If you are looking for the best fleece jacket for hiking you have come to the right place. We have reviewed and purchased many fleeces over the years and below are our favorites. A fleece jacket is a versatile item of clothing that can be worn on numerous occasions. However, it can often be hard to find the right fleece jacket. This is because you’ll often come across many different brands, materials, and thicknesses. So how do you find the right one for you?
If you don’t have the time or don’t want to read all the reviews, this is my recommendation for the best fleece jackets that I like in the cold weather: Arc’teryx Covert Fleece Cardigan for Men, and for women: Columbia Women’s Fast Trek II Full Zip Fleece Classic Fit Jacket
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Fleece Jackets Reviewed
- 1.1 1. The North Face Men’s Campshire Pullover Hoodie
- 1.2 2. The North Face Men’s Canyonlands Full Zip Sweatshirt
- 1.3 3. The North Face Women’s Osito 2 Fleece Jacket
- 1.4 4. Patagonia Men’s Better Fleece Sweater ¼ Zip
- 1.5 5. Columbia Women’s Fast Trek II Full Zip Fleece Jacket Classic Fit
- 1.6 6. Black Diamond Women’s Coefficient Fleece Jacket Hoody
- 1.7 7. Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan Men’s
- 1.8 8. Marmot Reactor Fleece Jacket
- 1.9 9. Terracea Men’s Crossing Fleece
- 1.10 10. Outdoor Research Men’s Longhouse Jacket
- 2 Best Fleece Jacket Buying Guide
Best Fleece Jackets Reviewed
The good news is I can lend you a helping hand. Below you will find 10 of the best fleece jackets on the market right now. This will help to narrow down your choice and make it more likely that you’re going to find a fleece jacket you love.
1. The North Face Men’s Campshire Pullover Hoodie
The North Face Men’s CAMPSHIRE Pullover Hoodie looks very comfortable and comes in 5 sizes, ranging from small to 2x-large. With elbow patches that give that part of the jacket more durability, this fleece item also comes with a kangaroo pocket.
The pocket has a zip which also makes it more secure. The side pockets are ideal for storing a few items or for those times when you just need your hands to get warm again.
With a relaxed fit, this 300-weight Sherpa fleece jacket has an elastic-bound front zip, allowing the wearer to warm up or cool down. The hood and cuffs are also elasticated, allowing for a better fit.
Features: 300-weight Sherpa fleece, elbow patches, kangaroo pocket, front pocket with zip
2. The North Face Men’s Canyonlands Full Zip Sweatshirt
The North Face Men’s Canyonlands Full Zip Sweatshirt comes in 19 different colors and 5 different sizes. Made from a mixture of elastane, polyester, and fleece, this sweatshirt is machine washable.
With its heavyweight hard-face fleece, the sweatshirt is protected even further from the wind which means you are too. Abrasion-resistant and very comfortable, this sweatshirt has a Napoleon pocket and zipped hand pockets. Weighing 1.2 pounds and with a zip that goes all the way to the top of the sweatshirt, it can keep you warm no matter what the weather’s like.
Features: Elastane, polyester and fleece mix, machine washable, heavyweight fleece, abrasion-resistant, Napoleon pocket, zipped hand pockets
3. The North Face Women’s Osito 2 Fleece Jacket
The North Face Women’s Osito 2 Jacket is available in 26 different colors and 8 different sizes, from small to 3x-large. Made from 100% polyester and with a zipper closure, this is a warm jacket that’s ideal for the trail. North Face make some of the best fleece jackets on the market.
Machine washable and with 2 zipped pockets on either side, you can keep your cell phone or your gloves nearby, so you can use them when you need to. 14 inches wide and just 1 inch thick, this jacket can be rolled up and stored on the back of a backpack, so you have it close to you should you need it.
With a good-sized collar that can be turned up to protect you against the wind, this Osito Jacket looks as comfortable as it feels.
Features: Zipper closure, machine washable, 2 zipped pockets, good-size collar, 100% polyester
4. Patagonia Men’s Better Fleece Sweater ¼ Zip
The Patagonia Men’s Better Sweater ¼ Zip has a zipper closure that goes up to the top of the collar. Made from 100% polyester, the Patagonia jacket comes in 2 different sizes and 4 different colors. The zippered left chest pocket means you can store keys, a cell phone, or anything else you need easily and safely.
Made using flat seams, the sweater is not as bulky as it could be. The flat seams also help to reduce chafing, which means they’re less likely to become damaged over time. One of the good things about this sweater is its hip length, which means it keeps more of your body warm. This is great news for those who live in cold parts of the world or want to go hiking or camping where it’s cold.
Features: 100% polyester, ¼ zip, zippered left chest pocket, flat seams, hip length
5. Columbia Women’s Fast Trek II Full Zip Fleece Jacket Classic Fit
The Columbia Women’s Fast Trek II Full Zip Fleece Classic Fit Jacket comes in 5 different sizes, ranging from small to x-large and in 17 different colors. Made from fleece and polyester, this jacket has a zipper closure and is machine washable.
Manufactured from 100% polyester microfleece, this is a warm jacket that’s ideal for hiking and camping. Its 2 side pockets come with zippers for extra security and the collared neck also has a zipper closure.
A classic fit and a comfortable feel, this jacket has an inside pocket which is ideal for maps, compasses and anything else you wish to have close to you.
Features: Full-length zip, 100% polyester microfleece, 2 side pockets, 1 inside pocket, machine washable, high collar
6. Black Diamond Women’s Coefficient Fleece Jacket Hoody
The Black Diamond Women’s Coefficient Fleece Hoody is available in 3 colors and 5 different sizes. With a low-profile hood, you can stay warmer and cozier without wearing a hat. The lightweight fabric means this is an easy hoody to have with you when you’re on the trail, as it isn’t heavy.
Weighing just 337 grams, the hoody also comes with an integrated thumb loop. This loop helps you keep your sleeves down near your wrists and ensures you stay even warm at all times. With a slim fit and a high collar, this is a fleece hoody that should keep you warm whether you’re hiking, camping, or out and about when it’s cold.
Features: Low-profile hood, weighs 337 grams, thumb loop, high collar, slim fit
7. Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan Men’s
The Arc’teryx Covert Cardigan Men’s fleece jacket is made from a mixture of wool and fleece, making it even more comfortable and even warmer. With clean lines, you have a nice finish and the relaxed fit means there’s more room for those extra layers.
With a woolen look, this fleece jacket also has brushed polyester which gives it extra warmth. The 2 zippered pockets allow you to store your essentials, so you can reach them when you need them. The breathable fabric ensures that you don’t sweat too much while your temperature is regulated. Sold in 9 different colors and 6 different sizes, ranging from small to xx-large, this fleece jacket is ideal for life on the trail. Check the Best Arc’Teryx Jackets.
Features: Wool and polyester blend, 2 zippered pockets, breathable fabric, clean lines, comfortable material
8. Marmot Reactor Fleece Jacket
The Marmot Reactor Jacket is a very modern jacket that comes in 4 colors and 5 sizes. With a full-length zipper, the jacket has been designed to keep you warm as the zipper goes right up to the top of the collar. Made from 100% polyester and with 2 zippered pockets at the front and one on the upper left side, this jacket is handy to have. Carry your gloves, your cell phone or anything else in the pockets, or simply use them to keep your hands warm.
The patches on the shoulders give this fleece jacket a somewhat modern look, while ensuring your backpack is less likely to damage it. A lightweight garment and with hydrophobic synthetic fibers, moisture is allowed to pass through ensuring you stay dry and warm. The durable and water-repellent finish adds an extra layer of protection helping you stay even dryer.
Features: Full-length zipper, 3 zippered pockets, 100% polyester, shoulder patches, lightweight, breathable fabric, water resistance
9. Terracea Men’s Crossing Fleece
The Terracea Men’s Crossing Fleece comes with Polartec Windopro technology, which helps the fabric breathe, allowing moisture to make its way to the surface. 4 times more wind-resistant than many other fleeces, the jacket also has durable water-repellent protection. This allows the fleece to repel snow, rain, and any moisture that comes into contact with it.
With a soft feel and anti-microbial and anti-pilling technology, this fleece is also quick to dry, making it a very handy piece of clothing to have on the trail.
Features: Polartec Windopro technology, 2 zippered pockets, wind resistant, water repellent, anti-microbial, anti-pill
10. Outdoor Research Men’s Longhouse Jacket
The Outdoor Research Men’s Longhouse Jacket comes in 2 colors and 2 sizes, ranging from medium to xx-large. With a chest pocket that’s zippered, wearers can keep their essential items close by knowing that they’re secure.
The flatlock seams make the jacket smaller, so it takes up less room, while ensuring those seams are less likely to get damaged. With moisture-wicking properties, the jacket helps keep you warm without making you feel damp with sweat or rain. The 2 hand warmer pockets are zippered and can be used to keep your hands warm or to hold anything small that you want constant access to.
Features: Moisture wicking, zippered chest pocket and hand pockets, flatlock seams, high collar
Best Fleece Jacket Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a the best fleece jacket you can afford, (we all have limits), you need to make sure the one you purchase does everything you need it to. If you buy a fleece jacket that doesn’t have your desired features, you may not want to take it with you when you go hiking and camping. Therefore, it’s essential you choose a fleece jacket that ticks all the boxes.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what you need to be on the watch for when you’re buying one.
Related: Best lightweight rain jacket.
A fleece is there to keep you warm, however, you may want to refrain from buying the warmest fleece available. If you buy one that’s too thick, you may find that you’re too warm. The good news is that wearing more than a few layers can keep you warm without begin too hot. What’s more, if you do get a little too hot, you can always take one of those layers off. Look for a fleece that’s not too heavy, as it’ll be ideal if you intend to wear multiple layers.
Related: North Face vs Columbia
The weight of the fleece determines its thickness and the material’s loft. The higher the number, the warmer the fleece will be. There are 3 different weights of fleece, 100 lightweight, 200 midweight, and 300 heavyweights.
Lightweight fleeces are ideal if you are going to be active in a cold environment. They also tend to be quite breathable.
Midweight fleeces work as an outer layer, but they can also be part of many layers. Fleeces such as these are quite breathable, but they’re also slightly warmer.
Heavyweight fleeces are ideal if you want one layer to keep you warm when it’s cold outside. However, they can be quite bulky and take up just a little too much room.
A fleece jacket’s breathability can have a huge impact on how comfortable you are when you wear it. As your body temperature rises, you will ideally be wearing a fleece that allows your sweat to move away from the surface of your skin. This will help you stay warm and dry.
Anti-pill fleece jackets has been treated to ensure that small balls of thread do not appear on the fabric’s surface. You often see threads such as these when a garment has been washed and dried multiple times. Affected garments aren’t usually as warm as those that have anti-pill properties.
A good hood can make fleece jackets a lot more versatile. However, some can also cause a bit of discomfort around the neck, as they tend to bunch up. It may, therefore, be better to opt for a fleece jacket that does not have a hood.
Some people love fleece jackets that come with thumb loops, whereas others detest them. Thumb loops are ideal at helping to keep the garment in place while adding extra warmth. The thumb loops work by forcing the sleeves to extend down to the palm or the wrist. This prevents them from riding up the arm while you’re active.
There are some great fleece jackets on the market these days, but finding the right one for you isn’t always easy. I hope you have found at least a few fleece jackets you like the look of from the list above. I also hope that knowing what to look out for will help you choose the best fleece jacket for you.
I love hiking. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.