5 Best Hiking Jackets for Cold Weather

The best hiking jackets for cold weather are insulated and lightweight. These jackets help you stay warm without excessive weight. Ideal for cold weather hiking, they are made with a waterproof exterior to protect hikers from snow and rain.

Some of the best winter hiking jackets are also practical. Made with multiple pockets, they help hikers stay organized with all essential hiking accessories. They also come with large pockets to keep hands warm.

5 Best hiking jackets for cold weather

Table could not be displayed.

The following hiking jackets for cold weather are made using polyester, fleece, softshell, or a combination of these durable, warm, and waterproof materials.

1. Moerdeng softshell raincoat

No products found.

This best hiking jacket for cold weather impresses with its design, practicality, and waterproofing. It lacks the thin insulation of regular winter jackets. However, long hikes often benefit from having a breathable jacket that prevents excessive sweating from all the effort hikers put in.

Polyester and polyester-derivate materials are used in this jacket. These materials are lightweight, durable, and ideal for waterproofing through the softshell outer of the winter coat.

The jacket features long sleeves to cover the hands and protect them from the cold air of the winter. It also comes with a hood which helps you stay warm and protect your head from the cold weather and high wind.

2 large pockets are added to the jacket. These are ideal for keeping your hands warm or for storing goods such as protein bars or hand warmers since the pockets are zipped.

Available in 5 colors, the jacket is true to size. Hikers typically consider this jacket for bad weather hiking that doesn’t require thick insulation jackets.

2. Fit Space women’s winter jacket

No products found.

This fleece-lined women’s hiking jacket for winter is ideal in cold weather. It features zipped closing as well as a stretchy powder skirt to prevent warm air from escaping.

Made with waterproof materials, it’s one of the best winter hiking jackets women can count on when it comes to extra pockets. There’s a media pocket for the smartphone on the inner side of the jacket.

This pocket is ideal to prevent instant smartphone battery drainage. Hikers know this is a real issue when using a phone in cold weather.

Its design is also made for the ultimate wind protection. Its sleeves are long and there’s an inner thumb hole on the sleeves to use them for better cold air hand protection.

A detachable hood has also been added to the jacket. This hood comes with ventilated materials that prevent high moisture and makes you feel a bit more comfortable while hiking.

Most importantly, the jacket is made with 4-way stretch materials. These are ideal for just about any hiker looking to wear a durable jacket. The stretchy materials also make it a superior choice when wearing a base layer and a mid-layer for extra warmth.

3. Amazon essentials packable puffer jacket

No products found.

Puffer jackets are ideal for hiking in the winter since they pack down easily. This jacket made by Amazon Essentials is one of the lighter hiking jackets for cold weather.

Made with a nylon shell and with polyester filling, this is a lightweight jacket, perfect for demanding technical hikes where hikers need to move a lot. Technical trekking isn’t easy with a bulky jacket.

Benefiting from waterproof materials, the jacket is ideal in any weather. One of its most important benefits is that it sits close to the body. This means the jacket warms you up quickly without warm air escaping easily.

Hikers can also consider Amazon Essential’s jacket as one of the best affordable winter jackets for cold weather hiking. Available in 25 colors, it can be matched with winter hiking pants easily.

4. Trekek winter jacket

No products found.

This warm-lined jacket is ideal for the coldest weather hikes. Made with thick polyester materials and thick insulation, the jacket is ideal when hiking in temperatures at and below-freezing temperatures.

Designed with elastic cuffs, it helps keep your hands warm and your head warm as it also comes with a detachable hood. Its practical design is further proven with its pockets. All the pockets of the Trekek jacket are zipped so that hikers don’t lose any personal belongings in the outback.

Synthetic fleece is added to the inner side of the jacket to keep hikers warm. This recommends it for a slow pace of hiking, particularly in very cold weather. It can be worn with a base layer and a mid-layer as its materials stretch out.

5. Magcomsen free soldier tactical jacket

No products found.

This jacket is made with ultra-soft fuzzy lining. Ideal for cold winter hiking, it comes with extra warmth and durable materials. While not as lightweight as a jacket without lining, it can be the sole option when hiking early in the morning when temperatures are particularly low in the winter.

Made with windproof materials, the jacket is recommended for hiking in the snow. While hikers should always wait for good weather to go out, it’s often not possible to find a good time to hike with a high temperature in the winter. This is where this adjustable waist 4-pocket jacket proves the most practical with its ultimate heat retention design.3

How to buy a hiking jacket for cold weather?

Choosing the right hiking jacket for cold weather is not an easy task. There are thousands of jackets to choose from. However, most jackets which absorb water aren’t good for hiking in the winter. This leaves hikers with waterproof jackets which also need to be warm and breathable. Here are the top characteristics of a good cold weather hiking jacket.


The materials of the jacket play a crucial role in determining warmth, wind, and water protection. Hiking jackets for cold weather are typically made from the following materials.

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Softshell

These are all multiple faces of the same coin. They represent synthetic materials that are durable, waterproof, lightweight, and affordable. Some of the best hiking jackets need to be durable as they get intense use in extreme conditions, unlike casual clothing jackets.

There are also materials to avoid when looking for a hiking jacket, particularly for cold weather.

Fleece – this material tends to absorb water when used on the outer jacket. Fleece might only be used as an insulating layer for the inner jacket.

Leather – is ideal for casual jackets, leather isn’t the best material for hiking jackets. While leather offers the best wind protection, it doesn’t have natural waterproofing and it’s also considerably heavier compared to nylon.

Wind protection

Wearing a jacket that offers wind protection is crucial for hikers. High wind is specific to wintertime hiking. Snowstorms are frequent in the winter. One of the biggest drawbacks of faulty hiking jackets is their inability to offer wind protection. A good hiking jacket always has to offer perfect wind protection.

This often means having a hood that helps keep your head warm. Wind can make its way even through some thick materials. This is why a close-weave jacket is the best choice for wintertime hiking.


Waterproofing is the most important characteristic of a good hiking jacket for cold weather. Staying dry is at least as important as being warm. This is why the most popular hiking jackets are made with waterproof materials.

Cold weather has distinct particularities which favor snowing. The problem with waterproofing is that it has to be balanced. Breathability is also important in jackets as hikers tend to sweat when putting in the effort of trekking in deep snow.


A practical hiking jacket is made with zipped pockets. These are ideal to keep personal belongings such as phones, keys, IDs, and even snack bars. A hiking jacket should have at least one inner pocket to prevent quick battery drainage on handheld navigation devices or smartphones, common in cold weather.


A good hiking jacket should be lightweight. The lighter the jacket the easier hikers move around. Furthermore, lightweight jackets put less pressure on hikers which means they’re ideal for staying dry and preventing excessive sweating.


A hiking jacket should be packable. It should fit hiking backpacks for the ultimate practicality. Packability refers to the jacket’s capacity to be rolled or packed. Down jackets are particularly popular from this perspective.


Hiking jackets should come with adjustable Velcro sleeves. These keep cold air out of the sleeves and your hands warm. Some hiking jackets also come with thumb holes which ensures the sleeves cover the hands almost entirely protecting them from cold air and high wind.

Some of the best hiking jackets are also made with adjustable waistbands. These are ideal when hiking in cold weather as they prevent cold air inflow from the bottom of the jacket.

Removable hoods are also good for just about every hiker who wants to be out of the direct wind. Some of these hoods come with insulation which means some hikers might prefer them to wear hats. However, hoods are very good for hikers who face snowing as they are made with the same waterproof materials as the rest of the jacket.

Stand collars

High collars also known as stand collars are a must for hiking jackets for cold weather. These keep cold air out of the neck area which is often overlooked by beginner hikers. Most jackets for winter wear are made with a high collar. However, those that aren’t should not be considered for hiking as they provide no thermal protection to exposed skin areas such as the neck.


What is the best material for cold weather hiking jackets?

Polyester is the most versatile and the most affordable material for good cold weather hiking jackets. It can be made with waterproofing and windproofing. Polyester can also be used to create stretchy cold weather hiking jackets.

Are hiking jackets for cold weather waterproof?

Hiking jackets for cold weather need to be waterproofed. This means they should keep hikers dry in the rain and snowy weather. Jackets that aren’t waterproofed favor hypothermia and other conditions caused by excessive cold.

Can women wear a man’s hiking jacket for cold weather?

Women can wear a man’s hiking jacket. However, women-specific hiking jackets are made with a narrower waist which equates to a better fit. Otherwise, both men’s and women’s hiking jackets for cold weather are made with the same materials.


Choosing the right hiking jacket for cold weather is often subject to personal preferences and subjective characteristics such as design and colors. But even the nicest-looking hiking jacket might not be enough if it doesn’t offer wind and rain protection.

The Moerdeng Softshell jacket above is ideal for most hikers. It’s lightweight and versatile in offering wind and rain protection. The jacket is ideal with a thick mid-layer for the ultimate thermal protection as it’s not made with a thick lining.

No products found.

Those who want the toughest jacket and the most thermal protection can choose the Magcomsen Free Soldier Tactical Jacket. This is a thick jacket that offers thick insulation for the ultimate warmth. While heavier than the Moerdeng Softshell jacket, it’s ideal when hiking in extreme conditions and when facing bad weather predictions such as a snowstorm. This jacket is also ideal for a thinner mid-layer or for those who only prefer to wear a thin mid-layer.

Women can choose the Fit Space Women’s Winter Jacket. This jacket is specifically designed to keep hiking women warm and dry. Its waist is a bit thinner than a hiking jacket for men. It sits a bit closer to the body which means it sits closer to the body.

The shoulder width is also shorter than on a jacket for men such as the Moerdeng Softshell jacket making it an ideal choice for women who love hiking in the winter. Amazon Essentials’ jacket is the top choice for hiking in the winter when the weather isn’t as cold as freezing temperatures as it’s made for warmer days and for technical climbs where free movement is more important than the thickest materials.