8 Best hiking jackets for cold weather in the USA 2022

If you are looking for the best hiking jackets for cold weather then, you are in the right place. Through, this post I will try to guide you on how to select the best hiking jackets for cold weather. Wearing appropriate clothing for hiking will keep you warm and comfortable during low temperatures. In winter hiking clothing, insulated jackets are essential since they reduce body heat loss by enclosing body-warmed air.

Therefore, winter hiking jackets with warm mid-layers and a great layering system are essential if you are hiking in the winter. Yes, it is true that when trying to decide which winter jacket for hiking will work best for you, there are so many down and synthetic options available. Don’t worry; the following guide will explain how to choose the perfect winter hiking jackets for cold weather which are popular in the market today. So read on!

Benefits of wearing a cold weather hiking jacket

A hiking jacket’s main benefit and function are to protect you from the elements on the trail. In addition to protecting you from the elements, your outer shell needs to be weatherproof to allow you to layer on your other layers and stay warm.

A lightweight and breathable jacket is ideal for activities in cold weather. It is still possible to get hot and sweaty while hiking in the cold, especially if your pack is heavy.

To keep your inner layers dry, you need to allow some of this moisture and heat to escape from your jacket. Furthermore, you will feel comfortable in a good cold weather hiking jacket without being clammy.

List of 8 best hiking jackets for cold weather

To get the most out of hiking, you shouldn’t let the weather conditions stop you. There are some breathtaking landscapes you can find in the winter. You must use the right hiking gear for such adventures. Make sure you wear appropriate clothing for the weather as well. Having covered the basics, let’s move on to our top list of the best hiking jackets for cold weather.

Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody Men's

Known for its long-lasting and incredible quality gear, Arc’teryx is a brand you can trust. With its versatile designs and high performance, you can use it for various conditions and activities. For a good reason, synthetic winter jackets like this are among the most popular.

Key features

  • This jacket has a breathable and warm shell.
  • With a weight of 11.3 ounces, it is also very lightweight.
  • The high quality makes it worth the price, even if it is expensive compared to other products.
  • It has a water-resistant finish.
Pros
  • Synthetic insulation of 60g keeps it warm.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • The packaging is compact and easy to carry.
  • Durability is excellent.
  • The product comes in a variety of colors.
Cons
  • Some women may find it short.

02. Mountain Hardwear Men’s Absolute Zero Parka

Mountain Hardwear Men's Absolute Zero Parka

This Mountain Hardwear jacket is designed for high mountain hikers and professional mountaineers. This synthetic design reinforces the arms, shoulders, and waist with 140D nylon fabric.

Key features

  •  It is highly resistant to harsh weather conditions.
  • In addition to being windproof, it’s also breathable thanks to the AirShield technology.
  • You can store a lot of hiking essentials in it.
  • A vertical entry chest pocket and a hand warmer pocket are included.
  • This brand is exceptionally versatile and helmet-compatible thanks to the zip-off detachable hood.
Pros
  • It is extremely comfortable.
  • You can adjust the drawcords.
  • It weighs only 2.81 pounds, making it incredibly lightweight.
  • It is a durable product.
Cons
  • It is a bit pricey.

03. The North Face Men’s Gotham Insulated Jacket III

The North Face Men's Gotham Insulated Jacket III

This North Face jacket keeps the wind out, keeps out the cold, and protects from the elements during winter. It is the best jacket you can buy if you want comfort and style at the same time.

Key features

  • A down filling of 550 is used for insulating the jacket.
  • A sufficient number of pockets are provided for storing essentials.
  • It is made of breathable fabric that allows water to evaporate.
  • You can customize the design according to your needs.
Pros
  • A well-ventilated jacket.
  • It’s super cozy and warm.
  • There is a lifetime warranty on this product.
  • There is no doubt that it’s extremely affordable.
  • There are several attractive colors available.
Cons
  • A little big in the fit.

04. Rab Men’s Valiance Pro Down Jacket

Rab Men's Valiance Pro Down Jacket for Climbing and Mountaineering

Rab brand is probably unfamiliar to you. The Rab Valiance Down Jacket is an excellent example of the quality gear made by Rab. The quality of this brand is up to par with that of Arc’teryx, although it may not be as well-known.

Key features

  • These hiking jackets are waterproof and warm.
  • Suitable for all kinds of hikers.
  • A small stuff sack makes it convenient to carry
  • Featuring ethically sourced 800-fill down, this coat is extremely warm.
  • It weighs one pound, five ounces.
Pros
  • There is 800-fill down inside, making it very warm.
  • There is an extremely high level of waterproofing in this product.
  • The stuff sack makes it easy to pack.
  • It is a durable product.
Cons
  • Bulky product.
Amazon Essentials Men's Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Puffer Jacket

Resistant Packable Puffer Jacket-One of the most popular women’s winter hiking jackets is the Amazon Essentials Puff Jacket. As well as being warm, it is lightweight and durable at 10 ounces, with 60g of synthetic fibers. As well as being easy to store, it can pack up into its pocket when not in use.

Key features

  • The material is 100% nylon
  • The zippered closure makes it easy to wear
  • The water-resistant style for cold weather
  • The shirt is fully-zippered and has a standup collar.
  • It comes with a drawstring carrying bag.
Pros
  • The 60g synthetic insulation keeps you warm.
  • Incredibly lightweight.
  • It is compact enough to fit in a pocket.
  • The fabric is water-repellent.
Cons
  • There could be more pockets.

06. Columbia Men’s Watertight Ii Jacket

Columbia Men's Watertight Ii Jacket

In terms of performance, I am very satisfied with the REI Hybrid Jacket. The 850-fill down makes this jacket extremely warm and breathable, and waterproof. A pit zip allows airflow and breathability in this winter jacket for hiking.

Key features

  • It provides waterproof and breathable air permeable protection
  • This fabric is completely breathable and waterproof
  • Materials of advanced technology are used in the product
  • This jacket keeps you dry and comfortable.
Pros
  • It is durable and waterproof.
  • You can adjust the hem with a draw-cord.
  • It comes with a security pocket.
  • The chest pocket has a zipper.
Cons
  • It doesn’t fit well for a few hikers.
Outdoor Research Men's Floodlight Down Jacket

When it comes to hardcore mountaineering, this jacket excels. A 100% nylon 30D ripstop Pertex Shield+ 2L outer surface makes the jacket durable. It is another popular hiking jacket on Amazon.

Key features

  • A hood can be attached to it.
  • The material is made of 100% 30D ripstop nylon, so it is durable
  • It is insulated with goose down of 800+ fill power
  • Dynamic Reach Underarm Panels are included in the design
  • Powerful insulation is provided by it.
Pros
  • The hood is adjustable.
  • It is made of a soft material.
  • An internal pocket is included.
  • This product provides windproof and waterproof protection.
Cons
  • A little pricey.

08. OTU Men’s Lightweight Waterproof

OTU Men's Lightweight Waterproof Hooded Rain Jacket

You can wear it on the mountain or as casual wear in chilly weather. A simple collar adds warmth and protection to your neck when it is zipped up, keeping your hands warm and adding zippered hand pockets for your mitts. Thanks to the lightweight fabric and treated insulation, you can wear it casually or on severe technical outings.

Key features

  • Watertight IV fabric offers superior water resistance.
  • This jacket is waterproof
  • The fabric is 100% Polyester
  • It is very light and breathes well.
  • Packing it into a bag is easy.
Pros
  • It is convenient to use, and it has a compact storage space.
  • The hood is highly adjustable with an adjustable drawstring.
  • There is an extra layer of protection and warmth provided by the hood.
  • You can find a zippered slash hand pocket on both sides of this men’s jacket.
Cons
  • Breathability is average.

Things to consider while purchasing the best hiking jackets for cold weather: Buyers Guide

Choosing a jacket with all the features you need can be challenging. Here are some essential features you should consider when you make a purchase decision.

  • Synthetic vs. Down: When selecting the best winter hiking jacket, you must decide between down and synthetic insulation. Most heat is generated by down insulation, which is lightweight and packable. Water-resistant down insulation jackets are designed to handle some dampness, but down, generally do not like getting wet. Synthetic insulation performs better when damp and also is a cheaper and better alternative compared to down insulation. However, down is more durable and packable, but synthetic is less packable. Thus, these two jackets make great winter hiking jackets and are great insulators.
  • Layering: It is sometimes necessary to wear layers when hiking in winter. If you are wearing layers of clothing with your jacket, ensure that it is easy to wear. Make sure the size allows you to wear a mid-layer or base layer underneath. In other words, if you layer a fleece underneath, the jacket will be warmer and more insulated. Thus, if you plan to layer your jacket with layers, ensure it provides optimum warmth.

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  • Water resistance: In the case of winter hiking jackets that are not entirely waterproof, DWR is commonly used. Winter hiking jackets with DWR are not waterproof but offer light rain and snow resistance features. A waterproof winter jacket for hiking or an outer shell jacket is highly recommended if you plan to hike in wet weather. You must clean winter hiking jackets with DWR properly to maintain their performance.
  • Packable jacket: You should pay special attention to packable jackets when hiking in areas with rapidly changing weather. When it’s too hot to wear a jacket, you can pack these into a small backpack to protect yourself from harsh weather conditions.
  • Breathability: A material’s breathability determines how easily it can release moisture and vapors to the outside. Polyester and nylon are commonly used in face fabrics. DWR (durable water repellent) is applied to these nylon fabrics. Since nylon is a waterproof material, it is used primarily in textiles.
  • Compressibility and weight: winter hiking jackets should be lightweight and compressible. You will most likely not need to wear your hiking jacket during the entire hike unless it is extremely cold or you are hiking in the alpine, so make sure your jacket doesn’t add too much weight to the bag pack or can easily be packed down if it’s essential. Synthetics are becoming more packable and lightweight with new technology, but down jackets continue to be lighter and packable. When packing your winter hiking jacket in your backpack, many jackets come with stuff sacks or can be stuffed into pockets on the jacket.
  • Features: Consider what features you want on your winter hiking jacket before you buy it. Consider the following features:
  • Vents: Winter hiking jackets with vents are more breathable, even though they are not so common. In jackets with waterproof shells, vents provide a lot of breathability, which is lacking in waterproof jackets.
  • Hood: This list of hiking jackets includes jackets with and without hoods. An outer shell jacket won’t be necessary if you will not be hiking in conditions that require an outer shell jacket. In the end, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Most hikers do not wear hoods to save weight.
  • Zipper: Winter jackets that hikers usually use for hiking are typically equipped with zippers, but some hiking jackets don’t come with zippers at all. Some jackets on the market have a quarter or no zippers, but all of the winter hiking jackets on this list have a full zipper. Due to its accessibility and ease of use, most hikers prefer a full zipper jacket.
  • Adjustments: Winter jackets can be adjusted in many ways, with hood adjusters and drawcords being the most common. There are usually drawcords along the waist of a jacket, and they are great for blocking cold air. To block the wind and rain, hood adjusters help tighten the hood around your head.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between hiking jackets and ski jackets?

It might seem like hiking jackets are similar to ski jackets, but they are different. Due to the possibility of hiking in different weather conditions, hiking jackets come with more pockets, packable designs, and adjustability.

Do insulated jackets need to be washed?

It is generally recommended to wash insulated jackets at 30 C. It is also suggested not to spin the jacket and to let it drip dry instead. Tumble dryers and fabric softeners should not be used.

Can you recommend a jacket that is suitable for extreme cold?

A down jacket is the best choice for extremely cold conditions because of its weight-to-warmth ratio. You should not wear a down jacket in wet weather, however. The jackets listed above that use synthetic insulation are better suited for humid or wet conditions.

When choosing a hiking jacket, what factors do you consider?

Determining the weather conditions in the region where you often hike is essential before choosing the right hiking jacket. You can also choose from different jackets, such as hard shells, fleeces, soft shells, and down jackets.

When it comes to hiking jackets, how should they fit?

To allow you to move more freely and flexibly, hiking jackets shouldn’t be too tight. In addition to being breathable, they should not sit too close to your body, as they are designed to allow you to hike for hours on end.

Do hiking jackets last a long time?

The hiking jacket’s double layer of high-quality materials makes it highly durable. Due to their waterproof and windproof properties, most of them can easily bear the harshest bad weather conditions. Polyester and nylon blends are often used to make hiking jackets that are durable and flexible, as well as a small amount of spandex to give the jacket elasticity.

Thus, it’s essential to consider what you will wear underneath when choosing the best hiking jacket for cold weather. Our instinct is to keep warm when the temperature drops, but hiking is also physically demanding, so we will build up quite a bit of internal heat, which is usually required on uphill sections. Thus, now that you know what waterproof and durable hiking jackets are, you can choose wisely. To decide which hardshell or softshell jacket is best for your hiking trip, we hope our guide has helped you through the selection process. It is up to you now to choose which climate you prefer to hike and select the proper jacket accordingly.

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