Best Overall Women's Fleece Jacket
The North Face Radium Hi-Loft - Women's
This model from The North Face's Summit Series line continues to impress our testers, winning our Editors' Choice award for the second year in a row. The North Face Radium Hi-Loft - Women's
is a technical model designed for being active in cold environments. It's made with a cozy and warm hi-loft material and has a unique baffled construction that allows for maximum ventilation. The one drawback to this design is that the baffles allow cold air to seep in on windy days, but as a layer under a shell this fleece is ideal. It will keep you warm and prevent you from getting sweaty at the same time. There are stretch fleece panels on the side torso and arms, which allow for greater ease of movement and less constriction under another layer. There is no hood, which is nice in this case since it's mostly meant as a layering piece, and it looks pretty good for a technical fleece. Our Editors' Choice winner is ideal for layering in the winter or for a packable layer on your next hiking trip.
Best Bang for the Buck
The North Face Tech-Osito Jacket - Women's
The North Face Tech-Osito Jacket - Women's is our Best Buy pick
. This technical version of the popular Osito 2 Jacket
is a great all-around warm layer. The silky raschel material leaves you feeling like you're being hugged by Elmo all day long, and it will keep you warm, too. This jacket has plenty of room for layering underneath, has a slightly tapered silhouette and makes a great outer layer for cool fall days. It will even fit under a shell in winter, and thanks to the side stretch panels you won't feel too bulky or constricted. You'll get a lot of use out of this versatile jacket, without the price of a more technical fleece.
Top Pick for Breathability
Patagonia R1 Hoody - Women's
Patagonia made some big updates to their classic performance fleece this year and we like every one of them. The grids are slightly larger and the zipper now goes down to the navel. This makes the Patagonia R1 Hoody - Women's even more breathable and well deserving
of our Top Pick for Breathability award. This hoody scored well in almost all of our metrics, particularly when it came to warmth, breathability, layering and ease of movement. The minimalist R1 Hoody doesn't have many stylish qualities or bells and whistles, but this is the layer to have if you partake in heavy-duty cardio activities in cold climates. The hood makes it far more versatile as a mid-layer and it zips into a balaclava that covers your neck and lower face. The interior grid fleece design breathes beautifully and the pullover features thumb loops to keep the sleeves in place. The R1 will move with you, keep you warm and regulate body temperature, even during your most active pursuits.