1 ParkaPatagonia Better Sweater 3-in-1 Parka

Price: $100 – $120

Weight: 1 pound

Material: 93% polyester

Color: Navy

Specific features: Earth friendly, attached hood

Best use: Hiking, winter walks

Description: The Patagonia Better Sweater 3-in-1 Parka is a soft 1-pound 100% polyester fleece jacket that is colored with a low-impact dye process. This jacket was designed to be as eco-friendly as possible by using low dye stuffs, and was also constructed using low water and low energy.

It is made for travelers as a versatile, fair trade product that fits in properly for any occasion. It has two zippered hand warmer pockets that finely keeps your palm and fingers warm. It also properly protects the neck and all those areas above the chest region with a stand-up collar that has a zipper garage to help you control the temperature of your core.

The collar also possesses shape-in-place micro polyester jersey trim so you won’t have to worry about them flopping over and letting in the cold air. It is an easy to wear jacket that is bulk free.

It can also be layered under some kind of a shell, depending on the user or the weather. This is because the Better Sweater 3-in-1 Parker is made of a finely knitted and heated polyester.

PROS:

  • Comfortable and warm
  • Made with quality materials
  • Stand up collar

CONS:

  • Moderately priced
  • Not many color choices

Related: Beside the jacket, if the weather is frigid, you will need a scarf. You can get the Marino’s Winter Cashmere Scarf for about $20 and it is made of all cotton, breathes well and is comfortable to wear.

Check the price on Amazon

Marmot Ramble Component JacketMarmot Ramble Component Men's Jacket

Price: Approx. $200

Weight: 3 pounds

Material: 100% polyester

Color: Black, green lichen & green land, team red, cobalt blue & blue night, and cinder.

Specific features: Comfortable, reliable, breathes well

Best use: Skiing and snowboarding

Description: The Marmot Ramble Component Jacket is completely 100% polyester. It has shell material that is 100% polyester face fabric, that is a 2-layered membrane laminated cover.

For those who are polyester fans, who know the comfort polyester materials bring and the reliability of the fabric, then this is a tested and trusted product for you. With a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm and breathability rating of 10,000 g/m2, the Men’s Marmot Ramble Component Jacket is just awesome.

It is a product that makes choosing your winter garment easy. The seams are fully taped, which helps in shedding soggy snow and wintery rain. It has an underarm vent that is designed to maximize storm protection, yet provides comfort even in mild weather.

It comes in a variety of colors and they have many internal and external pockets that can actually store valuable things, and more than just your snacks. On the shells, the hook and loop cuffs and the draw-cord hems helps these jackets provide extra wind proofing and snow proofing.

PROS:

  • Great for all winter outings
  • Draw cord keeps wind out
  • Waterproof

CONS:

  • Quite pricey
  • Too many pockets for some people

Related: Be sure to wear some thermal underwear when in the outdoors. The Duofold Men’s Mid-Weight Wicking Thermal Pants are affordable and will wick away moisture. They are made of cotton and polyester.

Check the price on Amazon

Trespass Alamosa 3 in 1 Hooded JacketTrespass Mens Alamosa 3-In-1

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 1 pound

Material: 100% brushed polyester with PVC coating

Color: Black, dark navy, khaki, red

Specific features: Made with polyester, taped seams, windproof

Best use: Hiking, skiing and snowboarding

Description: This Trespass Alamosa 3-In-1 Hooded Jacket is a fabulous piece of gear. It has its high collar, full length zipper that is padded with tear release, storm flap, and a soft chin guard.

It also has this finely sawn chest pocket that has a zipper which is inserted on the right hand side of the chest. This 3-In-1 Jacket is very affordable and durable. It has this lined, concealed hood that is adjustable and the seams are fully taped.

The Alamosa is wind proof and about 3000 mm waterproof because of its Tres-Shield® fabric. The Alamosa has two double entry front pockets, and an inner pocket. The cuffs of the jackets are elasticated and has some adjustable cuffs and neat fleece cuffs. It has this superbly placed draw-cords that are fully adjustable both at the waist and at hem.

The 3-in-1 has a removable 220 gsm anti-pill inner polyester fleece which is just classic, and also has a full length zipper.

PROS:

  • Removable inner fleece
  • Waterproof and wind proof
  • Taped seams to keep water out

CONS:

  • Moderately priced
  • Feels bulky to some users

Related: Be sure to have some great winter shoes while you are enjoying the outdoors. The Northside Men’s Dawson Winter Shoes are about $30 and made of suede. The collar is padded and have some elasticity to them.

Check the price on Amazon

Concluding Thoughts

Now that you’re aware of the various features and what customers are really investing in, it’s time you go out and do a little window shopping for yourself. Check your local sporting goods store to see if they have any of these wonderful jackets available.

You’ll never lose the warmth that 3-in-1 jackets provide because their outer shells are made to offer a defense against the harsh elements of nature. However, they can also be worn alone, especially if it’s not too cold out and raining. Their middle layers on the other hand, are meant to be worn beneath the outer layers, which can also be worn separately.

Calvin Klein Mens 3-in-1 Jacket

The good thing is that the 3-in-1 jackets we have reviewed in this article are designed to keep you dry, warm, and looking very stylish. The jackets are also waterproof, and some are windproof too. Any weather your day throws at you, whether you are hiking, biking, snow skiing, or skating, the 3-in-1 jackets would do a good job. Just make sure the chest fits properly and feels comfortable overall.

If you shop in the off-season, you might even be able to find a few for a good discount. Try them on, see how they feel, and look for the features we mentioned so that you can ensure you’re getting the best price.

Have a jacket that we haven’t mentioned here? Share your stories in the comments section below, and we may even include your suggestions in a future article!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Jack Wilcox

    Purchased the North Face jacket purely because of their brand reputation and very glad I did! Whilst a lot of other three-in-one jackets seem to have a fleece inner, this one has a lightweight fabric which – if I remember correctly – is ‘down’. Can anyone confirm that? Don’t want to be giving out false information! The inner can also be removed so I’ve got a lot of use out of this throughout the whole year. No doubt helps that the UK doesn’t have a summer!

  • Daniel Carraway

    Jack are you referring to the The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket? A quick look at the manufacturer’s site and in Amazon that it’s not down but a “heatseeker insulated liner.” Hope it clarifies the confusion.

  • Lee Williamson

    The Columbia Bugaboo is brilliant! Bought it to wear whilst learning to snowboard so it’s definitely had its fair share of bumps and scrapes, to which it has held up very well. The quality of the jacket is second to none and incredibly warm. So warm, in fact, that on warmer days on the slopes I’ve had to unzip the jacket to let some air in. Better to be too hot than too cold anyway! Can always unzip the jacket if needs be.

  • Daniel Carraway

    Thanks Lee! The Columbia has always been a trusted brand, which accounts for its cult following. What’s not to like about the Columbia Bugaboo? The insulation is great, it is breathable – so you can do any activity in comfort!

  • Louis Stiltner

    I have always been a loyal North Face customer and my favorite is their Carto Triclimate jacket. The material is perfect and it will really keep you warm. The fit is excellent too that is why I have always considered it my go-to jacket. I am really happy I bought it.

    • Daniel Carraway

      That’s great!

  • Harry Tomlinson

    Bugaboo Interchange 3-in-1 jacket is the best one for me. I got one for snowboarding, but I ended up wearing it all the time. It really keeps you warm even in a very cold weather. I also like that it is large and very comfortable to wear. Two thumbs up for me.

    • Daniel Carraway

      Definitely a great product!

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