Best Fleece Jackets (2018 edition)

Even with hundreds and hundreds of insulation jackets on the market, there is nothing that still manages to come close to fleece jacket. That classic fleece jacket is by far still one of the most comfortable and affordable options you could find today. From casual to great breathable performance, fleece jackets are the best option for serious adventures.

QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST FLEECE JACKETS

  1. The North Face Denali
  2. Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan
  3. Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter-Zip
  4. Arc’teryx Delta LT
  5. The North Face Denali 2
  6. The North Face Osito 2
  7. Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T
  8. Marmot Reactor

What To Consider When Shopping For Fleece Jacket

Pretty much like when you are buying for any type of jacket for outdoor activities, there is a lot that go into the whole shopping process. With the number of choices available, you can’t just pop into a store near you and pick that fleece you first noticed.  If you want to nail the very best, you may want to take the following into great consideration.

Type of Fleece

The type of fleece that has been used is everything. It is one feature that will dictate what you are going to buy at the end of the day. Here are some of the most common types of fleece you probably didn’t know existed.

  • Micro-fleece

As the name suggest, there are very thin and lightweight fleeces. Jackets made from this type of fleece are great mid layers and are the best if worn as outwear in milder weather. A micro fleece jacket offers a low level of insulation and is super breathable. These types of fleece jacket s are the best choice for active pursuits. Many at times, when it comes to micro fleece jackets, weight is one of the biggest priorities; it is very unlikely you will find features such as hoods and pockets.

  • Mid Weight Fleece

These are some of the most versatile of them all. These are ideal for every day wear and for other numerous activities.  Mid weight fleece jackets often come with higher level of insulation, breathability and most importantly comfort.  You will love the amount of versatility these types of jackets come with. For example, they do a better job as an outer layer when you on the country walk and as a super warm layer under a waterproof jacket in the mountains.

At the end really, we could say, mid fleece jacket are the most ideal for mountaineering, climbing, or just in any other condition you require ease of movement, flexibility and you don’t require a lot of extra insulation for you will be producing body heat naturally.

  • Textured Fleece Jackets

This type comes in a number forms, with most often a fluffy and waffle fleece. These types of fleece jackets are super soft and are perfect for keeping you warm, during colder months such as winter.

Warmth

Like most people, if you are out there shopping for a fleece jacket we know you are looking for something to keep you warm. However, one mistake most shoppers make is reaching for the warmest possible model on the market. What you will be doing with it will determine the exact fleece jacket you need to choose. For example, if you will be sitting around the campfire with friends for the better part of a very cold night, obviously, you will need to pick the warmest fleece jacket you can find in the rack.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something for those active pursuits right in the middle of the backcountry, you may want to settle for something that is not as quite as warm, but one that works as part of a layering system. Ideally, you just need something that will work for you. You need to be vet comfortable; not feeling so hot or cold.

Naturally, the thickness and weight of the materials that has been used determine the level of warmth you are going to get. For example, those loft or fluffiness of the fabric tends to trap more air pocket to trap more heat.

Breathability

As when you are buying any other outdoor clothing, breathability is also everything when it comes to fleece jackets. Keeping that in mind, you may want to consider the kind of breathability that particular jacket comes with before you have it packed for you.

When we are out there, obviously, we will generate sweat and for that you need something that is breathable. However, other than going for breathability, you may also want to pay focus on some other things. For example, as much you needed high breathability, it will make sense if that jacket can still offer a high degree of warmth on top of that great breathability.

Waterproofing and Windproof Capabilities

Fleece jackets are primarily designed to keep us warm. However, they are also breathable so as to allow moisture out and most of them will not be able to keep you warm if you wear them on their own in the rain. Thankfully, most will come featuring a shower proof membrane. That makes them suitable for light shower.

In other case, you may also want to check your fleece jacket’s windproof capabilities. We currently have quite a good number of them that comes with a windproof membrane within the inner lining. How the membrane works is quite simple. It stops the wind from penetrating the garment. That alone allows you to stay warmer with the use of fewer layers.

Anti Pill

Technically, when a fleece jacket is described as anti pill, this simply means the fabric has been treated to prevent little balls of thread appearing on the surfaces of the fabric. Many at times these balls come as a result of abrasion when washing and drying. So if you can find a fleece jacket that comes with this anti pill treatment, go for it. They are bobble free and will last longer than you think.

Features To look Out For

Unlike a few years ago, fleece jackets are redefining the way things have always been done in the industry. They have continued to modify their jackets by adding plenty of features. Most of these features, at times, can make your head spin as you try to understand whether they are useful or simply marketing tricks aim at making sales.

Nonetheless, we have a number of features that can in a way elevate the performance of your fleece jacket when properly designed and constructed. Here is rundown of some of the features you may want to make sure your jacket comes fully equipped with.

  • Hoods

This simple feature adds a lot of versatility to any jacket. A hood can actually give you the option of increasing warmth without necessarily any increased in breathability.  It is a fact,  the amount of heat you lose through your head is a bit low, but keeping this part of the body warm add a lot on your overall feeling of warmth.

  • Pockets

This cannot be overemphasized enough. As a much as it may sound so simple, going for a jacket that comes with plenty of pocket will come with a number of practical benefits. Pretty much like on other types of outdoor jackets, the arrangement of pockets largely depends on the intended use. For example, when it comes to rock climbing, it is better not to have hand warmer pockets. They can feel really weird and obtrusive under a harness.

  • Thumb Loops

Thumb loops are a bit confusing and this feature has divided shoppers into two. Most people love the feeling of sleeves extending down to mid palm, while others don’t like the look and don’t in any way understand the appeal. Whichever the case, we find this feature quite comfortable and useful, especially on lightweight models that are used for aerobic activity. It is one of the best ways to keep sleeves from riding up while jogging. It does not add excessive tight elastic to the cuffs.

ARC’TERYX COVERT CARDIGAN

See this product on: Amazon.com

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Perfect for everyday wear

Cons

  • Not heavy enough; it cannot withstand serious chill

Bottom Line: If you have been combing through places looking for the best there on the market, the ARC’TERYX COVERT CARDIGAN is definitely what you should going for next. It is an extremely versatile fleece jacket with a clean design.  However, be ready to pay extra bucks though; it is super pricey.

If dishing out the highest dollar for the best fleece jacket has never been a problem to you, you need to check out the ARC’TERYX COVERT CARDIGAN. It is a high ranking fleece jacket that comes with a super clean design. It is well built and looks super great for casual day around the city. It is also quite noticeable that this jacket is not as stretchy as other fleeces on the market, but is still manages to move reasonably well on the go. At the end, if striking both quality and great design is what you always want, we have no doubt in our minds, the ARC’TERYX COVERT CARDIGAN would make a great fleece sweater for your next outdoor trip.

THE NORTH FACE DENALI

See this product on: Amazon.com

Pros

  • Super durable
  • Lightweight yet warm
  • Stylish
  • Easy to layer

Cons

  • The sleeves are a bit loose with elastic around the wrist
  • Awkward fit for most people

Bottom Line:  If you are looking at nothing other than getting a stylish fleece jacket, the NORTH FACE DENALI is a solid choice. Apart from its clean design, it is one of the most stylish fleece jackets you could your hands on today. It is also durable and lightweight.

The NORTH FACE DENALI has been in the market with the likes of Patagonia Synchilla for one of the longest times. Their iconic status has seen these jackets find their way into the hearts of many outdoor enthusiasts. Other than looking stylish in cold weather, if you are looking for those heavy weight fabrics, the NORTH FACE DENALI must be in your next shopping list. It is well built and is all about warmth and win protection. It is also super thick and with that, you can be sure this jacket will serve you now and for years to come. There is no way you are going to go wrong if you choose this outstanding fleece jacket.

MARMOT REACTOR

See this product on: Amazon.com

Pros

  • Super soft
  • Stylish
  • Perfect outer layer for cool weather

Cons

  • Arm pocket too small to be useful

Bottom Line: The MARMOT REACTOR is not as warm as other fleece jackets out there, but is a great value for a full sip fleece jacket.

For shoppers who are looking for a basic layering piece to help them stay cozy around that campfire, but wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money, the MARMOT REACTOR is what you should be going for real soon. The MARMOT REACTOR is a high quality fleece with one of the best track records. It is simple, but its versatility will simply blow you mind off. The jacket is impressively lightweight, making it the best for outdoor use. Try it today and we are pretty sure you are not going to regret for it among the best we have on the market.

ARC’TERYX DELTA LT

See this product on: Amazon.com

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Stylish
  • Perfect for layering
  • You can wear on its own

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  • Sleeves might run a bit too long

Bottom Line: Although, this jacket comes with a great mix of performance and casual features, it is just too pricey and does not offer a lot of warmth. It is worth checking out though. It comes with plenty of good things.

The ARC’TERYX DELTA LT is all about performance and casual features. It has managed to find its way into a number of outdoor enthusiasts’ homes. It is also super lightweight and that explains why it very popular for warm weather hiking and mountain climbing.  At the end, despite a number of issues, the ARC’TERYX DELTA LT still makes a great fleece jacket.