Top 10 Jackets for Winter Weather

With wintery conditions in full flow, the elements can be a major turn-off for those desperate to embark on a new adventure. In winter, it's vital to stay motivated when the weather takes a cold turn, so keeping fit and embracing the great outdoors can be experienced all year round. Wherever your adventures take you this time of year, please make sure you kit up correctly so you can stay protected, insulated, and comfortable on your trail hikes, climbs, camping trips, and morning strolls.


To help you kit up in style, here at Cotswold Outdoor, we've compiled our Top 10 Jackets for Winter Weather. Displaying the best-in-practice jackets for different activities, needs, and budgets, we have everything you need for winter exploration. So you can take on the blizzards, freezing rain, cold snaps, and everything else the season throws at you. Not every jacket is ideally suited for both men and women- that's why we have included different jackets in some categories to help ensure you get the best option for you.


Please Note: To be fully insulated and protected in any cold weather environment, you need a combination of clothing, including a specialised outdoor jacket and at least one thermal base or mid-layer.

Waterproof and Water Repellent... What's the difference?

Before we begin, do you know the differences between waterproof and water-repellent...? It's essential to understand the differences and benefits of both waterproof and water-resistant (water-repellent) jackets. These features are not just arbitrary names: waterproof and water-resistant jackets have specific differences you should consider. Water resistance and repellence are from the fabrics used, such as nylon and polyester. These materials are tightly woven with precision so that water cannot pass through without a fight. The extent of this tightness determines whether a jacket is waterproof or water-resistant.


A waterproof jacket offers the highest standard of protection from rain, hail, and snow, but this comes with drawbacks. The fabrics are so tight that liquids cannot get through, which works both ways. Water-resistant jackets offer more balance with more give to allow the fabric to breathe. While you will not be completely protected from the harshest conditions with a water-resistant or water-repellent jacket, you will stay almost completely dry. So, when purchasing a waterproof or water-resistant coat be sure to consider how and when you intend to use it, as these should be the determining factors in your purchase.


Men's - Rab Ascent Jacket

Rab Ascent Jacket - Men's Expert Review

First on our list is a men’s jacket crafted for its unwavering resilience in hostile conditions – the Rab Ascent. Both durable and water resistant, the Ascent is a stitch-through down jacket with a Pertex® Endurance outer for cold-weather trails and mountain climbs, walks, and hikes. Designed using Pertex® Quantum Pro with 650 fill hydrophobic down with quick-drying Pyrotec® synthetic insulation in the hood and cuffs, you can ensure you stay warm, dry, and protected when the temperatures drop and the rainfall is heavy.


Rab’s jackets are straighter cut than most Alpine jackets, leaving plenty of room for additional layers. The Ascent comes with a helmet-compatible, flexible polymer wired peak hood and windproof, highly water-resistant Pertex® Endurant face fabrics to keep your head warm and extremities. Comprised of 280g of minimum 650 fill-power down (fill power is a number defining the relative quality of down), this heavyweight coat requires minimal extra layering - although we recommend at least one thermal layer to be fully insulated. All these features combine to deliver robust comfort so you can go the distance, whatever the conditions.

Women's - Montane Duality Lite Jacket

Montane Duality Jacket - Women's Expert Review

For women looking for the perfect durable winter jacket - meet the Montane Duality Lite. Crafted for all intrepid hikers and mountaineers, it’s the ultimate solution to insulation and weather protection, designed to shield you from the worst winter elements without weighing you down. The innovative Duality Lite combines the reliability of Gore-Tex 2L 40D nylon waterproof fabric with the exceptional performance of Primaloft Silver insulation, making it the perfect choice for those adventuring amidst unpredictable mountain weather.


Whether you're hiking, skiing, or simply braving the cold, this jacket offers a comprehensive solution to keep you comfortable and protected in varying weather conditions. Features include a fully adjustable hood with reinforced peak, full-length YYK AquaGuard™ two-way front zip, and tons of pockets, including welted YYK hand pockets and an internal YYK zippered chest pocket for secure storage.


Delivering warmth, comfort, and quality built to go the distance - this jacket could feature across several categories with a luxurious versatility that shines through in several environments. However, its robust resilience stands out, giving you the comfort and protection needed to excel on the peaks, trails, and hills.


Men's and Women's - Patagonia Nano-Air Hoodie

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoodie - Men's Expert Review

For those who can’t sit still, there’s the Patagonia Nano-Air® Hoodie. Specially constructed to excel on diverse, start-stop alpine adventures, this incredible jacket ensures you're always on the move. Ideal for both men and women, the Nano-Air®’s warm, stretchy, breathable FullRange® insulation dumps excess heat while working hard and keeps you warm when you're not. Fair Trade-certified sewed, the partly recycled shell and lining offer exceptional breathability, flexion, and improved abrasion resistance with a micro-texture finish that creates excellent comfort next to the skin.


Features include a centre-front zipper with chin garage, sleek, low-bulk, snag-resistant variable conditions cuffs, a low-profile under-helmet hood, two zippered handwarmer pockets, and a zippered left-chest pocket to self-stuff the jacket into when required. An 87% recycled shell and 40% recycled insulation demonstrate Patagonia’s ongoing environmental mission, and the Nano-Air®’s lack of a membrane means you can stay cool whilst letting your natural perspiration pass through your jacket without overheating. Suited for all environments, activities, and adventures, the Patagonia Nano-Air® Hoody is a must-have for those with fluctuating temperatures on chilly winter pursuits.


Men's and Women's - Rab Valiance Jacket & Parka

Rab Valiance Jacket - Women's Expert Review

Ideally suited for men who regularly find themselves up against harsh winter conditions, the Rab Valiance Jacket withstands cold, rough weather with a box-wall construction for optimised down lofting and insulation. The Valiance is built with a fully taped Pertex® Shield outer and recycled 700FP down with a Nikwax® fluorocarbon-free Hydrophobic finish for exceptional waterproofing. Premium lightweight insulation is delivered using Rab’s 2-way adjustable Stratus synthetic sheet insulation in the hood and cuffs, alongside a dropped hem for improved lower back warmth - so you won’t be bogged down when out on your pursuits. Implementing a YKK VISLON® front zip with an internal zip baffle and YKK AquaGuard™ zipped hand warmer pockets for extra insulation in harsh conditions, the cuffs also come with hook and loop adjustability so you can manage your jacket to suit you and your activities. Weighing 753g, you can take this coat into blizzards, downpours, peaks, and trails in complete, reliable comfort. The Rab Valiance: a comfortable and hardy companion for winter adventures.


And for women, we have the Rab Valiance Parka, providing a cosy refuge during harsh weather conditions. Able to shield you from the relentless rain and snow, this versatile garment is specially crafted to cater for everyday needs and adventurous winter outings. Featuring a robust, waterproof Pertex Shield exterior with taped seams and a narrow bonded boxwall 700FP Recycled down construction, the Valiance parka achieves optimal warmth with an incredible extended length.


Men’s – Mountain Equipment Lhotse Jacket

Mountain Equipment Lhotse Jacket - Men's Expert Review

For men requiring the best all-around performance for mountaineering in any weather conditions, trust Mountain Equipment's Lhotse Jacket. The multi-award-winning Lhotse coat remains Mountain Equipment's best-selling GORE-TEX™ Pro jacket. The latest evolution of this mountaineering classic represents the most innovative blend of function, weight, and durability. Features include a 3-layer GORE-TEX™ Pro 40D Fabric and 80D reinforcements, a seamless face panel for maximum comfort, a fully adjustable mountain HC Hood with Cohaesive™ cord locks and an alpine-ready fit with articulated and pre-shaped sleeves with fully adjustable laminated cuff and dual tether hem drawcords design. With a laminated and laser cut inner pocket with YKK zip and 2-way YKK moulded AquaGuard™ centre front zip, your insulation and weather protection are increased, keeping you warm, dry, and protected from the conditions; and with a weight of 500g, the Lhotse delivers luxurious comfort, durability, and wind and waterproofing for taking on harsh conditions. Get ready to get out in the mountains.

Women’s – Rab Xenair Alpine Jacket

Rab Xenair Alpine Jacket - Women's Expert Review

Built for climbers, mountaineers, skiers, hill-walkers, and multi-day trekkers, the Rab Xenair Alpine is an adaptable, high-performance synthetic insulated jacket perfect for alpine adventures on foot or skis. Offering reliable, instant warmth and temperature regulation when output increases, the Xenair Alpine is built with a lightweight 20D Pertex® Quantum Air outer, making the jacket highly breathable and weather resistant. The Xenair comes insulated with two densities of 55% recycled PrimaLoft® Gold Active+ insulation, strategically body-mapped to provide warmth where you need it and breathability in high-heat areas. This effectively regulates temperature when the incline steepens or the temperature drops, maintaining warmth when static and increasing airflow on the move.


In addition to packability and warmth, the Xenair Alpine boasts an alpine feature set with an insulated, helmet-compatible hood with a semi-elasticated face opening and rear adjustment, articulated sleeves for increased mobility, and elasticated gussets at the cuff for a seamless fit with gloves. The Xenair Alpine jacket also has a two-way YKK VISLON® front zip for easy belaying, with an insulated zip baffle and a comfortable chin guard. Negating the need to change layers and provide warmth when you need it most, the Xenair Alpine is an intelligent, hardworking jacket ideal for fast and light alpinism, mountaineering, and climbing in winter conditions.


Men’s - Fjällräven Skogsö Padded Jacket

Fjällräven Skogsö Padded Jacket - Men's Expert Review

The hip-length, well-priced, insulated Men's Fjällräven Skogsö Padded Jacket is the ideal coat for dry, super-cold adventures. As comfortable trekking icy peaks as it is cycling to and from work - the Skogsö delivers exceptional wind and water resistance protection whilst simultaneously providing reliable breathability, helping perspiration exit the jacket without letting too much water in.


Crafted from durable G-1000 Original polyester and cotton, the Skogsö Padded Coat lets you enjoy premium G-Loft Supreme insulation even in damp conditions. Features include a fixed, adjustable hood, two zippered chest pockets, two zippered side pockets, two large mesh inner pockets, and a 2-way front zipper with a protective push button storm flap for exceptional wet weather performance. To help tailor the fit, a drawcord at the hem allows you to adjust the fit, ensuring this jacket meets your specific needs, no matter the outdoor conditions.

Women’s - Didrikson’s Anette Parka

Didrikson’s Anette Parka - 1

Didrikson’s Anette Parka - Women's Expert Review

Waterproof, windproof, and oh-so-cozy, Didrikson’s Anette Parka Jacket is the perfect everyday coat for winter adventures. Fully equipped to protect you from the winter elements, whether you’re heading out hiking or taking an evening stroll into town, this transitional cold-weather coat tackles it all.


Made from a supersoft STORMsystem polyester and packed with synthetic insulation, the Anette Parka is outfitted with a PFC-Free Durable Water Repellent treatment to keep wet weather at bay. A full-length 2-way zipper and storm flap keep the cold out and the warmth in, while the detachable faux fur trim on the adjustable hood exudes everyday style. Additional features include an adjustable drawstring hem, two buttoned hand pockets, a zippered inside security pocket for essentials, elasticated inner cuffs, and a drop-back hem.


Men’s and Women’s – Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket - 1

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket - Women's Expert Review

Simple, modest, and responsible. The trusted men’s and women's Patagonia Torrentshell 3L is a benchmark jacket for those who want to make a more considered choice with outdoor wear. Meeting one or more of our environmental criteria and featuring in the Cotswold Outdoor Our Planet collection - the Torrentshell uses fully recycled 3-layer H2No Performance Standard technology for exceptional waterproof/breathable performance, all-day comfort, and long-lasting waterproof durability.


This lightweight jacket excels come rain or shine with a two-way adjustable hood that stows away with a simple cord-and-hook design. The microfleece-lined neck provides comfort and protects with a waterproof/breathable barrier. Weighing in at 395g for men and 354g for women, you can confidently march through hikes, hill walks, and alpine trails in comfort with the Torrentshell 3L Jacket by your side. And when the sun starts shining, the Torrentshell easily packs into the left-sided pocket for added convenience.


Patagonia has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2025 through wholesale changes in their manufacturing process and continuing to donate 1% of their profits to environmental causes. Patagonia knows how its clothes are manufactured and produced and wants to encourage more responsible practices within the clothing industry worldwide. 


Men’s and Women’s – Rab Downpour Eco Jacket

Rab Downpour Eco Jacket - 1

Rab Downpour Eco Jacket - Women's Expert Review

Delivering fantastic bang for your buck, Rab’s Downpour Eco Jacket gives you exceptional value for money while representing an environmentally conscious choice for the trails and tracks. Made from a fully recycled 2.5L 50D Pertex Shield polyester treated with a fluorocarbon-free Durable Water Repellent coating, the Downpour Eco is Rab's inaugural mono-polymer waterproof jacket that is not only fully recycled, but also potentially fully recyclable at the end of its lifespan. In short, it provides innovative, water-repellent luxury while giving nature a helping hand in the process – what more could you want?


Features of this extraordinary jacket include a fully adjustable hem and cuffs, a flexible and fully adjustable polymer peak hood with chin guard, 2 YYK zippered hand pockets, and a pair of generously vented pit zips for airflow in prevailing conditions. Lightweight, easily packable, and coming in at £135 - this jacket is the preferred choice for hikers who prioritise both sustainability and performance while wanting to keep an eye on their spending.


Men’s and Women’s - Montane Fireball Lite Hooded Jacket

Montane Fireball Lite Hooded Jacket - Men's Expert Review

Built for both men and women and designed for hillwalking, climbing, mountaineering, fastpacking, and everyday winter adventures – the Montane Fireball Lite Hooded Jacket does it all for a fraction of the weight. Featherlight, warm, and highly breathable, the Montane Fireball Lite Insulated Hooded Jacket comes in at 320g for reliable warmth and protection that won’t weigh you down on the crag.


Equipped with fully recycled Active Eco insulation that excels in delivering exceptional core body warmth, the Fireball Lite combines a Featherlite Air nylon stretch outer and Thermo Grid brushed back stretch fleece side panels and underarms for incredible freedom of movement while effectively managing temperature during physical activity. Fantastic as a mid-layer or outer layer, this exceptionally lightweight coat is outfitted with a full-length YYK VISLON front zipper with storm flap, 2 YYK zippered hand pockets for your belongings, an insulated under-the-helmet hood for climbing and mountaineering, and an adjustable hem and low-bulk elasticated cuffs for a tailored, perfect fit.


Men’s and Women’s – Mountain Equipment Saltoro Jacket

Mountain Equipment Saltoro Jacket - Women's Expert Review

A pioneer in the industry, the Mountain Equipment Saltoro Jacket is an innovative, lightweight, and protective shell with a hybrid GORE-TEX™ construction for trekking and backpacking in the mountains. Expertly crafted for both men and women, the fully polyester membrane, 3-layer GORE-TEX™ 75D, and PACLITE® fabrics with a PFC-Free Durable Water Repellent coating combine to give a lightweight, waterproof shell with the durability required for regular outdoor use with or without a pack.


The Mountain Equipment Alpine fit is completely unrestrictive for all-day use, whether hiking, hill walking, multi-day trekking, climbing, or just on your daily commute. The Saltoro’s proven fully adjustable Mountain HC Hood is a reliable refuge in the worst weather, while the adjustable dual tether drawcords at the hem and articulated pre-shaped sleeves provide maximum comfort and freedom of movement - whatever the activity and conditions. The body comprises two large pockets with YKK WR zips for essentials and YKK WR underarm venting zips for additional insulation and padding.


Men’s and Women’s – Rab Infinity Microlight Jacket

Rab Infinity Microlight Jacket - Men's Expert Review

The Rab Infinity Microlight stays true to its original purpose, an insulated jacket for year-round mountain use, but with the added wind and weather resistance of GORE-TEX™ Infinium Windstopper®. Available in sizes for both men and women, this innovative jacket combats the high winds of climbing, mountaineering, and multi-day hiking. The outer fabric is super lightweight with impressive weather protection, coping with light snow, spin drift, and moisture. Despite its premium windproofing, the Infinity Microlight is exceptionally breathable and soft, making it the ideal down jacket for winter mountain adventures.


Built with zoned micro and nano baffles the 700FP P.U.R.E recycled down with Nikwax® hydrophobic finish has been body mapped to optimise insulation, warmth, and breathability. Highly compressible, the Infinity Microlight can easily be packed down into the stuff sack to be stashed in your pack as the weather changes. Providing an adjustable helmet-compatible hood with a stiffened peak, the Microlight delivers luxurious comfort in rugged terrains in the harshest conditions. The body houses a YKK VISLON® front zipper with an insulated storm flap, a YKK concealed zippered chest pocket, two YKK VISLON® zippered hand pockets, and zoned micro and nano baffle stitch. With a light weight of 452g, you can stay insulated, comfortable, and not bogged down on any of your adventures this winter with the Microlight.

Still not found what you're looking for? Shop our complete collection of men's and women's jackets below:

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