Fleece jackets are kind of like a cheat code for winter weather. A longstanding stalwart of the outdoor world, fleeces are decidedly comfy, staggeringly warm, and full of character, making them great to wear while in the great outdoors. They’ve found a function outside of the woods, as the inherent technical nature of fleece makes them great for kicking it around town as well.
Fleece is made from finely woven polyester fibers into a light fabric that’s then brushed to give it both thickness and texture. The result is unparalleled warmth and that overall cozy feel. Entirely synthetic, it also has a bit of moisture-wicking properties, which make it great for variable weather conditions.
Regardless of whether you’re on the trail or just hanging on the sofa, you’ll want to do it in a fleece this winter. Here are 15 of our favorites to buy now.
1. Patagonia Retro-X Fleece Jacket
For those unaware, Patagonia really helped to make fleece jackets the winter workhorse piece of outwear that they are today. The Retro-X is one of the brand’s most recognizable pieces and is created from a sherpa fleece made up of 50% recycled materials to be eco-friendly while also keeping you extremely warm. That material makes the jacket windproof, adds odor control, and even comes with a durable water repellent finish should you get caught in the rain. If you’re not familiar with fleece jackets, the Retro-X is your place to start a lifelong relationship with the best fleece around.
2. L. L. Bean Fleece Sweater Pullover
If you’re not sure about investing a lot into a fleece right off the bat, L.L. Bean’s Fleece Sweater Pullover is a great starting point. With an accessible price point, fantastic color options, and plenty of variety in terms of sizing, Bean’s offering is overall a great fit for those new to fleece in general or those who maybe want to try something a little different from their first fleece. Plus, with a great heritage brand such as L.L. Bean, you’re investing in something that will last for a long, long time.
3. Rowing Blazers Harlequin Deep-Pile Sherpa “Jockey” Fleece
With its bold pattern and even brighter colors, this horse-racing inspired fleece jacket from Rowing Blazers is absolutely bound to turn heads. Not for the sartorially faint of heart, the Harlequin Deep-Pile Sherpa “Jockey” Fleece is the brand’s first foray into fleecewear and comes right out of the gate — horse pun intended! — with a stunner of a jacket. The jacket’s fabric was sourced in Portugal and pieced together like jockey silks, adding even more equestrian authenticity. The result is a comfortable, warm, cozy, and bold take on a well-ridden classic — and one that’s absolutely bound to stand out in a crowd.
4. Uniqlo Fluffy Yarn Fleece Jacket
We love Uniqlo for its intersection of extremely stylish and super affordable clothing, so it’s not shocking to hear their fleece doesn’t disappoint in either regard. With nine different colors, soft and plush yarn construction, and a price well under $50 (even with shipping), the Fluffy Yarn Fleece Jacket will have you feeling extremely cozy even if the weather is anything but warm.
5. Amazon Essentials Full-Zip Polar Fleece Jacket
Looking for a second to add to your rotation? Amazon’s Essentials line offerings this Aztec-like print and an impressive 20 other prints on this fleece silhouette. That means there are more than likely one (or even two!) other options that can fit within your own personal style. And because it’s from Amazon, you can get it shipped to you in no time flat or even try it for free as part of Amazon Wardrobe.
6. Carhartt Fleece Pullover Jacket
Those looking for a dedicated pullover fleece jacket will be very happy with this option from Carhartt. Fleece is already great for layering, but the pullover nature makes it even easier to slip under a heavier jacket on colder days or remove when you begin to heat up at any point. Additionally, the jacket has lower warmer pockets for your hands and a chest pocket for small items like a wallet or keys.
7. Marmot Drop Line Fleece Jacket
We’ve already established that one of the great things about fleece is its ability to keep you warm. But there might be a situation where you don’t want a really bulky jacket, yet still need to keep warm. Investing in a lighter weight fleece, like this Marmot Drop Line Fleece Jacket, is a great way to cut down on bulk without having to forgo warmth. And it’s offered in plenty of colors to ensure it will match with almost everything.
8. Outerknown Arcana Sherpa Jacket
Kelly Slater’s surfwear brand Outerknown is far more than just a vanity project, as the company has a commitment to sustainability that rivals Patagonia in terms of ethical and quality construction — while also managing to make really great pieces. Their Arcana Sherpa Jacket is actually a hybrid of sorts between a standard fleece and a super versatile chore coat. This means you can head out of the house wearing this on the weekend and have plenty of room for all your essentials or anything else you may pick up along the way.
9. Fjallraven Ovik Fleece Hoodie
BEST FLEECE HOODIE
For those who love the comfort of a hoodie but need its warmth to be a little supercharged, Sweedish brand Fjallraven’s Ovik Fleece Hoodie sits at the perfect intersection of both. Just like a standard hoodie, this is great to layer underneath a jacket or coat on particularly frigid days, while the knitted exterior provides a good texture. The zip-up nature makes it easy to take on and off as you warm-up, too.
10. Eddie Bauer Bellingham 1/2 Zip Fleece
Looking to spend a bit more money than Uniqlo but still want something quality? Eddie Bauer‘s Bellingham 1/2 Zip Fleece is lightweight enough to keep you from feeling like you’re wearing something too heavy while also being warm enough to withstand freezing temps. The plush pile makes it feel like covering yourself in a beloved blanket. Oh, and the buffalo plaid of this specific colorway will make anyone look great.
11. Patagonia R1 Fleece Pullover Hoody
Patagonia’s R1 Fleece Pullover Hoody is a lightweight option that’s really great for layering under heavier coats or as a casual option around the house on a chilly day when you don’t want to crank up the heat. But our favorite thing about it is this incredible purple colorway the brand is offering this season. It’s certainly a bold option, but one that’s bound to draw a lot of praise whenever you do decide to wear it.
12. The North Face Retro Blocked Denali Fleece Jacket
The North Face’s Denali jacket is up there with the Patagonia Retro X as one of the defining fleece jackets. Boxier in its cut and style, it’s a throwback to the early aughts silhouettes which have now come back in vogue. We love the color-blocked elements of it which almost make it feel like a wearable Rothko painting.
13. Columbia Winter Pass Printed Fleece Jacket
BEST SECOND OPTION
Here’s the thing about fleece. Once you have one, it’s easy to slip down a rabbit hole and end up with, well, more of them. Due to their versatility, they’re just extremely helpful to have on hand, which means snagging another one — such as this one from Columbia — just makes sense. The alternating shades of navy houndstooth (!) make for a fantastic statement option that makes the jacket well worth investing in.
14. Mountain Hardwear Polartec High Loft Fleece Jacket
Mountain Hardwear’s Polartec High Loft Fleece Jacket is made from a fleece that sort of mimics a fur-like material, setting it apart from a lot of the other options on this list. The included paneling in the jacket helps to add a bit of stretch and comfort through the jacket itself while also making it so that you’re not too warm while you wear it. Additionally, this golden colorway will go with pretty much everything, seamlessly sliding into your existing wardrobe. The zip-up style makes it easy to just toss on right as you head out the door for added warmth.
15. Todd Snyder x Champion Polartec Half-Zip Fleece Hoodie
BEST FOR EXERCISE
Since it’s an inherently technical fabric, fleece is great for high-active activities. This means it’s a great fabric to wear when you’re working out in the cold. This stunning fleece hoodie from Todd Snyder’s collaboration with Champion will keep you nice and toasty while you run or do yard work or even as a great layering piece when you’re hiking, as it combines the best of both a hoodie and a fleece jacket into one really stylish option.