Reviews You Can Rely On

The 7 Best Winter Jackets for Women of 2024

We bought and tested winter jackets from Fjallraven, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, Rab, Canada Goose, and more to help you find the best for the coldest months
gearlab tested logo
Best Winter Jacket Women Review (It's hard to go wrong with so many great winter jackets to choose from.)
It's hard to go wrong with so many great winter jackets to choose from.
Credit: Clark Tate
Monday February 26, 2024

We've tested over 60 of the best women's winter jackets over the last decade to help you find your match. Here, we've rounded up the most promising 15 contenders, from soft and cozy cocoons to durable beasts that shrug off winter storms. To test them, we wear them to commute, shovel snow, trek through winter storms, and tailgate after long days on the ski hill. We wear them over t-shirts and fleece layers to test layering comfort and stand still in the coldest pre-dawn hours in our head-to-head warmth tests. Bitter New England wind chills and standing in the shower take their weather resistance to task. No matter what your winter looks like, we've got a great option for you.

If you need a jacket to regulate your temperature and keep you dry when you're working hard enough to sweat, we also test women's and men's protective ski jackets and the best women's softshell jackets. For missions in serious cold and in the toughest weather, we've also tested weatherproof hardshells that layer well over our favorite feather-filled women's down jackets or one with synthetic insulation to handle a variety of conditions.

Editor's Note: We updated our women's winter jacket review on February 26, 2024, to include new and updated options from brands like The North Face and Orolay.

Related: Best Winter Jacket for Men

Top 15 Winter Jackets - Test Results

Displaying 11 - 15 of 15
< Previous | Compare | Next >
 
Awards      
Price $199 List
$78.83 at REI
$79.83 at REI$67 List
$59.97 at Amazon
$340 List
$170.00 at Amazon
$100 List
$59.99 at Amazon
Overall Score
58
42
43
45
38
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Warm, comfortable, simple, inexpensiveGreat price, lightweight, flattering cut, comfortableInexpensive, comfortable, decent waterproofing, quite warmGreat concept, easy to attach the two jacketsWell-priced, waterproof
Cons Shallow hood, low-quality snapsNot as warm as other options, less weather protectionShort, no wrist cuffs, questionable qualityAwkward cut, not very warm, shallow hood, shell fabric holds waterVery little protection for your face, loose stitches
Bottom Line Cute, streamlined, and warm enough for most winter weather, this jacket is a great value, but its snaps are delicateThis lightweight, flattering jacket is great for shoulder seasons or milder wintersThis low-cost winter jacket is warm and waterproof but much shorter than others we testedThis well-conceived jacket isn't executed as well as we'd likeThis inexpensive, waterproof jacket would work for a ski day
Rating Categories REI Co-op Norseland... Columbia Heavenly L... Wantdo Waterproof Snow The North Face Ther... Moerdeng ArcticPeaks
Warmth (30%)
6.5
3.0
4.0
5.0
4.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
5.5
3.0
5.0
4.0
4.0
Comfort (25%) Sort Icon
6.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
3.0
Versatility and Style (10%)
8.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Construction Quality (10%)
2.0
5.0
3.0
5.0
3.0
Specs REI Co-op Norseland... Columbia Heavenly L... Wantdo Waterproof Snow The North Face Ther... Moerdeng ArcticPeaks
Measured Internal Temperature 69.5 °F 64.5 °F 64.0 °F 62.7 °F 63.9 °F
Insulation and Fill Power 650-fill power duck (80% recycled down / 20% feather) Polyester synthetic down and thermal reflective liner Not specified Recycled polyester insulation Cotton insulation with polyester fleece lining
Fill Weight Not specified Not specified Not specified 11 g/square foot Not specified
Hood Insulated, adjustable Insulated Detachable, insulated hood, with removable faux fur trim Uninsulated, adjustable Faux fur-lined, adjustable, removable
Pockets 2 zippered hand warmer, 1 zippered interior 2 zippered hand warmer, 1 zippered interior 2 buttoned external, 2 internal - 1 zippered chest, 1 drop-in mesh, 1 arm 2 zippered hand warmer pockets in shell, 2 zippered hand warmer and 1 internal chest in down liner 2 hand warmer, 1 external zipper chest, 1 internal zipper chest
Weight (size small) 2.1 lb 1.4 lb 2.6 lb 1.6 lb 1.9 lb
2-Way Zipper Yes Yes N0 N0 N0
Weather Resistant Features DWR treatment Water resistant fabric Waterproof fabric Waterproof fabric with DWR finish for liner and shell Waterproof and windproof fabric with DWR finish
Sizes Available XS - 3XL XS - 3XL S - 2XL XS - 3XL S - 2XL
Social or Environmental Certifications 80% recycled down, Bluesign approved nylon fabric and recycled polyester lining, Certified Climate Neutral brand None found None found Recycled insulation, non-PFC DWR finish on inner liner None found


The Best Women's Winter Jacket for 2024


Best Overall Women's Winter Jacket


Fjallraven Nuuk - Women's


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 9.0
  • Weather Resistance 8.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • Versatility and Style 9.0
  • Construction Quality 9.0
Insulation: 250g supreme microloft (polyester) | Pockets: 6 external, 5 internal
REASONS TO BUY
Warm and protective
Supple fabric with a relaxed fit
Excellent pockets
REASONS TO AVOID
Can feel bulky
Fabric doesn't shed water well

The Fjallraven Nuuk was a fast favorite among our testers, keeping us warm in bitter temps with its generous insulation. Recently updated, the Nuuk's now recycled polyamide fabric is still soft and pliable, with enough heft to feel like a hug. It's also waterproof, with a generous hood and faux-fur ruff that flips out like a brim to block the wind. With the zipper pulled up to your nose and the hood blocking side gusts, you're pretty much weatherproof. The generous cut leaves plenty of room to layer up without feeling like an overstuffed pillow. We also find that this jacket breathes well, and we rarely overheat while wearing it. But our favorite part may be this jacket's abundance of generously sized and artfully tucked away pockets, lending the jacket a functional, laidback style.

The Nuuk is heavy, which we think is a fair tradeoff for how much goodness it packs into every pound. We don't love carting it around inside though. There are lighter options if you're in and out of doors often. The larger, relaxed fit can feel overwhelming at times and the sleeves are a roll too long. And, while the Nuuk keeps us dry in our shower tests, the face fabric holds onto water more than we'd like for warmer, wetter winter weather. If you like staying warm and dry in snowstorms or apres tailgates though, this one's for you. The North Face Arctic Parka is a less expensive option with a similar design and waterproof shell. If you're looking for a lighter, longer, puffy-style parka, we also love the toasty Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka.

Read more: Fjallraven Nuuk review

We love the super-protective design of the Nuuk's hood.
Credit: Clark Tate

Best Bang for the Buck


The North Face Arctic Parka


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 8.0
  • Weather Resistance 8.5
  • Comfort 7.0
  • Versatility and Style 7.0
  • Construction Quality 8.0
Insulation: 600-fill recycled down | Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal
REASONS TO BUY
Waterproof and warm
Sleek and durable
Excellent hood
REASONS TO AVOID
Internal pocket unsecured
Uninsulated hand-warmer pockets

Winter jackets are an investment, and the The North Face Arctic Parka is a reasonable one. It feels well-built and likely to last. The burly, wind and waterproof fabric and 600-fill down keep you warm and dry in freezing weather. An insulated hood, generous faux fur ruff, and soft wrist gaiters keep your extremities happy. And a high, roomy collar comfortably tucks your lower face out of the weather. The jacket reaches to mid-thigh, extending the warmth to your lower body without impairing your mobility. A two-way zipper gives you all the room to move in the world if you run into an unexpected snowball attack. To top it off, the Arctic parka is filled with recycled down wrapped in recycled polyester fabric.

There isn't much we don't like about the Arctic Parka. There are a few jackets that are a bit warmer, and a few others that are lighter with a more comfortable cut. A couple have longer hemlines, which is nice if you want to skip warm pants or long johns when temperatures plummet. But, only the Fjallraven Nuuk and Canada Goose Expedition Heritage Parka are as warm and weather-protective as this jacket, and both cost much more. If you want a warm, waterproof, and comfortable parka and can give up the Nuuk's epic pockets to save some cash, this is an excellent option. If you need the most economical options, check out the Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket - Women's. It's much shorter, but also weatherproof with a protective hood.

Read more: The North Face Arctic Parka review

The Arctic Parka's deep hood with its fold out, wire-rimmed faux fur ruff protects your face from the wind and weather.
Credit: Clark Tate

Best Winter Jacket on a Tight Budget


Orolay Thickened Down


67
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 8.0
  • Weather Resistance 5.0
  • Comfort 8.0
  • Versatility and Style 4.0
  • Construction Quality 6.0
Insulation: 700-fill power (90% down, 10% feathers) | Pockets: 6 external, 1 internal
REASONS TO BUY
Reasonably priced
Warm and windproof
Comfy loose fit
Great handwarmer pockets
REASONS TO AVOID
Polarizing style
No face coverage

The Orolay Thickened Down is warm and incredibly comfortable, wrapping downy baffles around your core. It also features insulated hand warmer pockets, one of the few options in the test that don't force you to slide your hands past annoying zippers. The cavernous, plush fleece-lined hood blocks crosswinds. And, while it's not technically waterproof, it did keep us dry in our two-minute shower test. Combine those facts with this jacket's low price tag, and you get the gist. It does the job for less.

A deal this good rarely comes without compromises, and this one has a few. That big hood won't block head-on winds, and neither will the jacket's low collar. This parka leaves your face and neck out in the cold. Many of the seams are internal and protected, but those that aren't hidden snag easily and bunch the fabric up when pulled. If they break, they're unlikely to isolate the damage. But what would keep most of our test team from choosing this jacket is its style. It makes a statement, so you want to make sure you're on board with flashy zippers, ribbons, and questionably useful bells (i.e. buttons) and whistles (i.e. folded panels). If you like the look, this is a great option. The REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0 costs a bit more but has a more neutral style, as does the Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded.

Read more: Orolay Thickened Down review

The Orolay has a clever design feature that lets you expand the hem for maximum comfort.
Credit: Clark Tate

Best for Passive Cold Weather Activities


Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 9.5
  • Weather Resistance 7.0
  • Comfort 10.0
  • Versatility and Style 7.0
  • Construction Quality 6.0
Insulation: 240g of 700-fill goose down | Pockets: 2 external, 2 internal
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight and warm
Long with a protective hood
Incredibly soft
Comfy wrist gaiters
REASONS TO AVOID
Not the most stylish option
No waist cinch to hold heat in

The Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka wraps you in 250 grams of 700-fill power goose down. The high-quality feathers keep the jacket light, and the pliable nylon shell is cloud-soft. An insulated hood that extends beyond your face in what Outdoor Research (OR) calls a down-baffle ruff helps keep the weather at bay. It works like a fur ruff to block wind, though not as well. OR says that this jacket zips up to your nose, and while its collar is very tall and wide enough to tuck your face into, it only reached a bit above our lead tester's chin. Still, it's one of the most comfortable collars in the test, with a knit lining and inner down baffle to hold in more heat. Knit wrist-cuffs and lined pockets beneath the down insulation keep your hands warm.

The Coze is frumpy in a way that some fashionable people can probably pull off as elegant. Our lead tester is not one of them. Even so, she loved wearing it, despite teasing from a few friends — friends who weren't nearly as warm as she was. We wish it cinched at the waist, which could lend a more flattering shape. More importantly, it would/stop frigid temps from sneaking up into our down cocoon. This isn't a problem with temps around freezing, but it can be when the weather turns truly cold. Still, if you want to float around outside in a cloud, thumbing your nose at conventional fashion, seriously consider the Coze. For a more stylish but similar look, we like the Patagonia Down With It Parka, which also includes a convenient snap closure. The Rab Deep Cover Parka and Marmot Montreal are also excellent options.

Read more: Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka review

The Coze Down Parka has a doozy of a hood. It's insulated with a baffled “ruff” that juts out to protect your face from crosswinds. It also zips up to your nose!
Credit: Clark Tate

Best for Extreme Conditions


Canada Goose Expedition Heritage Parka - Women's


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 10.0
  • Weather Resistance 10.0
  • Comfort 6.0
  • Versatility and Style 4.0
  • Construction Quality 9.0
Insulation: 625-fill duck down | Pockets: 8 external, 2 internal
REASONS TO BUY
Arctic-level warmth
Fortress-like weather protection
Tons of external pockets
REASONS TO AVOID
Overkill for most climates
Heavy and somewhat stiff
Extremely expensive

The Canada Goose Expedition Parka Heritage is temperature rated for -22°F weather and below. We tried it out on a walk in a -20°F windchill in northern Vermont, and it did the trick. No surprise when you consider that this jacket was created for scientists working in McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Duck-down insulation, incredibly waterproof Arctic-tech fabric, and a hood with a real coyote fur ruff work together to block out cold air and brutal winds. With the hood deployed in our shower test, we barely even heard the water, and not a drop snuck inside this fortress of a jacket. It's also surprisingly wearable, with plenty of room in the shoulders and two pockets tucked inside the insulation.

Even in locales with cold winters, this level of warmth and weather protection is usually unnecessary. So this jacket may be overkill for your needs. It's also heavy, and while it's surprisingly comfortable, especially with the waist cord cinched, the jacket does feel bulky. Of course, the real elephant in the room is its price tag. This jacket is by far the most expensive in our lineup. But for the right person and conditions, we have no doubt the Expedition is worth it. Canada Goose also has an excellent warranty and repair program. A great alternative option is the Fjallraven Nuuk, which offers a similar level of protection for less extreme conditions and at a less extreme price.

Read more: Canada Goose Expedition Parka Heritage review

The Canada Goose Expedition offers real deal warmth and style, at a price.
Credit: Clark Tate

Most Versatile Winter Jacket


Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka - Women's


71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth 6.0
  • Weather Resistance 7.5
  • Comfort 7.0
  • Versatility and Style 10.0
  • Construction Quality 7.0
Insulation: 700-fill recycled down | Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal in each layer
REASONS TO BUY
Three jackets in one
Warm and flattering
Waterproof and durable shell
REASONS TO AVOID
Hood and outer pockets are uninsulated
Can be hard to size
No double zipper on the down layer

If you want a jacket that can take you from early fall to late spring, the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka is the option for you. With an inner down layer, an outer shell, and an easy-to-use zipper that combines the two, this three-in-one jacket keeps you ready for ever-changing conditions. The inner jacket is insulated with 700-fill recycled down. It's water-resistant enough to get you out of a drizzle and is a great standalone option for clear and chilly days. The outer layer is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. When you zip the two together, this jacket is a warm and weatherproof shelter. It's also one of the more stylish and flattering options we tested.

The Tres can be tricky to size. Patagonia's size finder recommended a medium for our lead tester, but it was way too big, with comically long sleeves. The small fits well, but the liner jacket is snug on its own. That's because, when you zip it into the shell, you gain an inch or two in circumference to accommodate the outer jacket's zipper. Though the hood and outer hand warmer pockets are uninsulated, they are roomy enough to accommodate a beanie and gloves. The hood is also highly adjustable, which lets you snug it down enough to block out rain or snow. This jacket is expensive, but you are getting three high-quality options — a down layer, a hardshell exterior, and a functional winter parka. The North Face Thermoball Eco Triclimate Parka is a similar jacket for less, though it's not as warm or comfortable. The Patagonia Down With It Parka has a polished look in an easier-to-size package.

Read more: Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka review

It doesn't take long to zip the two layers together.
Credit: Clark Tate

Best Women's Down Jacket


Rab Neutrino Pro - Women's


Insulation: 800-fill European goose down | Pockets: 2 external, 1 internal
REASONS TO BUY
Toasty and compressible
Impressive weather resistance
Hood is adjustable
REASONS TO AVOID
Higher price tag
Tighter in the hips

The Rab Neutrino Pro Down Jacket is one of our all-time favorite down jackets. Not only is this jacket lightweight and impressively warm, it also has an amazing water-resistant layer that absorbed not a drop in our shower test. The hood is awe-inspiring as well. You can cinch it down to wrap around your head snug enough to block out the harsh winter wind. And speaking of wind, no gust could be felt through this impressive jacket. It kept our testers warm and protected from every icy blast. We also love how packable this jacket is. It's perfect for packing up and carrying with you in case of emergency.

This jacket is toasty, but it is much shorter than most. We found that it sat just over our hips and bums, but only when we were standing still. The shorter length allows for better mobility, but certainly leaves your bottom half out in the cold. We also found the Rab Neutrino to be snug in the hips. It bunched up as we moved due to the tight fit. Unzipping the bottom of the two-way zipper helped to free up movement, but let precious heat escape. To combat this issue, it might be a good idea to try a size up. However, the chest and shoulder fit loosely enough to add layers and keep upper body movement unrestricted. With a lack of any fur ruff on the hood, synthetic or otherwise, your nose and eyes are not quite as protected from the wind as they could be. If that is important to you, you might try the Fjallraven Nuuk or the even more robust Canada Goose.

Read more: Rab Neutrino Pro Down Jacket review

The Neutrino is great for winter activities, even in the harshest weather
Credit: Clark Tate

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
85
Fjallraven Nuuk - Women's
Best Overall Women's Winter Jacket
$500
Editors' Choice Award
84
Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka
Best for Passive Cold Weather Activities
$399
Top Pick Award
83
Canada Goose Expedition Heritage Parka - Women's
Best for Extreme Conditions
$1,775
Top Pick Award
78
The North Face Arctic Parka
Best Bang for the Buck
$350
Best Buy Award
71
Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka - Women's
Most Versatile Winter Jacket
$699
Top Pick Award
70
Patagonia Down With It Parka
$349
68
Marmot Montreal
$300
68
Rab Deep Cover Parka
$315
67
Orolay Thickened Down
Best Winter Jacket on a Tight Budget
$152
Best Buy Award
63
Columbia Suttle Mountain Long
$230
58
REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0
$199
45
The North Face Thermoball Eco Triclimate Parka
$340
43
Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket - Women's
$67
42
Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded
$160
38
Moerdeng ArcticPeaks
$100

winter jacket womens - we tested each jacket head to head to help you find the perfect one...
We tested each jacket head to head to help you find the perfect one for your winter.
Credit: Ryan Reed

Why Trust GearLab


After spending hours researching the current season's winter jackets, we purchase the top models to test side-by-side. We spent hundreds of hours switching between coats in similar conditions and running repeatable tests, from standing in the shower to standing outside in freezing weather and bitter winds while checking for heat leaks with a laser thermometer. We hiked and walked over 125 miles in inclement weather. We tested every jacket in temps ranging from 50 to -30°F with wind chill and in sideways snow and sloppy shoulder season weather.

Our winter jackets were tested across five rating metrics:
  • Warmth (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Weather Resistance (25% weighting)
  • Comfort (25% weighting)
  • Versatility and Style (10% weighting)
  • Construction Quality (10% weighting)

Liz Williamson helped set the foundation for this review by testing winter jackets in Yosemite and around Lake Tahoe from 2015 to 2019. She tested over 100 jackets in harsh conditions, from the High Sierra to the Andes and Patagonia. Her design and wildlife management background helps her understand practical outerwear requirements in cold environments and the functional considerations of day-to-day use around town.

Tester Clark Tate combines a master's degree in Environmental Science with a decade of science writing to build on this foundation and flush out our jacket testing plans and ratings. Clark developed an appreciation for finding the right winter coat over fifteen winters living and playing in mountain towns like Breckenridge, Durango, South Lake Tahoe, and Jay Peak. She now lives in Maine and frequents New England's snowy peaks.

Winter weather isn&#039;t predictable. We wore each model in a variety of...
Winter weather isn't predictable. We wore each model in a variety of environments, from daily city life to mountain adventures, and rated them across multiple comprehensive metrics.
Style and function can work hand-in-hand. From the bar to the...
Style and function can work hand-in-hand. From the bar to the mountains, we pushed the limit of each jacket we tested.
Fur ruffs and tall collars help keep the cold out. We love features...
Fur ruffs and tall collars help keep the cold out. We love features that feel soft against the skin, like fleece cuffs, and those that offer practical function, like sensibly sized pockets.
We've tested these jackets across three seasons and a multitude of freezing (and below-freezing) environments to find out which ones do best at keeping us warm.

Analysis and Test Results


We tested every winter jacket across five comprehensive metrics, and each score is relative to the other jackets in the review. A score of 6 or 7 in warmth is still very toasty — it's just not as warm as models that score higher. You'll want to consider your climate and favorite outdoor activities to determine which test scores and features are the most important for you. You may need a more waterproof jacket, a super warm option, or something that will breathe well enough to keep you from overheating. If you want something optimized for wet weather, see our review of the best women's rain jackets.


Value


It's essential to find the right winter jacket for your needs and your budget. For example, the Orolay Thickened Down provides an excellent performance-to-price ratio, earns high scores, and is among the least expensive jackets in our test. The Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket is even cheaper. Since it's fully waterproof, it could be a good choice if you experience wet winters.

However, though the Wantdo holds in a lot of heat, it is much shorter than the Orolay. If your bum and legs get cold easily, you may want to consider a longer option like the Columbia Heavenly Long Hooded, which doesn't cost much more. Though its scores are lower because it is lighter and less weatherproof, it is a solid jacket for milder climates or shoulder seasons.

winter jacket womens - the orolay offers impressive warmth and comfort at a very reasonable...
The Orolay offers impressive warmth and comfort at a very reasonable price.
Credit: Clark Tate

The REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0 is also warm and reasonably priced. Its scores took a few hits because its hood is small and shallow and a snap ripped off during the review. We still wear it often and think it's a solid value, especially given REI's solid customer service. The Marmot Montreal and Rab Deep Cover Parka cost quite a bit more but didn't pose the same durability concerns. Given how long they are likely to last, we think their price tags are reasonable. That said, their thin polyester fabric may not hold up as well as heavier-duty options.

winter jacket womens - we reach for the easy-to-wear norseland insulated parka 2.0. we just...
We reach for the easy-to-wear Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0. We just one of the snaps didn't rip out of place right away.
Credit: Clark Tate

More expensive jackets can still offer excellent value. For example, the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka gives you three jackets for the price of two similar options. Like many jackets in this review, it also offers ecological and ethical value. The coat is insulated with 100% recycled down and 75% recycled polyester (100% in the down layer and 50% in the shell), and its sewing labor is Fair Trade Certified. If these values are important to you, check the bottom of the table found at the top of this page to find out which companies make similar efforts.

winter jacket womens - while the patagonia tres is a big investment, you&#039;re buying three...
While the Patagonia Tres is a big investment, you're buying three jackets for the price of two.
Credit: Clark Tate

Warmth


If you want to enjoy being outdoors in the winter, you have to stay warm. So this is our most heavily weighted metric. Much of a jacket's warmth comes down to its insulation. If a coat is filled with down feathers, its warmth is determined by the quality (fill-power) of those feathers, how many there are (fill-weight), and how thick the fabric containing them is. Higher fill-powers mean higher quality down and more warmth per weight. We consider anything over 600-fill to be excellent.


Numbers don't tell the whole story, though, and the warmth of a jacket can't be based simply on the temperature it holds. Other factors, such as how long a jacket is, the height of the collar, and the protectiveness of the hood and wrist cuffs also make a big difference. Lucky for you, we tested each of these jackets side-by-side in snow, rain, wind, and frigid temperatures to gain first-hand experience.


The warmest jacket in our test is the Canada Goose Expedition Parka. It's rated for temperatures starting in the negative double digits and trending down, so we weren't surprised by its decisive win. The thick insulation, enveloping hood, and cinching waist make it a walking winter cyclone shelter. Cold, wind, and wet weather simply can't penetrate. On the flip side, it's also bulky, cumbersome, and very expensive. It is too much jacket for most people most of the time.

The toastiest jackets you're likely to need day-to-day are also some of our favorites — these are the Fjallraven Nuuk, Outdoor Research Coze, The North Face Arctic Parka, and the Orolay Thickened Down. The Nuuk relies on thick, durable fabric, a protective hood, and synthetic insulation to hold in warmth. The Arctic Parka shares a similar design but is insulated with down feathers instead of polyester fibers.

winter jacket womens - the canada goose expedition parka provides unrivaled warmth.
The Canada Goose Expedition Parka provides unrivaled warmth.
Credit: Clark Tate

The puffy-style Coze, Marmot Montreal, and Rab Deep Cover parkas are loaded with 700-fill power down, and the Patagonia Down With It Parka uses 600-fill. The high-quality down insulation and relatively thin face fabrics maximize their warmth while keeping them impressively lightweight and compressible.

Knee-length parkas like these are incredibly cozy in brutally cold weather, which we think of as 10°F or below. The Outdoor Research Coze reaches to the middle of the calves and covers the head with a large, deep, and very warm hood. Coze is right.

winter jacket womens - you can hide from the weather in the north face arctic parka.
You can hide from the weather in The North Face Arctic Parka.
Credit: Clark Tate

Most of the jackets we tested have smart features to help keep out the cold. Cuffed sleeves keep drafts from creeping up the arms, and insulated fleece-lined pockets are lifesavers on truly frigid days. Check out the best women's base layers we tested, which can also be part of a smart layering system and go a long way in keeping your body heat close.

winter jacket womens - the big protective hood and calf-length down baffles of the coze...
The big protective hood and calf-length down baffles of the Coze Down Parka offer a lot of value.
Credit: Ryan Reed

A warm hood makes a huge difference in cold weather, and we like those that are large enough to allow you to fit a beanie underneath. Insulated hoods with faux-fur ruffs that roll out around your face, like those on the Expedition Parka, Nuuk, The North Face Arctic Parka, and the Rab Deep Cover, keep your face happy in stormy weather.

The OR Coze and Orolay Thickened Down jackets have unique hoods that serve a similar purpose. The Coze has a down baffle that juts out beyond the face to protect it, and the Orolay's hood is deep enough to hide within. Both help keep your face warm, but they don't replicate the wind-cutting power of fur, real or faux.

winter jacket womens
Credit: Clark Tate

The Canada Goose Expedition Parka uses real coyote fur in the hood ruff. While a fur ruff certainly makes a jacket more protective in a storm, the ethics of using real fur can be controversial. Canada Goose is the only manufacturer in this review that uses real coyote fur, and they are committed to sourcing the fur ethically and responsibly.

Keep in mind that the warmest jackets may be overkill in some conditions. If you live in warmer climates, finding a highly weather-resistant jacket may be more important.

winter jacket womens - we loved the toasty yet breathable nuuk with its roomy fit and...
We loved the toasty yet breathable Nuuk with its roomy fit and plentiful pockets.
Credit: Clark Tate

Weather Resistance


Winter weather can range from cold and dry to sleet, wind, and freezing rain. If you live in a wet climate like Seattle, having a moderately warm and completely waterproof winter jacket is a good idea. If cold temperatures, biting winds, and dry snow are your reality, warmth and wind resistance are critical.

All the models we tested offer some protection from wet weather, from a water-resistant coating to a full-blown water-proof membrane. To test how well each jacket keeps you dry and cuts cold winds, we went for walks on wet snow days, stood in the shower for two minutes, headed out in windstorms, and braved blizzards.


The Canada Goose Expedition Parka wins in this metric too. It's as close to impenetrable as a winter jacket can be, with a tough outer shell and an insanely protective hood to block wind and snow. Though it's not meant to be used in temperatures where water is in liquid form, it shrugs rain off as well as anything else.

winter jacket womens - the canada goose expedition parka is a great jacket to bring to a...
The Canada Goose Expedition Parka is a great jacket to bring to a snowball fight. Good luck to anyone trying to hit you. We didn't find any weather that could.
Credit: Clark Tate

The Patagonia Tres is also windproof and is our favorite option for wet weather. Its generous hood offers good coverage, keeping our face dry during our shower tests. The Tres Parka's water and windproof outer shell works wonderfully as a rain jacket. The North Face Thermoball Eco Triclimate Parka's outer layer and the Moerdoeng ArcticPeaks jacket also work as rain jackets but have shallow hoods that do little to protect your face. The Eco Triclimate's face fabric also holds onto water. The ArcticPeaks does not.

winter jacket womens - the tress is waterproof with a highly-adjustable hood that keeps the...
The Tress is waterproof with a highly-adjustable hood that keeps the weather out.
Credit: Clark Tate

The North Face Arctic Parka and Fjallraven Nuuk also offer excellent shelter from a storm. Their hoods roll out to form protective tunnels, and the collars zip up to the nose. Both collars are roomy enough to be comfortable even when zipped up high enough to protect most of your face. While you'll stay dry when wearing the Nuuk, the fabric wets out in rain or wet snow. The Arctic Parka does not, it is impressively waterproof and doesn't absorb a drop.

winter jacket womens - if you can&#039;t find the face in this photo, the wind isn&#039;t likely to...
If you can't find the face in this photo, the wind isn't likely to either. And that's why we love the hood on the Fjallraven Nuuk.
Credit: Clark Tate

The Outdoor Research Coze is another impressive option with a hood that forms a protective ring around your face and cinches down to keep the wind at bay. It's also incredibly water resistant, easily shrugging off 2 minutes of steady water in our shower test. The Marmot Montreal is similarly water resistant, but its hood isn't deep enough to keep rain off your face when you remove the faux fur ruff. And you'll want to remove it, they don't fare well in wet conditions.

winter jacket womens - water beads up nicely on the or coze jacket, which performed well in...
Water beads up nicely on the OR Coze jacket, which performed well in our shower test.
Credit: Clark Tate

The Patagonia Down With It Parka and REI Norseland Parka both have impressive wet weather chops, with DWR coatings that shed moisture effectively and zippers that keep water out. Unfortunately, both also have small and shallow hoods that do very little to protect the face. The Down With It Parka can also allow water to run down your back where the hood snaps into the jacket if you don't take care to align the layers. The Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket kept us dry during our shower test, and its hood is extremely protective. Its face fabric, however, wets through and stays that way.

winter jacket womens - the montreal&#039;s hood keeps the wind off your face and the fabric...
The Montreal's hood keeps the wind off your face and the fabric sheds water like a champ.
Credit: Clark Tate

Comfort


Winter jackets can feel bulky, heavy, or restrictive, so we love the ones that feel roomy and cozy instead. We also love details like soft, welcoming pockets and protective cuffs. The most comfortable jackets we reviewed are supple and cut to provide plenty of shoulder room to stretch, move, and layer up. Some winter jackets wrap you in down from your head to your knees, and others drape you in comfortingly weighted canvas. All of these features factor into comfort.


If you like puffy jackets, consider the Outdoor Research Coze, Orolay Thickened Down, or the Patagonia Down With It Parka. All earn top marks for combining a great cut with a velvety soft feel. Even better, none of them are too tight on your face when you zip them all the way up. We also adore the Marmot Montreal with its nicely fitted hood and soft ruff. It offers instant comfort with a plush, fleece-lined torso and collar, though the collar is tighter when zipped. The Rab Deep Cover Parka does well here for its lofty, unrestrictive down fill and light nylon shell.

winter jacket womens - the patagonia down with it jacket has an excellent cut that gives...
The Patagonia Down With It jacket has an excellent cut that gives you plenty of room to move.
Credit: Clark Tate

If you need a sturdier exterior but don't want to cut on the cozy factor, we suggest the Fjallraven Nuuk. Its design gives you plenty of room to layer and move, the fabric is buttery soft, and its slight heft truly feels like a hug.

We also found the cut and comfort of the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka impressive. It's flattering but never restrictive, even with the collar fully zipped. It also offers plenty of shoulder room, though the liner is a little snug on its own. The Columbia Suttle Mountain Long and Heavenly Long jackets are similarly easy to wear. They are lightweight with roomy cuts and soft fleece liners in the hood.

winter jacket womens - the lightweight columbia heavenly long isn&#039;t suited to super cold...
The lightweight Columbia Heavenly Long isn't suited to super cold weather, but it makes it an extremely easy-wearing option.
Credit: Clark Tate

Versatility and Style


Why not stay warm and look good doing it? We know style is subjective, so we give it less weight in our scores. We also judge how versatile a jacket is, based how how many weather and style situations it can handle.


The winter jackets in this review vary in length, fit, function, and fashion. Some have smooth, sleek outer shells like the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka, some sport the rugged, functional look of the Fjallraven Nuuk, and others feature downy baffles, like the Marmot Montreaux. We like all of these styles, but some are executed better than others.

winter jacket womens - we think all three layers of the patagonia tres look pretty good.
We think all three layers of the Patagonia Tres look pretty good.
Credit: Clark Tate

The Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka nails sophisticated winter style, with a flattering cut and pleasing proportions. We like the look of all three layers. The Patagonia Down With It Parka is a close runner-up. Cleverly angled baffles cut down on bulk to offer a trim silhouette. The hand-warmer pockets don't interrupt the elegant line, and the high-quality fabric is evident on both.

winter jacket womens - angled baffles create a slimming effect for the patagonia down with...
Angled baffles create a slimming effect for the Patagonia Down With It Parka.
Credit: Clark Tate

The Fjallraven Nuuk, REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0, and The North Face Arctic Parka are our favorites of the more utilitarian jackets. All are understated and lean on their functionality for fashion. They're like sneakers; you just always feel good wearing them. Of the three, the Arctic Parka is the most streamlined and slimming.

The Rab Deep Cover Parka and Marmot Montreal also look great. They're quite similar, with thin fabric, horizontal baffles, and hoods with attractive faux fur ruffs. Both earned us compliments. Neither is exactly elegant, though, and the Montreal's arms are disproportionately puffy.

winter jacket womens - the nuuk leans on its quality construction to create its timeless...
The Nuuk leans on its quality construction to create its timeless style.
Credit: Clark Tate

Construction Quality


A durable jacket should serve its intended purpose for years, if not decades. To get one, you may need to spend more. Thicker fabrics stand up to rough use, but thinner shells work fine if you avoid manual labor and sharp edges, like skis. Most of the jackets in this review are made with quality materials and should last.


The North Face Arctic and Fjallraven Nuuk parkas seem indestructible, with minimal exterior stitching and tough polyester and polyamide shells. The Canada Goose Expedition Parka feels similarly bombproof. However, we worry about its hook-and-loop storm flap closures, which could wear out over time.

The Patagonia Tres has a two-layer H2No membrane and polyester shell that seems invincible. There isn't much to snag or unravel between the sturdy material and minimal external stitching. We did notice a few down feathers escaping from the inner jacket. It's not enough to concern us, but this layer is thin, relatively easy to snag, and has loads of external stitching. Keeping this layer up and running will require some care.

winter jacket womens - with few exposed seams, tough fabric, and high-quality snaps, the...
With few exposed seams, tough fabric, and high-quality snaps, the Arctic Parka has few weaknesses.
Credit: Clark Tate

Similarly, some of the softest and most comfortable jackets we tested didn't earn the highest marks for durability. Jackets like the Montreal and Deep Cover parkas wrap all that lovely down in a thin polyester shell. You do need to take good care of this type of winter jacket if you want it to last.

The Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka and REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka 2.0 are a good compromise, offering a soft down puffy feel with thicker, presumably more durable, fabric. Unfortunately, the Norseland parka's storm flap snaps are not the highest quality, one fell apart and ripped through the parka's fabric within a week.

winter jacket womens - we&#039;ve tested the or coze for a few years now, and it doesn&#039;t have a...
We've tested the OR Coze for a few years now, and it doesn't have a mark on it.
Credit: Ryan Reed

Conclusion


There is no perfect winter jacket for every occasion, but there are plenty of excellent options for your needs. Armed with this review, we hope you can choose a parka suitable for your climate. Winter parkas are just one of many outer layer options, though, so make sure you're choosing the right one for your needs.

It is essential to layer well if you want to stay outside when temperatures drop. Starting with one of the top-rated women's base layers is key, then add an excellent fleece jacket. Keep your hands toasty with a pair of the best winter gloves, top your lid with a warm beanie, and you're good to go.

Clark Tate and Liz Williamson