It is finally that time to bundle up in our most coziest jackets. The breeze is getting colder. The sun is tilting farther away. The trees are beginning to shed their leaves and animals are preparing their deep sleep until next spring.
Winter is coming and it’s also an exciting time for ladies’ fashion to evolve into an amalgamation of couture and comfortable. We bring out the sweaters, the boots, the scarves, and our best coats to present stylish looks made for freezing days, though such things may not appeal to the outdoorsy ones.
For the outdoorsy girl, winter may seem like the time to sadly retreat into the comfort of our homes, wishing for warmer days while creating a bucket list of hiking expeditions we swear to take when the warmth of March comes back around.
But with the best women’s fleece jacket made properly for you and your outdoor recreation, the adventurous soul doesn’t have to hibernate all season long suffering cabin fever in suffocating turtlenecks.
With the proper fleece jacket, the outdoorsy girl can continue to climb mountains and trailblaze snowy terrain while staying warm and stylish.
Why You Should Consider Fleece Jackets
Fleece jackets are unique in the way they are designed to look like a combination of a comfortable sweater and a sports jacket. They aim to provide maximum comfort and style while giving substantial amounts of warmth from its soft, insulated fabric.
They are mannered with an active fit, lightweight in wear, designed to be comfortable, have plenty of breathability, and are methodically created to clothe the upper body firmly to retain and maximize body heat.
Fleece jackets have many chic features to complement the woman’s wardrobe such as their slim fit wear, tailored waist, silky soft feel, and coming in a variety of colors to purchase from. They can easily be paired with a stylish vest, scarf, or worn as an under layer for more layering. The versatility of the fleece jacket makes it a must-need accessory for the wintertime adventurer.
But with the many brands of jackets out there on the market, key features of a good quality fleece jacket are easily overlooked. So, what should one consider when scouting the market for a fleece jacket and does it differ that much from purchasing any active wear jacket?
There are central characteristics to look at when shopping for a fleece jacket and we’re here to help you pick one that will last you for many adventures to come. Below is a brief guide to assist you when looking for a good-quality, high-end, long-lasting fleece.
Features to consider when looking for the best fleece jacket that will fit your needs:
- Types of Fleece: Polyester, Synthetic fiber, Polar Wool, Vega Wool, High-pile raschel fleece. Look into the wicking ability of each fabric (the ability to absorb and dry moisture so sweat can evaporate quickly).
All of these are similar fabrics of fleece and they may differ in their surface and air permeability but they all insulate the jacket. The fleece that is used these days is a softer kind of insulating fabric that does not give the itch or irritation like regular wool.
Choose a feel of fabric that keeps you warm, gives you breathability, and does not irritate your skin.
- Degrees of Warmth: Low Bulk vs. Heavy Bulk. Choose low bulk when doing aerobics activities or as an under layer. Choose heavy bulk if you need an outer layer or extra-insulation.
Based on your outdoor hobbies, make sure they are compatible with harnesses and packs, if you need them to be.
- Fit and Style: Slim fit vs. Loose fit, adjustable hem, added accessories. Choose based on what feels comfortable for your body type. Slim fit is best for the activities that generate a lot of body heat due to breathability of fabric.
Loose-fit is best for more stationery activities and cooler temperatures. Make sure that the sleeves securely cover your arms and wrists and to help retain body heat.
- Breathability: Thickness, mobility, and air permeability of fabric. Look at the fit of the jacket. Low bulk is going to be more breathable and lightweight than heavy bulk.
Look at the fabric on the arms as well. Choose a loose-fitted armpit area if you partake in aerobic activities for faster wicking. This gives your body room to release sweat properly.
Determine what you need based on the outdoor activities and weather conditions you will be participating in. Make sure it is compatible with harnesses and packs if you need it to be.
- Weight of Jacket: Lightweight vs. Heavyweight. Choose a lightweight option for aerobic activities. They offer more breathing room and mobility for your body to move around.
hoose a heavyweight option if you need to add more layering in frigid cold temperatures.
- Pockets and Hoodies: Convenience and Necessity. Pockets can be convenient if you have valuables to store such as a cell phone or if you need to warm your hands. Many fleece jackets come with a variety of hand, sleeve, and chest pockets for you to utilize.
Hoods can add warmth to your ears, head, neck, and face. Some jackets add a neck gaiter to the hood for added protection. If you don’t feel comfortable with the bulk of a hood, there are many options out there that don’t have a hood or you can buy one that’s detachable.
Best Products to Keep You Warm on The Market
The information above can be overwhelming for the simple task of buying a jacket. So, we went ahead and picked out our favorite high-quality options to share with you. These picks integrate each detail in a fashionable form while also supporting the cause of protecting our environment.
For instance, companies like North Face and Patagonia use recycled soda bottles to create their jackets with. Patagonia even has a recycling program where they encourage their customers to recycle their old garments before purchasing new ones.
Whether you’re an athlete or just wanting to update your athletic looks, let’s help you make the investment in a good quality fleece jacket that is guaranteed to last you throughout this winter season.
Patagonia R3 Fleece Hoody
Type of fleece: recyclable polyester
Special Features: Fitted hood with balaclava feature, reversible, Polartec Thermal Pro knit
Best Use: Extremely cold conditions
Description: This reversible jacket is made of Polartec High-Loft fleece, giving a softer feel to the wool that is mostly used in the design of fleece jackets.
This Patagonia R3 Fleece Hoody is praised for providing significant amounts of warmth with excellent wicking ability, quickly drying any moisture that is absorbed.
It has extra stretch panels on the underarms for improved fit, shape retention, increased mobility, and resistance of wear and tear on the fabric.
The snug-fitted hood is constructed with elastic stitching to secure heat in the head, face, and neck region as well as having elasticity around the hem for similar purposes.
The jacket has two hand warmer pockets and an internal zippered chest pocket for added storage and convenience.
The zipper can close up the neck as well, providing guard for the chin for added comfort. It is compatible with harnesses and packs, has minimal bulk, is lightweight but has the versatility to be worn as an outer layer or as a midlayer when reversed.
This jacket is the warmest in Patagonia’s Regulator line and is specifically designed to be an ideal insulator for the most brutal of winter chills and plummeting temperatures.
This jacket would keep you very snug and warm for skiing or hiking trips in chilly alpine environments.
The North Face Osito 2 Jacket
Type of fleece: high-pile raschel
Special Features: Oversized collar, tailored waist, multi-sport
Best Use: Hiking, casual wear
Description: North Face’s best-selling fleece is re-designed with high-pile raschel knit, giving it a much silkier feel to the fabric. The North Face Osito 2 Jacket has a tailored waist to complement the feminine silhouette. The elastic hem gives it a comfortable stretch, creating a more relaxed and active fit and look.
It features an oversized collar for added snug and warmth to the neck and improved stretch cuffs for the sleeves. There are two hand warmer pockets with zippers for storage and convenience.
The improved updates on this jacket are praised for the improvements of its high-quality and luxurious silky fleece, providing sufficient warmth and snug, having the right amount of elasticity to increase the range of movement, and using a tailored waist to make it more stylish and compatible for the woman’s figure.
This multi-sport jacket would be an optimal choice for those casual day hikes in cool temperatures, or for a weekend dedicated to winter glamping, or for pairing with a chic pair of equestrian boots for an athleisure look.
This jacket is also made with 100% recycled content to help reduce landfill waste. Support environmental causes while looking stylish in this fleece.
Patagonia R1 Hoody
Type of fleece: recyclable polyester
Special Features: Power Grid polyester, multi-sport, fast wicking ability, odor control
Best Use: Mountaineering, rock climbing
Description: This optimal hooded fleece is specifically designed for multi-sport versatility. Patagonia R1 Hoody was recently redesigned with a power grid fabric, making it much lighter and more breathable with exceptionally superb stretch and durability. The polyester fabric provides sufficient amounts of warmth in a variety of temperatures.
Patagonia’s iconic R1 pullover is commended for its excellent wicking ability and insulation, which is a great feature to keep in mind if you are very active in demanding aerobic and outdoor activities. It features one chest pocket, two high hand pockets, two mesh pocket bags, and a zipper garage to keep the zipper pull away from the skin.
The raglan sleeves give this fleece a defined look around the collar while also increasing mobility and comfort to the arms. The jacket is minimally designed to combine elegance with active wear and can be worn as an under layer for more layering or as a top of its own.
It is pack-friendly and is best to wear for climbing days on cool, windy days.
The North Face Radium Hi-Loft Jacket
Type of fleece: hi-loft fleece
Special Features: Polartec Thermal Pro, open-stitch mesh, lightweight fabric to maximize compressibility
Best Use: Mountaineering, extremely cold conditions
Description: This exclusive hi-loft fleece jacket was specifically designed for alpine climbing and mountaineering. The Polartec Thermal Pro fabric is used to create this jacket’s characteristics of maximizing the retention of body heat in frigid cold temperatures.
The North Face Radium Hi-Loft Jacket is worn as a lightweight midlayer with an open-mesh design and stretch fleece panels to increase breathability, wicking features, and maximize mobility.
The secured fit of this jacket suitably protects and regulates body heat, resists penetrating winds, and increases the warmth-to-weight ratio of the person. It features two hand warmer pockets with zippers and a snug-fitted collar and has a soft fleece feel all over.
With minimal bulk and being harness and pack-friendly, this fleece is your best option to wear for a day in the backcountry tracking many miles hiking, mountaineering, or skiing.
Arc’teryx Women’s Fortrez Hoody
Type of fleece: recyclable polyester
Special Features: Fitted hood with a balaclava feature, Polartec Power Stretch, fast wicking
Best Use: Alpine conditions
Description: This Arc’teryx Women’s Fortrez Hoody is made of 100% polyester with Polartec Power Stretch fleece, giving it commendable qualities to withstand high-intensity activities in heavy-duty weather conditions. With a smooth outer surface from the abrasion-resistance fabric, this jacket provides substantial warmth, breathability, a comfortable stretch, and fast wicking properties.
The multi-sport versatility of this fleece makes it great to wear as a layering piece or a standalone top on warmer winter days.
The slim fit and trimmed hem optimizes performance, mobility, and breathability in demanding outdoor activities. It features two hand warmer pockets with zippers and one chest pocket with a zipper for added storage and convenience.
The hood fits comfortably snug and integrates a neck gaiter, a type of of ninja mask garment that will protect your face from the biting cold winds in alpine conditions.
This fleece has high air permeability and is harness and pack-friendly, making this an optimal jacket to wear for a day out rock climbing, ice climbing, and alpine climbing.
The North Face Women’s Tech Osito Jacket
Type of fleece: high-pile raschel
Special Features: Classic style, soft-silken fleece, tailored waist, active fit
Best Use: Hiking, casual wear
Description: The most classic and best-selling fleece from North Face’s Osito line, this fleece is made of high-pile raschel fleece, giving it an ultra-soft and silky feel and look to the fabric. The tailored waist compliments the female silhouette while also creating an active fit and style.
It features two hand warmer pockets with zippers and a zipper lining from the collar to the hem, creating mobility and the option to adjust at the person’s comfort. The cuffs and the hem have an elastic fabric to create a more secure fit while also retaining body heat.
The raglan sleeves define the cozy collar which is also insulated with raschel fleece for added warmth and comfort to the neck area.
It’s polished and classic look will inspire you to take a casual hike on any chilly day in your most fashion-forward sneakers or opt for an athleisure look in your favorite equestrian boots.
Marmot Flashpoint Jacket
Type of fleece: hi-loft micro fleece
Special Features: Lightweight, drawcord hem, tailored waist
Best Use: High-aerobic activities, hiking
Description: This lightweight Marmot Flashpoint Jacket is made with Polartec Classic knit, a high-lofted fiber structure that is designed to regulate core warmth.
This jacket has minimal bulk and is so lightweight that makes it versatile enough to be worn as an insulating mid layer and can easily be layered more or can be worn as a standalone top depending on the weather conditions.
It is best known for its excellent wicking abilities and the slim fit from the tailored waist, flattering the feminine figure.
This jacket features two hand warmer pockets with zippers and one sleeve pocket with a zipper for added storage and convenience. The elastic cuffs extend to the hand, featuring thumb holes and improving a secure fit to the hands and wrist.
The hem of the jacket has a drawcord string to adjust the fit at the person’s comfort.
This jacket is an optimal option for more casual outdoor activities like mountaineering and hiking. With the option to purchase from a variety of vibrant colors, this fleece will accommodate the outdoor woman’s winter wardrobe all season long.
We hope you find yourself a fleece jacket that will partner with, empower, and encourage you to going outside this winter season. Take these suggestions and invest in a good quality fleece that will suit your needs well in all your expeditions.
No matter where you are located or where you plan to be venturing to, the proper fleece jacket is out there for you. Each of our suggestions is linked to the amazon page for your convenience. Amazon also provides similar recommendations on the product page if you are searching for other kinds of sports jackets or needing an inexpensive option.
The list of features above is intended as a guide to assist you when scouting the market for a fleece. Each feature listed is encouraged for you to look into based on the outdoor activities you are involved in.
We recommend you purchase a jacket that is appropriate for your lifestyle, your gear, your body, and the weather conditions you will be involved in. Stay warm and stay safe this winter season and godspeed in all your explorations, fellow mountaineer.