The 5 Best Winter Jackets of 2015

Our favorite jackets for staying warm and dry—even on the chilliest adventures

An expedition-grade jacket will keep you warm on the mountain—but also on your work commute. (ROBERTO CAUCINO/Thinkstock)
jackets outside

The best winter jacket performs multiple element-shielding duties, regardless of whether you're biking to work in an early-morning chill or bracing against an arctic gale. These jackets keep the wind, rain, and cold on the outside, and smart touches keep you comfortable in whatever cold temperatures you have to deal with. 

Bergans Utakleiv Jacket ($189)

winter jackets bergans arc'teryx dynafit black diamon patagonia
(Mark Wiens)

Best For: Spring Corn
With its long hem, high collar, and hood, the Utakleiv is a soft shell designed to fend off unexpected weather, making it ideal for those late-season ski days when nasty squalls intrude on bluebird skies. Pit zips cooled us down on sweaty boot-packs, and assorted pockets keep iPod, wallet, and avalanche beacon conveniently within reach. 
22 oz; bergans.com


Arc’teryx Ceres Jacket ($750)

winter jackets bergans arc'teryx dynafit black diamon patagonia
(Mark Wiens)

Best For: Arctic Cold
Arc’teryx stuffed its expedition-grade Ceres with lofty 850-fill down and cleverly substituted synthetic insulation in key moisture-prone areas like the cuffs and collar and around the zippers. It’s a puffy that’s ready for the elements and still holds its loft even after hundreds of days cramming it into a pack. Add to that water-resistant Windstopper fabric to ward off slop and this is the coat you want for crawling into a snow cave or belaying at the bottom of an icy canyon. 29.4 oz; arcteryx.com

Dynafit Denali Jacket ($400)

winter jackets bergans arc'teryx dynafit black diamon patagonia
(Mark Wiens)

Best For: Backcountry Ski Tours
In recent years, down jackets have evolved into full-on storm-shell insulation pieces, meaning you no longer need to slap a layer over the top when the weather gets wet. So it is with the Denali, which marries Windstopper soft-shell face fabric with treated down. The result: it won’t lose loft from internal or external moisture. It’s clear Dynafit designed the Denali with skiing in mind: a drop tail and powder cuffs kept snow out after crashing on a big kicker, and cavernous front pockets easily stash climbing skins. 23.4 oz; dynafit.com


Black Diamond Front Point Jacket ($599)

winter jackets bergans arc'teryx dynafit black diamon patagonia
(Mark Wiens)

Best For: Wet Days
Part of Black Diamond’s first line of expedition parkas, the Front Point is a streamlined alpine jacket that works just as well on mountaineering expeditions as it does in the resort. Constructed from Gore-Tex Pro—which sheds water and resists abrasion better than most other performance fabrics—and tailored to a weight-saving cut that never felt constricting, this became our go-to hard shell for everything from bombing lift lines to swinging ice tools. 
18.8 oz; blackdiamondequipment.com


Patagonia Wind Shield Jacket ($139)

winter jackets bergans arc'teryx dynafit black diamon patagonia
(Mark Wiens)

Best For: Speed Work
By combining highly breathable panels of Polartec fleece under the arms and across the back with wind-resistant but stretchy soft-shell fabric everywhere else, Patagonia created a hybrid layer that kept us cozy and sweat-free on high-intensity outings—everything from winter trail running to early-morning nordic skiing. Bonus points for the fold-over fleece mitts tucked into the cuffs. 8.1 oz; patagonia.com
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