Updated Spring 2017
Spring brings fresh new colors to some in our jacket selection, but few major product changes. Our review remains up to date. We're always on the hunt for new innovations and products, but for the moment our award winners, many of which have won for four years in a row, remain the same. We did add some new charts and tables to help you select the jacket that excels at the metrics you care about.
Best Overall Insulated Jacket
Rab Xenon X Hoodie
Very warm for its weight
Stuffs into pocket
Wind and water resistant
How does the Rab Xenon X Hoodie
win our top honors almost every year? In a word: simplicity. It covers your needs without wasting an ounce. It's miraculously weather resistant despite its low weight and compressibility. It can be a stand-alone warmth solution in moderate weather or easily layered for colder conditions. Our favorite features include a micro-fleece-lined collar and ergonomic zipper pulls. The Xenon X
stuffs neatly into its chest pocket, and we love it as a lightweight outer layer for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and skiing.
Read full review: Rab Xenon X Hoodie
Best Bang for the Buck
Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket
Light and stows small in pocket
Good weather resistance yet still breathable
Once again the Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket
is the best value in the category. It delivers strong performance for $200. This mobile jacket is also the third lightest jacket tested, and it features a combination of a weather-resistant torso and breathable underarm panels. Despite its affordability, the Cathode
still has great features like glove pockets and an excellent hood cinch design. While our other award winners have more focused performance, the Cathode
does everything reasonably well. If your priority is "best bang for your buck," then our Best Buy winner is a great choice.
Read full review: Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket
Top Pick Award for Breathability
Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody
The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody - Men's
is designed for high octane endeavors like backcountry skiing, mid-winter running, and steep uphill approaches, which is why it won Top Pick for Breathability. It keeps you warm but is more capable of remaining comfortable over a range of temperatures and activity levels. The soft, stretchy fabrics inside and out feel great, provide excellent mobility, and wick sweat to the outside. No more stopping to de-layer or layer up - just keep charging.
Read full review: Patagonia Nano Air Hoody - Mens
Top Pick Award for Warmth
Patagonia DAS Parka
Warmest contender tested
Designed for cold weather climbing
Great weather resistance
This is an outermost layer that is designed for hunkering down, whether you're at a cold belay ice climbing or winter camping. The Patagonia DAS Parka
, or "Dead Air Space" parka, has a PU-coated outer fabric for water resistance, insulation layered just where it's needed, and a stiffened hood brim. Two internal mesh pockets hold water bottles to keep them from freezing, or damp gloves warm and dry, or to warm up climbing shoes. An impenetrable layer against the wind and vulnerable to only torrential rain storms, the DAS Parka
takes home our Top Pick Award for Warmth for the second year running.
Read full review: Patagonia DAS Parka