The 5 Best Winter Jackets of 2015
Our favorite jackets for staying warm and dry—even on the chilliest adventures
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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)
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)
Dynafit Denali Jacket ($400)
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)
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)
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