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The Best Outdoor Vests for Cooler Weather

Last updated on June 5, 2024
Best Vests For Women

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Outdoor Vests

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
  The Best Overall

Columbia Benton Springs Zippered Hand Pockets Fleece Vest

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Benton Springs Zippered Hand Pockets Fleece Vest

Made from 100% polyester, this vest has MTR filament material to give you warmth without adding bulk. It's a great choice for outdoor activity where you need freedom of movement, but you can also wear it as an everyday vest. The zipper closure and two pockets make it a convenient way to stay warm each day.

Overall Take

Everyday WearIf you're looking for a fleece vest you can wear every day, this versatile option is the one for you.

 Best Reversible Vest

LAMISSCHE Reversible Sherpa-Lined Quilted Vest


Reversible Sherpa-Lined Quilted Vest

You'll find plenty of variety in the patterns and colors of this reversible sherpa vest, some of which have two different styles on each side. The vest has two front pockets and a zipper for those extra-cool days. High-quality sherpa makes this vest extra soft to keep you both warm and comfortable.

Overall Take

Versatile ChoiceThis reversible sherpa vest gives you two looks in one while also being neutral enough to go with all your favorite outfits.

 Also Great

Wolverine Men’s Upland Sherpa-Lined Zip Up Vest


Men's Upland Sherpa-Lined Zip Up Vest

Extra-rugged cotton and a sherpa fleece lining in this vest will keep you both warm and comfortable even on those chilly winter days. It has two large front pockets and a zipper closure. It's machine washable for easy cleanup when you need it.

Overall Take

Extra DurableReinforced kangaroo front pockets and rugged material make this vest an option that will last through many uses.

  The Best Value

Amazon Essentials Classic Fit Full-Zip Fleece Vest

Amazon Essentials

Classic Fit Full-Zip Fleece Vest

This versatile fleece vest is perfect for fall or winter weather. It has elasticized shoulders and contoured side seams for a fitted silhouette. It's 100% polyester and machine washable.

Overall Take

Comfy Base or Layered LookYou can wear this vest as a finishing layer or underneath a warm coat.

Buying Guide

When the air starts getting chilly and you need an extra layer but don’t want to overheat, a vest is a good option. This is an outerwear garment that covers your core, but does not have sleeves like a jacket. Even without covering your arms, a vest can replace a light coat. It keeps your core temperature up which helps your body increase blood flow to the extremities, keeping your hands and arms warm.

A vest is especially useful when you’re out in the cold weather but need a full range of motion. Jackets with bulky sleeves can sometimes restrict your arms. If you’re playing sports, chopping wood, setting up a campsite or working in a warehouse, you need to ensure your core is protected while having full movement in your arms.

When you’re being active, you also don’t want to get too warm, which can sometimes happen when you’re wearing a bulky coat. With a good vest, you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter how strenuous your activity is. It provides just the right kind of coverage in moderately cool temperatures.

What to Look For

  • The most important thing to consider when you’re buying a vest for the outdoors is warmth. What kind of insulation do you need for the activities you’ll be doing? For example, if you’re planning to wear the vest mostly while camping in the fall, your needs will be different than if you want to wear the vest while ice fishing. Check to see whether the vest is lined or filled with a material like down to help keep you warm.
  • For many people, getting a vest that is waterproof is key. This is ideal if your area gets a lot of rain or snow. Keeping dry also helps to keep you warm.
  • Having interior and exterior pockets provide a couple of storage options for important items like keys, phone and wallet. Ensure that the pockets have closures so that your important items don’t slip out.
  • Opt for a vest that has a durable zipper closure. Having a fabric cover over the zipper ensures that it won’t rust when frequently exposed to the elements.
  • Getting the right fit is key. While vests are functional, they also need to suit your frame. Be sure to check the sizing chart, and review important measurements like shoulders, bust, and back length.

More to Explore

When it comes to wearing a vest, layering is key. This way, you create a casual yet stylish look that keeps you warm. In the fall or moderately cool weather, start with a long-sleeve t-shirt. Add on a light cardigan or sweatshirt. Then, put on your vest over top of that. You can also wear a scarf to keep your upper body cozy. In the winter months, you can wear your vest under a bulkier winter coat to keep your core warm if you’re going to be outside for long periods of time. You can also add your vest on top of a light jacket for an extra layer. Don’t forget the hat and gloves.

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