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The Best Fleece Jackets

Last updated on November 2, 2023

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Our Picks For The Top Fleece Jackets

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Columbia Benton Springs Full-Zip Women’s Fleece Jacket

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Columbia

Benton Springs Full-Zip Women's Fleece Jacket

Available in a very large selection of colors, this women's fleece jacket can keep you cozy even in the brisk winter. It offers a classic fit and is warm without being heavy.

Overall Take

Very Warm and CozyThis women's jacket can handle cold weather and offers dozens of color options.

 Runner Up

The North Face Osito 100% Recycled Fabric Women’s Fleece Jacket

The North Face

Osito 100% Recycled Fabric Women's Fleece Jacket

If you prefer a plush look and feel, this women's jacket offers coziness and comfort with high-loft fleece. It has a standard fit with a tall collar and is wind-resistant. You can choose from over 30 colors.

Overall Take

Offers a Plush FeelIf you want something lightweight, plush and wind-resistant, consider this women's jacket.

 We Also Like

Tommy Hilfiger Collared Zipped Fleece Jacket

Tommy Hilfiger

Collared Zipped Fleece Jacket

Made of a lightweight fleece, this men's jacket is especially good for layering. It has pockets both inside and out and comes in styles with one or two colors. Big and tall sizes are available.

Overall Take

Single and Two-Toned ColorsAvailable in several sizes and different color options, this men's jacket offers warmth and style.

 Strong Contender

Champion Men’s Hooded Zip-Front Lined Fleece Jacket

Champion

Men's Hooded Zip-Front Lined Fleece Jacket

Coming in 15 colors, this men's jacket comes with a handy hood and uses a midweight fleece for versatility. Part of the jacket is of a recycled material. It also stands out for being anti-pill.

Overall Take

Environmentally Friendly OptionThis men's jacket is a good option if you prefer an attached hood and want something more environmentally friendly.

Buying Guide

If you’re looking for a comfortable way to stay warm on the cooler days throughout the seasons, consider a fleece jacket. This type of jacket is known for being soft and lightweight while also durable and breathable. Along with wearing your fleece jacket on its own, you can use it for layering on colder days to get even more wear.

While a lot of fleece jackets look similar, there are some differences to be aware of when it comes to fit and style. You can choose between a slim-fit fleece jacket if you’d like a more form-fitting option or a classic-fit jacket for a bit looser fit. In addition, you can find jackets with different zipper lengths. For example, quarter- or half- zip jackets are more like a pullover versus a traditional full-zip jacket.

MOREThe Best Heated Jackets

Fleece jackets come in ultra-lightweight, lightweight, midweight and heavyweight options suitable for different climates and uses. If you plan to layer your clothes or just wear the jacket on slightly cool days, a lightweight option works fine, while an ultra-lightweight jacket offers even less warmth. Consider a heavyweight fleece jacket if you want to wear the jacket alone when it’s very cold outside. On the other hand, you might prefer a midweight jacket that offers decent warmth but is also flexible enough to wear with layers.

You can also find fleece in variations such as tightly woven or high loft. If you’re looking for a jacket that’s fluffier and reminds you of fur, you can opt for the high-loft option that also tends to be warmer. On the other hand, tightly woven is thinner, less bulky and can be less warm, and this can be a good option for activewear. Other variations fall in between these in terms of warmth and feel.

Single and two-toned color options are available so you can find a fleece jacket that matches any outfit. White, gray and black are particularly versatile colors you can find in most brands, while you can find various shades of blues, greens, reds, purples and other colors if you want something bolder. If you go with a two-toned jacket, know that usually the secondary color is used for the upper part of the jacket.

Other considerations include the collar, hood and pockets. Many fleece jackets have a high collar that helps keep you warm and may have a chin guard. For more flexibility, you might consider a fleece jacket with an attached hood. Also, consider whether you need several zipper pockets to keep crucial items in since jackets can have these on the inside or outside.

What to Look For

  • To make sure you get the right-sized fleece jacket, take your body length, chest and sleeve length measurements. You can then look at the manufacturer’s size chart as well as user reviews to see how the sizing runs. If you’re particularly tall, consider looking for fleece jackets labeled as “big and tall” rather than the standard length.
  • While fleece jackets can keep you warm, be aware they usually aren’t water-resistant or waterproof, so they don’t offer much protection if you’re in the rain or snow. In those cases, you’ll do better with a raincoat or waterproof jacket.
  • Some fleece jackets will have different fleece weights used in different places for flexibility when you’re being active. For example, the chest area might use lightweight fleece to improve breathability but use a heavier weight for the sleeves and bottom half of the jacket.
  • If you need wind protection, look for fleece jackets with a tight knit since these can offer better results. Some jackets will be marketed as wind-resistant too.
  • Shedding is a common issue experienced with fleece jackets and can be inconvenient and hurt your jacket’s lifespan. You can reduce the issue by being gentle with storing, wearing and cleaning the jacket. A lint roller or fabric shaver can help you out if you notice pilling occurring.
  • You can usually easily wash your fleece jacket in the washing machine after you do a bit of spot cleaning and remove any excess lint. You’ll want to wash it inside out and not use bleach or fabric softener during the process. Afterward, you’ll want to find out if the manufacturer specifies the jacket can go in the dryer; otherwise, you can let it air dry.

More to Explore

The outdoor clothing company Patagonia is known for making the modern fleece jacket. During the 1970s, it began developing sweaters that would provide good insulation but be lighter for outdoor activities than wool.

After experimentation and collaboration with the fabric company named Malden Mills, Patagonia created its fleece sweater and would continue to improve it so that the fleece became finer and available in various patterns and colors. The company’s fleece jacket with a zipper would debut in 1985.

While these jackets initially appealed to outdoors enthusiasts, they found popularity as casual wear for the average person during the 1990s. That was when the market grew with many major brands offering this clothing item. Patagonia also continues to create and sell a large collection of fleece jackets today.

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