Reviews You Can Rely On

10 Best Fleece Jackets of 2024

To find the best fleece jacket for you, we tested top options from Arc'teryx, Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Columbia, and more.
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Best Fleece Jacket Review (The sheer volume of fleece jackets on the market today is intimidating.)
The sheer volume of fleece jackets on the market today is intimidating.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Our Top Picks

The Best Fleece Jackets for 2024

We've spent the last decade testing the best 120+ fleece jackets on the market, including the best men's fleece jackets and the best women's fleece jackets. Here, we've rounded up our all-time favorites. To earn our esteem, they had to fight through the ranks in a series of rigorous side-by-side tests. After buying each jacket, we wear them in a range of temperatures while lounging and charging to understand their warmth and breathability. We layer them over t-shirts and baselayers and under down jackets and hard shells to see how well they insulate us in the colder months. A good fleece can make or break your layering system; keep reading to find the right option for you.

If you're looking for a warmer layer, head over to our best winter jacket review. We also rounded up and tested our favorite men's down jackets and the best women's down jackets. If you need protection from wind without extra warmth, check out the best women's windbreaker jackets or the best men's windbreakers from our testing. And if you're looking to cozy up all the way down to your toes, check out our favorite slippers.

Editor's Note: We updated this fleece jacket review on April 24, 2024, to include newly tested products and updated award winners.

Related: Best Fleece Jackets for Men
Related: Best Fleece Jackets for Women

Best Fleece Hoody for Women

Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody - Women's

Weight: 10.7 oz | Type: Lightweight
Lightweight yet warm
Breathable and packs well
Slim fitting
Wind sneaks through

The Patagonia R1 Air Hoody is one of the top contenders in our review of the best fleece jackets for women. It will keep you dry and comfortable while moving fast in chilly weather. This soft, lightweight fleece is warm enough to compete with many of the mid-weight options but breathable enough for hard work. The fitted hood insulates your head when you're on the go, and the cuffs slide up your forearm easily without cutting off circulation if you start to overheat.

However, it is lightweight enough that we often cool off and get chilly when we slow our pace or take a break, so this isn't the fleece you want for standing around in the cold — the warm REI Co-op Hyperaxis 2.0 is a better bet for that. There are also no thumb loops, and it doesn't block wind or rain. The fuzzy fabric can hold onto dirt and debris. The hood and slim cut of the women's version can also feel restrictive. If you're curvy, it can be hard to find a size that fits your shoulders and your hips. If you nail the fit, though, this fleece is great for running and works well in a layering system for rougher weather.

Read more: Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody Women's Review

With super soft fabric, excellent coverage, and full freedom of movement, the Patagonia R1 Air Hoody quickly became an easy go-to option whenever heading out the door.
Credit: Amber King

Best Fleece Hoody for Men

Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody

Weight: 12.8 oz | Type: Lightweight
Great warmth-to-weight ratio
Breathes well and packs small
Not very wind-resistant
High-pile fleece collects debris

When you're on the move in frosty temps, we recommend adding the Patagonia R1 Air Hoody to your layering system. The jacket's recycled polyester fabric breathes well while holding heat, making it our favorite option for high-octane activities like climbing or hiking demanding trails. The soft fabric makes it an easy layer to reach for when the weather turns chilly, and it's compact enough to earn a place in any pack.

The R1 Air is warm for its weight but didn't hold enough heat to keep us comfortable in the cold while standing still. If you plan to be more stationary, the thicker REI Co-op Hyperaxis 2.0 is likely a better choice. The R1 Air also does little to block out wind or water, and we wish it had thumb loops to keep our hands warm. While the close-fitting hood insulates your ears, it can feel too snug at times. That said, if you need a fleece to regulate your temperature without holding onto sweat, this is our top choice for the best men's fleece jacket.

Read more: Patagonia R1 Air Full-Zip Hoody Men's Review

The Patagonia R1 Air is an essential mid-layer for our cold-weather layering system.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Best Mid-Weight Fleece Jacket for Women

Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody - Women's

Weight: 12.6 oz | Type: Midweight
Supremely comfortable
Warm and wind-resistant
Not as breathable
Sim cut and expensive

The Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody's stretchy fabric and generous cut throughout the shoulders let your upper body move freely. A fluffy fleece lining keeps you cozy. It's a bit warmer than the other top choice in the best fleece jacket for women review, the Patagonia R1 Air. It is also much better at blocking wind. That makes it our favorite option for lower-output activities. It's also one of the most comfortable jackets we've tested, with smooth fabric that resists dirt and debris.

The Kyanite Hoody doesn't breathe as well and is not our first choice for hard-charging pursuits. A more breathable, gridded fleece like the Outdoor Research Vigor is better suited to handle perspiration. We wish the Kyanite Hoody had thumb loops and the zipper is a weak point in a stiff breeze. While the cut works well in the shoulders, the hips are narrow. If you have curves, you may need to be careful about sizing. Despite these grumbles, this is the fleece we reach for when temperatures plummet.

Read more: Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody Women's Review

You'll find a basic collection of useful features in the slim-fitting Kyanite, plus a super soft interior that makes this a cozy choice whether lounging at home or tackling slopes or trails.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Best Mid-Weight Fleece Jacket for Men

REI Co-op Hyperaxis 2.0

Weight: 16.7 oz | Type: Midweight
Plenty of stretch
Hand-protecting thumb loops
Relatively bulky
Less breathable than average

A classic mid-weight fleece, the REI Co-op Hyperaxis 2.0 is soft, stretchy, and supremely comfortable to wear. With fabric that incorporates spandex, it offers the best combination of warmth, flexibility, and movement, even among the best fleece jackets for men. The generous collar is wide and tall, offering refuge for your face and neck from cold and windy weather. The hood is large but fitted enough to stay put in a stiff breeze. The best part, though, is pulling this jacket on over a t-shirt and enjoying the plush feel of the fleece lining.

This toasty warm jacket does not breathe well, nor does it pack down compactly. It's also heavy and not best suited to backcountry adventures. We appreciate the integrated thumbholes, but they aren't especially well designed and remain open on your wrist when not in use. This fleece excels in low-output, front country use, from touring town to casual hikes and crags.

Read more: REI Co-op Hyperaxis 2.0 Men's Review

The super stretchy fleece blend of the REI Hyperaxis 2.0 greatly improves mobility (and it's fun to play with the pockets.)
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Best Lightweight Fleece for Women

Rab Ascendor Hoody - Women's

Weight: 9.9 oz | Type: Lightweight
Lightweight and compressible
Incredible thermoregulation
Works well in a layering system
Not warm as a standalone jacket
Lack of hand-warming pockets

If you're looking for your next technical mid-layer, the Rab Ascendor Hoody is our first choice for a high-performance piece. This lightweight gridded fleece offers outstanding thermoregulation and is specially cut to be worn with a harness or backpack. Yet, it still provides plenty of room through the shoulders and length in the arms and torso. Our testers loved the stretch and fit of the polyester-elastane blend, allowing them to stretch and move easily while rock climbing. The hood fits comfortably underneath a helmet, and the padded chin guard offers just enough protection to huddle against a cold wind.

We recognize that the Ascendor Hoody is specifically designed without hand-warming pockets so a harness can slide easily overtop. But we'd still like the option for when just hanging around town. Since breathability is at the forefront of its design, the Ascendor is not cozy, nor is it very warm to wear on its own in cold weather. This is really a technical mid-layer that is meant to complement a base layer and a jacket in a cold-weather layering system. If you need more warmth, we suggest looking at the Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody.

Read full review: Rab Ascendor Hoody

The lightweight yet warm, stretchy fabric and long cut of the Rab Ascendor Hoody make it a great choice for layering on spring days when temperatures are hard to predict, and flexibility is important.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Best Lightweight Fleece for Men

The North Face Summit Series FutureFleece Full-Zip Hoodie

Weight: 7.98 oz | Type: Lightweight
Breathes very well
Great warmth for its weight
Odd fit
Some pilling

The North Face FutureFleece Full Zip Hoodie offers top-notch performance at a remarkably low weight. While on big days out in the mountains, we never got too sweaty, even on long uphill hikes. For cold weather activities such as ice climbing, this jacket kept us warm as part of our base layering system, and the chest pocket was handy for keeping our cellphones from freezing. The North Face built this jacket with full-loop fabric, which was soft and inviting against our skin. As a lightweight-class layer, you'll always want this garment in your pack year-round.

The North Face FutureFleece Full Zip Hoodie has a weird cut that is lengthy in the arms and waist, but slim fitting around the chest and arms. This fit will work for some, but many shoppers may find themselves between sizes in this layer, and if that's the case, take a look at the better fitting Rab Ascendor Summit Hoody. After several weeks of testing, the FutureFleece did start to pill, but it's common among fleece jackets. Ultimately, this featherweight jacket is worthy of consideration if it's within your budget, and its premium performance will keep you happy outdoors.

The FutureFleece is surprisingly warm and breathable without being too heavy.
Credit: Syd Knadler

Read more: The North Face FutureFleece Full Zip Hoodie review

Best Value Technical Fleece for Women

Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Quarter Zip - Women's

Weight: 8.9 oz | Type: Lightweight
Relatively more affordable
Moves and breathes well
Light colors are see-through
Chest pocket is lumpy

The Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Quarter Zip offers excellent value for a comfortable, lightweight fleece. The fabric is stretchy, with a generous cut in the shoulders, an extended hemline, and comfortable thumbholes. The jacket also breathes well and packs down small, making it an excellent choice among the best fleece jackets for women, particularly if you're in the market for an active layer.

Though it has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, the Vigor offers only average warmth and little wind resistance. The mid-weight Columbia Benton Springs Pullover is a better option if you need to cut the chill. The pockets on the Vigor also bunch awkwardly, and we noticed that the lighter colorways are see-through. The long hemline also rides pretty low, covering the bum of several of our women testers. Even though it's not perfect, this fleece jacket offers the best performance at this price point.

Read more: Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Quarter Zip Women's Review

We took an extra close look at the unique waffle grid backing of the OR Vigor to verify its impact on breathability and overall performance, and we were impressed with the results.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Best Value Technical Fleece for Men

Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Full Zip Hoodie

Weight: 13.2 oz | Type: Lightweight
Well priced
Lower collar line
Shallow hood

The Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Full Zip Hoodie is made of light, stretchy fabric that moves with you, making it an easy choice for a range of activities, even among the stiff competition of the top fleece jackets for men. We prefer it for fast-paced adventures thanks to its thin, breathable fabric. It's also easy to pack, and we often bring it along as an extra layer to pull on or off or as temperatures fluctuate.

The OR Vigor is a lightweight fleece and is not wind-resistant. It also sports an oddly shaped, shallow hood with a low collar. The combination leaves more of your face exposed to the elements. If you need a hood that offers more coverage for, say, wearing underneath a helmet, then the Patagonia R1 Air Hoody is a better choice for an active layer. The Vigor is best for milder weather, as a layering piece, or to be worn on the go. If that's what you're looking for, you'll find that the Vigor offers a good value.

Read more: Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Full Zip Hoodie Men's Review

fleece jacket - the outdoor research vigor is breathable, comfortable, and comes at...
The Outdoor Research Vigor is breathable, comfortable, and comes at an affordable price. This is a high-value fleece that we love to wear when trying hard.
Credit: James Lucas

Best Midweight Fleece on a Budget for Women

REI Co-op Trailmade Fleece - Women's

Weight: 10.1 oz | Type: Midweight
Super soft fabrics
Lightweight feel
Many large pockets
Not ideal for high-output activities

The REI Co-op Trailmade is a midweight polyester fleece with a lightweight feel. We tested through hot and cold weather, and it performed about average across all the metrics. We recommend it for its super soft, stretchy, mobile fabrics and low price. It has massive pockets and makes for a great standalone fleece or a mid-layer in a layered system. This quickly became a favorite for its lightweight feel and midweight warmth.

There's not a lot to gripe about, outside of some pilling we observed after a few washes. In addition, it wasn't the most breathable, so we wouldn't recommend using it for sports where you might be sweating a lot. If you need a warm, but moderately more active fleece at a good price, our choice is the Outdoor Research Vigor Grid Quarter Zip. But if you're looking for an outer layer for shoulder seasons or a cuddly topper for post-surfing or couch-surfing seasons, even among the top women's fleece jackets, this is your jam.

Read more: REI Co-op Trailmade Women's Review

We put the REI Trailmade through a battery of tests to uncover how it stacks up against the competition.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Best on a Tight Budget

Wrangler Authentics 1/4 Zip

Weight: 12.51 ounces | Type: Midweight
Decent ventilation
Incredibly inexpensive
Casual style
No pockets
Less warm than others

The Wrangler Authentics 1/4 Zip is one of the least expensive fleece jackets we've ever seen. This layer costs several times less than most technical fleeces and still boasts decent performance in some metrics. Our reviewers loved the breathability and casual aesthetics of this piece and were able to go from the trail straight to the restaurant seamlessly. This is certainly not the most technical fleece, but you'll still be able to enjoy the outdoors and save money for other clothing or gear needs.

The Wrangler Authentics 1/4 Zip doesn't have any pockets, which will either be a positive or a negative depending on your needs. This jacket wasn't the warmest layer, but one can simply add more clothing either under or over the Authentics. For another dime-priced fleece option, look at the Amazon Essentials Full Zip, which has a pocket and is warmer, but less breathable. At the end of the day, this ridiculously inexpensive fleece is worth putting in your shopping cart if you're on a tight budget and have more casual fleece needs.

Read more: Wrangler Authentics 1/4 Zip review

For the price, the Wrangler Authentics offers great breathability and will be effective in the outdoors or in the city.
Credit: Zach Lovell

How we Test the Best Fleece Jackets

To test these jackets, we research the entire market before buying the best options every year. Then, we test the thread out of them, switching between them constantly during several months of field testing. We wear them while running, skiing, climbing, napping, lounging – you name it. We've tested them in the dry air of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nevada and in humid environments in Hawaii, Canada, and California. We also bring each option into the lab to complete repeatable, objective tests, like dowsing each with water and comparing the softness and pile of each fleece. Learn more about how we test fleece jackets.

We assess these fleece jacket's performance in 5 key metrics:
  • Warmth
  • Comfort
  • Versatility
  • Breathability
  • Layering Ability

Why Trust GearLab

Our women's and men's fleece jacket testing teams are stacked with people who live outside and like to stay warm while doing it. Maggie Nichols and Amber King head up our women's review. Maggie is a professional backcountry guide with 15 years of experience leading expeditions, river, and backpacking trips in the US and abroad. From her childhood in the Midwest to her travels to Svalbard's glaciers, Lesotho's mountains, and Ecuador's cloud forests, Maggie has learned how to layer. Amber has 20 years under her belt as a climber, with experiences ranging from the North Cascades to Rocky Mountain National Park. She's also a science curriculum writer and outdoor educator who climbs rocks, summits mountains, and runs rivers.

Different fleece jackets have different features, like internal...
Different fleece jackets have different features, like internal pockets, hoods, and thumb loops.
Hoodies are great for hiking in breezy weather during the day and...
Hoodies are great for hiking in breezy weather during the day and throwing on at camp when it gets cool at night.
Each jacket we tested has its strengths and weaknesses. We found...
Each jacket we tested has its strengths and weaknesses. We found them all.
We have reviewed a wide variety of both men's and women's fleeces.

Zach Lovell and Ben Applebaum-Bauch lead the men's review team. Zach Lovell is an IFMGA Mountain Guide who utilizes fleece jackets year-round across the planet, whether guiding, climbing, or skiing. His former work in product development with outdoor brands gives him a unique lens to examine the pros and cons of fleece jackets and other wearables. Ben has over a decade of experience as a canoe, backpacking, and cycling guide throughout the American Northeast and maritime Canada. In his “spare” time, he has bagged more peaks than he can remember and thru-hiked a number of the long trails in the US, including the Continental Divide, Pacific Crest, and Colorado trails.

fleece jacket - from pushing hard in the mountains to relaxing by the sea, a fleece...
From pushing hard in the mountains to relaxing by the sea, a fleece will always earn its weight in your bag.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

How to Pick the Best Fleece Jacket for You

With so many layers to choose from when you head out on an adventure, how do you know which one to grab? When it comes to a fleece jacket, there are several things to keep in mind — how warm you need to be, how likely you are to work up a sweat, and whether you need your jacket to block wind or resist rain. You'll also want to consider what materials the jacket is made from and how durable they will likely be. Additional features like hoods, pockets, and thumb loops can drastically increase the functionality of a piece, as can its fit. We'll walk you through each of these considerations below.

What Weight of Fleece Is Best?

Fleece jackets serve as excellent outwear when temperatures are mild and you're fighting a chill. When the mercury plummets, many can shift to act as a layering piece to add extra warmth, often sandwiched between thin base layers (aka long underwear) and outer layers like rain jackets or parkas. How much warmth they provide often depends on their thickness or weight. Which one you need comes down to how warm you want to be and what you'll be doing.

fleece jacket - testing the fleece jackets side-by-side helps tease out their...
Testing the fleece jackets side-by-side helps tease out their relative strenghts and weaknesses.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


Typically more breathable, especially if made with gridded fabric
Good for long-distance adventures where cutting ounces is important
Layer easily underneath multiple other jackets
Not warm enough on its own for winter use
Not any less expensive than heavier jackets

As the name implies, lightweight fleeces are thinner, lighter, and pack down smaller than their heavier counterparts. These jackets are ideal for high-intensity activities like trail running or climbing when there is a chill in the air, but you expect to work up a sweat. They also work well as a light outer layer when temperatures hover just below t-shirt weather. When it's cold enough to need more insulation, these fit easily beneath a windbreaker, rain layer, or winter jacket.

It's also important to consider how well the jacket's fabric breathes. If it doesn't, and you start to overheat during a hike or run, you'll quickly find that your base layers are wet and you are cold. Buying the heaviest, warmest fleece isn't necessarily the best recipe for cozy comfort outside. Lightweight fleeces almost always breathe better than mid- and heavy-weight fleece jackets. (We actually can't think of any exceptions, but we're staying open to the possibility.) Often, lightweight fleece jackets are made with breathability as a primary design point and have some sort of vapor release system built into the fabric. If you want a fleece to regulate your temperature while working hard enough to sweat in cool-to-cold weather, a lightweight, highly breathable fleece is your best bet.

fleece jacket - lightweight options like the north face futurefleece are breathable...
Lightweight options like the North Face FutureFleece are breathable and packable.
Credit: Zach Lovell


Good balance of weight and warmth for everyday use
Can be layered both over and underneath other jackets
Bulkier than lightweight fleece without necessarily being warmer
Often do not come with a hoody option

Mid-weight fleeces are thicker and heavier than lightweight options. They almost always hold more heat, though the occasional lightweight fleece gives them a run for their money with high-tech insulation. The downside is that their bulk can make them cumbersome to move in and carry around. These jackets are usually still compact enough to serve as a mid-layer beneath a more weather-resistant outer layer.

Similar to lightweight fleeces, mid-weight fleeces have a better chance of breathing well than heavy-weight options due to the thickness and density of the fabric. If you want a warmer, cozier option for slower-paced adventures or everyday wear, a mid-weight jacket is likely to treat you right. We reach for these when heading out for meandering hikes, town tours, or relaxing around a campfire. If you also want to be able to wear your fleece under an even warmer winter jacket or a waterproof shell, you probably want a mid-weight model.

fleece jacket - mid-weight layers are what most commonly comes to mind when you...
Mid-weight layers are what most commonly comes to mind when you think of a fleece jacket.
Credit: Sarah Van Cleve


Designed for cold winter weather
Layer well on top of other jackets
Generally less breathable
Can be bulky, not well-suited to packing

Heavy-weight fleece jackets are heavier and bulkier still. They don't work well as a mid-layering piece beneath other jackets. Rather, they are meant to serve as a standalone outer layer – think big, bulky, and warm. Since they are less versatile than other options, we don't tend to test many of these fleeces.

They tend to thrive in cold weather or during stationary activities where sufficient insulation is critical. This is the last type of fleece you want to reach for if there's any chance of working up a sweat. A consequence of using a high-pile fleece (often more than 300 grams per square meter) is that heavy-weight fleeces tend to be bulky and are not well suited to much beyond classic suitcase-style travel.

fleece jacket - heavyweight, high-pile fleece jackets can be thick enough to block...
Heavyweight, high-pile fleece jackets can be thick enough to block wind.
Credit: Elizabeth Paashaus


Fleece was invented in 1981 by Polartec, then known as Malden Mills. Patagonia worked with the company to make an outdoor performance jacket that wouldn't hold as much water as traditional wool. The first, known as the Synchilla Snap-T fleece, was available for sale in 1985.

fleece jacket - a hot drink and warm fleece are always welcome when winding down an...
A hot drink and warm fleece are always welcome when winding down an epic day spent outside.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Some fleece jackets include a wind or water-resistant hard face fabric or use strategic panels on exposed areas like the chest and shoulders to improve weather resistance. Others are thick and dense enough that they stop any wind well on their own. However, layering a fleece under waterproof or wind-resistant shells helps take advantage of its insulation without relying on it to shed water or block wind. This more comprehensive type of layering puts you in the driver's seat to regulate warmth and comfort while on the go.

fleece jacket - some fleece jackets integrate weatherproof features like a hardface...
Some fleece jackets integrate weatherproof features like a hardface exterior that beads water to help you shake it dry.
Credit: Matt Bento

Today, fleece jackets are made of synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, elastane, and, less frequently, spandex. Sometimes, these materials are recycled. Sometimes, they include some wool. Though a few companies are working to build fleece fabric in ways that reduce shedding, fibers from these jackets become microplastics.

These can act as vectors for toxins, carrying them to animals and people through water. The process is exacerbated by the washing machine. You can reduce your impact by choosing a fleece with some wool, going longer between washes, washing your machine on a gentler cycle, or trying microplastic filters in your washer.

fleece jacket - fleece jackets that incorporate wool in their fabricnhave a few less...
Fleece jackets that incorporate wool in their fabricnhave a few less synthetic microplastic fibers to shed.
Credit: Amber King


Fleece materials tend to be sturdy and built to last. However, they can melt quickly when hot, so be careful around the campfire. To ensure you have yours for years to come, it's important to pay attention to details like the quality of the zipper and the strength of the stitches.

Thinner, lightweight fleeces that are made to breathe well have less fabric by their nature and can be more prone to wear and tear. These options will require more care to maintain than the thick and burly options.

Features To Consider

The feature that affects the functionality of your fleece the most is whether or not it has a hood. If you're going to use your jacket primarily as an outer layer, it's nice to have one for unexpected encounters with chilly or windy weather. If you often layer your fleece with other hooded jackets, managing three hoods around your head and neck can be overkill.

fleece jacket - a warm hood can keep you far more comfortable on an unexpectedly...
A warm hood can keep you far more comfortable on an unexpectedly cold or windy day.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Thumb loops are handy for holding insulation, sun, and wind protection around your hands. While not as crucial as a hood to protect your head, they can do a lot to make an outing more comfortable. That's also true of pockets, especially in mid-weight options that you plan to wear while standing around or moving slowly enough to catch a chill. If you're concerned about keeping your valuables secure, make sure there's at least one zippered pocket.

Also, consider the construction and cut of the hem. Elastic hems can help tailor your fit, while a double zipper gives you more flexibility with both fit and venting possibilities.

fleece jacket - thumbholes keep your hands warm and can help you keep your sleeves...
Thumbholes keep your hands warm and can help you keep your sleeves from bunching when you pull on another jacket.
Credit: James Lucas


The most common fit issues for fleece jackets occur in the shoulders, sleeves, torso, and hips. It's important that the torso is long enough not to expose your belly when you raise your arms, but not so long that it feels like it's restricting your hips. The cut is also important. For curvier people, it can be nice to have a wider hem so your fleece doesn't hug your hips uncomfortably. Some boxier fleeces include a cinch on the hem to hold in heat when you need it.

fleece jacket - some fleece jackets have a long, slim, and fitted cut. others have a...
Some fleece jackets have a long, slim, and fitted cut. Others have a shorter, boxier silhouette.
Credit: Cam McKenzie Ring

To test the shoulders, make sure you can reach above your head and run through the full range of arm motions. Often, jackets that offset standard seams – from the top of the shoulders to across your upper back, for example – offer more shoulder room.

Then there are the sleeves. Their length is especially important if the fleece has thumb loops so you can use them without pulling the sleeves tight across your shoulders.

fleece jacket - the right fleece will serve as a trusty companion for years.
The right fleece will serve as a trusty companion for years.
Credit: Maggie Nichols


A trusty fleece can do wonders to help you compose the perfect layering system for a wide range of weather conditions. We sincerely hope that this review will help you zero in on the perfect option to suit your needs.

Zach Lovell, Maggie Nichols, Amber King, and Ben Applebaum-Bauch