The perfect jacket to fight off the chill of winter needs to be a solid combination of style and performance. But to be truly prepared for bad weather, you need the right choice for the situation. The following round up of our favorite winter jackets runs the gamut—from casual coats perfect for cold-weather playground jaunts with the kids to light, athletic backcountry shells for hard charging with other alpha dads. No matter the use, the following eight winter jackets all hold up to serious abuse and look good in the process.
Mountain Khakis Ranch Shearling Jacket
Meet the perfect jacket for when you need to get some winter work done in the garage or out in the yard. Lined with soft, warm shearling pile this ranch jacket can add a little rock and roll to its country cred. It’s just as fine choice for a day of Christmas shopping as it is taking turn on the tractor.
686 GLCR Hydrastash Jacket
No one wants to haul a water bottle around on the lifts, and hydration packs can get in the way and cramp your style. But drinking water is key during a big day of skiing or snowboarding (you actually dehydrate faster in cold temperatures). 686 came up with the perfect solution by building a jacket that includes a removable 25-ounce hydration reservoir built inside the shell around the abdomen right above the powder skirt. While that may sound awkward, it rides as if it were not there, keeping you balanced and natural while you suck down that all important H2O in secret.
Salewa Cordura 2 Layers Wool Men’s Jacket
Made in Italy, this cozy wool blend jacket is the perfect travel companion. It’s warm enough for cold hikes up in the hills or nights around a fire pit, but its also got enough class that you can feel confident wearing it out on the town. That versatility pays dividends at home, too, where it’s the right pullover for roving the sidlines at a kids’ game or wearing day-to-day at your favorite cafe.
Arc’teryx Rush LT
Skiing and snowboarding in the backcountry require gear that protects your from the onslaught of a sudden storm and bite of frigid mornings, but can also deal with the high-output activity of chugging up a skin track or kicking boot steps in the snow. Weighing in at just over 14 ounces this serious shell made from a proprietary Gore-tex fabric can withstand a blizzard but won’t overheat. Roomy pit zips, well placed pockets, and an easy-to-adjust hood seal the deal.
Fjallraven Greenland Winter Jacket
Here’s the jacket you will wear the most this winter. With its Scandinavian hipster style and cushy pile fleece on the inside this no-nonsense coat will take the chill out of most winter days. It’s well matched to casual winter hikes as well as long walks in the city.
Need that one perfect jacket for big days skiing the resort? The Charger packs plenty of waterproof/breathable protection and just enough Primaloft insulation into a flattering-fit shell that can handle hours of charging groomers and seeking out powder stashes without cramping your style. Credit that manuveraalilty to a four-way stretch fabric that moves as you do out on the hill. And it all rings up at a reasonable price for a full-feature resort jacket.
Patagonia Silent Down Shirt
There are plenty of balmy winter days when that big puffy jacket is overkill. Likewise, there are lots of less-than-zero winter days when you want to keep wearing a jacket indoors or maybe enjoying drinks on a sunny deck. Made from recycled polyester and 700-fill recycled down, this insulating shacket cuts the chill without a lot of bulk. It also makes for an outstanding mid layer.
Columbia OutDry Ex Gold Down Hooded Jacket
Beefed up with 700-fill power goose down this puffy is sure to keep you warm. But the constant worry with down jackets is getting them wet. Don’t fear: Columbia shored up this insulator with its waterproof/breathable Outdry fabric and seam sealed every spot where moisture might seep in. The result is an extremely warm jacket that won’t go limp when it sleets or rains. And all that comes at a price tag far below less reliable puffies.