If you dislike wearing bulky winter coats, consider a jacket instead. Choosing jackets with built in layers is one option; looking for interchangeable styles with removable hoods and linings is another. You may want to opt for a lighter weight jacket to layer over other wardrobe pieces. No matter what route you decide to go, there are plenty of jacket styles to choose among.
Shopping for Men's Cold Weather Jackets
Fleece makes a great winter jacket option because the fabric is designed for days when it's not windy but you want an extra layer of warmth. They're also good for wearing under a heavier jacket to retain body heat better. Fleece jackets are available at several affordable price points. Options include:
- The North Face Men's Denali Jacket: This durable fleece jacket is a worthwhile staple for winter wardrobes because it blocks the wind and provides warmth without bulk or constriction. Special features include a handy Napoleon chest pocket for valuables, elastic cuffs to seal the sleeves, and an adjustable hemline cord for perfect fit. Made from recycled heavy-duty fleece and priced around $180 to $200, this jacket comes in 14 colors in sizes S to 3XL. Reviewers rave about its durability, incredible warmth, and fit.
Wind Challenger Fleece Jacket: Stay warm and comfortable taking hikes or running errands in this lightweight jacket. It features a zippered left breast pocket, four other storage pockets, and an adjustable drawstring hem for a comfortable fit. It comes in four colors in sizes S to XXL (regular) and L, XL and XXL (tall). At under $110, it's an affordable addition to any man's jacket wardrobe. Reviews from customers compliment this jacket as being serviceable, durable and perfect for winter layering.
Men's leather jackets are typically available in black, brown, and tan. Leather jackets are superb for blocking those windy blasts, though they may not provide enough warmth in extreme temperatures. Prices range from less than $100 to $300 or more. Styles to consider include:
- Wilsons Leather Lamb Bomber Jacket: A leather bomber jacket a good everyday jacket selection. This buttery soft garment features an athletic fit, easy zip front closure, full lining with two interior storage pockets, and snap closure cuffs to keep the wind out. Choose from black or brown in sizes S to XXL for under $280. Customer reviews are mostly positive about price and quality, but mention the jacket cut is snug through the chest and shoulders.
- USA Leather Classic Black Leather Hip Length Jacket (pictured): If you are in the market for a budget-friendly leather jacket, this might be your go-to choice. At under $100, it features a leather shell with a removable liner so you can choose your level of warmth, front zip closure, traditional pointed collar, and cuffs with a snap closure. It comes in black in sizes from Small to 5X. Its looks and warmth please reviewers, but many report the sizing runs small.
Insulated jackets are one of the bulkiest styles, bit are also one of the warmest. Insulated jacket styles like these are some of the best choices for staying warm and dry in any weather:
- The North Face Thermoball Remix Insulated Jacket: Whether you need an insulated jacket for hiking, camping or repelling sudden squalls, you will love the comfortable fit and warmth of this jacket. Special features include a durable nylon shell, PrimaLoft Thermoball lining to trap the heat without adding bulk, front zip closure, and elasticized inner cuffs. It's available in blue or green in sizes S to XL for under $150.
- Merrell Catalyst Insulated Jacket (pictured): Perfect for casual or dressier wear, this insulated jacket does double-duty by offering protection from both cold and rain. It has a waterproof outer shell, high profile collar for protecting the neck and face, lower back hem for better rear coverage, and reflective piping details to keep you safe in low lighting conditions. Choose from two fine-looking colors in sizes S to XXL and plan on spending about $200. Customers who purchased this are pleased with the true-to-fit sizing and quality.
Softshell jackets are lightweight and more suitable for the beginning or end of winter than the middle. They are more breathable than hardshells, but don't furnish as much wind or rain protection. They are designed for wearing for outdoor aerobic activities, mountain climbing, hiking and so on.
- Legendary Whitetails Men's Surge Insulated Softshell Jacket: If you are looking for a softshell jacket to protect yourself from harsh weather, consider this one. It has water-resistant coating, Velcro cuff closures, an inside zippered pocket, and a hood. It comes in black and camo print and is available in sizes M to XXXL. The retail price is less than $100.
Hard-shells are not as lightweight or flexible as soft-shells but they do a better job of keeping the heat in without obstructing your movement. Some feature venting systems to expel excess heat because of their thermal efficiency. Jackets like these are often layered with fleece jackets for greater warmth and can be worn almost anywhere when it's cold outside because they are so versatile:
- Patagonia Men's M10 Jacket (pictured): This ultralight hardshell jacket is designed for rock climbing or mountaineering enthusiasts that need a breathable jacket for comfort but require it to be as water- and wind-proof as possible. Special features include a zippered chest pocket for protecting valuables, adjustable cuffs, drawstring hem, and an adjustable hood. Choose from two colors in sizes XS to XL for around $380. The M10 occupies the top spot on Gear Patrol's list of the ten best hardshells for winter sports.
An interchangeable jacket allows you to adjust styling details for your comfort. There is usually a zip-in liner for extra warmth, a hood that can be tucked away until needed, and other flexible options. Interchangeable styles can be surprisingly lightweight in relation to the amount of warmth provided.
- Wader Widgeon™II Jacket (pictured): Stay dry and comfortable in any weather in this well-insulated jacket. Special features include a guaranteed waterproof exterior, reflective thermal lining, removable hood, and zip-in interchange system. It is available in sizes S, M and L but runs small so you may want to order one size larger. Choose from two colors and expect to pay around $220. Customer reviews mention criteria such as fantastic functionality, great performance as a hunting jacket, and lightweight warmth with no additional weight.
EMS Men's Deep Freeze 3-in-1 Jacket: This jacket is a customer favorite with reviews focusing on its warmth, stylish design, and comfortable fit. It comes in two functional colors. You can wear the shell plus with the liner or wear either part separately, depending on the weather or how much warmth you need. It features a lightweight, layered construction for warmth without added weight, zippered pockets and lining, and a versatile adjustable hood. Available sizes include S to XXL and the jacket retails for under $150.
If you're looking for something less sporty, more work-ready, or perfect for looking nice while running errands or going out, a peacoat might be the perfect solution. This classic jacket is often made from wool, has a button front, and offers slash side pockets. The most common color is black but there are other colors (usually neutrals) available:
- Lands' End Men's Wool Pea Coat: This archetypical peacoat is featured on Men's Fitness' list of "Top 10 Winter Jackets Under $200", and it's easy to see why. It boasts a full lining, water-repellent wool exterior, traditional double-breasted front styling details, and back vent for freedom of movement. Lands' End gives it a Warmer rating on their exclusive Temperature Rating chart, which means the jacket performs well in -10 degrees to +15 degrees Fahrenheit. This navy coat comes in both regular and tall sizes S to XXL for under $190. Purchasers praise it as exceeding expectations, offering a great value to price ratio, and being an improvement on classic pea coats.
Michael Kors Wool Blend Double Breasted Peacoat: No matter where you are headed or what kind of weather you are facing, you'll stay warm and dry in this traditional peacoat in a modern hip length style. It comes in six colors, including black, navy and green. The coat is lined, has an adjustable belt at the collar, and is available in sizes M through XL.
A long trench coat is the ultimate jacket style every man needs to throw over his casual or work clothing. Most feature button-fronts, self-fabric belts, and tailoring details to make any man look dashing and sophisticated. Most often, these jackets are made of camel or khaki material. Linings are mostly warm materials like wool, while the outside is typically water-resistant. Look for styles like these:
- Mid-Length Cotton Gabardine Trench Coat: Gusting winds and driving rain are no problem for the man who chooses this trench coat. The breathable fabric keeps you dry and comfortable while protecting you from the elements. It features traditional shoulder epaulettes, contrasting pattern under the collar, self-fabric belt, and back vent for free range of motion. It comes in three colors in sizes are 36R through 48R. Retailing at around $1700, it was dubbed a "must buy" men's trench coat on Esquire's 10 Trench Coats for Fall to Buy Online Now list.
Hart Schaffner Marx Men's Burnett Trench Coat (pictured): This military-styled trench coat is a closet staple. It features traditional styling details like shoulder epaulettes and a double-breasted front, water-repellent exterior shell, and self-fabric belt combined with unexpected features like a removable collar and liner. Take your pick of three colors for around $200. Sizes range from 38 to 44 short, 36 to 48 regular, and 40 to 48 long. With almost 50 five star reviews on Amazon, most reviewers agree it is a great coat for the price but also commented it seems to run a little large, which makes it just right for wearing over a suit, blazer or sport coat.
A vest is the perfect solution for those days when it's too cold to go without a jacket but too warm for most coats. While you could always opt for a sweater vest, that could prove to be warmer than you really need for those transitional days. Styles like these are good options for a little extra warmth without a lot of extra bulk:
- Patagonia Classic Retro-X Fleece Vest (pictured): This fleece vest is a good winter option because of its versatility. Any time you feel a little chilly or need an extra layer of warmth - like under a shell jacket - just pop it on and keep on with your activities. It features a high, contrast trimmed collar, zippered front, and convenient contrasting color chest pocket for stowing sunglasses or other valuables. Choose from seven colors at a price point under $180. Sizes range from XS to XXL. Customer reviewers mention it seems to fit snugly, so choosing a size larger so you can wear it over other tops might be wise.
Men's 15-pocket Voyager Vest: Versatility and functionality are the best terms to describe this hard-working vest. Special features include a nylon blend shell paired with a polyester mesh lining, high, snap closure neck and hem, hidden zippered front, and 15 pockets for unbelievable storage capability. Enjoy lightweight, no-bulk comfort with added warmth. Choose from one of four colors in sizes M to XXL and pay less than $100. Reviewers rave about its quality and value, but most said it runs a little large.
Choosing Your Jacket
The type of jacket you need depends on where you live and how cold it gets, as well as how long it stays extremely cold. Also consider where you will be wearing your jacket. If it is mostly for work wear, you should probably choose a trench coat or peacoat instead of a puffy insulated style so you'll get a better feel and appearance. When you are enjoying outdoor sports or doing physical winter activities, you'll want the warmest coat possible so tailoring and embellishment details won't matter as much. For those times when you're only buying one new winter jacket, choose with care so you stay warm and comfortable all season.