The 10 Best Winter Jackets and Coats for Women
A heavy-duty piece of outerwear is a must-have if you plan to travel to cold-weather destinations. When choosing a winter coat it's important to look for an option that is stylish, comfortable, and—most importantly—warm. (Being too cold to enjoy yourself is a sure way to ruin an otherwise great vacation.) Our top pick is Columbia's Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket; the mid-thigh-length coat stands up to snow and freezing rain but remains breathable, and it has quick-drying and stain-resistant material.
To ensure you're getting the best option for your travels, we've rounded up the best women's winter jackets and coats to buy.
- Best Overall: Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket
- Best Hooded: Marmot Montreal Coat
- Best for Extreme Cold: Orolay Thickened Down Coat
- Best Wool: Halogen Double Face Wool Coat
- Best for Outdoor Activity: Wantdo Waterproof and Windproof Ski Jacket
- Best Down Jacket: The North Face Aconcagua Jacket II
- Best Parka: The North Face Metropolis Parka
- Best Lightweight: L.L.Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Jacket
- Best Puffer: Amazon Essentials Heavy-Weight Hooded Puffer Coat
- Best Peacoat: Anne Klein Double-Breasted Peacoat
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded Jacket
This option from Columbia is the best winter coat on the market. The stylish jacket, a flattering slim fit available in an array of colors, features the brand's patented Omni-Heat interior lining, which comprises a silver dot pattern that increases heat retention. That means you'll stay warm even in frigid or blizzard conditions. In addition to its superior synthetic insulation, this jacket is also highly breathable, regulating your body temperature so that you don't overheat, as well as water-resistant and quick-drying thanks to its polyester shell. It's lightweight (weighs 1 pound), easy to compress (it takes up little space in your suitcase and can be easily stashed away in a backpack), and it's machine-washable, making it one of the more low-maintenance jackets you can buy.
Sizes: XS to XXL | Materials: Polyester shell and lining, synthetic down
Best Hooded: Marmot Montreal Coat
This ultra-warm hooded option from Marmot comprises a 700 fill-power (an ideal fill power for most cold temperatures) with a quilted design to keep the down from clumping, a cozy fleece lining, and a removable, faux-fur-lined hood for extra warmth and protection. The internal draft flap blocks out wind, and the Durable Water-Resistant (DWR) coating means you'll stay dry even if you get caught in a rain or snowstorm. When conditions get really bitter, warm up your fingers in the hand-warmer pockets. Grab it in one of four color options.
Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Polyester, acrylic, polyester fur
Best for Extreme Cold: Orolay Thickened Down Coat
This Orolay down coat was a massively popular sell just a couple years ago, and it's easy to see why. Not only is the coat cute and cozy, but the outerwear also features handy side-zips so you can expand the jacket to make room for more layers. However, it's plenty warm on its own, too, thanks to its 90-percent duck down and duck feather fill, as well as its 100-percent polyester shell that helps keep wind and cold out. It boasts six roomy pockets and comes in more than a dozen colors and prints, ranging from neutral grays and beiges to stylish camo options.
Sizes: XXS to 5X | Material: Polyester, duck down insulation, duck feathers
Best Wool: Halogen Double Face Wool Coat
If you're in the market for a sleek wool coat, we recommend this stylish option from Nordstrom's exclusive Halogen brand. The classic double-breasted design of the jacket will elevate all your cold-weather ensembles, pairing well with casual jeans or your LBD. Plus, it boasts spacious front patch pockets for all your essentials, and it falls around the knee or mid-calf, keeping your lower half protected from the cold. A back slit adds a bit of style, while a soft—not itchy—wool material offers comfort.
Sizes: XXS to XXL | Material: Wool, polyester
View at Nordstrom ($130)
Related: The Best Fleece Jackets to Travel In
Best for Outdoor Activity: Wantdo Waterproof and Windproof Ski Jacket
This hooded jacket from Wantdo is both waterproof (with a rating of 10,000 millimeters) and windproof, making it a great option for more active cold-weather adventures like skiing and snow tubing. The jacket has a soft fuzzy lining, 240 grams of synthetic insulation, and it's equipped with a removable hood, wrist cuffs, and a snow skirt to keep cold air and snow out. But despite its incredible warmth and ability to keep water and wind at bay, the jacket never feels too heavy or bulky. It's available in gorgeous, eye-catching colors ranging from wine to periwinkle, and each features five spacious pockets for essentials like keys, phones, wallets, headphones, and more.
Sizes: S to 3XL | Material: Polyester, synthetic insulation
Best Down Jacket: The North Face Aconcagua Jacket II
This cute jacket from The North Face features a blended insulation of 550 fill-power down and 150 grams of the brand's Heatseeker synthetic insulation to keep you warm, plus a water- and wind-resistant shell to protect from the elements. Still, it remains lightweight and very packable, so it's the ultimate versatile staple your winter wardrobe needs. Whether you wear it for cold-weather hiking or sightseeing, it's sure to offer warmth and mobility. Pick up yours in calming cloud blue, shiny atomic pink, or another one of the available colors.
Sizes: XS to XXL | Material: Nylon, polyester, down/synthetic insulation blend
Best Parka: The North Face Metropolis Parka
This coat from The North Face will help keep your entire body warm and toasty thanks to the 550 fill-power goose down, its long silhouette falling around mid-thigh, and a protective chin guard that prevents any wind from entering. The coat is also constructed with a quilted design that keeps the insulation in place, a detachable hood, and internal elastic sleeve cuffs. For convenience, the coat includes three outer pockets and one internal pocket, and its hourglass shape provides a stylish appearance.
Sizes: XS to 3X | Material: Polyester, goose down
Best Lightweight: L.L.Bean PrimaLoft Packable Jacket
This puffer coat from L.L.Bean is the brand's most lightweight coat available. It's made of NASA-developed Aerogel (the lightest material ever made) as well as 60 grams of PrimaLoft insulation to keep you nice and toasty without ever feeling bulky or restricted. When you need to pack it, this jacket compresses into a compact size so it can be thrown into any bag or suitcase. Plus, it's water-resistant, machine-washable, and its shell is made with recycled materials.
Sizes: XXS Regular to XL Plus | Material: Polyester shell and lining
View at L.L.Bean ($169)
Best Puffer: Amazon Essentials Heavy-Weight Hooded Puffer Coat
This short puffer coat from Amazon Essentials is stylish and also incredibly warm thanks to its polyester fill material and attached hood as well as its polyester shell that's water-resistant. Other noteworthy features include deep, fleece-lined pockets, built-in thumb holes on the sleeves, and large, monochromatic snap buttons down the front add an element of style. Bonus: It's machine-washable.
Sizes: XS to XXL | Material: Polyester
View at Amazon ($43-$58)
Best Peacoat: Anne Klein Double-Breasted Peacoat
This coat's wool/polyester/rayon blend will keep you warm and cozy, while the streamlined style keeps you looking polished and pulled together. We love how roomy the coat's slant pockets are and the fact that there are so many styles to choose from. Our favorite feature, though, may just be the coat's princess seaming, which adds shape and curves for a flattering fit.
Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Wool, polyester,rayon
View at Amazon, ($67-$112)
Related: The Best Peacoats for Women
Tips for Buying a Winter Jacket
Check Its Warmth Specs
It can be tough to know how warm a coat is from a photo or a description. When searching, consider two main factors: a coat's insulation and any extra warmth-oriented features it has.
There are two main types of insulation: Down insulation comprises wispy plumage from ducks or geese whereas synthetic insulation is typically made of polyester. For down jackets, you'll often see a spec called "fill power", which refers to its relative quality (specifically, how well it expands or compresses to trap heat), and less frequently, you might see the item's "fill weight" (the weight of the down). Fill power typically falls between 300 and 900; a higher number indicates higher quality but not necessarily that it's warmer because the fill weight also factors in. In general, though, for a winter coat, don't buy anything lower than 500 fill-power and if you're traveling to particularly frigid destinations where you'll need maximum warmth, limit your search to 900.
There's not an industry standard for defining the warmth of synthetic insulation as it's developed as a proprietary element by many brands. However, synthetic insulation typically retains heat better than down does when wet, and it's usually more affordable. Both down and synthetic insulations will keep you nice and toasty—in the end, it comes down to personal preference and your price point.
Regarding features, look for jackets that have fleece linings, pockets large enough for your hands, adjustable or removable hoods, and wrist cuffs to keep cold air out.
Scan the Materials List
If you anticipate wet, windy winter weather, make sure you're buying a coat made with fabrics that are waterproof (the highest level of rain protection), water-resistant (a lower but still reliable level of rain protection), or weather-resistant (light protection from rain, wind, and the sun). Ideally, you'll want a coat or jacket that has a moisture-repellent shell over top of an adequately insulated base. Materials like nylon and polyester offer protection from inclement weather, and many outer shells are made of these.
Jackets with waterproof ratings of 0 to 5,000 millimeters are typically best for light rain or snow, as they have little to no resistance to moisture. Ratings of 20,000 millimeters or more mean a jacket is as waterproof as it gets and will efficiently stand up to heavy rain, snow, and high pressure conditions. You might see these specs when searching online for jackets, so knowing what they mean will help you choose the right jacket for your needs.
Consider Fit and Comfort
For ultimate comfort, choose a coat that you can easily move around in. Look for features that allow for a range of motion, such as zippered vents, plenty of buttons for customization, two-way zippers that allow you to adjust from both the top and the bottom, an adjustable hood, and more. It's also worth thinking about length. Longer coats that reach your thighs or even down to your calves or ankles will surely keep your whole body warmer but might be more restrictive. And don't forget about layers—if you plan to layer up underneath, you'll want a roomy enough coat to accommodate those, which sometimes means sizing up.
Choose Your Preferred Style
The warmest and most comfortable winter coats are often extra-long parkas. However, if you don't plan on trekking through severe weather or temperatures, you can get away with other styles, like shorter and lighter puffer jackets, or even peacoats, trench coats, and shearling jackets. The key is to choose a coat style based on the weather in your region and what appeals to you aesthetically.
Why Trust Travel + Leisure
Travel + Leisure writers are shopping, fashion, and product experts who use personal experience and customer recommendations to choose the best items for shoppers. For this article, senior editor Rebecca Carhart researched dozens of winter coats and used her expertise as a seasoned home, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer to curate the perfect list of warm, comfy, and stylish winter coats for travelers.
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