Contributing Gear Editor
Support our work! The Inertia may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn more about our gear review policy here.
Best Winter Jackets of 2024 Walking on Train Tracks

These are the best winter jackets of 2024. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia

The Inertia

We humans put out a considerable amount of heat. But when the mercury dips and the cold winds blow, we need something to keep all that precious heat from escaping into the frosty air. That’s where a good winter jacket comes in. It’s not just a piece of clothing, it’s a personal climate control system. It works by trapping the heat our bodies produce, creating a cozy microclimate that keeps us comfortable even in the most frigid conditions.

The following guide is your roadmap to finding the perfect winter jacket that suits your budget, style, and needs. Each jacket featured here has been put through its paces in our extensive testing process, carried out by a team of enthusiasts who are no strangers to braving the cold. We’ve been evaluating these jackets this winter since before the first snowfall, ensuring they are thoroughly tested and ready to stand up to winter’s demands. Our commitment is to provide you with an unbiased and detailed review of the best winter jackets on the market, without any favoritism towards specific brands.

So, if you’re looking to stay warm and stylish this winter, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into the world of winter jackets and find the one that will keep you cozy in the coldest months of the year. For more information, check out our Comparison Table, and Buyer’s Guide, and for women’s styles, check out our guide to The Best Women’s Winter Jackets.

The Best Winter Jackets of 2024

Best All-Around Winter Jacket: The North Face McMurdo Down Parka

Best Bang-for-Buck Winter Jacket: Columbia Landroamer Down Parka

Warmest Winter Jacket for Casual Use: Patagonia Stormshadow Parka

Best Winter Jacket for Mild Climates/Active Use: Paka Apu Parka

Best Technical Winter Jacket/Best Winter Puffer: Rab Neutrino Pro

Best 3-in-1 Winter Jacket: Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka

Best All-Around Winter Jacket

The North Face McMurdo Down Parka ($400)

the north face mucmurdo down parka was on our list of the best winter jackets

Length: Hip
Weight: 52 oz
Insulation: 600-fill-power down
Shell: 2L Dryvent

Pros: Super warm and cozy, weatherproof with great features
Cons: Bulky, no hem adjustment, too warm for milder temperatures

There’s plenty of reasons why The North Face McMurdo Down Parka tops the charts for just about any list of winter jackets you can find – it’s stuffed full of 600-fill-power down insulation, has a burly outer shell that’s not only wind and waterproof but breathable, provides hip-length coverage and is loaded with features like plenty of pockets, an adjustable hood with a removable faux-fur ruff, and more. Oh, and did we mention it looks darn good too? While $400 for a jacket certainly isn’t cheap, the bang-for-buck value the McMurdo Parka provides is pretty incredible, and the jacket punches well above its price-class.

In testing, we were most impressed with how much down insulation TNF manages to get into the jacket. Pulling it on feels like sheathing oneself in a cloud, and the jacket is very warm as a result. We found ourselves sporting this jacket with nothing but a t-shirt on underneath in biting sub-20 degree conditions in New Hampshire. However, it’s worth noting that the heft of the insulation does make layering underneath a bit tricky. Not that a t-shirt is all you can fit underneath it, but we did find that layering over, for example, a heavyweight sweatshirt resulted in a bulky fit. Overall, between the insulation and the durable outer shell, the jacket is not the most packable or mobile item. However, for a stylish and super warm jacket for casual use at a great price point, you can’t do much better than the McMurdo.

Check Price on REI Check Price on Amazon

Best Bang-for-Buck

Columbia Landroamer Down Parka ($300)

Columbia Landroamer Down Parka

Length: Hip
Weight: 49 oz
Insulation: 650 fill down, Omni-Heat lining
Shell: 2L polyester

Pros: Extremely warm down jacket at a great price
Cons: Power down fill and heavy duty polyester outer mean it heats up fast if you’re trying to limit moisture

Columbia has definitely steered away from its hardcore roots in recent years, but that doesn’t mean the brand hasn’t continued to make cutting-edge outerwear that works in the harshest of conditions. And comes at a great value.

The Columbia Landroamer Down Parka is an extremely warm down jacket that can take a beating with its rugged polyester shell, and will keep you warm in the meanest of storms. We tested this beast in real-deal conditions: cold days on the chairlift, frigid afternoons, and extremely cold snowmobile rides in the evening after long days hiking for turns. During each of those sessions we came away impressed with the jacket’s tough outer shell and cozy feel thanks to that 650-full-power-down. The inside of the Landroamer is lined with high-tech Omni-Heat™ Infinity lining. It looks futuristic with the gold lining the inside. But it keeps heat in extremely well and feels like it will last forever. It can also be frequently found on sale.

The downside is that the beefy material made for winter protection doesn’t breathe all that well, making this not our first choice for active pursuits, and if you do need to take it off and stash it, it’s not the most packable due to the tough exterior and plentiful insulation.

This parka is fairly specific: it’s for cold situations like sub-freezing chair and sled rides, or even sitting in metal bleachers at a late-night football game. But you’ll look good doing it – the cut on the Landroamer is stylish. If you’re seeking a cold-weather parka that will keep you warm in burly situations at a great price, this is your jacket. If you’re looking for something more breathable, look elsewhere. But the Landroamer is fantastic when you keep it in its lane.

For an even more budget-friendly option (and perhaps more versatile as well due to the thinner lining, just be ready to layer-up for colder temps) check out the Landroamer Jacket ($120) featuring a nearly identical waterproof/breathable shell with a polyester fleece lining.

Check Price on Columbia Check Price on Amazon

Warmest Winter Jacket for Casual Use

Patagonia Stormshadow Parka ($899)

Length: Hip
Weight: 42 oz
Insulation: 700-fill-power recycled down
Shell: GORE-TEX recycled polyester
Pros: Super warm, weatherproof, and sustainable with a clean aesthetic
Cons: Pricey

Making a claim to “the warmest winter jacket” is a tough one when the category includes arctic-ready powerhouses that cost well over a grand and are warm enough for, well, the arctic, but odds are that sort of jacket isn’t why you’re here, and as such, weren’t a part of this article. However there are plenty of reasons why you’d need that level of warmth, perhaps you get cold easy, or live somewhere that often produces near-arctic temperatures. If that’s the case, Patagonia’s Stormshadow is the perfect blend of supreme warmth and a clean aesthetic that is just at home on a city street as it is chopping wood behind the cabin.

And being a product from Patagonia, you can rest easy knowing this piece is one with a greatly reduced impact on the environment. New this year, Patagonia has finally begun working with the legendary GORE-TEX brand, having found a way to reduce the impact of the material on our environment. The Stormshadow Parka is one of the first Patagonia products to feature a waterproof membrane made by GORE-TEX, having just recently found a way to make such a membrane with recycled materials and without the use of preflourinated chemicals. And the rest of the jacket is super sustainable as well, made with almost entirely recycled materials, including the down insulation.

The only downside to all of this is the price. Sustainable GORE-TEX just doesn’t come cheap. And while there shouldn’t be any surprises about this fact, the jacket, due to its level of insulation, leans towards an overstuffed rather than a streamlined look and feel. That said, the jacket moves extremely well, and doesn’t weigh too much either as a result of the high-quality down insulation, so we definitely wouldn’t describe it as bulky.

Check Price on Patagonia

Best Winter Jacket for Milder Climates/Active Use

Paka Apu Parka ($350)

a static picture of the paka apu parka for our review of the best winter jacketsLength: Waist
Weight: 26.5 oz
Insulation: Alpaca fiber
Shell: Bluesign certified nylon

Pros: Lightweight, sustainable materials, remarkably warm for size, great price
Cons: Fit is a bit tight – not much room for layering, not completely waterproof

Paka is dedicated to changing the outdoor garment industry for the better by introducing their patent-pending Pakafill insulation made from Alpaca fiber. Instead of using oil-based synthetics or goose down that results in millions of dead geese, alpaca fiber is renewable and the animals get to live their best lives in the highlands of Peru. And the best part is that the jacket is decently warm. We took it out in freezing temps and stayed warm with just a T-shirt underneath. It’s not as warm as some of the heavyweights on this list, but that thinner insulation does lead to more versatility for a variety of environments, aided by features like the underarm pit zips.

The jacket is also very flexible with a stretch-shell exterior, ready for any types of adventures that come its way. However, it isn’t fully waterproof, so it wouldn’t be our first choice for multiple hours in a sustained downpour, but we were impressed by how well it performed during shorter stints of rainy conditions in San Francisco. This is a great jacket for people who like to move and don’t need heavy insulation or bulk.

Check Price on Paka

Best Technical Winter Jacket/Best Winter Puffer

Rab Neutrino Pro ($400)

Length: Hip
Weight: 21.3 oz
Insulation: 800 fill down
Shell: Pertex Quantum Pro

Pros: Awesome warmth-to-weight ratio with decent weatherproofing
Cons: Technical styling

Rab’s Neutrino Pro is a winner for a lot of reasons. First off, the down jacket is super warm and weighs next to nothing – it’s as warm as jackets on this list that are twice the weight. It’s also decently weatherproof – no, it doesn’t sport a waterproof membrane, but its Pertex Quantum Pro shell can stand up to a good bit more than a drizzle, and the down inside has been treated for weather resistance. It won’t keep you dry in a downpour, but it’s not going to instantly wilt like many other down jackets that claim to be “winter ready.” We found the fit to be fairly neutral, good for both layering over with a weatherproof shell or layering up underneath, and a full hood, hem and cuff adjustments help seal out the elements. The jacket also moves surprisingly well for a down jacket. Combined with the weight, you might even forget you’ve got it on.

The biggest downsides to this jacket come as a result of this jacket being primarily a lightweight down jacket for technical pursuits. Features like interior drop-in pockets or an exterior chest-pocket are left out as a result, and overall the jacket is geared towards weight and bulk-savings over convenient features and durability. If you’re looking for something to brave harsh elements in, around town or at home, you can do better. However, if you’re looking for a warm down jacket for high alpine ascents, ski tours, or other activities, that offers the highest level of weatherproofing while remaining lightweight and packable, look no further.

Check Price on Backcountry Check Price on Amazon

Best 3-in-1 Jacket

Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka ($699)

Length: Thigh
Weight: 31 oz
Insulation: 700-fill recycled down
Shell: Recycled polyester

Pros: Versatile, well made
Cons: Pricey, outer pockets aren’t good for hands

It’s nearly impossible find one jacket that meets the various conditions all winter. So having a jacket with a removable liner allows you to expand the range of climate that you can be comfortable in. Make that removable liner a stylish down jacket on its own, and you instantly have three unique jacket options where the warm liner and waterproof shell can either be used on their own or together as one super-jacket.

There are many different 3-in-1 jackets available today, but we appreciated the simplistic design of Patagonia’s Tres 3-in-1 Parka. It’s well-designed for comfort and protection from the elements, with the only design grumble from us being the outer pockets. If they were a bit more accessible for the hands it would have been one of our top picks, but that aside, everything else about the jacket is top-notch. Plus, it’s got Patagonia’s lifetime repair guarantee, which we always appreciate (and have taken advantage of more times than we can count). It’s pricey, but you’re getting a lot of jacket for what you pay for. Read our full review of the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 here.

Check Price on Patagonia

Best of the Rest

Runner-Up Best Overall

Outdoor Research Stormcraft Down Parka ($549)

Length: Below hip (35″)
Weight: 46.2 oz
Insulation: 700+ fill power down
Shell: Polyester

Pros: Burly design, warm
Cons: Stiff outer fabric, a bit roomy which is great for layering, not so much for wearing the jacket by itself.

Outdoor Research didn’t skimp when it comes to the Stormcraft Down Parka. OR is known for bang-for-buck value in the outdoors world, so the fact that this jacket retails for $549, placing this solidly above the “value” category and moving more into the “mid-tier” price range, should tell you that this jacket is chock-full of top-tier value. That said, you can also take our word for that fact. The 2L shell is equipped for maximum weatherproofing, with a high-denier (read: super durable) face fabric, and GORE-TEX waterproof/breathable membrane, keeping us dry and warm whether it was dumping snow, sleet, or rain. The jacket also comes with a full suite of features including an adjustable hem and interior drop-in pocket, a snap placket, and wrist gaiters with thumb holes (all of which were left out on our top pick, the TNF McMurdo).

The biggest downside is that the super-durable face fabric comes at a cost in terms of ease-of-movement. Secondly, the roomy fit, while great for layering underneath, is not quite at good at insulating by itself as, for example, the fit of the McMurdo Down Parka. The slightly roomier fit and stiffer face fabric, but mostly the price, is what dropped this jacket down behind the McMurdo for Best Overall, but if you’re willing to shell out a bit more for a better feature-set, and don’t mind a bit more room underneath (or are willing to size-down), the Stormcraft should fit the bill nicely.

Check Price on REI

Runner-Up Best Value

REI Co-Op Stormhenge Down Parka ($299)

Length: Thigh
Weight: 35 oz
Insulation: 850 fill power goose down (bluesign approved)
Shell: Recycled nylon

Pros: Great value in a winter jacket, robust waterproofing, warmth, and features
Cons: Fit can be tricky, worth checking the charts and maybe sizing up

Winter jackets are pricey, there’s no two-ways around it. And when “budget” often translates to poor craftsmanship and materials, it can be hard to find options that will save you a buck but also deliver on warmth and weatherproofing when you need it. REI Co-op’s in-house gear is known for keeping a few extra bucks in your pocket without compromising on quality, with a sustainable bent, to boot. And the Stormhenge jacket is no exception to that rule, with solid warmth, great waterproofing with a 2L shell and full seam-sealing, a robust feature set, and sustainable elements, all for under $300.

The biggest problem we ran into with this jacket was the fit. Winter jackets lean towards a roomier fit, all the better for layering up underneath when the temps drop. And REI is no slouch in this category, offering the jacket in sizes up to 3XL, as well as plus sizes for women. However, the size medium that our tester tried out (he’s usually a true-to-size medium) fit fairly small, especially in the shoulders and chest area, making layering underneath fairly difficult. With this jacket, we recommend double-checking the size charts, and sizing up if you’re on the fence.

Check Price on REI

Classic Style

Fjallraven Nuuk Parka ($500)

Length: Thigh (34.6″)
Weight: 64 oz
Insulation: 250g polyester
Shell: Recycled polyamide

Pros: Warm, with room for layering, great style, lots of pockets
Cons: Heavy, is there such a thing as too many pockets?

Fjallraven’s Nuuk Parka has been a staple in the winter jacket world for a while now, and there’s no surprises as to why. The jacket is a hefty and durable winter companion, with everything you’d expect in a winter jacket as well as a roomy fit for layering, tons of pockets (10!), a removable faux-fur ruff, and more. Putting the jacket on is a luxurious experience, and the jacket has a nice weight to it that you don’t find in many other winter jackets. That’s due to the synthetic insulation, which is a good bit heavier than the down most other jackets here use, but is just as warm.

The shell material also fits the burly nature of the jacket, it’s wind/waterproof, and for how durable it is, surprisingly flexible. There’s an old-school/retro feel to this jacket, that belies the more technical features. It’s also hard to deny that the jacket has style. With all that in mind, it’s worth noting that while the hefty weight may have a nice “weighted blanket” feel, it’s not super practical for carrying around, and doesn’t pack small due to the synthetic insulation. And while $500 isn’t expensive, per-se, there are better bang-for-buck options available here. However, with the durability and styling in mind, if you’re looking to buy one winter jacket for the rest of your life, this would be a great call.

Check Price on REI Check Price on Amazon

Best Warmth-to-Weight Ratio

Rab Mythic Ultra ($495)

Rab mythic ultra winter jacketLength: Hip
Weight: 18.8 oz
Insulation: 900 fill hydrophobic down
Shell: Pertex Quantum

Pros: Super warm, very light, packs down small
Cons: Shell is not waterproof and not the most durable

Another option from Rab, the Mythic Ultra lives up to the name with a mythical level of lightweight warmth. The jacket is made with 900-fill-power down, the highest fill-power in this review, and despite weighing just under 20 oz, it’s easily one of the top three warmest jackets we reviewed here. Not to mention that it packs down to less than the size of a football in the included stuff sack.

Where this jacket comes up short is the results of its lightweight design. The jacket’s shell fabric is super lightweight and as a result is not the most weatherproof. It can take on a light drizzle, maybe a bit more than that thanks to the hydrophobic down, but that’s it. It’s also not super durable, but that said, we’ve been testing this jacket for over a year now and have yet to do any serious damage to it beyond a couple of small rips. The price is another limiting factor, as you’re really paying a good chunk of cash here for a jacket that only provides limited weight savings and warmth gains over, for example, its littler (but my no means little) brother, the Rab Neutrino Pro, above.

Check Price on Backcountry Check Price on Amazon

Best Stretch Puffer Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka ($340)

Length: Hip
Weight: 26 oz
Insulation: 700-fill goose down
Shell: 86% nylon, 14% elastane

Pros: Super comfortable Stretchdown construction wears like a puffy sweatshirt
Cons: No/minimal weatherproofing, boxy fit.

Down jackets with a stretchy outer shell are all the rage these days and Mountain Hardwear has proven itself to be a leader in the category with its Stretchdown line of insulated clothing. Down jackets are a staple of modern outdoors-wear, with down having the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any type of insulation. However, where down jackets have often struggled is the shell fabric, which is often not the most durable, and can be restrictive as it doesn’t really move with you.

Enter the stretch down revolution, with companies producing jackets with a stretchy outer shell fabric that provides more natural ease-of-movement, and greater durability. And the Stretchdown Parka hits the nail on the head when it comes to these elements. The stretch fabric makes the jacket feels more like a sweatshirt than a down parka, with none of the “crinkliness” you normally get with a down shell. Furthermore, the Stretchdown Parka packs the heat with a winter-ready amount of 700-fill-power down, plenty of pockets, and a great (albeit slightly boxy and oversized) fit with a hip-length cut for added coverage. It’s not waterproof, or quite as warm as some other jackets on this list, but given the comfort and style we couldn’t help but include it.

Check Price on REI Check Price on Amazon

Best for the City

Helly Hansen Urban Pro Down Coat 2.0 ($475)

Length: Knee
Weight: 42.3 oz
Insulation: 600 fill Allied Feather and Down
Shell: Polyamide

Pros: Stylish, extra coverage and versatile warmth
Cons: Not the warmest winter jacket

It’s in the name: Helly Hansen’s sleek Urban Pro Down Coat 2.o was made for the city. The jacket features a warm, but not overly stuffed 600-fill-power down lining, and a waterproof/breathable shell that is durable, but not stiff and moves incredibly well, especially when compared to the heftier shell fabrics many jackets on this list make use of. A knee-length cut ensures that city rain and bad weather won’t be ruining your evening, keeping you dry as you get from point A to point B.

The jacket doesn’t have quite the level of insulation as others on this list, making it better for city use/milder climates, but there is plenty of room for layering underneath should you need it.

Check Price on Helly Hansen Check Price on Amazon

Runner-Up Best for the City

Patagonia Jackson Glacier Parka ($499)

Patagonia Jackson Glacier Parka

Length: Thigh
Weight: 40.3 oz
Insulation: 700-fill recycled down
Shell: Bluesign certified nylon

Pros: Technical parka with great styling and trim fit
Cons: There are warmer and more weatherproof options out there

For those looking for style, warmth, and sustainability, look no further. Patagonia’s Jackson Glacier Parka has all three. This jacket was designed to cross over somewhat between a fashion-forward design and more technical elements, with a definite emphasis on looking good. We found the jacket to be warm, decently weatherproof, and loved the trim fit and styling. The trim fit is also helpful for keeping warm without having to layer up underneath, making this a great city coat to transition from outdoors to indoors easily. The jacket has a good selection of pockets, two chest pockets, two handwarmer pockets, and an interior media pocket, but no drop-in pocket, and the hood is removable if it’s not your style.

What kept this jacket out of our top picks was the relatively low waterproofing – the jacket can stand up to a bit of rain, but it lacks a waterproof/breathable membrane for the ultimate sealing-out of the elements, and we found the jacket began to take on some water in a sustained downpour. For a $500 dollar parka, we’d expect a higher level of waterproofing. That said, for true winter, or the ins and outs of city life, this was not a huge issue.

Check Price on Patagonia

Best Aprés-Style

Helly Hansen Active Long Winter Parka ($350)

Helly Hansen Active Long Winter Parka in WhiteLength: Knee
Weight: 49.3 oz
Insulation: Polyester
Shell: Polyester

Pros: Cozy long puffer at a surprisingly good price
Cons: Synthetic insulation is heavier than down and doesn’t pack well

Sometimes, you gotta stand out from the crowd, and that’s pretty easy to do in Helly Hansen’s Active Long Winter Parka. Made with city life in mind, we found the Active Long Winter Parka best suited to the aprés-scene. After a long day of skiing, it’s what we reached for as we changed out of our ski boots and into our dancing shoes. The jacket brings oodles of style, especially in the all-white colorway we tested. Just watch out for that parking lot grime!

The HH website describes this piece as “inspired by an active lifestyle in and around the city,” and while the style is certainly up to snuff for urban adventures, the use of all-synthetic insulation makes this piece tough to carry when you transition to the indoors, and reducing the versatility. It’s also not waterproof, (unless you count the PFC-free DWR coating) but the synthetic insulation does a good job of keeping you warm even when a bit of rain soaks in, as we found on a wet afternoon at Palisades Tahoe. All that said, if you’re willing to take fashion over function, you’d be hard pressed to do better, and the $350 price-tag is a steal for the primo looks on offer here.

Check Price on Helly Hansen Check Price on Amazon

Mountain Hardwear Nevadan Parka ($330)

Length: Hip
Weight: 31 oz
Insulation: 650-fill down
Shell: Ripstop nylon

Pros: Warm down jacket with a decently weatherproof exterior for just over $300
Cons: Not the warmest or most weatherproof option

Mountain Hardwear, like OR is known for their bang-for-buck outdoors gear, especially when it comes to winter. And the Nevadan Parka is proof of that fact, clocking in as a warm and versatile winter jacket for just over $300. The down insulation is cozy and plentiful, the fit is spot-on, and there’s plenty of pockets, including two “drop-in beverage pockets,” one on either hip, to stash your bevvies for that cold game-day tailgate, parking-lot aprés, or hang-time around the campfire.

That said, we found there are better bang-for-buck products on the market when it comes to winter jackets. The ripstop shell, while a step up over ultra lightweight down jacket shells in terms of durability and waterproofing, still doesn’t come close to the level of weatherproofing or durability that you get in a jacket like the TNF McMurdo or OR Stormcraft. And the down insulation, while significant, is not on quite the same level as our top pick and runner-up. However, this jacket does move significantly better than either of those options due to the lighter shell material, so it’s up to you to decide what to prioritize based on your needs.

Check Price on Backcountry Check Price on Amazon

Arc’teryx Beta Down ($1,000)

Length: Waist
Weight: 26.8 oz
Insulation: 850 fill down, CoreLoft polyester (bluesign approved)
Shell: 2L GORE-TEX

Pros: Incredibly warm + weatherproof, well-made
Cons: The most expensive jacket of the lot

We’ll address the elephant in the room right off the bat: this jacket is expensive. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about that. And while some of that cost may be due to the fact that Arc’teryx is a brand name that people pay a premium for, the reputation is more than just hype; their jackets are both well-designed and well-built. The Beta Down jacket gives an incredibly warm insulating layer to their ever-popular Beta shell, providing an amazing combo of waterproofing, breathability, and warmth. This is the type of jacket where you don’t want to let a blizzard get in the way of a good time outside. It’s a bit of a shorter cut than other jackets we tested, but that allows for optimum movement outside for anything from ice climbing to building the ultimate snow fort, and staying toasty the whole time.

Check Price on Arc'teryx

Columbia Toyama Pass ($300)

Length: Thigh (38″)
Weight: 44.8 oz
Insulation: 700 fill down, Omni-Heat lining
Shell: Polyester

Pros: Warm and weatherproof winter jacket at a great price
Cons: Style may not be for everyone

When it comes to warm and weatherproof winter jackets, it’s hard to believe the Toyama Pass costs just $300 (and is frequently on sale for as low as $225). The jacket features 700-fill down insulation, and a waterproof-breathable shell that will keep you dry in the nastiest of conditions. A thigh-length fit helps keep the warmth in, as does Columbia’s Omni-Heat thermal lining. Features-wise, the jacket comes with an adjustable hood, and three pockets, two hand, and one chest, and (importantly for jackets of this length) a two-way zipper, and adjustable cuffs.

Given the $300 dollar price tag, we were surprised by just how warm and premium-feeling the jacket is. Furthermore, the shell fabric is much more mobile than some other jackets we reviewed here, keeping your movements unrestricted despite the jacket’s heft. The downsides are few, but significant. First off, the style may not be for everyone, from the longer cut to the flashy gold interior. Three pockets is also fairly minimal for a winter jacket. Another great value option from Columbia that we tested is the Landroamer Down Parka. Featuring more of a traditional parka style with plenty of pockets, a removable hood, and a hip-length cut, the Landroamer clocks in with just a bit lower-quality down than the Toyama Pass (650-fill rather than 700) which, along with the warmth provided by the full length cut, had us give the edge to the Toyama Pass.

Check Price on BackcountryCheck Price on Columbia

Roark Axeman ($200)

Length: Hip
Weight: N/A
Insulation: Polyester/Wool
Shell: No shell

Pros: Warm and stylish, flannel-esque feel
Cons: Can get waterlogged in a downpour

This is a thick, heavier jacket that has a burly feel for all the right reasons. It’s comfortable, looks rugged, yet can be worn out on the town or serve as a good jacket for outdoor chores without fear of getting it dirty or causing a tear. It’s one of those jackets that may not have any fancy trademarked materials but quickly became a go-to thanks to the comfort and versatility factor. Even though it doesn’t have a waterproof shell, it took a lot for it to get soaked through. It wasn’t the warmest jacket we tried, but for milder winters and late fall/early spring this is more than enough warmth for most cases. Add in the classic look and a bonus pocket that perfectly fits a smartphone, and this jacket has a great combo of throwback style and modern utility.

Check Price on Evo

Best Winter Jackets Comparison Table

Name Price Length Weight Insulation Shell
The North Face McMurdo Down Parka $400 Hip 52 oz 600-fill down 2L Dryvent
Columbia Landroamer Down Parka $300 Hip 49 oz 650-fill down 2L polyester
Patagonia Stormshadow $899 Waist 42 oz 700-fill recycled down GORE-TEX recycled polyester
Paka Apu Parka $350 Waist 26.5 oz Pakafill 130 GSM Alpaca fiber Bluesign approved nylon
Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 $699 Thigh 47.3 oz 700-fill recycled down Recycled polyester
Fjallraven Nuuk Parka $500 Hip 64 oz 250g polyester Recycled polyamide
Helly Hansen Urban Pro Down Coat 2.0 $475 Knee 42.3 oz 600-fill Allied Feather down Polyamide
Helly Hansen Active Long Parka $350 Knee 49.3 oz Polyester Polyester
Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka $340 Hip 26 oz 700-fill goose down 86% nylon, 14% elastane
Patagonia Jackson Glacier $499 Thigh 40.3 oz 700-fill recycled down 2L recycled polyester
Rab Neutrino Pro $400 Hip 21.3 oz 800-fill down Pertex Quantum Pro
Rab Mythic Ultra $495 Hip 18.8 oz 900-fill hydrophobic down Pertex Quantum
Outdoor Research Stormcraft Down Parka $549 Thigh (38 in) 46.2 oz 700-fill down Polyester
REI Co-Op Stormhenge Down Parka $299 Thigh 35 oz 850-fill goose down (bluesign approved) Recycled nylon
Mountain Hardwear Nevadan Parka $198 Waist 31 oz 650 fill down Ripstop nylon
Arc’teryx Beta Down $1,000 Waist 26.8 oz 850-fill down, CoreLoft polyester (bluesign approved) 2L GORE-TEX
Columbia Toyama Pass $225 Knee 44.8 oz 700-fill down, Omni-heat Polyester
Roark Axeman $200 Hip N/A Polyester/wool No shell

Winter Jackets in the Closet

A selection of our top picks, ready for testing in Truckee, California. Photo: Will Sileo/The Inertia

How We Tested The Best Winter Jackets

Our two lead testers for this review were Steve Andrews and Will Sileo from The Inertia‘s Gear Team. Steve, based in coastal British Columbia, Canada, knows a thing or two about winter and staying warm in it. He has also seen a lot of gear, both good and bad, as The Inertia‘s lead snowboarding gear tester, and knows what to look for in a winter jacket. Furthermore, the coastal climate of Whistler, BC which Steve calls home, is a top-notch testing ground for winter jackets, with a mix of truly cold, and truly wet days that will push a winter jacket to its limits and show us what they’re truly made of.

Will, who splits his time during the winters between San Francisco and Truckee, California, brings a different type of perspective to the winter jacket game – one tempered with an attention to winters that often involve rain instead of snow, as well as milder temperatures, and an emphasis on urban-ready styling. We also had The Inertia’s Senior Managing Editor Joe Carberry take a few winter jackets for a spin in the cold and dry mountains of Idaho, where toasty insulation is the top priority.

Putting up the hood on the The North Face McMurdo Down Parka

The faux-fur ruff on The North Face McMurdo Parka adds cozy warmth, but is easily removable for personal preference. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia

For this test, our main criteria for the winter jackets was their warmth, weatherproofing, features, and style. Weight and bulk were also taken into account, as we know how easy it can be to go too far and choose a jacket far beyond one’s needs. Fit was also considered, since it is an important factor on how warm a jacket is – a close fit helps up the warmth if you want to wear the jacket by itself, a looser fit allows for more layering up underneath, but can get drafty with just a t-shirt on underneath.

revealing the inside of the Arc'teryx beta down insulated jacket while wearing it for our review of the best winter jackets

The inside of the Arc’teryx Beta Down insulated jacket is full of Bluesign-approved 850 fill power goose down while the shell is the durable, breathable GORE-TEX we all know and love. Photo: Lindsay Gough/The Inertia

Winter Jackets Buyer’s Guide

Whether scaling snowy mountains or navigating the urban jungle, the right winter jacket is your first line of defense against the elements. This guide will help you through everything you need to know to pick the perfect jacket that delivers warmth, durability, and style. From the wonders of wool to the resilience of synthetics, there’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect winter jacket.

Patagonia Tres 3 in 1 jacket lining

Patagonia’s Tres 3-in-1 Parka packs a cozy down liner beneath the tough outer shell. Photo: Steve Andrews/The Inertia

Understanding Insulation Types

The heart of a winter jacket is its insulation, which is responsible for trapping your body heat. There are two main types:

Synthetic Insulation: Great for wet conditions, synthetic insulation is quick-drying and provides warmth even when damp. It’s usually more affordable than down and is hypoallergenic. Many brands are beginning to use recycled materials for synthetic insulation, which is a bonus for those who care about our impact on the environment.

Wearing the Rab Neutrino Pro in Truckee, CA

The Rab Neutrino Pro packs oodles of warm down insulation into a lightweight package. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia

Down Insulation: Known for its excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, down insulation is the gold standard for cold, dry conditions. However, it loses its insulating properties when wet and can be more expensive. It’s important to consider the ethics behind using down, which of course is just the feathers of baby geese and ducks. If that is of importance, look for recycled down or companies that meet the Responsible Down Standard (RDS).

Another form of insulation that has emerged in the past few years is wool insulation. Companies invested in merino, alpaca, and other types of super fine wool materials have begun using these materials as insulation in puffer and winter jackets. The Apu Parka by Paka is one such winter jacket included in this review. Wool, like down, is a natural insulation material, so does not require fossil fuels to produce like synthetic insulation, and one advantage it has over down is that no animals need to be harmed for it to be produced. However, it acts much more like synthetic insulation, with warm-when-wet functionality, and a lower warmth-to-weight ratio than down. Only time will tell if wool insulation ends up sticking around the outdoors industry or not.

Stormcraft Down Parka in Truckee

The burly shell fabric of the Outdoor Research Stormcraft Down Parka can repel the harshest weather, and is made to last. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia


Your winter jacket should be able to withstand the elements. Look for jackets with water-resistant or waterproof exteriors to keep you dry in snow or rain. Breathability is also crucial to prevent overheating and sweating, especially during active pursuits. The highest level of weatherproofing for a winter jacket is the use of a waterproof membrane. Look for keywords like “2L design,” “waterproof/breathable membrane,” or the designation of a jacket as “waterproof” as opposed to just “weatherproof.” Or, check out our handy comparison table. A solid DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating will help shed moisture, but for a sustained downpour is unlikely to be sufficient for keeping you dry. DWR coatings also need to be periodically renewed, which you can do with a spray-on or wash-in product if you notice your jacket is losing its weatherproofing.

Shoveling snow in the TNF McMurdo Down Parka

Having a heavyweight parka to throw on for chores is a must in snowy places like Truckee, California. Photo: Aleena Vigoda/The Inertia

Fit and Comfort

A well-fitting jacket should allow for layering without being too bulky. It should offer freedom of movement, especially around the shoulders and arms. Adjustable cuffs, hoods, and hem can help seal in warmth and keep out the cold. Check the liner material to ensure that it’ll not only keep you cozy, but also feel comfortable day in and day out. A good bit of this comes down to personal preference, and how you plan on using the jacket, as well. If you want a jacket that you can layer up a bit underneath with, you may want to size up, or at least consider the level of insulation the winter jacket you’re choosing provides.

For example, we found the McMurdo Down Parka, when ordered true-to-size, to be a bit on the tighter side when layering up underneath, a stark contrast to the OR Stormcraft Down Parka which, when ordered true-to-size, had plenty of room underneath for layering. However, that extra room underneath can lead to things feeling a bit drafty if you choose to wear the jacket with only a t-shirt on underneath, so consider how you plan on using your winter jacket the most before purchasing. And once the jacket arrives (and before you rip the tags off) give it a go with a couple different layering configurations to make sure the fit is right before you commit to your new winter armor.

Hood on the Patagonia Stormshadow Parka

The hefty insulation of the Patagonia Stormshadow Parka is maintained throughout the full scuba hood. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia

Features and Functionality

Consider the features that are important to you:

Hoods: Removable or adjustable hoods offer versatility. Consider what else you might be wearing. If you’re active and want to wear a helmet, you’ll want a larger hood with cinch straps to keep it secure. Some hoods come with a faux-fur ruff that some love as a style piece, and others find to be cumbersome and annoying. If you fall into the latter category and are considering a winter jacket with a faux-fur ruff, maybe choose a removable one.

Fjallraven Nuuk Parka inside pockets

Lots of pockets is nice, but the sheer quantity on the Fjallraven Nuuk Parka is borderline too many. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia

Pockets: Ample pocket space can keep your hands warm and store essentials. Internal pockets can help keep batteries warm in the cold, prolonging the life of your device, camera, and other electronics. Some external pockets have a fuzzy or fleece lining that make it much nicer to put your bare hands in for a quick warm-up if needed. Interior dump pockets are a great place to stash gloves or a hat when you walk inside.

Zippers: Look for durable, easy-to-use zippers, and if you’re choosing a parka-length coat that extends past the hips (some jackets in this review go all the way to the knees!) a double-ended zipper will do you a world of good when you want to move around with the jacket zipped up, sprawl out by a snowy campfire, etc.

The snap closure and storm placket on the Patagonia Stormshadow Parka

The two-way zipper and snap-placket on the Patagonia Stormshadow Parka adds a ton of versatility. Photo: Skyler Fitzmaurice/The Inertia

Plackets/Storm Flaps: consider features like storm flaps (also called a “placket”) to block wind and weather. Some options here forego the placket in favor of a waterproof/storm-ready zipper design to reduce bulk. However, we’re big fans of the placket design, especially plackets that secure with snaps instead of velcro, and especially on longer jackets. Snap plackets let you quickly secure the front of the jacket without having to do up the zipper if you’re in a rush. Velcro plackets, while a bit more convenient, are usually not secure enough to hold the front of the jacket together by themselves, and can sometimes become a nuisance if exposed to softer materials like a wool sweater that the velcro hooks can latch onto.


Your winter jacket should reflect your personal style, whether it’s a sleek, minimalist design or a bold, eye-catching color. Consider how the jacket will pair with your existing winter wardrobe. Also consider if you prefer a tighter or looser fit, and what you plan to wear underneath. If you opt for baggy, remember that the more air that’s between your body and the jacket will affect the insulating properties.

Beverage pockets MHW Nevadan Parka

Mountain Hardwear’s Nevadan Parka features drop-in beverage pockets, perfect for aprés. And the ripstop exterior will hopefully prevent any premature trips to the repair shop. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia

Care and Maintenance 

Proper care will extend the life of your winter jacket:

Synthetic Jackets: These are generally machine washable, but check the care label to be sure. Avoid fabric softeners and dry on low heat or air dry. When in doubt, hang it up.

Down Jackets: Use a down-specific detergent and wash on a gentle cycle. Tumble-dry on low with tennis balls to break up clumps of down and help re-distribute the insulation to where you need it to be. You may need to repeat the tumble-dry a couple of times (maybe switch to air-dry after the first go-round) to get your down insulation back to its fluffy natural state.

Demonstrating the velcro cuffs on the Rab Neutrino Pro Winter Jacket

Velcro cuffs on the Rab Neutrino Pro help seal out drafts. Photo: Ella Boyd/The Inertia

Early Signs of Wear and Tear

Regularly inspect your jacket for signs of wear, such as:

Tears or Rips: Small tears can quickly become larger issues if left unrepaired. Try to nip it in the bud to prevent a small problem from becoming a much larger one, especially if you start to lose insulation as a result.

Loss of Insulation: If your jacket feels less warm, it may be losing its insulating properties. Down can lose its insulating properties when wet, so make sure it stays dry to retain the warmth. Over time, lower-quality synthetic insulation can pack down as well, so keep an eye on this if your jacket starts to lose its warmth.

Water Repellency: If water no longer beads off the surface, it may be time to reapply a durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment. If you’re using something for the first time, spot check in an inconspicuous area such as the lower back to ensure it works well with your shell and doesn’t lead to discoloration.

Gore Tex and DWR on the Patagonia Stormshadow Parka

A solid DWR will keep water from soaking into the face fabric, and a waterproof membrane (like GORE-TEX) will keep you dry when the DWR is overwhelmed. Photo: Skyler Fitzmaurice/The Inertia

Price vs. Quality

While it’s tempting to opt for a cheaper jacket, investing in a high-quality jacket can save you money in the long run. Look for jackets from reputable brands with good warranties and positive customer reviews.

Choosing the right winter jacket is a blend of understanding your needs, knowing what to look for, and personal preference. After taking these points into consideration, you’re well on your way to finding a winter jacket that will keep you warm, dry, and stylish all season long.

Return to Comparison Table | Return to Top Picks

Editor’s Note: We’ve looked at a lot of different types of jackets over the years, from Puffer Jackets for Men and Women, to Women’s Winter Jackets, and jackets specifically designed for Snowboarding and Skiing. We’ve also reviewed Winter Boots, and Winter Boots for Women. For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

The North Face Arctic Parka for Women's Winter Jackets
The Best Women's Winter Jackets of 2024
We reviewed the best women's winter jackets and parkas, with an emphasis on warmth, style and functionality. Here are our top picks for 2024. Read more…
a shot of the vibram arctic grip outsoles on the danner cloud cap winter boots while walking in the snow
The Best Winter Boots of 2024
We tested a wide range of winter boots to see which held up the best in the snow, mud, cold temperatures, and aprés ski sessions. Here are our favorites. Read more…


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.